So we are starting back in our small group for the fall (though can you really say the fall is starting when it's regularly in the 90's? I think not) but nonetheless we are starting back in the summer time. We are reading a book by John Ortberg called "The me I want to be". Sounds totally cheesy and self-helpy but so far it's been pretty good. I really wanted to study a book of the bible but that's another topic for another time.
So I 'figured' 2 things out tonight when I was reading for group. First of all, I had momentarily forgotten how much I LOVE to read at coffee shops. I think I'm weird sometimes how much I just love to go to coffee shops and/or bakeries and have coffee/breakfast/lunch by myself and read. Maybe it's not weird and everyone loves to do that, but I've talked to some folks either before or after I go and they are like who are you with, and when I say just me they think it's kinda weird. I think it all goes back to my days working at Outback Steakhouse...yes I was a hostess for 3 years (best hostess ever, I might add!) I was always intrigued by the women or men that came in and ate by themselves, and I thought to myself that when I got older (I was 16 when I started) that I would be 'the kind of person' that eats at restaurants by themselves. Not because I have no friends to eat with but because I like myself but I also like being around people, especially in those settings. I could just as easily read at home or in another location but I really just like 'my' particular places. When I get tired of reading after a while I can just people watch and make up stories about what they are doing there and what kind of lives they lead elsewhere. I've determined in the past month that my childhood "pretend play" has turned into adulthood "what is their life like". I digress...per usual, but decided to include pics of my fav places :)
highland bakery :)
The 2nd thing I figured out when reading tonight is that I haven't felt a desire/passion in my life since graduating and deciding to go to Africa (those happened very close together). I was telling people that I was going to grad school but I hadn't decided or found out anything so it was just a story I was telling. An easy answer when people asked what I was doing with my life. I always got tired of telling the "I'm in college, my major is psychology" story but then once I graduated it becomes a "what are you doing with your life?" story. That is quite a bit harder to answer, hence the "I'm going back to school" answer. It was easy and succinct and that's the sort of thing that satisfies the question. I thought that while I was in Africa God would just tell me what I was supposed to be doing and that would be that. It shouldn't be shocking in the least to know that it's not the way that went down. I was still up in the air about my life and what I wanted to do, or better yet what I felt that God was calling for my life. When I was almost done at Cradle of Love and found out that my application was not complete (though I sent it in before I left in May) due to references not having been turned in. The fact that I worked my butt off for the next 5 days to make sure I got in touch with the references (from Africa!) and that I didn't miss the final deadline was a telling sign that I was more sure of what I wanted than I had thought. Coming back from Africa was one of the hardest things I've done and I can safely admit now that I was depressed for probably 2 weeks when I got back (though the sad feelings come now and again). I know that I was supposed to come back and having been accepted to grad school and signed up for classes and it being the one thing that has excited me since Africa, I'm not conflicted about it. I'm not positive what I wanted to do with my masters but I am sure that it will get me a step closer to what I am supposed to be doing.
I grew in ways that I wasn't even expecting while I was gone, and it's that growth that I think will be so helpful in doing the masters program. I am sad that I likely won't have the opportunity to go back as soon as I would like (i.e. yesterday lol). Though it's been coming back home that has showed me that I've changed. I didn't notice it as much when I was there because that was 'Africa kimber' (to use Rach's barbie terms) but it's being back here that I have noticed the difference in how I think about things and how I want my life to be different.
Back to the reason I am so excited...school. Yes, I said it! I have missed learning, and being challenged and maybe it's because I'm just tired of watching kids (not that it isn't challenging, because it is!). Even though it will be really hard work, I am looking forward to it, and especially my classes. I'm taking interpersonal skills; ethical, legal, and professional standards; methods of research; clinical assessment of individuals; child and adolescent psychopathology; and spiritual direction, practice and application. I love psychology classes! I'm such a nerd but I do. It is all such great life lessons and applicable to everyday life! I could go on and on but I won't. I'll just end with my favorite verse:: "In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness, and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing back to say about us." Titus 2:7-8 I'm not there yet, but I'm a work in progress