Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Finding New Dreams: Becoming a Goshenite

          Last weekend I had a breakdown. It came after a few weeks of being depressed and not knowing quite what to do. Part of it was what I described in my last post of not being sure if seminary is right for me and being overwhelmed with school and work. But another large part is that I have lost some of my dreams. For the longest time, I have wanted to work in international peace work. In this blog I have written about the need to go to Iraq or Afghanistan to make a positive change, then my life-changing trip to Kurdistan after which I promised myself I would go back. I had plans to obtain my masters in human rights studies after doing on-the-ground peace work. However, after coming home from Croatia, I have lost my desire to live abroad. I have lost my desire to get another masters degree. For the first time, I have no idea what I want to do with my life. I am mourning the loss of my old dreams while struggling to figure out what my new ones are.
          Before anyone starts to feel sorry for me, I want you to know that sometimes it is good to breakdown. Sometimes we need to breakdown to start anew. After a quick trip home to Ohio, I came back and decided to make some changes in my life. The biggest change is that I moved from Elkhart to Goshen. It is only 17 minutes away, but already I am excited about this change. I was stressed because I was working so many jobs, so I decided to quit my jobs in Elkhart and take up more hours in Goshen at Maple City Market. Maple City Market is the food co-op in Goshen and has been such a great place to work. I have transitioned into sales staff and really love helping customers and getting to know my coworkers. I love having a job I really like with an organization whose purpose is in line with my values. The move is also good because I never connected to a community in Elkhart, but am making more friends here in Goshen. There seems to be more things going on and fun ways to be involved such as trivia night at the local bar. I am just a mile from downtown so I can easily walk to work and other events happening there. I moved for the time being into a house with a friend from seminary and his wife and wife's cousin, but will need to find a new place come June.
          Other than spending time becoming better friends with people in Goshen, I have started running again as I train for my second half marathon. I am completely sore after running 12.5 miles this last week, but it feels good to be out again and working towards a goal. It might be a little tough this winter to train (we got 12 inches of snow yesterday and the high today is 17 degrees F) but I hope to get through it. Once the weather warms up, I hope to play tennis with friends and go on some long bike rides as cross-training.
          These next few months I am dedicated to becoming actively involved in Goshen life and finding new dreams. I don't know what they will look like but it is kind of exciting. My life is a blank book before me and it is up to me to write the story (I know this is a little cheesy but who says cheese isn't good...well except for me since I am a vegan). I am excited about being a Goshenite and seeing what life has in store for me here. Classes began again today and I feel excited once more for studying. I have some great professors this semester, ones with whom I feel I can be myself and ask hard questions. So for the time being, life seems good. I am trying to have a new outlook in which I acknowledge that dreams change, but new ones will pop up as I open myself to new possibilities and commit myself to a new community.

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