It’s been a while! I’ll be honest, sometimes I just come home and collapse into my bed after my day is done. I am often so tired, but at the same time, I feel completely alive.
For those that might have missed the update, I moved to Seattle in September to live in intentional community with the Seattle Service Corps and work for 10 months with the non-profit Mission to the Seafarers.
So far, Seattle has been a city of learning experiences: I have had to dive in to Port Chaplaincy, something that I learned I love but had never done before. I had to learn how to drive a. confidently, and b. around a new city with c. terrible traffic. I can say that I know my way around much better now, and I am a much better driver than when I started! I am so proud of myself for learning a new skill that not only benefits my job, but also the rest of my life. I thought I’d never be able to drive skillfully, and yet here I am. This was a huge hurdle for the first month and a half, but I have learned that even though the anxiety is still there, I had the courage to try and that is what is most important.
Almost every day, I go on board the cargo and container ships that come into the Port of Seattle. I sell SIM cards, provide transportation, and interact with people all over the world on a daily basis. I love chaplaincy; I love hearing people’s stories and being able to give them things that will make their lives better on an immediate basis. We can’t always do this, of course, but I love being able to provide the services that can ease a little bit of worry over whether or not a seafarer can talk to their family, or buy the things they need for themselves or the ship.
I have also been learning how to live in intentional community. I didn’t even know what that meant, really, before coming here. Now, I live with four (formerly five) unique souls and somehow, we all make it work just by loving each other and being ourselves. I love going into the kitchen and living area and being able to tell someone about my day and hear about theirs. I love seeing my house grow in their discernment and know that they support my decisions as well. I love seeing how everyone has grown into their work placements and that they see that I’ve grown into mine.
I am learning what it means to lean into my faith. I’ve been surprised that even though I am part of the St. Mark’s community, I have had to figure out what I specifically need to grow in my faith and to voice those needs or to fulfill them myself. I’ve been consistently surprised at how I actually crave more opportunities to live my faith, and that my relationship with God is being established almost independently of any church. I love church, and church provides a structure that helps me figure out where I am in my faith journey, but I am also learning to trust myself and my faith needs.
I’ve only been here two months, but I have already seen myself grow. Over the remaining eight, I hope to be accepted to graduate school, continue to learn my own value as a person, and learn to listen to my anxiety but not let it control me. I’m so grateful to have the space to do this with my work, and my community.