giant spiders, outpost grill, and the finish line.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

It's been a while since I've had a free moment to blog about recent happenings on the mountain, but a lot has happened since the 21st, both logistically and personally - things I think would be worth sharing.

To begin with, let's pick up where we left off.

Last week I actually found myself doing my job I was hired for this summer (wait, what?) and leading a group of 22 jr. highers up at Outpost. It was a grand week indeed, full of adventures, biking, ropes, overnight camp-outs, and lots of laughter. But it was also an intensely challenging week, with clashing personalities, large maturity gaps and little annoyances/frustrations. It really stretched our entire team thin, to the point where we sat together on Saturday morning after good-byes were done and actually had to have a small de-brief/processing time just to flesh out and understand the week. It was a great week, but I think it really forced all of us to be reliant on God to provide us with energy and just all-around acceptance of what the week was looking like.

Later that day, on the 28th, our entire summer staff headed out for the annual summer celebration, where stories are shared about the summer and great food is to be had by all. I'm not sure which out of those two are my favorite, but rest assured it was a great time. Staff Concert (as it is nicknamed) always makes me feel uneasy. I am so proud of the group of people that I worked with, knowing each and everyone of us put in extra hours and went above and beyond the call of duty during our two months together. However, I always seem to pick out certain people and wonder if I really took all the opportunities to get to know them. It's becoming difficult, since I tend to know people already before we begin our summers together. It always takes something like staff concert that really makes me think, "did I really get to know this person?" But maybe that's just me.

Summer Celebration also means summer is ending. Which is is. Or has already begun. Or is in the process of. Regardless, I have said a handful of sad goodbyes to staff who have become some of my closest friends. I am unsure about how I feel about summer ending. But that is for another time.

This week I am getting to experience the crazy and exciting adventure that is called Outpost Cook. Whereas my job description includes cooking for about 40 people off a grill up at Outpost, preparing ingredients, conquering 20lbs of Outpost grill, figuring out how to use a pizza oven, and getting to know a great group of boys the entire week. We are hosting a group of at-risk youth at the Post this week, and all-guys group that probably has consumed more food than I have ever seen a group eat. Seriously, I have cooked an intense amount of food and it's a rare occasion when I bring down leftovers. I love it so much, but I am exhausted everyday from this change of pace and unfamiliar work schedule.

I am going home Saturday.

That term home has changed so much in this past year, especially with the intense amount of traveling I've done. Home is no longer a singular place. It could be Santa Barbara. It could be Calvin Crest. It could be Istanbul. Home isn't home anymore. It's split up into the many places where my heart feels at rest. Where my soul soars and my life is full of joy. It's in the places where I sit back, smile, and wish I could freeze time and live in a moment forever. Home is a lot of places now.

Summer is ending in a few days, and I am going back to school. I am embarking on the adventure of becoming a Resident Assistant, which still seems surreal. I am approaching the finish line, fearful of what is to come, but thankful and humbled by the work which I did through God this summer. I will cherish this summer, one of struggles but growth, one of frustration but understanding, and one filled to the brim with love. It truly was more than a summer of love. It was more than what I understood love to be when I began this summer at 5,000ft. I have learned so much about love, what it does, what it says, how it works and how it lives.

Life is changing, speeding up, and shifting once more.

In little ways, in big ways, and in ways that I probably won't notice until I arrive "home."
But I know one thing for sure.

I won't be walking into my room at 10:30pm and finding a gigantic spider on the wall above my bed - which immediately after, I procede to whisper "oh hell no" under my breath, pick up my tennis shoe, and spatter spider guts all over my wall before scraping the remaining legs off and into the trash can.

Here's to 3 more days of summer, 3 more days of mountain top living, and the finish line, which I can see steadily approaching.

(And here's to no more giant spiders hanging out in my bedroom.)

Respectfully submitted,