i am chuffed to report that i now remember what it feels like to be happy! i know that sounds really dramatic, but seriously, those first few weeks home from the mission were pretty hellish. i feel like i finally have my feet under me and that i'm passionate about life again, and on top of that, i have the incredible mission experience as a part of the fabric of my soul now. i am trying to live what i learned and be the person i became those 18 months of refiner's fire.
so to help validate that i like my life, i would like to share a list of all the reasons why. hopefully, dear cyberspace reader, they'll bring a smile to your face and help you to think about the reasons you like your life, too!
1. i always have an excuse for being awkward. this is awesome, and i need to milk it for what it's worth while i can. in any situation if i feel like i was being less than delightfully confident and congenial, i can just explain that i just got home from the mission. without fail those around me give me a "bless your heart" look and i'm totally off the hook. i'm thinking i can use this for at least 6 months.
2. the mountains. the other day some friends and i jumped in the back of dani's truck and drove up the alpine loop. i felt so alive and exhilarated, and the scenery whipping by was gorgeous!! i love the mountains so much, and i don't know how i lived without them for 18 months (by the grace of god) and can't fathom how people live without them a whole lifetime! the other day i was riding my bike to campus (we'll get to the bike next) and i got a very distinct wiff of mountain autumn in my nostrils. it was glorious! i love provo's mountains because they are so in your face! everyday they change in color and texture and i love watching it happen!
3. okay, next, my bike. i bought it from my roommate for 25 bones and it is a gem! it makes me feel so happy and bubbly inside every time i lay eyes on it. it is a beautiful slate blue, super vintage and quite beat up, the handle bars are at the most perfect angle and ... (drum roll) the seat is sparkly. seriously? it's the coolest thing ever and i absolutely adore riding it around! backtracking a little, we took bikes up provo canyon the other day and it was stunning and so stinking fun to ride (the "so stinking fun" bit is mostly attributed to the downhill part, but still).
4. my class at byu. survey of world religions. may be my favourite class of all time. i am astounded when it is over because 1) my life just changed in 2 hours and 2) i can't believe how quickly time passed! it is fascinating, enthralling, enchanting, captivating, and spiritually uplifting - ever proving the complete truthfulness of the restored gospel and the innate goodness of humankind. i love it, and i'm learning so much that is particularly poignant having just returned from the mission and looking forward to going to india in january. and, the class gets me on campus, which is just so delightfully amusing to me. i could people watch on byu campus for hours on end. i love that everyone wears byu paraphernalia, that you catch snippets of conversation about dating, the book of mormon, missions and ward activities, that the bells play "if you could hie to kolob" while i cross campus... and it's all just very amusing to me.
5. pizza bagels and byu creamery chocolate milk from the twilight zone at the wilkinson center. sneaking it into the library and eating/drinking it on the 2nd floor periodicals section where there is loads of natural light and it's very quiet.
6. flipping awesome roommates. i live with some of the coolest girls out there. sara and i joke that if everything else in our lives is going bad, at least our roommate plays the ukulele and we can be happy about that. it's not really a joke, actually. hmm. i love that at home i can have good deep conversations with dearest of friends, that my roommate is a painter and has a giggle that lights up the world, that i came home yesterday and the living room was covered in fake cobwebs for halloween, that there are always eclectic friends-of-my-roommates around, and that i just am surrounded in good quality people when i sleep at night! :) our house is awesome. hugh b. brown used to live here! it's nice and spacious, vintagey and fun, and a great gathering place. a few weeks ago we had a very successful housewarming party with loads of homemade salsa. neat!
7. being scared every time i go into work. i love that my job is challenging and gets me out of my comfort zone every single time. to be honest there are some things that are not ideal about the job, and i wish i was getting more hours, but for the most part i am loving it because i am learning so much and really stretching myself. it's fun to have people to work with that are kind of like investigators; i loved the girls at new haven the minute i met them but i'm adoring coming to really love them for who they are as i get to know them. work is sometimes boring but most of the time i come home with a great story. the other day i got trained on how to restrain people who are trying to beat me up. so watch out.
8. i am re-learning how to take joy in simple pleasures, especially the worthy ones i missed while i was in england. they are all around, and life is just beautiful.
9. it's pretty crisp autumn, and i'm just heading out to southern utah for the weekend. we are hie-ing to kolob!
well, that's the list for today. i am constantly reminded how blessed i am, and even though the future seems sooo uncertain and daunting, it's as bright as my faith.