Like, when I’m nervous, trying to navigate a new place, or especially if I’m kind of lost or just did something stupid like trip on the street I mumble to myself. Sometimes its a mumbling of comments to the driver that almost hit me with their car. Or asking the car going too fast not to hit me. A lot of times it’s a mumbled scolding to myself. I will tell myself under my breath when I do something stupid or sometimes whisper to the buses to stop for me. I realize its ridiculous. It’s not a habit I’m proud of.
I’ve also learned that I am, what my friend so nicely put, a “spouter.” Meaning, I generally don’t always think through what I say. I tend to spout sometimes. I have the unfortunate tendency to tell embarrassing stories about myself. Only when I’m about halfway through do I realize that maybe the world doesn’t need to know about the time in 4th grade that I got my hair cut short like a boys and on a field trip a lady made me stand in the boys line for the bathroom before I told her I was a girl. I’m pretty sure I inadvertently have told most of my friends here about being in elementary school and spending my recesses collecting bugs instead of playing with friends. And how my teacher would check my pockets before I went back into the classroom to make sure I wasn’t bringing in bugs again. Yeah.
Whenever I took the Myers-Briggs test a few years ago I was a little more extroverted than introverted. But I think that has changed and I’m a little more introverted these days. I really like people a lot, but this girl needs time to herself to be recharged and ready to face life. This is an important thing to know and understand about oneself.
Another thing I’ve learned about myself is that I like a challenge. I don’t think this is new I just hadn’t really thought about it until a friend of mine here pointed it out. I really like trying new things, improving myself, making things for myself instead of buying them, setting goals. Big fan.
I’ve learned that big things in life don’t stress me out like the small ones. I called my sister in tears one day trying to file my taxes with Turbotax. I was feeling defeated. At the end of the conversation she pointed out that that was the first time I called her in tears. Even when I was robbed or when our house was seriously damaged from a fire I was not that upset. It made me laugh. I find its easier to trust God in big things, so I can easily leave those to him. But things that I feel like are up to me cause me more stress and frustration. I’m sure there is a lesson in there somewhere.
In the same hand, conquering big feats and fears don’t necessarily make the smaller ones any easier. Since coming here I’ve had to swallow nervousness and do things that are hard, uncomfortable, a little scary. Sometimes I feel super proud about them and sometimes I’m just happy it’s over with. But even when I do something that I’m proud of myself for…I still get nervous about calling people I don’t know very well or knocking on the door of my best local friend. It’s silly, hey? But I have learned that I have the capability to just go do something even if I’m scared, unsure, or otherwise clueless. I can push the fears away and just do it when I need to. And by “I can” I mean that God enables me to and gives me the grace to put one foot ahead of the other and trust Him.
It’s been a steep learning curve in most every way. About culture, the area I live, the people, food, language. Myself. And a lot, a lot, a lot about God. His goodness, character, faithfulness. About believing prayer, the power of prayer, the importance of community. Giving and receiving help. Needing to rely on others and not just myself. So many things. And I suspect I’m only skimming the surface. A year and a halfish in with hopefully many more to go. No matter what I’m sure the days ahead abound with lessons new, hard, sweet, and refining. I can’t wait.