(Bear with me, Dear Reader. These are not my most organized thoughts.)
I asked myself this question everyday for the my first month here. I honestly didn’t want to leave. Lakeland, while admittedly not my favorite place in the world, is a good place. I love the communities I shared life with. I love the ‘feel’ of smaller towns. I love the secluded parks and outdoor spaces, the coffee shops and conversations, the music-making and artistic communities, and the academic spaces that have shaped me. I miss being close to my family. I miss running into friends everywhere. I miss Jordan and Rob. Shoot, I miss parking lots… and Wawa.
But there are conversations I couldn’t have in Lakeland; spaces I couldn’t stand in as an ally; things I couldn’t learn.
Hey readers! Month one is dead and gone and I can already tell the year is going to blow by. A whole month of waking up early, grinding out that morning commute, drinking two to four cups of coffee in the office, scrambling to find free food for lunch, eventually trudging back home, and finally, conversing with newfound family. A few weekends spent at the beach have come and gone. A few services at new churches equipped with grand webs of outstretched hands ready to support our community.
And just like that, I’m realizing all of things that I call “new” really aren’t all that new any more.
These are reflections from corps members and alumni of Jubilee's Urban Service Programs. They cover topics ranging from the sun, fun and friends in in Los Angeles to the uncensored experiences of serving vulnerable populations in our beautiful city. These are Voices of Service.