Down into Los Angeles / With dirty hands and worn out knees. . .

So, I’m going to be spending the summer in Los Angeles. From what I’ve gathered about my housing, it will be quite close to Hollywood and Sunset Boulevard. I leave for training in Denver on the 23rd, and then start the road trip to LA on the 27th.

Embarking on another YW adventure is probably either really stupid or really wise. The last one definitely made me crazy, but it also changed me, made me who I am. And I know that this summer is going to be much different from the last one. For one thing, it’s going to be a much healthier experience — even if I have to make it so all on my own. I’m going to take care of myself physically, emotionally, spiritually, something I definitely did not do in San Francisco. I’m not going to be afraid to take time for myself, in other words, to get my job done and then do what I need to do to stay sane — including exploring LA, where I will be living for free! That alone is something to be excited about.

The most interesting part of the summer will be my actual job — giving the talks at night. In my interview, I talked exclusively about Urban Staff, how I might want to go into non-profit work, what I learned about that in San Francisco. So it was quite a shock to recieve this position, especially after my bleeding-heart-liberal application essay, railing on the Christian Right and disucssing my individualized serach for truth. Granted, YW essentially has these nightly talks written for me, complete with built-in spaces where I am to infuse my personal experiences. But I’m going to take advantage of the opportunity to challenge these suburban kids, talk to them about poverty as a moral issue, tell them what people like Jim Wallis or Don Miller are writing about, encourage them to really figure out what their faith is. I don’t think I’m the norm for Program Staff, but maybe that’s why I have the job — because I can bring something different to it.

So, I’m excited to get things rolling, to begin my 6 months of travelling, to meet my teammates, to see what the heck is going to happen to my life. Everything is up in the air right now, but these next few months will prove to me that I can make it on my own; it will give me the chance to put to the test the ways I’ve changed and the benefits I’ve gained from my last YW summer.

Last time, I allowed the summer to make me who I was, to define me. This time, it will enhance the person I’ve become; it will refine me. Which can’t be bad.

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