I am soon moving for the fifth time in the past year, and as I sift through my belongings I have been pondering how those who travel much have both a gift and a curse: we tend to find home wherever we go, but we also never fully feel at home in just one place. Living this paradox has left me restless and all too aware of my own complexities. Through many conversations, I have recently been realizing that I am not the only one with hidden, internal tensions. Some of us ignore them, some of us battle with them, but few of us share them with one another. As one who chose the middle option for much of my life, the tendency to hide the battle with my imperfections only amplified my internal wrestling. Though I am not yet certain, I am hypothesizing that what we learned in Kindergarten still applies: sharing is caring. Today, I am going to begin testing this theory by choosing transparency as I have always strove to do in the past. As I share some of what has been warring in my own heart, I hope I give others permission to be honest in sharing their own internal battles. In doing so, I believe we can all walk through life a little lighter, and inevitably a little closer.
The traveler in me is always striving to reach new places, experience different cultures, thrive in diversity, build family in many nations, and reach for something outside the American dream.
The home-body in me desires to remain in Southern California, to choose the safe and familiar, to follow the easy path laid before me, to build a life in the comfortable confines of what my culture and family always told me was right and true.
The truth-seeker in me wants to test everything I’ve been told, to hold solid to what I believe but always be prepared to rework it as more is revealed. It wants to question religion, culture, God, myself, and society.
The Christian in me seeks a solid, unchanging faith that lives confident I have already been given truth. It seeks to bring God glory, to live a sacrificial life of servant-hood and love devoted to God and not myself.
The college-student in me craves to find my place among my peers, who frequently enjoy the raging parties and drunken weekends. It craves to be good at beer pong and taking shots, if for no other reason than to gain acceptance from those my age.
The people-pleaser in me adapts easily to other’s expectations, afraid to disappoint or be rejected by failing to meet the needs of those around me.
The rebel in me thinks outside the box, trying to live in a way that defies people’s expectations. It hopes enough people will also be rebels so we can change the sad realities of our time.
The dreamer in me envisions a society of equality, a united church, a world where all are free and none are slave to themselves or another. It keeps me pursuing a life of reconciliation work.
The realist in me is discouraged by the reality of our world, the stories constantly streaming across the news, the degrading images of women and the awful portrayals of people of other cultures who are just doing their best with what they have. It doubts that reconciliation work could be successful.
The writer in me hopes to portray reality honestly, to bring to light the harsher aspects of human life, to encourage change by boldly proclaiming the hidden and overlooked darkness that needs to be overcome by the light.