by Emily Allen Nilsen
Re-blogged from: May We Suggest
I’ve always loved jumping pictures.
When I think back on good times with people I love, it amazes me how many jumping pictures I’ve taken. I think they show how much joy and excitement I truly get out of life. A good jumping picture, though, has to have some thought put into it. You have to make sure everyone is on the same page. Are we jumping on three or after three? Holding hands or striking a pose? Is the camera lady/gent ready? One…two…three…GO!
The past 5 years have been a series of jumping-picture-worth-events in my life. I graduated university with my undergrad in Education. I found and married an amazing, thoughtful, ridiculous partner. After realizing I wanted to spend my life with said partner, I moved across the country away from my family and friends. I completed my student teaching, taught for a session at an outdoor science school, and fell in love with a tiny charter school in rural Oregon. I’ve taught, laughed, grown, cried, struggled, and come so far.
Andrew has had his fair share of jumps, too. While he moved home, he moved home with a fiancé and now spouse. He’s shifted through changing friend dynamics, bringing a new person into his family, and entering the job world after college. In a lot of ways, we have lived the emerging adulthood of the 20-somethings, even living our first year in Portland with Andrew’s parents as we yet couldn’t afford rent.
Transition. Struggles. Jumping. Yes, jumps can be scary, but they can also be beautiful and freeing.
Like many other 20-somethings, we’ve been trying to figure out what to do with our lives. While we’re no where close to figuring out all of those details, we recognized a few foundational truths: we love people and want to work on creating greater community and love in the world, we want to do some traveling before we settle down (house, family, etc.), and we want to embrace the adventures that life has to offer. With all of these in mind, we applied to the Peace Corps last May.
After the long application, shifting and re-shifting our expectations, and the long hurry-up-and-wait-game (we’ll probably do a post on this whole process), we finally received our invitation! We’ve been invited to serve in Nicargua as TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) Teacher Trainers with a leave date in August. So we’re jumping again. It’s what we do in life, right? We’d only been dating a month and we knew. We jumped. Who knows where this adventure will take us and what hardships await, but that is what life is all about.
“Things can fall apart, or threaten to, for many reasons, and then there’s got to be a leap of faith. Ultimately, when you’re at the edge, you have to go forward or backward; if you go forward, you have to jump together.” – Yo-Yo-Ma
Let’s do this. Together.
Emily and Andrew are two young adult members of the Community of Christ! Stay tuned to follow more of Emily and Andrew’s journey of adventures in the Peace Corps!