I’ve never done anything truly spectacular or award-winning in my life.
I entered sports as a child right around the time they started to pass out trophies just for participation. Sure, when you add it all up my life has been full and I’ve done well for myself.
Growing up my family moved around a bunch. I attended 10 different schools before graduating from high school. No, we were not an army family.
I got really good at making friends… but not keeping them. Long distance wasn’t really my strong suit. Still isn’t actually. (Hi Paige! If you’re reading this, I haven’t forgotten about you. I’ve been meaning to text you since November…Skype soon? ;D)
My lack of admirable accomplishments, long-lasting friendships, and any ability to put down roots made me feel like sort of a nomad. My focus was almost never on the long term and always on the here and now, since nothing ever really seemed to last anyway. Schools, people, wards, street names, phone numbers- it was all fleeting.
I had my family, whom I loved. But as with many people’s families it was filled with very complicated relationships and a heavily baggaged past. While me and my siblings should have been solely focused on growing and soaking up all the lessons of pre-pubescent life, we were still trying to heal.
So, I drifted.
Sure, I got involved, I had friends- but nothing seemed to keep my interest or attention rooted for very long. I enjoyed attending church and quickly comprehended the things they taught in Sunday school, but dedication and commitment was one of the lessons taught that I couldn’t seem to internalize. It was like I was rubber and life was glue; and nothing was really, truly sticking.
It can be a pretty lonely existence to never really attach yourself to anything. When I look back I think that I was afraid of being too dependent. Trusting that things would remain the same usually resulted in disappointment, so I didn’t.
As an adult I can now better understand the emptiness that was being created in my life. The lessons they taught me on Sunday seemed to conflict with the feelings I had in my life and at home. I was taught since childhood that being the offspring of a loving, perfect God meant 1. I had an incredible capacity to achieve and 2. The gospel would always be the same, and there was great comfort in it. Although I hadn’t often experienced either of those things, I felt that they were true. I had noticed the occasional flicker of light that was my body’s recognition of my soul- a soul that had a home. A soul that was created by a Heavenly Father. A soul that had existed, felt and known things long before my mind and body had.
I got older, and I sought for that flicker of light. I went to Rexburg and took classes that helped me to familiarize myself with that light and recognize that it was flickering in even more instances than I had realized.
I got to know myself better. And I got to know my Heavenly Father more. I gained comfort in learning about the incredible divine potential of God’s children. I came to appreciate that the Atonement was not just performed for sins but for troubles and weaknesses; for the holes and the emptiness I had carried with me.
I began to grow roots. For the first time in my life I felt what coming home was supposed to feel like. Looking around the city of Rexburg, I knew this feeling wasn’t the consequence of my geographical situation. It was a consequence of learning who I truly was. The feeling the spirit gave me was my home. And the best part was that I could take that with me wherever I went. I didn’t need to stay in one place or make great accomplishments in order to make myself feel established and secure. I needed the spirit and the truth of the gospel.
That was my purpose. That is my home.