The decision has officially been made: we (interns) won’t be able to return to India to complete our internship.
The good news is...
- We will absolutely be able to return to India one day when international travel is cleared.
- We are still working for IJM remotely.
Even with the good news, the final decision has been a hard pill to swallow. I remember when we were being sent home back in March, my roommates and I were making bets on when we would return. I think one of us guessed May and another guessed June, but in the back, back, way back of our minds, I think we all feared the possibility that we were packing up our things for good.
This decision means that we have to start transitioning into the next season way sooner than we hoped (and had planned for). I was just beginning to ask myself the ‘what’s next?’ questions: Where will I live when I return to the US? Where will I work? Will I go back to school? Will I crash with my parents?
During the first month of being home, I didn’t do much. I did my laundry, unpacked, called a few friends, cried, and journaled. Once the news came that lock-down was being extended, I knew I had to start thinking of those questions again.
So, in the midst of tears and anxiety and heart-break, I moved back to Nashville with the hope of beginning to find some answers. I moved into a new apartment with an old roommate, and I started applying for jobs. I’m currently living off of savings, which is quite a test of my trust in the Lord, but I know I’m not the only one in a situation similar to this. Some days, I drive for Postmates (a food delivery service similar to DoorDash, Grubhub, UberEats, etc.), and that’s okay, but it’s definitely not a forever job.
I’m still working with International Justice Mission, but it looks extremely different. Along with the 11 and a half hour time difference, there are technical issues, confidentiality issues, and miscommunications. When I was physically in the office, it was easy to get in the mindset of the work we were doing – I was surrounded by the stories that I was writing, and I was constantly in conversation regarding our mission as an organization, but now, my days are so different. My mindset is a balance between past, present and future, with many moments of paralyzing confusion about which one needs to be the priority.
I’m struggling to stay present in all areas of my life at the moment, but I’m doing my best to take one step at a time.
The other day, I woke up at 6:00 am for a zoom call regarding a story I was asked to write this week. I rolled out of bed, made a cup of coffee, and clicked on that zoom link. An hour later, we sorted all the details out and concluded by stating that we would stay in touch.
Within 10 minutes, my dad called. The company that my dad works with has been in contact with a non-profit over the last few weeks, and he’s been telling me about a new job opening in their nashville location. He called me that morning to help me refresh my resume, so that I could send it off to this non-profit.
After a frustrating 30 minutes of technical issues, my dad and I finally came to a presentable resume. Almost immediately after saying bye to my dad, I got another call from the IJM office. This all happened before 8:00am.
Let’s just say, I overstepped my self-enforced boundary of two cups of coffee per day that morning.
I’ve been applying for jobs each week via LinkedIn and other similar sites. It can be daunting, but also slightly exhilarating. My resume resembles a potluck lunch. A table full of random, but thoughtful, dishes all squished together. Fruits and salads and meats and desserts. I’ve had experience in all sorts of things such as, administration, waitressing, personal assistance, photography, worship leading, camp counselor, management, etc...
When people ask what type of job I’m looking for now, I respond with an honest, “I don’t really know.” It’s hard to transition into something new when that transition comes completely unannounced. I’m hopeful for the future, and I’m hopeful for my little potluck resume.
This year is far from what I imagined it to be, but again, I know I’m not the only one grieving loss and unmet expectations. I’m praying for the strength to begin re-imagining what this year will become.