Friday, March 12, 2010


From some of the blogs that I have read this week it feels like the passage of time is dawning on a lot of my fellow BB'ers as most of them will leave in less than two months. You are all vamping up for departure, making sure deadlines are met and all of a sudden it’s really real. But months away from my trip and 3 hours away from all the action, I’m feeling a little different.

Last semester Beyond Borders consumed so much of my time and energy and I was feeling so focused and driven, but these past months I’ve been so busy with work and family that when I do surface for air, I feel disconnected from the whir of activity that is going on back in Waterloo. And as frustrating as sitting in front of this computer looking for blog inspiration is some weeks, I am so grateful that I get to do this because it's really my only Beyond Borders connection right now. I feel bad that I haven't been there to support all the hard work everyone has been putting towards fundraising, I feel out of the loop when I can't be at impromptu meeting or group events because I have to be at work, I feel frustrated at not knowing how to change it and I feel like I’m missing out on the best part of beyond borders - the people.

And to bring this back around to my favourite semester 1 read, Becoming Human, I have to admit that I feel like my sense of belonging is under siege. Here at home I have belonging in my family, I have belonging in my relationship and I belong to many great friendships. As far as belonging is concerned here at home I have a comfy place to fit right in. The problem is that now the groups that I belong to aren’t all in the same place, and once you have formed a community you’re in. But when that feeling of community dwindles even a little, whether because of time, or distance, there becomes uncertainty where that security used to be. And that’s really scary.

And if this is what I'm feeling from three hours away what is it going to be like when I’m on the other side of the globe? There are a few things of which I am certain – 1. India will challenge my faith in myself and in my independence more than anything I have gone though yet; 2. It will mess with my sense of belonging; and 3. That I will be a better person because of those challenges.

So yes I started this post in a bit of a low mood – I swear this weather is getting to me – but reading back what I have just written I realize that I can change the things that I’m worried about. I can stop myself when I get down and realize that the communities that I have built will be there when I come back, and just because the world keeps turning while I’m not looking doesn’t mean I don’t belong in those communities anymore, it just means I can contribute something new and different when I get back.

I apologize for the long, drawn out ramblings, and thank you for reading as I worked out my latest dilemma. It might not make as much sense to the rest of you as I would have liked, but it helped me mull through my thoughts just a bit and I’m feeling better already. Next week I will be writing to you from the sunny south and hopefully in a much better mood! It’s this crummy weather, I swear!! So hello Vitamin D here I come!!

xo Jenn


  1. "it just means I can contribute something new and different when I get back. "

    Love it! Great post :)

  2. Yes Jenn, I really like this post too! I especially agree with the three points you made about challenging your independence, your sense of belonging and being a better person after all is said and done.

    I'm sure I'll be going through the SAAAAME things, but I'm sure we'll find some type of refuge with the people we meet in India! And, I'm not sure if you've heard, and I know it's not 100% confirmend yet, but you may even have a travel buddy (*hint*hint: Tina ... but you didn't hear anythign from me hahaha!) By the way, are you also staying with Rupa, or are you staying at the college?