The End of J’s College Crisis

Image result for the end picture
via Unsplash

Well y’all it’s official…I’ve finished my last college class. I was offered a position as a full time English teacher at a middle school. They offered me the job on the spot and I couldn’t be more ecstatic. The only thing left to do is wait for my diploma to be sent my way and to attend the official graduation ceremony sometime in Spring. So I guess…I guess my college crisis is over.

It certainly was a wild ride. From the beginning I was jumping right into being a writing tutor and participating in leadership programs and publishing my poetry and essays and going to club meetings and parties. My anxiety was at an all time high. I had my first kiss – an awful experience, but at least a good story to tell. I had my first long-term boyfriend that had a heartbreaking end, but was still worthwhile. I gained friends and lost friends, made enemies due to my constant struggle with authority figures, and made allies and found meaningful mentors that I know I can always go to for help.

I faced many difficult decisions, that’s for sure, but I am now just going with the flow. My anxiety has calmed down and I think I, myself, have calmed down, too. I’m not trying to control everything anymore and feel that I’ve learned so much about myself now that it’s over.

It really did go by fast. I think because I was so involved with so many things that it all just went by in a whirl.

But now my college days are over and my career days are just beginning. It’s a strange feeling to be moving on to the next stage. I’ll actually be getting a salary now. A salary. That’s one of the most adult things ever. I’ll be starting to pay for my own insurance and won’t be living in student housing anymore. It’s hard to wrap my head around it all.

So, I guess it wouldn’t be completely honest of me to continue to post on here about my struggles since I’m no longer in college. This will be the last post on J’s College Crisis.

But, who knows…I might start a new blog. Maybe I’ll call it J’s Career Crisis cause lord knows the sort of hurdles I’ll be facing as a teacher. At least now I feel more prepared to actually take the challenges on.

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Howdy Swiss People

From the top of Niesen

It’s crazy to think that in another month I’ll be done with my English Ed degree.

There are a lot of things I still haven’t done or have put off, like writing to you guys or writing my book, but with the majority of my student-teaching work finished, I can feel myself getting excited at my life to come.

I’ve been spending the remainder of my semester student-teaching in Switzerland. I had planned to come to Switzerland at the beginning of the year, but it didn’t really “click” in my mind until my plane was landing at the Zurich airport.

I’ve been here for less than 3 weeks and it’s already been a wild ride.

A view of the Alps in the distance

Student Teaching in Switzerland

My university and the principal of my school here in Switzerland have both demonstrated a lack of communication skills. My colleague (who I travelled with) and I were placed in elementary grades instead of secondary, which has been and is an issue as our degree requires secondary experiences.

So, we ended up taking matters into our own hands and reached out to different teachers in our school so we could observe and teach in more upper-level classes.

Although, I have to admit that I’m still incredibly bored at the school. As we speak, I am sitting in the classroom typing as my cooperating teacher lectures about math. Only being able to teach one English class and only three days a week kind of leaves me with a lot of extra time. I’ve already planned out the entire remainder of my lessons here, after all. I’m not sure how else to productively spend my time.

But, on the bright side, I do love the kids. They all have a ton of motivation to learn and I’m surprised at the engagement level here. They also have a LOT of energy. It’s been a challenge to wrangle them all in and keep them focused, but the majority really are just trying to get attention and support from their peers and myself.

The teachers here have been incredibly supportive, as well. I’ve been grateful to get such an awesome group of colleagues and students to work with. Even if I barely have anything to do at this point, it could certainly be worse.

For instance, some of the other student teachers that also travelled here from our University have already ran into issues of their own. 2 of them have been evicted from their apartment since their host families apparently illegally rented the rooms. Another girl has been hospitalized due to an allergic reaction, and 2 other student teachers are stuck in a German-only speaking school (which I’m sure is difficult since all of us only spoke English in coming here).

So…yeah. It could be worse.

Host Families

My host family consists of a couple of teachers and their two kids, who are incredibly adorable.

They have been extremely welcoming and showed me around the city. They also gave advice on teaching and have been buying the groceries and cooking dinner every night.

I have to admit, bread and cheese for just about every meal is definitely something I can get behind. I’ve come to love Gruyere cheese and am learning how to braid home-made bread. My family made some pumpkin soup straight from the pumpkin and I made them some roasted pumpkin seeds in return. They’ve also been cooking a lot of pasta and have discussed making fondue and raclette (cheese and potato dish) soon. The food here certainly is delicious.

The kids have loads of energy, but are super fun to watch. They play pretend stories and run around all the time. One of them has started saying “gosh” a lot because they’ve heard me saying it. They jabber on and on about their day and what they’re thinking and doing; they can even switch from Swiss-German to English back and forth very easily, which surprised me.

But I’ve really loved spending time with all of them and talking to both the parents and kids about life.

Gruyere Castle

Gorgeous Views

My colleague and I have already travelled all over Switzerland; we’ve visited mountain peaks, the country side, cute picturesque towns, museums, cheese and chocolate factories, and castles.

It is absolutely gorgeous here without a doubt. The sunsets and sunrises are always beautiful, and I love gazing out at the lush green, rolling hills with the sprinkling of red, orange, and yellow trees along the mountainside.

Sometimes, when I take the tram to and from school, I forget that I’m in Switzerland and it just feels like any other day. But then I’ll catch a glance at the country side or the rich, red-coloured sun rising over the fall trees with rivers winding beneath bridges and towering chapels in the distance…and then I remember where I am and smile.

Missing Home

As stunning as it is here, I do still miss my boyfriend, my friends, and family. Spending Halloween here was fun and interesting, but I missed the exaggerated craziness of Halloween in the US. I miss eating Swedish Fish with air-popped popcorn on Friday nights. And it definitely sucks that when I’m bored I can’t just text a friend or my boyfriend and get a response back right away…I have to wait hours and hours until they finally wake up on the other side of the planet (1st world problems, I know).

Thanksgiving is coming up and I’ll be making a Thanksgiving Chicken instead of a turkey (which is a bit disappointing, I have to admit). But it’ll still be fun to celebrate it on my birthday as I’ll be heading to Germany for a side-trip with my colleague directly after.

But I’m excited to return home for Christmas with my family, too, and see them all again.

Until then, I’m trying to make the most of my time here in Switzerland. There are still many adventures to come!

Utterly Happy

via Tiny Buddha

Usually when I come on here to post something it’s because I’m pissed and need to rant or complain, but today I wanted to break my several-month-long hiatus to just talk about how happy I am in hopes that one day I’ll come back on here and read this and feel this happiness again when I most need it.

I’ve been so busy with student teaching that I haven’t had much of a chance to write, either on here or my books or poetry. I’ve been overwhelmed and stressed with keeping up with teaching and organizing lesson plans and working so I can earn some money…I’ve been busy planning to study abroad in a week and half and keeping up with my senior year classes. I’ve had those days where my students have struggled and so I’ve struggled. And this past week I caught a cold (most likely from one of my students) but pushed through with my headache and congestion and runny nose.

But today I feel better, and not just physically. Yes, my sinuses have cleared and I can breathe through both nostrils again. My head isn’t pounding. I slept in and woke up with a smile on my face because the bed felt so comfortable and I had a Sunday to look forward to.

I texted my boyfriend, who was feeling sick yesterday, and he let me know he was feeling much better today, too, which gave me another reason to feel happy. We planned to watch the new Joker movie, which I was extremely excited about.

And though I’ve only been awake for a couple hours, I’ve already made a lot of productive work: planning ahead for the week and working on my class assignments.

And a couple days ago I went and saw AJR in concert (for free because my boyfriend is amazing and knows people) and it was the best concert I’ve ever seen in my life and just remembering that experience made me even more happy.

And last night I showed my roommate The Dark Knight for the first time and it was the first batman movie she had ever seen and we had an awesome time because she made me popcorn (with my careful instruction because I’m a popcorn wizard) and then she made me some ramen because I hadn’t eaten dinner and then she offered me a popsicle and all-around it was just a fun food-filled night.

And this week I am hosting a Faux-Food Potluck where people get to bring “prank foods”, like bowls of skittles mixed with m&ms or oreos filled with toothpaste, and we’re going to taste stuff and guess what’s wrong with it and then play Sorry! and watch Ratatouille. It’s gonna be a blast.

And my boyfriend and I’s one-year anniversary is coming up which I am super duper excited for, too.

And then I’ll be visiting my family and friends in my hometown before I leave to travel in Switzerland for a couple months as part of my study-abroad, student teaching experience.

And I just see other people in my life doing great things that are making them happy, too. My roommate (who is part of the Mormon religion) went to see the big General Conference for the first time, which she was so extremely excited about that I couldn’t help but feel excited for her. My parents bought a big camper trailer as a gift to themselves and are loving it and taking it hiking, which also makes me happy for them because they’ve done so much for me and deserve all the happiness. And then there’s also my best friend who has a long-distance boyfriend and posted the cutest facebook post about him and how he sends gifts to her and it made me “awwww” aloud and feel so happy for her, too. For all she’s gone through and all the support she’s given to me, it just makes me overwhelmingly happy to see her feeling happy, as well.

And I know this is just dragging on and on, but I just feel so grateful and happy today that I wanted to share it with others so maybe they’ll feel a little bit happier, too.

One of Those Mondays

After a long weekend of packing and moving and preparing for upcoming student teaching…I actually didn’t mind taking a break from all that worrying and working today instead. But apparently today wanted to be a struggle.

I woke up to the glorious sounds of high pitched barking, banging construction, and the beeping of trucks backing up.

Then I forgot about several small errands I was supposed to complete yesterday and spent the majority of my morning doing those things instead of eating breakfast…which is my fault, but still.

I went to work hungry, but thankfully they allowed me to go out to the vending machine and grab a snack. Those little bags of jerky were looking great until it got stuck in the side of the machine and refused to fall down. After calling the vending machine people, I learned that I had to walk to the very opposite side of campus if I wanted my $2 refunded. So, after work, I trekked over their because I’m more cheap than I am lazy.

Realizing the vending machine was being a buttface, I went to the nearby cafe instead, only to have to wait for 10 minutes while their systems rebooted. But FINALLY I got a sandwich and made it back to work. The sandwich bread was incredibly stale and dry…because of course it was. At least I wasn’t incredibly hungry anymore.

And I usually don’t complain about the students I tutor, but when you have people that come in with only 1 page out of a 3 page paper done, plus they want you to just sit there while they write it, and it’s due in 30 minutes because they waited until the last second, AND they also ignore your feedback and tell you to just fix their grammar…………….just, why?

Then, after work and getting my $2 back, I drove to the grocery store and there was this one lady that was just oblivious to everyone and kept getting in my way on every. single. aisle. It was just one of those little things that isn’t usually that annoying until you’ve already had a kinda crap day.

The fact that it felt like it was a million degrees outside didn’t exactly help my mood either.

But just as I was taking my groceries out of my car, thankful that I was about to be back in the cool, caressing arms of my apartment, my grocery bags broke and my cans of food went rolling all over the sidewalk.

I still have to go back to school for 2 more hours, so I’m sure there’s plenty of chances for more things to go wrong, but I’m at least glad I was able to relax a little bit and eat some non-stale bread while watching some of my favorite YouTubers.

Basically, I just wanted to rant and complain a bit because…it’s just been one of those Mondays.

Anna: MOVIE REVIEW

via Letterboxd

Anna is a 2019 movie that only recently came out about a Russian spy working for the KGB and trying to regain her freedom, not to be confused with Red Sparrow (which is basically the same plot basis) or Hanna (another movie about a girl trained to be an assassin).

There have been a whole lot of female spy movies recently; Atomic Blonde and Red Sparrow are the ones that immediately come to mind and were also what I was comparing Anna to. Thankfully, Anna was better than both of those movies.

It wasn’t cruel and torture-y like Red Sparrow (which I personally felt pushed the brutality a bit far) or politically confusing and low-key boring like Atomic Blonde.

Anna had great acting, good music, awesome action, tension, excitement, and loads of twists and turns. Though the plot was extremely familiar to Red Sparrow, I personally felt that Anna did it better.

The time does jump around a lot. The events don’t happen in chronological order, but it is always clearly labeled and obviously distinctive every time it does jump to different points in time. I’ve seen other reviews that feel like the time jumps are confusing, but as long as you’re paying attention and can do some simple quick math in your head, then it’s really not bad at all. The way the characters act and look make it fairly obvious what’s going on, too. So, I didn’t feel like it was a big deal.

And while some argued that Sasha Luss wasn’t a great actress, I would argue the opposite. I felt like she did a good job, especially considering she’s only been in about 3 or 4 films. Her action was really awesome, too; There wasn’t a ridiculous amount of jump cuts like in most action flicks.

I will admit that, at some point, the constant twists and surprises did get a bit tedious; there was just one twist after another and another. It certainly kept me on my toes, but any more and it would have just been straight up annoying.

But still, they did a good job at making you guess at who was lying and who was telling the truth. If you actually did like Red Sparrow and/or Atomic Blonde, then you’d definitely like Anna. If you didn’t like either of those two movies, then I’d still recommend giving Anna a chance, since I found it more entertaining than the other two.

Rant Time

via Mexperience

Ya know my roommates really aren’t all that bad. I’ve certainly had worse (which you can read in my past blog posts). Out of the 4 of us, the two that I am referencing are sisters. They’re a bit awkward and introverted, but at least they’re quiet and not complete slobs. Sure they leave crumbs and sticky stuff on the counter at times, but it could be worse.

The biggest complaint I’ve had is the fact that these roommates love to take 2+ hour baths, which is just ridiculous when I have to share a bathroom with one of them. They could at least ask if I need to use the bathroom before they spend hours on end in there.

It also wasn’t the greatest thing ever when they decided to get a cat for therapy reasons, which means I had to start taking allergy meds since cats and my immune system don’t exactly mix. It also meant that little poops were occasionally left on the carpet,and sometimes the living room and kitchen smelt strongly of litter and cat food.

My fourth roommate, who recently moved out, was a lot more anal about the cat stuff than I was. She set firm rules about how the litter box had to stay in their rooms, how they had to vacuum every day (as she also had allergies), and so forth. But once that roommate left, the cat sisters became a bit more lax about these things. I honestly didn’t really care that much. As long as the stank wasn’t too stanky then I could deal with it.

Although, today I realized that they had moved the cat’s litterbox into the other roommates old room, which she is still paying for and will be checked for cleanliness in about two weeks. Apparently, they didn’t ask her if they could move the cat’s stuff in her room, but it definitely reeks in there.

Honestly, I was just surprised at what a rude move that was on their part. They didn’t even ask permission? Were they even planning on cleaning up all that stuff when cleaning check time comes along? What were they gonna do when a new person moved in and it smelled like cat litter in there? I mean, seriously, what the fudgenuggets people? If you have a pet, then you keep that pet’s stuff in your space and deal with the stank yourself. That’s just part of the job of having a pet.

So, later tonight my old roommate’s friend (who is in charge of checking up on her room for cleaning checks) is coming by to move the cat stuff out, so we’ll see how that goes.

In other news, both of my mentor teachers for next semester are MIA and aren’t communicating with me. So, that kinda sucks.

I also read another book that I’ll be teaching, called The Watsons Go to Birmingham –1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis. I’m sorry but that book was incredibly boring. The story didn’t even start until 100 pages in. I could have just skipped all the backstory in the first half of the book and still understood the last half. So, I’m not exactly looking forward to teaching that one.

So, there’s your daily dose of rant for today. Thanks for tuning in.

Thoughts on The Outsiders

via Monumental Tix

I finally got around to both reading and watching The Outsiders. It was one of those books that most kids read back in middle or high school, and one of those old movies that had a young, star-studded cast and was filmed in an overly dramatic way.

I do kind of regret reading the book before watching the movie, because the movie just left out so much that I felt was important. But isn’t that the way it always goes when movies adapt books?

I’ll admit, the book had me bored at times with its tendency to be a expositional-ly and how it “told” rather than “showed.” The writing itself wasn’t all that amazing and didn’t necessarily blow me away, but yet the story and characters felt deep.

The characterization was pretty impressive; each character was so unique and different. You had those who you hated, those who you loved, and those who you just couldn’t decide whether you could root for them or not.

The plot was a roller-coaster of action and consequence, making you fear and question if things could get worse and if your favorite character would make it out alive. To a middle-schooler, I can definitely see the appeal of this book. It helps that there’s drama, and that it gives insight into a group of kids that grew up in tough and unfair circumstances.

The movie tried its best in the hour and a half that it had available. Sure, it hit the key plot points, but it really felt like it was only brushing the surface of the intricacies of the characters and how they interacted with one another.

I could go off on the lackluster action, narration consistency, cinematography…I’m very arrogantly picky about those sorts of things in movies…but really I was just sad that so many of the important interactions between the characters, interactions that really explored in-depth how these people thought and acted, how those interactions were kind of overlooked.

It’s a hard book to live up to movie-wise. I know I shouldn’t judge it harshly, but still I wouldn’t mind seeing another remake of it today, one that’s longer and takes more time to center in on the characters rather than the action.

I’ll be teaching this novel to middle-schoolers next semester. I’m interested to see what they’ll have to say about it, too. I’m just glad I finally can say that I’ve read The Outsiders, as so many other have. I finally understand the meaning behind, “Stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold.”

47 Chapters in 47 Days

via Serious Reading

So, I sometimes do this crazy thing where I get a cool story idea and decide to write a book about it, but since I tend to get distracted I give myself crazy goals like writing an entire chapter every single day until it’s done. This has worked surprisingly well for me so far.

The dealio is this: I write an entire chapter every day. If I miss a chapter one day, then I have to write two chapters the next day to make up for it. It doesn’t matter if I’m not feeling up to writing or have writer’s block or have no inspiration…I have to sit down and finish a chapter.

Sometimes I sit down and the first page or so is crap, but then I get into the groove and the good stuff starts flowing. Since it’s a first draft, who cares if a couple pages suck until you can get a rhythm going? This is what first drafts are for and this type of goal helps push you to get stuff done.

About 50 days ago I started making an outline and character descriptions and a synopsis for an idea I had. 47 days ago I wrote chapter 1. Today, I finished writing the last chapter.

I now have 232 pages (Arial, 11pt, double spaced) or over 59k words…a complete first draft of a novella/novel. HECK YES

I mean, it’s only a first draft, but still. This is the second time I’ve completed a book this way and, honestly, I’d definitely recommend it.

It really is one of the most satisfying things in the world to tell people, “Hey, I’m writing a book. I’ve been writing a chapter every day, so now I’ve have 47 chapters and it’s been 47 days.”

Is this post mostly about me bragging? Yes. But it’s also to share a bit more about my process writing books.

There’s always an idea that starts it all, but having a general outline has always been incredibly helpful for me. It doesn’t even have to be super specific or detailed…just a list of important events that need to happen. Then at least I know where I’m going with the story.

Character descriptions are the next most important thing for me, mostly because I tend to be extremely forgetful. Without a list of characters, their backstories, and physical descriptions/personality…I would definitely forget who everyone is and what they look like pretty quick.

Having a summary and synopsis can also be nice, especially when friends or random people ask you what it’s about because then you’re at least prepared with a short little brief about it rather than ranting for hours about the story.

Once those three things are done, I just jump right into the writing. I try not to worry too much about show not tell or whether my language sounds pretty in the first draft. If there are inconsistencies, I ignore them temporarily, but make note of them for later drafts. If I’m feeling particularly inspired one day, then I might put more effort into writing certain sections so they sound better, but really I just try to get the ideas on the page in a generally understandable and cohesive manner.

Second-third drafts are where you dig into the plot holes and character development and clarity. Then you start to get nitty-gritty and do the sentence structure and descriptions to make them all beautiful and stuff.

Usually I try to do my next drafts the same way I do my first draft: by rewriting a chapter a day. Honestly, this whole chapter a day thing is awesome for me. But everyone has a different process that works better for them. I know people who hate writing outlines and would rather just start writing the story immediately, and there’s nothing wrong with that if that’s what works.

I’m just proud that I have another finished draft of a book in my list of accomplishments. I’m looking forward to making it better and better.

I’m Alive!

via CSJR

I apologize that I keep randomly disappearing from my blog and then suddenly turn up out of the blue again. But now I’m back with some fun stuffs to talk about.

My anxiety is still at an all-time low, which is nice. I’m no longer seeing my therapist, mostly because I just don’t feel the need to anymore. It’s a good feeling. Although, lately my eye keeps twitching all the time, which must mean my stress is still a struggle. I guess that’s just what happens when you’re searching for a new place to live, but that’s life for ya.

In other news, I’ve started doing little workouts every night and I’ve already almost lost 5 pounds, so yay! I’ve also been preparing a bit more for student-teaching and studying abroad in this coming Fall semester.

I do feel unprepared for student-teaching, though. I wish my mentor teacher would communicate a bit more, but in person she’s at least super nice and very experienced/knowledgeable. I’m also unprepared for Switzerland, but still excited.

I’ve also been reading a shiz ton of books, like The Call of the Wild, The House on Mango Street, and Touching Spirit Bear. I’m reading The Outsiders next. All of these novels are ones I’ll be teaching next semester, and I’ve been incredibly impressed and blown away by The Call of the Wild and Touching Spirit Bear, in particular. It’s going to be a challenge to teach them, but I’m looking forward to it.

This will be my very last semester before I graduate, which is kinda crazy. This whole “college” thing sure went by pretty quickly. From the very beginning I’ve been involved in so many things and been working so hard in my classes and as a tutor…it really made time fly. But becoming an actual adult with a career is still freaking intimidating.

I’ve also recently gotten a second job as a “tour guide” of sorts for a fancy art exhibit, which has been fun. I basically get to stand around and stare a pretty piece of art for several hours every couple days and talk to people about it, so it’s been pretty chill.

My boyfriend and I have been going strong for like 7-8 months now. He’s lovely in every sense. Although, sadly my fav roommate has moved away. Now I am stuck with the two other introverted roomies and their cat, who never fails to make me sneeze.

But at least I’ve been productive since I’ve last written to you all. I visited my grandma for the first time in many years, which was super nice and a great trip down memory lane. I’ve gotten all that reading done, gotten that second job, tried to mildly prepare myself for the oncoming semester, and, most importantly, I’ve finished writing a book.

Since I’ve left you all to your lonesome for so long, I’ll be posting another thing today about the book as a means of making it up to you all, who may or may not actually still be reading my blog. Either way, I need to brag about it to someone, so why not here?

In conclusion, I’m still alive and trying to thrive. I’m happy to be back and writing again.

An Agnostic Among Mormons

Image result for mormon
Via Terry Mattingly

I feel like I’ve been posting a whole lot of reviews lately, so instead I’ll just rant a bit today.

I’ve had a lot of weird little interesting experiences as a fairly nonreligious person living among Mormons. When I first moved into their culture, I certainly felt a bit left out, but as I grew older….well it didn’t get much better to be honest.

It certainly makes dating difficult when half the dudes around you are looking for good Mormon girls to have lots of children with and get married to in under 6 months. It’s a generalization, I know, but that’s really how it feels sometimes.

Once I moved to college, it was as if the Mormon missionaries could always find me. Sister and Brother Missionaries would show up at my door and smile all nice and introduce themselves. They’d ask to come in and sit down and tell me about their stuff. Originally I would let them in and listen, but inevitably I would realize that it just wasn’t clicking and I’d have to send them away. Now every couple months a new duo shows up and tries the same thing again.

All of my roommates were Mormon, too, and planned to eventually go on missions of their own. As the one non-Mormon, I was often their go-to person to practice teaching on. I always would agree to help them out, although I did feel pretty bored most of the time, if I am being honest. But still, they all ended up going on missions, after all, and I emailed all of them for the year and a half that they were gone.

It is only recently that their missions are ending and they are all starting to come back. And here is where a bit of the rant comes in….

There was this one girl named Vee (fake name obviously), who I was very close with before she left on her mission. I emailed her every day at first, then every week, then at least twice a month, until she finally returned several months ago. I went to her “homecoming” party to greet her, welcome her back, try to catch up a bit…but she had lots of others trying to do the same, which is totally understandable. I hung out with her for an hour and then headed home, since she was still expecting a lot of people to come. I messaged her not too long after and asked if I could stay over with her or just hang out one-on-one so that we could catch up, but she was busy and had other family members scheduled. I could totally understand this, too, so I let her be for a month or two so she could prioritize others and get more comfortable now that she was home.

And this last week I decided to ask her again if we could hang out together. I figured that since it had been a few months now, that she should have things more sorted out. Unfortunately it took her ages to get back to me, even though I knew she had seen my messages. I was beginning to worry that I did something to upset them, but finally she wrote me back and told me she had broken up with her boyfriend and that she is working a lot, so she didn’t know if she’d be able to see me.

I could feel for her, but I was also kind of irritated. I used to be the person she could talk to about all these personal things, the person she could rant to all the time. But now I guess I wasn’t. And I have work too, so I understand that, but she isn’t working 24/7, and all I really needed was just a lunch with her or something so we could catch up. But she wasn’t really throwing me a bone here…I felt kind of cast aside. As one of the few people who emailed her throughout her entire mission, I personally felt like I should have been one of the earlier people prioritized to hang out with her, but I still gave her loads of time, anyway. I guess I felt like it was my turn to see her so we could be friends again.

But I guess that’s kind of the problem with missions. It can really change a person…to be in a place where you can never go anywhere alone, where you rarely get access to social media, where you are completely immersed in another culture, where you are repeating another’s words, The Book of Mormon’s words, out of your mouth every day for over a year straight…

The Church is a unique culture, that’s for sure. There’s a whole lot of pressure to fit certain norms, to be perfect, to go on missions…and The Church is good at what they do. The reach and power they have is incredible and impressive, to say the least.

So it does feel strange to watch your friends go off into intense missions and come back as just a completely different person sometimes.

After messaging Vee more, I did eventually convince her to have lunch with me in a couple weeks. I am still feeling a bit upset about it, to be honest, but I look forward to seeing her and getting to know her all over again, nonetheless.