I’m thinking of re-titling this blog Write Space. It’s what I really want from it – a virtual space to write in. A web-log of life.

I’m pivoting, slowly. It’s been a weird summer.

A while ago – I can’t even register how much time it has been – a year? Two? – I interviewed scores of people who have participated in a church-based exchange program for young adults, from different regions of the world. The oldest was 72, and had gone from southeast Asia to Indiana half a century ago. The youngest was 20, and had returned just four months prior. The main focus of the research was to assess notable impacts of the program in the lives of participants and in their communities. One pattern that emerged for me as I listened to story after story was that it took participants about five to ten years to really get a grip on what the impact of one year abroad had been for them. It took that long for people to be able to look back and trace the line from experiences they had had then, or people they had met then, to who and where they were now.

I think about that as I struggle to assess what the last few beats in my life have meant – achieving a doctoral degree, living and working for five years in Colombia, the return to Albania – this summer weirdly compressed all those aspects of the last decade of my life into an incredibly short time frame and I…. did not handle it well. There was drama. Add to it a tween daughter who finds me and her beloved grandmother mortally embarrassing to be around… and let’s face it, the current political climate in the US is nothing short of stressful… (blue voter here, just for the record).

So I’m trying to pivot. I have an idea for the next phase of my life; I’m just trying to dredge up the courage and self-discipline to see if I can make it work.


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