this is my temporary home it’s not where i belong

When I was in third grade at St. Mary’s in Mrs. Johnston’s classroom, we used to play this game where we’d spin the globe and wherever we place our finger when it stop, that was where we were going to live when we were older.  (And when our finger landed in the ocean, we spun again.)  If only life was that easy.  Spin a globe and let fate do the rest.  Who has a globe I can borrow?

I’m not really sure what prompted me today, but I decided to begin a discussion on 20 Something Bloggers.  First I have to give a shout-out to all of the girls on 20sb for their responses to my question: Where would you live? Anyone want to guess the first and second response?  (Hint: It was not Chicago, Ohio nor Pittsburgh.) 

Colorado. First response was Colorado Springs, and then shortly followed by Denver.  Guess who lives in Denver, my friends?  I’m sure the world stopped for a few seconds when I read that at first.  Actually, this was about the tenth or so person in the past 5 months (since discovering a certain someone lives there now) that someone has randomly raved about the city to me.  Don’t say that it’s a sign…but is it?  For sanity-sake, I’m not going to go there, but I have to say it really does sound A.MAY.ZING.  Too bad I cannot move there.

I really enjoyed hearing about different favorite cities: Seattle, San Diego, San Francisco, Tampa, NYC, etc.  I really haven’t done much traveling in my life so I really don’t even know what else is out there.  Heck, I’d only been to Chicago once before accepting the job here- and that really doesn’t even count since I never even ventured downtown.

Maybe I should explain why I felt inspired to ask people for insight on new places.  While my plan is to stay in Chicago for at least the next year, that also depends on whether or not I get into the Child Life internship program at Children’s Memorial beginning in the fall. I’ve been so optimistic…until today.  (Blame it Monday?)

I saw this picture early this morning and I’ve been thinking about it all day since.  What do you see in this photo?  A sick little girl battling cancer?  Yes, but no.  What I see is a girl filled with hope.  She may have lost her hair, but she hasn’t lost her innocence.  She’s experienced pain, but she still believes in life.  She loves, and she deserves to be loved.

Ten hours later I still look at this photo and smile.  I want to know this kid.  I want to help her in any way that I can.  And you know what…I can.  Well maybe not this little kid, but as a Child Life Specialist I will be granted this opportunity and truthfully words cannot express how special this is to me.  For the first time in a long time, it makes me feel like  I know exactly where I belong.

That being said though, will my new temporary home be withing the Child Life internship program at Children’s Memorial here in Chicago?  I can cross my ‘pingers’ as much as I want, but only time will tell.  While I’m still confident that I submitted the best application I possibly could, I cannot help but feel a bit vulnerable.  In fact I received an email today from the internship program supervisor and my heart sunk before reading it.  Fortunately it was just a general message to all applicants saying that my application was received, but I was so worried that I was already rejected.  (Knock on wood.)  Now I’ve thought about back-up plans (ie. Master’s programs, applying for the Child Life internship back in Columbus next year), I just hope that this will all work out.  I’m looking way too ahead here, but the only cities (that I know of) that have Master’s programs that I could even imagine myself applying for are Chicago, Boston, Nashville, and Colorado Springs.  Que sera, sera.

Since I graduated high school I’ve always been trying to figure out where I belong.  I belonged in Athens- for a time- but when the sand ran out of the hourglass, it was time to return my glass slippers.  Pittsburgh hasn’t been home for awhile now, and truthfully no matter how much fun I have here, Chicago never will be either.  Columbus felt right, or maybe I just wanted it to be right (?)…like how it feels when you’re comfortable with something so you decide to settle.

Back in college this guy, Angelo, who hardly knew me at the time, said something that will always stick with me: “I hope you find what you’re looking for.” At the time I didn’t even know that I was looking for something.  Now many times when I think about this I mistakenly believe that I’m looking for LOVE.  But today I had an aha moment.  I’m not looking for love, per say.  I’m looking to find the place where I belong.  A place where I’m happy being me.  I may not know the destination city, but I feel confident in saying that the Child Life program is a place where I belong.


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