Oh hi…

Apparently my busy life just doesn’t settle down…

And by that I don’t mean I am frantically running around being busy – yes, there is some of that too…

But I am busy enjoying life…

I think I last posted as I boarded a plane to Italy.

I was in Rome for a Church related convention. Yes, it was a busy week – with a packed schedule from 7:45am to 9pm. I would run off in every free time to try and find an Ethernet cable and download or send urgent messages related to the students’ graduation the following week.

But it was also a week of prayer… time to stop and reflect on my journey and where I had come since a year before… time for meaningful conversations… Time to visit with family who live there…

Five or six hours of sleep were worth the price for the morning runs on routes that overlooked the city of Rome, or brought me straight through St. Peter’s Square. Can you say: favorite. run. ever.

We had two days in the city of Rome – I realized how the many trips over there have paid off -I am 100% a foreigner, but I know my way around… I can make myself understood…

And I practiced mindfulness… looking up small alleys and admiring the architecture, spotting a couple sitting outside a restaurant having a glass of wine, the majesty of the churches, the sweet taste of gelato, the emergency workers coming in to aid the collapsed, dehydrated tourist, the street musicians, the silence of the crypt of St. Peter’s, the homeless people begging on the streets… all of it… I walked through the streets and tried to open my eyes as wide as I could… to soak it all up… take it all in… imprint it on my memory.

Because mindfulness or recovery is not about not being busy – that isn’t likely to happen in my life any time soon – it is slowing oneself in the midst of the busyness to let oneself feel, process, and be… Knowing that there are times too when one simply has to get through and let things catch up later…

That is what I intend to do this week now that I am finally on vacation for a couple days…

And also to process what I couldn’t then – that I went to Italy – the land of my greatest trigger food – pasta – and was fine. That I wasn’t as self-conscious as I normally would be although I definitely trembled (okay I was full out shaking) when introducing myself in Spanish to a room full of 90 people. It took me a few days, but I overcame my shyness.

And I’m learning that each of these experiences marks us – I will never be the same person who left for Rome.

I have now traveled internationally entirely solo (didn’t even realize that until just now.)

I faced a challenge – an incredibly difficult decision which I regret of getting in a car with someone who had been drinking against my better judgment and I regretted it afterwards – not because anything happened but because I know better and I deserve better than that. I immediately started spinning and beating myself up. Thank God for several hours of time difference and a best friend who replied to my text, “Not going to happen again… no big deal… don’t hate yourself… That’s stupid and you’re not stupid… Life isn’t supposed to be a straight line… Its supposed to be a path that you allow God to guide God knows and looks at the situation the same way as you do: ‘well that sucked didn’t it, N?’ is what God said when he  got out of the car with you.”

There is a lot to take from these experiences… I am certainly not the same.

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