O sea, it's sorta a big mix of feelings. Like the surprise goody bags Hna. Bryant loves getting at 7-11 with her brother. I just never know what I'm gonna pull out next from day-to-day. And there I go again, recounting a mission experience/companion/memory. I've come to a conclusion: people want to here about your mission... in theory. On your blog. In small doses. But I think that was one of my biggest weird factors upon coming home. I always thought it would be so natural to say, "oh how cool, milk from a jug and not a box," or "hey, the light comes on when I flip this switch... and stays on. You spoileds have REAL 24 hour light?!" People would think I had been culturally refined or somethin.'
Somehow, these comments just didnt' slide out as naturally as I would have hoped, if at all.
Not only that, but people don't really know how to respond to them. Reading about fantastical, death-defying missionary moves sounds good on paper (virtual or otherwise), but people nowadays are just so busy and if they have time to talk, they want it to be about a subject they can relate to. I agree with Einstein. Time IS relative. Not to say time moved differently, slower, strangely, on the mission but IT DID. Where does it go now? I definitely feel like I'm accomplishing less, and yet, somehow, I find myself a month out of the proverbial airport gate, and life hasn't magically become simpler. Case in point- I really meant to write this post a few days after I got home, not weeks. Anyway, more annoying than my lack of blog devotion is the fact that the problems I had pre-mission life didn't somehow vanish after my year-and-a-half of devoted God service. I'm still trying to figure out what in hell's kitchen I want to do with my life.
Is it possible to have a quarter life crisis? I feel like I've been having one for the past 3 years...
Hey, that sounds disheartening and stuff. I AM back in the real world! But I guess I'm not being completely fair (though I'm a lot less fair in general after 1.5 years of free tanning under an unforgiving Caribbean sun). As my original blog attests to, I was driven by a strong wind (more like a hurricane), to go on a mission. I didn't particularly want to go, but I accepted it, went, and ended up being all-the-better for it. Yeah! I can even hablar in espanol. And, you know, spiritual stuff. But now I come back to the harsh realities of, well, REALITY. Should I attend the family ward or the ever-intimidating *gasp* singles ward? Where did all my friends go (or stay?) Why am I an adult that still lives with her parents? And WHO IS GONNA GIVE ME A JOB? Right before I left for the mission, I was offered a job interview that I'd tested for a year previous and almost positively would have gotten. And when my parents were kind enough to reconnect my cell phone line until I can get my own plan, o sea, the iPhone 4S (which, according to what everyone has been telling me, is pretty much mandatory), I found out that I had an old message on it- someone who had seen my resume on Monster.com and was calling with a job interview. There. Aren't. Words. Who plays these pranks? I feel like the time punch card of my life is full of holes in all the wrong places. As the Rolling Stones would say, "you can't always get what you want... but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need." Maybe that's how I'll make my fame and fortune-writing a counter-song about the unsung option: what if you can't have either?
But it really ain't so bad. Hard? Obviously. Weird? Certainly? Self-doubt? On the occasion. I think I'm just being forced to get over any lingering entitlement mentality. If I should think I'm owed anything for being even a half-way decent missionary, I can almost feel the heavens rumble, with the indubitable accompanying voice saying "girl, PLEAZE." And I think I will. Be pleased, that is. And enjoy that which is enjoyable. Here isthe short list of some of the things I've done/decided/tried/enjoyed since being home (not necessarily in that order. But not NOT necessarily in that order):
*Be endlessly harassed by my sister
*Visit from the grandparentals
*Visit from the aunt eater
*Harassment from the brother
*Drive down Lombard Street and eat a crab sandwich in San Fransisco
*Toyed with the idea of being a teacher
*Take the CBEST (California Basic Educational Skills Test- necessary to teach in the good ol' C of A
*Speak in church about being the Good Lord's carrier pigeon (I believed I could fly!)
*Speak Spanish to the Post Man (and really no one else. I forget people don't automatically know that a white blondie can speak Antonio Banderas' language).
*Job search, which I think constitutes as a form of harassment
*EAT AN UNHOLY AMOUNT OF TINA BURRITOS. AT LAST!
So I feel like my gift of the present is the presence of other people. I've gotten to see and at least talk to a lot of people I care about. But I can't help but have the feeling of being stuck in limbo. Nothing is settled. Where I go, if I stay, what I do. These are the kind of roots that help ground people and give them sanity, and I don't have them. And not like I was terribly sane to begin with. Har har, laughing at loud at my own expense. And yet, if the D.R. taught me one thing it's that you can handle ANYTHING. Even if it seems like parts of your life are held together with Silly Putty, something unexpected and delightful may be just around the corner. So cheers to Jimmy Eat World, who comforts me in times of uncertainty and unintentional fence sitting.
"The Middle" lyrics
It just takes some time,
little girl you're in the middle of the ride
Everything, everything will be just fine,
Everything, everything will be all right, ALL RIGHT
To all my fellow riders, just buckle down and hold on- No one will judge you if you have to let out a scream now and then.
Hanging on for dear life,
Sweeney - I no longer come with a title. Hopefully the name says it all at this point. Whatever "it" is.
Oh, and this is my grand and triumphant arrival. Is it everything you could have hoped for?