As always, life as a Young Adult Volunteer has been unceasingly busy, especially over the last month. So much so that it’s been really challenging to stop, pause, acknowledge, and reflect. However, as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs posts, these practices are so important to my mental health. Sometimes it’s hard to find the time or energy to consistently check in, but I never regret it. I’m grateful that the last month has been busy with many life-giving and exciting things, but I’m also really thankful to be able to take some time to be mindful and intentional – and also to share a little bit about what I’ve been up to:
We started the month of March at the Norbertine Community, a retreat center and Abbey, just about 15 miles outside of Albuquerque. Over the weekend, we shared a period of extended silence and time of intentional reflection and introspection. For about 10 hours, we individually disconnected from all the distractions that fill our lives. I found this experience to come really naturally, though I did have to fight the urge to fill my day with reflective activities. I challenged myself to spend a lot of time doing nothing – to literally just be – because, as our site coordinator reminded us at the start of our retreat – our worth is not measured by what we do, what we make, or what we accomplish. We are loved simply because of who we are.
I left the Norbertine Abbey with a renewed sense of mindfulness and peace, which was the perfect mindset to play host to two friends from back home. It was really a joy to show them around my new(ish) city, embark on new adventures, and have a connection to the people and places I love back in South Carolina.
After they left, I completely immersed myself in last-minute studying for the GRE. After talking about it for months, it snuck up on me but was huge relief to have completed. Though I’m not applying for graduate programs at the moment, I know that will most likely be in my near future and wanted to take it before I got too far away from college.
In some unintentional but perfectly-timed planning, I got to celebrate being done with the GRE by hanging out with our fellow Southwest YAVs from Tucson, who just happened to be in Albuquerque for the Synod of the Southwest meeting. It is always fun to be with other YAVs and to share stories about our experiences with people who actually get it.
It was also fitting to be back with our Tucson YAVs, who we met on our Border Delegation trip back in November, as fellow ABQ YAV, Kim and I were preparing to accompany the Menaul School Juniors back to the border for their yearly Mission Week experience. For four days, we were immersed in life on the U.S.-Mexico border. Though we went through the same organization, Frontera de Cristo, and did many of the same activities as last November, it was a completely different experience for me. In short (because a blog is in the works already), it was an amazing experience to travel with these students and see how they learned, grew, and were challenged in just a few short days.
Stay tuned! More posts will be coming soon!
Thanks for reading! For more info about my year of service and how you can support me, check out this blog post – Raising Support: A Year of Service in Albuquerque, New Mexico.