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A Traveller Returns, and Leaves Again

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Posts

  • SomestickguySomestickguy Registered User regular
    edited February 2014
    Alright, I think it's time for a big life update.

    I didn't realise it so much at the time, but life shortly after you come home is hard to adjust to. I guess I was expecting a different set of challenges to the ones that actually came; after 2 years of constantly being within sight and hearing distance of my missionary companion, I suffered from almost no "separation anxiety". Being on my own was just as ever, and what little discomfort I felt faded fast. Same with being able to watch movies and play computer games. It was just the same flavour of experience that it was I'd left it.

    The main problem was finding balance. Balance is an easier thing to achieve when you have daily and weekly planning sessions. To go from that to no structure at all made it very tough to do anything constructive. For a few weeks it felt like I was going exactly nowhere, and I'd just slipped back into my old, lazy life. All of that life experience I gained on my mission was fantastic, but for I while I wondered whether it'd changed me as much as I originally thought. I think that period of rest was necessary to recharge, but it was hard to see it that way at the time.

    Well, it was a period of rest, but in some ways it was draining. My family's still every bit as insane, and insanely complicated, as they ever were. In fact, more so. At the time (it's changed since, and it's constantly in flux) my immediate family inhabited six different locations. One sister in Canada (serving a mission there, she left a couple of months before I got back). One sister in Australia. My former stepmother and two sisters in England. My father, my current stepmother and four brothers in another part of England. My mother, current stepfather, one brother and one sister in Wales. One sister in Spain. Even without visiting the overseas relatives, planning to meet up and spend some time with several different shards of my family is EXHAUSTING. I also planned a trip to Spain (the first time I'd been to a non-English-speaking country) to perform some baptisms there. By the time that came around, I was dead on my feet. I spent a fair amount of that trip sitting around in the home of that family I was staying with and playing Fire Emblem, but it gave me the chance to get away from everything and clear my head a little.

    Coming home to a broken family didn't only add the strain of spreading myself across several households; I also had to choose where I would live for the time being. The flat I had previously rented was no longer available, and both main sides of the family wanted me with them. The sense of responsibility I felt for both halves can be incredibly frustrating when I knew one half had to go unfulfilled. On top of that, I essentially had two church families; one in Barnsley, one in Colwyn Bay. With all the back-and-forth that has happened between my mum and my dad, I've spent a roughly equal time in both of them. Barnsley Branch hadn't sent out a missionary for around 30 years, Colwyn Bay Branch hadn't ever sent one out, I was the first. Both were small and in need of assistance in one way or the other, and as I well knew, a recently returned missionary can be a very helpful asset.

    Ultimately I made the choice to stay in Wales with my mother's side for the time being. The living conditions were considerably worse; This week I'm moving into my own flat, but I've been sleeping on my brother's floor for the past 4 months and I can safely say I don't ever want to live in a place where I have to deal with dampness ever again. Even so, with what's happened in the past of this nightmarish cycle, I don't ever want to live with my dad again, or even spend any more than a fortnight at a time around him. That's a harder thing to do than it sounds; I'm still looking for work over here, but over there I'd have a job that suits me fairly well the moment I'd agree to stay. There are good people that really want me around and try to encourage me to move there. It's hard to say no so many times, even if I know it's ultimately destroy me if I continued in that downward spiral.

    *siiiiiigh* (trust me, I really did just sigh there). That was therapeutic. You know, starting from the New Year, things have really been coming together. I'm trying my hand at this whole "relationships" thing, and although that's not without its complacitions I'm a lot further on than my previous situation of "never been on a date". Like I said, I'll have some room to myself starting Wednesday, and boy am I looking forward to that. My Open University course just started too, so I'm back in the education game. I discovered my my mission that I can sing a decent bass, so I've been learning a and performing a lot of musical numbers in our local choir. I've been slow to the point of negligence with the blog, but since I last posted in this thread I've done two articles: a Game Of The Year top ten and a review of the first season of The Walking Dead,, and I'm planning articles on Ryan North's To Be Or Not To Be, Homestuck and Attack On Titan. WEEKLY this time, not MONTHLY. Additionally, I've just been put in charge of the Public Affairs of Colwyn Bay Branch, so I'll likely be writing stuff for the local newspapers fairly soon! AND I also had a great idea on a book I want to begin to write, so I'm starting the research process on that!

    Finally, although I know I'll never make a career of it, I got a hold of another drawing tablet. I'm having some good fun with it, and I'll continue to use it to supplement my articles. I'm pretty happy with my first job, and it didn't even take that long to do! Life is good!

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    Speed RacerLord_AsmodeusCentipede Damascusvalhalla130Skeith
  • AvrahamAvraham Registered User regular
    you should contribute to the doodle thread whenever it comes back!

    :bz: :bz: :bzz:
    mullyCaulk Bite 6
  • SomestickguySomestickguy Registered User regular
    Well, my expectations for what this month has in store for me have drastically changed.

    I will be coming to the USA and staying from the 17th to the 31st. It is not often that I suddenly plan a two-week trip across the world (in fact it has never happened before), but the opportunity came in a good friend's wedding.

    I haven't been to the States since I was 14 years old, when I visited for 10 days. As many of you know, my dad is American. He's been in the UK for 30 years and not only has never lost his accent, but has passed on just a bit of it to me. I've always felt a strong connection to America, and even now my goal is to be able to live and study there. Now I'm in my post-sudden-change-of-schedule-freakout stage, I'm really, really looking forward to this trip.

    More specifically, I'm coming to Utah. Is that a surprise? If anyone's surprised about that, count me surprised at their surprise. 14-year-old-me visited Illinois and Wisconsin, and that was my only Stateside holiday, so I'm anticipating a whole new experience. Even if there are few Utahns (is that a thing?) in this community, I'm sure I can get some good pointers from you guys as to what stuff I can explore.

    Hey, and the blog's going alright. I wrote 6 entries this month! Improvement!

    In which I talk a bit about Shakespeare
    In which I talk a bit more about Shakespeare and also words in general
    In which I decipher why I don't care about most music
    In which I start talking about podcasts and end up just getting bummed out about Ryan Davis
    In which I examine a couple of the main reasons most people balk at Anime
    In which I rant about a particular Anime that I ended up watching all the way through and feeling violated by the end (part 1)

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  • sarukunsarukun Mr. Bulldopps Get SchwiftyRegistered User regular
    Utah. Home of Zion National Park and skiing.

    That's about it.

    For real though, Zion is pretty rad, and the little town built right next to it has a handful of totally sweet restaurants.

    Speed Racer
  • AvrahamAvraham Registered User regular
    edited March 2014
    If you drive by Bluffdale you can maybe see the NSA's secret billion dollar facility off in the distance!

    Also there's Monument Valley where they filmed all the old westerns?

    Avraham on
    :bz: :bz: :bzz:
  • Lord_AsmodeusLord_Asmodeus goeticSobriquet: Here is your magical cryptic riddle-tumour: I AM A TIME MACHINERegistered User regular
    edited March 2014
    If you like cars and find yourself in Northwestern Utah you might perhaps consider visiting the Bonneville Salt Flats, where there is sometimes much racing over at the Bonneville Speedway near Wendover.

    I will admit I only know about Bonneville because of Top Gear.

    Lord_Asmodeus on
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  • MetalbourneMetalbourne Inside a cluster b personalityRegistered User regular
    If you like cars and find yourself in Northwestern Utah you might perhaps consider visiting the Bonneville Salt Flats, where there is sometimes much racing over at the Bonneville Speedway near Wendover.

    I will admit I only know about Bonneville because of Top Gear.

    I drove through it once!

    In a souped up el Camino!

    pimentochrishallett83Lord_Asmodeus
  • MuzzmuzzMuzzmuzz Registered User regular
    edited March 2014
    I wouldn't suggest going to Zion National park, all those damn Giant Cazadores! *whimper*
    cazador--article_image.jpg


    It's a Fallout: New Vegas reference, in case the game came out while you were away. I'm sure Zion National Park is lovely in real life.

    Muzzmuzz on
  • SomestickguySomestickguy Registered User regular
    edited March 2014
    Avraham wrote: »
    If you drive by Bluffdale you can maybe see the NSA's secret billion dollar facility off in the distance!

    Also there's Monument Valley where they filmed all the old westerns?

    One of my companions is from Bluffdale! In the rare case that someone knew where that was, they would ask something about a base. If I'm remembering correctly, my companion had never heard of it until well into his mission. Is this a recent thing?

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  • SomestickguySomestickguy Registered User regular
    Muzzmuzz wrote: »
    I wouldn't suggest going to Zion National park, all those damn Giant Cazadores! *whimper*
    cazador--article_image.jpg


    It's a Fallout: New Vegas reference, in case the game came out while you were away. I'm sure Zion National Park is lovely in real life.

    I think New Vegas came out like a year before I left, but It's one of those games I bought on a steam sale and never played!

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  • SomestickguySomestickguy Registered User regular
    I wasn't going to make another update until the one-year anniversary of my return, but I suppose I'm actually not going to last that long.

    Yeah, I've been thinking about this for a while now, and recently much more so. I don't really fit in here. I spend way too much time and energy on this place, considering that. I love these forums and I think they've played a vital role in expanding my world view. I think that SE++ in particular is full of remarkably intelligent and hilarious people. I'll be hard pressed to find a community that can come close in that respect. Still, I feel like an intruder. That may be unfounded, but it's nevertheless the feeling I get when I post here. Not only that, I feel like I can't fully express myself, or discuss some of the things that I find interesting. A lot of that is just because of cultural differences. I have no idea where I'd find a plaice I'd feel more welcome, but I guess I'm going to at least try to find one.

    I'm not going to say this is my last ever post, but it certainly is the end of my habit of regularly posting here. I thought I'd make this mostly positive by including one last life update.

    Today marks 2 years and 10 months since I began my service in the England London Mission... wow, I can't believe it's been a full ten months since I got back. Time's gone too fast, but I've been doing stuff so I can't complain too much! I've been to Spain and America. I've travelled all around the UK. I've revisited London seven or eight times. I go on dates now! I've almost finished my Open University course in Humanities, and in just over a month I'll be going to actual University in Bangor, studying Journalism and Media. And getting braces! In two years I'll be an exchange student, and Bangor's programme covers places like Japan and South Korea. Going to either of those places would be the coolest, so fingers crossed.

    The Blog might have been patchy at first, but I'm actually updating it with some regularity now. Even better, people are reading it! July was the best month so far, with 561 views. In the grand scheme of things it's not huge, but it's growing, and more importantly it's valuable practice for my desired career path. Funnily enough, the most popular pieces by far have been my outraged rants on Sword Art Online, a show which seemed tailor-made to earn my love and subsequently turn that love into burning hatred. Other subjects I've written on have included X-Men, RPGs, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Transistor, Rain (yes, as in the weather) and the ultimate Meal Deal that is found in Boots Pharmacy. I've typed over 50,000 total words.

    At the end of this week I'll be taking a trip over to Nottingham, to be a counsellor in a summer youth programme called FSY. I'm a little nervous about it, but it feels good to be trusted with that kind of responsibility. I still have a lot to work on, but I'm starting to feel like a balanced human being that knows what they want out of life. That's a long shot from 10 months ago, and a world away from three years ago.

    I'll miss you guys!

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    Satanic Jesus
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