The DPT (Director of Programing and Training) mentioned at MST while I was sharing what I had been doing at site that she thought I was much more confident. KZ prior to that had also mentioned a year ago I would probably never have said the things that I do now. He described me as being small at the beginning, but becoming bigger now. Personally, I think SCR stated it best. I feel like I am growing more into who I am as a person.
In the States, I am comfortable in my surroundings and feel much more freer to be who I know I am and was created to be. Since I have moved and live in a completely different culture - this past year I have been figuring out how “me” translates into this new environment. Not many women are seen as equal or knowledgable, despite what education they may have. Men often do not take what women say very seriously in professional contexts and while it is not stated - the underlying sense is that women should be seen, but not heard.
It has taken me awhile to learn to stand up for myself and be secure in what I know - not letting others tell me differently when I know a topic well. I have found it difficult at times to balance my knowledge on a topic with what someone else says about it. While I know a lot about it - I recognize I don’t know everything so I have had the tendency to concede that whatever the person may say could be true. This experience has shown me that I should have more confidence in what I know and if I don’t agree with what has been said - I should state that. I’m still working on the politely part…however, if the person was not coming across as a know-it-all I think I might have better success!
Ultimately, while I am sure I have changed - I don’t feel like I have changed much. Others here think that I have because they do not know me as I was back in my own surroundings. I have learned that despite a completely different environment and after an adjustment period - I eventually revert back to who I am, but a more stronger version of myself. I was concerned that I was becoming something I didn’t like, but God has shown me otherwise. This PC experience is continually showing me that I can overcome all things through Christ who strengthens me.
My base of who I am does not change despite new circumstances. What does change is the strength of my foundation - my faith in God and who He says that I am. I become stronger at my core so the next time life tries to throw me, I go back to being myself after stressful situations that much quicker and grow that much stronger in who God created me to be. One thing that I discovered after taking a personality test is that I have become more of an introvert. I used to be 95% extravert, but now I’m only at 75%! ;) That is the only change that I feel I have truly had.
Well, that and my faith in Jesus. He is teaching me to rely on Him for everything each day. I don’t see it, but I hope that I am becoming more like Him too. There may be too much of me in the way at the moment, but He will get me there! Please continue to pray for Nepal as the unofficial blockade is still occurring.
P.S. I remembered on the way back to site that I am able to catch tourist buses from the district capital near me to the big city I like to go to sometimes. The new travel guidelines do not affect me at all so much, but for others - it affects the work that they are doing in village. Pray that a balance can be found and/or the blockade will stop.