Open “Goodbye” to Dallas

So firstly, no my blog is not dead; I’ve just been super busy with moving to DC and beginning law school. My posts will be increasingly erratic, but I will try to continue posting my musings about life about law school and beyond.

Secondly, this post is WAY overdue. After I left HK, I wrote an “open goodbye” to everyone that I worked and lived with, and I realized a few weeks ago that I wanted to write a similar “goodbye” to everyone in Dallas. But of course, it got delayed for the obvious (and standard) “super busy” reason, but also because I needed some time to process and contemplate my experience in Dallas. So to everyone that I lived and worked with in Dallas, here’s my belated goodbye:

#1: I miss you guys. I miss living in Cochran House; I miss community meal, watching House Hunters and the Daily Show. I miss musing about what weird vegetable is growing in our garden. I miss Friday night trips for pie, and playing Settlers of Catan. And of course, I miss junta at the Workers Defense Project. Law school is not nearly as fun as any of these things.

#2: Thank you for teaching me lessons about all sorts of things, but especially about hospitality, welcome and grace. Before my time in Cochran House, I thought that hospitality meant showing everyone your “best” side and hiding other things. The house always needed to be clean; you always needed to have enough food to serve that everyone would like, and everyone needed to know each other, and get along, and the list goes on. My experience at Cochran House, esp. at community meal, taught me nope, these things are just not the case. It’s OK if we run out of food or if someone hates peas because hospitality means meeting people where they’re at and not where you want them to be. Hospitality means letting people meet you where you’re at and finding community together in that space. It means meeting new people and having awkward conversations with them. It means welcoming people into your home at all time.

And that brings me to welcome. Thank you to everyone in Dallas for teaching me about welcome. I arrived in Dallas without any friends or family for hundreds of miles, and you all welcomed into your community, your organization and your home. You gave me a place to call home.

Finally, thank you for the lessons about grace. Before I lived in Dallas, I loved and strongly disliked grace. Because the concept of grace that I understood meant foregoing what you want at the expense of someone potentially walking all over you. And that concept is neither right nor good. As I learned in Dallas, offering someone grace is similar to offering someone hospitality, and we need to offer grace to ourselves. Grace to screw up, say the wrong thing and be mean because all of those things happen. Offering grace means meeting someone where they’re at, forgiving them and speaking the truth in love. Grace does not require that we tell people what they want to hear or when they say something mean ignore it. Grace means standing up for ourselves and others with compassion and humility.

So again thank you to everyone I lived with, interacted with and worked with in Dallas. I truly appreciate everything that you taught me, and I miss you guys. As I learned in HK (and shared with some of you as I left), this is not “goodbye” but “see you” because I believe that we will get to see each other again.

xoxo,

Katie

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