Not Much Has Changed in Five Years

For fun, and because I’m quite self-obsessed, I’ve spent some of this afternoon reading old blog posts from my time immediately after I moved from Senegal back to Peoria.  It’s a little eerie, reading about the same joy of living with old friends and the same surety that I cannot stay.  I don’t know if this is the most narcissistic way to learn, but I found myself very encouraged by…myself.  I suppose God can use anyone, even 22-year-old ItIsTrish.

 Even though my only actual plans for the future include living overseas, I’ve secretly been hesitant. It’s just very easy to live in Peoria. I have a ready-made family, and a ready-made circle of friends, and a ready-made church community. Everything is laid out for me.

I didn’t know if I wanted to go through the hassle of starting over. I made a new life in Jackson. I made a new life in Senegal. Now I’m reintegrating into my first life in Peoria. It might be nice to just settle down. If I make a new friend, awesome. But it’s not like I have to actively work to make new friends, not like if I moved somewhere new and I had no established friends. It’s a lot of work. And even though I ended up loving the Forsythes and Liz and Holly and Lamba and Mame Codou…it took a while to get there. It took a good couple months for the comfort to set in.

Do I want to do that again?

Today I realized the answer is definitely yes. I mean, I don’t actually like who I am in Peoria. It’s better than it used to be, but I tend to emotionally regress when I’m here. It’s not surprising, since I’m living with my parents and hanging out with the people who knew me as a high schooler. But my spiritual life sucks here. And my contentment sucks here. I don’t like it. And even though I know that this is something I should work through instead of run away from…even though I think I should work through it, I don’t want to stay here forever.

I think I can force myself to grow if I stay in Peoria. But when I travel…when I throw my life into God’s hands and trust that He’ll take care of me, when I see a world completely different from what I know…that’s when my heart changes and my beliefs become solid and my passion is enflamed. Not because of anything I do. I don’t force myself to change. The situation, and the way God works in the situation, changes me.

I want that again.

(June 4, 2010)

College Quotes

Packing means going through old memories, one of which was a folder full of quotes and pictures I hung on my dorm room door in college seven years ago.  I think the quotes capture the highs and lows of my interests pretty well.

  • “Love at first sight is easy to understand; it’s when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle.”
  • “When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.”
  • “You can’t have everything.  Where would you put it?”
  • “In dreams I was lifted up.  Borne from the darkness about rivers of fire, on wings soft as the wind.  What’s happening to the world?  Is everything sad going to come untrue?”
  • “Death twitches my ear.  ‘Live,’ he says, ‘I am coming.'”
  • “There is no remedy for love but to love more.”
  • “Evaporate, tall person!”
  • “One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore.”
  • “Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.”
  • “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.'”

(I didn’t keep track of who wrote these quotes, so I apologize for the lack of accreditation.  They definitely aren’t mine!)