i've been given this opportunity. this dream life. it should be a privilege to live it yet i feel like it's the one thing stopping me from living the life i want to live. my passion lies not with nursing, not with my friends, and not with the church (although these are what fill my every second)... my passion lies with africa and i don't know why. nobody introduced me to the struggles of the african peoples. nobody even bothered to show me a world outside america. and i didn't find it--it found me. it captured me when i was too naive to understand that it would cause me the most uncomfortable inner struggle if i listened to its call. i wanted to live the american dream until this force broke my heart for africa. now i would give up everything for the opportunity to live and die fulfilling my heart's desire. it's not right for me to think i'd even help one person. i was naive enough to think i would help people when i went to tanzania. i know better now. africans will teach you more about life, God, and the world in five minutes than you could ever learn in five years from the typical american. (which, let's face it. most of us are the typical american. nothing is ever enough. a car that runs is not good enough. we need a better one. a digital camera is only good enough until a smaller one comes out. the old ipod, even though it works, is somehow not good enough because there's a newer one. i personally am most guilty of never having enough clothes even though my closet is not big enough to hold my rediculous amounts of them. i live in the freaking desert, yet i've collected 20 or more jackets. if that's not selfish, greedy, and typically american, i don't know what is) and this tangent reminds me of the insane rate at which we discard our money. talk about ending world hunger... i swear that if the people in this society who live above the poverty line could live under their means instead of at their means, there would be no problem with the distribution of wealth in this world. and i understand that we have an abundant amount of problems within our own borders to deal with. i know poverty strikes our neighbors too, but i cannot conduct the beat of my heart's passion. for some reason God has seemingly fashioned me for this work on the other side of the world. and yet i am stuck here. stuck in this cultureless society that helps me believe that beauty and wealth and popularity equal success. of course, while i am here, i must simultaneously make the most out of every opportunity and plan my next escape. having so much passion has been the biggest blessing and the biggest curse. there is probably one person i know that shares my heart completely. i cannot blame my friends that they do not care in the same way that i do. they are all passionate people in some way. yet i find myself frustrated that everyone does not share my priorities. i am bouncing back and forth between this wall of uncertainty and incompetence, and this wall of fire that will catapult me on this passionate journey- one on which i will never look back. but in the midst of this inner struggle, i know i should be going to bed and cutting off this rambling of my heart because i do have a test tomorrow, on which, if i don't do well then i won't excel in nursing school, and that's what life is all about, right? I'm supposed to be a good steward of God's gifts and opportunities but sometimes it all seems so pointless. in the scheme of things does school really matter? at the same time, the work i want to do with my life would ensure that children in africa get an education. so why do i care more about getting other people educated than finishing my own education which i am so incredibly lucky, scratch that, blessed to have the opportunity to complete? yet in the end, i know that the only thing that matters in life is a relationship with God. but if that's the case, then why do we have to live this life before we have communion with Him anyways? i won't even go there. that would ruin me. ha, i almost wish i was one of those people who is completely content growing up, going to college, getting married, having kids, and dying old. unfortunately for me, i can't surely check any one of those things. it's amazing what you can learn about yourself when God takes away things you though were important to you and shows you what he was preparing you to handle. this will surely be an interesting journey.