Disclaimer: the following contents contain information processed through suboptimal brain function. The author is not responsible for irrational aphorisms, improper grammar, and general nonsensicalness.
I am writing this from the southern quadrants of the Canadian-United States border. One of the slew of reasons I have not updated anything since my last post in Canada is that school crashed in full-force 60 hours after I parked my car in Durham, North Carolina at the end of a 13-hr driving day, and since then my brain cells have contemplated spontaneous apoptosis a dozen times over.
A bit of catching up: since posting about my previous Visa interview, I was able to successfully interview for my student Visa the second time around, on August 19th. Technically speaking, I was not any more or less eligible for the Visa the second time around, since my student status is still in good standing, and I have no questionable intent that might jeopardize my successful term at Duke.
This illustrates my trip since leaving Milwaukee on August 7th:
Plus or minus 5% in mileage for when my GPS decided to be coy.
After I posted about my situation while in Canada in mid-August, people in the States came together and made contacts for me to stay with the local Pastor’s family. So I was an unwilling, yet not homeless, international bum for about two weeks’ time. I really can’t tell you how much difference that made, to be with a family who took me in without a moment’s hesitation and treated me like I belonged there.
And now that I am recalling on the ordeal—can I still call it an ordeal even though I matured and grew from it, more than I could have ever imagined?—I can’t quite capture everything anymore. These moments, the marrow of life, are so real when they were taking place that, once they have passed and “normal life” inundates me, I find it hard to describe them with all of their realness intact.
I haven’t really written much about spirituality and my personal beliefs up to this point, because like relationships, those things are sacred to me and I, perhaps out of selfishness, want to keep them private. But sometimes, a trip to Canada to confront one of my deepest fears, and to be rendered helpless, then delivered, makes me think that perhaps, my faith isn’t just mine, but it’s a story. And we are storytellers, and we are dreamers of dreams.
I wrote to a friend about my recent journey, there and back again, and I think sometimes, life is about reshaping everything you know. Rarely does a traveler returns from the journey unchanged:
“[Speaking of spiritual fire, and the transformative power of trials.] For me, the struggle had been trying to feel worthy by what I can do and accomplish. I associated my worth with my immigration, where I only feel worthy if I can prove my worth by being granted to stay in the United States and build my career that I can call my own, and not realizing (not fully, at least) that I have inherent worth with God, regardless of what immigration rules dictate, or what country decides I can contribute to their workforce. So my personal test by fire for the past decade, and now the fiercest this time around, was God taking a firm hold of my entire heart and being, of what I cared about the most, and taking it out of my hand, and asking me do you trust Me? do you trust me THIS MUCH? And I realize this even now, just a few days after the “ordeal” (since it usually takes me a while to recognize His work), that He knew what I needed, what had to happen for me to grow and mature spiritually, was to cut me to the quick and lay me open so all of my internal demons stood before God and I had to surrender everything I thought I could handle.”
And I’ve been there and back again and it’s already a struggle to remember that journey, of the people I have met and the roads taken and the battles fought. And I am a bit frightened that I would forget what it was like and what it all meant, because I want to remember. I want to remember my story and tell it someday. And I am frustrated because there’s been hardly a moment to think because a mere two weeks into graduate school I am forcibly suffusing my brain with biomechanics and anatomy and I am about being ready to
I may or may not have already thrown stuff.
So I am sitting down at last and writing; it’s a start, at least, and I hope after a few reams of pseudo-sensical rambling I might begin to tell you a story worth hearing. Because being there and back again, and being here now, I don’t want to let the busyness of life dilute the essence of it.
P. S.: Adding to my no small list of to-do’s, I went online to check my phone account and waiting for me was my monstrous roaming bill.
P. S. S.: For school we’re using MacBooks and being a PC’er I am super discombobulated with all of the Ctrls and Alts and Apple signs being in different places. I feel like a cat after the house has been suddenly remodeled and I keep running into wrong corners.