Monday, May 11, 2015

A Strange Adjustment

After various requests for  a new blog entry, I humbly thought, 

"give the people what they want."

And then when I say "various" I definitely mean two, but that is plural so BOOM BABY new entry. Is that what this is even called? An entry? I literally have no idea because I'm what you call a faux blogger.  Because actually I was just emailing for the past 18 months and then my awesome MOTHER was copying/pasting those emails by origin to a blog spot. So, I'm not really a validated blogger. Im just a glorified emailer.

But you know I enjoy it. So I am back in action almost exactly two months since finishing the most exciting, terrifying, exhausting, riotous adventure of my life: the mission. It was so unique actually, that it gets its very own definite article every time I bring it up. 

'yeah so how was your mission?'
'oh the mission is the best thing i ever did'

'so what was the best part of your mission?"
'so in the mission there are lots of great things.'

'hey when did you get back from your mission?!'
'oh i got back from the mission like a month ago.'

I'm kinda annoyed with myself for doing it but I'm not alone in this unusual practice so I think I'm justified. Isn't there a saying like, if everyone jumps off a cliff would you do it? I guess for me the answer is yes.

Yeah that is a bunch of lemmings jumping off a cliff. Like me.

But being home. So there's a topic for discussion. It is so many things all at once. Seeing my family for the first time was pretty exhilarating. Being released for the first time was like my little world-made-slightly-larger-by-living-in-two-third-world-countries met a nuclear weapon.

Yeah. Dont be upset with me for it. You feel it. I will never forget the words that pounded through my brain when I was out of the club.

 'You are a normal person now.'

 and I could feel the painful mediocrity of it instantly. Just like...extra spiritual aid? Gone. Intimacy with the spirit 24/7?  Goodbye. Actually representing the Savior all day, every day? No more. Having a reason to talk to all the weirdos on the streets forever? Retracted. It was a very real, thick moment for me. I really loved being a missionary, and I mean nothing against all us 'normal people', but we are normal, and missionaries are not. They're *special*.

So the first few days I felt like a new born baby I'm pretty sure. Freakishly vulnerable and in a new world. I think Brandon had on the Dark Knight at one point and I almost started crying. Looking at the TV felt like sinning. Everything looked so BIG. America is so BIG. I made a few trips to Costco and I'd be like, Mom I wanna look at the socks (mine were threads). And she'd be like, ok they're around the corner. 

My thought: "Oh I can't go alone."
And then. 

"oh. yeah."

But there's been so much to do, think, feel, hear, and taste, that I thought I could best sum up in my tried-and-true top ten. So here is what I've crafted-- some things that will happen when you come home from a central american mission to seattle washington. So, the top ten, of

Hiking Little Si--
Washington is unMATCHED for beauty

10. Phone ringing off the hook. When everybody tryna to call you and you feel so comfortable speaking English. And everyones like, it is so good to see you/hear you/chat with you on Facebook and Im like, wait. Is this not the mission because I'm pretty sure my power-hungry zone leader is gonna walk around the corner ANY SECOND and tell me that I'm being demoted to junior companion so we gotta wrap THIS CALL UP. But I guess after heavily neglecting any family/friend relationships for a year and a half, you  have to realize that there is at least a little bit of make-up work. 

9. Winco foods. So I go there and walk down the hispanic foods aisle to hear native speakers speaking spanish. And then when my little sister comes with me I half scream succinct Spanish phrases at her hoping some latinos will be like, 'wait did that white girl speak spanish right now???" and strike up a convo with me and ask me if I speak Spanish  So far the efficiency rate of this tactic is coming in hot at 0%. Like about 0 successes in 65 attempts. Emma says I gotta be louder. #illgotojailfordisturbingthepeace

8. So I like, legitimately thought everyone would consider me dead while gone, and that--upon returning-- no one would recognize my miraculous though inevitable resurrection. I was pretty wrong on that. DEAD wrong. Getit? my friends are blowing up my Facebook messages and im like,
 you wrote me zero times on my mission.

Hahaha. jk jk jk i forgive you i totally get it you were totally super busy yeah life happens like that but hey really no worries yeah i for sure understand but its done now so hey wanna get together for lunch sure that sounds fun we have a lot to catch up on im so excited its been so long!!! lol hahaha BAE hahah lol wut yassss
Me tryna figure out snap chat.

but really.

7. *BAE* wait what? I don't....Emma what does this mean? I can't understand how these people are writing on this internet. danish excrement words and what the

7. Netflix. how could this internet wonder NOT be on the list. I mean I haven't gone too hog-wild on this one--thanks to seriously all my self-control and pretty pathetic viewing options. But have you guys seen Flip or Flop? Because that Tarek character is fun. And im always hoping they make bank on their houses. But even the modest profits leave me feeling fulfilled. The thing is I really go nuts when they don't tell you how much the house sold for. but like, NUTS. 

6. RELIEF SOCIETYYYYYY. Saturday brunch? Speaking. Sunday school class? teaching. Visiting teaching moment? Sharing. boom boom boom I AM THE QUEEN OF THE RELIEF SOCIETY FORGET PRESIDENT I OWN THIS LEAGUE. Just GIVE me some more assignments. PLEASE. Especially because I am in a transition state and can't get any real callings thanks to unwritten rule #466. And because you guys KNOW i am feeling like a worthless, lifeless, useless piece of matter after working 16 hours a day in the VINNNNNEYARDDDDD. but hey. charity never faileth. what. Can I get some more all caps in this one? 
Me seeking fashion
 advice from Wes.

5. Weddings. Bridesmaiding. well i think i have like....3 dresses now. so its a long shot from 27 but that is my ultimate goal. then maybe i can make a movie with james marsden. *uh-huh* But weddings are nice.  

4. THE HOBBIT. shoot. i LOVE LOTR and i just really enjoyed this cinematic masterpiece! do you know what i am saying?! battle of the 5 armies? richard armitage being the sexiest dwarf ever? Legolas loving someone? Kate from Lost just falling hard for that other good-looking dwarf?  that was a 5 hours well spent. Extended version anyone?

3. Doctors visits. Moms like, i think you have some serious vitamin deficiencies  i think you are addicted to sugar. i think you have dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa??? So i have seen too many doctors for my personal taste, but I guess I am winning back my health. Good news is that the blood tests came back and after all those jokes I DO NOT HAVE DIABETES. What a win. But my cholesterol is high......dang it. 

2.5 Facebook. If you think I haven't Facebook stalked you, I have.

2. ***Boys**** first day back. Old friend (xy chromosome type) comes up and im like 'my hand is in your face take it' and he's like, 'come on, alaina!?' and im like, DONT USE THAT NAME. Then i realize he is in the right and I am 
in the wrong and that it is perfectly acceptable/palatable to *hug/embrace* men. I just need time. 
Andrew killing it on his FaceTime home

1. Family! So the airport moment. When I landed in Seattle and I was walking down the halls to get to baggage pickup, I started tearing up. It was unexpected, but you need to know that in that moment, there is a lot culminating. There is a lot of emotion in a liiiiitle ity bity space in time. First time without a companion, first time not tracking numbers, first time going home. Then I found them, and that was nice. We hugged, we cried, we went home. I felt the carpet. I ate a casserole. We slept. I got used to the strangers. And over time, i was like, hey. You know. I really like this family of mine. Its been a real treat being together again (minus younger brother ANDREW who is currently in Chicago) . Lots of memories flooding back. I don't know. Its just feels very comforting to be in my home town, the house where I grew up, living with my family. I'm savoring it. There's a rare sense of security that comes with it.

There it is. I'm back. I miss central America, I'm buying a ticket like tomorrow to go to Belize this summer, but it ain't all bad. The gospel is still true. And all those little things that were so necessary on my mission feel even more necessary now. I love that. The gospel brought me joy in El Salvador and Belize and it brings me joy in Seattle Washington. And its not the 'i just bought a sweet bluetooth speaker' or a 'kate spade bag' kinda joy. It doesn't go away. It doesn't dull. Its sustaining and fulfilling all the time. There is nothing more precious to me than the gospel. 

So guys. Here's to a few more uncomfortable readjustment adventures and continued scripture study. 
All my love, 

straight up.