Monday, October 31, 2011


The other day someone asked me what made me choose to come to Africa. I didn't have an answer for them. All I could say was that, one day whilst sitting in Costa Rica, pondering the rest of my life (as college students are wont to do), I had an epiphany. I realized that the life I had always expected to lead - the one where I graduated, got married, got a job, had kids and probably taught in the same school in the Midwest for 20 years - didn't have to be. Not that it was such a bad life to lead, it was just that there were an infinite number of other possibilities to consider. For whatever reason, the first possibility that popped into my head was doing aid work in Africa...and that is the one I stuck with.

I don't know why. I had never thought of doing such a thing before. But once the idea had taken root, I couldn't let it go. I've been waiting to get here ever since and I knew that I couldn't settle down until I had gone and had this adventure. (To be honest, I was a bit worried that I wouldn't make it here. It took a bit longer than I had intended.)

It sort of feels like the universe just knew that I would like it here and gave me the necessary pushes - a random idea here, a bit of restlessness there, some life experience - to make sure that I would get here and that I would be ready for it when I did. Now, I realize that that sounds kind of hokey and maybe I am just getting far too into the new agey side of my yoga practice, but I can't help this overwhelming feeling that my presence here puts me in perfect sync with the universe.

I'm not generally into the whole higher power thing. I find any existence or nonexistence to be somewhat irrelevant to my life. That said, I occasionally have moments where it seems possible that there is a sort of universal force that connects people to each other and to the overall fabric of the human experience. Of course there are also moments where this sounds completely and utterly absurd. At present, I'm having an extended series of moments where such a driving force seems not only possible in the abstract, but also to have been rather active in my life.

Regardless of whether it was a push from the universe or simply random chance, the feeling of rightness that I have here is absolutely amazing. Occasionally, there are people in your life that just fit perfectly. You meet them at just the right time and you click immediately. It's as if you've always been friends, even though you've only known them for an hour. That's kind of how I feel about my work here. It just fit so well, right from the first day.

I kind of like to think that all the detours between my initial epiphany and my actual arrival have been a sort of preparation for my time here. All of the experiences I've had are coming together to make me feel happy and comfortable and confident with what I'm doing. It's such a good feeling. After years of waiting for my life to begin, it's wonderful to finally have arrived. To leave behind the gnawing anticipation and feel that I am in exactly the place that I should be, doing exactly what I should be doing. I don't know where this adventure will take me yet and, for the moment, it doesn't really matter. I'm here and it's perfect, and I'm ready to let the universe take me where it will.

No comments: