Donald Miller is one of my favorite living authors. Every singe one of his books has inspired me in some way. His latest, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, has helped me to think of myself as a character in a story. Don makes the point that we are all living a story, one that God is writing, but we characters have free will. The characters can live a rich, epic story or... sit on a coach watching movies. I was thinking back to my life before moving to Albania. Was I living a good story then? Am I living a good story now? If I return to the states, will I continue living the exciting, road-less-traveled, story?
These questions are coupled with my current focus: looking for a new job. Albania, though I've absolutely loved my experience here, is a closing chapter. It's time to move on. I have my sights set high on three good schools in three incredible locations: Barcelona, Prague, and Budapest. Unfortunately, these schools also tend to hire at job fairs, which I won't be attending. The chance for a position is very slim. My friends are encouraging me to look beyond Europe. What, or what, will this character do?
In the meantime, I want to make these last five months memorable and meaningful. Yesterday was a beautiful day. Four of us hiked up to an ancient wall and then around a mountain. You could see all of Tirana and the neighboring mountains, dusted with snow. We walked through an olive grove and Sarah related a story she had heard. In the old days, when an Albanian girl got married, the family planted ten olive trees.
After the hike, we celebrated Travis's birthday. Is this living a monumental story? Maybe the events are simple, but the relationships are what makes this story great. I think that is what I will remember the most about my time here: my friendships which have become some of the deepest of my life. Ok, next five months, let's be epic.