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pacing myself.

September 17, 2010

What, back so soon? Yeah, I am. Don’t judge. I have a decent Internet connection, and I need to process out loud, okay…just until I really dig in. And then I promise I’ll go away.

Mostly, I just want to say this: As tempted as I am to throw myself headlong into this new adventure, I am quietly counseling myself to take things at a reasonable pace–reasonable for my circumstances, that is. On the one hand, I so want to do things my usual way: impatient and eager and forcefully carving out my place in a new environment. And I see that others are doing/have done the same thing in their new environments, so it seems like what I’m s’posed to do. But I’m realizing that my path is not ever going to be exactly like someone else’s, or even like former paths of my own. Where God has brought me today is its own unique beginning, and I need to focus on doing what is right and healthy for me, right now. Not what worked for other people, not what worked for me in the past. After all, sometimes going in headfirst seems most exciting, but then you just end up flailing in deep waters you’re not ready for. Right? And even though I am a pro flailer, as anyone who has seen me interpretive dance can attest, I am not ready for that yet. I’ve got to learn to tread first, then swim…then dive.

So as much as I want to jump in, I’m trying to pull back. I’m reminding myself to let things unfold in their own time. To pace myself. To not worry about sometimes being introverted/overwhelmed/slow-moving. And to let go of my idea of how things “should” happen and see what really happens.

Anyway, things that are great: My incredibly lovely flatmate, who’s been here a few months longer than me, is showing me around and helping me adjust. I have some great people looking out for me. I love the dry breezes (no humidity!!), the amazing panorama of Amman jutting out from the hills that I get from my apartment, and that I’m not quite as lost in the language as I was afraid I’d be (I understand more than I expected to, but I’m still impatient…now that I’ve had a few of the basic grammatical rules explained to me, I think I’ll get a little more).

Thing that worries me: I knew this was going to be an issue from day one (um, not yesterday, but day one of looking into coming here), so I’m trying to be super-conscious about working around it. For those who know me well, you know I am not exaggerating when I say I have a terrible sense of direction and a very handicapped spatial orientation. It is not just a matter of being absent-minded and easily distracted (which I am)…it’s the fact that spatially, things get super-jumbled in my head no matter what. I still get lost driving around my home neighborhood. On my tiny college campus, I was getting places confused right up to my third year there. In Dublin, I was entirely map-dependent (the ones hidden in here were my lifesaver). And I’m not gonna lie…Amman is not the most clearly organized city in the world. To me, it looks like it just sprung up out of the hillsides. Winding and steep and full of rocky staircases. Plus, no one uses street names here, and clear maps are nonexistent. But I’m being intentional to prevent myself from being totally handicapped: I walked around today with a tiny notebook and pen, drawing little schematic maps so I could at least get a sense of my general orientation. Did I look like a total fool? Probably, yeah. Did it help me feel a little more confident about finding my way around? Yes. Am I still terrified that I will end up lost and stranded someday with no idea where I am, only to discover after ten hours of walking in a circle that I’m, like, down the street from my house? Uh…no…that’s totally weird and way too specific of a scenario…(okay, thethoughthascrossedmymind).

But when it all comes down to it, this is a trusting game, isn’t it? To quote a song (that plays with a psalm) I’ve recently fallen in love with:

I lift my eyes to the hills
Where comes my help?
I lift my hands, empty hands
I can’t help myself

Can’t Help Myself, Sandra McCracken

More later? Maybe even pictures if I get my act together and remember I have a camera.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Dad permalink
    September 17, 2010 11:57 pm

    i miss you already, but also try to picture Jordan in my mind and imagine how the land must be blessed because you are there! I just came back from cancun and wished you were here. have a wonderful time in jordan, sweetheart. look forward to listen to your wonderful stories.

  2. Mom permalink
    September 19, 2010 2:51 pm

    Having an exciting…conference weekend. So many with m hearts. The worship is alive, the speakers are challenging. God is so good. I was thinking about you and El in the field proud of you and missing you.

  3. Daniel P permalink
    September 19, 2010 4:23 pm

    albert einstein was also directionally challenged

  4. Susan Yoon permalink
    October 3, 2010 3:45 am

    oh psalm 121 – an oldie but a goodie. the pastor at the church i attend gave a sermon on that psalm this past sunday. anyways, i’m praying for you friend and looking forward to future posts!

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