Reflections on San Francisco

February, 2009
Hi friend,
It’s been a long time since I’ve written or anything, and I’ve been thinking of you of late, so I thought I’d write.  How are you?  How is Quito?  I imagine that you are engaged in your life there deeply, as you engage with your life most places.  It’s been interesting to live in the United States these last seven months.  One more to go before I return to Nepal for a time (3-4 monts).  I’ll be honest, it’s been a challenge.  Wry smile.  I don’t know.  I guess I understand better some of the dilemmas you talked about in terms of wanting to be deliberate and mindful and live accordingly yet also wanting to engage with peers and friends in a social scene that is far less mindful or deliberate.  Wry smile.  I’ve had some very fun nights involving going out with friends and drinking.  Sometimes fun.  Not sure that’s what I want to be doing with my life, though.  Ah, balance.  What a challenge it is.  And more-so here for me than it has been in other places I’ve lived.
San Francisco is a beautiful richly diverse city.  I have a hard time imagining that I could love a city so much or find myself fit quite so well as I fit in this city.  And yet I have struggled with all sorts of things – not the least of which is my identity.  Sometimes it’s so much easier for me to be foreign, to not fit in and thus to have to deal with more obvious differences and aspects of self, community, expectations, communication.  I was talking with the minister of the church I attend, and she was observing, very fittingly, how San Francisco has not been what I expected or what I hoped for but that in many ways it may have been exactly what I needed.  A kick in the butt.  Wry smile.  Nah.
It has also been a home and a family.  I have been reminded of the wonderful people in my life and the way that I am still in a place in my life where the people with whom I am closest drift closer and further from me – they too have lives filled with other people. I guess I am continuing to learn more deeply who I am and that it is not always who I would like to be, but that it’s better to be me fully and to the best of my ability than to try to be someone that I am not.  I have also been reminded of my tendency to overfill my life with people.  Sometimes so much so that there is not much time or energy left for me.  This is an important thing to be aware of.
Yes, so life – I don’t know what I last told you.  The logistical stuff is that I’m going to visit my parents and grandparents for two weeks up in Washington State and then I leave for Nepal at the end of March.  My dad will go with me and we will do some hiking and visiting together for the two weeks that my dad’s there.  I’m pretty psyched.  Grin.  My dad’s AWESOME!  another grin.  I’ve applied to divinity schools, and I just heard back from the University of Chicago Divinity School unofficially letting me know that I am accepted.  I think that’s where I’ll end up.  Chicago.  Hunh.  Who woulda thunk?  Did you know that I attended half of fifth grade in Chicago (in the neighborhood where the University of Chicago is)?  That my mum lived in the building (studying for HER MDiv at the U of C) that I will probably live in?  That my parents got married in the church next to that building?  Kind of crazy for me to be returning to that kind of history.  It will be the second place (after India/Nepal) that I have returned to for any significant portion of time after leaving.  Grin.  Ah life.
I would love to hear of your life and adventures and thoughts.  Know that I am thinking of you and sending much love and peace to you.
Thandiwe
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About Thandiwe

Hopeful cynic, creative, seriously silly, lover of people and places, hypocrite, third-culture kid, queer, life-long learner, white woman, Christ follower, outdoor enthusiast: I am a seeker of justice and truth who has re-found my spiritual home in progressive Christianity. I serve as the Associate Pastor at a small Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) congregation near the mountains of Colorado where I live with my beloved.
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