Monday, June 16, 2014

"Saudades" (On Life and Unknown Dreams)

I am obviously losing that brilliant tan
I had really fast. Saudades! ;)

I've returned to the blogging world!

I don't even know where to start. My mission was awesome. The best thing I've ever done. And for the past two months I have been with my family and friends, and that has been just great. But there are other things about being a return missionary that are just, well, hard.

There's a Portuguese word that I think describes exactly what I am feeling. It is "saudade." It basically means you have a strong longing for someone or something or some time that marked you. It means that you truly feel the absence of this thing from your life; a thing that once became a part of you, is now missing from you.

I mean, going from being a full-time (as in 24/7, not just 40 hours a week) missionary to being what sometimes may feel like a nobody, is like I said, hard. In just an instant, you are released from the great responsibilities and worries of being someone you've wanted to be your whole life. You're released from all the emotions of pouring your whole heart, soul, time and energy into the work and ordinances of salvation for others. All of a sudden your life changes. But that change comes way quicker than our minds or hearts are ready for.

Lots of people have asked how I am adjusting. "Pretty well," or "better than I thought I'd be," is usually how I answer. And yes, I am doing "pretty well" but a lot of the time, I am sad about it, or if I want to be brutally honest, depressed about it.

Sundays are the hardest – they are the days that leave the most “saudades.” At least they've been that way for me. Sundays were always the best days on the mission. They usually included the baptisms or confirmations or seeing the people you've been teaching walk into the chapel and seeing them feel the peace in the Lord's house. Now, I feel that I just go to church to go to church. With no responsibility to fulfill (besides that of a member missionary – I mean, not even as a visiting teacher) is quite a drastic change.

It's hard going to church as a "normal member." That may sound funny. But it is. It's just different. And you hear all the time about missionary work and you see the missionaries at church, and it just kind of hurts.

I feel this way – the “saudades” – about many things. The mission. The areas I served in. The people I worked with. The people I met. The culture. The love.

Not only about mission things, but I think it's a good word to describe how I feel about my life. Life sure is changing for the Villaroman household. All good changes, but changes that leave me with "saudades."

With all these longing feelings of times passed, I guess that just means I have had so many wonderful blessings and opportunities to be thankful for. There are so many wonderful memories I have and so many goals that I can cross off my list – including that of a full-time mission which was for me a life-long goal.

Well, I need to continue to make new plans and new goals to accompany me as I head into the mid-twenties (wait, am I having a quarter-life crisis? Haha! This is why I like writing – answers just come to me).

Here’s to new plans and new goals! Here’s to quickly arriving new adventures that will inevitably be so great as to one day leave me with “saudades.”