When you’re on an island, there’s not a lot to do besides reflect. I realized today that while before I left I was just so nervous (I cringe to think about the people who had to deal with my neurosis with that – thank you, thank you, thank you!), I barely feel that at all anymore. I’ve had my very solitary days, and I’ve survived. I’ve gotten from Point A to Point B and beyond. Heck, I’ve torn up my leg, and I still stand. Isn’t it silly to look back at the so-called scary things?
What remains now are thoughts and reflections on, well, basically everything. The difference between being free and being untethered – while they are fairly synonymous in my mind, if I feel free or if I feel untethered (or unconnected) depends on my state of mind at the time. The concept of privilege (until I was hand-flushing my toilet, I never realized how much water I use a day – and I’m lucky to have immediate access to it). The concept of “assistance.” (This is one that actually got me in to international education – should assistance/charity/whatever you may want to call it come from above, with sweeping governmental change, or from grassroots efforts? From monetary aid or education? I’m sure you can guess where I stand on this one…). And more personal things about me – where I am, where I’ve been, where I am going, and where I stand in relation to others in my life.
The most important thing I’ve reflected on is how I want to seek out those who enrich my life. People who listen to my worries and my insecurities and don’t judge me. People who challenge me to do something that makes me uncomfortable.
My friend Laura Maas, who by this point you probably think is my only friend because I talk about her so much on this blog, wrote a beautiful blog post about me. A few days ago, I sent her a fairly lengthy catch-up email; she almost immediately responded (at about 2 in the morning, her time), with thoughtful responses, juicy information, and even some readings on the nature of education that she thought I would enjoy. How amazing are those things? I don’t even know what to say (besides responding to her with a very long and meandering email postulating on what an ‘educator’ is).
Basically, I have no idea what is happening next or where I stand in the world. All I know is that I stand with those people who support me, challenge me, and enrich me.