I miss the golden days of blogging from Maputo. I realize how special it was to feel like writing most of the time, and to be connected to a larger community through that writing.
Being in Mozambique called my inner narrator to action, but the best part was doing it in a public forum. Sharing my impressions with others made me really stop and THINK about what I was feeling and what my motivations were. Most times my desire was to be a good multilateral cultural ambassador and take a neutral view that invited the opportunity for further consideration. (See there, I haven't forgotten my development proposal-writing talents!)
But other times I just needed to vent. Blogging got me through Chimoio. It made me feel less lonely in 2006 after Rico went to Brazil and I stayed in Maputo. Writing made me feel less desperate about the fact that I had no friends in town and was afraid to go to the bank by myself. Blogging helped me understand why I hated my job and what I wanted to do about it.
Writing here has brought me great joy too, of course. I've made many, many friends and contacts (my maid of honor at my wedding was a blog friend originally!) and it's been fantastic to come here and share over the years, respond to your emails about potential moves to Mozambique, follow your blogs, meet you in person for a beer or a coffee.
It is comforting to know that some of you are still reading, even if just occasionally (which is totally fine, because it's more often than I blog these days.) I have a narrator in my head here in California, too, but it's the type of stuff that sounds very adolescent and dramatic when put in writing so it mostly goes in the sketchbook. It's all very art school, you know?
Speaking of which, I am finally in my senior year and have only two semesters remaining until I graduate. My senior show reception will be May 1st and I will receive another bachelor's degree two weeks thereafter. I feel equal parts self-congratulatory and in need of therapy.
Becoming a jeweler has been a transformative and unbelievably positive experience, but it's also broken me down a bit. I am often insecure and struggle to place appropriate value on my work, even though I am *the best* at giving people pep talks and encouraging them to be confident and stand proud behind their talents. I am moody, hangry, tired, and I cry all the freaking time. And I make myself sick with stress, literally dry-heaving over the possibility that my engagement ring client won't like my work or that my sketches for a custom design are misleading because I'm not that good at drawing.
But despite the crisis periods, I feel happy and challenged. I have made good friends, I have learned serious new skills, and I keep coming back to jewelry (although I have undeniable love for fabric design, too) so I figure something must be right. Rico and my mom are awesome. The rest of our family is right up there, too. As are our neighbors, my dancing girls at Hipline, my school friends, my blog friends, my AFS friends, our cats... I could go on, and on, and on. :)
Miss y'all. I hope good things are in store para todos.