Reality of Dreams
I have now been officially in DC for 5 weeks now and I think I may be coming down off the whirlwind. This is both exciting and terrifying in and of itself. Being in the midst of the whirlwind is completely invigorating—everything I do is new, its exciting, its beautiful, and it feels like a gift. Yet there is this hazy, fantasy part of the whirlwind that I’m not such a fan of. While in a state of constant change, there is a lack of normalcy, and part of me misses routine and the familiarity of day to day living. I think I am on the brink of a shift from fantasy to reality–or maybe the reality of the dream. This can be a scary place. In reality I am living 3,000 miles away from the people I care for the most. In reality, I have to find a place to live in a city known for being #3 for highest cost of living. In reality, if something happens to my job I’d have to move away from a city that I am falling in love with. In reality, I miss close companionship, deep conversations, people who know me, and I even miss hugs. I honestly don’t mind this reality. It makes me appreciate what I do have—phone conversations, e-mails, blog comments (they really do mean so much to me!), and my new friends. It’s a pretty intense collision of my independent nature and need for dependency. And in this reality, I find rest in trust. Not trusting myself, my paycheck, my ability to plan, my friends, my family, but in Him. At church tonight this was the Confession of Sin:
“Being Honest with God”
Lord, you are trustworthy. We misplace our trust. We trust in ourselves. We trust in our abilities, our competencies, our reputations, our ambitions. You offer us peace and rest. We trade your rest for frantic activity. We trust in our busy-ness. You want us to have joy in you. We try to get more joy out of food and wine than they can offer. We trust in the goods things you give us, more than we trust in you. We are imprisoned by the objects of our misplaced trust. Thank you that the blood of Christ sets us free. Amen.
In the midst of my busy-ness (which I will share about shortly), I have found myself mulling over these thoughts in a much less eloquent way. I have found myself constantly at a place of checking my priorities, my intentions, my desires and coming to a place of unrest. I lack the ability to truly recognize my priorities and my intentions. It is good that I look at them, but I, in my own abilities, cannot align my priorities in a way that brings me peace. But in faith, I come before the Lord, trusting that He can somehow help me. That He will help me be authentic with my intentions. It’s a vulnerable place to be, but He is kind.
As for my busy-ness: I am going to condense it down to just NYC and our Yacht Fundraiser. I had the amazing opportunity to go to NYC for the first time. We held a youth summit with Outdoor Nation in Central Park. We headed up Friday morning of the 18th and stayed until Sunday night. I guess I was not expecting to love NYC…but it happened, it now holds a piece of my heart. I road up with my coworkers in a BoltBus (yes, another first). Buses in my mind were creepy and dirty…but this was not bad, minus the guy I sat next to who watched weird Sci-Fi movies and the only time he talked to me was to offer me fresh blueberries. It was weird. But it really didn’t matter, I spent the first part of the trip working (thank you to WiFi), but I can only stomach looking down for so long on a bus. Closing my laptop was a great decision. I looked out the window to Maryland, Delaware, the great state of New Jersey (shout out to Maya), and then it came–New York! It was only appropriate that the first sign I saw was a billboard for Seinfeld (which now holds a special place in my heart thanks to Rachel and Mitch).
We stayed in the Hilton just blocks away from Time Square. When we got there in the afternoon we were not needed in Central Park so we had a bout an hour and a half of free time before we had to head over to our NYC Happy Hour fundraiser. I was completely overwhelmed by this point (and loving it!). My coworkers encouraged me to just walk–and I did. My first experience in NYC was getting to walk down to Rockefeller Center (one of our Board of Directors is a Rockefeller, who I met that night) and then down to Time Square. I did not expect to feel so safe in NYC. Like the bus, I expected it to be dirty and scary and no place for a 5’3” female to ever walk alone. I would not trade that first experience for anything. I sat in Time Square with a bowl of chocolate frozen yogurt at 11PM (receiving texts from my M.org family checking in on me). It was incredible. As I type this, I still don’t have the words.
Saturday morning we were up bright and early to start welcoming delegates at the hotels. I won’t go into many details of the summit mostly because I’m trying to work on a blog, not a novel. :) By 3:00PM and a whole lot of walking in between, we were in Central Park! I L-O-V-E Central Park. I feel like it is the place that city-Emily meetings outdoor-Emily. There were nearly 600 young people from across the United States at this summit–pretty phenomenal. They talked about tons of issues regarding the outdoors-being good stewards of the environment as well as the outdoors and healthy/active living. I wish I could have been more a part of the conversation, but what I did hear was great. I nicknamed my role: security. I realized after standing in the entrance and having to tell a zillion people that it was a closed event and “no, the water bottles are for our registered delegates and are not free” that I was functioning as security–and was probably the least intimidating person there.
After the Saturday session I walked back to my hotel from Central Park. And later met up with my friend from college, Brian, his friend Kevin from Salem (both doing AmeriCorp) and a friend with M.org, Chris (co-founder of MyImpact.org check it out). We went to a Brewery for dinner and it was so fun to connect with people from back home! Brian is still in Oregon and his friend Kevin is working in Salem, but wants to move to Bend. We had a good time, good conversation! And got to walk through Time Square again at night.
Sunday was a full day, I think I sat down maybe four times. The summit ended well–everyone got free NorthFace backpacks (pretty sweet!) And I ended my time in NYC walking around with Brian and Kevin. I am so ready to go back, but was even more incredible was making it back to DC at 12AM, and it feeling like home. Its a strange feeling, but such a gift.
Last and final cool thing to share. Tuesday we had a fundraiser on a Yacht. It was phenomenal! We cruised up and down the Potomac River at sunset, eating some of the most amazing food, and having conversations with incredible people. It was beautiful!
[Mobilize.org Staff + Founder]
Ok, I’m at a blog stand still. There are so many things I want to say, but I’m already half way to a novel. I will leave things as they are. I really do feel as if my life is a gift. The art of blogging is an art of reflection for me. Thank you for being a part of this time of reflection: these are rich moment for me.