I didn’t think that moving away from a small border town would change me so much. It has. I used to hang around my friends doing nothing, being bored. We did some shoplifting and drinking and going out with boys.
Then I joined the youth group and started going on the leadership training events in Colorado. I couldn’t believe that people lived a different way, people who were interested in what I did. I was ashamed that I never had anything interesting to tell them.
I would look at the breakfast table they used for meals. It shocked me that families sat down together to eat and talk and that they had a table for it. We always sat on the couch or stood up. We ate together only at ceremonies and that was outside or in the living room. We didn’t have a table for it.
What got me the most is that people in Colorado assumed that I could choose the way I lived; that there wasn’t some bad in me that stopped me. They really thought that I had it in me and I didn’t have to wait. That was important. I didn’t have to be a better person before I chose different.
Now I live in a college town. I have a church family. I live with my cousin who has a great job. I have a steady job that I can move up in. I am taking community college classes. I have a bike. I have new friends who all have interesting lives. They think my life is interesting too.
There are so many things to do in this town. And there are a lot of Natives and other cultures who enjoy not being bored by doing the same old thing.
Here is my prayer to the Creator. “Holy Grandfather, Creator of all things, I used to think I had to take whatever is dished out to me but now I know better. Thank you for connecting with me and showing me that I have choices. Thank you for showing me others who need help. Thank you for putting me in new places that challenges me. Thank you for making the darkness inside me go away. In the name of the God who lives among us in beauty. Amen.