Thursday, September 29, 2011

It's Go Time!

I have a lot on my mind. I figured I should sit down and write about it; that always helps me to sort things out and let my mind stop mulling it over.
The past two weeks have been, and I do not exaggerate, the absolutely most stressful time of my life.
I've been told, and I'd have to agree, that I'm normally the calm one amidst any chaos. The past two weeks dissolved that cool constitution into a more frenzied and anxious version of myself.
I can sit down and write about it now, because I've braved the worst of it and worked through things. I want to sort of spell out all that's happened, just so you'll have an idea of where I'm coming from. This is not a "surprise, you were expecting a blog post and instead got thrown into a pity-party!" I'm trying to avoid that tone; as I said, the worst is past. And I'm now calm, collected, relaxed ...ish.

First, I only just yesterday finalized my schedule for the semester. I'd visited the Academic Advising center 3 times, each time I got a different take on my situation. On my last visit, their conclusion was that I was 1 credit short of graduating and that I had no other choice but to come back to school for another full semester to finish one credit. I explained what that implied for me and asked if there wasn't anything else they could do. They wouldn't budge. I think they're trained to respond that way.
So in despair, I went to a miracle-working man who is the chair of the geology department, Dan Moore. He looked things over and within a 5 minute visit, he had signed his name to a paper authorizing a change that would allow me to graduate in December. He had also, in that brief time given me some sound advice about weathering life's storms, what steps I should take to prep for grad school, and how to cope with challenges. He really merits the title "game changer".
Two weeks back, on Friday, I noticed an itch in my throat. I checked things out in the mirror and realized my tonsils were bright red and swollen. So I went to the student health center. They tested me for mono and strep. And then tested me for mono again 5 days later. Both tests were negative. So I'm fighting some sort of sinus infection, taking antibiotics since the steroids they gave me didn't seem to help the inflammation.
I got a call last week from the secretary of the VP of the University. One worries when one gets such a call -even if one hasn't done anything they think would merit such a visit. My mind was busy reviewing all my recent actions, scrutinizing every act that might have been out of line with what the university expects. The anticipation of that visit tormented me for a full day. On the day of the appointed visit, I called the secretary to see if I could get the interview moved up: I couldn't endure the wait any longer. An hour later, I was in his office having a chat. He's an amazing man and he approached the issue as "I'm sure I can learn a few things from you and I'd like to teach you a few things if I can." The issue at hand: I posted a picture of a campus banner on my facebook page, having added a twist to it by throwing in an additional line to the message on the banner. All that agonizing over something I had considered so laughable.
On top of that, I hadn't yet received my financial aid funds, and I was feeling the squeeze.
I was taking 5 classes, all labor-intensive.
I got called in for an interview with the Stake President. He talked a bit with me, and then instead of issuing me a call explained that he could tell that this semester was not the semester for me to take on a calling. The interview was to extend a call, but he decided not to even issue it. I didn't want to have to refuse a calling. I was saying an honest prayer of thanks on the walk home from that meeting.
There's more to the list, but I think this paints enough of the scene for you. One of the beautiful things about life is that things end. Tonight, for the first time in almost 2 weeks, I am able to breathe easy; my stomach is not in knots, and I am smiling. I have to send a thank you to those people in my life who have empathy, to those who listen patiently while I spill my woes, to those who send much-appreciated aid my way. You know who you are, and your timing is uncanny. If you take anything from this, it's that life will send you Hell sometimes. But Heaven is still where it's always been, and it's closer than you think. The phrase "this too shall pass" is really a wonderful truth (and it sounds best when said in the voice of Sister Encarnacion).
Now, onto something else. I recently read "The Help". Now, my usual book choice is chosen from the classics. I rarely pick up a modern best-seller, because a lot of the time they provide entertaining reading, but nothing very meaningful or worthwhile. The Help was the surprise of the year for me. It was endearing from the first chapter. I was able to finish it in three days. After reading a few chapters, I got an idea. I added the "Patsy Cline" station to my Pandora list. I found it to be an ideal mix of music for playing in the background as I read. The day I finished reading, I knew I had to send the book on to my sister. So that afternoon, I packaged it and sent it. She read it and passed it on. While I did yearn a bit to hang onto it, I wanted even more to share it. If you have any interest in reading at all, read it. And pass it on. It's full and deep and will get you thinking and laughing, loving and crying. It's a book that touches you deeply.
Now, I make an announcement. I am taking a trip. I've been trying to announce this to my family over the phone, but haven't gotten an answer yet, so it's being blogged first. I'm heading down to Salt Lake City for general conference weekend. I'm spending the weekend with my besties Perla and Misty. I can't tell you how excited I am for that. And on Sunday, I'll leave my car in the care of friends in Utah and I'll travel with my Perla and Misty straight to Arizona! I can't express how excited I am. I need to see my sister Ju before she leaves for her mission. I explained this decision to one of my instructors, and she totally agreed with my choice. (Her name is Sister Hansen, and she is amazing).
So for at least 4 days I'll get to be in Joseph City sort of taking a break from school and enjoying a long-overdue visit with the people and places I love the most. I know that after a few days on the road, I'll miss my Rexburg friends, I'll miss my bed, I'll miss the gym, and I might even miss school. When I get back to Rexburg, it will be October. And despite any reason school gives me to fret, I will have plenty of reasons to be content, to be calm amidst the storm.

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