taking cues from the universe

another year has passed… i am now 26.
it just seems the years are flying by without much control.
i recently finished my two year stint in the bushes of jamaica.
i am trying to stay sane and re-adapt back to the norms of the states,
though i feel i may never actually fit …
that’s been something which has always been a struggle,
trying to fit into life here.

it won’t be much longer though,
i’ll soon be off again,
off to make life and meaning somewhere else.
as i get older its the people in my life
that make the moments and the places.
that seems to be the one thing in my life that has remained constant,
the people in my life.
i cherish them indeed and feel most fortunate to have them in my life.

while catching up with some old friends,
the topic of destiny,
the universe’s plans,
nature’s desires,

all came into discussion.

more and more i am convinced
that the universe sends us messages and signs,
we must have an open-mind to see these things.
the farther we move from nature and ourselves,
we lose sight of the ability to communicate with the universe.

we must check ourselves regularly
to prevent these moments of darkness and cloudiness.
and when we feel we have reached our rock bottom,
realize there is something waiting out there,
it will get better.
we just have to stay positive,
remember without life we have nothing,
so as long as we are alive,
and capable of functioning,
we have so very much.
it’s the little things in life
and when we have that plus,
we are free to live life fully.

life is much too short to lose sight of what’s most valued and important.
it’s only natural we all have different views on this,
we are all human,
and each have very unique and different perspectives,
because of our experiences or backgrounds.
but with an open-mind,
we can reach so much farther and see so much more.

it’s truly beautiful
when we learn to accept people and situations
and move on,
trying to be the best we possibly can be,
letting our joy,
happiness and love shine on the world.
whether we want to believe it or not,
it makes a difference.

be a radiating lighthouse of inspiration and affect those around you.

(re)discovery of life, love and possibilities

the past two years have been a fully realized and enjoyed blur…

i have learned many valuable lessons throughout my two years in jamaica; most of which took place in and around my community. it took some effort and initiative, but not too long after i was accepted and viewed in my community as any other jamaican. it has been a very touching experience to be so loved and taken in… i now have a larger family, made up of close friends who see me as their family and blood.

now that my time is counting down rather quickly,
everyone is getting quite nostalgic.
we reminisce about the past,
the good,
the bad,
the crazy,

they have difficulty remembering when i first came,
some say two years,
some say five,
and others say they have known me from when.
it’s funny to hear,
but it’s equally bittersweet.

people say seaford town will never be the same without me.
my presence will be missed,
and and only my spirit felt.
there will be a little less sunshine,
and an empty space in my absence

i know i will always have a place here.
a place to call my home,
whenever i should want it.
i feel blessed to have had this opportunity
and the time to meet
and exchange with these beautiful people
who have touched and impacted my life.

i will keep the memories of my friends and students close to my heart.
i will always remember that first instance i arrived here,
my initial impressions,
and that first day of teaching at school…
the room full of children
and me,
completely lost,
but after the days,
and years that followed,
it became routine and natural,
as if i had been here all along…
as if life had always been like this.

as the time is winding down,
i look back with a heart full of love
on fond memories and spectacular adventures.
like a friend told me the other night,
“jamaica has done you well, no true?
you must find a way to come back,
no ifs,
or buts about it.
we can’t manage without you.
it wasn’t by chance you were sent here.
there was a reason
and i hope you have learned to see it.”

3 weeks, 5 days

it’s bizarre to think that everything will be completely different in 3 weeks and 5 days. i will no longer be able to look out and see beauty around me, hear the sweet sounds of children , or breathe in the crisp, fresh air. the people that have come to be like my second family and dearest friends will soon be miles away. everything i have come to know, accept and cherish will be taken away in a flash. sure, there is a telephone, but it’s nowhere near the same. the things and people who warm my heart and bring smiles and laughter will no longer be so attainable or accessible. i know i’m not exactly the same person i was 2 years ago; so much has been experienced and exchanged. i’ve grown. i’ve felt. i’ve changed. it’s expected, especially after such time as 2 years. much of my beliefs and mores have been further solidified… my outlook, further grounded.

routine is what makes things normal and comfortable. it is when routine changes that the world spins. i’ve lived it my entire life. i know the rules of the game, so i have no doubt that i will find my way, as i always have. it’s just it might hurt a little bit more this time; i found something deeper this time around… my eyes are more open and my heart unleashed. i see the world different. things i perhaps once overlooked are now ever clear. i’ve learned to embrace the here and now, the small moments of life in time. life doesn’t wait for anything. we are living it, whether we realize it or not. life doesn’t wait for plans to be realized. it keeps going on, though we get distracted by the frivolous stresses. it holds us back from the important things and creates fear. we end up missing out and later on regretting.

we must learn to decipher between the important and the frivolous. seize the moments. we have this life to make the most of it. we can’t be so afraid to live and try… if we fail, we get back up, dust ourselves off and try again. we have to be bold and confident, ready to face the world and make the most of it. things happen for a reason, if we are open to it we can see the hints, and clues, if not we get bypassed. we have to leave space. sometimes we get too sidetracked and we miss the ‘real’ things.

it’s not every day you get the opportunity to meet somebody with whom you have such a connection. someone you feel you have known all of your life. someone who loves you as much if not more than the amount you love them. someone you can be yourself with, no fuss, no muss. someone who makes you feel home and love with one touch or embrace. the sound of their voice, or their scent, or the glimpse of their face makes you shine like the rays of the sun. someone who makes you a better person and reinforces even the trivial emotions and thoughts you try to hide from the world. yes, this is life: right here, right now, as i write this and even later on when i read this over.

catch the signals. don’t let it pass you by. don’t let others hold you back and miss out (because they are blinded). if it is meant to be, it will happen, something will present itself and an effort can be made and strength can be found. what will be, will be and we must learn to live and let life and love take it’s course.

community support in action

every weekend finds the guys of john crow hill working together.. for the past couple of months it has been to fix the road, which has remarkably improved from their dedicated efforts. this weekend everyone congregated to help cleeve build his house. they managed to get the foundation set as well as the initial blocks laid down. it never fails to amaze me, this community support. i have never witnessed such support and camaraderie until i moved here, in the wide communal sense. everyone helps one another, there isn’t anything to be had in it for anyone, but they help nonetheless. i love to witness this because it always reminds me of the goodwill to be offered by humanity… it can be realized. people coming together to create something for the greater good. it’s beautiful.

with the blink of an eye you are in another country

5:00 am, put on coffee, packed my toothbrush, and eventually i stumbled down the hill, through the darkness, with my bags. as i passed francine’s gate, i ran into brusha and he laughed as he took up one of my bags and helped me carry it down to marie. the house eerily quiet, like it usually is at that hour on a weekend. all i found was mama in the kitchen, putting on water to boil… then the sound of marie coming downstairs. the kids soon woke up and rolled out of bed and with that kera, rat rat and asha soon reached from rocksan’s. all of the kids, still wearing their night clothes, piled into the bus and we were on the way, picking up a few passengers along the way. i was bombarded with hugs and kisses mixed with a sad undertone as everyone wished me a safe trip and a speedy return. i ended up waiting for about 1-2 hours after i passed security, but i didn’t want to chance missing my flight if i had headed out to marie’s house with them. so i waited and waited, passing the time. eventually they began boarding and before i knew it we were flying over miami and soon landing. i was greeted with a big hug from my brother and then we stumbled upon my parents and megan. we all headed down to baggage claim and they questioned me up and down while my mum repeatedly kissed and hugged me. all of us starving, decided to stop for some food… little did we realize that it was going to lead us on a never-ending road trip. finally, we ended up in winter park, walked around looking for somewhere that had veggie options and took a seat at a thai restaurant. we caught up on everyone’s life and the moments from when we had last spoken. a few stops here and there along the way and we were soon home. home. a familiar place, but always a strange experience to be back.

[ c o s ]

so, the cos conference… i can’t believe it actually came and went. how have two years flown by so rapidly? it seems only yesterday we were training and being sent to our sites… now we have to start planning our trips back, write our dos statements and complete our final trimester reports. it’s an uneasy feeling. everyone was so hyped up about leaving, many talking about leaving in april.. jess and i sat in the back, rather somber, because for us we are leaving so much more (community, friends, children, life, …). this has become home for the two past years and i have been blessed with amazing friends and family here. it would have been a completely different experience without these people. i love them very much and the thought of having to leave them and my life here is a bit hard to digest, but it’s life and we all know there is a time and place for everything, so going into something like this we have a small voice constantly reminding us it will soon be something new, met with new people and new challenges. some of us grow deaf to the small voice and we block it out, thinking we have somehow escaped, but just as quietly and easily as it left, it comes back loud and rather alarming, shaking us back to reality. and it is through this we transition, adapt and grow. we learn how to cope and are then better braced for the next big thing. we become stronger, more confident and more daring. anyway, it will be a hard time soon enough, but all we can do is hope for the best, keep our heads to the sky and try to make the most of it.

rip mr. bobby

today is robert nesta marley’s birthday. so in remembrance, iriefm has been playing bob marley from early his morning, recounting his life and significant mark on the world.

mr. bobby, your words still impact the world, even more so with all the trying times we have been facing.

i cleaned and packed today… getting ready for the cos conference this week and my flight out saturday. everything is in order and ready.