I have thoughts today. Big thoughts. The kind of thoughts that often spend a lot of time in my head and come out sounding a lot less eloquent then they did before making their public debut. So don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I’ve been in Russia for sixth months now. Sixth months! You need two hands to count the number of months I’ve been in the Motherland so I feel okay about thinking that is a long time. I was talking to a friend the other week about coming home and she told me she had a feeling that I wouldn’t stick around for too long because I’m a lot more independent now. I had to laugh a little because life in Russia has made me feel like I’m anything but independent. I depend on others on a daily basis…to translate the language, to help me buy things, to give me directions. I still feel like a child, sounding out words and feeling victorious over simple things like ordering food by myself. Independent? No. Pathetic? Well, yeah…a little.
Everyone keeps telling me I’ll be different. Before I began this journey, those words excited me. Now they make me feel uneasy.
I’ve spent the past two months actively trying to figure out the location of the next year or so of my life. If you were unaware that I’ve been seriously considering staying overseas for another year, well…it’s probably because I didn’t tell you. I needed to feel like my decision was a result of God’s leading and not the thoughts or opinions of those I love. I can now say with confidence I am supposed to return to the states. I can say with hesitancy that I am excited about it.
There is a real sadness in all that I will leave behind; new relationships, unique opportunities, challenging lessons, good friends, and a world that was beginning to resemble home. My foreign life now feels strangely familiar. However, at the same time, the thought of being with my family and friends again fills me with great joy. There has been an aching in my heart ever since I left them. I plan on consuming an unhealthy amount of calories in food that actually has flavor and spending countless hours just sitting in coffee shops. I’ll drive a car and buy everything I need at one store and walk outside without feeling like my appendages are about to fall off.
I have no plans for life post May 31st. I guess this can be viewed as an exciting next step of the journey but honestly, it’s also a little unnerving. The only qualifications I really have are to teach and this is profession I’m not really wanting pursue any longer. I just long to do something that helps people...that improves their lives. Otherwise, mine is a waste. I haven’t forgotten God’s faithfulness in the past, or the ways he continues to provide for me. I’m just wary of the transition process…figuring out where it is I fit, what it is I’m supposed to do, and who it is I am now.
So like always, there are a lot of unknowns. I don’t know how Russia has changed me. I don’t know what the next chapter is. I don’t know where exactly I’m meant to be or what it is I’m supposed to be doing. But if my past is any indication of what the future might hold, it promises to be like nothing I could have planned or expected. Which is probably why I am a bit concerned…