understanding it all

it has taken me a while to write this post – for a number of reasons really.  primarily, i’m realizing it won’t be anytime soon i’ll be able to fully process my time in Nepal.  there was just so much to take in this time, so many things that happened in a few short weeks.  and while some of those things have since ended and others are just beginning, i’m struggling to find a way to completely end the trip and fully get back to my life here. so before i get on with the rest of what i have to share, i’ll preface this by saying i’m not going to chat much about the end of my trip or my overall feelings about my time spent half way around the world. most of it i couldn’t even begin to put into words at this point. also, bare with me if following seems a bit random or jumps from thought to thought a bit more than usual.

i can say the days after i returned to KTM and my pals had headed home went well. i spent some more time at the home, and was able to reconnect with a few of the boys who were no longer living there. i was also able to work out the details on ways to support the children after i left, and am pleased to share that at least for the next few years, education costs for some of the boys will be paid for thanks to the generosity of all those who donated before i left. it goes without saying that a good education in the life of a child is priceless and can lead to so many wonderful things. so thank you, to each and every one of you, who saw the importance of giving to those who need it so much.

what i can’t find the words to say though, is what it all means. the elation yet deep sadness i felt about reconnecting with Bikash, meeting his family, and spending an hour visiting with them. or why it felt so different to be in Nepal this time, and how much more the poverty and unrest affected me than it did two years ago. why was so hard to be away from home when in the past it has always been relatively easy? sure i could share a list of reasons why i felt how i felt, and i’m certainly not saying they are all negative things – some of them are quite the opposite. remarkable, really. but again i ask – what does it all mean? this is where i’m finding it’s taking a lot longer to make sense of it all, and to get to the point i fully understand what to take away from the experience.

it’s funny how much we can grow if we allow ourselves to do so. through the highs and lows, and the happiness and sadness that comes with that growth, i sit here amazed at where i am today. i don’t have regrets. i’m ok with the fact i’ve made mistakes and will certainly make more in the future. i can honestly say for the first time in what seems like a long time i’m truly happy. i’m content. i don’t think there is much in my life i’d change, nor do i really find myself wishing for anything else. i have a wonderful family, some great pals, and a few close people who mean the world to me. and i wonder: while i have little wealth, does that make me the richest person alive? perhaps leaving this time was what it took to make sense of all the living i’ve done in the past few years, and to finally take to heart what it all meant. and for as much as i hope that the time i spent with the children – laughing, sharing, telling them how important and wonderful they are – will positively impact their lives, i can’t help but think they did the exact same for me. how could they not? their ability to make a person smile and feel joy, the way they are able to find happiness in a life often filled with loneliness and sadness, their ability to place trust in total strangers, or the hope they have despite having little reason to do so. for nothing more than a group of ordinary kids, i find them remarkable, and don’t think i’ll ever be able to fully understand how much they’ve changed my life.

Published by septastic

i'm sep, a 35 year old photographer / volunteer / storyteller / traveler / nice guy living in rural Wisconsin.

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