I haven’t written anything since I got home. I literally mean nothing. I haven’t written in my journal, to the newspaper, no emails to family or friends and I definitely haven’t written a blog in a lot longer than I care to admit.
The honest truth behind it is that I somehow fell under this preconceived notion that because I’m not in Africa anymore that number one; I don’t have anything significant to say. And two; even if I did have something significant to say, no one would read it because now I’m just another 20 year old, small town Saskatchewan girl, trying to get a decent job and figure out adulthood. I’ve realized in the past week that both of those preconceptions are incorrect. It’s taken me a few days to put this together, to get my thoughts in order and get them from my mind to a piece of paper, but the reality of my life is that the person that wrote in Africa is the same person I am now, and maybe even a little wiser and smarter than I was in Africa. And then again, maybe not! But I like to think I am 😉
I want to keep sharing my thoughts with you. They aren’t profound, they likely won’t drastically change anyone’s life or flip your world upside down, but maybe you’ll relate. So, here we go.
Life is hard. It’s not just life in Africa or a Third World Country that’s hard. It’s hard right here at home too. This world sucks. Sometimes it hurts, a lot. And let’s be honest; it’s not fair. None of it is.
In developed areas of the world where we are lucky enough to live, it’s surprising to me how many of us, myself included, would love to take a trip or visit a place or even live in a developing part of the world when we have everything we could possibly need or want (or so we think) right here at our fingertips. And I’ve struggled to try to understand why we so desperately get excited to leave! Aside from the obvious of helping people.
Here’s the conclusion I’ve come to. We live in a society the tries to be completely accommodating; tolerant if you will, of every person, race, religion, sexual orientation and anything else you can think of. We are also fed these ideas day-in and day-out, around every corner that enough is never enough. When do you finally “make it” so to speak? How much money is enough? What size of house is substantial? How many cars are satisfactory? When will I finally know if I am who I was meant to become? I don’t know if any of us really know, at least I’ve never met or talked to anyone who could answer that. And I feel like these are things we all deal with, whether you’re a Christian, Atheist, Teen, Adult, Humanitarian, Gay, Single, Married, Divorced or otherwise. We have tried to become such a diverse, tolerant society, that I believe we’ve actually created a society full of bigotry, prejudice and discrimination. All the things we’ve strived so diligently to do away with.
When we’re presented with the idea or possibility of travelling to a place where in all aspects of reality, the basic needs of life are most important and people strive met them day after day, I think we feel a sense of correlation between how they live life, and how we think life should be lived. I think deep down, we know that if we have food on the table, a roof over our heads, a source of income to provide for ourselves and those around us and a heart that’s beating, we have really do have enough just in those things alone. The thing I think we desire most however is to be somewhere that doesn’t tell us everywhere we look that we don’t in-fact have enough. That we do need more and that we should be better. And for whatever crazy reason, against all our better judgment and everything we feel, we believe it. And so starts the chaos that is life.
This is something that I have personally struggled with in the 2 and a-half weeks since I’ve been home. I catch myself wondering why, after 4 months of not caring if I had make up on no matter how many people saw me, to contemplating and debating on if I want to leave the house without it on because people might see me or judge me. There’s something that’s been told to me long enough to make me believe that that’s something I need to care about being here. But it’s not! A dream I have right now is to build myself a tiny home. Totaling 350 square feet. Big enough to accommodate everything I need and nothing more. And then I wonder what people would think, what if people want to come over visit and it’s not big enough. Then I remember that it doesn’t matter how big my house is. There’s a coffee shop and about 6 restaurants 5 minutes down the road if I were to really feel like I needed more space and lets be honest, the great out doors that I would have in my back-yard would be more than satisfactory. But there’s something that’s been instilled in me that says I need a big house to be happy or amount to something. These are the things make me miss Africa more and more with every day because I know that these things would never be present in my mind there. These are just 2 examples of the things I struggle though, and I realize that these are just 2 examples of things that each and every one of us struggles through.
This is not a message written to my “Church Friends” to make you feel guilty. Or to everyone to make it seem like your life isn’t that bad and your blessed to live where you do! This is not something written to shove in the faces of people who feel make-up is 100% necessary before you leave the house. To anyone reading this, I hope that those are not the things you take away from this. I hope and pray that with all that I am, that when you read this, you go on with your day to day life remembering that all you have and all you are, is more than enough. Who you are and where you are right now is exactly where you need to be with the exact resource you have, to help and effectively love the people around you.
Stick it to the Man, as I’ve heard it said. Don’t believe that you need to be somewhere, looking a certain way with certain resources and social status to be good enough to make a difference.