As I sit down to write this, I’ve been back in the USA officially for 10 days after living in Honduras for nearly 4 years. I’m used to spending several weeks in the USA each year, but this time things are different. On a side note, I keep saying the USA, because if you travel around Central America telling people you are from America, they will say, “me too!” North America, Central America, South America— it's all America! Lesson learned. ;)
As I was saying, things are different this go around because I don’t have a return ticket to Honduras. It feels weird, and yeah, I’ve felt anxious about what’s coming up. I have this heightened sense of awareness of everything that's going to be different going forward. It makes me emotional, but I’m trying my best to be present and content in each season of life. I made this decision a week ago and I’d say I’m staying strong on this mid-year resolution for now.
One example that really stands out is from when I was cleaning up plates at my nephew’s birthday party, and it felt so strange to me that I was throwing away plates full of cake. Like these toddlers had a bite of the cake on their plate and they were done. I felt the weight of each plate as I was tossing them in the trash. My mind went back to Honduras and how people wrap their unfinished plates with aluminum foil to eat later or even share with someone back home.
Next thing you know, I make a real trip to the grocery store. I walked down every single aisle of Publix. I’ve noticed America is getting healthy or at least "pretending" by branding all of the products in a beige color. Many other expats or missionaries say that grocery shopping is one of the most difficult parts of transitioning back because the number of choices can be overwhelming. To be honest, I was stoked to get my hands on my favorite products and not having to worry about them expiring within a week. God bless America!
Alright back to my time in transition. In these past 10 days, I’ve chopped off my hair, started a part-time job (& worked 4 shifts), went on a date with a guy I met online, and I reached out to someone whose work I’ve admired for some time. What do all of these things have in common? They were all extremely out of my comfort zone. These were not easy tasks. I’ve asked myself a million times who I think I am this week alone. But really… what do I have to lose? Let’s look at each of these a little closer.
My beautiful dark brown locks have been chopped and donated once again. “What made you cut your hair?” This has been my most asked question. I’ve always wanted to try short hair! I’m very single right now and not getting married anytime soon, and just felt like the right time to do it. :) Yes, I’m enjoying it for this season, and I’m going to grow it back out. Shout out to Abbey Kelton for the haircut.
I started a part-time job at Five Daughter’s Bakery. I’m working in the kitchen and its exactly what I wanted for myself in this season. It’s a low-stress gig and I get to work with my hands. I’m going to work here until I figure out my next steps.
Yeah, I went on a date with someone I met on one of those dating apps. At least I think it was a date? It was definitely dinner. Once we got past the initial awkwardness of meeting in person after texting for a few weeks, I’d say we had a really good time. And for all of you who are really wondering, it was a low-pressure situation because the dude is moving in a couple weeks for work. No sappy happy ending here, folks. But hey, I survived dinner with a stranger in a world full of creepers and that, my friends, is worth celebrating.
The Meet Up
Have you ever really admired someone from afar and wanted to hang out with them, but never quite had the courage to reach out? ME TOO. I overcame my fear and messaged this girl on Facebook. I was encouraged to find out she had a mutual feeling and we made plans to meet up. I was so encouraged by my meeting with Sang. Ladies, please check out her website and what she is doing at the Overflow Project.
I don't suffer from crippling anxiety, but I do get anxious. I don't like leaving my comfort zone, yet right now everything feels out of my comfort zone. And from my experience, as long as you are comfortable, you aren't growing. I don't know about you, but I'd rather be growing. I have zero regrets about how I've spent these first 10 days in the USA. I hope this encourages you to try something new. Except maybe don't go chopping your hair off unless you really trust the hair stylist. :P