Well, my 'vacation' is almost over. I feel so many emotions about going home- both positive and negative.
I have made sure that I have had a great time. Allowing myself to mope and moan endlessly seemed foolish and wasteful of an opportunity that could be looked at as an opportunity... and not just as an unwelcome interruption. So I have thrown myself into many activities as well as trying to focus on the positive. I have found that a combination of distraction, work, and a slight unburdening of my soul have really helped. While I still feel that my burden is unfair, awkward, and fairly heavy... not to mention the pain, I feel like I am stronger. I feel like I can stand taller and I do not feel as alone. I know that a relationship with Heavenly Father should be enough- and in many ways it is- but I really seem to need to be close to people. The more isolated from people I feel, the more weighed down and negative I seem to feel. And while I still am finding it difficult some days to stay positive, I have found a peaceful feeling that comes to stay a little longer each time. This trip has had so many highlights... where to begin?
I will start with family. I was lucky to see so many people on this trip including two people who have been like family to me for decades... but more about them in a moment. :) I was lucky enough to hang out with my favorite Grandpa in Heber and almost all of my uncle's and aunts. (I didn't make it to Provo to see my aunt there, which is one of my disappointments on this trip- I hope she knows I love her!) I have spent very little time with some of my cousins in my lifetime- one I hadn't seen since I was ten years old. And I was blessed to spend some good quality time with them, was able to spend time meeting and learning about their spouses and children... and I feel like they are more than names and pictures to me now. I was also blessed to see other family out of state and I left each family member genuinely sorry and torn to go. I truly made some great memories this trip and felt like I truly have some extended family that love me and support me- no matter how crazy I act or how many strange twists my life takes as I forge ahead. I haven't always felt that and I am so grateful... grateful for caring and supportive people and just grateful for supportive family.
I was also able to see two great friends on this trip... and a few awesome new friends who are supportive and fun to be with. I haven't seen my friend Tru in years. We have shared so many things together like theater and friendships and over time, he has become as close as a brother. If we are unable to talk for years, five minutes or less are all that is needed. I was so lucky through a few twists of life to be able to see Tru and his new wife Sarah on this trip as well as his daughter- both of whom are so beautiful and kind. They took me out for a night on the town and then several hours of conversation- I didn't go to sleep until 5:30 in the morning. It was definitely memorable. They even introduced this 'ludite' to Wii - by the way, I stink at it. Still clumsy after all these years... :D
And I have been able to spend lots of time in Washington with my best friend. Another name I call her is 'sister'. She may not share my blood, but she has all the other attributes of a person whom Heavenly Father has attached to me. She is caring, kind, honest, loyal... so many things. When I am broken, she helps me stand, listens even when I am sure she must be tired of hearing some of the same things over and over and over again. I have gained almost ten needed pounds on this trip and my head feels 'steadier'. I think it is easier for me to really make decisions and I have found it so much easier to pray and really feel like my brain is clear enough to possibly hear answers.
I have been able to do lots of shopping as well. Christmas presents and church textbooks and discs with talks are tucked into my bag for the flight home. Some packages are winging themselves to Maine as I write this. I was able to buy the materials for a quilt- and make it as well... plus learned how to play two new games (I think I liked Ascension best) and just had a blast. Even had my first trip to a mall in eight years- I don't think I was missing much though :)
So I have managed to have a lot of positive things and interactions happen on this trip. But I am aware that the situation that compelled me to take this trip has not changed and in some ways is worse. I have some fear of returning home and I know that I have my work cut out for me... as well as patience and loyalty. I am not always sure that I am up to the task, but I do need to try. I can already feel some of the stress and fear and hurt creeping under my skin... and except for prayer and patience, I do not think that there is anything I can do to change it that I am not already doing. Change is hard, but inevitable.
Wish me luck- I'm going home! :)