Friday, May 17, 2013

Y'all ready for this?



Pennsylvania…again.

I don’t really know what it is about PA that keeps drawing me back to a place that is so far from everything I have ever known. I feel like I belong there. I feel connected to the people. I feel like I am at home. That feeling has not been attached to a place in a long time. Probably ever.

You see, the longest that I have stayed in one place was 6 years when I was growing up. Home was always where my family was or where the people that I love live. It was not a house or even a town. Since being back in California and being able to reflect I have come to the conclusion that constantly moving while growing up has affected me more than I thought.

I am a serial mover.

I love the thrill of finding a new place to live and new things to do. It is exciting to explore a new area that I have never been to before. To find the local hot spots and learn how to get around on my own. I used to feel bad for it. You know, moving to a place for a couple years and just when I am getting deep into friendships and creating a community… I up and leave.

Not all of it is because I have some issues with commitment (a talk for another time). That is definitely part of it and something that I am working on in my own life. Hence, the move back to Pennsylvania. Part of me just likes creating communities and then knowing that I can leave and still have those communities and support systems for life. I can always come back to them. I can always lean on them if I need to. It is a very comforting to know that the people I love are going to be there for me.

To visit. To love. To vent. To cry. To laugh. To learn.

But then again, I think what is missing from my life is the experience of really investing in a community for an extended period of time. I have never lived in an area and really got involved where I was living because I have never stayed there long enough to do so.

Enter Harrisburg, PA.

I am going to do it. Invest in a community. And what better community to commit to than the one in Harrisburg. It is small. I already am involved in and love 2nd City Church. I have a community group that I go to and I love them dearly and can’t wait to get back into that. There are lovely restaurants, coffee shops, and organizations where I believe in their mission and way of doing things. So, why would I choose any other place?

Harrisburg is home. The first home that I have had in a while. The first place I felt like a grown-up. The first place where I could really connect. The first place that I realized that God was still with me. The first place that I learned to truly love myself as the person that I am. Not the person people expect me to be.

The first place that I felt like…..me. And that is always the better choice.

Peace,
Celisse

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I think I am ready to talk about it...

Yep. Let's talk.

Obviously, I mean the Super Bowl.

Apart from BeyoncĂ© killing it during halftime, that was a shattering moment in my life. I know this sounds silly to many people but the Super Bowl means so much more to me than just a football game. It was my dad and my favorite holiday. We had a glimmer of hope this year and it never came to pass. Maybe I wanted it too much. Maybe it was too important. Maybe it was just out of my hands and was not going to be changed for the simple fact that I made a T-shirt (a very awesome one, if I do say so myself).

I felt like I was part of something. A huge thing that I could celebrate. It consisted of something that was bigger than myself. It included all of the people around me that were just as excited. I went to the store a couple hours before the game and there were tons of people there and everyone was decked out in their favorite 49ers jersey, tshirt, jacket, or sweatshirt. There was a guy selling 49ers gear outside.

It felt amazing.

I was in an environment where people were talking to one another as if they were old friends. I think this is the reason that I love higher ed so much. Working on a college campus (well, at least a private, Christian college) feels like a huge family. You are working together. Growing together. Playing together. Living together. If I could create a heaven of my own, I think that it would look much like a college campus. We would all be there for the same reason: To live in community with each other and giving praise to God every step of the way.

The Super Bowl reawakened this yearning for community in me. I have grown up with this idea that family does not only mean your blood family. It means whomever you come in contact with becomes part of your life. They become your hermano, cousin, auntie, tio, abuela. I have been searching for that all my life. During every transition. During every move. During every new step.

Even while working at Starbucks.

I loved almost everything about working at Starbucks, especially the people with whom I had the pleasure of working. I tried to create an environment where people will want to come and work hard but have fun. It worked most of the time and I sure did have fun. I loved hearing people say that they were going to miss me because I made work easier. That they laughed so much that their stomach hurts. That I better come back and visit them. That is creating a community.

I am not saying that I am an authority on it, by any means, but I want to keep it a priority for my life. Creating a community wherever I go. Being the one to pull people together. Loving on people that might not know that they need it. Sharing the copious amounts of love bestowed upon me by the wonderful Creator.

This is becoming such a repetitive theme in my life that I think that God is trying to say something (maybe he is shouting because I am kind of hard-headed). I think I am going to listen this time.

Watch out, world. God and I are coming and we are armed with coffee and community.

Peace and Love,
Celisse