I bet you’re wondering why there aren’t stunning rocky mountain pictures in your newsfeed by now! Well, that would be because I’m back in Virginia now. Before you panic, and yes, I know that was a shocking statement- I will explain!
First and foremost, I think highly of the YAV program. This has nothing to do with the YAV community or PCUSA. In fact, they are doing a great job, and I would still encourage young adults to do this IF they really know this is for them.
That brings me to my next point. If you haven’t experienced this yet, you probably will (or maybe a few of you lucky ones won’t…). From the start of your senior year, until months after graduating and beyond, lies a huge adjustment period. And with this transitional time comes pressure (direct and indirect) from those around you and society in general. I’m sure most of this isn’t intentional, and it hits everyone differently. For me, not having a plan made me feel somehow inadequate. Crazy, right? Especially when you consider one of my core values: everyone is a person of worth no matter what they have accomplished. But I was still recieving messages that if I didn’t go to grad school, find a job, travel the world, or volunteer after graduating…something was wrong with me. And not just something, but everything!
In retrospect, the last person I listened to was myself. Which is strange, because I’m usually in tune with my thoughts and who I am. People asked me a lot about Denver, and I would smile and be thankful for their support…but there was always a disconnect for me, internally. And it was more than just disbelief that I was moving halfway across the country. My heart was telling me no, even though I was being propelled forward by the idea that it was “the right thing to do”. The bottom line is the deep conversations I needed to have about the Denver move didn’t happen.
After orientation (which, surprisingly was a fantastic week) I did more reflecting on why I wanted to do the YAV program in the first place. I wanted to be more intentional with my choices, live more simply, be more in tune with the world, reach out to the community more, grow more spiritually, and challenge myself. But now I realize that in order to do any of those things, I have to be honest with myself. My heart has to be genuinely invested. This shouldn’t be a “gap year” that happens to look good on a resume…for me, this new stage in my life has to be both (1) intentional and (2) genuine. No matter what anyone says. Now’s the time for me to stand up for myself, and not just follow along.
When I got to Denver (after the altitude sickness did its thing) I had to do a lot of serious reflecting. And that’s when I realized that my heart was back in Virginia. This was a wakeup call for me. It became so much more clear. Duh, Sarah…you belong in Virginia. You can make things happen here.
This whole decision was really tough, but I am proud I had the strength to realize that it was the right one for me. I know that making this choice has affected many people. I wanted to apologize / give a shout out to the Wolff Den- Alison, Sean, April, and Kelsey- you guys are awesome! I know you are going to have an amazing year. Thank you for supporting me when I had to make that decision, and thanks for taking care of me when all I wanted to do was throw up, ha. ha.
I wanted to thank Lydia, Bridget, and Richard, for all of the hard work they are doing to make the YAV program run. They did an amazing job at orientation. It means a lot that they are genuinely invested in the lives of young adults. Also, YAV community- this might be hard for me to fully explain to you. We all had a great time at orientation, and I enjoyed meeting each and everyone of you. It really was a meaningful week for me. I wish you all the best in your years of service. I can’t wait to see what you all do!
A HUGE thank you to all of my supporters. I’m so thankful to have you all in my life. I’m not just saying that, I really really mean it. No matter what I do, Im so amazed that you all care. I know this choice I made is confusing, so I would invite us to talk about it more in person if you are interested! I will be in touch with you shortly to talk about how I can return monetary support.
Also, shout out to Bob Azzarito, of course. That was a given! And my parents / support system here in cville. You all mean the world to me.
Ok that’s probably more than anyone wanted to hear! There will be more posts about this, if you’re still interested in what I’m doing. Or not doing! Being back in Virginia is not “an easy way out”. It’s going to be full of challenges in different forms. I have decided to still blog, though. Lessons in liminality, people! Don’t know what that is exactly? Stayed tuned for my experiences and reflections….