Category Archives: what I’ve learned

True Feelings

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So this has been an awful week. If I wasn’t having issue before keeping positive, I am now. This is the closest I’ve ever been to being depressed. I cant keep my emotions in check and it’s kind of not good. It’s actually horrible because it’s affecting a very important relationship. But this isn’t the time or place to talk about that because it involves people, including me, that need this to be private.

Anyway. 30 days until I go home. That’s really exciting and really sad. I’ve had a rough year in Hungary, so that’s the exciting part of going home, but I have made some really good friends here and for the most part love the Hungarian people, that’s the really sad part of this. I don’t think a lot of people realize how drastic these feelings are. I was recently trying to explain to someone all the emotions I have and so I started listing them off. I didn’t even go into the magnitude that I have emotions. A lot of people don’t realize how strong you feel emotions when you are overseas. Prior to this experience, I was mellow. I was a rock that people depended on. I had emotions but I could push them away so I could move on with life. And there are very few people that saw the emotions that I was feeling. Forget that when I moved to Hungary. Let’s put you in a culture that’s vastly different from your own and a language you don’t speak. Not easy to begin with and then you start a job you are not properly trained for and member care you don’t here from very often. It escalates quickly. You feel like you have no where to turn and these emotions sometimes feel like they come out of no where, pretty much like an imaginary brick wall. That happened to me the other day at a really bad time. I always feel really guilty when that happens. The person that I’m talking to when these emotions come isn’t asking for me to practically run away from them because I don’t want them to know how scared I am of these emotions. But at the same time, it would be nice for people to know how scary these emotions are and understand how bad it is.

I was just talking to the other American teacher the other day about what’s going on in life. I don’t let people in my life very easily and I figure it’s mostly because of the fear of rejection or ridicule. I mean, a little because I don’t like some people but that’s not often that I use that excuse.

I know I’m going to go back home and there’s going to be some people that are going to expect me to be very similar to how I was before Hungary and be able to pop right back into fitting in and there is going to be a lot of pressure to be like that. But the thing is, I don’t fit in anymore. God has changed my heart and it will continue to change drastically in the months following my return. Knowing me, I’m going to push to fit in and give myself a time limit on when I should be ‘normal’ again. But I can’t. My old normal is never going to be normal again. Normal is changing all the time. I had a hard time with that when I came to Hungary and it’s going to be hard when I go back. Is my new normal better than the old normal? It’s a good question that I think shouldn’t be answered.

UPDATE! I’m not trying to give the illusion that I have the worst overseas experience ever. (Amanda Knox anyone?) I’m just trying to convey that there’s a lot people don’t understand when people go overseas for a year and not to try to expect much from that person. That’s all. I’m fine. Trust me. Whatever I’m feeling or how strong it is, I’ll be okay. There are people in their native country that have it worse.

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10 Liters of Maple Syrup.

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I’m home now. So I’m going to tell you about my last week of not being home and coming home because both are adventures.

So the last week I was gone was all about the company that I’m working with to go to Budapest. It was interesting. Friday they moved my roommate and I out of the campus apartments and into a dorm room. Ugh small room for 2 girls, communal showers and toilets. I’m not a fan. Give me my own bed and a bathroom I can dominate. I got home early Sunday morning and rejoiced greatly of the bed and the shower. I really did. There’s a Facebook post about it. But this past week, really month but week in general, has been draining emotionally. Lots of questioning has gone on but it’s what I’m meant to be doing and where I need to be so it’ll all be good in the end. So during this orientation, we had a breakout session about how to deal going to a foreign country and being single. We had a woman from Arkansas and a guy from Ontario leading our group. They were talking about taking things that were comforting overseas. The guy from Ontario, (which is in Canada, for those of you geographically challenged) was talking about this and how his second year to Black Forest Academy (BFA) in Germany, he had an extra suitcase. He filled this suitcase with 10 liters of Maple Syrup. That’s right. No lie, no typo. 10 liters of Maple Syrup. We all laugh at him and this one girl just loses it. She cannot get over that he took 10 liters of maple syrup and adamantly stated that she didn’t understand Canadians. This also happened on Friday when we were all lacking sleep. But then I was like don’t you complain people, there are only 4 of us that were here for a month. You have no idea how tired we are. But we pushed through and people were sympathetic to us. So that was a highlight of the week. That and being asked if I was going to join a Hungarian choir. That’s a different story all together.

I’m so glad I went through this month-long journey but I’m so relieved to be home. I saw the kids yesterday and I got a hug from both of them and they both told me that they missed me. Even the nephew. He was more connected more to me than usual too, so he missed me. but it was mutual. This month, I learned a lot, I got to prepare myself. I think I grew some as well. I met some great people and am ready to start this journey. I also met my future roommate. That was fun. I’m also glad that I have my own space right now. Living in the dorm is not what I want to do.

So I flew out on Saturday. I left the college at 11:30 and had a 2:30 boarding and 3:20 departure from O’Hare. I sat on the plane for 2 hours. There was a layover in Minneapolis and there was storm. No one was getting in or out. I didn’t leave Chicago until almost 8. I was hypothetically supposed to be in the air at 8 to be in NoDak at 8:15. So, changed my ticket to a different town and time. So we landed in Minneapolis, (B.T.W. Like the Minneapolis airport better than O’Hare) and I booked it across the airport because I had 20 minutes to catch my plane and it’s delayed. My phone magically broke and then fixed itself so I did have a phone to call home and tell them I wasn’t getting into Bismarck and not Dickinson at 12:30 a.m. My parents were already coming into town. So they went to Perkins and a movie. I provided a date night for my parents. But the nice thing about sitting and waiting to go to Bismarck, most of us were all from NoDak and from the same area so we all knew similar people. But I didn’t pee or eat all day on the first day of moodiness. I should get an award for that.

On the way to Minneapolis, I was stressed already with the situation, and they get on the intercom and tell us that we were going to go through turbulence. I wasn’t worried because it wasn’t going to be that bad. But the plane dropped majorly. And that didn’t help my nerves. I grabbed on to my belt and gripped until there was no more life in that seat belt. Not that it would have saved me if we crashed but it did make me feel better. I’m a nervous traveler. I like the flying, just the connecting from plane to plane stresses me out. Going overseas is going to treat me well, isn’t it?

Other Notes: MJ and I started another story. It’s the story of 2 of the characters in the original book. We miss our original characters though. They made life better. Family reunion over the 4th of July weekend. So I’m not even home that long. Yay! I also have visa stuff to work on. Double Yay! Stress is only going up from here.

Sounding Boards

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I’m in the final week of my training and I’m meeting more people with my company which is always a plus. I go home on Saturday. My phone broke as well this weekend. That’s annoying. These two things are connected. Let me lead you though a journey in my head. I have a few people that are my sounding board. There’s not many but there’s a few. I don’t like it because I always feel like I need to be the strong one but everyone’s got to have a sounding board. I’ve had a lot of stuff thrown at me in the past few weeks and I need that sounding board. I’ve had moments where I’ve doubted this journey I’ve decided to take, I’ve had funny thoughts out of tiredness that only a few people can understand. I’ve had more moments of panic in the past couple of weeks than I like. I’m also on a lot. Like there’s been a lot of small groups and one on one and I have to share my heart with people. That is not in my nature. I only do that to people that really know me. There’s a lot in my head and having no phone the past couple days has been tough. Unless it’s im’ing or email, I’m disconnected to family and friends that I do this with. I have a lot of cooped up emotion. Yes, I do have a roommate that has been here with me the past three weeks but it isn’t the same. She doesn’t know how to deal with me. She’s a lovely and sweet girl but would give me a hug when I feel bad. I don’t do hugs, or at least I don’t do hugs with a lot of people. And I’m not asking for these sounding boards to fix what’s going on with me, I just need a distraction for a while so I can reset and then deal with life.

So this makes me realize….I’m going away for about a year. I won’t have these sounding boards there either. I need to prepare myself for this separation. Which scares me. I have a tendency to close myself when I know that there’s going to be a long separation. It’s not healthy. I know this. I’m already closing myself to the people here this week that I’ve been with all month. It’s something I need to consciously change. I’m not going to make it if I don’t change it. Positive note: I did meet the girl I’m living with this next year. She’s very out-going and bubbly. I counter with my quietness quite well. But listening to her today made me draw back and not want this anymore. Is it normal that I’m not wanting this anymore? No, let me restate that. I want this but am doubting if I’m doing this at the right time. I know, I know. God’s got me. God has a plan in this. One time, I wish that God would let me in on a plan. It’s not making me happy that I don’t know if this is going to work. I know I can’t be the only one doubting my life journey but it’s tough on a planner like me.

I know that this blog has been kind of a downer lately. It’s just where life is right now. It’ll get better. I promise. On a totally different subject, I got called sarcastic again today. I feel like that’s a runny trend in life right now. People take me as sarcastic.

Panicky, Judgemental Kid.

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I was recently reading a blog and the guy said in high school he was the “nice, boring, judgmental Christian kid” and his wife was the exact opposite. I realize that was me without me realizing that was me. I was the “nice, boring, judgmental Christian kid”. I knew I was the nice Christian kid that was boring. But I didn’t realize until later I was judgmental. I’ve grown out of being judgmental to a point. I still have my moments. I think everyone has those moments. Others cannot always live up to our expectations. Weather it’s the way someone looks, does their job, treats their spouse. It’s kind of a judgmental world. We just have to have a thick skin. There’s that rant.

Now is when I’m going to start going on a random tangent. If some of this doesn’t make sense, I’m sorry. You’ll understand that I’m not making sense today.

I’m obsessed with checking my email these days. There’s so much coming to me. I have training starting in a month. It’s super scary. As much as I don’t enjoy working at a nursing home, I’m unsure of myself leaving now. When I moved home in January, I wasn’t scared. It was home. I was going to be starting work at the nursing home I’d hung out at all my life. (my mom’s worked at the home for years.) Life was good. Now I’m a month away from starting the scariest chapter of my life. (living halfway across the world in a city is a scary thing for a farm kid) It also doesn’t help that I have a sore throat and I’m being super womanly. (sorry, did that come out?) So I’m a little whiny.

In the story that MJ are writing, there’s this guy named Brad. Brad always tells Jane, his counterpoint, to keep treading water and she never understood why. Jane just assumes that it’s this little encouraging thing he tells her when he bought her this cheap souvenir. One night, he takes Jane to a beach and they’re overlooking the ocean. He points out a lighthouse he used to play at with his siblings and Brad tells Jane this tragic story about how his little sister died over there when they were kids and he felt guilty about not being able to save her. Brad then explains to Jane that’s why he tells her to keep treading water. He couldn’t save his sister, but if Jane keeps treading water and her head’s above the water, he can always save her. It’s a nice sentiment. MJ has used that line on me a few times in the recent past. I almost hate when the words I write come to haunt me.

Anyway. Point being is that there is light at the end of the tunnel and there is no need for me to panic. This will all work out. I will be fine. I’ve been telling myself that all afternoon. I really wish I had some wise advice about when one panics or is having a hard time. But the problem with that is, I have problems with that myself. I panic all the time and usually it’s over nothing. I don’t even have great coping methods to it. And I’m young. I know that I’m getting older but I still feel like a kid and haven’t figured out this whole wise thing. That’s probably a reason I panic as well, youth and inexperience.

But you know, looking at this leaving thing, it can be the most rewarding thing of my life. It’s all ready been rewarding because it makes me reflect on my home and the way I’ve been raised. My whole life, I have lived within 120 miles of home. I haven’t lived out of the state of North Dakota. Yes, I love my prairie and my Badlands and the farm. It is who I am. Those things are interwoven with who I am and they will help me when I leave. If you’ve ever been to southwestern North Dakota you look for the beauty of it. It’s not always obvious. But think of it. There’s gentle, rolling hills and rough buttes. Things that are rough but gentle. Things that I think I need as a person. I have been raised by a North Dakota farmer/rancher and nurse. That means I believe in the value of tough, hard work and the value of compassion. The love I have for my home and state will bring me back here but it also has taught me that I have nothing to be worried or panicked about. It has prepared me to leave and rejoice in my victories and provided people that will cry with me in my failures. This doesn’t mean that every other state isn’t beautiful or doesn’t give lessons to people that live there. These are just things I have realized that I’ve learned while I’ve been here. I’m saying I have nothing to be worried about. As long as I don’t forget who I am, I’ll be fine. I’m treading water just fine and might be able to save myself from the panic. Or trust God to do that.

Fear

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I have flaws. As all do. One of my flaws is that I can be kind of an anxious or nervous person. I usually try not to let people see me anxious and I have several ways of dealing with it. Reading, art, writing, music, wondering around the house, daydreaming, fixing whatever’s wrong in my head. I tend to wonder a lot, especially when I’m at mom and dad’s. A lot has been going on and lately I find that I’m really restless and wondering a lot. The main thing I worry about is now out of my hands and as much as I hate that, I find it necessary. I can’t control everything.

Along those lines, tonight I was checking Facebook and one of the girls I’ve known since the third grade has 2 kids and she was talking about the father(s) and it ended with a hashtag that said Fear is for the Faithless. It’s one of those things that I think I’ve known my whole life but never really mentally recognized. I grew up in church and with stories like Noah and Thomas and Paul and all these people that stepped out into the unknown. The one thing that they all shared was that they had faith, they may have faltered and momentarily doubted and no doubt they had times they were scared or anxious but they all had faith enough to obey and listen. I’ve repeating that to myself all night while I’ve been wondering, faith is for the faithless. I know I have the faith for whatever happens next.

Then I started thinking about who I really am. I recently finished a book called Thr3e by Ted Dekker. There are three characters with definite personalities. There’s the almost overly innocent man with a rough past, his best friend who’s a very confident and smart girl and then there’s the lunatic. At the end of the book you realize how they’re all really connected and I started thinking about that and I tried to figure out which one I really identify with. Granted none of them have the anxiety or nervousness like I do but (and this might get a little “Breakfast Club” or anti that movie here) that I have been a specific person my whole life but I have a little bit of everything in me, qualifying me to be the person who can be brave enough to step out into the unknown like those in the Bible and be someone that will be talked about for generations to come. Not that being immortal in written form is what I’m looking for.

This isn’t necessarily a post that I had planned on writing. But since I was anxious and wondering wasn’t working for me and my hands were hurting from knitting, I decided to write what was in my head. I’m sure that with whatever happens with what I’m anxious about will be blogged about in some way, shape or form. We’ll see where my unknown takes me and see if I have enough faith to not be fearful. (something I’m always looking to do)

Future Thank You Speech to Me.

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So I went on a walk today with my mother. We were walking in silence and a lot went through my head. Like how much I love my prairie, how nervous I am that I’m going to have to leave it one day. Then I started thinking about my niece and nephew, my nephew in particular because we’re a little bit closer. I was thinking about when he gets to be 18 and is graduating high school. At this school, same one that all three of us kids graduated from, the graduation ceremony is run by the class. Students do the welcome, the class memories speech, the ending, the poem that the English teacher wrote are all done by the students. The Valedictorian and the Salutatorian also do a speech. I started planning out my nephew’s speech when he’s thanking me for all that good advice when he’s Valedictorian or Salutatorian because I’m a little weird like that and I needed some thing to think about. So here’s what I had in my head/hope that I pass on to both kids and my kids and any future nieces and nephews.

Thank you to Aunt Megan for not necessarily telling me, but showing me about what passion, love and helping people really is. Thank you for showing that love for people doesn’t start or end with blood relation, it starts with a seed and extends beyond our back yard. It also extends color, religion and ethnicity. Love knows no bounds. Thank you for showing me that sarcasm and wit are good things that can help you make friends but are dangerous things when used at inappropriate times. I have to admit that I had to learn that lesson the hard way. Thank you for being not just my aunt but my friend, my confidant and my “don’t tell mom and dad” go to. Thank you to you and that sister of yours ratting me out when I was 6 and making me telling mom that I cut my hair on Christmas Day. I still haven’t lived that one down. Probably never will but it lets me know that you are invested in my life. You wouldn’t tell me random things if you didn’t. I’m also counting on that $100 when I get married. Make sure the check’s good.

I remember going to the hospital the day my nephew was born and falling in love with him the second I saw him and watching my brother be a new dad and seeing the excitement and nervousness in my brother (and my sister-in-law) and being excited for him and being nervous myself. I was nervous because I know that being an aunt can be a great responsibility. It still makes me a little nervous because I know those kids look at to me and I don’t want to disappoint or slip up. Six and a half years later I’m nervous still. Can we just see me being a parent? I would be in fear a lot. I also remember thinking when I saw him that I was the aunt that the kids would get into trouble with. I’m still holding true to that. Little unknown fact that when my sister-in-law was pregnant, Bucky Covington was just starting to be played on country radio and he was being played to the point I couldn’t stand him because the western tourist trap I was working at was playing him all the time. It was sickening. I remember being in the pickup with my brother and telling him that if they had a boy and they named him Bucky, I was coming up with a cooler name but if they didn’t I would could him Bucky. They didn’t, I didn’t. I do call him Munchkin though. He likes it. He actually just requested that I call him that instead of being grouped in with his sister and being called a kiddo. The point being that I want to make a difference in these kids’ lives and it scares me that I’ll just be the aunt. I’m working on that.

Let’s just say that if I had to write speeches for high school seniors, I would rock at it. Maybe. It would be entertaining at least.

Have I ever told the story about my graduation and the bet? I think I have. Here it is for good measure. The valedictorian and the girl that read the class poem sat next to each other and made a $2 bet that the other would cry during their speech. The guy valedictorian gets up (with a real flower boutonniere) and starts crying and blames the allergies that he doesn’t have. The girl gets up tells everyone about the bet and he just lost and starts reading and then starts crying. Guy stands up and starts clapping because they both lost. Great story though.

On a different subject I watched “The Great Gatsby” last night. I haven’t read that book. Why haven’t I read that book? I maybe a little obsessed with it now. I have to get this book. I think I’ve looked at it and thought it wasn’t my kind of book, now I’m thinking that I was wrong. I may love it. I must read this. Then. Then I went on GoodReads to add it to my list and saw that most everyone that I have as friends there has it added and read. We didn’t read this book in high school. Isn’t this book supposed to be on high school reading lists everywhere? I had to read stupid Animal Farm. Stupid book about communism.

Something You Don’t Usually Hear from Me

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I’m going to talk about something and it might be a little surprising coming from me and this topic has nothing to do with what Friday was. It’s love…..and books. But since I alluded to Valentine’s Day, let me have a mini-rant. I worked/orientated overnight on Friday. I’m single. Very single. And I was okay with Valentine’s this year. But when I got to work I got annoyed with how many people asked me if I was married or if I had “a man”. That phrase annoys me. Yes, you are in a relationship but that person isn’t necessarily yours. It sounds slave like to me and that is not what a relationship should be.

Anyway, love in books. It happens so fast, how can it be real? I know that most of the books I read are fiction and that the love portion of books help us believe again but really? Romeo and Juliet got married after less than a day of knowing each other, pretty sure that marriage would have been horrible in a few years. If the love wouldn’t have ended, the families would have made it miserable and then the babies would have come and it wouldn’t be pretty. Now I’m reading The Bronze Horseman and if that love didn’t pop up fast, I don’t know what did. It was like they walked together a few times and BAM, Alexander loves her.

Yeah, there are books that take their time with the love story but that’s not what sells books. I get frustrated with books every once in a while for not being predictable, love story or not. There’s 2 people that hate each other, they’re thrown together and have to deal with each other and then by the end of the book they’re in love and they’re thinking about having babies. I mean, have it end with them separating at the end with them still hating each other and glad they’re getting away from each other, don’t have the person with a terminal illness die. Have me surprised with who the killer is. I don’t care, throw me a curve ball. It’s frustrating.

I know me being critical of love is kind of a new thing on this blog but I want real life and not make believe at this point in life. I know that there are people that fall in love fast but I just really want a stable love when I’m reading right now.

So catch up on life. Last weekend I went and hung out with one of my oldest friends and my first college roommate. We tried watching “Don Jon”. That didn’t last long. That’s way more of a guy movie that it is a 3 women movie. I also decided that I need more unattractive friends. These girls I hung out with are definitely down to earth but it still cuts a girl’s ego when the majority of her friends are good looking. And my friend got a Chihuahua who, we found out, is obsessed with our other friend’s feet.

I also went to this little town last weekend to a single-women’s Valentine Banquet. My high school Sunday School teacher was speaking. We were getting out and one of the ladies I went with said something about maybe there’s a cover charge to get in this thing and she was joking because it was well-known it was free. I countered with “But aren’t we with the band? We get in free.” I guess that was funny because it was the comment that was talked about all night and being talked about the next day. I didn’t think it was that funny.

So last night I was hanging out at home for a while and “Wheel of Fortune” was on and the first puzzle came on and I solved it and I yell “I won Wheel of Fortune!” My parents think I’m crazy. Pretty sure they don’t know what to do with me. I’m grown so their job is hypothetically done until I get married, if I get married. We (my mother and I) also went to “Saving Mr. Banks”. It was quite good and I enjoyed it.

As I mentioned, I am reading The Bronze Horseman. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the book but at this moment I’m having a lot of mixed feelings about it. There’s some good writing in it but Tatiana is kind of stupid and sometimes I kind of want to punch her. It’s just a gut reaction. Poor girl is fictional and I want to punch her. Must be a tough life.