It's been about a month here in Sitka already. I've started this blog post about four times now and I couldn't figure out why I just had little to say. I think it's because contrary to other adventures I have been on, this is the most "real life" adventure I am partaking in. My everyday activities are really not that "interesting;" I volunteer 40 hours a week, I have community meetings with my housemates, I go on walks, I read a lot, I skype with family and friends...there aren't many exciting adventures to report on.
I've also been dealing with this huge transition in my life which isn't the most glamorous process. Actually it's not really one transition, it's more like a ton of smaller transitions that are making my new life quite the adjustment. I just graduated college, I'm 3000 or more miles away from all my favorite people, I moved in with five strangers, and I'm living on an island.
Don't get me wrong, there have been some amazing moments of self-realization, recognition of the beauty in Sitka, fun times, and side busting laughter; but as of late, I've just been feeling a general sense of being down and the feeling of something missing.
This is where I am reminding myself that it is only month one of this journey and transitions always do take some time. Studies show it takes six months to a year to fully transition into a new city and life. I guess now is the time to start working on my patience.
Ok so let's bring the mood up a bit, I really love my position at Brave Heart Volunteers (BHV.) I enjoy what I'm doing and love all the people in the office. I really feel like I produce a productive attribute to the agency and I have fun while I do it! The staff at BHV are so much fun to work with and are extremely supportive in the job and in life.
I've also been able to go to church thanks to my new friend, Dixie. The story of how I got connected with Dixie is quite fun; my Aunt in Wisconsin works at a specialty store and noticed a woman there was from Alaska. After mentioning I would be moving up to Sitka in the near weeks, Dixie said was from there and goes to the luncheons BHV puts on! Dixie's daughter is married to one of my high school teachers' brother. Then at my first Luncheon put on by my agency, I met Dixie and there you have it, the start of a beautiful friendship. She takes me to Bible study and church and then we go grocery shopping and play cribbage. She is one of the sweetest people in my life and am excited for this friendship to grow.
Also, let me tell you a little about the church that I go to. It's Grace Lutheran Church, and currently it does not have a pastor. We stream the service from Anchorage, AK on the TV in front of the alter. We sing along to the hymns and do everything like if there was an actual person standing in front of us. The first Sunday I went, I was the 5th person in the congregation that week. It is a different experience for sure, but I've been getting used to it, and last Sunday there were 9 of us there!
I'm still getting used to the small town atmosphere, and kindness and generosity of our fellow Sitkans. Even the people driving are extremely nice to pedestrians. Once I was walking close to the curb, having no intention to cross the street, but a car stopped for me to let me cross. I was so shocked and a little confused so I crossed the street and then crossed back after the car was out of sight, but was reminded of the kindness of those I am surrounded by.
The salmon are starting to die and the smell is ripe, especially if you go for a walk near the river, it takes a few minutes to get used to the smell. It is still an amazing sight to see all the salmon swimming upstream and fighting for the best spot to spawn, if you can handle the stench, it's a beautiful process to watch.
I think that's it for now. Keep in touch! I try to respond to emails as best I can. I'm still on facebook, twitter, and instagram so if social media is your thing like it's mine, hit me up!
I leave you with just a few pictures, enjoy!
P.S. I got my nose pierced! Probably what I should have written about as it was one of the bigger adventures/adrenaline rushes since I've been here, but I forgot about it until now! ha.