Sunday, November 30, 2008

Open Skies

Who that reads my blog knows me? I surmise the answer to that is more or less everyone. I figure it's a safe summation, as I don't know how else you would have found your way here. That aside, if you know me, you probably know the following things : I ponder a decent amount, and I usually tie together the things that I am pondering. (I also ponder the imponderable sometimes. When I really do this, my gut shrinks up and I have a feeling of... scale, and where I am. That's humbling)

Thoughts on...

My personality. My personality is such that I don't like doing things unless I can do them right. I don't even like to start them. I was talking to one of my co-workers here (who I've made help me by being my 'task tracker' whom I have weekly status meetings with and show what I have or have not gotten done.) and he pointed out to me that I've got to understand why I was made how I was made so I can be used how I am supposed to be used. I know that I don't fully understand this yet, but this is very good advice, and I'm trying to put it into practice. So one of the things that I am attempting to do better at is start things even if I don't know I can get them done how I want to get them done. This is both a personal and professional challenge, as I have to come to the acceptance and realization that I can't always predict or know the outcomes of life situations. So sometimes, instead of not doing something because I don't know how it's going to turn out, I need to just do it not knowing, and trusting that if I'm on the Path, it will be OK. Even if it hurts sometimes and isn't the most comfortable. This is something I am still working on, and I will probably keep working on it for a long time. This is growth in faith.

I've begun to realize of late how deeply my decisions can affect other people, and how what I say has an impact on other people when I didn't mean for it to. I've got to deal with that reality more and more every day. Not that I ever was, but the more I live in close community with others, I realize that I'm not an isolated man. The things I do and say, flippantly and seriously, have a direct, meaningful impact on others. I find that I need to work better at being aware of what I say, and recognizing that sometimes, the things that I say do hurt people, many times that's bad, sometimes that's OK, because it's a wrong hurt for them. Kind of hard to explain, but it's a growth in my understanding of my impact on others.

If you've followed this blog for a while, you know that I feel like I'm going to be here another year and then leave. I don't know if that's wrong or right, but between a number of circumstances that have happened of late, I've been led to pursue another growth avenue here. That avenue is that I can make plans, I can think I see the path, and that may not be right. I live in a country where it's entirely possible that I won't be here in a year because of happenings in the country. I live in a country and work in a job that I could stay at forever. Life changes. I have to be adaptable.

I'm struggling in some ways this year. At times, I feel more immature than I have in a long time, I feel like the little kid of the place. Some times, I feel like I'm just bouncing along, oblivious to the plight of the world and of my friends around me. Some times, I know I'm supposed to be here, and sometimes I don't see that. This place challenges me in ways I never knew it would. I'm challenged to mature professionally, as I adapt to new job situations, to have a greater worldview of the war that happens around me. I'm challenged to grow personally as I enter into new situations and relationships that aren't always easy. I'm challenged to grow as I find revelations in the calm. Nothing happens easy, but it's worth it.

This is a season of changes. It grows cold here. We just finished Thanksgiving, and we're into the advent of a new season. One where I am reminded of the tremendous power that this world falls under, and the tremendous power that this world is freed by. As I encounter new, meaningful situations in life and I am challenged to grow, I am coming to a perspective, not of throwing away the old recklessly and pursuing the new, but of embracing change. And Change. I can't always keep things from coming undone, but they never really come Undone. The power of the Words repairs all that I break, it changes all that we know, it brings us to a new place every day.

Life happens. As I make my way into the countdown for getting to go home, I find comfort and solace in the fact that this place, these feelings, all this that I know, all will pass away, all is temporary. I am excited for the change to come, I am excited for the opportunities to grow, I am glad for the choice to be different than I was.

I will work to keep from being quiet. I will work to be still. I will work to grow, to know, and to show.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

All creatures, lift and sing

Ok, so my last post might have been a little flippant. That's me, sorry.

I ran in the annual embassy footrace this morning. I got 6th in the 5k with a 22:54. Not quite as good as I had hoped, but not bad for minimal training and high altitude. Our journey was a little exciting (you can read the news) but we were pretty far away, and were OK. Our art teacher won the girls race this year, marking the second year one of our folks has won the woman's portion of the race. Go us!

Later today, we're having our annual campus thanksgiving meal. It's a fun time to just bond more with the family we have here.

I just think about all the things that I have to be thankful for, and I wonder who am I to get these gifts. I wonder who am I to be so richly blessed. I have an amazing job, I know so many amazing people, I get to help in some unbelievable situations. I'm not going to lie, I'm not always happy to be here, I don't always have the best perspective. But I'm going to quote something here that I wrote around this holiday last year. "Thankfulness is an attitude, a desire we have to cultivate wherever we are, whatever we are faced with. There is joy to be found in all situations, even the ones we don't see it in."

Just like I can't always tell you everything that is going rough, I can't tell you everything that is going good. Some of which is because you're not here. How can I tell you how good it is to just spontaneously decide to go out to eat with friends here? How can I tell you how good it is to get out and run somewhere new? How can I tell you how good it is to see a smile every day, even when I'm down? How can I begin to describe the pain and struggle, the triumph and glory that I see every day?

I don't just give thanks to the pilgrims, or to Abraham Lincoln. I don't just give thanks for turkey, for time with friends, for not feeling alone. I give thanks that all this is for a King.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mine is going to be cooler than yours. :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Every step

I'm 2-9 in Fantasy Football this year. I've lost 4 or 5 games by 5 points or less, and left a couple of those on the bench in wins. Like this week, I left a swing of 44 points on the bench. Sigh.

Life here can get rough, and I can't always handle that the best, as you know if you've read my blog for any length of time. So here it is. This is me, out on the raggedy edge. I just keep following as best I can.

I don't always do the best. But I always follow the Best.

I am part of the army of the far from perfect.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bait the chains

I don't want life to be like this any more.

I don't have any choice.

Press on. Stand tall.

Hit me again. I can take it. It seems it's the reason I was brought to the forefront of this war.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Still drip gradient refraction

What will suffice? What is my new ending?

Stuff happens here that I really wish didn't. I really wish I didn't have to go through or put other people through this. How do we deserve this pain with the healing?

No more self-pity. I just keep walking. You keep calling, and I keep answering. Where I am sent, where You would have me go, I will. My deeds grew to greatness, but now I'm lost and worthless. No more safe and grey roads. Take me and break me.

I can't tell you about everything, but I can tell you that I am where I said I would be in the end.

Today was an up and down day. I got a package from my wonderful parents, stuffed full of good stuff. It raises my spirits. I kept myself under control when I really struggled with my attitude toward people. I ran from some things I needed to.

I'm not counting down towards the holiday break, but time away will be better this year than last.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The forefront

I worked today for the third Thursday in a row. Not complaining, and I haven't work this hard on all of the others, but it just goes to tell you how life has been going here recently.

I looked up, saw it was 4:04 P.M. and decided to leave work. Please, someone tell me you get why that's funny.

I'm trying to reclaim victory, but sometimes the things that happen here make that hard. Prepare for change.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hope thirsting sheep

OK, I can't explain everything here. But some of this has got to come out.

Hi, everyone who maybe started reading my blog now. You don't scare me. None of you. What does that tell you about me?

I wish I could draw a plain picture of the conflict in my chest, in my head, in myself right now. Work, life, direction, discernment, all the weight, all the wandering. I wish I had someone who could speak to me, and show me the conquest, show me the reaches. But the path I walk means that I can't know that. I want to encourage you, if you struggle with wanting to know, well, sometimes we don't get to. It's OK, it just means that you get to grow without knowing what toward.

I need to get some things straightened out, and I need to make some clarity happen soon. I need to have some peace about somethings, and I need to draw closer through study. I need to let go of myself.

My current favorite band is Oh, Sleeper. I know most of you wouldn't like them. Actually, I think that The Antiphonal Dissonance, who first led me to them, is perhaps the only guy who would really like them who reads this. Anyway, Oh, Sleeper. Part of the reason that I like them is the music (yes, it is music. Nara, go away.) but the larger reason is what they say. I can identify. And I can identify about wanting to scream my lungs out about it. You may not realize that about me, but it's true.

Following the footsteps of heroes never led to the safe and grey roads.

Some of their songs make me want to just lift my hands in the air and let the waves wash over me, I want to internalize what they're saying, and make it me, my own. One of the themes they hit on a lot is how frail we are, how unable we are to do this on our own. The way they express themselves, in the hopefulness of surrender, the recognition of the difficulty and the darkness of our walk, I get so encouraged with the triumph in their outlook.

Why spare the life of inglorious waste? Why let him live? He's just hunting your own! How can you just sit there and watch? "Because I love you more than you know. Look again and tell me what you see!" In the window was me.

I'm listening to them while writing this post, and deciding that you can't really understand what I'm talking about until you listen to The Color Theft or Building the Nations. Or Revelations in the Calm, which makes me... not happy, but content. Content with where I am, content with what I am doing, content with my path.

Oh, forgiver! Where is the justice in letting me live?

Lots of days that I am here, I begin to wonder at myself. I struggle with getting everything done. I struggle to make good on what I say. I struggle to stay upright, I struggle to stay warm. But then something takes me out of this ignorance. Introspection will take me down a dark path, but will fall short. There's something else that I must grasp hold of, another perspective that I must have.

So when hell is at the gates, who will stand and meet the waves and take the fight to their graves to end the dark campaign.

There's... a lot going on here. And I have been led to see something of late, as I get to know people here better, as I get to know myself better, as I get farther on this path. It's something that part of an Oh Sleeper song grabbed at me with, and I'm holding on to it through the struggle, and as I press on.

DESTROY! REBUILD! Plant the seeds to reclaim victory! Through struggle, we press on. We are the army of the far from perfect, this is the call, the call to tear down, tear down, rebuild this world.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The _____ of strain

I subbed for sixth grade for the afternoon today. Today was an interesting, 'where did the time go' kind of day. We learned about volcanoes, and about the Roman Empire.

I also had 3rd & 4th grade basketball. That was fun.

I also had another huge chunk of work placed on me the last week that I'm realizing more and more is going to be a huge chunk of work. Well, I guess that's what I am here for.

As I make decisions, I retract ideas, and I find that there is more fluid than I wish was.

I hope.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Feet on the air, head in the ground

This will be my 500th post to this current iteration of my blog. This means I'm pushing about 750 since I started doing this in January of 2006 (oh, yah, if you didn't know, I deleted about a whole year of the blog in 2006. It needed to be deleted.)

I'm sitting here in the 'Stan, having eaten soup twice today, eaten half a bag full of mini-Oreos, and trying to figure out what is wrong with me that I have a difficult time accepting it when people do nice things for me.

I guess I just wait for things too long. I guess I just... Some day, I think I might figure things out, but would that be a lie? I wonder if I'm like a general manager on draft day.

It starts to get cold here, and I start to close in on myself. I just sit here and wonder. I wonder about the fact that we've got pictures of planets orbiting nearby stars (Fomalhaut is about 25 LY away. 25!) I wonder about the fact that I live in a place where people still starve to death or die of exposure, and the Yankees are moving into a $1.3 billion stadium, offering C.C. Sabethia a ridiculous contract, and I've read about this stuff today. I wonder about simplicity and complexity, about if I'll ever again want to live in a place where I don't have to worry about how to stay warm in the winter. I wonder if I'll ever have a mantle to put pictures on. I wonder if I'm really deserving to be around people who don't have to wonder if they are a hero.

I start to find nothing but forgery and larceny in my own heart. I say no truths, no consequences, nothing worth repeating or remembering. When my friends leave here after this year, when I leave here, will I have mattered, will I have made a difference? Could I have dropped this and made it out?

Is there a choice in all of this? Is there a place, is there familiarity? What can I really be confident of? Why can't I just surrender and lose and gain?

One of my house mates has a fever and a kidney infection. I've got a sore throat. Others of my friends are sick. Would that we would have no more use for this.

Nothing to be learned

I guess I haven't posted in a while. Maybe part of the reason for this is the increasing cold, maybe part of it is just a lack of things to say.

I can't tell you why there's shadows on the sun. If someone is taking the best of you, maybe the thing to do is find who you should be giving it to instead.

I had a pretty good weekend, it was kind of lazy but good. I played video games, did work, played Frisbee, got to go out to eat, talk with friends, play Madden on the big screen in my room.

I got new furniture! I have a couch, love seat, and two chairs in my room now. It's a little much, and I'm still trying to figure out how to arrange everything, but this is good.

I'm starting all of my paragraphs with personal possessive pronouns.

My housemates and I rearranged this weekend.

I have to speak at Monday Morning Focus meeting this week, and I still don't know what it is that I am going to say.

I think there are things that are happening that I just need to see the way through, but I'm not sure what that way is, and this scares me because here I don't want to stumble. My intentions are perhaps full of pride, but I can't see through them as well as I would like.

What are my true colors? Where is it that I want to be? Am I an overachiever or an underachiever?

Do I think about things too much, do I overthink everything? The truth is that every single day that I'm here, I wonder why I am here, I look at the skills and the drive of the other people here, and wonder why and how I fit in here. Then I think about the billions of people, the thousands of years, the innumerable plans that have all worked out, and I guess I just know I'm going to be ok if I walk the path.

My heart just breaks sometimes, and I never know when it is going to happen. It happened today when I saw a kid on the street. It happened yesterday when I drove through an area of town that should be nice, and drove by guards brandishing their klashnikovs. It happened earlier this week when I was hearing about how the Soviets destroyed this country with scorched earth polices in the eighties, how America didn't help by funding the muj.

There is no end to where I see the world zooming out from me. If all of the base factors of physics, nay, the universe lined up right for us to exist, why do I worry?


Where'd you go?
I shaved this morning.
Seems like forever.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Freestyle ("Bite the ball")

This is pretty much entirely random, but today, I really want to see someone who irritates me, and take off, full speed, shoulder down, head up, and level him, in a picture perfect tackle, roll over a couple times, then get up and yell some Terry Tate-esque teacher comment, like, "I TOLD YOU, ALWAYS DOUBLE SPACE YOUR ENGLISH HOMEWORK!", or "FAISAL, YOU KNOW YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO SHOW YOUR WORK ON MATH PROBLEMS!" or "YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BRING IN YOUR COMPUTER THIS WEEK FOR THE UPGRADE!"

Would that not be awesome?

Maybe I need to exercise more.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What Mad Universe

What mad universe?

Only this one that we inhabit so faithlessly and irresponsibly, only this one that we stammer and struggle against.

Why do we keep from seeing the entanglements that bind us, that keep us with the weight of defeat on our shoulders?

Don't you know that we deserve this pain, this healing? No more self pity, no more loathing of our stable in life.

What cold fate holds us to the pressure of an expectation that we cannot possibly expect to keep?

Fall away from the simplicity and the complexity that we see in our lives, to see something deeper than either of these simple extremes.

What mad universe?

Only this one that we inhabit so grace covered and unpaid, only this one that we stammer and struggle to follow within?

Why do we keep from seeing the failure instead of the success, the stumbling instead of the growth?

What mad universe.


They never did let off fully. Sometimes, he had years of rest, other times, mere weeks. They found him soon enough, and soon enough he had to jump, to stay a step ahead of his relentless pursuers. He had sought solace in the silence of an atmosphere-less world, yet there he had been chased. He had thought to hide among the noise of one of the largest trade hubs on a busy asteroid near Jupiter, loosing himself among the bustle of Sol, but even there he had only delayed his discovery. He had bought passage to the outer reaches of the known expanses of space, but nothing could stop their quest. Orsen despaired of ever gaining more than a decade's peace, but he knew that he had to stay a step ahead of them.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Trails in the dusk, falling stars in groups. Orsen saw the first of the meteor storm from a distance, abstract, like a memory dredged up from long ago. As they burned up, the atmosphere smiting them in its fury, Orsen turned his back on the beautiful sky, and faced the cold, dark earth. The road from here to the nearest shelter would be long and arduous, and he was in a particular hurry to get going. They wouldn't be far behind him.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The same thing in the end

Ahhh... Today, I had another administration of our internet based English proficiency test. And about spat nails this morning and yelled at the low-level tech support drone when she couldn't tell me why I needed to un-install my newly upgraded anti-virus system for the test to work on some of the machines, but not on all of them. I hate talking to the low-level folks, because they have no idea what they're really telling you, and all they know is what the script says. Still, it's frustrating. After we got through that, the test went ok. So that's a relief.

I had 5th & 6th grade boys basketball today, and had 9 kids. We had a good time. It really makes me wish we had a court and a real basketball program, because there's some definite promise in some of these kids. Of course, if we had a real program, I probably wouldn't get to coach in it.

I'm doing a little better at dealing with people. Not as well as I would like, but better. Some things I really need to figure out, but I guess that is my life.

While I'm administering the english proficiency test, there's not a lot to do except sit there. So I usually read. In the past, I've gone to the library and gotten books. Today, I decided to read the copy of Alastair Reynolds' The Prefect that I picked up in Malaysia. It reminded me of why I really like Reynolds. He just writes... sharp worlds. I guess the way to say it is, maybe his characterizations aren't fully developed, maybe the dialog is a little wooden sometimes, but the setting is so fleshed out, and the stories are so... they just feel like they fit in the worlds that he's devised. The Prefect is a great example of this. It's not a book for everyone, but I really enjoy it. I got about 330 pages into the 500 page book (I've read it before) today, and I may polish it off tonight and tomorrow.


Orson stood, silent and unmoving as the human tidal wave surged around him. He had avoided the deportation, only to be displaced a few months later when the Cortar had threatened the colony. Now, he rested, comfortable in the knowledge that this open market held no danger, no secrets from him. He was lightyears away from his second home, and yet, he felt like he knew this place like a familiar haunt, as though he had been here his whole life.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Compilations in the dark

My room definitely looks like a bachelor pad right now. I horribly, horribly abused my "I'm the IT Guy" privileges this weekend, and took a school projector to my house, set it up, hooked up my buddy's Xbox360 to it... We gamed for like 10 hours this weekend. You know, I don't game all that much anymore, so maybe I overdosed, but it was great. Anyway, the stuff is still all setup in my house, because it was too late last night to worry about taking it all down. It's kind of nice to know that one can be here and still have a touch of America-esque experiences.

Despite the gaming goodness, yesterday was fairly frustrating. By virtue of where we are and what I do, I feel obligated to make house calls in some cases. It's just annoying when a) those can't fit themselves into my schedule and b) I have to get a driver to take me. I also find it frustrating when I do favors to people, and they basically insist that the favor isn't good enough. I mean, I do things for people that... ok, this would turn into a, "I'm so great, look at me"-fest if I kept going, so I'm stopping that rant. I'm also frustrated when people tell me, "I'm going to go to Frisbee tomorrow!" and then back out and then I don't get to go because we have to have two people to go. So I played video games instead of frisbee. Oh, and played horribly at Volleyball and lost every game again. I hate that.


Mike Orson went from room to room, frantically searching for the papers. If he found them, it would prove the continuity of his residence on the colony, if he couldn't find them, he faced deportation in a few short weeks. Finally, he found them, his residency papers, the ink fading on the oldest stamps, but he counted, they were all there.


Sigh. I'm frustrated today because I didn't get to go to Frisbee because people who said they would go decided not to, and then I can't go solo.

Sigh. I'm frustrated because I need to do more work today, but I worked 6 hours yesterday, and I don't want to today.


I did get to play video games all last night and probably most of today. Given how little I get to play these days, this is actually news.

I want to go to eastern Ukraine and just roam around the country side for a while. I think it would be really neat to have a motorcycle and backpack and just roam. I could go to Pipriyat, I could head through Kiev, the highlands, the pastures. Sigh.

I need a different rhythm.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Like a stage

People. Chill. What kind of idol have you made out of your ideal of what America should be that you're even talking about moving away just because someone with a different set of ideals than you just got elected? I mean, yes, I would rather McCain had won, but this happened. You adjust, you deal. Stop talking about moving somewhere, even in jest, and get constructive.

You all frustrate me.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


No more promises - there's not a better life. There's not a better view, not a greener pasture. I think that the anticipation of a thing often leaves us disappointed with how it turned out.

I guess all that's left is to just return to the roots that hold us and molded us. Rest our heads down and find the peacefulness we have been promised.

It's no simple feat, taking and changing from the common thread that we once ran in, and becoming something more than what it is that we would have been.

Burn all of our bridges, stop and think about the changes and the phases.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


I had 3rd and 4th grade boys for basketball today, six of them. It was great. They were listening, trying what I was showing them, not being disruptive. It reminded me why I love coaching so much, and challenged me to expand myself to being better for the kids who don't really want to be coached.

I will try to find my place.

Yesterday was November the 1st, a Saturday, which means that it's the first day of the week for me (my weekend here in Afghanistan is Thursday and Friday). Yep, if you didn't know, I'm still in Afghanistan. I got here in August of 2007 a pretty scared guy, not really knowing what I was getting into, on a six month contract to be the fill-in IT guy for the International School of Kabul. I was eventually asked to stay on as the permanent IT guy, so I signed up for the rest of last school year, and then this year.

November is when it starts to get cold in Kabul. Because of the security situation, we've been on 'lock down' most of the past three weeks, meaning we have limited chances to get out. I can't walk anywhere locally, and to get off campus, I have to check in with our security guy before I leave to make sure it's OK to get out. Now, some of you may be saying at this point, "I haven't heard from you in nearly a year! Why are you e-mailing now?" Well, if you remember the last time I sent out an e-mail like this, you'll remember what happens in November at my school. We receive an 'intent to return' form, which asks, "If offered a contract, will you return next year?" The forms were distributed yesterday. I took mine out of my box, signed it, and turned it into the principal. They're not due until December 1st, but I figure, I know what my decision is, so why wait?

I've spent a lot of time thinking and praying about this decision, and have talked to a couple of trusted counselors. I feel pretty confident in the correctness of my decision. My plan is to return to Kabul and to ISK for the 2009-2010 school year. I'm not entirely sure what happens after that, but I currently doubt that I will be returning to Kabul after that time. I could be wrong on this, and I'm trying to be open to that. But currently, I feel like next year will be my last.

You may be wondering, if I'm planning on leaving after next year, why am I coming back next year? That's a legitimate question. The answer is that I have to come back next year. I really can't tell you why from a pieces-of-data point of view. There are reasons, but they actually don't exactly add up to staying. In fact, I have no particular desire to return. "OK, Russ, this is weird. You don't want to go back, but you still are?" See, I don't really want to leave, either. I'm entirely open and willing to where it feels like He wants me to be. And right now, it seems like He wants me to be here. It's hard to explain; I'm not a necessity here at the school, they've got someone else who could do my job if I didn't come back (and I'm not so vain as to think that they couldn't find someone else to replace me.), and there are conditions here that make my job difficult at times. But I know I'm supposed to come back here.

I feel like I have to come back because it's possible that we could have a 50% staff turnover next year, and out of a staff of 40, that's considerable. Plus, some of our senior administration and day-to-day operation people could be leaving, and so I think being here to help with the transition would be good. We also still have plans to move to a new campus in the near future, and I would like to be a part of the planning and maybe implementation process for that. I feel that there is enough to do here that I wouldn't be leaving well to take off after this year. Besides, I'm kind of planning on riding out the recession in Afghanistan. The U.S. economy should stabilize in a year and a half, right? :)

How does this reconcile with me saying that I'm going to leave after next year? Well, I think that part of my skill set is an ability to adapt to new situations fairly quickly, to 'hit the ground running,' so to speak. I think that to be able to use that skill, I have to go to another place, because when I'm still in the same place, I'm already hit and running. I think that something that I need to do to move my technical skills and my 'career' forward is work in an IT department, with a knowledgeable and experienced boss and co-workers from whom I can learn best practices, how to work in and manage in an IT department (which I don't know that I want to do, but I think I may have to do in the future). I don't know what form that exactly will take, whether programming or network/systems administration kind of
stuff, but I've been the IT department everywhere I've worked since 2002, and while I've gained a lot of knowledge and skill in that time, I think I need to spend some time as an employee, for lack of a better term, to move myself forward from a career point of view.

A note about coming back. If you've read any of the news recently, it's obvious there is a lot happening in this country and in this city in particular that makes me concerned about my safety. Kidnappings, killings, threats, numerous incidents have happened since I made this decision in my mind. None of what has happened shakes my conviction that I am supposed to be here, now, in this place. I handle being locked down pretty well. I am OK with flexible boundaries to my world (plans can change three or four times during the day because of security). I am fine with my world being confined to one block most of the time. I mean, I really want to get out for Frisbee once or twice a week, and it's nice to see and hang out with non-school people when I can. But if that doesn't happen, I'm OK. I'm a flexible, available person, and I am also fine with having flexible job duties sometimes. I was made to be here in this place, at this time. I really made this decision about a month ago, and my prayers since then have been trying to discern if I was making the wrong choice. I know this can be hard to understand if you haven't been out in a place like this before, but I'm excited about making this decision.

You may want to tell me how it should be, and I'll be open to listen to you. But my mind is made.