So...I have this problem. The other day I was sick of doing a lame reading assignment so I decided to do something that I do sometimes--Look at pictures of where I've been, want to go, people that I want to meet/help, etc. If only this type of activity were fulfilling instead of blatantly pathetic. Just wait. It gets worse.
Not only do I spend my time looking through pictures of my past and googling pictures of possible futures, but it causes...some sort of emotional reaction that is entirely involuntary. My throat starts to tighten up, my eyes start to get moist, and there is some sort of rush in my chest that seems to trigger and encourage the first two. So...what is THAT about?! I feel like an alien experiencing emotion for the first time. It just comes over me...when I look at photographs mind you. I feel silly even trying to explain it.
I didn't used to be this way. I really didn't. I blame many of my problems on my three month excursion the nauseatingly not overrated Paris, France though lets be serious, a year and a half in Italy is certainly a contributing factor. I guess it could be because it's been in my travels out of the country where I've really learned and felt things that I'd never felt/understood before. Seeing possibilities, experiencing curiosity, recognizing previously undiscovered potential, and the rush of feeling like there's no place else you'd rather be--and more than that, that you feel like you fit there.
For instance, it happens EVERY time I look at pictures of children in Africa. Call me an emotional wreck, but I see their beautiful faces and I just want to hold them. I want them to feel loved. I feel like I already love them and we don't even know each other. I want to play with them. I want to laugh with them. I want to dance with them. In my mind, as I'm irrationally fantasizing about a possible excursion to Africa, I'm sure the experience would fill me with immense joy and love. And yet I WOULD cry like an infant the day I'd have to leave. I get easily attached I suppose. I like people without them having to try to win me over. Therefore, a few pictures of darling children from a continent that I have been longing to go to, and... cue the emotional wreck.
Naturally Italy and France hold strong emotional ties for me. I've never fallen in love with a male but I have most definitely fallen in love with two lovely countries. It's weird how a place and your experiences there can give something to you. Make you stronger, make you think, make you understand, re-evaluate, feel something you didn't think you could....I don't know if any of this makes sense. I guess I've just been thinking about plans that I have for the future. I know that right now these aren't really options but they will be eventually. I clearly want them bad enough--just ask my body that physically reacts when I see pictures of people that I've never met. (yeah, I realize that I sound silly. Tant pis.) So if I want it that bad, I'll find a way to eventually make it happen.
Can I just close with a couple of quotes from one of my dearest friends-Joseph Johannes. He was in my last area--Rome 3. He's from Ethiopia and he is one of those people that I knew without a doubt I needed to meet. I love him very berry much. Teaching him was incredible because he was both 1. incredibly intelligent and yet 2. remarkably humble. I learned quickly into teaching him that I needed to write down things that he said because they were beautiful in their simplicity.
"You know what, I feel good when I do something for someone else. I wonder if God commands us to give service partly because He knows it'll make us feel good." Isn't that sweet?
"You were made in the image of God. You can do anything." Mmm.
"You were made in the image of God. And God is beautiful."
If these little diddies don't bring happiness, I know few things that will. Love to all. Til my next post!