Sunday, March 27, 2011

Words to Live by

For Good

This past week I sent an e-mail to a dear friend stating how much I missed her (as she has stopped responding to any form of communication for the past 5 months). Her response via e-mail was heartbreaking, it included phrases such as "with distance come distance" and that "sometimes memories are all we have of a person and they have to do."

This response to my e-mail was a complete shock to me considering the fact I invested so much emotion into our friendship. Despite the tears that were shed, this e-mail made me so grateful for all of the amazing and wonderful friends I have made in my many stages of life, the ones that take the time to call me up to tell me a funny story, the ones that send me texts to let me know they are thinking about me, the ones that let me crash at their house, even just for a night, and the ones who leave sweet little comments on my blog. Because of her e-mail I was reminded of how many wonderful friends that love me and whom I love so much, those I met in college, my Spring Summit family, my Changzhou girls and Nanjing boys, friends from Minnesota, and those I will meet in Cleveland.

I've been thinking a lot about this song lately. These lyrics from the musical Wicked have helped me through many goodbyes. Goodbye from college, goodbye to spring summit, and goodbye to the girls I loved so much in China. There is many great truths to learn from this song. I believe with all my heart that people do come into our lives for a reason, and we are led to those who help us most to grow. In this case the second verse put into words how I am feeling about moving to Ohio and leaving my friends in the West

It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You'll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend:
Like a ship blown from its mooring
By a wind off the sea
Like a seed dropped by a skybird
In a distant wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you:
I have been changed for good

And for those of you who feel like I have forgotten you, I apologize, it is not intentional. I love hearing from you, even if I don't respond. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Culture Shock

Stages of Culture Shock:
1. Honeymoon: Usually lasts a couple of weeks and is full of observations and new discoveries, which are often seen in a romantic light.

2. Homesick: Is just that, missing the "comforts" of home, belongings, culture, etc.

3. Horror: The differences between the old and new culture become apparent and may create unpleasant feelings such as anger, anxiety, disgust, irritation, and/or frustration. This phase is often marked by mood swings without apparent reason.

4. Home: In this phase one grows accustomed to the new culture and develops routines, things become more "normal." One accepts the culture with a positive attitude and negative reactions are reduced. 

As I have traveled quite a bit in the last couple years I feel like I am an expert in this phenomenon they call "culture-shock." I experienced it in Changzhou, and again in Hawaii, and once again in Utah, so I wasn't surprised when I started to, experience "feelings such as anger, anxiety, disgust, irritation and/or frustration" and "mood swings without apparent reason." These feelings are exasperated by the fact that it snowed at least 4 inches yesterday and I have yet to see the sun in Ohio add the fact that I really miss my belongings and you have the perfect recipe for disaster.
After this week...
I would give anything to be in China teaching English.
I would give anything to live in Hawaii.
I would give anything to not spend my weekends alone.
I would give anything to be camping in Moab with my friends from summit.
I would give anything to be close to family and friends.
I would give anything to repel down a canyon
I would give anything to be around people who understand me and think I am funny.
I would give anything to be anywhere but Cleveland.

I know that this is just a phase, I know that I will become more confident at work, I know that I will begin to meet more people, I know that I will get more comfortable with my surroundings and soon Cleveland will become "home"... at least that's my hope.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Believe in Good Things to Come

Well I did it, I made it to Cleveland!! Between having my car with all my belongings stolen,  and reenacting the airport scene in Home Alone as I was running to catch my flight,  I wondered if moving to Cleveland was worth the fight. And then I remembered this video (and yes I know I've shared it on my blog before, but it is so good I'm going to share it again)

It was as if Elder Holland was speaking right to my face as he tenderly said, "Don’t you quit, you keep walking, you keep trying, there is help and happiness ahead. Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come till heaven, but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ they come. It will be all right in the end. Trust god and believe in good things to come. 
The answer is YES, moving to Cleveland was worth the fight, and it will continue to be worth the fight. I have already met some amazing people who have helped me put my life back together. I'm sure life here will continue to be an adventure... but I need a little adventure in my life!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Becoming a Grown Up

Steps to becoming a grown up:
                          Get a job Check
                       Own a car Check
                       Find a place to live. Check
                      Get a Costco card pending