Monday, July 30, 2012

simple living, revisited.

Packing is about my least favorite thing to do.  I have too much stuff, and I can't fathom getting rid of it, except by waving a magic wand and having it all go away.  That's the thing: if it were easy, I would very soon have much less in my possession, but as it were, that technology does not exist yet.  So, here I am.

The pack-rat gene runs on my mother's side of the family, compounded by my own inordinate sentiment toward material things, whether they be clothes or books or knick-knacks.  This is how, in my twenty three years on this planet, I have filled my bedroom brimming with clothes, toys, CDs, books and other things.  Especially books.

An avid reader dwells beneath my nerdy exterior, and I have amassed hundreds of books in my lifetime.  I have so many books that I have never read, let alone opened, because I cannot read them quite as fast as I acquire them.  A side effect of growing up, I suppose.  

Many people have suggested to me that I should get a Kindle, or a Nook, and I politely explain that the real book lover in me will die hard.  I love pages, and words, and I am not ready to abandon convention for convenience.  

I do admit a problem: simple living, as I am making best attempts at, involves fewer books than I have.  I began this process last summer when I sold back a vast number of my science books.  Now, I am forced to take a critical look at what I have, and say, truthfully, do I need all of these books?

The answer, of course, I already know: absolutely not.

As I move toward this next year of service, I continue to reflect on the role of "things" in my life, and I am starting by getting rid of a few more books. =)

Peace and all good,

Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying.  The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things. 
~ Elise Boulding

Friday, July 20, 2012

...searching for starfish: the next chapter...

Hello World!

I know it's been a long time since you last heard from me, and I will try to be as concise as possible.  A lot has been going on here in Camden, both great and terrible, and I am leaving the place that I love and have learned to call home in just a few short days.

Along the way, I have been talking with God, sometimes arguing with God.  He seems to want for my life something different than what I'd envisioned, which was staying another year in Camden.  What I've discovered, though, is that when he wants something for me, he'll make it happen, and if I want it, too, then he will really make it happen.  So it was with my next step: on August 13th, I will be moving to Kensington, Philadelphia, to teach English as a second language with the Sisters of St. Joseph.  I will be living in community, similar to what I do now, with two other women, who will each be working in schools affiliated with the Sisters of St. Joseph.  I will be in a program called the SSJ Mission Corps (here's their website:

What does this mean?  It means that I will get to work with fabulous people, again, and that I will also be able to have some contact with the people I have grown to love here.  I am very excited at the prospect of having my own classes to teach, and I will get to share this year with two wonderful women, who will make up the rest of my community.

What does this not mean?  I am not entering a community, that is to say, I am not becoming a Sister by being a part of this program.  I have the highest respect for all of these women, but right now, I am not ready to be one of them.

I'm hopeful, excited, grateful to Colleen, the program director for SSJMC, and very much looking forward to what I know will be a year of incredible beauty and growth.  I am so blessed, beyond all comprehension, to have the opportunity to do this.

For those who are looking for more Camden stories, I will do my best to post some, and also to be better in the months to come.  I thank you all for reading and following my story.  You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Peace and all good,