As my last days in Columbia quickly come to a close, I am reminded of all the wonderful friends God has blessed me with here. I didn’t take much time to reflect on what I was thankful for during Thanksgiving – my friends are a huge part. The scary thing is how reluctant I am to leave Columbia, and it is because I have such good community and committed friends here that I have never allowed myself to have before. This town that I did not want to like to spend longer than 6 months in has become my home. I have this fantastical idea I will leave and not come back, but I will. There are too many people here that I love. Besides, I am leaving a lot of my belongings here.
I was stressed out about packing and moving out of my apartment the same time as finals and getting all my documents together for my visa, but I have just been making lists and checking things off each day to keep me on track. That or I write on my hands. I already have begun to divide my things up and give them away. I’ll try not to spread them out too much. Julie reminds me that I will be coming back to finish school so I should store things I will need, but I just want to get rid of it all. It feels good. I don’t often take time to cleanout all my belongings or sort through what I don’t need, so moving is an excellent time to do that. I haven’t lived in one place longer than a year and a half, and I am afraid of what might if I do. Will I become a packrat?
Surprisingly I have not been a huge ball of stress during this time. I have to stay focused on the tasks ahead to get them done. When I am not focusing, I get distracted thinking about the other sex and trying to keep my mind from overanalyzing everything. I have tried to reason that it is ok to let a guy know what I want, and it is, but it’s not ok to pursue him. I just keep asking God to let things work out if they are supposed to and in His timing. I have to resist trying to make something happen. That’s not my job. Besides, I am leaving, right?
I keep telling everyone, “I’m leaving.” I even held a going away party to see everyone. We had a great turn-out. You know how those face book events go – only one-third to half of the people who said they would come actually come, but nearly everyone I wanted to see came. I felt so loved! I think it has not hit me I am leaving; telling people is the way I try to make myself believe it but it doesn’t seem to be working. At the same time I am putting so much into this new place and new adventure that if something doesn’t work out I will be severely disappointed. That’s not the problem, however; I have been disappointed and had my plans changed many times, that is how I am convinced God grows me. The problem is my pride. If for some reason going to England doesn’t work out I have provided for a backup plan (this is actually the backup plan for a backup plan for a backup plan). I don’t like having my plans changed, and that is why God seems to let that happen to me a lot. Not that God is in any way vicious like that. He knows what is best for us and what will make us grow and mature. I have had to trust him in this mess that is my life. He has brought good out of it in places I least expected. Some of my biggest blessings have been at the coffee shop I began to work at as my second job. Well, it became my only job after awhile. I had two other jobs in Columbia that I specialized in – dance and teaching Pilates. I have neither now and neither is my identity. It is a loss to me, but I found that that was not Rebecca. Rebecca may love doing those things, but I am not defined by my job or career. I am defined by the spirit of the living God that lives inside me.
In his graciousness, he allowed me to also work with the Arts Institute this semester so I have been involved in the world of creativity. The first creative writing class I took with Elise Blackwell this year sparked a flame of interest in writing as a profession, or at least a pastime. I thought only of criticism in print journalism before as a way to coordinate writing and dance, but I thoroughly enjoyed writing fiction. I expect to take some advanced writing classes when I return from England and enter some fiction contests. The great thing about fiction is there is not set category. I can use my personal experiences without writing a biography. I have had a desire to write something that would be beneficial to dancers and other artists one day. I suppose by then I will have a large following on my blog and archived these posts.
I have more packing to do, but I am proud of myself for getting this much done already. I have one more exam before heading home for reunion and family and holidays. The snowy mountains of my parent’s home in New Mexico will make me feel like it is really Christmastime. Vivaldi is urging me on to get the rest of my boxes to the post office. He is playing on my Pandora station. I told Hamza and Conrad I would have dance party with them at work tomorrow morning before it gets light. Strobe lights! Not really. But the dance party is happening! Julie and I had one a few weeks ago. Julie, I will miss the “Julie dance” and remember the time we helped Nate “find his hips”? Carolanne and I did Irish clogging and Russian dance on my porch. No, we weren’t sleeping on it this time. Someone taped Joel and I doing the Charlie Brown dance at my party, unfortunately. I have control over it, so it won’t end up in public domain. Yesterday I had to repeat it just for the girls I worked with. I think the rest of the Starbucks staff is ready to be rid of the girl who’s always doing a jig behind the counter or taking about unicorns and butterflies and making up stories about knights joisting and midget jesters jesting!