The little things

If you came to me a year ago — amid the conclusion of the first semester of my senior year of college — and asked me where I would be six months after graduation, the answer would not have been here. It wouldn’t be trying to stay awake while someone reads from the Gospel of Luke at 7 a.m. Nor would it be trying to drown out the sounds of the Monday evening acapella rehearsal that takes place in the chapel located twelve feet from my poorly-insulated bedroom window. And it certainly wouldn’t be trying to defend my singular square foot of personal space on BART while the familiar soundtrack of banshee screams accompanies my ride to work. Regardless, here I am.

As a 22-year-old recent college graduate, I had ambitious expectations for what my life would hold after I finally grasped my hard-earned degree. After moving across the country to live with six strangers, without a clue what kind of work I would be doing when I arrived, I realized that my reality would be very different from my expectations. I currently don’t have any friends outside of my fellow service corps members — which is admittedly difficult as a social person. I thought I would have lots of free time and energy to explore the many hiking trails in the Bay Area, but I haven’t even made it to Golden Gate Park in the three months that I have lived here. I didn’t think I would be asked to write blog posts about my experiences, and I would much rather write a scientific research paper than a blog post any day.

This year of service is nothing like I expected it to be, but I have learned a lot about myself while living into this thing we call community. Even when I am not comfortable or content, I am growing. I am learning to stick through the discomfort of my reality, which is valuable life lesson in and of itself — or so I have been told.

So right now, I am focusing on the little things. For instance, I am thankful that I didn’t have to listen to the weekly acapella rehearsal that I am usually an unwilling audience for, as I was graciously invited to dinner by a staff member from CDSP last night. And, miracle of miracles, I even got a seat on my BART train this morning! Even though I have not met many of my personal plans and expectations, living in the Bay Area has afforded me with a few unexpected opportunities for which I am grateful. Since moving here, I participated in a protest march in the streets of San Francisco, I became a volunteer at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, and I have met many people from the diocese who are enriching my experiences and perspectives daily.