Saturday, January 26, 2013

Hustle and Bustle

I recently realized something about myself.

I am a city girl.

This was news to me. I have always loved the country. But really, that's mostly where I've lived most of my life. And I loved visiting cities. But it wasn't until I lived there for a long time and then left that I realized that I need the energy of a city to feel really great. Public transportation, the thrill of independence with so many possibilities, millions of people and feeling so insignificant and so important at the same time. The beauty, the culture, the sophistication, the nit and the grit and the dirty. I don't think I'd ever want the hassle of raising a family in the city, but I definitely want to live close enough to a bigger city so that I can go there when I need to, or work there, or take my kids there to feel the internal whoosh that I get when you feel the wind of the metro or feel dwarfed by beautiful tall buildings. I remember people were always so surprised when I told them that I loved Moscow. "But WHY?" Most people were so confused. But not Olga. I told her what I told everyone else: that I loved the Spirit of Moscow, the energy and driving force I felt there. And she agreed with me.

That's what I need. And honestly, just a few more months until I'm back in Moscow for a bit--and also traveling to other great cities like Saint Petersburg, and possibly Prague and Istanbul and Warsaw. And so I guess I can wait. But visiting LA over break and sending one of my best friends off to DC really just makes me want to be there. It doesn't really matter where I go. New York, DC, LA, Chicago, London, Moscow, Berlin, Boston, Edinburgh, Paris, Vienna, Rio, Tokyo, Sydney . . . honestly, at this moment in time it doesn't even have to be a huge city. It just needs to have energy and spirit and a push towards inner discovery. And maybe I'll get there and realize that this city doesn't have quite what I'm looking for, and in that case I'll go to another one. But that city wonder is something that Provo just isn't making happen right now (or ever). Even though it might be trying to imitate a city with the amount of pollution in the air.

One day, one day soon. I'll go home to a city.
Is this too much to ask for?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

It's Been A While

A start of a new year always brings new goals, an attempt at a new life and self, new mindsets, new semesters, new new new. But it's also a time to look back, to remember. The beginning of a New Year is always nostalgic for me, and while I am excited for the opportunities that will come, and the automatic fresh start (that really we can receive anytime through the Atonement, but a New Year is definitely a good starting point), there is something wistful and almost painful about leaving behind the past.

Today I was looking at these two articles/things, courtesy of my dear friend Sarah. I love the words Hiraeth (Welsh) and Saudade (Portuguese) that are in the second one/the infographic. Homesickness and an earnest desire for that of the past, longing for something that might never return. That is how I feel about my mission. Even though I love life as it is now so much, and know that I am where I'm supposed to be, I still often feel that saudade (which Google Translate says translates into ностальгия in Russian. Nostaliga. Not really, I feel like, but I suppose it very well could be the best translation and GT isn't all that great anyway). 

Also today I went to the temple in between classes, and when I was leaving it was drop-off time at the MTC. It reminded me that 2 years ago tomorrow (or I guess today, if we're counting midnight, and the official date on this post) I was set apart as a missionary, and 2 years ago Saturday I entered the MTC to start the most wonderful adventure of my life. I also was helping my roommate in Russian 101 with some Russian and also looked back on the MTC days, partially longingly, when I didn't know Russian at all and was learning the same things she is right now. The longing was mostly for the missionary things, not the not knowing Russian yet, but even then, there was something exciting about learning Russian in the MTC. It wasn't just a new language. It was my mission language, and that made it the ultimate adventure. But that being 2 years ago already means that I've been home 5 months on Saturday. Weird. It doesn't feel like that long. And yet, it feels like so much longer.

I think a part of me will always miss it. I don't think this will be like England, where I miss it hardcore for a while, and then afterwards I recognize that it changed me and was awesome and I every once in a while miss it. As far as I can tell, my mission and Moscow will be those things that I think about every day, that I yearn for, sometimes painfully, even if the rest of me is so ridiculously happy. It will always be that happy missing that sometimes turns sad because you can't go back, but mostly is just happy because you had the opportunity. It will always be what I randomly cry over (either joyfully or with melancholy) at night or in the car when something strikes just the right part of my soul and reminds me of how wonderful it was.

Россия и миссия--вас не нватает мне.