Exactly three months ago, I was graduating from college. I remember sitting there, squished between some of the greatest people I know (hi, Br. Dominic!) excited about the prospect of actually having a degree and terrified that the real world was about to slap me in the face. Even then, I didn't know that in three months I would be sitting in an Arizonan classroom on the Navajo Nation as an actual teacher. It still astounds me.
It's not what I expected, but then again, I am not sure exactly what I expected anymore. I've have been so touched by what I've already seen. There aren't enough books for the students. There are money issues. There are problems on the reservation. But there is also so much love. It envelops everything I see here. It takes precedence over the problems and wraps itself around everyone who is here. We had an open house the other night and I got to meet some parents, people who grabbed my hand with both of theirs and thanked me for coming here. I already have dinner invitations and people recognize me around town. It's been a week, but it feels like I've been in Arizona for so much longer.
I've come to accept that my feet will never be fully clean while I am here because the dust comes in every crack and opening. I will constantly find spiders in my closet, and yes, rattlesnakes live in the field across from me. It's okay with me. I wake up everyday and see these wonderful red rocks that encompass the landscape, and I love the itty bitty cacti that grow in our yard. I've come to realize that Navajo Time is a real concept and that schedules aren't always the priority here. It's okay with me.
Three months ago, I thought I needed to have all these plans. I was afraid to walk across that stage because I thought everyone needed to have life planned out. Today, I am happier than I have been in a long time because I feel as if I have found my place here. It's not always easy, sometimes, it is frustrating. But joining MVC and taking that leap of faith to move over 2,000 miles away from everyone and everything I knew was a good choice.