So, now that the end is here, I guess this is when I am supposed to write the blog post where I tell you about all I learned this year, the impact I made, and how it made me realize what I want to do with my life–essentially, how I figured everything out. And then I would conclude that JVC is over, and I’m done with it, and “wasn’t-it-great-but-now-it’s-time-to-move-on.”
Well, that’s a funny joke.
While I have learned so much this year, one of the most important things I have learned is that life is not as simple, neat, or orderly as we want it to be. I’m still trying to find a way to understand everything that happened this year myself, and I certainly haven’t found a way to explain it to other people. One thing I do know: doing this work was never about results. I know I did make a difference, but I couldn’t quantify it for you, and I think it would be a disservice to what I did do to try. While my future is somewhat clearer at this point, it is still very, very hazy around the edges. And frankly, JVC is technically over, but the journey that I began last August? It never ends (that whole “ruined for life” thing).
Yesterday was technically my last real day of JVC, but emotionally, spiritually, and mentally I am still in the middle, still bound up in the midst of it all. It’s still messy and complicated. When I try to wrap my mind around this year as a whole, I can’t do it. Over these past twelve months, there have been too many people, experiences, feelings, moments, and memories for my brain to begin to process. Sitting down and somehow condensing it down to a few neat phrases is impossible at this point. Even though I have officially been “dis-orientated,” I am not finished.
And that’s the beauty of JVC: it’s never finished. I will never stop being a Jesuit Volunteer (even though I guess I have to start calling myself a FJV) because to stop would mean leaving these values behind. I don’t think that social justice, spirituality, community, and simple living will ever stop meaning something to me. Leaving Boston, Casserly House, and my community doesn’t mean abandoning all that I have held dear this year. It just means learning to live it in a different way. Now it’s just a new chapter.