Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Hoops We Jump Through


Wow... so I was reading through my latest entries, trying to clean up the I-only-have-a-half-hour-to-pump-out-this-blog harried grammar of my mission days, and realized I left a few gaping holes. I didn't even say what happened during my final days as a missionary.

Well, for starters, Quelito DID get baptized, and it was amazing. He's so cute. It was a great way to end my second-to-the-last day as a missionary.
Left to Right: Me, Quelito, Hna. Bryant, and Denise, the mom

And on my actual, legitimate last day (a Sunday), I was asked to give my actual, legitimate LAST talk in church. This assignment was SO last minute, and considering I'd already given my testimony the week before in church, AND a talk the week before that, I was a little burnt out. So I just winged it, which I have never done before. And it turned out well. When it comes to things we really care about/believe, usually the unscripted stuff turns out better. Of course, you still have to study and prepare the material, but I'd been doing that, oh, for only A YEAR AND A HALF previous, so I think that even though I couldn't tell you what I talked about, I remember feeling really good while talking about it. And the people in the congregation looked engaged, so I took that as a good sign.

And either the talk was THAT good, or people were feeling sentimental, cuz everyone was either asking for my contact information or offering me their skirts. I have to admit, the offers were tempting; there were some pretty sassy skirts. But it was just a final reminder of how great these people are, and how much I would miss all of them.

Anyway, I have realized a couple things that have been really hard readjusting to. I was really surprised there weren't more. Sometimes, it feels like my mission was a crazy time warp, and I'm already back to exactly how life was before the mission. Exactly the same, except I know Spanish, and experienced a whole different culture and had my life changed forever. But sometimes, it's almost like that was a crazy dream, and none of it was real. But all I need to throw me back into reality is to hear a loudspeaker announcement in some random department store, in Spanish, and I'm back. Something happened. Something big, and I was a part of it. And it will always be a part of me.

But back to what I was saying about my readjustments. Getting used to throwing toilet paper into the actual toilet has been quite the retraining process. It just didn't feel right for the first month of my being back. And I'm STILL getting used to the taste of tap water. It tastes a little off to me. But when you drink out of this for as long as I did, well... we'll just say that dirty became the new clean for me.


To be fair, I only got my water from a truck like this in Lava Pie, my last area. But I always drank from those blasted bottles.

 
Other than that, I think I've handled the "real world" with some sense of grace. I even have a job now. As I mentioned on Facebook, I get to rock a bright orange outfit, and help people make life-changing decisions. That's right- I am officially a Home Depot Associate, Garden Department.
www.sportingindianafc.com

This is what they don't tell you when you get your degree- that you'll probably just end up watering flowers someday. Actually, thus far, I enjoy my job, even though I work in the evening, until midnight, most days. But the other employees are friendly enough and it's fun kung fu-ing people, o sea, Hispanic people, with my Spanish. They just never see it coming. I think they go from being uncomfortable to impressed in about a 30 second time frame. They always end our conversations by encouraging me to keep practicing and learning. And it has made me realize just how much I miss I miss speaking the language on a regular basis. Those people I've talked to have touched on one of my greatest fears- I'm terrified of losing the language.

But at the moment, my peeves are overtaking my fears. One such peeve is that, to accomplish anything in this life requires a whole bunch of hoop jumping. Let's face it- in this day and age, you practically have to be certified to breathe. I'm violating some sort of code as we speak. I guess what's really eating at me is that the two professions I'm looking at right now (teaching and paralegal) require that I be certified to do them. Granted, I presently don't know much about being a paralegal (other than what I've learned from watching "Law and Order: SVU," but teaching- come on! I was a Teaching Assistant in college, I have my Bachelors in Humanities with an English emphasis, AND I've essentially done nothing but teach for the last year and a half of my life. I so have this! Except that I don't. If I want to follow through with either of these plans, it would require more schooling, o sea, more MONEY. Jesse J may say that it ain't about the $, cha-ching cha-ching, bu-bling bu-bling, but I also suspect that she isn't up to her extensions in school debt.

Now, I'll never regret my education, because I'd never be who I am and where I am without it. I guess I just wish I'd known more about what I wanted to do with it ahead of time. People told me not to worry, and so I didn't. "It'll come," they said. Well, it did come- but somehow "better late than never," is a feckless consolation at this point. I still believe my future's bright, but maybe it's too bright, cuz it's blinding me and I'm not quite sure where I'm going. Chalk it up to a quarter life crisis. I'm not alone, but I think there should be a help group for people like us. Hmmmmm... maybe I just found my vocation. I guess being an overly-confident teenager had to catch up with me at some point.

So, if anyone has any particularly strong emotions/opinions/jokes about the whole "hoop jumping" hoopla of today's up-and-comings, leave your message after the beep.  Uh, BEEP.

Smiles,

Sweeners

Oh, and a big P.S.- I passed the CBEST test. One less hoop to jump through.

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