Jubilee Year has tested my capacities in all aspects. I’ve learned about patience and adaptability while being here and friendship and communication have become essential in my life as adjusting to a new environment with new people can be so hard.
This year, I have learned so much about friendship. I can honestly say I’ve never expected to be surrounded by such awesome people who support and listen to you when you are feeling under the weather, homesick, or simply exhausted from working hard. I love my housemates - who have become my friends - and I love my students and coworkers!
A few years ago I bought my first succulent in a cute little pot from a pottery sale on my college campus. I didn’t know much about plants at the time but it caught my eye and I knew that succulents were easy to take care of so I brought it home. I quickly became invested in how this little plant was doing, and it slowly started teaching me my first plant lessons.
I added a few more succulents to my collection over the next couple of years. I never did a lot of research on how to care for plants but I did pay a lot of attention to them and googled things when I had concerns. Some time about a year ago I became much more invested in my plants and started researching house plants. The more I learned, the more plants I wanted, and the more plants I bought, the more I wanted to learn. I eventually started propagating my own plants which was both a fun adventure, and a cheaper way to have more plants. By the time I was getting ready to move to LA for Jubilee Year I had built up quite a collection of plants. And I realized that their transition to a new home and a new life was going to be just as complicated as mine.
Mountains, beaches, different towns relating to different regions around the world, and all the glamour Hollywood has to offer. When first arriving in LA it appeared that there was a new adventure waiting for me around every corner, and for the first month it felt like a constant go, go, go. But then, something happened. A change started to emerge in my settings. Where excitement once held dominance, routine now became the new king.
I first became aware of this shift when riding on my bus route to and from my service site. In the beginning I would do everything in my power to ensure that I got a window seat. I would look around all the wonders of LA and think, wow, this is where I live now, how is this even real life? Now a days, however, when I look at all the studios, and all recording labels, I no longer feel a wow moment happening inside me, instead the thoughts of “same old same old” appear.
When I became aware of this switch I instantly began to think there was something wrong with me. I mean for pete's sake this is Hollywood babyyy. Everything, and everyday is suppose to be this grand journey that will be a story of a lifetime. So why was it that all of a sudden this adventure started to feel, well, ordinary. I began to panic, did this mean I had tremendous commitment issues and I would be doomed for the rest of my life?
The answer to that question, is 100% absolutely no. In fact, I was only experiencing a very real and natural process of living somewhere outside of my comfort zone for the first time. What I did not realize in the moment was that my everyday life wasn’t becoming dull or boring, but was instead becoming my routine. My astonishing surroundings weren’t becoming anything less than that, but instead were becoming familiar. My new adventure was starting to become my life, my world, and my home. What I realized is that it is our mindsets that make our surroundings. That instead of thinking that the adventure is now over because I am starting to get the hang of life here in LA, an entirely new chapter of my story is just now beginning.
Voices of Service
These are reflections from corps members and alumni of Jubilee Year and the Episcopal Urban Intern Program. They cover topics ranging from the sun, fun and friends in in Los Angeles to the uncensored experiences of serving vulnerable populations in our beautiful city. These are Voices of Service. For more, go through our archives below