It's a bit intimidating to catch up a blog for the past two months, but here's a try. A short and sweet synopsis of life, as I see it.
Starting with Thanksgiving, the page my journal has opened to. On Thanksgiving in Silverton we heard that though the sands may shift in the coming year, we are grounded in Jesus Christ and that won't change. This was especially poignant to hear because just a few days prior I had accepted a job offer on the east coast, to start July 2015. If it seems like a bombshell, it was a bit to me too, but I did have a few weeks in November to wrap my mind around it as I interviewed. This fall was quite a challenge for me, adjusting back to life in the States while feeling completely lost as to next steps. I graduate in June and had no idea what God had in store for me; the summer had been crucial in showing me that to be effective in this work -- social business, sustainable development, poverty alleviation -- I need more work experience. But where to look? The great thing about being passionate about something is that you know what it is you feel called to do, you have a PURPOSE you are driven towards. But the challenging part about that zeal is that you don't want to settle for anything less .. purposeful. You want your job to be fulfilling, to help people, to give you opportunities to grow and learn and do more in the future. Plus I've found a lot of niche interests that I could work in -- whether that be marine ecosystems/eco-tourism, third world development, microcredit/social businesses, food systems sustainability, corporate sustainability ... the list could go on and on.
To end this rapidly growing story, I'll just say God put a job in front of me; and yes, it is one that makes me excited to start work and see where it heads. I'll be working for Unilever, a consumer care company that makes many of your shampoos and soaps (Dove, Caress, Suave, Tresemme), and some food as well (Ben & Jerry's, anyone?). I'm going to start a supply chain program, essentially learning the departments that make and move products from the plant to the consumer's hands. Sustainability is embedded in Unilever's mission, so I'm excited to see how it is evidenced in the supply chain and how I can incorporate it into my job. Unilever has started several new initiatives: making laundry detergents and sanitizers for the third world, since sanitation is such a big issue in those areas and since population sizes are making water scarcity a likely future. I would love to be working on these projects sometime in a few years -- combining environmental and social sustainability to do real things for real people. Ok, enough soapbox.
The last of the details: Unilever is headquartered in New Jersey, a city just across the river from NYC. I will be moving to the east coast sometime in late June/July and plan to attend Rockville church.
After getting that decision out of the way, the term wrapped up quickly and I enjoyed a few weeks of downtime with family at home before we headed to Illinois for Christmas. The first week was a medley, as always, of family Christmases and seeing relatives; the second week we spent in Chicago seeing Tiera (and the beautiful city!). Alas, we did not get to go ice skating outside (Millenium Park was much too busy), but we did get to see Lincoln Park zoo lights, spend New Years on Navy Pier, see the city from the Hancock tower, and walk Michigan Avenue with it's Christmas displays and twinkly lights.
Now it's back to school for another two terms. School just started yesterday and it looks like it will be a pretty good (low key) term. I'm working on the art of saying no and not overbooking myself. A little time for myself with family, good friends, or a book is much better for my own mental wellbeing than constant school or work. So far it is going excellent.
So that's my start to 2015. God's plans are best as always and I'm glad to be walking with Him in the coming year.
I'm a twenty-something from the Pacific NW making home in new places as I follow where God leads.
My intent is to show Christ's love to the world and use business to solve some of the social problems we face: hunger, illiteracy, healthcare, economic hardship. For now, I'm in a stage of learning. A little adventuring, a few books, some good friends, and a whole lot of prayer and life runs on.