Yes, I am aware that this is my blog for Perú.
No, I am not in Perú.
But today, I needed this. I needed this blog in order to feel me again. And let me be completely real, it has been hard to feel me.
Some updates. Living in the United States is much harder than la vida peruana. Although there’s been some greats there’s been so not-so-greats.
Let’s start with the greats. My job.
I’m working for an after-school program called T.E.A.M21. It is located at Lee Middle School and also has probably a 70% latino population (at the least). The kids are amazing, the people are amazing, the work is fun, and I could not imagine a more life-giving job. The kids have definitely taught me more about myself than I can teach them, and I feel blessed to feel community within my coworkers (Plus I get to use my Spanish!).
Another great. My classes this semester. Although I had some that weren’t anything special, I had many great ones and finally got to dive into social work a little more. This reaffirmed my decision in the right career path and I’d have to say I’m pretty good at. The classes kept me engaged and I found myself excited to go and learn. Not to mention the Social Work and Sociology department staff is pretty darn great.
And I’ll save my greatest-great for last, after we talk about the not-so-greats.
Needless to say, I think reverse culture shock is definitely a thing after a semester abroad. I’m often overwhelmed by the fast pace of life in the United States and the culture that isn’t quite as cariñoso. I truly miss speaking in Spanish, kissing people on the cheek as a greeting, the tranquilidad of Plaza de Armas and so much more. It’s probably hard to believe that I don’t fit in here when I lived in the United State for my whole life prior to Peru but I really don’t. Or at least it feels that way.
Not-so-great #2. Hardcore Loneliness. Although I have found some community within the people I work with, I continue to lack that at Calvin’s campus. I tried to be more intentional this semester with people, but it seems as if it is too late or I again, just plain don’t fit in. It’s hard going from a place like Peru where community is everything to coming here and realizing that I have few to no people I can count on in that community. Peru left me feeling like I need to aprovechar every moment even in college but I am left confused on how to do that if I feel entirely out of place. Also, this is my first semester where my dad does not live in town so I hardly ever saw any family members (he’s getting ready to get married to a woman in Philadelphia, so then I will see him even less).
That isn’t the only thing I am confused about, and in the coming months I have many doubts as to where I am going to live, where I am going to continue education, where I am going to work, how I am going to pay for things and so much more.
But that leads me to Great #3. Although these past few months have been super crappy, I am still able to see God’s goodness. As I have felt hardcore loneliness, anxiety, and depression God stays by my side to remind me that He is still there and He is still good. I cannot count how many times I have said, “God’s got my back” confidently and actually believed it. He speaks to me daily and reminds me to never give up. He reminds me that He is sovereign and that He is greater than the highs and the lows. When I’m about to give up, He sends me a sign that this is just my current situation and He has something planned for me. A beautiful sunset. A good conversation. A new Beyonce album. Whatever it may be, He’s not letting me give up.
And on those days that I can’t remember I hope to look back at this and remember that God has me and will continue to. And I think that’s the greatest great I could possibly have.
“Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.”