So I think my balance post may have to be in segments, and this one is all about connections.
(Oh, and Enjoy High School Presbytery event Sarah.)
Remember when facebook was new and there was a great divide about it - some said, oh, there's this chat feature! It's great! and some of my friends hated it and refused to use it because it is just too much or they get bombarded (read: popular) when they are just trying to facebook, gosh darnit!
Note: This is not an advertisement for facebook, it's a testament to social networking as we are spread all over the country and all over the world. We meet up for Arkansas games and weddings; people are having babies, and we text each other, anxiously awaiting the new addition to our little Arkansas Presbytery clan.
Balance means connection to some of my favorite people in the world: my friends from my high school Arkansas Presbytery days. Over the 15 years I have known these people, we have moved on to different career paths, but social networking has brought us back into instant communication with twitter, facebook, blogs, and emails. These friends are my family and they continue to help me grow as a person and a public servant.
Some examples on how I stay connected, wherever I am: Ashley used to be an adult advisor in the Presbytery, now she is my friend and mentor, we catch up on the fb chat. I can often find Rachel (a resident with a busy schedule), Meredith (while she is managing new-baby land), Stuart, while he is educating young minds in NC, Jeremy while he is sermonizing, Melia between counseling sessions or Casey while he is working at a camp in France. And Heather? I know she is facebooking & co-ordinating youth events. Yes, my friends are quite incredible, but that's Arkansas for you - producing those who serve others.
In my life my family (be it blood-related or adopted), are the ones who most help me to be comfortable in a space of openness and vision.
The other night, I was sitting at the coffeeshop, doing some work for my client, and I got into a conversation with Casey. He and I met almost 15 years and it never ceases to amaze me that no matter where life has taken us, he and I continue to be in contact over email and various chat-mechanisms.
The reason I explain all this? Well, Casey and I spent about 3 hours dreaming about life after I graduate from the Clinton School. He asked me questions about my vision (class 5, it was like noble goal session #2) and kept posing new situations, suggestions, options for the my future career. The future non-profit theatre I would like to run for youth? Well, the depth and breadth of this vision continued to grow as we spoke.
After we left the coffeeshop, I recapped with Judy about this wonderful conversation, and Judy noted that spending time visioning and imagining in a completely creative space was much like this video that Dr. Singhal sent us:
The international public service project (ipsp) has taught me that while in another country, serving the people of this nation and other caribbean nations, I still need to be connected to those who mean the most to me. I also learned that to be truly balanced whilst serving abroad, I need to keep dreaming and visioning about my future career as a public servant in the arts (hopefully!). The Clinton School has taught me that I am equipped to take on this challenge and that I will continue to grow and learn while I do my final project next year, the Capstone.
This summer, Balance means not only connecting to those from your past and enjoying the present experiences, but it also means remembering to dream and vision and expand beyond this experience into serving people in the future.
5 years ago