This is an extremely brief update (if the title didn’t give that away) and I could go into more detail about the work I have done with the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and the work QVS Portland has done together, but that is not where my mind or heart is, so excuse me.
My year with the Quaker Voluntary Service is coming to an end. And it is starting to hurt.
During meeting this past Sunday, I couldn’t help but feel emotional as I sat next to three of my housemates. The realization that our year is coming to an end has been trickling in slowly but surely, but as I sat beside them and worshiped in silence, the mourning process accelerated quite a bit. I am going to miss these people. A lot. Even though I wasn’t always the kindest person, and conflict had a very real presence in the house, I love my housemates. We worked through a lot and we shared many sweet and even powerful moments and simply put, they’re great. All five of them.
Since that moment in meeting, I’ve been hit pretty hard with this realization over and over again. Though I have complained a lot about this year and every so often feel like I somehow failed my QVS year, the truth is that this year has been incredible. I did good work with AFSC, I met many brilliant F/friends, lived with five earnest and passionate individuals, experienced both the Liberal and Evangelical branches of Quakerism, discovered what Quakerism means to me, received some insight into my future and calling, and lived in Portland, Oregon—which is a glorious thing in so many ways. I’ve been very blessed and I cannot deny it.
July 29th, my last day of QVS, is approaching, and I have to clean and pack and figure out some logistics for my next step, which is moving to Philadelphia. Other than the moving part, I have little idea of what is next. I am glad that I will be near my family (who keep reproducing) and many of my friends, and I’m ecstatic that I will have a Friends of Jesus worship group nearby. Also, being in the heart of American Quakerism is pretty cool. I will miss Mt. Hood, Burgerville, kombucha on tap, my office, and all the children of God I have encountered here, but I’ve received a lot of confirmation and clearness that it is to move on.
As much as it hurts, I think I am ready.