It has been exactly six months since we moved, and it has been more than everything I had expected. Initially, it wasn’t easy to adjust to the system especially for my sister. At 14 years, all one wants to do is be awkward with the friends they have known for a lifetime, at that age cliques are highly recommended and the lack of her own clique made the move really hard on her.
I on the other hand was an expert in getting lost on the subway and on the streets. I cannot count the numerous times I found myself on the opposite side of where I had to be. Madness really! My accent did not help much, people found it hard to understand. The number of times I have gotten rice instead of fries are countless! In fact, the other day someone asked if I were French (apparently I sound French) *disbelief*, my accent is anything but french.
I terribly missed my friends, the lack of weekly deep meaningful conversations aka DMCs was overwhelming. I guess we were hit unexpectedly by the cultural shock, we could have used some orientation on this country. I do not know what you believe in, but amidst all the change, I was certain as the sun rising in the east that this is where God wanted and needed me to be. I now understand that isolation can be a good thing. Isolation is what I needed for this season, to grow as a woman, a daughter, a friend, a sister, and even learn more about who I am.
I whole heartedly believe this ‘that God has only good plans for us, and if He takes you somewhere, regardless of the bumps and bruises He will see to it that everything you are meant to achieve is achieved, everything you are meant to be, you will be, and that you will live out your purpose in the new area/season/country/business you find yourself in at that very moment.’ I really do believe that.
I remember telling my pa on one of our car rides into manhattan that I never, never want to stop being amazed and I never want to get used to the fact that I can access New York (my dream city) whenever I want. I certainly am glad that after these six months, I still
walk bump into people because am too busy staring at the sky scrappers, I like that my mouth drops every time I go to 5th Avenue, I like that no matter how many times I pass the same places I see on TV I can still hear the excitement in my shrills. Every day, I know that I am blessed to be exactly where I have always wanted to be, I am reminded that the visa woes are not in my cards, and that God has opened doors for me that no man on earth can ever close.
After the bumpy start off, the promises of God had not wavered one bit. See, I have met some of the most humble, beautiful souls in this place who have gone above and beyond for me expecting nothing in return. There’s my bus friend with a heavy mexican accent but she’s got the kindest eyes ever. (I reckon she is 45 years but because of life she looks 54) It began with a simple ‘hi’ and the rest was history, I now know that every 9pm, I have a seat reserved for me on the bus courtesy of her. I may not understand half the things she tells me (Spanish accent meets Ugandan accent) but we do share stories and laugh at how many buses go before ours. Such a delightful woman.
My sister has finally made friends, and they are pretty awesome too. I mean these kids have big hearts…they are what we would call ‘young and free’ with absolutely no care in the world. She is in such good company and I don’t have to worry about her anymore. More than making friends, she has become a beacon of light attracting everyone to her. Like wherever you see a small crowd of awkward teenagers, you definitely know she is there, she is in her place. She has such a presence and I like that. she is so boss.:-)
I too have made friends, mostly way older than me and we haven’t reached that stage of ‘braiding our hair’ but they are the kind of people who encourage, who inspire, who are wise, who want the best for you and above all, who will do almost anything to get you to that place where you need to be. I think we all need those kind of selfless people in our lives.
Most importantly, I have found my church… It is amazing how much life changes for the best when you spend time in the house of God, when you throw your hands up in the air and worship like you just don’t care (well…because you actually don’t care), when you serve on a team (I always despised people who wore sneakers on anything that wasn’t a gym attire but I have found a new appreciation for sneakers, volunteers everywhere stand for long hours but it is so worth it!), when you go out of your way to make some one feel special, when you are putting in all you have got in return for absolutely nothing… I am grateful and humbled that I had people who did that for me when I first started attending hillsong NYC, and now, I get to pay it forward. I love my church because they have taught me the true character of Jesus.
Now I am going back to Uganda (my home always) for a few weeks, something I didn’t expect so soon but I am very expectant and excited about it. I have been dreaming about eating chapatis and groundnuts (
hunger games…I wish it was grasshopper season though), I cannot wait to sit in my car, oh-my-life! I have missed my car’s engine!(yeah, who misses that?) I am going to see the family and friends I never got to see, I am going to meet my new friends, I am going to my favourite restaurant Bistro (hoping it still exists, hey… Kampala changes over night), I am going to get my research on some NGOs done (an opportunity to meet inspiring people) and I am going to purposely enjoy my time at home and make it memorable for myself.
Life point: Do not limit your dreams, dare to dream the impossible. If you can do it with almost no difficulty then clearly it is not outrageous enough. Ask God for the impossible, ask for the things that literally confuse people, for those things that cause a SITUATION, ask for the things that make history because He is willing to do just that because to man it is impossible but to GOD, it is all things possible.
If you want to be a robot, well dare to vision that, people may not understand you but that is very okay, who understands themselves anyway? Be crazy in your dreams, be bold in your requests and always always always leave a positive impact on whoever crosses your path…always! You never know when you will be rewarded for your kindness, for your thoughtfulness, for your time, for your expenses, for your generosity… Do not let a life pass you by unchanged.
Let’s frighten ourselves out of our skins with the most sane outrageous dreams and visions. (yes, sane…you really won’t become a robot, or cat you know that? why? because that’s insane!)