Moving On In

Columbia River Gorge, OR

The Columbia River Gorge from I-84 going West. My first taste of what I always imagined Washington to be like.

Sometimes it feels good to be able to sit down and to take time out of your “busy” day just to write and reflect. Why I have not written sooner after completing my trip up to Washington, I am not sure. My life has definitely not been the usual hectic schedule this past week. Actually, it is the first real break I have had in a long time. Yet (of course) I have found ways to keep myself more busy than I would normally prefer. But it has been a very good kind of busy for the most part.

I have had the opportunity to meet up with one of the girls I will be starting work with tomorrow. The other 3 girls are also in the area now, but they all live in Portland. I could of went to hang out with some of them today, but decided last week that today (Monday) would be my relax day since I start work tomorrow. I guess sometimes I just like to have my alone time.

I always find it helpful to give myself some time and space to reflect before writing a blog post. It gives my readers something more insightful. I felt like my last post about the first day of my trip was well..sorta bland! I was really just talking about what we saw – which is cool, but doesn’t really give anyone much to think about.

Over the course of our road trip, we went through 7 states, saw 3 national parks, and ate at a lot of really wonderful restaurants. It was definitely very hard for me to get back into even wanting to cook again. But my bank account argued otherwise. Through all the territory we saw on our trip and the interesting people we met along the way, there was this link that made it all feel as if it connected. When you are a 6 foot tall girl, there aren’t many times where I feel “small” – at least in comparison to other people. But standing on the edge of the canyons at Mesa Verde, looking outside my window at the wind turbines, and realizing just how big my country was, it made me feel small.

I don’t mean to say that I felt unimportant or less of a person. I actually felt all that more of a person. I have a place in this world. While we were on the road, it was wherever my trustee car Mimi was taking us. Now that I am in Washington, it is the home and town and have come to settle into. Tomorrow, I will find a place at my new job and within that dynamic.

I worry so often that I won’t fit in. I worry that others won’t find me “cool” or fun enough to want to hang out with. I am afraid that my desire to go swing dancing, crochet, watch Parenthood, and go to Bible study over going out to the bars will deter people from finding me interesting. But, ya know, it is the truth. And I don’t want people to think I am a different person than who I really am. So, that is me and I am gonna try to stick to it.

So, do I look forward to work tomorrow? Yes. Do I look forward to meeting the other girls and getting to know everyone at the food bank better? Of course! Will I constantly be worried about whether people like me? Probably, but I am just gonna do me! Someone very wise once told me that and I am going to trust she was giving me good advice.

It is okay to feel small sometimes. It keeps you from thinking you are much bigger than everything around you. It creates a sense of awe of the amazing things the world has to offer. But, we also shouldn’t always feel small. We need to feel like we belong to a place and are not drifting around in a big, big world. Maybe it just takes some time to figure out where we are landing though.

~Lauren

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Mesa Verde – one of those places where it was so easy to feel small.

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