One week my freshman year of college or maybe my sophomore I don’t remember, but I remember the street corner that the conversation took place on. Anyways which ever year it was, Victoria and I were in her Blazer turning onto Edward Gary leaving campus, and she started talking about how dependent we were on our cell phones. The conversation progressed and we were in agreement that we couldn’t go more than an hour without using them. So we decided that we were going to go on a cell phone fast for a week. Let me tell you we didn’t last the whole week. It just wasn’t possible. Hardly anyone has a landline on campus and even fewer have a landline in their apartments. The internet was there if we happened to be on Facebook all day. If we hung out at the BSM all day we could generally communicate with everyone we needed to without our phones. However, outside of a very small circle of people without our cell phones we had severed the only line of communication we had to the rest of our worlds. My boss would contact me for a job through my cell phone, I would talk to my best friend who went to school in Austin, and let’s not forget the obligatory phone call I owed my mother weekly for her to continue paying for my phone...I can tell you in full honesty I did not always call my mother every week, and she always reminded me of that. I didn’t always want to call my mom, or I would genuinely forget to press my #2 (cause voicemail is 1) speed dial. However, cell phone dependency or my mom’s weekly call is something I will never complain about again.
I miss the ability to call anyone whenever I want. Or to send them a random text about something that was wondering around in my mind. (Like recently I realized I always brush my teeth starting on the back bottom left work around to the front then back right, then I switch to the back top left and do the same up top. I even brush the kids teeth that way. I keep wanting to ask someone which direction they brush their teeth in and if it is always the same, and I wonder if I brush my teeth that way cause my mom brushes her teeth that way.) Or to have voicemails on my phone when I got off of work or out of class. If I had a question I could generally call one of 3 people and have an answer 99% of the time. If I was sad I had someone I could call and talk to. If I got really good news I could immediately go down my list of important people and spread it within 20 minutes. If I was angry I could call someone to vent to. If I needed to stay awake while driving, or was bored on a long drive I could call someone to talk to. If I locked my keys in the car and didn’t have a coat hanger or wire handy I could call someone to come rescue me. Needless to say I was, like generally everyone else, dependent on my cell phone.
Not that my cell phone was the only thing I was dependent on. I depended on my car till it died, then I depended on a loaner from my parents. I depended on friends and family to always be around. I depended on the internet at my apartment to do my papers and lesson planning. I depended on Hulu or Daniel to watch TV since we had no cable at our place. I depended on having my jobs. I was forced to depend on classmates to do group assignments. And I depended on the sun to come out each morning and remind me of God’s glory, the beauty of creation, and how little I really am.
In Peru, however I am no longer dependent on any of those things except for the last one. This coming Thursday I will have been in Peru for an entire year. When you have been somewhere for that long, and especially if it was a major life change you find yourself reflecting back on where you were a year ago. A year ago I was reflecting back on my life in college and anticipating coming to Peru. In the months and especially the final weeks before I left America everyone always asked me the same questions and I would reply the same every time; A year? Yup, a whole year don’t even have a ticket home. Do you know anyone there? Nope, don’t know nobody. You are going by yourself? Yea, I am going y myself, and I am excited about it, it is going to be the first time it will just be me, and the only people I have to depend on are God and myself. Won’t you get homesick? I don’t get homesick, I love change, and I will come back, no need to be sick if you are perfectly healthy.
I have always considered myself a very strong independent person and I am to a degree. But the one thing I have learned in Peru is that I am actually a very dependent person unlike the responses to those questions that boasted of my independence. I am constantly depending on God for everything, though I hardly give Him a shout out. I am really dependent on my family no matter how hard I try not to be (another thing I have learned while away is how awesome my family is and how committed to me they really are). For an entire year I was dependent on the support I raised, and now I will be supporting myself. I have learned to be less dependent on the things as in actual tangible items that I am used to, I still wish I had them, but I have adapted well enough without them. One thing I will always depend on and need are my relationships, my friends and family. And I want you all to know how truly grateful I am for your support, prayers, and love you have given my entire life, but especially this last year. Even though not everyone is always consistent, myself included, at communicating over the distance, you have always come through when I needed you. And I want you to know how much I love all of you and miss you. And even though it is still 6 months away there is going to be a lot of running to hugs that I am depending on when I get back.