well. it’s official. i can no longer start a sentence with “last year on the world race…” i’ve been on american soil for three hundred and sixty five days. [minus the week-long stint in ireland last fall]. whoa. deep breath.
i landed in lax sometime in the afternoon a year ago. the lady looked at my passport and said “you’ve been gone for quite some time. welcome home.” to which i offered a fake smile as i fought back tears. then i stood in customs for three hours before finally walking out into american civilization. i spent the evening with my world race bff’s before hopping on a red-eye back to missouri.
i walked off of a plane in springfield and hugged my family. we drove home. the first thing i did was try on an old pair of jeans to make sure they still fit. then i took a nap. we ate lasagna for dinner. and normal life just kind of began again.
countless times over the last year when i have thought back to my time on the world race i’ve felt like it was nothing more than a dream. a crazy adventure that just kind of happened but it wasn’t real. except that it was real. so real, in fact, that the residue is still on me. not the africa dirt and asia smell. but the residue of the things i saw. the prayers i prayed and people i met. the residue of feelings i felt and dreams i dared to dream. it’s still on me, the glory of it all.
in fact, it’s just being embedded deeper and deeper into who i am.
i spent three weeks at home. mostly i tried to catch up with the friends and family i had missed for eleven months. i ate a lot of food and drank a lot of coffee. i packed up my life and drove to georgia, where i’ve spent the last eleven months on a brand new adventure and at the same time discovering a new kind of normal.
my first few months in georgia were mostly spent in tears. i cried because i was lonely. i cried because i missed being on the field. i missed holding babies and praying for sick people. i cried because i had no plan. i cried because i had absolutely no idea how to do my job. sometimes i cried because it was the only thing i knew to do in the midst of trying to process and re-enter to so many things. but, over the months, slowly but surely the tears have become fewer and farther between. i promise. ask allison.
i’ve become somewhat settled. in gainesville, yes. but mostly in my spirit. i’ve got a bit of handle on why i’m here. i’m not so lonely anymore. and i’ve figured some things out about my job. i feel like i’ve processed the things i’ve seen; even though i still miss the african babies. i guess i don’t really have a plan. but i don’t feel like i really need one right now, so that’s refreshing.
anyways. a lot has happened in the last year. a lot of good things and a lot of hard things. some broken places have been exposed and some other broken places have been healed. i’m more whole than i was a year ago. i’m more confident and hopeful than i was a year ago. i’m definitely more free than i was year ago. and i am so much more thankful thank i was a year ago.
i’m thankful for the journey of the world race. i’m thankful for the journey the last eleven months in georgia have been. as thankful as i am for the past, i want to be the kind of person who looks ahead to the future with hope and great expectation. there’s really no telling what’s in store for the next three hundred and sixty five days. but my prayer is that the residue of my past journeys would become more deeply embedded as i set my eyes and heart towards the journey ahead.
with that. enjoy the video i made of our world race journey.
happy home-one-year-aversary k-squad.