Comeback Season

The 20s are all about finding your way back where you belong. There are so many times where I know I have felt out of place, but even more distinct have been the moments when I have known I was supposed to be where I was. It was just this feeling of peace, feeling fully present, and appreciated that I had arrived at a place where I was meant to be. Somehow things and people end up falling in to place. It's just this feeling that you can't really tack down or even the absence of feeling most directly those of anxiousness, fear, or discomfort. Whatever it is, I'm more than okay with it. It's time to head back; it's comeback season.
"Things never happen the same way twice" C.S. Lewis
This whole concept of supposed to be (not the Omarion song) is one that I know well and yet escapes me at the same time. How do you know you're where you're supposed to be some place? Before we veer off into philosophical meta territory never to return, I think it's worth noting that while we often know ourselves well, we can also be our own biggest enigmas. I know for me that I feel like the world decides that I'm going to be somewhere and somehow it happens. It's funny because oftentimes there are split second decisions that I make even though I could have had my mind set on one thing completely already. Then as soon as I make it where I'm going I know that it was the right choice.

Even more commonly I notice myself nodding vigorously in agreement or finding something that someone has ready or spoken to be absolutely awe-inspiring. I am often struck and dumbfounded at some of the powerful truths, personal experiences, and sage advice that people give out. It's those times where I feel like a person has spoken to my soul and its very essence that I know I was supposed to be there. It's hearing those things, observing people do something selfness for another person or just being able to spend time with people and to feel seen, heard, and valued are cues for me. There is something to be said about knowing you are on track and doing something right, but realizing that sense of comfort is the closest I can come to conveying that nonchalant contentment. Know your safe place and let's bring it on to comeback season.
Abrupt change can be quite jarring. The juxtaposition of me travelling from home back to my college within a matter of hours and straight into orientation work was one o the most difficult I have ever had.  I just wasn't ready. My entire framework for how I understood the world had to change, let alone me into different clothes, and cultural contexts. I took my time that day but it was one of those moments of question of whether I was supposed to be doing this job again. I graduated and have graduate school to look forward to. Most people who find out about it find it interesting that I chose to return to orientation after ending my college tenure. Even others that I would work with would find it quirky. I pushed the doubts to the rear of my mind and focused on completing the tasks I was assigned. Whether I was ready or not it was comeback season and I was in the middle of it.

It was only the first night with the full staff where I stopped to look around the room at the wildly different people who I would be working with for the summer and I knew I was supposed to be there. It just worked, you know? The smiles, laughs, and most of all the opinions, thoughts, and experiences shared in that group space have brought me such contentment and as well as challenge. This crew was drastically different from last year's and exactly what I needed. I wanted to honor the integrity of having to build a community, relationships, and connections from scratch but was also faced with an inner nagging impatience. Luckily living in the moment all the mentions of mindfulness have taken root for me as I made sure to be intentional in making the rounds to get to know people.
It's uncanny that even going through the same motions how unique each moment of every day is. The same sequence of events will never occur again and that's special. It's means that even in redoing things that the experience will be uniquely its own. Our staff of fifty people visited the Common Ground Center for a three day retreat focusing on teambuilding and staff bonding after spending a morning on a ropes course. Both were adventures in their own right, with the latter putting me way out of my comfort zone and yet I found myself letting go (figuratively and literally) in partaking in activities and conversations, namely a gigantic rope swing and elevated rope cross. The retreat was filled with tears, stories, and quiet moments to ponder over it all. People brought their full selves and the spaces we had were filled with so much life. It's almost indescribable what was able to be discussed in that place because they were conversations that would not happen anywhere else. Change, it comes with or without our permission and with it - comeback season.

Do you ever just sit and realize that you're you? What I mean is that there are instances where I get knocked out the intricacies of my headspace and am able to recognize who, what, where, and most importantly why I am. When we returned from our retreat and went into hardcore training mode, it was the talks in between the learning that took me there to reflect on my self. It was so apparent with the significance of my presence in our orientation family and people have not been shy in letting me know so. I get to be the big brother who gives an ear to listen, a shoulder to try on, a crutch to hold you up, praise to boost your spirit, or what little wisdom I have to offer. I am so aware that just because I have done this job before it gives me that experience but that does not mean that I necessarily know more or better than anyone else. I just have personal experience to give insight. I get to be the support and watch others take their rightful place as empowered, enabled, and enacted community members equipped to change the world for the better. With this new experiences comes a new cast of characters. It's unreal how much my entire social circle and how different people become priorities in my immediate life depending on my surrounding. As of late Connor, Heather, Megan, Isora, Rose, and my orientation team along plus the entirety of the staff have achieved star billing in this 6-week plot of my life story. Don't call it a comeback.
My blog post question for the day is ... how do you make your experiences brand new? I try and focus on my interactions with people and just being there with them in those moments. 


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