Here’s what I think: going insane with 11 other people is a lot more fun than going insane on your own.
As I enter into my fourth week as a Fellow and begin to realize that this is probably going to be the busiest, most challenging year of my life, I am indescribably grateful that I have 11 other Fellows to share the experience with. Coming into the program, perhaps my biggest anxiety was who these 11 people were going to be. Knowing that I was going to be spending 9 months seeing them almost all day, almost every day, I had a lot of fear concerning the issues that can come up with 12 people in the same space and time. Would I like them? Would they like me? Would we trust each other enough to be honest and vulnerable with each other? Would we have enough fun to make all the pressures of the program seem a little less demanding?
Let me tell you: every single question I had was answered in a positive way. From that awkward first day when we sat around in a circle trying not to act like complete idiots to this point, almost exactly four weeks later, I am amazed how much I have grown to truly and completely love these people. They are the best part about my day…EVERY DAY. Here are some of the reasons why:
1. First and foremost, there are 11 reasons why. They are (in no particular order): Lauren Bleam, Leck Shannon, Elizabeth Gillespie, Steve Metzger, Kim Mascher, David Braddy, Pierce Babirak, Rob Bloss, Kelly Davis, Sabrina Moran, and Lauren Black
2. We laugh A LOT. I think I have laughed more in the past four weeks than I ever have in my lifetime. We dance in the car to Miley Cyrus (that’s right…we know how to Party in the USA!). We take Leck to the “big city” (DC, that is) for the first time and try to hook him up with pretty girls on the Metro. We take Pierce to the “prom.” We abbreviate every word we possibly can. We rejoice at the array of mistakenly (or not) inappropriate gestures and comments, including jokes about what will happen at our year-end banquet. We go to the park and take pictures with attractive park rangers. We email each other ridiculous pictures and a million little notes every day we are at work.
3. We have no cliques. All the girls hang out with all the guys. We always have to move tables around at restaurants so we can eat together…they probably hate us. Everywhere we go we bring the party.
4. We trust each other. After only 4 weeks, I am somewhat shocked at the level of emotional trust we have with one another. Especially with the girls, we are already telling each other aspects of ourselves that we have shared with very few people.
5. We love and respect each other. Even if we do have little issues later on this year (which, considering the almost excessive amount of time we see each other, I’m sure we will), it is a comfort to know that we have built a pretty strong foundation from the beginning. No matter what happens, I am confident that we will continue to keep our unity because of this respect.
6. We are all different. We come from lots of different places and backgrounds. We have vastly different personalities. But we somehow mesh together rather serendipitously. We learn from each other and since we respect each other, we embrace our differences pretty wholeheartedly. As the year goes on, I think I might have to write a post about each individual because they are all just so wonderfully unique and special.
7. We love Jesus. This may seem like an obvious point to make, but it truly is really unique to find a group of people who honestly, genuinely, and fervently love God. This is what allows all the other amazing aspects of our group dynamic to fall into place. From our class discussions, to our conversations of vulnerability and honesty, our desire to see God in everything is always at the center. It brings me so much peace to know that I am going through this crazy time, I am with people who truly know me and accept me and who are seeking after the heart of God first and foremost.