It's been four months today, and I have to declare, the glory of April really did a good job of brushing away the stress of March. Like, really. April was good. April was great. A lot of cool stuff went down in April and I am deeply grateful for that.
April brought a lot more involvement with my church which meant joining the worship team (exciting) and making friends (even more exciting). Not like I hadn't met people that I've gotten on well with here. It was because of a friend I'd made that I even found the church in the first place. But these are like, good friends. Friends who I play music with and laugh with and cook with and try (and fail) to Americanize. For a person as extroverted as me, making friends is probably one of the biggest things that has happened thus far.
These aren't just any friends, either. They're friends who work super hard to make me feel included. They're friends from multiple different corners of the world. They're friends who laugh at all of my lame jokes and invite me to do fun things and never fail to remind me that I'm talented, that I'm beautiful, that I'm great. They're exactly what I needed to make my life just a bit more perfect than it already is.
Thanks for that, Jesus.
And this church. Oh, this church. One of the things that distressed me the most about leaving Colorado (which was a very short list, mind you) was the fact that I was leaving my amazing church family behind who I was really bonding with. I'd tried on a few different churches here, none just really fit. Then I met another au pair who was due to move back to the States but who wanted me to come with her to visit her church before she left. I did. And bam, just like that, new family.
The pastor invited me to join the worship team my second week there and I didn't really see a downside to it so I did. And now I have an excuse to do music and worship more often. And of course, the whole "friends" thing.
Sorry, I'm just super excited.
But probably the most out-of-the-blue thing that happened in April was a slight change in my view on one area of life.
I'm now a bit of a romantic.
I've never been a romantic. Not really anyway. I always got super grossed out at any sort of display of affection or eros. But now I smile like an idiot when I see a middle-aged man greet his wife at the train station with flowers. Ugh. Pathetic, right?
I mean, I kind of felt it coming on ever since I moved here. The whole "I'm an honorary European" thing probably definitely brought that on a bit. Visiting Italy in March didn't help at all. And then somewhere near the beginning of April I was totally sold, and all of my cynicism (and probably a bit of my dignity) went out the window.
But I'm not really all that bothered by it.
See, these past four months have taught me how satisfying it is to not be a sad and miserable person. It may come as a bit of a surprise, but being cheerful and optimistic and even a romantic is a really satisfying way of living life. I see things in brighter shades and most of my conversations with new friends (!!!) are punctuated by my squeals of how beautiful ordinary things are.
I've been told that my new found joy is contagious. And if being a good influence on people's lives means that I have to let go of a younger, more cold-hearted version of myself then so be it.
This is the way I was designed to be anyway.
So cheers to the beginning of my fifth month and all of the more beautiful things that are sure to come with the dawn of Summer. Spring was phenomenal. It was representative of receiving lots of new and exciting things. I'm stoked to see how those things will flower and grow in the coming months.