I’m an “intuitor” (is that a word)? I feel things out. I go with my gut.
I’m also a stubborn gal. If I can help it, I’ll always choose the opposite option as what my dad wants for me.
So as I was thinking out this summer, I was faced with a bit of a dilemma. The only option that sat right in my gut was the option my dad was rooting for: visiting family in Finland and Singapore. What!? My gut always disagrees with my dad.
Although this trip agreed with my intuition, it offended the things I value most. That is: accomplishment (I am a pro at finding resume-building opportunities), community (This summer I will be leaving behind a beloved camp community where I was extravagantly loved and really useful), and an identity of humanitarian suffering. This last one is perhaps the hardest to unpack.
You see, I idealize this archetype of the individual that suffers. I can’t remember who said it, but those of us who don’t seek an identity of extravagance/wealth/fame, seek out another identity in suffering.
This identity might seem more altruistic than the first, but it’s ultimately dysfunctional because it asks for something in return for service. It seems altruistic, but it’s completely conditional.
Anyways, the point is that I almost committed to working in the Global South with marginalized people. It was an impressive, seemingly-altruistic summer commitment, that would have been entirely selfish.
Flights booked, ready to go
Reflecting on the things I’ve been forced to loosen my hold of, I’m seeing more and more potential in my summer choice to go on this family trip. And here I am. My flights are booked, and my will fitfully surrendered to the direction ahead.
I’m a big advocate of the law of replacement (that is, if you want something out of your life, you must replace it rather than leave an empty space of a vacuum in your life), so these are the things I’m consciously grabbing hold of in Finland and Singapore:
Relaxation, because sometimes you can accomplish more in doing nothing than doing something.
Family time. It’s been 9 years or more since I saw my relatives in Singapore, including my almost 90 year-old only-living grandparent.
Heart growth. I want to find a mentor, walk the beaches, eat obscenely good food, make music, laze about, and live at a different pace.
So cheers to a summer happened upon, completely unintentionally.
See you soon, Finland.