I'm learning the lesson that every young adult learns. I'm understanding how to keep myself - the essence of who I am - regardless of where I am or what I'm doing. I can be the same person, I can be Lauren, not despite, but with, everything else. Being "me" doesn't come from what I'm doing. "Me" is a totally and completely different thing. I can be me when I'm looking up activities to teach to and play with the 2 year-old. I can be me when I'm starting a new job or when I''m trying to sew. What I'm trying to say is that I (and you) can still keep myself no matter what I do. The things I do do not define me. I'm observant, smart, sarcastic, friendly, reserved (sometimes), opinionated (to a fault), empathetic, loyal, and stubborn. I'm learning how to be confident, sure of myself, and assertive. I'm a good friend. I'm a bookworm. I love God. I love people. I just happen to be a nanny, a baker, a daughter, a sewer, and a 21 year-old. The traits that I have and what I believe are me. I can be a cynic, but ultimately I have faith that people can do good things. I want to believe that people can do the right thing. I've seen it before. I want to travel and see the world but I have a strong sense of home and where I can belong.
I'm beginning to realize that with what I have seen as captivity, new doors have opened. People have said to me that "when God closes one door, another one opens." Well, that is true, but what should be added as an amendment is "sometimes God waits a little while to open the other door." One of the things that I thought defined me was my status as a student. It was a constant. It was something I had always known and had always remained consistent. And then it wasn't consistent anymore. It was gone. I can be a student without a classroom. That's what libraries were invented for. Distributing knowledge. So I've learned about the genocide in Rwanda, sewing stuffed animals, planting seeds and growing things, and how to be a writer. I've cultivated an even stronger relationship with literature. I'm a constant pen-pal with multiple people because of my current situation. I'm growing in ways that I couldn't have imagined. My relationship with God is different. I recently made the decision to start to try new churches. I'm afraid of this. It's a new fear to conquer, but I believe that I will change my relationship even more as I seek a new community and possibly a new way to worship. I may have that opportunity to travel. I don't mind shaking my worldview and learning something new. Let's rock my conceptions and perceptions of the way life ought to be lived. This has taught me more than ever how to deal with change. I'm learning to embrace it. There's really no alternative.