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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Following My Gut

A year or so ago, I considered keeping a blog. This is the result, though as you can see, I haven't been writing. Last week I was in Belize with another teacher and 10 students. We kept a blog. I was reminded how much I like to write and so I thought that perhaps it might be time to start writing again...more than twice in a year!

There has been a lot on my mind of late. I am leaving my teaching job to travel and volunteer abroad next year. I know I'll go to India (that's where I'll volunteer for a few months). I know I'll go to Israel and Palestine (I'd like to be in Bethlehem for Christmas and I may stay there for awhile if I find a good place to do some volunteering). I know I'll go to Europe (I have friends and family there and would like to do some sight-seeing, too). But there are many unknowns.

When I tell people of my plans, some say they'd love to take a year-long vacation like me. I know that I don't want to be on a year-long vacation. Some compare my upcoming journey to Eat, Pray, Love. I have thought often of the book, and perhaps there are some similarities in our journeys. No doubt, like the author, I will learn about myself, though that is not my primary goal. Some tell me what I'm doing is brave. However, I don't feel like I am doing anything particularly brave. I'm doing what I have to do. I'm following my gut. It's not brave; it's just right. It doesn't even feel like I've made a choice, but have simply given in (and I don't mean that in a negative way) to a choice made for me...

There has been a stirring within for about 2 years. It was only this past summer that some clarity came to me about where that stirring might lead me. It was when I read the book Half the Sky that it hit me: it's time to go to India to work with women (India had been on my mind for years). That was what had been brewing. When I finally knew, I KNEW. I started making preparations to make it happen.

There have been times during the school year when I've wondered if I'm doing the right thing because many wonderful things have happened with kids in my classes and on service projects. However, I always come back to the stirring, the pull (and when I am talking to someone face to face about it, I always find myself making a gesture as if there is a string tied to my belly that is being pulled). I can't deny it. I have to go.

As I said, there are many unknowns. But strangely, they don't worry me very often: who is going to care for my cats, who will live in my house, where will I be a year from now? Recently the plans I've had in my head for months got turned upside down, which stressed me out momentarily. But after thinking further, I realized it was just God's way of letting me know who's in charge. If I'm truly going to follow the pull, I have to REALLY follow it, not just pretend.

And so the plans continue to unfold...

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