Sometimes it's hard to explain or even understand why you had a really good day or even a really bad day; it can be derived from the mood of the guests, the mood of the other volunteers, or the baggage that you're bringing to the meal yourself that day. Whatever the reason, you have to do your best to not bring it home with you, otherwise you let the guests and the Inn have too much control (never a good option).
But let's back-track to Thursday, my first day off this week. Emily and I decided to be normal for a little while and go to a nearby mall on the outskirts of Philly to gather some going-away gifts for Paul's journey. It's so funny how my perspective of money has changed so much, in just 6 weeks! Previously I would not have thought twice about spending $40 or even $50 on a pair of jeans, but I was seriously debating a skirt that was $10... and I was seriously conflicted about my desire to spend money and my newfound community and sense of Franciscan spirituality. I am also wrestling with trying not to lose my previous sense of self and balancing it with the new ideals I am developing through my experiences here. It's not been an easy task and will definitely be something that I struggle with throughout the year, and especially when I enter the "real world".
Either way, it was a great day that I spent with Emily and we came back and had community night. Maureen chose for us to watch a movie; it was really nice to just spend some time with the housemates, as our time with Paul is dwindling- he ventures out October 6th.
I spent Friday at the thrift store again (which I've decided is not my favorite job), but I made $130!!! That night we celebrated Emily's birthday by doing a scavenger hunt in Philadelphia with the girls in Camden! Some of the clues included taking a video of someone running up the Rocky steps, taking a group photo in front of the monument in LOVE park, and take a video of a teammate dancing in front of City Hall. We ended up in Camden to eat some birthday cake and sing to Emily! All in all, it was a really great time!
You know those times when you look around and really can't understand how people don't understand that God exists? That was my Saturday... all day. It started with Emily and I doing an AIDS Walk in Camden. It was 3.7 miles in a park on Cooper River and it was just a perfect day. The sun was shining, there wasn't a cloud in the sky, it wasn't too hot... and we got to spend some time away from Kensington! We actually spent the day in Camden just hanging around and going to a block party with the FVMs there. It was such a restful day that reminded me a lot of being at school.
Most of the time I really enjoy being here, but sometimes I just wish I could walk out my door and not walk over people on my way to work, or not worry about people breaking in my house, or have it be quiet at night when I'm trying to fall asleep. I have been blessed to be able to take advantage of opportunities to seek refuge in "normal" situations; my community here is very supportive of that need of mine and do their best to accomodate me in this way.
Sorry again for another update post; I'll have to post more frequently with more reflective ideas! If I haven't bored you yet and you're still reading this, thank you! My love and prayers are sent your way!