Daloz Parks (2011) talks about the journey of emerging adults (me) as one of becoming at home in the universe. This is not a physical home, but a sense of place, begging the questions: Who am I? What is my purpose? Where do I find community? What makes me come alive?
Professionally, it is my role to journey with students as they ask these questions. In reality, I am going through a concurrent process.
My blog title is not about the classic movie that my parents could never get through without crying (I wonder as a quasi dog owner if I could today?), but rather a nod to this developmental task.
Right now, I am sitting in my hotel room with colleagues at training for my summer job. We had this brilliant moment where we were exchanging book recommendations on the history and present state of Africa, and I felt that sense of becoming that Daloz Parks alludes to.
I remember explaining to my friend and roommate on our trip to Sri Lanka last summer that I felt like development workers were more naturally “my people” than student affairs professionals. Don’t get me wrong- I have loved my time in student affairs. I have dear friends and treasured mentors in the field. I don’t know that I am finished with it. And I am certain that student development will be a part of my life and work. But, the conversations at SA conferences, SAchat, etc. do not light me up in the way that this book exchange did.
And I am thrilled to be spending some time on the things that make me feel most alive.
So I begin this blog with exciting news. I just accepted a position with Thinking Beyond Borders to co-instruct and mentor students during a global gap year program. As soon as I return from my time in Rwanda this summer (serving as an advisor with ThinkImpact), I will head to TBB training and depart early September.
This blog is my attempt to create a space to engage in public learning, to reflect, and to share my experiences with these two phenomenal positions and organizations. If I were to predict themes, they will be around power, development (human and community), education, and social justice, with the expected stories that come from cross-cultural exchange and travel.
But, the thing about adventures is that you can’t really predict them. So we will all just have to wait and see…
Parks, S. D. (2011). Big Questions, Worthy Dreams: Mentoring Emerging Adults in Their Search for Meaning, Purpose, and Faith. New York, NY: Jossey-Bass.