There is a song that I know really well from my teenage years. It has been my chant during this season. As I put my sweet kiddos to bed, as I try to work in a situation that breaks my heart, as I cry into my pillow, as I walk down our cobblestone streets. Now, I know what you´re thinking looking at the title of this blog, "Bring on the NSync!" And while I am totally down to get down to some bleached tips and synthesizer, that´s not what I´m talking about just now. I am refering to a song by Ginny Owens...
The pathway is broken and the signs are unclear,
And I don´t know the reason why you brought me here.
We have shared a little publicly about how we have struggled to feel at home here in Oaxaca, struggled to find a place. We are passionate, so passionate, about those disenfranchised and sustainability and how those two things can be woven together. But the opportunities here, in Oaxaca, are not quite what we thought. Maybe we set ourselves up for disappointment, maybe we misunderstood, maybe there was a miscommunication, maybe we were misled - we don´t really put any one thing at fault or have a spot to place blame. We don´t need to. It´s not important.
But just because you love me the way that you do,
I am gonna walk through the valley, if you want me to.
What is important is that we have made the decision to leave Oaxaca. It was a difficult, heart breaking decision. We are mourning the loss of what we believed would be our career. We are mourning the loss of beloved friends we have made here (not that we don´t fully intend on keeping in touch, because we do). We are anxious about what this means for our futures - for living arrangements, jobs, transportation, etc. We are anxious about what this means for our kids. We are anxious about what this means for relationships. But we know this to be the right choice for us at this time.
´Cause I´m not who I was when I took my first steps
And I´m clinging to the promise you´re not through with me yet.
I know some people will think that we "gave up too soon" and others will say "I told you this was a bad idea," but I am not really concerned with either of those things. Because we are not giving up and this was not a bad idea. We are moving forward from a season that has been flatout painful, but growing. We have lived and learned and I would not trade this difficult time.
So if all of these trials bring me closer to you?
Then I will go through the fire, if you want me to.
We have mostly been met with support, which has been so absolutely wonderful and not at all what we expected. We are humbled by the outpouring of love over us. There are not words. I expect to meet many more difficult seasons, probably one after the other just like these last 3 years, and I hope to always have such amazing people reaching out to hold us close. We are tangled in a mess of love and pain and I am grateful.
It may not be the way I would have chosen,
As you lead me through a world that´s not my own.
I think everyone says at least once in their lives "If you would have told me then, I never would have believed you..." I say it a lot. If you had told little Malia about who teenage Malia would be, she wouldn´t have believed you. If you told teenage Malia about 20 something Malia, she would not have believed you. And if you told 20 something Malia about me? She would have said "maybe," but not really believed you. Perhaps some people have the gift of planning out their lives, perhaps some people can stick to that plan, perhaps they can see themselves clearly a year from now or 10. I seem to be unable to keep up with myself. But I think that´s okay.
But you never said it would be easy,
You only said I´d never go alone.
There will be questions about the specifics of why and how and when. And we would be happy to talk with any and all of you about each of those things! There are no sides, we made a decision we felt was best for our family. And I shoudl stress that we are not done. We are still passionate about living and loving globally. We are not going home. We are just going to be with friends and family for a season. Maybe that season will be a month or two, maybe it will be 5 years! Or more! I am comfortable not knowing.
So if the whole world turns against me and I´m all by myself
And I can´t hear you answer my cries for help
I´ll remember the suffering your love put you through
And I will go through the valley, if you want me to.
Don´t mistake me, I am sick to my stomach about figuring out how we are going to make money, get jobs, where we will live, what the kids will be doing, etc. But when I take a deep breath or get on my yoga mat or watch my tinies play nicely or sit with my husband drinking coffee or pull out my journal - I know deep (deep, deep, deep) down that everything will work out.
We leave Oaxaca and arrive in Seattle, WA on October 31st. We will be staying with friends in Maple Valley and would LOVE to see you if you are around. We are happy to visit and get cofee and do all of the things!!! Just let us know.
Thank you all for your love - feel free to contact us if you have any questions about my very vague vagueness - malialanicarrell(at)gmail.com