The first post of 2013, glad the Mayans were wrong.
This year has certainly been unlike any other I’ve had. Here’s a few things that have happened in 2012.
- Finished my study abroad in France (yes, 2011, I know, but it feels like yesterday)
- Graduated University
- Moved to an active war zone
- Spent significant amounts of time on three different continents
- First Christmas and New Year abroad (the first of many I think)
When I look at the life I live I feel tremendously privileged. But I also realize that I must be some kind of weirdo… After spending a night in Dubai, I realized that I’d rather live in Kabul than there. Maybe I’m just a simpleton, but I would rather be a part of the simplicity that I encounter when I talk with an Afghan than be part of the hustle and bustle of a place like Dubai. Just looking at the Afghan culture, I’ve learned so much. When an Afghan greets another Afghan, there isn’t just the “hello, how are you, good, great..” and then it’s over. The greeting is meaningful, it’s a time to stop and actually talk, to speak with one another and to show genuine warmth. I’m sure that Afghanistan isn’t the only culture like this but it’s the one that’s teaching me the value that people truly are. When you’re living on the knife’s edge, it’s such a blessing to be able to stop and say hello, to hear about someone and how their life is… whether good or bad things have happened, it reminds you that you are indeed human and that you merit more than five words when someone sees you in the morning. I’m still very much in the habit of rushed “hello”s and “how are you”s but I’m learning. It’s funny the amount of things you can learn from something as simple as a greeting. You see what people value, and my values are being realigned.
It seems that I was made for the developing world.
I’ve also realized that I have almost as many friends abroad as I do inside the US. Honestly, that’s a bit of a bittersweet feeling. I wouldn’t trade my relationships for anything but there is that ever persistent desire to have a home, rather than just a place to live. I know that I’ll always have family and friends back in the States, I’ll always have a place where my body can relax and unwind, but I haven’t found any place where my heart can truly relax. As I’ve written before, I feel like I’ve left pieces of myself in nearly every place I’ve visited.
I think this is something in my wiring, placed by my Savior. It makes my need desperately clear, he is my resting place. This world, with all it’s wonder, is still incapable of meeting my deepest need. Home is not a place that I’ll find here, but that’s ok. When my time comes, the homecoming will be more than I ever could have imagined or hoped.
There’s a lot more reflection I could be doing, you’ll have to stay tuned I suppose.
Happy New Year my friends. God bless you.