If you hang out around all of us enough, you know you’ll hear at least one iteration of “That’s so Ruka!” or “That’s so not community!” come out of our mouths. I probably say it way more than my fair share. What is incredibly interesting about this is that it is telling of the way the Ruka Fellowship values are permeating into all facets of our lives. At home over break, my family noticed that I turn lights off if their use is not immediately necessary and I found myself being more conscious of minimizing waste. I’m eating healthier. I focus more on community building within academic, social, activist, and other spaces and I am constantly thinking about how actions’ impacts are interconnected. It’s fun and sort of cathartic to, as a group, say “That’s so Ruka!” when someone picks up a piece of trash on campus or “That’s so not community!” when one of us uses a styrofoam cup. But real talk, I definitely find myself muttering it under my breath when I do something “so Ruka!” and none of the other fellows are around…
It’s almost become a game to see how many things we can relate back to the values of the fellowship. This weekend, while Georgia and I were driving to the Cooper Young Farmers’ Market, we realized that the new and popular hip-hop song ‘Bad & Boujee’ may actually be about the Ruka. They definitely use crock pots in order to more efficiently cook for and host community members, if we need something, we can always call up our Ruka friends and they’ll come and get us, and if one of us has the feels and lets a few tears slip, another will definitely get you a tissue. Also, I’m pretty sure at some point in the song the lyrics go, “Raindrop / drop top / weekly Farmers’ Market pit stop.” I digress. The point is that I think we are finally adjusting into this moment where Ruka is finally integrated into our daily lives even outside of the fellowship. There wasn’t a eureka moment when suddenly we said, “Hey, I just did something in _(insert one of the 1,000 other roles we have)_ that really reflected an intentional way of living!” It was gradual. It was a process. It was tossing 10 banana peels into the garbage before finally getting your brain to remember that you have a compost.
The end of January is upon us and I can’t help but think about the impending end of the semester. What does Ruka look like post-fellowship? We are part of a family that now spans six years. This feels like a type of consciousness raising experience. Our intentionality is making us aware of the personal, social, political, and emotional factors that affect us every day and that affect how we communicate and interact with the world around us. How will we maintain this when May rolls around? I know we will, and I’m excited to find our roles in each others lives when we move our separate ways in a few short months.
Bad & Boujee (Migos)
*warning: explicit content*