Tuesday, December 07, 2004

How did I end up a sojochick?

...I have been a stone doomed to rolling... -Gandalf, LOTR

I am a home body by nature. I like roots. I like routine and familiarity and the settled feeling. I grew up with that kind of feeling in my life. I lived in Stephenville, Texas for ten years. While all my friends talked on and on about how they couldn't wait til the day they could leave the place, I was the one dreaming of staying there forever. But of course life had other plans, and I ended up in Texarkana for two years. By and large I chose not to set too many roots down there, out of bitterness and sheer lack of interest, really. When the time came I up and moved out of God's country (Texas for those of you who don't know) and went to Oklahoma. I love the OC community and always will, but I always knew that those four years were just a time of growth and development, and I would soon leave there, too. Now here I am in Japan, where I have committed two years (another 21 months!) of my life. Then where will I go? I don't know for sure, but it would probably be another temporary stint somewhere, whether for graduate school or a fling in another country or what not. But once again I will uproot whatever life I develop here and start afresh again somewhere. Hence, my screen name contains the word "sojourner." (Well, a shortened form of it, at least)
How did I end up like this? Why does a person like me, who wants nothing more than to be settled and take root, end up having these wings that keep taking me other places? I have no idea. God and I have had more than one conversation about this, although I still don't have any great understanding or perspective.
Of course I have stability in my life, which keeps me sane. I will always have my faith in and relationship with God, which has traveled with me wherever I've gone and withstood whatever I've been through. I will always have my family. I will always have places like Pike Co., Arkansas, which holds meaning for me from my earliest memories. There will always be those special friendships that overcome the distance and continue to grow and deepen. And I am thankful for these, because for at least the next couple of chapters in my life, it looks as though these are where my roots will be.
I'm not sure what brought this post on. Maybe it is because in the past week or so I have been feeling myself start to settle in here; this is my life. That and I have also been feeling more disconnected with a lot of life at "home" lately.
This is probably going to end up being one of those deep, heartfelt, pour out your true emotions posts that no one ever comments on. I have noticed lately on other friends blogs that it's the cute fluffy stuff that people like to comment on, rather than when people really reveal themselves. Interesting, huh? :)


friend said...

Cute and fluffy is easier. I too am firmly planted (or so it seems) in Arizona, but my jobs seems to change every 3 years - I get antsy - don't know what my problem is.

crittermer said...

I'll comment on your non-fluffy post, Ann! I, too, sometimes become melancholy at the thought that nothing is really permanent (with the exception of our faith in God, of course.) Sometimes I think that's actually a gift from God, though-- it's what I call holy discontent, God's way of helping us to remember that this "world is not my home, I'm just a passin' though." Someday we'll go to our real home and we really will feel like we're home forever, but for now we forgoe some of those feelings of contentment in order to touch as many lives as we can. I'm proud of you for be willing to go so many places to touch lives, Ann!

Peter Rice said...

Ann, I like to think of life as... an adventure. Actually, I am joking a little. I like to think of Japan as primarily an adventure--but adventure is only a facet of Life itself.

Since you've been on a LOTR kick this past week, it occurred to me that you are a lot like Bilbo Baggins in "The Hobbit." (have you read that yet?) It tells about the adventure on which the Ring was discovered. The tie in of this story is through Bilbo Baggins: Before the adventure starts, Bilbo stubbornly refuses to go; he merely gets caught up in this scheme to go with these dwarves to do something crazy--he this poor little hobbit who doesn't want anything even approaching the outer coattails of "exciting" and in fact wants nothing more than to sit tight in the Shire and live there the remainder of his days. He has not a single compelling reason to leave--until Gandalf gets angry and shows him what is what. Then for the duration of his trip, Bilbo dreams incessantly of the Shire, yearning for the comforts of home. When alas his adventure has ended (or so he thinks), he returns to the Shire a changed and indeed a "strange" hobbit, and he finds that the Shire is entirely too small and unexciting for him. His smaller journey, his little adventure, was the necessary (though unwanted, unasked for) preparation for his eventual journey "across the sea."

Anyway, I thought you might enjoy a few more minutes with your hobbit friends. God bless!