Pondering challenges, and the first of many highlight reels

Dear friends,

Somehow this last week got away from me – how is it Tuesday already? I posted last Saturday and it just doesn’t seem like it’s been a week. But it has! Another week of continuing to discover what my life in Juneau is going to look like, watching things unfold one day at a time.

So, I want to maintain a pretty open correspondence here, and so I’ll confess that this past week brought some challenges. Mostly I just got hit by a wave of homesickness. It’s a homesickness that has a different flavor than when I’ve done extended travel or gone away to school. For those times, the homesickness was softened by the fact that I’d be home again in the foreseeable future. This time it’s more of a longing for the familiar, for the ease of close friendships, for places that remind you of home, but with a catch – I don’t know if and when I’ll get to experience those things.

The challenges of last week were ones I knew would be coming, and ones that I’m sure will return again, albeit in various disguises. They are the difficult moments when you have to step outside of your little bubble of nostalgia and loneliness and create new routines, embrace new experiences, and invite new people into your life. I was looking back through my prayer journal from a just a few days ago, where I was writing about how clearly God has lead me here and wants me here. I see affirmations of it, big and small, many times a week. The crazy thing sometimes is how easy it is to not feel that certainty in various moments throughout my days. For example, when I read that journal entry I was lying in a sleepless state of contradiction, trying to balance one side of my heart which said Come on, girl, pull up your boots and keep on walking and another side which said I just want to go home and do something safe and not so difficult.

Transition has its stages, and it’s good for me to remember that the fear almost always comes from simply not knowing what’s next. But it will be made apparent, it will be unknown until suddenly I’m swept up in it and discover how beautiful it is.

My God is one of new beginnings, and right now he’s asking me to trust, to allow him to sweep me up in the goodness and the excitement and the struggle of it all. To be amazed. To serve out of the poverty of my loneliness when it comes, and to let others enter into that same loneliness and love me through it. To remember how to live simply. To surrender to joy.

And on that note – what a beautiful week! In the midst of some trials, it was a really excellent week. Queue highlight reel:

  • Practicing my espresso shots and learning how to steam milk! I feel like I’ll be a “big kid” in the barista world. It’s a little thing, but still fun.
  • I met with another gallery in town about teaching some art classes, and we’ve got a couple of fun ones in the works for this winter.
  • I got my library card!!! This is very exciting because now I can 1. check out all the cookbooks and 2. check out all the art books. Having access to art books meant that I was able to…
  • Draw from the masters! I love sketching from my favorite artists – it’s such a formative exercise. This week was sketching Kathe Kollwitz. What a woman!
  • Meeting my soon-to-be roomie at this amaaaazing little distillery in town for an drink to celebrate our new place! I had a matcha gin drink and it was delicious.
  • Sleepover with my cousin, Molly! Making popcorn, watching movies, and talking about everything from politics to faith to the eccentricities of high school. It was good to have that time with her.

I need to write more often because I know there were smaller moments of surprise and joy and awesomeness that I’m forgetting…but alas. I’ve got to prep for my tutoring client later today, and it would be good to take a walk while the rain is staying away.

Keep it real, friends.


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