“The reward of our work is not what we get, but what we become.” Paulo Coelho
I’m becoming someone different, different and yet the same. I’m the same person who loves my husband with abandon. I’m the same person who squirrels away pockets of time just to write. I’m the same person who loves teaching kids.
But I’m also becoming this other person. I have a different idea of who God is. I have a different definition of what a mother is. My heart beats to a different drum. I’m becoming someone else and I think she’s the woman I was always meant to be.
This woman packs her bravery into a suitcase and ventures out to help kids write their stories. This woman has a looser definition of clean. This woman walks the world with curls blazing out of her head in a mad frenzy. This woman swims in the coal black eyes of orphans.
I worry that when I return home, I won’t belong. I’ll always belong in the arms of my beloved. And in the arms of my mother. But everything feels different. Even my own skin is shades darker, like my Ugandan children have laid their hands on my arms and claimed me as their own.
I think of money differently, like how can I make more in order to do more good? I think of time differently. One of my Ugandan boys chides me for “walking too fast to think”. I think of food differently, watching my children dig and sow in the rich earth.
I feel like my heart is split in two. No, not even that, more like I now have two hearts beating in syncopation. One is the steady pulse of the life I’ve always loved-the life I love still-and the other is the patter of midnight hands tapping out life on drumskins. The rewards of this work are many and surely one of the richest rewards is who I’m becoming.
Still I wonder who I will become when my feet return home.