When it was only a year ago that . . .

I’ve been reading through some posts from last year. Like this one — when tonsilitis and Advent totally, horribly coincided. (I can’t believe that was around this time last year!) And this one — when I traveled from central Thailand to Eastern Europe and then over to northern Thailand all within the span of three weeks. And I honestly can’t believe it.

I knew this would happen. I knew that I’d enter into a wilderness season as soon as I moved to Thailand, that I’d be in it for who knows how long, and then that once I got out of it and moved on to a new life season, I’d look back on the wilderness with new eyes of fondness, appreciation, and even gratitude for bits I’d never even noticed before.

I haven’t written in this space since November 4 because I’ve been fleshing out my word for 2014: brave. I honestly haven’t had the time, the mental capacity, or the energy to blog — until now, all of a sudden. So let me explain briefly what’s been going on before I move on to some more awe-inspired reflection on the past year and a half and then close off for the time being.

As you know, I headed back to America in October for what I expected to be a semi-lengthy visit. I mentioned in that post that I was going to be doing lots of flying in the coming months. Well, that was definitely what I’d planned but not entirely what ended up happening (in some regards). What I’d planned was for a cross-country trip to a total of seven states to spend time with family and my dearest friends. My heart was needing it after so long in the wilderness, you know? Before I left, I sensed my time in the wilderness would come to a close in the near future, but I had no idea when exactly that would be. As it turned out, I received a not-in-my-wildest-dreams job offer the day before (THE DAY BEFORE, people!) my flight out of Thailand. It seemed like an incredible opportunity that I just couldn’t pass up, so even though it required me to cut my America trip short, my friends and family were on board and I went ahead and accepted. (Really giddily, I might add.)

What my America trip turned out to be:
-two weekends jam-packed with two different road trips (one to Durham, North Carolina, where I ran my second half-marathon, and one to Charlottesville, Virginia, where I visited my oldest best friend)
-doctors appointments
-stocking up on things I love and miss immensely when I’m abroad (as well as on the necessities)
-a failed visa run all the way to Washington, DC {don’t worry, my visa has since been sorted out properly!}
-grad school work
-canceling a heap of cross-country flights and scheduling a new transcontinental one
-sending paperwork back and forth to my new job
-family time, which involved an early Thanksgiving dinner and hot chocolate 😀

I flew back to Thailand in a hurry-scurry of events and arrived at my new apartment on November 1. Hence the photo I included in my last post. Since then, I’ve been trying to wade through the deep, deep, deep waters of teaching brilliant, societal-ly upper-class tenth graders English; create daily lesson plans; maneuver the culture of a new workplace and find my niche; learn how to wake up at 4:30 AM again {surprisingly, I used to do this all the time in high school; now I think it’s just too early for my brain to adjust to}; and realize start to grasp that I am an adult with a kitchen and a high-rise apartment in the city and a thirty-minute commute to work. I have a Skytrain pass, a gym membership, and a pot and pan. It’s weird, guys.

I’m also loving it. I’m 100% out of the wilderness now. I won’t say it’s because of the location change because I doubt it can all be boiled down to that. It’s just because. And I am immensely grateful. Like I said at the beginning of this post, I feel like I have new eyes to look back on the past year and a half. I feel like myself again. I feel light and happy on a near-constant basis. I can only count one meltdown in the past 30 days {it was about several language barrier issues all right in a row}, and that’s saying something. I look forward to seeing my students every day, and the big fancy school I work at doesn’t really scare me anymore — it’s more a light in my day than a worry. To be honest, my biggest concern at the moment is deciding where to travel over my two-week Christmas break that’s coming up. (Read: not a concern.)

Whooooooooo. What a ginormous breath of relief that’s been held in for the past 500-some days! What a deep well of gratitude I have for being able to lift up my head and my no-longer-dry bones to say, “I’m out of the wilderness now. I made it. God carried me through.”

Enjoy your Advent, dears. There’s a time to weep {last Advent} and a time to laugh {this one}, that’s for sure. I’m so grateful for the ebb and flow. The light always comes back sometime.

Sunrise from my balcony, November 26.
Sunrise from my balcony, November 26.

Leave a Thought

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s