I've been incredibly reflective of late, particularly towards the last year and all that has happened. This time last summer I was in Paris having the time of my life with these two:
We ran all over that city, and as I discovered in Tianjin this summer, anywhere you visit can be really cool, but it's even cooler when you do it with the right people. Part of what I loved and think about when I think of my time in Paris is the people I spent it with. However, I'm not gonna lie, Notre Dame, Crepes, Gelato, the Louvre, and the Musee de Arme (however it's spelled) also come at the top of my list too. I loved just wandering the streets and seeing the city all lit up at night. However, I honestly didn't realize how much I liked Paris until my very last day there. That's actually somewhat of a theme for me... I tend to go places either to live or to visit and I'm pretty slow letting them grow on me... and so while I enjoyed Paris, I honestly didn't really fall in love with the city until my very last night there, and that was when I realized that I might want to some day go back. Although, there are still tons and tons of places in the world I haven't been to yet, so who knows, maybe I'll just look back at Paris and remember, but continue traveling elsewhere.
I remember one night in Paris when Amber and I were up talking (as often happened) we were talking about the coming year and what we expected. I know I was dead wrong about what I thought would happen over the next year. If anyone had tried to tell me that one year later I would be preparing to serve a mission I would have laughed at them. And the thought of Amber getting married at the end of this summer would have seemed a little crazy too. I had made up my mind that a mission was not for me and that I didn't want to go. I guess sometimes God has other ideas. So, in November after being stubborn for a while I opened my eyes and realized that I needed to serve a mission, and crazier still, I wanted to serve a mission. So here I am with 66 days until I enter the MTC and I still can't believe this is happening. Everything feels so surreal, and yet, at the same time I wish I could just go in right now and get started.
I realized on Friday just how fast missions must go, because I realized that Trent has been in for a whole month! Wow. It feels like just yesterday that we dropped him off, but I guess it's been a little longer. At the same time, I've also realized recently how much will change while I'm gone, and that's been difficult to come to terms with. I'll come back to Provo for spring term in 2012 and all of my close friends besides those who are also serving missions will have graduated. Who knows where they will be in the world. That's a little crazy. Some of these people I've started saying good-bye to are the ones who I've had classes with since my freshman year, and always assumed that I'd graduate with them. Now when I get back they'll be pretty well done with their masters degrees.
All that said, I'm incredibly excited to be going. I've spent a lot of time in the past few months making sure that this is what I need to be doing, and each time I begin to waver I'm reminded just how much I need to serve and how excited I am to have this opportunity. My two month mark is on Thursday and it feels like the time between the 3 and 2 month mark went really fast, who knows just how fast the next month will go.
(and if you're lucky I'll actually blog some)