Those days, those long, hot, tired and screamingly quiet days living in Australia... living within community on a missions base, with twelve other females in my dorm room, people all around but feeling a giant disconnect... I found myself walking the streets of Mitchelton, the shops in Brisbane, drinking coffee solo in the YWAM cafe and reminding myself, "at least you are lonely IN AUSTRALIA."
As my feet walked up an escalator in a Brisbane train station, "at least you're lonely in AUSTRALIA."
As I sat in the cemetery overlooking Mitchelton, "at least you're lonely in AUSTRALIA."
And it was true. Ohio never beckoned me back because; I was missing people and places that still have yet to be discovered. Connections that I crave but that just haven't been sparked.
Never once did I wish to be back from where I had come. There were definitely many things I would have changed, but that wasn't the point. Regrets were not allowed when one was seeing the world. Taking a chance and following God to the literal other side of the planet.
That word has been in my mind a lot these days. Being a natural introvert and a recovering shy girl has lead to many regrets. Bundles of replayed conversations over the years. Wishing I had said or did something I not only wouldn't have had the nerve for, but also never would have even occurred to me. I count myself blessed that I don't torment myself with those sorts of thoughts anymore. Sure, there's the fleeting thought of "I should have said this!" but I don't feel that dropping in my stomach after every serious interaction or conversation with someone who makes me nervous.
I've been through a lot in the past two years. Emotions and countries and doubts and people, I've left, been left, moved, traveled, met people, said things, had strange encounters, been ignored, ghosted, led on, moved on, laughed and leapt and reached out.
I don't really have regrets.
As this year draws to a close and I think back to the craziness that has been my life in the past few months, I am feeling steady and okay with the choices that have been made, all the things I've said or not said, the things I am working towards. Its a calming feeling in the midst of a life that still has a lot of questions. I can only hope its the peace that comes with the continuing journey of life and faith and learning to trust. Trusting that God is waiting with a plan and story even though I've deviated and buried myself under questions without answers.
Its a lighter feeling, this living without the dread of regrets. Trusting that the things you say and do are true to who you are and what you believe. Its like breathing deep and letting the air go all the way down to your lungs and then... exhaling.