If this was any normal mid August day within the past few years, I'd currently be packing my room into boxes and having regular anxiety attacks about going back to school. I'd be going through every possible thing that could go wrong and taking bets on if I'd make it through the year.
This year is different. While it's terrifying, challenging, and unknown, it feels right, it feels like this is what I'm supposed to be doing. I've been getting little reminders of reassurance throughout the past few weeks, and tonight came another one.
This morning we headed to Belle Isle to work for the Walk for the Uninsured. Nate is working at Cabrini Clinic this year, and his supervisor is simply amazing. We keep hearing over and over that she is a Detroit legend, and that it wouldn't be a surprised if a statue went up in her honor. She introduced us to so many people and made us feel welcome and comfortable. The walk was fun, we each stood at different marks on the course as support people, at my station I handed out cold water. It reminded me of the Country Music Marathon- except I wasn't wearing my giant banana costume.
We headed home for lunch and a break and then were off to the Sisters of Mercy to witness Renee, a former Mercy Volunteer, enter into the Sisters of Mercy. Renee was an MVC in Detroit two years ago and has since felt the call to become a sister. It was so cool to witness this event. As soon as we walked in we were greeted with hugs from the sisters we've met this past week and some new faces. Everyone knew who we were- Katie from Flordia, Megan who went to Mercy, Nate working with Sr. Mary Ellen, and Dave, working part time shifts at Cristo Rey and Cabrini. They had that down! The service was beautiful and at the reception afterwards we met more sisters....
I was standing with Katie when I spotted Sr. Regina at the refreshment table. She was the president of Mercy High School during my four years there. I never saw her much but when I did she always had a huge smile on her face. She's a sweetheart. I only worked with her during a few student council meetings. Tonight, though, she introduced me to everyone as "Megan Carolin, who graduated in 2005". She also mentioned that I led KAIROS, was on student council, and several other things that I had no idea she even knew about, much less could remember four years later. She said several times how happy she was to see me and that she would LOVE for me to come spend a day at Mercy if I can work it out with Criso Rey to get a day off. I really couldn't imagine anything better :-) Her welcoming spirit and genuine attitude about me made me even more comfortable with this new beginning and reminded me of my LOVE for Mercy High School. Now I feel like I have such a bigger connection to the Circle of Mercy.
After the service and light recepetion we went to dinner with some Sister's, past volunteers, etc. I can't tell you how many times we heard for people that they're going to have us over for dinner soon or that we are welcome over anytime. Everyone is just SO welcoming. I can't get over that. When it comes time for the year to be over we're going to have to throw a huge thank you bbq and invite everyone who's been so nice to us.
Tomorrow we're going to mass at St. Anne's, the oldest church in Detroit. We're going to try to go to several different churches in the Detroit area until we find one that fits. I'm also going to take my community to my two favorite churches in my area, St. Hugo (my church, my elementry school) and Shrine.
I started off this entry talking about where I'd be if this was a normal year. I'll close by saying...I can't believe how much I've changed. In a year I have grown so much. It's still hard for me to step out of my comfort zone at times, but the amount of things that have changed in my life is outstanding. I'm very proud of myself.