Thursday, April 2, 2015

High, Low, Filo Dough

This doesn't actually have anything to do with filo dough, I just wanted to rhyme. 

It IS about highs and lows, though. That's just what happens when you get home from serving a mission. 

"Let me explain.
No, there is too much. Let me sum up." (- Inigo Montoya)

I can't really tell about everything that happened in the last 18 months, but if you're curious, my mission blog is still 100% intact. You can find it HERE. 

But now that I'm back, I've decided to resume the blogging (by request of some, but mostly because I just like telling everyone about the weird stuff I think about). I've loved being home, but life is never easy, even when it seems like it should be. 

The first couple weeks home were awesome. I didn't admit in my emails how difficult being a missionary was for me. I had some very wonderful experiences and I learned some amazingly valuable lessons that I couldn't have learned anywhere else. I'm so grateful for how much better I was able to understand some parts of the Gospel, the Scriptures, and God himself. But there is always opposition, of course, and if I'm going to progress so much, I have to also go through a lot of difficulty. Unforeseen health issues, challenging companion relationships, and less-than-civil strangers are only a few of the common mission challenges that I (and all missionaries) faced. Arriving home to a family that loves me for who I am, is much more excited to see me than your average Chilean citizen was, where I don't have to follow a schedule, I can go to the temple whenever I want, I can sleep as long as I want, etc. was relaxing to say the least. 

I think what it comes down to is this: I expected too much of myself while on my mission and I was not able to enjoy my service as much as I should have, and coming home to a brief period where I basically had no expectations was like being able to breathe again. 

This was fun for a couple of weeks, as was seeing my cousins, friends, neighbors, and everyone else. But boredom is a dangerous thing, and I did everything to avoid it. With several months until being able to enter school again, I decided to apply for as many jobs as I could, attend the temple anytime anyone invited me, go to every ward activity, practice the piano, make hair bows and add lots of Etsy listings (view my shop here: ArbitraryArray), cook, read all the books I had been meaning to read, go on 5K runs or several-mile-long bike rides, scrapbook, make cookies for people, organize mission photos, sew new clothes/alter old ones, learn a new language by reading the Book of Mormon in Italian, write to my missionary friends who are still out, and most of all, find out who got married while I was gone and look through all their adorable photos on Facebook. (Seriously, I probably shouldn't calculate how much time I spent doing that my first couple days home). Eventually I secured a job on BYU campus, which I can't start until I'm closer to entering classes. And eventually, boredom set in. It's such a dangerous thing. Even though all those aforementioned things are plenty to fill infinite amounts of time, sometimes you just don't feel like doing any of it. 

Boredom is such a weird thing. It's not like there's nothing we COULD be doing. You could learn a new musical intrument, learn a new language, clean your house (your mom would love it, too), volunteer at just about anywhere, etc. etc. But being bored, I'm convinced, isn't about not having anything to do. It's about not feeling like doing any of the things you could be doing, or not feeling motivated. What an awful thing. After the excitement of being home wore off, I started feeling like that. I started staying in bed loooonger, while "reading" (but mostly sleeping). And mostly just lazying around. I still did some of my listed productive things, but you can only do so much when you just don't feel like doing anything, you know? 

Ha. Isn't it terrible that we sometimes have such limited vision that we decide to do nothing rather than do something? This is what leads to less-than-ideally-productive times. When I started falling into this, I began to create goals for myself, which I usually didn't keep, if I'm being honest. But I still haven't had a day where I stayed in my pajamas and didn't leave the house once, so I think we're doing okay. And I will never have time to relax like this again in my life! (Yikes that stuff scares me). 

Then a few days ago, I realized that I should just focus on music. I absolutely love music. Listening, playing the ukulele or piano, and especially singing. So I both auditioned for BYU Noteworthy (the 9-member a capella group) and played at an Open Mic Night in the same day. It was fun and exciting and got me excited about something once again. I never thought I should pursue music too much because I always thought I would never be a professional and as a hobby I just wouldn't have enough time. But it got me so excited these last couple days just to be doing something that I love! I didn't make Noteworthy (not even close haha) but I don't feel bad. It was an experience that built my confidence and made me realize how much I really want to be involved in music. Still not as a profession, but I think it's worth my time as a hobby. You'll most likely be hearing more about this, as I have made some goals to finish original songs I have begun writing and will want to share when they're done. 

I didn't expect this to turn out so lengthy, but I guess life is full of surprises, right? I just want you all to remember that life has its highs and lows. That there is something to be grateful for every day. And sometimes we can't really explain why something is so hard, but it just needs to be hard so that we will evaluate ourselves and decide to improve something. (Like me deciding that maybe I was so "bored" because I was spending waaaay to much time with social media. Yesterday I deleted the Vine app on my phone because...dang, some people on Vine are just toooo funny and you stay up watching their videos for hours and hours and it's just, yeah). So here I am, not feeling like I'm back to my highest level of happiness, but excited that I will be starting work soon. It's been fun to just relax and do some things I've wanted to do. I'm so grateful for every opportunity that I have to be better even though I miss most of them. 

Stay tuned, I have some things I've been wanting to write about that I'm really excited for. And thanks for sticking with me and reading all this! I have the best people following me. 

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