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Post-Mish Day 28- I’m giving up and that’s okay.

Everytime I talk to Natalie, she’s either too busy and dismisses or she snips at me. There’s some big issues I’ve been facing since before she came back and when I come to her with my joy, she doesn’t share it and it kinda bursts my bubble. Our friendship is changing and it’s not that I don’t see us being friends, I do. I just don’t think she’s my best friend anymore. 

Part of me feels guilty. I feel like I’m giving up so easily. I’m not a person who gives up on people that I love. But sometimes you have to, I’ve been in friendships where I stuck it through because I didn’t want to give up and I ended up getting burned pretty badly.  It taught me maybe if I back off sooner, maybe something can be salvaged.

 I have spent years bitter because other people gave up on our friendship and I never saw it coming. But this one, I did. I think when you’re able to prepare for the blow, it doesn’t hit you as hard. I’m not bitter, I’m not angry. Not even sad or upset. I’m simply disappointed.

I’m giving up and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean I’m happy with it, just mean I’m at peace with it. I don’t know what will happen with this friendship, but all I know is I won’t be able to force something that is inauthentic. It’s either there or it’s not.

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Post-Mish Day 7- Rosey Retrospect and the Town Meeting

This past week has been weird. We’ve kinda fumbled back into our friendship. I talked to Nat about last week but I didn’t get what I needed out of it. I wanted to talk more but I eventually decided that the conversation would prove to be useless so I decided against it.

I figured that I just needed to be patient and give her some grace. I also came to the realization that I missed Nat so much that I was looking at our friendship in Rosey Retrospect. I forgot all the flaws in our friendship. I was just blaming it on the mission. Part of is how she’s changed, but part of it is stuff that we already we’re dealing with before she left, so I just have to remind myself these aren’t all new problems. Again, that means I just need to have more patience and grace. 

This past Sunday, Natalie had her homecoming talk. She asked me to come and to be honest, I didn’t really want to go, but because I love and support her, I went anyway. 

I felt so awkward. I live in a majority white suburb but there isn’t many times I really noticed I am a minority, as soon I walked into that church I noticed it. I was the only minority in sight. I don’t know why, but that always makes me apprehensive. 

As soon as I ran into her step-mom, she welcomed me with “oh Kristan, it’s so nice to see you here this Sunday. We should see you every Sunday.” I retorted with “uh, I think my mom would miss me at our home church..” I cringed so hard in my mind after she said that. In that moment, I felt like she didn’t respect my church as my chosen religion. I wasn’t going there to visit the church, I was going to support my best friend, because she asked that I’d be there. 

The service itself was very different than what I’m used to. I come from a Pentecostal background, there’s jumping, clapping, dancing, lifting your hands, speaking in tongues. This wasn’t like that at all. The first thing I noticed is we sat the entire time. The whole two hours, just sitting. That was so baffling to me. I don’t want you to think I’m saying their way is wrong and mine is right, because that’s not my intention. It was just such a culture shock for me. 

Parts of it seemed very much like a town meeting. Granted my only experience with town meetings is what I’ve seen from Gilmore Girls, but they opened with talking in bulletins, how Suzie’s daughter gave birth to her son and how Jared and Sarah’s boy got married yesterday. It was such a sweet quiant moment. They had some moments where members were supposed to raise their right hand for yea or nay, like if someone should be promoted to a certain role within the church or whether a child should be accepted as a member. Which I felt if I was in that position, my little social anxiety self would’ve freaked out! But everyone I saw raised their hand for “yea,” so maybe there isn’t so much for social anxiety introverts to worry about.

Natalie’s singing was awesome, and her speaking was a nice message. I’m glad I was able to be there to support her and to represent all her friends rooting for her back home on this journey. 

One thing I didn’t like though is how, Nat put me on the spot in her Sunday School class. Like I said, I came to support my friend, nothing more. I was already uncomfortable and awkward I didn’t want anymore attention on me and there is putting all eyes on me.. granted it was all of five people in that particular class but still I didn’t enjoy it. 

So many people kept asking, “what do think?” I’m sure they all wanted me to say, “wow, that was awesome, I want to talk to the missionaries now!” But I didn’t feel like that and while I didn’t want to say anything that would tear down their religion because that’s their truth. I also didn’t want to say something that wasn’t my true opinion, so I said “it’s interesting to see how other people express their love for God and how each relationship is unique.” I also encouraged them to go visit other churches to see what it was like. Which I really do think everyone should see. 

I’m sure you are wondering what’s my real answer, and while my other answer wasn’t fake, if I’m expressing the candor that I’d like to express, I’d say this: There were fundamental things said during the service that I didn’t agree with, such as how we should serve others because God will bless us for it, as I believe we should serve others because God calls us to love others and no great act of love is service. I also believe we shouldn’t serve others for our own selfish benefits, but selflessly for the benefit for others. I believe the greatest act of service was Jesus laying down His own life for each and every one us, and I don’t think He did that for His own personal gain,  but rather for the gain of those who believe. Despite that, I think it is very intriguing to observe people expressing their thanksgiving and love for God. That being said, I do encourage everyone to step out of their comfort zone once and see how a different individual has their own relationship with the same God. 

Again, I don’t want to tear down anyone’s religion. If you are living your truth, that’s what’s important. I just have my own and that’s okay too.

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Post-Mish Day 1- The Gumball Machine

She’s back, wow. That’s really weird to say. I still can’t believe it.

If I’m being honest, her homecoming was more subdued than I anticipated. I had thought it was going to be this big thing with lots of screaming, running towards each other, and hugs. Well, I either that or the polar opposite. Butttttt, it wasn’t. It was neither here nor there, overall I felt really awkward.

I spent hours on a poster and a photo collage in the shape of the state of Washington and she seemed a bit unaffected by it. I mean she said it was cool, but I thought I’d get more of a reaction for all the time, effort, and money that went into it.

I felt like that’s the kind of reaction I got with everything I said. She acknowledged what I had to say but really didn’t care about what I was saying. I was telling her how much I missed her and it was met with an “alright.” To be honest, that really hurt. I am a words of affirmation person. I need to know that you feel the same way that I do, and in that moment the message was clear, she didn’t miss me. I told her “we need to hang out,” to which she replied “well, I need to get my life together.” Like, I get that. I wasn’t saying drop everything and hang out with me this instant. I just felt like she was a shell of the Nat I once knew, like a robot-clone, or ghost. She had some similar traits to Natalie, but it didn’t feel like her.

I know, I get it. She was tired, she hungry, she was overwhelmed. I just thought after a year and a half of not seeing me she’d have an ounce of excitement about me or at least one thing I said.

I mean for a year and a half I anxiously waited for this moment and it really wasn’t what it was hacked up to be. It’s like when you’re a kid on Christmas Day and you open up your last present and it’s this little gumball machine but you really, really wanted this other toy. You’re happy that you got the gumball machine, but you really wanted that other thing so you’re still kinda disappointed. That’s how I feel, I am so glad to have my best friend home. I just really wanted that special moment.

Although, the worst part of it all is that I built up this moment on social media and so now I have this expectation to uphold where I portray my situation as I am all super happy, but it reality I am really bummed. All I want to do is to not think about it and pretend like this never happened, but with all the likes and the comments I just have a constant reminder that it did and all I got was a gumball machine.

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Day 566- I’m ready to jump.

In 4 hours, you’ll be home. It’s so mind boggling to me. You’re almost home . For a whole year, six months and 18 days, I waited anxiously for today. I can’t believe it’s today. I can hardly fathom the idea that in mere hours, I will get to see you, hug you, talk with you, Skype you, text you, call you. Oh goodness, I’m so ready. All those things I took so for granted 566 days ago. But today, I am so so grateful. Thankful for my bestfriend, thankful for all of the ways for communication. But more than anything, grateful for God’s omnipresent protection. So thankful for Natalie’s safety, So many things could’ve happened over the past year and a half, and they didn’t so for that I am so so grateful. I am so grateful to get my bestfriend back.

I’ve compared my feeling today, to that of when you go skydiving, you are so excited.  You are incredibly and unbelievably stoked, but in the back of your mind there’s those thought of what if it all goes wrong. You hear about all the tragedies and you know the likelihood is about one in a million that anything will go wrong, but what if you’re that one? You’re just so ready to jump so you don’t have to wonder, you’ll know. I’m ready to jump. Only 3 and a half more hours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Day 557- My Parents

People have told me that I’m such a good friend for supporting my best friend as she’s on her mission. But really, I’m an okay friend with some awesome parents.

These past 557 days have honestly been some of my hardest. But I’ve grown a lot. I’ve learned about myself. I’ve learned that there is nothing in the world that my parents wouldn’t do for me.

They would sit there as I dished out $50 on a care package and then another $30 on shipping, with very minimal grumbling (but I can’t blame them, $30 for shipping is ridiculous!)

They would listen to me as I cried, “you don’t understand, you don’t understand, no one can understand” out of complete frustration.

They’ve listened to me as I talked about my struggles with the tangible distance in me and Nat’s friendship.

They’ve given advice on how to constantly be a better person and friend.

They’ve encouraged me to keep being there, even when I wasn’t sure if it would be easier to walk away.

They’ve reminded me of the value of me and Nat’s friendship. What joy she’s brought to my life and what I’ve gained because I am friends with her.

They’ve held me up I was too emotionally weak to stand.

My parents are the one who should be given credit. Yeah, I’m a decent friend. But they are beyond amazing parents. They’ve supported me through everything. For that, they deserve all the honor. Thanks mom and dad, you rock.

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Day 546- What if?

When I was a little girl, I would ask my mom what would happen if my sister hadn’t died. Her answer was always, we would never know what would happen, because it didn’t happen. She told me that it was okay to be curious and wonder what would happen, but in regards to my sister there is a lifetime of “what if’s” that would never be answered. She said as much as it’s okay to wonder, that we must not engulf ourselves into those thoughts that it becomes a mind game and lose sight of reality.

For the past couple of months, lived in a series what if situations and I finally understand my mom’s statement. What if we aren’t as close? What if we are too different? What if she’s replaced me? We can ask these questions and even theorize what will happen but the answers won’t come until it happens (or doesn’t.) Unlike with my sister, all these what if’s will be answered all in time. I just have to be patient and focus on my reality in the mean time.

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Day 364- One year later.

It’s been six months since my last post on here. I’ll be honest with y’all, after October, I lost my mojo to write this blog. Often when I write or read these blog posts I feel like I am saying the same things over and over again. Sometimes I feel like it doesn’t always depict how I felt day-to-day. So in the efforts of only posting what is real, I just didn’t post.

But let’s reflect on this year, it was hard. It’s been a whole year since I last spoke with her. About this time last year, she called me. She used her last few minutes before she entered the MTC to call me. I was on my way to Spanish class and we talked about the rumored Frozen musical, about how I was thinking about starting this blog series, about how miss we would miss each other. I left that phone call bawling, it took me the majority of class to even get a grip.

Before Nat left, people kept telling that I was going to miss her a lot. I would often brush them off, like “pssh, nah. I mean I’ll miss her, but it won’t be that big of deal. Boy, was I wrong. Yeah, there were days, even weeks where I didn’t really think of her or how much I missed her.

But there were days that I missed her more than anything. When I’m super excited about something, I want to call her. I want her tell me she’s proud of me. But she’s not here. On bad days, the days I just want to escape this mess.. She’s not here.

What I learned through out this whole thing is we were each other’s home base. You know when you were a kid and you played tag there was always a home base, that one place where you were safe and no one could get you. That was what we were to each other. When things went wrong at any time of the day (and I mean ANY time of the day,) we were there for each other. “Wanna Skype?” or “can I call?” quickly became a common text phrase between us. There were nights we’d Skype for seven hours just talking about everything going on, there late nights calling each other at 3am freaking out about our latest drama. We were always there for each other in the way that was needed at that time. We listened to each other, have advice, justified the situation, and sometimes play for the other team. But we did what was needed at the time.

That’s what makes it hard to find another person to vent to like that. A lot of people want to help you solve your problems. Which isn’t always bad, I need that sometimes.. But sometimes I just need someone to tell me that life sucks and it’ll all be okay.

She tells me that all of her companions want to be my best friend because she tells them all about our weird adventures and they think I’m awesome. But everyone who knows her knows she’s the awesome one, I’m just crazy enough to go along for the ride. Everything we are separated is nothing compared to what we are together. Together we are the perfect combonation of giggles, spontaneity, and adventure.