Well, it’s been almost a whole year since Sister Willis and I stopped posting on this blog. I’ve always intended to get it started again, and today I just chose to make it a priority, lest it never happen! Here is what I sent out this year as a Christmas Card, to catch you up on what I’ve been doing in the meantime!
It may not be the most orthodox practice to send out Christmas cards while still flying solo, but in an effort to keep in touch with you and a lack of concern for the status quo, I’ve chosen to break the mold. I spent January through August serving the latter half of a full time mission for the LDS church, and you have probably already read some portion of the play-by-play on my blogs. This being the case, suffice it to say that my mission was the most life shaping, character building, and joy inducing experience of my life thus far! Since I’ve been home, I’ve had a heck of a time trying to adjust back to reality. Luckily, I’ve had a lot of really productive and positive things to keep me distracted from how much I miss being a missionary, and in a lot of ways, that have allowed me to continue the work I was doing in New York. It was a bit of a gamble for me to jump right into school at Brigham Young University- Idaho for reasons including, but not limited to, my lack of funds getting off the mission, my chronic lack of success in the world of academia, my previous lack of any desire to ever attend a church sponsored school, my lack of ambition to live in the great state of Idaho, and my lack of preparation to re-enter the dating scene- especially at the affectionately so-called “BYU-I-DO”. However, I felt pretty strongly that it was the best direction to go, and everything came together seamlessly, so I took a leap of faith. As it turned out, it was exactly the right place! The combination of spiritual and secular education provided the ideal transition so that I didn’t have to cut the cord so abruptly on the spiritual high of my mission, while allowing me to reacquaint myself with the ways of the world. I was called as Relief Society President right away (the head of the women’s organization for my congregation on campus), hired as a manager for student volunteers involved with the school’s international online program, recruited to lead the service committee for my dorm (yes, DORM… I loved it, okay? Best roommate I could ask for!), and signed up for way more credits than I could realistically handle (then shortly dropped some). I also made the three hour drive to Brigham City, Utah every Thursday to nanny for my friends Meghan and Justin Stark til Saturday night. On top of all that, I was sick this semester more than I have been collectively over the past ten years of my life. Nonetheless, through the periodic dodging of extracurricular bullets, I also had the opportunity to reconnect with people that I love, forge new relationships with undeniably stellar individuals, and watch the sunset and climb a mountain here and there. Moral of the Story? Balance. Patience. Satisfaction with Imperfection. Humility. Delegation. Perseverance. Gratitude. I learned that it is impossible to do everything right all the time, that it’s supposed to be that way, and that it doesn’t mean you have to give up or start over or be hard on yourself. It just means you keep on truckin’ and trust in the Lord, and everything will work out just fine (but maybe not quite the way you planned (probably better)). I’m pleased to report that this is the first semester of my life in which I not only didn’t fail any classes, I earned As and Bs in them all! Turns out you CAN teach an old dog new tricks! In an effort to simplify (or something), I’ve now moved to Brigham City full time so that I can continue to help out Meghan and Justin with their brilliantly chaotic lifestyle and take my classes online for the winter and spring semesters. That is my plan through June of 2013, when I will have my Associate’s Degree (in general studies; with a Bachelor(ette)’s of International Studies pending at a date TBD)! After that, I’m open to suggestions. Stay tuned for further developments.