“Unlike many other animals, snakes shed their skin on a periodic basis. While other creatures may simply shed skin cells or hair, a snake actually rids itself of its skin in one continuous piece, a procedure that can be likened to removing a sock. This shedding is not without purpose. Snakes shed their skin to allow for growth, as well as to remove parasites along with their old skin.” ~The Wise Geek

The year of the snake is off to a frantic start. I have shed a lot of skin in the last 4 weeks. That thick feeling that never goes away actually did – the feeling of incompleteness was totally rubbed off. I have new skin, the old parasites are gone. I’m back in Jamaica and may look a bit different than when I left.

It’s like I’ve been on a 4-week intensive treatment program and participated in a month of therapy.  My thoughts on development have been turned on their head. My ideas about local and global poverty have become intertwined. My beliefs on how and where to intervene in a community have been spun around.  My thoughts on the role I should play in Ghana has been transformed. I think I also began to fully understand and own the incredibleness of who I am.

I now have the backing of an amazing community of people to carry me and lean into while in Africa. I have been mobilized as a change agent, able to initiate change with strong resources. There is so much organizational confidence in me already and I’m weeks away from actually leaving. I am very happy and humbled to accept this responsibility.

We all were asked these two questions during our final group activity last week. Here were my answers:

Q: What am I leaving behind and shedding?

A: The fear of falling and the constant, nagging self-judgement as to where I am at on this journey called life.

Q: What am I taking with me?

A: The feeling of unity and that I am not alone. I am loved.

Anything can happen folks. Anything.



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