A Year Ago I Left

A year ago today, I was packing a bag for South Africa. For months I'd planned, worried about money to pay for it, and questioned why I wanted to go, but on this day one year ago, I was restless. Waiting. Stuck in between here and there. I was excited, but it was different. It was a calming excitement that I can't possibly explain unless you've felt it.

The people I went with are headed there right now--at this exact moment they're waiting in the Nashville airport to go again. I'm not; I'm nannying in Boston and drinking coffee. It's a weird feeling, knowing that they're going to visit the wonderful kiddos we saw, see the gorgeous country and check in on the people we served and met. And me, I'm sitting here.

It's crazy where life can go in a year. I'm sure I'll say the same thing next year for other reasons that I can't see now. I definitely never planned to be here a year ago. Boston? Blogging? Writing? You would've been crazy to say that to me. I don't make a lot of life plans, but those were big, unheard of, scary words to me a year ago.

I'm telling you about South Africa because that trip was one of those moments you can pinpoint as something that puts your life on course. I've never really told this story on my blog. It's a huge, enormous story that needs to be told. So, I'll be posting things over the next couple weeks about where I was a year ago. There may be some double posts each day because I didn't plan on doing this--but now I am. I hope you like the story. The end is pretty awesome.

A year ago, I worked as an intern at a church. It was a hard time. I didn't love it, didn't even like it, but it was what I did. I also worked at Borders (one of the unfortunate ones that's closing and I am so sad for my family there). I kept busy between the two. Work and intern. I liked work; I hating interning from the very first day. Each day was a struggle. Each task was more horrible than the one before. I missed college. I wanted to leave every single day but I had nowhere to go and nothing else I wanted to do.

The important thing for today to know is: a year ago I went to South Africa. I had no expectations, no clue of who I was, no idea what I was really, really passionate about. A year ago I went because I had this urge in my heart and my gut that said it was where I needed to be. I've never been a girl who wanted to go overseas--but I've always been a girl who listened to my gut, who acted on whims even though I hate them, who did what I felt I needed to do regardless of everyone else. That's just me. When I left for South Africa, I even went regardless of my fears.

When I came back from South Africa...well, I was a lot smarter, a lot more in tune with life, a lot more everything. You'll hear that story in a couple weeks.

A year ago today I was waiting to go to South Africa. I had no idea what I'd find there. It's completely like everything in my life, like writing, like reading an awesome book: there was a lot of a trouble and a lot of good to come.


  1. Thank you for writing this post--the bit where you wrote about how you did things regardless of what everyone else thought really inspired me. Why? Because i have family members who believe i should have a certain career in life that i don't want. I don't want to be an engineer. I don't want to waste away in front of a gigantic computer screen, barely even breathing. I want to be free. I want to sit outside. I want to travel the world. I want to make a stand. I want to help the world. How is engineering going to help me achieve this goal, this passion that has been hiding underneath my skin from the day i was born? All I ever wanted to do was write. And maybe now I'll have the courage to, the courage to do what really matters to ME, not them because this is my life, not theirs. So, thank you writing that. Something inside of me felt it to be so true and so real. Thank you.

  2. This is so awesome! Africa is a major life changer, it seems. I went to Ghana in 2005 to volunteer, and it did the same thing for me South Africa did for you. I'm looking forward to reading your posts!

  3. What a beautiful post. I can't wait to find out more.


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