So, I had a bad week. As in, I called my mom long distance just to literally cry (ugly sobbing is more like it) on her digital shoulder for a few minutes. I’m going to complain for a good solid couple of paragraphs here before I get around to pointing out the silver linings and any positivity, just to warn you all.
To start things off with a logistical bang, I’m living in a house with 28 girls and 1 bathroom. Twenty-eight females and only one bathroom. Yep, go ahead, take a second to process those odds for actually getting to shower. Yesterday, I even found a nice big slug in the shower. So I did what any person would naturally do, I took a quick picture of it and decided that taking a shower was actually kinda overrated – I wasn’t exactly gonna touch it, ok. One of my roommates and I went and bought gym memberships just so that we could occasionally take showers long enough to be able to shave our legs. We’re also basically living on top of one another and I’m not that great of a people person to begin with. I’m one of those people who sincerely values my alone time (according to my mom, I was like this even as a baby) and having to live without it and play nice with people 24/7 has been a little (ok, a lot) challenging; added to this is the fact that it’s a little difficult to get a good, full night’s sleep. Also, I’m from lovely, dry, inland Alberta and it’s super warm and disgustingly humid here in Sarasota. My skin loves it, the rest of me hates it. This is literally the first time I’ve ever missed the cold, snowy Canadian February – wow, I can’t believe I just said that! Weird as it sounds, I find cooler hoodie-wearing weather comforting. Then, two weeks into my new living situation, I get a call from my mom saying that my brother (who’s my only sibling and probably my bestest friend ever) was in the hospital getting some emergency tests for his heart. I was already getting homesick and after receiving that particular piece of news, I really just wanted to book the next flight home. By the way, he is ok.
Then I got hit by a car. That was… fun… The impact wrecked my bike. It was at a crosswalk and the little white walking person was all alight and everything. The person didn’t even stop after hitting me at the crosswalk, she just drove away. I wasn’t hurt and the bike was only $45USD but still, WHO JUST CASUALLY HITS SOMEONE AND DRIVES AWAY LIKE IT’S A NORMAL PART OF THEIR MORNING COMMUTE?? Or maybe it is a regular part of Floridian driving habits, who knows. So yeah, sore and bikeless. To top the day off, that night my roommate and I went to a nearby Starbucks to take advantage of the quicker wifi and my Macbook’s trackpad began to malfunction. I was able to take it into town the next day to find out what was the matter with it, whether it was able to be repaired, picked it back up two days and $250USD later, then took it home only to realize that it still wasn’t working. Cue
minimajor meltdown. For those who haven’t figured this out about me by now, my soul is basically tethered to my computer and the nearest wifi signal. Living without that for four days nearly killed me – I’m not even kidding. I can now honestly say that I prefer getting hit by a car to losing my laptop… talk about a sentence I never thought I would legitimately be able to write. Anyways, took it back this morning, got it fixed for real and now I’m sitting at Starbucks listening to Hillsong UNITED trying to see any sort of bigger picture to these events. It’s taken about three hours and I had to bike here on a borrowed Disney Princess bike complete with glittery handlebar tassels and everything but, I think I can honestly type that I’ve grasped that silver lining concept now.
My silver linings:
#1. A week into me being here, my mom asked me how I was dealing with so many people and if there were any that I wasn’t getting along with. I just kind of stopped before I unexpectedly answered her that everyone here practically epitomizes the definition of ‘awesome’. Without a a single word of exaggeration, they are all really, truly fantastic. Like, every single one of them. It took me a few days to sort out everyone’s names and I would walk around calling everyone by their nationality. “You, the Australian!” “Oh, hey there Texan!” “THE OTHER CANADIAN! EH!” I was thankful for anyone who had a geographically defining accent. I’ve only been here for three and a half weeks, yet I feel so comfortable with these girls already, as if we’ve all known each other for ages. I’ve definitely made some lifelong friendships and for that alone everything that went wrong this week was totally worth it. We’ve also really made the bathroom schedule work for us and everyone is good about only taking 10 minutes on the weekdays – we’ve just decided that make-up and hair styling is overrated. The boys don’t worry over such things so why should we, haha.
#2. When I was informed of my brother’s hospital visit, I freaked out a bit and told a few of the girls from whom the support and prayer forthcoming was absolutely amazing and so comforting. Yet again affirming the fact that I was in a place packed to the brim with absolutely lovely people.
#3. I could have actually been really injured by that car and I wasn’t. I’d gladly sacrifice merely getting my bike wrecked in comparison to breaking an arm or something serious. Or… you know… death…
#4. Ok, the computer thing sucked. It’s pretty much my only lifeline to home so it did legit stress me out that it wasn’t working. Yes, I have a phone but it costs a lot to use it in terms of being able to call my parents and my brother. But, out of the precious few of my housemates who have vehicles, they were incredibly gracious about giving me a lift to the tech place I needed to get it fixed at – which wasn’t particularly close.
#5. On the night when I really did break down in tears and just sobbed my heart out in utter frustration and homesickness to my mom, all of my roommates were gone so I was able to have the entire room to myself for the whole night which was something that, small as it sounds, I absolutely needed.
The control freak in me doesn’t like relying on people too much. Except for my mom who I probably rely on too much – I have this annoying tendency to just latch onto one person that I trust and get super clingy. I can’t control the situation if I’m relying on all those free radicals known as ‘people’. This is probably why I like travelling alone. I’ve had to rely on people that I’ve only known for three weeks a lot these last few days and it’s made me realize how extraordinarily blessed I am to be surrounded by these girls. I think that’s something I’m really learning while being here. Not living in my own house, don’t have a car here, can’t get away with bossing people around here that same way I can with my brother, etc., so I have to rely on people. As you all probably know, I’m here with a Christian organization, which is, in hind sight, a little ironic since I pretty much suck at actually relying on the God I claim to believe in because, you know, I can’t exactly control Him. Well, this program is definitely showing me that I need to start trusting in my faith more. I’m not big enough to take on the world be myself and that’s where good people, faith, and the ability to let myself lean on them are so important.