Thursday, August 02, 2012

baby shower

my sister's baby shower was last weekend. I can't wait to be an aunt. She'll be here in less than 2 months!

"you seem different"

The title of this post is what someone said to me last week. I ran into a girl I lived in the dorms with my freshman year (three years ago) and we caught up on each others' lives. She said that I seemed different. I said in response, "thank you. I think I am."

The beginning of my pro-life work was a choice for me; it was my own little fiat. However, it felt like a whirlwind. I think that moving away from home for the first time and entering this whole new dimension of college definitely made me cling to anything I could that seemed constant. For me, I knew my pro-life beliefs to be sacred and I hold that truth in my heart now, but at the time, it seemed that being pro-life meant being surrounded by pro-life people and those pro-life people were all pro-guns everywhere, anti-gay people ever experiencing any form of joy, anti-anything Obama ever said... even if he said "I like Mountain Dew" or something as inconsequential as that. I thought to myself, "I am pro-life, do they expect me to be this?" I knew I couldn't be that person and I didn't want to be that person. In a way, it's like I was going on a road trip with conservative people but once I got in the car I just put my iPod in and blasted pro-life things into my ear to tune out those things I disagreed with. Does this make sense?

I am different now. I have experienced what some may call self discovery, others may say that I have been liberalized by an evil public education system. I like to think that I have discovered the heart of compassion and I am trying to take up residence there. The rent is low and the peace is free.

I am different now. Life prescribed me some chill pills and I've learned that whispered truth is more effective than a megaphone. I think some of these changes have been due in part to switching my major to social work. It is ironic, because there is not much outspoken support for pro-life views in my social work classes... aside from some of my own interjections here and there, there really isn't any. Despite the difference of values in that arena, I find so much common ground and common compassion for the good of the human being - aside from the period of conception until birth. I find that these people in my classes share many of my values. These people are veterans, caseworkers, lesbians, gay men, Muslims, atheists, vegans, Christians, mothers, fathers, liberals. I love the diversity and I love the sharing that goes on in the classrooms. I love that they have taught me from their shared experiences. I love that they have, in their own small ways, made me different.

I think back on freshman year and wonder how many people I rubbed the wrong way because I just didn't have myself figured out. Hell, I still don't have myself figured out. I am grateful though for that chance encounter with my old friend. Those words were just what I needed for another bout of introspection.

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