Here it is, my first post-Quest blog post. Writing it feels very, very strange. I think that word encapsulates what these past few weeks have felt like for me… strange. Everything seems odd and out of place, like I should be doing something else, or be someplace else. It feels like I’m waiting for something to happen and I don’t know what it is, but whatever it is, it’s never going to happen. I hope that makes sense. Essentially, I think it’s finally setting in that Quest really is finished and we are not all just on a short break and will reunite again soon. It’s over, and I don’t quite know what to do with myself.
Before I continue with that depressing thought, I will catch you up on what I have been up to since graduation. After grad, I moved in with my cousins in Langley, where I will be staying until the second week of June. The first week after grad was a bit of a recovery week… catching up on sleep, and doing a lot of things that I had greatly missed during the school year, like baking, while trying to process the recent whirlwind of goodbyes that happened in such a short amount of time. Driving away from campus that Sunday afternoon was really, really tough. But, it’s nice to stick around in B.C. for a little while longer, instead of having to make an even sharper transition by moving back to Alberta right away. It has been really nice living at my cousins’ house. With not having a job or any major obligations, I have had a lot of time to think, process, and just takes things slow, which has been a good change of pace. I have been trying to do things that I wished I had more time for during school, like reading, or drawing, or just doing anything for fun (without feeling guilty that I should be doing homework instead!). It’s also nice to be so close to where I spent most of my year. We went to volunteer at A Rocha this last Saturday, and it was nice to see some of the people I became acquainted with when a few of us went there to volunteer during the reading break back in March.
Through all this, though, I have been trying to figure out how to move on from Quest in way that I will remember all I’ve learned while not living in the past and just staying there; I still want to move forward and build on the new knowledge I’ve acquired and bring it into my everyday life. At the same time, it’s hard to move forward in life when you miss everyone so much. Quest was such a rich time, and so many good memories were made with people who will forever be imprinted on my heart, and it would be a lie to say that I do not often wish I was back there again.
This brings me to the title of my post: Uprooted. That is how I feel. I feel as though I have been suddenly plucked out of a rich, life-giving garden filled with familiar sights, sounds, and scents, and placed in a desolate wasteland. Not that living with my cousins feels like a wasteland (quite the contrary), but I am saying that to illustrate the large contrast between what was and what now is. My surroundings have completely changed, and I have to learn how to thrive in this new environment. I feel out of place. When I came to Quest, that was the first time in a long time that I felt I was exactly where I was meant to be. Now, that term has ended and I feel lost, with no solid soil to grasp onto.
This is how I have felt as of late and often believed it to be the reality that I am living in, but that is not quite the case. At our Quest send-off on the day of graduation, one of our leaders, Matt Kliever, presented us with an illustration that has stuck with me. It’s like this: all of us, everyone in Quest, are like individual strands of a rope, all coming from different backgrounds, struggles, and walks of life. During Quest, we came together, and through shared experiences and communal growth, we formed a strong bond. All of our strands intertwined into a beautiful cord that we called family. Now, we have begun to unravel. Each of us will continue on our way as individual strands, maybe bumping into other strands along the journey, and maybe not. But, we know we are no longer just individual strands as we were before. A small tug will pull you back to that strong bond, because we are all still connected.
So even though I know this to be true, things are still not the same as they were during Quest (for obvious reasons), and everything still seems very different, and I have to learn how to navigate through this new season of life. But I can take hope in the fact that things are not the same as they were before, because the family we formed over the past eight months still exists, and I know I can count on them. I have been uprooted from what I know and love, but I can take heart knowing that I am not going through this alone.
Although things have been feeling different in a bad way, they have also felt different in a good way, too. It seems as though I have been seeing everything in somewhat of a new light. Because of this past year, I have a deeper understanding of my Creator. My eyes have been further opened to the vastness of His love, and that has enabled me to view things in a new way. This quote sums it up well:
“For what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing: it also depends on what sort of person you are.” -C.S. Lewis, The Magician’s Nephew
Whether I am able to recognize it or not, I am changed, and the sort of person I was is not the sort of person I now am. So although it can be tough trying to make sense of this crazy life that has integral yet unwanted endings that, somehow, are promised to lead to new and exciting beginnings, I can have hope knowing that things have changed for the better, and Im a becoming a new sort of person who sees beauty and hears truth more clearly and with less doubt than I did before. Amidst this sate of unfamiliarity and uncertainty that I find myself in, I see glimpses of new hope and new life, and that is worth celebrating indeed.
If you find yourself in this same state of uprootedness, I hope you can take comfort in knowing that, no matter what, you have a family just a tug of a strand away.