Pushed and Pulled

There is a lot of tension right now. When I get tense, I really enjoy expressing myself through poetry. So, for this blog post, I decided to start with a poem.

Pushed and pulled


Sometimes tension is healthy,

That healthy tension fights against what I know,

It fights with what I believe,

It causes me to learn.


Sometimes tension is unhealthy,

That unhealthy tension fights against my being.

It causes me to think

And question

Until I ache with the confusion of the day.


Sometimes tension is worth it.

That worth it tension fights against the lies.

The tension heightens and lessens as I stand with others,

I move in the direction of hope.

I move in the direction of living in the tension.


Sometimes tension says, “You did it”.

After a long day

Filled with emotion,

When my back hurts and I cannot wait to sleep,

Tension says, “I am proof that you did what you needed to do today.”


I have appreciated my placement site a lot these past couple months. Since arriving here in August, I have been shown kindness, compassion, understanding, hope, and many more things. I am surrounded by people who want to actively participate in activities that work with the community and the surrounding areas.

I have attended meetings, services, and community discussions where people have made known their desire to do good. While attending these gatherings, whether they were aware of it or not, the people of my community have taught me how to live in tension and how to turn that tension into fuel. Fuel that powers acts of humility, acts of love, acts of compassion, and acts of hope.

I have also seen rooms full of people who are deeply engaged in the realities of today. People who have chosen to stand up for what they believe in. People who want to learn much about much. I am inspired by the people of my community. I have become more inspired to engage, to stand up, and to learn.

The people in my community have been a sounding board for me to talk about how I feel and what I want to do during my time here. I have been able to put ideas into practice and watch as they succeed or come to realize they need altering. I have been given the ability to try new things, which is truly a blessing.

As I write this, I am acutely aware of what a gift this experience has been. I look towards the future with, albeit, uncertainty, but I look also with faith and hope. Faith in God and hope found in the people with whom I have been placed, as we live into the tension together.


 stephanieStephanie Quammen

GMF US-2, Class of 2016-2018

Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church

Washington DC




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