This morning I set out for a great bike ride. As I let the sleepiness burn off, I clicked through different trails sites before deciding on Rock Creek.
It was sort of a pain to get up there, hauling my bike on to the metro and severely upsetting a woman who was separated from her family because of limited door-open time and blockages caused by my bike and a stroller. I then had to ride about a mile to get to the actual park, but as soon as I entered all worry melted.
Me, a curvy road, and sunlight scattering through the trees. It was a perfect compliment to a great week of jazz music, brunch and a baseball game.
My plan was to take the path all the way through the city until it emptied out near the Lincoln Memorial and then bike the short ways home. I turned on to a road that led pass a rushing creek and slowed down to a speed fast enough to keep me balanced. I wanted to savor this.
About 40 minutes later, as fatigue started to spread to my legs, I checked the map to find out that I had been riding north instead of south. I was at the Maryland-DC border.
I screamed at myself, all the small inclines my legs refused to power up, and the great distance I needed to cover. But, then, that rushing creek, the sparkling sun, the calmness of the trees. My heart was again full and content.
As it turned out, the path I had intended to go on was not at all scenic or calming, bumpy and running parallel to a busy road. If I had not made the wrong turn, I would have missed the beauty.
Restarting has become sort of a life habit.
I went to Idaho for seven months before being offered the job at the Foundation, which was an incredible experience and that time of growth and discovery led to amazing things.
Seven months was also the length of our time in Niger before the evacuation. As much as I still dream about that incredible desert, I am a Mosotho woman.
DC is another restart.
I came here with the intentions of setting up a life and giving my all to this new job and life. But a greater plan was at work.
Shortly after I came here, I was contacted about another position. From the moment I opened that initial email, I knew I would have to take this opportunity. It is a culmination of all I believe in.
But nausea also came when I saw that email. I would have to leave this job and this city, both I was starting to love.
I thought about this opportunity at length. Although still out of South Dakota, it would bring me back to the Midwest and make it easier to get home. It was a job for an organization I believe in with all of my gut and heart. It was a job that I knew I could do well but would also challenge me. But I liked my current job and was just getting settled in DC.
Either way, I was going to win. I was incredibly lucky and blessed. This was not a burden, even though a tough decision would be made, but an incredible gift.
The truly difficult part was resigning from NASPA, which I did this week. I couldn’t sleep the night before and I could barely eat, because I really enjoy working for NASPA and believe in the incredible work it does. When it was time to tell them, nearly every person in that office responded the same way: That is awesome; we are so happy for you; we will miss you, but this is what you need to do. Their reaction has nothing to do with me but represents the type of good-hearted, genuine people who work at NASPA. As someone said to me, all they care about is that people are living their passions and it’s clear to everyone that this is mine.
I liked working at NASPA and there is only one job in which I would have left NASPA for, and it just so happens that that job was seeking me.
The last time my gut spoke this strongly and soundly on anything was the day my invitation to serve with the Peace Corps in Niger arrived in the mail.
My gut spoke again, and again I was saying yes to the Peace Corps.
I have accepted a public affairs position at the agency’s regional recruitment office in Chicago. I will be blogging and writing about the incredible work volunteers do in hopes it inspires someone else to take that huge leap into service. Let me just say that again, I will get paid to write for Peace Corps.
This is another restart. I had not planned to leave DC like this or only after a few months, but we never plan restarts. They come to us to show us something great and then lead us to something else. I know with every piece of my heart that I was meant to come to DC and work at NASPA. Now, I am meant to peruse this incredible opportunity in a vibrant city. I am truly excited about where my life is going.
Restarts are not a bad thing. They allow us to see many great things and meet many great people. I had beauty here and I will have beauty in the next phase.