July 28th, 2011– an insignificant day for most, probably, and yet it will forever stick out in my mind as the day I got home from my mission in the Philippines. A year has passed since that date, and yet I still often find myself thinking about my time in that little country across the world.
Everyone told me that the time right after the mission would be one of the most difficult periods of my life. They were wrong… it has been the most difficult period of my life, not just one of them. All right, I’m kidding. 1998 and 2001 were certainly much worse than the year since my mission, but that’s a topic for a completely different post. Anyway, the point is that life after the mission has been quite the adjustment.
Coming back from the mission was somewhat comparable to going through some strange time warp… or so I would imagine, considering I’ve never actually gone through a time warp, but I digress. What I mean is that it felt like I had never left–almost as if those two years had never happened. And yet… so much had changed. It’s amazing how much can happen in the space of two years. There were so many changes I stopped even trying to keep track– marriages, babies, deaths in the family… Domino’s started making good pizza, the I-phone came into existence, and dance music took over the radio… friends changing, the release of Inception, the end of Lost… people killing, people dying; children hurting, hear them crying. OK, now I’m just quoting The Black-Eyed Peas’ inspirational medley “Where Is the Love,” but you get my point.
I, like other newly returned missionaries, had trouble adjusting to regular life; going back to school was, without a doubt, the hardest part. It felt like I was completely new to BYU, even though I had studied there for two semesters prior to my mission. Most of my friends from before the mission had moved on, either literally or figuratively. Eventually I gave up on trying to bring them back and realized it was time for me to move on too.
Time healed the festering wounds caused by the trauma of my homecoming. (That previous statement was highly over-dramatic and slightly disturbing, but just go with it). Slowly but surely, like a complicated puzzle, the pieces of my life have fallen into place. I grew more comfortable with my surroundings, and when it was time for me to leave BYU and come back home for the summer, I found myself wishing I could stay.
And everything continues to change… because, as they say, such is life. My major has changed, I’m moving to a different apartment complex in August, and so many people are getting married that I’ve stopped even trying to keep track. I used to be afraid of change, and in some ways I still am, but I have come to realize that life just wouldn’t be life if it didn’t change. My mission was all about change, and because of that, I’m afraid I have become somewhat addicted to it.
So that’s that. Life will continue to change, and there’s no stopping it. Get over it! Not exactly wise words, but it helps get my point across.