If y’all have been reading my blogs at all you know very well that I am not a huge writer or blogger by any means so thank you for your patience while I grind all this out.
In 10 weeks my second YAV year will come to an ending it’s a bit bitter sweet. By that I mean am I ecstatic to be going home for a bit and seeing my family? Absolutely!! In the past two years I have been home for 5 weeks and 2 days total. That can take a toll on anyone, constantly reminding yourself why you’re away, that you chose to do this, that this is the best decision you made in your life at the time. It’s a little bitter because I feel like my adventure time is coming to a close, not being able to go to new places for awhile knowing I’ll have a roof over my head and meeting a bunch of new and interesting people. Not being able to fully immerse myself in new things without thinking like oh how am I going to fit this around work. Last year I got to experience what it’s like to live in a small community and how basically the whole town looks out for each other, this year I got to experience how you create your own community within a bigger city. Both experiences were unique in their own way and also very enlightening, with friends that were made that will always be with me.
This year I got the pleasure of finding out one of my passions that I didn’t even know I had. As a former athlete I always told myself I will not become a coach, I will not be that person that tries to relive their glory days through kids. Well low an behold I had the amazing opportunity to assistant coach middle school at Menaul. Watching these kids figure out their love for the game is amazing and seeing them grow, put forth the effort to make not only themselves better but also their team has been, well its been a profound experience to say the least. I got to discover and experience what my coaches had for us, the love for the kids and the love for the game. I would never have been able to do this if my work placement Second Presbyterian didn’t have such strong ties to Menaul, having third and fourth generations going there. SO huge shout out to them!!
This year in intentional community living has been interesting to say the least. We had a rough start of the year with a person from our community going home and having to readjust to how that affects the group and our living. About every three months throughout this year it felt like oh we gotta start all over again. Proud to say our group is amazing at adapting and being able to be there for one another through the good and bad. It hasn’t been easy but we make it work. These last ten weeks are going to be longest/fastest of my YAV life I’m assuming. Right now my main goal is to try and stay as present as possible while also registering for classes for next year and getting my jobs squared away. Its all about balance and patience something I had to learn in depth this year. Even though my second YAV year will be coming to an end soon, I am grateful for the experiences and lessons I have learned (even if I resisted at times). The people I have met here are amazing and a big factor in my decision into staying here for the next year (or two). I have a community here, I have a group of friends and friends who have turned into a surrogate family. While going back to school and having a coaching job here for the next year I’m excited for what this coming year will bring.
A huge special thank you to everyone who has supported me spiritually and financially through these past two years. HUGE shout out to my momma for almost always taking my calls and putting some sense into me. I seriously couldn’t have done a year much less two with out every single one of calls support. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!
2 Corinthians 5:7 for we live by faith not by sight
Change …it’s inevitable. It’s always gong to happen and come around. The question is do you want to be apart of the change the will inevitably come for the better or for the worse? I think most privileged people are always saying change is hard, it’s too hard why not just keep everything as it is? No whats actually hard about change is realizing the injustice that has integrated itself into our society to where we now think it’s the normal. Changing our perspective on how we function as a person, a community, a society, social group classes or on the grander scale a nation as a whole.
This weekend as ABQ YAVS we were blessed enough to be able to attend the 23rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr community commemorative breakfast. At this breakfast we got to hear from some amazing speakers, the Honorable Tom Udall Senator of New Mexico, Mrs. Elizabeth Kristen-Keller First Lady of the city of Albuquerque, Reverend Dr. D Charles Wharry, presiding elder Arizona New Mexico district, Reverend Donna Marie Davis pastor Grant Chapel AME Church, Reverend Michelle Sumbry Albuquerque New Mexico and Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, Presiding Prelate 10th Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. These men and women stood before hundreds of people today and talked about injustice, change and most importantly faith and having the courage to stand up against oppressors to enact social change and to always remember that it’s up to us to keep Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s dream alive. To not have violence against violence but to have kindness be the weapon of our choosing, to using all of our voices as a whole over the use of our fists or firearms to be heard.
We will never be able to control people’s opinions but we can show them how to change them if that is their wish, through selflessness, standing up for what is right, even if it makes you uncomfortable(especially if it makes you uncomfortable). Change happens all the time changing houses, jobs, friends, lifestyle, etc…what should never ever change is being kind to one another. Respecting someone as a human being standing up for the unjust, for the ones who are meek, the ones who get passed over without a second thought, the ones who voices get taken away just because they’re different or weren’t born here or because one(or more) group(s) think that they’re superior because of who their parents are or what school they attended or whatever their mindset may be. I personally forget some of this. I get too caught up in my own trials that I forget to use my voice, my power, my vocation to assist. Am I going to be the person to change the whole world? Probably not. Am I going to be the person who strives everyday to assist and stand up for whats right no matter how “uncomfortable” it makes me? Absolutely!!! Knowing your strength is crucial, knowing that yeah I may just be one person but I do have the power of change for the better. Just accepting thing because that’s the way they’ve always been has come to an end. This is a battle of unjust that has been going on for centuries, it’s time to quit being scared to stand up for what you know is right. it time for change.
Change….its inevitable…know where you stand.
As a second year I haven’t gotten able to see my family much in the past year and half. Seeing them is always amazing, (even when we argue) there’s four girls who are all very strong willed needless to say. But this year was different we were all together a lot of the time and didn’t really argue(for the most part).
My thing is coming back home is always hard because just after a few days you’re back into the old swing of things which can be good and bad. When you grow and change a bit readjusting to home takes a few days. It’s always worth it just extremely difficult. Cause then you gotta go right back and readjust all over again.
Going home for the holidays is always physically exhausting but spiritually replenishing and having to leave that source that you know will always makes you whole…well sucks honestly. But it just means I need to learn more from my community in ABQ. So as much as I hate to leave the fam bam and friends it’s time to get back to what I love doing.
In less than 24 hours I will be delivering my first children’s moment service at my job placement which is Second Presbyterian church in Albuquerque, NM. Boy let me tell you I’m nervous as all get out about it. I say I’m nervous because this is brand new congregation, a brand new community, a brand new church family that has opened its arms to me and has asked me to give a lesson to not only the children but also the congregation on WORLD COMMUNION SUNDAY!!!! Like one of the most important Sunday’s in the Christian Calendar (absolutely no pressure there whatsoever peeps).
It being a very important Sunday i am honored that they had asked me to do it. Being that this is not a church that I grew up in, that hasn’t seen me discover my faith(through all of my awkward phases)that hasn’t seen me grow into the young adult I am now, being that literally these peolpe have known me for about oh only about three weeks! Yup just three weeks of being immersed in this new community. The fact that they all feel so confident about this decesion is not only an honor but humbling as well. They have this uncanningness faith in my ability to be able to deliver a message that will resonate with not only the children but with them as well. That my friends is a humbling experience.
I can remember one Sunday when I was about 8 or 9 years old and Lisa Patterson delivered a children’s moment that I have carried with me to this day. It was about Zacchaeus(the wee little man). Maybe I still remember it because of the song but I like to think that’s not the main reason. I can remember her telling us that this man was not favorable in his town, just because of his profession( recap he was a tax collector). Tax collectors were the “traitors” the “corrupt” in Jesus’s time( and maybe still a bit today.) Jesus went into his village found him in a tree and said “I’m going to your house today”. The other towns people couldn’t believe that Jesus, JESUS the man who would literally die for our sins later on chose him. A “traitor” a “corrupt” man a “stain”on the Jewish community at that time, to go to his house and share a meal with him. All I really remember at that time was that like man Jesus was a really good man to do that. What I’ve realized today is that he did it because we are all equal through the eyes of God. That ladies and gentlemen is what world communion is all about. Honoring the differences in all of us but recognizing the equalization as well. Lisa it took 17-18 years but I finally get it. I get what you were saying then and I get how it still resonates with me to this very day. The hope is that on this particular World Communion Sunday I can give a new community, a new church family the same thing you gave me so long ago.
Am I still nervous you may ask? Absolutely!!! Am I honored? Yes without a doubt in my mind that this is a very “momentous” occasion. Am I humbled by the fact that fact they had asked me a “virtual stranger” (from Texas mind you) to them to spread the good news, the Faith, and the Love, that we all had a moment(s) in our childhood to behold and understand. You better believe it!!!
All I ask for now is prayers in the hopes I don’t totally mess this up, the understanding if I do and the continuous love and support ya’ll have given me since day one.
SO how many times can someone transition before they start to lose their shit. Honestly its a question that has been requiring a lot more thought than I realized. this is my second YAV year. My first year was in Chinook, Montana. It was a year of self discovery and realization of how much i had actually grown through the year. Fortunately i got to go home for a bit to Texas and spend time with my family and friends, but the time i spent at home i started to transition back to what I knew as normal. Then low and behold i made the move to Albuquerque with the intention of spending a year here in service.
The moving part isn’t whats hard, its having to readjust to everything again. I can absolutely 100% say (as of right now) i am completely in love with my job. I’ll be at Second presbyterian church for this year of service. the people here are amazing with making this church feel like a home and its only week two of work. Word to the wise when you live in an intentional community expect to transition a lot. If you’re not uncomfortable you’re not doing it right, although I will say know your limits. stand up for yourself and your needs otherwise no one will really know what you need.
So a little bit about what I’ve done so far here in ABQ, I’ve gone to sooooo many meetings its flabbergasting to know that one church can have so many committees. I will most likely pursue the ones that are related to the youth and children’s committees. On a fun note I have been asked to lead the children’s moment on world communion Sunday…cause ya know there’s no pressure in that. These past few weeks I’ve just been trying to absorb everything well as much as I can without getting over stimulated. I’ve gotten to work with one of the mobil food pantries and lets just say the people that run this particular one are amazing in my opinion. This past week a catholic school came by and helped distribute the food, there was about 50 families that were helped that day and lets just say those kids had a blast in lending a helping hand.
In the past few weeks we’ve gone to a museum, Zozobra, invited to share a meal with a family in the Santo de Mingo pueblo and finished up with feast day in Laguna. The culture here is like nothing I would’ve imagined, happy to announce that its way better than I could’ve thought of. Many more events in the near future and some will probably include hiking (….yay…).
Now on to the absolute most important part….(not really).. the food!!!!!! OMG I am in like food heaven here. There’s green chili or red chili (christmas if you mix them together)on practically everything. I recommend any burger that has green chili on it, for everyone who likes sweet tea they don’t do that here bummer I know. I’ve been told that i should just blog about the food so honestly my next few blogs are most likely going to be about the seasonal food(pictures to come).All in all I’d say its been pretty decent since moving here. the community with the other girls is coming along (its only week three so we have plenty of time.) I absolutely love the fact the housemates are already showing their gifts it makes the transition easier. So to answer the question I posted earlier how many times can one person transition before they lose their shit. Well I’m going on three transitions in the past 7 weeks and I’m like 90% sure I’m still okay. the question itself isn’t really about how many times you can move or leave or start over its about how you handle each new thing, this is my daily reminder as to what I’m doing otherwise I most likely would lose my shit. – peace to all-