After JVC ended back in August, I did what any respectable twenty-three year old would do. Unemployed and unsure of what direction I wanted to go in next, I moved back in with my parents to the house I grew up in, in the small town I spent the first 18 years of my life and every summer during college. And that’s where I have (mostly) been since.
I’ve been quiet for these past two months, both here and on paper. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting, but I’ve struggled with knowing how to convey everything that’s going through my mind. Mainly, I have spent this time applying for jobs, working part time, and catching up with friends and family, (which isn’t too exciting after all, so I don’t kid myself into thinking someone was missing out because of my lack of documentation).
However, these past two months have had their own sort of challenges. Being at home threw me for a loop at first. I embraced challenging myself during JVC, and I think the sudden lack of challenge was baffling. Overnight, my JVC routines vanished into thin air, and I suffered from more than a little bit of culture shock, including being overwhelmed by things like going out to eat a nice dinner and setting foot in a mall. I felt like I didn’t know how to talk to people outside of the JVC bubble. Frankly, I felt shellshocked, and I still do in some moments.
Besides a renewed appreciation for my family, I have also gained a new understanding of humility since coming home. Again and again, well-meaning friends, family, and acquaintances questioned me over the past two months about how the job search was going. Every time I had to admit to someone, whether it was a stranger or a close friend, that I didn’t have a real job yet and was still living at home, it was a blow to my pride. For most people, I slapped on a smile and tried to shake it off, but it never got easier.
In short, I have rarely felt so unsettled and confused. I compensated for the lack of control I felt about my life by going through almost everything I owned and getting rid of half of it (let the simple living continue). In my worst moments, I felt like my life had been put on hold when I stepped off the plane from Boston. However, as much as I may have felt like my life has been on pause during this period of transition, it hasn’t been–not for a minute. I am still learning, and I am still growing.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about Boston, text my community members, or miss Casserly House, but I do think I am where I am supposed to be, as difficult as it was to leave. It seems like things are beginning to fall into place for me, and I’m excited to see what happens next.
And throughout whatever happen next, I’m going to keep writing, because that’s really the only way I know how to make sense of my life. I’m not quite sure what direction blogging is going to take post-JVC, but there is much be said for entering into the moment–even when the moment is confusing and seems purposeless–and that’s what I am going to continue to try to do.
My questions post-JVC are a little bit different, as they include things like “Does ‘business casual attire’ mean I have to quit painting my nails obnoxious colors and wearing colored tights?” (answer: I sure hope not), but the big picture is still the same, as I continue to strive for meaning and intentionality in my choices and relationships.