Wow. Just like that, it’s been nearly 3 weeks since I wrote. That’s fine. You’ll get sick of this once I’m back in Chile in seven weeks (um WHAT?!) and I’ll have enough time on my hands to write once a week again.
So what’s been going on? I went on spring break. I made the good decision to stay an extra day, didn’t get on my scheduled flight, and bought a one-way ticket back home. The weather didn’t cooperate entirely, given that it was rainy one day and quite breezy and cool another, but it was still better than at home.
And then break was over. And it snowed again.
And then it was Holy Week. I am Catholic, and I do take this week pretty seriously. I’ve felt pretty good about what I was working on this Lent, but it all kind of comes to a head during this last week before Easter. I am lucky enough to get a long weekend out of it (yay Catholic school!), during which I hope to get lots of work done, lots of church time, and maybe even another blog post after this one. You know, to hold you off until the end of April, which is the next time I’m likely to write anything the way this is going.
So. Holy Week. There’s Palm Sunday, during which we celebrate Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem and listen to the Passion of the Christ. Not much happens Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. On Tuesday we held a campus-wide Stations of the Cross, which was freezing but beautiful. Then we turn it up all the way for the Triduum- three days of special observance and services. None of these days are actually holy days of obligation (days in the Catholic Church where Catholics have basically no excuse to miss Mass), but all are strongly recommended, and highly attended here at my university. I got to Holy Thursday Mass 40 minutes early, and just barely managed to get a solo seat way in the back. I got to Good Friday Mass today an hour early, and the same thing happened. My friends and I have decided to go to the Easter Vigil Mass tomorrow night. The doors open at 7:30. Mass begins at 9 PM. People begin lining up outside for seats at 5. This is not a joke! But it’s amazing! I’m well aware that our community is an exception. This is not an accurate picture of American Catholic youth. Nevertheless, it’s encouraging. It’s encouraging that we have tons of twenty-somethings here who are willing to wait in line for two and a half hours, and then sit for another hour and a half, for a three hour Mass in which we welcome new members to the Church. It’s invigorating! It reminds me why, in spite of all of the things that I might not like about the Church, I am still a Catholic.
In these three days, we wait. We remember how Jesus’ followers waited, and doubted, and hid, and despaired. On Thursday we celebrate the Last Supper and remember Jesus’ washing the feet of the disciples, showing how the master became the servant and how we are to serve others. On Friday we hear the Passion once again, and approach the Cross, the symbol of our salvation, that great sign of our faith. And now we’re waiting. Jesus is in the tomb. We wait until tomorrow night, or Sunday morning for most. We sit and we think.
I’ve been thinking a lot about impatience lately. I’m not the most patient person. It depends. But I can tell you that I haven’t been the most patient with my life in general lately. I want the big things to happen. I want things that are happening to my friends to happen to me. Why am I sitting here waiting when they’ve already gotten there? What am I not doing? What have I done wrong? Those are questions I’ve asked myself- and God- a lot in the past year. And I don’t know the answer, or I feel like I’m not getting an answer. Or I’m being told to wait longer still. Eventually, you learn to pray it out. You take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to you and see how things end up. But you still have to wait. Waiting is not fun. It’s not fun when it seems like everyone else has their perfect job figured out or is in a great relationship or goes out all the time or manages to eat whatever the heck they want and not gain an ounce, and can see their future five years from now, while you can’t really explain what you want to do in “international development” or you’re still single or stay in most weekends or are stuck in a one-piece yet again, and you’ll be lucky to know what’s up in six months. Okay, so some of these things do have answers: you can reprioritize and make going out more important than schoolwork (HA. Like that’s gonna happen.), or just stop eating sweets and work out an hour a day. But others don’t. Others just require you to be you, do your own thing just the way you want to do it, and it works out. You’ll find someone who likes who you are, just as you are. You’ll find a job that has pretty much everything you want. It all falls together somehow, if you learn to be YOU and do YOU, not anyone else.
At least, that’s what I’ve been told. And that’s what a priest told me in confession the other night. I talked a lot about being impatient, and he basically said to keep praying and trust. So much of this, the becoming an adult and choosing a career and finding people you love (be they dear friends or the person you spend the rest of your life with), involves small steps and decisions that you can’t always see out far into the future. You have to trust that someone is taking care of you, someone’s got a plan, and it turns out exactly the way it should. And the way it should turn out is always the best way. I just don’t see it yet. I see bits and pieces maybe falling into place. This internship in Santiago, for instance. Getting my thesis approved. All of the new people I’ve gotten to know over the course of the past year. Hay que ver como resultan las cosas- I just have to see how things turn out.
I was originally going to whine about the weather. But I think this is a better conversation. Not to mention we have had SUNSHINE, beautiful, brilliant sunshine, and above 40 temperatures for three days!
Here is what the world looks like this week:
And one last thought in picture form. May you have a joyful Easter, however you choose to celebrate it- if you’re hanging out in church and pigging out on brunch like me, or if you’re just eating a bunch of egg shaped chocolate candy and spending time with dear ones.
Besos y abrazos,