On the journey to discover myself this evening, I took off to the park down the street. I walked by a lady struggling to tie a rope around what looked like a stack of branches, reminding me of a Christmas tree. I walked by her driveway watching, but trying not to acknowledge that she was stuck fighting these limbs by herself. So I walked by, but it just wasn't right. Something told me in my gut to turn around.
"Hi, do you need help?" I found myself asking.
The lady was so startled she kind of just mumbled some words under her breath, as I walked closer and bent down to pick up the string on the other side of the clump of sticks. I pulled tight and gave it to her. She tied the two strings together around the massive bundle and stood to look me in the eye.
"You know, I don't mind doing this sort of thing. Working outside. It's nice, relaxing, like a hobby, but don't tell anyone, who knows what they'd think..." She looked down at her scratched, hands covered in dirt.
I smiled and looked around the yard, "Well, it looks nice."
"Well, I sure do enjoy it. I like this work. What about you? Do you work? Do you go to school?"
We started talking about WWU and how she has a son who graduated from there. He was a firm Adventist believer, but after the honors program (which teaches evolution), he now believes in the Pope. She told me this was a "strong burden on [her] heart", and she wanted me to share it with everyone I knew going to that school, and especially those in the honors program. "Don't mold your beliefs into what you're taught or told, figure things out on your own, really think about it before you just believe in it." She told me about her younger son, who's a Senior at Wa-hi and how she wants him to work at Mivoden. So then we talked about my summer job at Mivoden, and I told her how her son could get a job there if he would just volunteer for at least a week. She got really excited and she said she was going to mention it to him. Before we parted ways she told me her name was Nancy, and in all her 6 years of living in that house and working in the yard, no one once had stopped to see if she needed help. And many people walk by her house on their way to the park everyday.
"I don't know what it is about people these days... they think they always need to mind their own business, and they forget about everyone else in the world... Well Karalee, I assume you'll be at WWU for 4 years? Stop by when you've decided what you want to be and let me know, I might not remember your name, but I'll remember your hair."
Ha! This made me laugh. How strangely coincidental it was that I left my house on a mission to find the "gift" God sewed into my being, in order to discover my purpose, to uncover who I am and all I'm made to be, to help me decide what I want to spend the rest of my life doing. And here was this lady in the midst of my confusion, wondering what I'd decide and telling me to figure things out on my own, which is EXACTLY what I was going to go try to do. Where is my life headed? Who am I? What do I want? And every time I tell someone my major is "Undecided" they say, "Oh, that's ok! You have PLENTY of time to figure it out." But really! They don't get it! Time goes by faster than we all expect it to. I don't have time! I'm running out of time, and I don't know where I'm going! It's scary being lost in the dark! I would know!
I found a bench at the park overlooking color turning, fall leaves, and ducks flying back and forth from the pond to the grass, and I read a book and took a test that's supposed to help me figure all this stuff out. I feel like I haven't gotten anything accomplished, but at the same time, I know every experience is just a tiny piece of the puzzle. And time is the only thing that will put it all together.