Tuesday, March 27, 2012

st. patrick's day.

It is a time-honored JVC tradition for each community to host a party for the other communities in their region. Usually these parties are themed around holidays (ie. Christmas, Valentine's Day, Halloween, etc.). Naturally, Boston being Boston, our party was St. Patrick's Day.

casa taj: st. patrick's day style.

That meant that a week and half ago, around forty JVs from the East coast descended upon our house (along with about twenty more locals that showed up just for the party). It was mildly chaotic at times, but so, so much fun having everyone here. Our house has never been so crowded, but it's also probably never been so much fun.

so much green food coloring!

Some communities came in on Friday night, but most people showed up on Saturday, and I took a group downtown to explore Boston. That was pretty cool, as I started to realize how good I've gotten at playing tour guide. It's nice to feel like I really know this city now. On Sunday, most people had to head out pretty early, but a few of us went out to the St. Patrick's Day parade in South Boston, which was also a lot of fun. The weather was beautiful, which made it even better.

on our way to the parade in Southie.

Along with all of our other JVC visitors, my college roommate, Sakshi, was also able to make the trip to Boston for the weekend. Having her here was wonderful, as she was able to meet my roommates, see our house, meet a bunch of other people, and just experience the ridiculousness that is JVC. It was nice to feel like someone from home, who was such an integral part of my college years, was able to experience what my life is like now.


Monday morning felt like the post-St. Patrick's Day Slump--almost like the way  December 26th feels after all of the preparations for Christmas. St. Patrick's Day was something I had legitimately been looking forward to since August--and add in Sakshi's visit--and I'd had a countdown going for weeks.

However, it's ironic that last week actually ended ended up going by really quick--especially after I finally got a decent night's sleep. And as always, it's the little things that make my days, like weather in the 70's and 80's (!) almost all week and being able to really enjoy our balcony again (no worries, the weather in Boston has reverted back to it's normal 40-ish degrees for March... I should have known it wouldn't last).

And here we are now, in the final days of March... when home and family are just a few short weeks away, the end of Lent is even sooner, and before I know it, it will really be summer in Boston. The heat of last week reminded me once again of the first days of JVC, and those memories have brought back some of the reckless enthusiasm I used to have. So, St. Patrick's Day's over, but there's still plenty to look forward too, after all. (Especially because I will be spending this weekend on an island in Maine. More to come about that!)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

month seven.

So, I'm now officially seven months through this crazy journey of JVC, and the most surreal part (at least the most surreal part today) is that I spent a large part of the afternoon talking to potential JVs for next year, ie. the people who will possibly be my replacement (the "new Megan" just like I was/am the "new Amanda"). It was almost exactly one year ago today that I was exactly in their shoes: interviewing with placements (while on spring break no less!) and trying to sort through this whole process.

I've come a long way since then... but I'm not done yet. I've still got a lot of learning left to do, and while it's sometimes tempting to put myself on autopilot, I don't want to coast through the rest of this experience. It deserves more than that. I deserve more than that. Most importantly, the people I walk with deserve more than that.

The conversations I've had recently about Casserly and JVC as a whole have reminded me of why I love what I'm doing and why I'm here, which is a good reality check, because that's something I feel like I've lost lately in the day-to-day mundane business of life. It is a blessing and privilege to be here, even when I don't see or feel it.

And in closing, it's good that it's almost spring. Happy Daylight Saving's Time. As Florence & The Machine says, it's always darkest before the dawn, after all.

month seven.

boston movie day: the departed. district attorney visits to Casserly House. valentine's day craziness. chocolate covered strawberries. the cold that wouldn't end. fundraising workshops. many, many meetings. theology untapped. jvc staff visits part 2.

our president's day party; bobby kennedy, jackie o, an intern, & teddy roosevelt.

jvc weekend visitors. too much public transportation. bc hockey game. feeling really inappropriate. the purple cactus. partying like the presidents as jackie o. remember the titans. afternoons at the common. mass at st. cecelia's. president's day off work. exploring cambridge. toscanini's. infinity scarves.

brown butter brown sugar brownie from toscanini's in cambridge. so good.

february break. beignets and king's cake. ash wednesday. journaling every day. science projects. lots of library books. st. cecelia's. pavement. bridesmaid dresses. jp licks with sarah. dinner with drew and trisha. no more facebook.

hillary's visit. some thoughts on lent. st. patty's invites. one-on-one. dinner at the dogwood. abby's parents visit. really bad movies. brunch. target. dinner at bread co. glitter nail polish. the pour house/foley's. being overdramatic. st. cecelia's.

s. nancy's vacation/no after school. being the boss and getting better at it. game night. lots of new volunteers. community reflection time + prayer partner beginnings. call me maybe. speakers at the bpl. the laziest weekend ever. buying my plane ticket home for april. becoming addicted to the vampire diaries. daylights saving time. spiritual direction.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

these forty days.

one of my favorite poems (via pinterest)

Since we are are currently in the midst of Lent, I'm trying to approach the season with a bit more purpose than usual--particularly in the light of the four values of JVC and where I see the most need for growth in my own life.

Specifially, I've been trying to take these 40 days as an opportunity to both grow in my spirituality and to embrace simplicity. For me, that has meant committing to writing in my journal every day, reading daily reflections, and cutting out some extra background noise. Most notably, I gave up Facebook (besides 15 minutes every Sunday and the Casserly House account, of course).

And honestly? All this feels really good--liberating almost. Giving up Facebook is an idea I toyed with for awhile, then last Sunday, I finally bit the bullet and just decided to do it. It's funny because during college there were a few times I temporarily gave up Facebook during exams and such, and it always drove me crazy. I was always so tempted to log back in.  Now? I really don't even want to touch it. The idea just seems emotional draining (in all fairness, I find many things in life emotionally draining these days; I think it's just part of being a JV).

I'm also trying to cut back on other parts of my "online" life--Pinterest, reading blogs, etc. Those who know me well also know that I love reading blogs, but I had started to resent Google Reader as an obligation. Gradually, I just went through and started deleting things from it--and I honestly don't miss them either.

I guess that's one of the interesting things about simplifying your life--you start to realize how much you don't miss the things you previously clung to. Needless to say, I'm excited to see where these next forty days will lead me as I take more intentional time for reflection and being quiet.