Overwhelming to say the least

This whole process has felt so... unreal. Making this decision to work out of the country for the next year was an exciting choice to make, scary at moments, but mostly just... right. I don't really have words for it. I have felt so comforted in my decision, trusting in God that this is what I am supposed to be doing with my life at this moment that I was content with all the challenges that arose and knew I could get through them. It was a lot to bear, moving out of my apartment, packing, putting things in storage, deciding what to bring to Africa, what to store, what to try to sell, and everything else, donate. On top of that, I had to make arrangements for what to do with my car, where to stay when I come back to visit, insurance, my cell phone, leave my job, which included finishing my paperwork, and saying my goodbyes. (that you can read all about in my previous post)

At first, I felt alone and overwhelmed with everything. There was just so much to do! How am I going to get all of this done? I didn't know how to ask people to help me with things I felt I had to do.  I turned to a friend (fellow Baha'i) for advice on how to ask God for help in managing all of this. He replied by telling me to just ask people for help. It sounded simple enough. 

So I prayed and started telling more people about what I was doing. The amount of help was unbelievable, almost overwhelming in itself. I a lot of people offered to help me pack and organize, my co-workers also helped me with 2 yard sales, and I had Baha'is offer for me to stay with them whenever I needed it. My dad came from Tucson to help me finish up everything and he was a major help. Thanks Dad!! There is no way I could have gotten through those last couple of days without you! And we were both hurting (lower back/sciatic pain, the worst!!!). A few other friends helped us move things into my storage unit. Again! So thankful for the support everyone gave me, whether it was packing 1 box or moving boxes down 3 flights of stairs, I really needed your help and am appreciative! 

On top of that was the emotional aspect of letting go of everything. Letting go of my material possessions or leaving relationships that I value behind. I felt like I was leaping off of a cliff, trusting solely in God. I was ok with getting rid of my things, but the hardest was my worry about what would happen with all of my relationships. Not having them as accessible. Mahara, my sister, had left, my cousin, who became a huge support to me over the past 7-8 years (She was a best friend, role model, therapist, source of light) had passed away, and now I would be leaving behind a community  that I grew close to. However, I received so many confirmations that I was headed on the right path. I couldn't pass this up. 

Bittersweet Goodbyes

The fun we had!

Woops! Finally getting this post out.

My last week of work was filled with joy and sadness. I had to inform everyone about this exciting new opportunity to work in Africa. This meant I was leaving my job, terminating with my clients, packing my things, moving out of my apartment and setting off for a whole new experience. Pretty exciting... and scary. It was overwhelming to say the least.

I had to tell my job (i.e., supervisor and director) that I would no longer be coming back and shortly after my fellow therapists. I had to tell the school I work at, which started with the principal, a few staff, and an email to all of the teachers/staff. And of course, I had to tell all 16 of my clients starting with the parents. The hardest of all was telling each client. Although I received the same reaction from just about every adult, sad to hear I was leaving, but very excited to know it was for an unbelievable opportunity, my students had a quit different reaction.   

My students all had funny and heartfelt reactions to my news:

After a moment of contemplation, "So you will just have to drive further to get to work?" she said. "No. It's really far away." "So you'll have to metro further?" "Nooo, its like REALLY far." ..."Can I come with you?" :-\

"How about you bring all the kids from Africa here. Then you can just stay!" 

"So you can take a train?" "No, it's across the ocean, alot of water and trains can't go over the water." "Yes, they can." "Haha, no. The water is very deep." ..."Like, deeper then the pool?" "Haha! Yes! Much deeper!" 

Sweet gifts from clients

Sweet gifts from clients

My students had a difficult time understanding what it meant for me to have an amazing opportunity. One student asked me if I was sad about going then why was I leaving? 

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The school staff gave me a nice send off as well. I was given the opportunity to express how much I enjoyed working with them and how wonderful of a job they do. It was very sweet to be asked if there was anything I needed. We also discussed being pen pals. :) Hopefully we can make that happen. 

 

...And then came the packing, storing, cleaning, yard sales, moving, and so on. 

 

The morning of...

7:00am

Good morning! Later this evening I will be heading off to The Gambia for the first time. I am excited about this new journey, but like most people, I have a difficult time with change. I am nervous and sad about changing my life. I am worried about leaving my sister and not being able to share in our everyday situations. Currently, everything is going well and I am happy. I do fun and exciting things with my sister, I love the apartment I live in, I love my job and the kids I work with, I am active in the Baha'i community... and now I'm going to change all of that. A little scary! But I know that change happens and is needed. Last week, I taught a lesson at my summer camp about change. The students had some great perspectives in recognizing that with change comes growth and we should be excited about this growth. Also, growth requires change. I think I need to take a lesson from them. So with that reminder, I feel I am supposed to be on this new adventure and am excited of what will come of it. I had been stressed and overwhelmed for a while and I woke up one morning with the thought that I need to take this opportunity, that this is the direction I need to go in next. So here I am... about to be on my first flight to Africa...

A beautiful web in the early hours. Like nothing, the spider picked up and moved on to the next best thing. When I looked back a few minutes later, it was completely gone.

A beautiful web in the early hours. Like nothing, the spider picked up and moved on to the next best thing. When I looked back a few minutes later, it was completely gone.

~~~

The fears and agitation which the revelation of this law provokes in men’s hearts should indeed be likened to the cries of the suckling babe weaned from his mother’s milk, if ye be of them that perceive.   (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 175)

You should, therefore, leave all your affairs in His Hands, place your trust in Him, and rely upon Him. He will assuredly not forsake you. In this, likewise, there is no doubt.  (Baha’u’llah, Fire and Light, p. 10)

 

Fun in the Sun

Yesterday, Mahara and I went to Harper's Ferry for some "white water" tubing. Unfortunately, there really wasn't any white water, but we still had fun. We spent about 4 hours there. We love the water, if you didn't know. We parked our tubes on a mini island and some rocks to go for a swim. And I wasn't even scared! (Lol... Although I am adventurous, I tend to be a scaredy cat.) We also saw a bald eagle soaring through the air looking for fish. It perched in a tree near by. It was pretty awesome. The pictures below capture most of the fun.