Road Trip

Transitions:  You’d think I’d be used to them by now, you know with my nomadic lifestyle and all.  But this is the first time in five years that I haven’t had many of my decisions laid out for me.  The world feels quite literally at my doorstep and I don’t know what to do with myself.

As many of you readers know, I finally graduated this August with my bachelor of architectural studies.  This should feel like an accomplishment, but mostly all I’ve been feeling is anxiety over what to do next.  After being in a fixed program for so long, it is no wonder I am a little bit lost.  I have not really decided where my life is headed, and that has caused me to take a year off from my studies to try and discover who is or who do I want Lise to be.  All of these years I have believed that God has a plan for my life.  He certainly gave me the ability and passion for architecture at a very young age.  But back then, going to Waterloo to do architectural undergraduate studies was pretty much my only choice; now the choices seem infinite.  But at the same time, how blessed am I to even have so many choices!

I thought that my internship earlier this year with eMi East Africa would make my destiny clearer, but it only confused me all the more (which is a healthy thing I believe).  Even though I have no idea whether architectural missions is for me, I certainly learned more about my physical and spiritual strengths, and learned that mission work can be described as investing in and giving to any community, no matter where it may be in the world.  I figure if I can find a community that I can invest in with my architectural skill, as well as my Christ-like love, then I will truly be living to the greatest degree that I can.

The problem I’m facing now is trying to find out whether my desires for my life align with God’s desires.  I’ve always had the desire to be the best architect I can be; I really want to go to a really good graduate school and cultivate a really strong international network of professionals so that one day my design work can become reality.  Is this what God wants though and am I putting my energies and time in the right places?  It seems like I’m always torn between being the best I can be at the skill that I think God has bestowed on me, and fulfilling His work for the kingdom.  Can they be one and the same?  Argh!

From all of this indecision of what to do next, and interest at least to find out where I might like to continue my education, I decided to go on a road trip to the US to discover for myself many of the graduate schools of architecture that are supposed to be the best down there.  I planned a six day venture where I would visit Boston, New Haven, New York, Princeton, and Philadelphia.  I didn’t find anyone who was interested in joining me, and so I turned to Couch Surfing as a way to meet people, get to know the cities, and travel cheaply.   At first I didn’t get any responses from these places, but with some help of friends, and friends contacting friends (thanks guys, you know who you are!), I finally had a place to stay every night.  In a way I’m glad I went alone.  It meant that I was forced to problem solve and figure things out on my own, that I could see what I really wanted to see, and ask the questions I wanted to ask.  It also became a time to meditate and pray.  The trip was fabulous and I look forward to writing about it!

So for those of you who are interested in my life section, enjoy the followings posts from my recent travels!

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