I am so unbelievably excited for my second year of LEVN!

Part of me cannot believe that we already had move-in day, it feels like it was just yesterday when I met Pastor Casey in person and she welcomed us with bright pink cookies. It feels like it was just yesterday when my parents drove me to Davis for the first time and when we arrived to the Belfry I couldn’t find the right door but then I saw Megan and she guided me to the correct/back house. Alexander, Jon, and Megan helped me carry my bags into my room. I said bye to my parents and then the four of us went to In-N-Out for some delicious burgers. It was not my first time eating there but it was for those moving from another state. This year I was in the house before my new housemates arrived and I was the person who was there to make sure that they’d find the LEVN house and help them with their luggage. In a strange way, I too felt like I was moving into a new house once everyone arrived. This is probably because I’m in a different room now.

It feels like it was just yesterday when the 2016-2017 LEVN house walked in together to the Belfry on Monday morning to start orientation. I cannot believe that we are done with orientation this year!  My favorite parts about orientation last year and this year were the spiritual autobiographies and taking the Enneagram and Myers-Briggs tests. I really appreciate the spiritual autobiography portion of orientation week because it gives us all the opportunity to open up to the group and start getting to know each other at a deeper level. I enjoy taking the personality tests because they are fun and scary accurate. It was even more interesting for me to take the personality tests this year because I did not get the same results. My enneagram result this year was 6 and last year I got 8. I guess the numbers alone make no sense but a type 6 is “The Loyalist. The committed, security oriented type: engaging, responsible, anxious, and suspicious.” A type 8 is “The Challenger. The powerful, dominating type: self-confident, decisive, willful, and confrontational.” Last year I wasn’t terribly surprised with my result but I was not expecting a 6 this year, however, this type is much more accurate to how I am this year.

I cannot believe that we’ve already started service at our placement sites! A year ago, I arrived to my site feeling very anxious because I didn’t know what to expect. This year I arrived a day early because I knew exactly what work I needed to get done. Last year I was nervous (but also happy) to meet my new coworkers, this year I was eager to see everyone again and hear about their summer adventures.

I realize that the reason I am shocked by how quickly this new LEVN year is going is because I didn’t end last year’s LEVN program in the way that I had planned. My departure from the program was a little early and sort of abrupt. I had planned to say good bye to my housemates after the closing retreat but we ended up saying good bye after a last family dinner a week before the official move-out date. Even though we said good bye and took a last group picture, something inside me felt like I was going to return to the house and somehow the housemates were going to be there. Let’s fast forward to the end of August when I returned to the LEVN house, only four days before the new housemates arrived. It was a different feeling being in the house by myself. My conscious self was cleaning and making sure that the house was ready for the new LEVN volunteers but my subconscious mind was waiting for last year’s LEVN volunteers to return home from their site. As the week went by and I was getting ready to meet my new LEVN family, I was thinking how the 2016-2017 was such an amazing cohort and all the great adventures we had. I felt like it was more positive compared to the experiences that past volunteers shared in their blogs. I also realized that I had to accept that the new year was coming and change is positive. I acknowledged that even though the 2016-2017 cohort was terrific, this year can be phenomenal in its own unique way.

Today I am filled with enthusiasm and hope because the energy and compatibility of this year’s group is remarkable! I’m aware that we are in the honeymoon phase and that conflict is inevitable (and healthy?). In a very awesome way, this year’s LEVN volunteers all seem to vibe in such a natural and comfortable way. During orientation week, we made a list of activities that we want to do together and we’ve already checked off a couple of them. Just like last year, we made the trip to In-N-Out on their first night in town. Since I was now familiar with the Davis town I decided to introduce the group to kava that same night!

Last year’s LEVN experience was something unique. While I am still processing the entire experience, I know that being part of this program helped grow spiritually and professionally. There were also many things I would have done differently but I have been blessed with the opportunity to continue personal, spiritual, and professional growth in this second year of service and intentional community. In this second year of LEVN I look forward to connecting with every one of my housemates on personal level, to take care of myself, and to fully accept God in my life.

I’ll be living in the same house for a second year but I am excited to see how my new housemates and I build a home together.

 

– Leo

Computers 4 Kids