One huge benefit to living in Honduras is that I am a few short hours away from beautiful ocean waters and sandy shores! Immediately after work today, I left for the sunny beaches of Tela. The only electronic device I brought with me was a phone; the rest of my suitcase consisted of bathing suits, board games, and books!
I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend, and I feel it will prepare me well for the busy weeks ahead!
As I will not have access to my blog, I have preset two quick messages to be sent out on the weekend. Just as I will be having my own time of rest and relaxation, I want to post a simple message that might bring some motivation to your day!
Hopefully, I will have some pictures to offer on Monday!
Today was the first day of staff orientation. It was really great to see some faces I recognized! I loved coming back from a two month break and seeing so many people that I have grown to care about greatly. We had the chance to catch up and set ourselves up for the coming school year.
Additionally, I was given the opportunity to meet the new staff, and I have to say, I am excited about the people that I met! They are all so nice and so eager to be here. I am looking forward to getting to know them better in the future.
As an extreme introvert, however, I find the task of integrating new friends into my current web of friendships rather daunting. I tend to have a few close friends that I put all of my effort into, leaving the rest as people I can support when I have some social energy leftover. I find it difficult to add more friends when, honestly, I struggle to give enough of my love and attention to the people that were already a part of the established group I have in my head. I genuinely care about all of them, but I simply do not have enough social energy to offer that kind of support all of the time; I’m forced to prioritize. It sometimes makes me feel selfish, but I’ve realized that it would be worse for me to let myself grow weary in an unsuccessful effort to give substantial attention to everyone. I choose, instead, to see that I am giving all of my effort to the people that get the most out of it. I am often reminded of an episode of Seinfeld that offers a bit of a comedic explanation of the situation in which many introverts find themselves. I will leave you with a clip of the episode I particularly appreciate:
That phrase has a whole new meaning now that I live abroad. It was the strangest feeling leaving the place I call ‘home’ and arriving in a place where I realized I also like to call ‘home’.
Leaving my family this time was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Last year, I had no idea what I was leaving behind or what I was moving towards, and this year the picture is all too clear. I knew that, by leaving, I was missing out on the warmth of my family’s presence for another 10 months. I was missing the opportunity to be there for friends and family when things got tough for them. I was missing the simplicity and comfort of a place that I have loved and cherished my entire life.
But I was not just leaving home that day; I was coming home. I was arriving in a place I had more recently started to recognize not as a new home, but another home. This home also has a warm presence with people that I call family, and I have the same opportunities to support people here. The place is new and a little chaotic, but in its own way, just as simple and comforting. It is a place that I will grow to love and cherish my entire life.
Can a person have more than one place to call home? I am inclined to believe so. God’s world that He made for us can be more than just one city. If you have lived in one place forever, then that is your home, and that is a wonderful thing, but home isn’t restricted to one designation. I believe that I could travel and live in 1,000 different places and find that there are equally beautiful scenes, loving people, and valuable experiences that make me want to scream ‘home sweet home’. Some may stand out more than others, but each of them means something real.
At first, I felt I was betraying my loved ones at home for loving something here, but now I feel there is room in my heart for both, and instead of feeling guilty for the sentiment, I feel blessed that I have been able to experience so many ‘home sweet homes’ already in my life, and I am so excited to find more places and experiences I love!
I’ve already gotten my things packed away, and I am spending the day with dearly beloved family members! I didn’t come home for Christmas this past year, so we all decided that having a summer Christmas would be a lovely thing to do as a parting celebration.
Being gone for a year has taught me that it’s possible to love someone just as much, regardless of time away. I have also learned to value the time I spend with those people much more deliberately. Possessions don’t matter half as much as they used to in my mind, and now
I want nothing more than an experience. Those amazing experiences have infinite value, and I hope to cultivate those adventures more intentionally in the future.
It has been an eternity since I last posted on this blog, and I am nearly ready to throw in the towel on the whole thing, but I have done a lot of reflection over my summer break, and I’ve decided that I should give this one more shot before deciding whether or not to put a stop to it.
This past year has been challenging, busy, and overwhelmingly new to me, but in every way has taught me so much about myself and where I want to be in life. I’ve learned about things that I believe I’ve been doing well, and other things that clearly require a little more attention. I want to talk about these things today and make my goals clearly announced so that my (imaginary) audience can keep me accountable.
One thing that I have grown to do quite well this year is stick to my individuality. I am an INFJ, and my personality traits often clash with each other. I’m an introverted extrovert, a joyful cynic, and a child with the brain of some sort of guru. Usually I’m thankful for my personality, but many times I am also confused and frustrated by it. Finding myself in Honduras, I felt especially confined by some of my acquaintances, who often had only an understanding of the extroverted individual- one with which I did not at all identify. After struggling with finding assurance in my own individuality, I was able to find a few people who have become very near and dear to my hearts. These people have helped me talk through my emotions and settle in a place where I feel good about who I am, and I no longer feel rude or selfish about choosing to let that personality take precedent. I am more than comfortable with who I am now; I am challenged to become more of that person I truly am, and to use that authenticity to better love those around me. I want to use this blog to further explore some of those ideas, particularly how they relate to the INFJ personality.
This year, I have also grown to develop a deeper relationship with God. It was difficult to come up with such a relationship when I was in the midst of so much confusion, but that chaos eventually brought me to a place where I required His constant support and guidance. I’ve never needed Him so badly, and finding that need was one of the greatest blessings I’ve ever received! I want to post about some of those amazing miracles I’ve seen in my life, as well as little motivational things I’ve stumbled across.
Something that I’ve done a less-than-stellar job of this year is communicating with friends and family I left behind. I had the occasional Skype call and sent the rare WhatsApp message or written letter, but that was about it. I’m not a huge fan of social media, and that dislike often leads to a lack of communication on my end. I want to respect the fact that they would like to hear from me more often, so I hope to better my skills in social media. However, I do not feel good about posting on facebook or twitter, as I personally feel like I’m disrupting those around me by talking about myself in a public forum. A blog is out of the main stream of social information, so a person who would like to know about me can, but they are not forced to see my status. This blog will enable me to notify those who care to know about my current situation without disrupting those who aren’t inclined to find out.
Finally, I’ve been feeling a real pull to simplify my life lately. I’ve been getting rid of items that no longer bring me joy, and I have been trying to get rid of things in my life that are only serving to steal my time away. The next step is to use the time I now have to produce, rather than consume. I want to challenge myself to use my time in a meaningful way that helps those around me and contributes something to the world. I love reading and writing, and I’ve felt particularly motivated to cultivate my writing skills- I’m hoping to write a book of my own, soon. This blog will provide me with a way to practice those writing skills AND to produce something I believe to be meaningful.
In summation, my goal this year is to live a more simplified, God-centered life and to use this blog as a way to explore my personal developments and my travel and work adventures. I hope that my audience will grow to be a combination of people I know and people who feel they identify with some of my sentiments. And if I have no one at all reading this, that is fine, too! It is mainly a selfish endeavour that will help my own development, regardless of its audience!
You can expect a post from me every day, though it may vary in brevity and subject matter. Happy Adventuring!