26 July 2006

Looking Back

This is long, I warn you. You may want to read it in installments.

I’m at another transition point in my adult life. I tend to do these often, and to be honest I like it. Transitions bring new friends, knowledge, and another beginning. I love beginnings. I love unknowns and the chance to discover them. Don’t get me wrong, I still get nervous, but part of me just loves new. I HATE packing (the literal act of packing up your life) but I love unpacking in a new place and finding a new routine for my new space. I’d say for my new home, but I have lived in many places I would not call a ‘home.’ Some people find it hard to leave comfort and routine behind, and though I miss the people I’ve met and the sights I’ve enjoyed, I just can’t help but love new. Tonight I went on a walk in my new neighbourhood. I am living with my brother Shane his wife Jen and five kids: Chase, Ashley, Kieran, Alexander, and Jackson (I like to spell them Alekzander and Jaxon, but they didn’t ask for my input). I was listening to Moldovan music walking around in awe of the lightening bugs (more on those later). I started to think about my friends in Moldova and then just in general about the people who have helped me through each transition in my life. I thought I would mention them here today.

My first major transition (as an adult) was moving up to the U of U. (Minor disclaimer, all people about to be named are not relatives. It should just be understood my family has always been supportive of my crazy life and will always support me. These are others). Anyway—it was quite possibly one of the hardest years of my life. I moved away from home and chose to live with someone I knew. She ended up being just about the worst roommate a soul could have, and doubled the pain of the year. I was a modern dance major, a dream I’d had since before I can remember. The classes were hard and being in front of mirrors with a room full of girls (a few boys) all day everyday judging yourself and being judged by your professors was hard. Long story short, a few health issues came up and I had to change majors. This was hard, but I am grateful I had the love and support of a couple of great guys I had met there in the dorms. One was Brent Podosek the other Christopher Ruud. Brent just became a friend from one of my first nights there. Goofy guy studying acting that could make me smile and laugh. He had wild Farrah Fawcet hair and was genuinely a funny guy. Chris was a ballet major. Chris and I became friends shortly before it all hit the fan and I figured out I needed to pick a whole new life. Chris grew up in the halls of the San Francisco Ballet where both his parents were dancers and choreographers. He was not only incredibly talented, but kind hearted and again, funny. He could make me laugh. Chris currently dances for Ballet West in SLC, UT.

Next transition came one year later when the new life choice of studying nutrition took me out of the University of Utah and up to a school I swore I’d never attend, Utah State University. Long story short, I didn’t want to go, but it was that or BYU for a Dietetics program and most of you can imagine BYU and I don’t fit, so USU it was. The first year was hard, especially the first semester. However, thanks to a roommate who I can actually credit for causing a good portion of my stress that year, but she introduced me to a guy who become one of my dearest friends in the world, Jon Tueller. Through Jon I met Jeremy, Soffe, Aaron, Tim, etc etc. The Logan boys if you’ve heard me talk about them. Those boys got me through the next couple of years of trying to figure out who I was, what I wanted in life, and most importantly did I belong? Jon and Jeremy especially, took me under their wings and helped me figure things out. Two of the most patient boys I know. The Logan boys would prove to be vital to many transitions I would have during my time at USU as well as into the future. Yea Logan boys!! Getting into the Dietetics program at USU was the culmination of 2 years STRAIGHT in the library doing quality time with my chemistry, biology, physiology, statistics, etc. During my time in the library (not a place you could find the Logan boys) I become good friends with my Dietetics circle. Clint, Page, Rebecca, and Rachel became essential to my sanity during those last two years.

My next transition was to a working adult in SLC. I got a job with WIC in South Salt Lake and moved up to SLC. I was lucky enough to have a Logan boy in my ward, Tim Larue. Tim was great. Logan boys to the rescue, again! I also had the great luck of moving in with a girl named Adrienne. Adrienne and I had NOTHING in common. NOTHING. She was all girl and flirt and I was all, well not that at all. She was a student nurse that worked at LDS Hospital. Adrienne taught me, quite forcefully I might add, it’s okay to be feminine. I know, that sounds crazy, but I really wasn’t okay with my ‘girliness’ as I put it, prior to living with Adrienne. But, after living with her for a little over a year, I realized the ‘girly’ things I do are just fine, ‘cause I’m a girl. (I know. I should have figured that out long ago, I’m a slow learner).

Next, I was off to the Peace Corps. Woo Wee! That was a serious transition. Several people helped me through those times. First was Jason. Jason and I were in the same training village and lived right near each other. Jason’s pendulum doesn’t move much, ie Jason never really gets mad, sad, happy, jealous, whatever. He’s always just good. You know those people whose emotions are monotone. Not in a bad way, just even. Even seems like the best word to describe it. Jason grounded me in my time there. There was also a great married couple, who unfortunately left us early (to go back to Cali), Paul and Judy. They were 72 years old. SEVENTY TWO! They had more energy then me. They were great. There wisdom saved me on some crazy days.

Other volunteers that helped were Mark and Hoyt. Mark, for obvious reasons (we dated for those of you not aware. Two years to be exact). Hoyt Sloan lived in the village next to me. He has one of the driest senses of humor I have ever encountered. He would come into Orhei once a week. He would get a beer and I’d get a Mirinda (orange soda). He would tell me stories about his crazy students. He taught English to 5th to 9th graders. Again, he could always make me laugh. We would talk about whatever came to mind, in ENGLISH and just talk. It was great.

Then in Moldova, there were those who made my daily life better, my Moldovan family. First was Lica my doctor. She worked in Peace Corps and though I didn’t see her daily, she was a great source of strength for me. She was an inspiration. There was my host sister in Orhei. A sweet kind girl, with so many problems on her shoulders, but always a beautiful giving smile. The more I learned about their family, the greater respect I had for her and her ability to hold them altogether. Then there was Lilia, my tutor and best friend. I’ve written about her before—she’s amazing. If I ever have money in this life I’m giving tons of it to Lilia. She carries out amazing acts of service right now, with nothing. She has nothing—and she changes the lives of hundreds of orphans every year. Then there was the Trubceak family and my cute friend Stela. Then, of course my girls. They were my Peer Education team, and became great little buddies. I miss them and worry about their futures. I hope they are well. Maya, Angela, Violeta, and Carolina—the girls.

Next transition—America. This was a lot harder then you expect. I moved straightway to Boston to start school. I was in COMPLETE culture shock with American lifestyles and walked around like a deer caught in the headlights. Boston was made smoother by a great professor and friend, Jim Levinson. He adopted me right away and took care of me and the many problems I faced that first semester. That first semester a great girl named Stacey Dawson also took me under tutelage. Stacey was from my ward, and though I am terribly shy at church, she helped me meet my many dear friends I have now in Boston. I love you ALL!! Dickson, Troy, Siko, Angela, Amy, Tiff, Natasha, Mark, etc etc etc. I have to especially thank Michael D Haight and the Frosts for helping me find my way these past two years. It was a rocky path, but I seem to have not only survived, but thrived. Then of course all my great friends I made at school. Isabel, Maina (of course J) Afsan, Laura, Denish, Lus, Erin, Tracey, etc etc etc etc. Too many to list, but all of them helped.

Now here I am in the middle of another transition. I am still looking for work and living with my brother. I could be here 6 months or just 3 more weeks. I have NO IDEA! I don’t mind that, in fact I find it exciting. But, for the first time I can’t really define where the transition ends/begins. Am I just ending a transition to DC, or just about to begin one to ???????? I have yet to define who will help me through this one, aside from my family of course. But, I am sure I will need to add to my list.

As I was walking around today thinking about all of this, it occurred to me one of the casualties of my love for change, losing my dear friends. Those people who at that time in your life were quintessential to your survival and sanity, who now, just 2 years later you rarely talk to, and five years later you don’t even know where they are. As I transition out of Boston, I get sad knowing that will be the fate of my dear friends in Boston. I hope this will be different, but worry for most of them it will be the same. Not to depress any of my friends reading this, it’s not that I don’t want to stay in touch, it’s that life moves to quickly in so many directions you just lose touch. It seems I can’t live without them now, but somehow I will. Somehow I’ll find new friends in this new place, and slowly we will fade out of each others lives. There are always those few you stay in touch with, but as years go on, your friendships are reduced to Christmas/Bday cards. I see my mother live it everyday. However, as I plan to be on the move for most of my life—new places, new countries, and new cultures; I worry, or rather don’t look forward to always losing those I must leave.

Well this was entirely too long. For those of you reading my stuff since Peace Corps, you will feel this is reminiscent of those days. Hopefully you were smart enough to read it in instalments, rather then one big blow; for your eye’s sake. I bid you farewell for now.


PS-more on lightening bugs another day.

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