What I’ve Been Learning

If you’ve spoken to me at all in the last 4 weeks or so, there are a few things you’re probably aware of:

  • I have just relocated to the ‘hood in Southside Chicago
  • I’m really really struggling
  • I’m technically on a “tech fast,” and have no wi-fi, nor a personal computer at my house

These are all things that have kept me from posting an actual blog post in a while.  Honestly, it’s been a struggle thinking about positive things I could share with you guys (I haven’t been as good recently about focusing on the positive, to be horrendously honest). But! I have been learning (and re-learning) a lot of things, including some things about myself.  And, arguably, learning is always good. So here’s my top ten list for the week:

  1. Beauty is so central to my needs for well-being. I need art, I need music (that is not just R&B, rap, neo-soul, or gospel), I need dancing. Without it, I whither.
  2. I breathe easier when birds are around.
  3. Marriage with neither time nor money is pretty hard. So is marriage with no time or money while living with 6 other single people.
  4. Sometimes, if I need to literally shove my face into a lawn so that I can smell fresh plant oxygen and dirt, that’s ok. (#noregrets)
  5. Pine trees greatly improve my well being. Also, I may or may not judge all the deciduous trees around here for giving up their leaves so quickly. (What? My trees back home fight winter to keep what they have, and they win. None of this wimpy giving-up business. #badasstrees)
  6. My empathy can be crippling.
  7. Flat terrain doesn’t do anything good for my well being.
  8. It is often difficult to tell that PNW culture and southern culture come from the same continent. But I do seem to understand hood culture better in some ways than my southern counterparts, which I wasn’t expecting.
  9. There are places in America where school shootings are a totally normal occurrence: it no longer makes news, or even calls for a day off school.  Bringing in grief counselors is something that is not bothered with, and these kids just carry on with their lives, knowing that there’s a pretty good chance all their classmates won’t make it to the end of the year.
  10. Sirens, when heard often enough, can quickly begin to feel like a heavy soundtrack to accompany life.

Ok, so #9 and #10 aren’t the most positive. But they’re important, in so many ways.

The light of God shines through people, and in the midst of my (selfish) struggle, I  find myself the undeserving recipient of grace and genuine love.  And as we’ve heard, “love covers a multitude of sins.” God knows I need it.



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