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Monday, December 26, 2011

HOME

So I just want to apologize for dropping of the face of the planet for a little while.... sometimes that's just how I roll ;) The 2 final weeks I had in Santiago after classes finished were such a blessed, relaxed time, where people encouraged me, hung out with me and fed me :) For those of you who helped make my last 2 weeks in Chile so amazing I just have to take the time here to say thank you. Your kindness and friendship mean more to you than you may ever know.

One highlight of my final days was getting to spend time with me wonderful new friend Megan. She also goes to Humboldt but surprisingly we didn't know each other before our time in Santiago together. Because of the way the cookie sometimes crumbles we found ourselves a little more removed from USAC groups. Once Madie found her incredible group of friends within the USAC people and Bryan (whom I'm now dating :) left for Myanmar I wasn't really sure how my final days in Santiago would look. I obviously had a wonderful group of friends within my small group (loved our christmas party together!) and always feel very encouraged whenever Bryan and I talk about I felt weird having spent 4 months with the USAC people and by the end not really close to them. Megan came at the perfect time. Also feeling a bit outside the circles that naturally developed we found we related to each other on a lot of levels and started up a new friendship that we we were sad developed so late in the semester. She won't be in Humboldt in the Spring because she has another semester in Chile, but I know that as the semester picks up I'll be looking back on our evening stroll up San Cristobal (The warm super breeze, the full moon, etc) and our day trip to the coast where we spent some long, glorious, warm, hours laying on the beach.

On Sunday my friend Angie and her kids Victoria (2), Ben (4), and Nico (6) took me into their home for the week. Gosh did I enjoy my time with this family. Taking pictures, playing, watching star wars, cuddling, getting fed: YES PLEASE. I felt so welcomed and at home. It was a great way to get outside of the city and experience a different side of the Chilean culture. Angie is American but her kids are part Chilean and all born in Santiago. Angie is a lawyer but in Santiago she teaches law and does some consulting. She brought me right into her life and let me tag along to Christmas parties, Christmas programs, and lunches. I felt it was an unfair trade for her but she insisted that she enjoyed having me around just as much as I liked being there. The day before I flew out I got to go with her and the kids to the Valpo, a city on the coast, and see some sights I'd missed on my other visit to the artsy, dirty, beautiful, harbor town. I got to ride a boat around the harbor and take a few old rickety funiculars up the hill to see breathtaking views of the harbor and coast. I think the cherry on the already awesome cake was when we sang Christmas carols in the car as we drove back to Santiago.

My flight back to California was pretty uneventful. Long and uncomfortable, but I was chill and happy. To be honest, as much as I loved my time in Santiago, I was ready to be home. The sadness of leaving was fairly dulled by my excitement. I have no doubt that I'll, God willing, visit Chile again someday, but it isn't a place I feel attached to in a long run way. It's an incredible place I once lived and I'm happy to have it as such. I feel like a different/stronger person after 4 months. When I got home it didn't feel like I was gone that long even though the beginning of the semester in Chile seems so long ago. So much can happen in 4 months, friends are made, friends move on, sites are seen, experience gives wisdom, and in the end you see that it all, in the end, turned out ok. And even the way it was supposed to be. I mean I got another wonderful Church family, Santiago Community Church, great older peers who offered me such advice and encouragement, and Bryan.

The blessing that Bryan has been is hard to explain. Neither one of expected anything to happen, or had a relationship lens placed upon the other, but the more we spent time together the happier we became, and the more right it began to feel. It was natural and comfortable, and we are both glad we took down our walls a little bit in order to take a chance. No guy has ever treated me like he does, like I'm worth it ever second, and he tries, man how he tries. The long distance is hard, I miss him every day, but I've never worried because with him I feel so much trust that he will be there as much as he can and do what he said he will do to make it work, that all doubt is gone. As much as new relationships are scary we are excited and that feels awesome. My next big adventure is heading out to Myanmar in March to see him and I don't think I can convey fully how FREAKING EXCITED I AM. I'm all over the place sometimes.... but I don't think I want it any other way!

Now being home for the holidays has been everything I had expected and more. Even if I wasn't fully into church (which I am) I think I'd go just for the hugs. Man, has it been incredible to see everyone. The older I get the more I realize how great my family is. I got to meet my brother's "new" girlfriend and I hope she sticks around because her influence on my brother has been incredible. Her 2 boys are just as great and for those of you who know how much I've wanted nephews, you'll know how STOKED I am. My sister has a new job she loves, my niece is in that fascinating pre-teen age that all the rest of us girls of the family (including me) have no idea how to relate to, and my mom is feeling better than ever having lost 30 pounds! There is some drama and pain when it comes to my oldest brother's family but it seems it's in times hands. My family here has done a pretty good job dealing with all of it but since I just got home, it feels pretty fresh, and I'll need a bit more time to coup/forgive. I'm trying tho.

All in all, I'm incredibly happy now and I'm incredibly happy for the future. So much goes through my head these days but it's good. A lot is going on in my life but I don't feel overwhelmed (most of the time), just blessed to do all I do, know all I know, and be loved by/love all the people in my life. As I prepare for my final semester of college (5 classes, competitive frisbee, work, new boyfriend) I feel so confident about it all that I'm even surprised. I didn't used to transition like I do now but being all over the place this year gave me patience, a more relaxed temperament, experience, and a continued growth in my hope for the future. All super magnificent if you ask me. So much is going on this probably will seem long to you but shallow for me as I try to share a piece of myself with you all. But hey that's what I got God for, to share with, and have someone who knows me better than I know myself :) For those of you that took the time to read this, I love you and appreciate you deeply

Merry Christmas and happy new year everyone!





Thursday, December 1, 2011

Just Some Thoughts

So usually I start a blog with some sort of theme in mind or at least an idea of where it will be going, this isn't one of those blogs. Right now I'm home trying to escape the hot Santiago sun for a little while and just mulling over my last few weeks. I think I have said this before but time has a strange way of moving here. I feel the school week went by fast but when I think back to a week ago (Thanksgiving) it really feels like it was so much longer ago. I have a few thoughts as to the reason time ends up feeling like this way for me and I think the one easiest to explain is that I change so much each passing day that (to myself) I know I'm not the person I was a week ago. That person seems so different for only having been a week ago. Right now I'm restless and so this blog may help me get some thoughts straight.

Last week was quite a ride. I was stressed out and at points bummed out and at other points so incredibly happy. My week started off kinda lame with me losing my whole powerpoint (Comp froze and the usual back up didn't happen) that I had been working on all monday afternoon and me having to ask for an extension. It was lame sauce and incredibly frustrating to have spent so much time on something and it all be for nothing. I really wanting to get it done on tuesday but instead it would now be on thursday the same day as a different test. It was a good thing I was planning on pizza and a movie at the Marine house because if not for that I would have been a pretty unhappy camper that evening. This was also the night that Bryan told me he would be heading to Burma on Wednesday. I went to bed feeling pretty low.

Tuesdays are my busier days but never too bad, it was so nice outside that it was hard not to feel better. On tuesdays I have about 3 hours between class and volunteering so I head to my favorite cafe in the park by the children's home and do hw/people watch in the park. Bryan happened to be free so he came and chilled with me for a little while before I went over to play with the kids. After that was dance class and then the best part of my day. All of us in small group and church got together at a pizza place (one of few places I've been to more than once here) and had a little going away dinner for Bryan. It was good fun with good people and only got better and better. My favorite part was when a few of us headed to a close by bar and I got to get up to sing karaoke :D Love karaoke!

Wednesday ended up being a whole lot better than expected. Bryan got a call saying he wouldn't be leaving until thursday night and I got to do a little happy dance! Maybe this is selfish but a test and a presentation would have been hard the day after having to say goodbye to such a good friend. I felt like something finally gave, and I was grateful! My favorite part of this day was when Bryan hide behind a curtain at small group and popped out once everyone had sat down. They were so surprised to see him!

Thursday was a day of mixed emotions. I had a great little afternoon trip with my conversation partner to a hands on science museum and it was super interesting/fun. It's fun to go and be like a little kid for awhile. So much walking around in the sun left me so worn out though I was dragging butt by the time I got to the Marine house to see Bryan off. I keep thanking God for the way the week had played out because on his way to the airport I was dropped off at the Thanksgiving dinner at my church and everyone was incredibly encouraging. I would have been bad if I spent the hours after he had gone alone so I felt so blessed to have a whole church family to hang out with during I pretty hard goodbye. Plus good food always helps me feel better, and let me just say there was a whole heck of a lot of it! Oh pumpkin pie, how I adore thee!

My weekend didn't add up to anything terribly exciting but I really enjoyed it. I spent the time being a little more introverted/ recharging and I was grateful for the break. Some highlights were having girl's night with my friend Megan and us watching Happy Feet 2 3D (SO FREAKING CUTE), painting at a home for the elderly with a small group of people from my church, and my friend from USAC, Karen's, birthday dinner on sunday night.

Now we get to this week. Still been staying pretty low key and plugging along. Having some big realizations about my time here in Chile and such. I feel like there are a lot but for some odd reason getting into details about it here and now seems so hard.... maybe it's the heat. I'm great though on average and really can't complain. The USAC end of the semester dinner last night has been a highlight of my week. I really will miss these people when I'm gone. But at the same time I'm getting ready to be home and so while leaving will be pretty hard I think I'll be ok. But I won't know until I get there....

I guess when it comes down to it I've been assessing some of the relationships I've made here and Chile. Who has changed my life? Who do I want to stay in my life? What did I do well? What could I have done differently? How can I make these last few weeks the best possible? How am I feeling about goodbye? The list goes on and on, but I think you get the point. In the end there are things that didn't quite turned out the way I had hoped they would, but I don't want any regrets, so I count my blessings and want to make sure I give the last few weeks to God. If you mix all this wrapping up with my thoughts about the future and you've got one pretty self-reflective Aubrey. For those of you that don't know I graduate in Spring..... Life after college is a whole other ball game that I've realized I need to start training for. This is the first time in about 4 years, is my guess, that I haven't had myself planned out a year in advance. I know I need to get myself graduated and I want to hit up Sasquatch! as a graduation celebration.... but come next summer my slate is clean! How exciting! Have a few ideas of jobs I'd like to apply for, the thought of going to a seminary/bible school even crossed my mind, but most of all I know I need to start making money....

So I think this blog ended up about as scattered and vague as I thought it would... ah well they can't all be as epic as the Marine Corp ball. This is just a little bit of me and maybe I wrote it because I needed too more than the other times. But I enjoy sharing so it's a plus. If you do get one thing from this blog, take this, I miss all you guys a whole heck of a lot and I'm really excited to come back to Cali!

Hope to see a lot of you very soon and Marry Christmas!