мы идем в Санкт-Петербург

The bags are packed (almost), our visas are in hand, and we’re cleared for take off.

It’s been a while since I posted on here–the last month has been dizzily and beautifully full of family and friends as we completed our coast to coast journey.  In between visits and festivities, Luke and I have been doing our best to learn the language via online tutoring and hours of flashcards.

I’ve been working on a series about Misplacement during this season of transition and displacement from our California home as we wait to find our Russian one.  The last tweaks are almost done (yes, sometimes I actually edit things before I post them) and I’m excited to share these summer musings with you all!

In the meantime, I plan on sharing travel updates and discoveries on this blog.  I don’t want to spam everyone’s Facebook timeline with travel posts so if you’re interested in:

Joining our journey through the written word (and some pictures): follow this blog

Tracking our trek via image: follow me on Instagram

Contacting Luke or I in real time: message me on WhatsApp.

Luke won’t have a smartphone or possibly his current phone number, so your best bet is WhatsApp using my phone number.  I’m assuming you already have it if you’re interested in talking, but if not, put your e-mail in the box below and I’ll send it your way!  This will be the best way to get a hold of us directly, as opposed to messaging on Facebook or Instagram.

The Essence of Me

I have a funny habit of running experiments on myself.  Before you jump to any conclusions,  I do not have little bubbling jars of neon liquids in my room (you’re welcome roommates)  Its just that I like to gaze into the abyss that is the future, place myself there, observe how I think I’ll react to a new situation, and then see if my hypothesis is correct in post-future retrospect.  That last sentence made absolutely no sense and I will now try to redeem it.  Here is a practical example:

When arriving at college, the expectations and reputation that I had gathered as the Chloe of Clarkston disappeared.  I knew this would be the case and so I was eagerly anticipating my actions, thoughts, friend choices, etc… to see who I would be.  Turns out, I’m quite like the Chloe of Clarkston.

Instead of being disappointed that I didn’t create some whole new personality, I’m quite relieved.  I am still spontaneously introverted, mysteriously happy in the morning no matter how much sleep I get, in love with my calender and post-its and color-coding, dedicated to studying to death, addicted to quality conversations, in awe of my amazing God, and loving the people around me.

Not much has changed, yet everything has changed.  Everything external is different, new, and changing at a mile a minute. The essence of me; however, has been delightfully consistent.  Of course, this means that I still am struggling through the same weaknesses but I have a new courage and drive to defeat them.  I am completely open to change (see last post) but do not see myself surrendering my color-coding pens anytime soon.  Speaking of, my calender is telling me that its time to continue my Genesis overload.

Until next time,
the Chloe of anywhere

Changed Forever

“And then my life was changed forever.”

The words dangle in the air, ready to fall into anyone’s mind that might be listening.  But no one really is because we’ve heard it all before.  We’ve heard the tragic childhood stories and inspirational climbs to success that inevitably climax at some event and causes one to utter that they were “changed forever”.

There is nothing wrong with this, I just feel like the forever part really isn’t necessary.

What change isn’t forever?

How can anything return completely to its original state after it has been changed?  You can replicate the setting, circumstances–and if you are lucky–the people that surrounded you.  Yet as time moves on, life moves on, and you have been changed.  Permanently.  No matter what you do to return external circumstances, you can never fully revert your mind to where it has once been.  There are new ideas, thoughts, and experiences in your mind and your life will be inherently different because of that.

The smallest event can completely change your perspective on life.  The life that I face right now is somehow different than the life I faced a week ago.  Not because I had a momentous epiphany or a soul-bending experience, but simply because a week has passed and I now have a week’s worth of thoughts and experiences that have ingrained themselves into my brain and become a part of its permanent collection, whether I am aware of it or not.

This is not to say that we are simply helpless pawns in the face of destiny.  Every small detail of life changes you somehow, whether it is a glimpse of pure beauty or a snippet of a strangers conversation.  Yet we have some decisions to make.  We can allow a hurtful remark to embitter us or enjoy the freedom that giving the benefit of the doubt gives back to us.  We can listen to the wind rushing aimlessly or scowl as we pick up the papers it scattered.

Don’t wait for the events that society has labeled as milestones to realize that you have been changed forever.

You are forever changing.