There has always been that phrase of “lucky number seven” which leads me into this new post. I have officially been in Austin for seven weeks! I cannot believe that I have been here that long. It seems like such a long time, yet I still have many more weeks to go.
As my lucky week seven began, I will say that I was not feeling so lucky. This week has been tough. Wow, I am HERE. In AUSTIN, TX. For ONE YEAR. I am here and I am doing this. I have finally adjusted to my surroundings and feel like a real resident of Texas, but with this comes the realization of how settled I am here. I recognize my routine and comfortability which only makes me realize that I am scared I am putting my “real life” on “pause”. What I mean by this is that this year was always something similar to a dream. I was going to go to Austin, have fun, learn about myself, my community, and job placement and then go home (Ok, I was going to do more than just those few things, but you get the point). Lucky week seven has come around full circle to make me realize that this is not a dream. This adventure IS a part of my life. My YAV year is not some far off land where all of my problems fade away. It is my life and my life is not on pause while I am here.
Realizing that my life is in “play”, I have awakened to the realization of asking myself, “What am I doing in Austin? Why am I a YAV? What does this year mean for me now and in my future?” I can’t run from these questions. I will keep y’all updated in my discovery process.
Another realization brought by lucky week number seven is that no one else’s life is on pause either. My family and friends from back home and wherever are also off living their life… And I am not there. I spent much of week seven talking, texting, or on the phone in some form with people who are dear to my heart. It is always a joy to catch up, check in, and talk like nothing has changed. This week, I am grateful for technology and its ability to keep me connected. However, with these many enriching, insightful, and just plain awesome chats also came sadness, longing, and feeling like I am missing a part of myself in Texas. The people I know are a part of who I have become. Even though this week has made me sad and feel like parts of myself are missing, I feel so blessed that I have people in my life who support me no matter what and who make it hard for me to move away. I have some incredible people in my life.
Other adjustments that I have ran into during this lucky week seven involve work and community. I have found out that Piper, my YAVA supervisor at work, is leaving to begin her seminary adventures. This is great and means that she will still be around (because I live at the seminary) but it also means that there will be a lot of change at work with a new person coming in. A minor set-back, but she will definitely be missed. I am still trying to adjust to the news, but a huge part of my YAV year is change and adjusting, so let’s just add this to the list! Adjusting to community life can also be a challenge. Everyone in my community is awesome, however, we are from about 9 different states in the US, giving me a lot to learn from them but also accepting differences between us. As a larger community of 11, I also find it challenging to be involved with everyone all the time. Just like I put effort into my work, I have also learned that a lot of effort goes into living in community. I appreciate my community and I hope we can all have patience with one another to learn together this year and put effort into our community.
My seventh week was when I began to slow down, realize my routine and semi-comfortability, and also pause to realize the realities of my move to Texas. I am here. I am doing this. And as hard as it is to not know many people here, not know much about the city, not know much about different opportunities, and still adjust to basically everything, despite these surreal realities I am still trying to embrace my surroundings. I am hopeful for my life that I will live in “play” while here in Austin. It is way more adjusting and balancing than I thought, but I know that this year will be a chapter in my book that I’ll appreciate. I am living my life in Austin, time to press play and see what happens.
As always, here are some fun photos of what I’ve been up to:
My amazing family came to visit (: We did much more, but here is what was documented:
^^ Photos of our visit to New Braunfels to a small cute town home of the oldest dance hall in Texas (Gruene Hall… some may recognize it from the most recent season of the Bachelorette).
Now, photos of some fun things we did in the city:
Adventures on South Congress-
Homeslice pizza… a must in Austin!
Last minute visit from a high school friend– A work trip to Dallas meant a side trip to Austin! Out shopping and stopped at Hopdoddy burger for a great meal.
Beautiful night adventures…
As always, thank you for reading!