Friday, August 31, 2012


This is one of my favorites in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow
Before my mission, I knew what I was going to do after I graduated: grad school in a lit-something or other, maybe somewhere like Chicago, or (if I was feeling really ambitious) Oxford. Get married sometime and have a family. Become a professor of Brit Lit somewhere. I just hadn't really decided an emphasis yet. But I had my general life fairly well planned. I was flexible, of course, but I knew what direction I generally wanted to go. Then I served a mission. And everyone always said that things sometimes changed after your mission--different plans, different ideas, different life. But I guess I always thought that, yes, I would come back a different person, but having had already spent 3 1/2 years at the university and being in a program that I simply adored and having fairly set plans, that specifically wouldn't change.

Well, today's been kind of one of those rougher adjustment days. I go up and down a lot--I guess you could say I'm mission-adjustment bipolar or something. And I'm pretty sure this is fairly normal. One day I will be so happy to be here, like yesterday: great friends, great football game, great classes and work, great life. And the next, although I am so happy and have great experiences, I'm just not...fully content. Something just isn't right, and it's that I'm not in Moscow and I can't wear my tag and I'm going through that whole "I feel like a horrible person and sinner" stage that a couple of people always told me about. And that's how I feel today, but more not necessarily the horrible person thing, just that...I'm not content. It's more than just that, what I've already mentioned. I don't know where I'm going in life now. I have absolutely no direction. Because as much as I love English...I feel like I'm not quite as good at it as I used to be, and that there's something more. And I feel very strongly that I need to do something with Russian. But I'm too close to graduation to double major, I think (need to go find out for sure, maybe they'll let me, but it'll probably be a big headache). And everything that I look at, option-wise, just doesn't feel right. My previous plans don't feel right. My new exploration of plans doesn't feel right. Nothing feels right. And I feel lost, which after having basically the past 6 years of my life with a pretty definite direction (BYU, English, mission, etc.) , especially in the past year and half, it's a very daunting feeling. Not only do I not know where I'm going, I don't know how to even start finding out where to go, because I, in a sense, don't even know where I am yet at this current place in time. After years of very rapid and deep progression, I have kind of just stopped, simply because I am utterly confused as to where to go next. I don't know who I am and need to become or what to do or where to go or when to do everything (okay, that one I actually do know: SOON. Because if I'm graduating in April or August, which I probably will be, unless I can convince the department to let me double major, I need to apply for graduation in the next few weeks/months and if I'm going to grad school I need to start prepping now) or how, because the how kind of follows all those other big decisions. And I feel like I just need a lot of prayer and temple and tears and inward wrestling with myself and especially time--because that is a long process when you're making a big decision. And, I just don't have the time, because like I said, these decisions need to be made soon. And the faster I try to think, the more lost I become, the more questions I have.

Короче, I feel like I'm in this process of completely redefining myself right now, and it just seems like there are so many questions that can only be answered between me and the Lord, and the more that I think about them and try to come up with solutions, nothing just feels right and I just have more and more questions. 

Friday, August 24, 2012


Well, I know, I have stayed up way too late getting this whole new layout thing. I needed to do it. I can't really describe why. I guess I just needed to make my blog connect in some way with the new me, and it was super important because the past few days I've just felt this weird disconnect from old me and new me and not really knowing where/who I am. And I wanted something Russian-y. I miss...that. Russia and all it entails.

Anyway. Those of you who don't speak Russian are probably wondering what the heck (haha, I just remembered the time I had to explain this phrase to a Russian...) "baltushka" means. Well, it's a Russian word, transliterated of course for your pronouncing enjoyment/possibility. My Russian "daughter" always lovingly calls me a baltushka. It means chatterbox, or something like that. Basically, someone who talks a lot, rambles, won't shut up. I figured it's a good name for my blog, since:

  • It's a good name for me because I really am a baltushka and am long-winded, especially on my blog
  • It reminds me a lot of my mission and some of the best transfers on my mission and some of my favorite people from my mission
  • Makes me feel like the pre-mission Rachel and the mission Sister Ashby and the post-mission Rachel are synthesizing together to become best-possible-still-me-but-better Rachel
So, vot. There you go. New and improved blog, with more of an explanation than was probably necessary. Point and case. (Case and point? I'm never sure which order they are in. The first makes more sense, but the second sounds ladna)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Please forgive the mismatchedness going on. In the process of doing blog remont and I'm not quite sure what I want yet, or how to do certain things on this new-fangled contraption called a computer. I hope all will be put back together soon, and I will post something actual and thoughtful and therapeutic for me.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Well, this is it.

It's me. In real time.

I'm back. But right now this is just weird.