Sunday, April 12, 2009

easter

Last year at Easter I was about as happy as my young girl heart has ever been. I went home to see Austin for the first time in two years, and was so happy to have my best friend back. I was done with school for the quarter. We went to the beach in perfect weather. We sang the Olive Tree at church....for the who knows how many -th time. Sienna and Kaity (with Gio and Zeke -- could I be any luckier?) had come home too. I felt blessed because I knew what was beautiful, true, and good in the world. 

This Easter season, I've been feeling a little different. Ali kindly invited me to have dinner with her and some of her playgroup friends. It was great to be around families and kids, and it was a nice contrast to my current state: on my own in the city, struggling to bond and make new friends, yet again. I feel like I've been trying to make new friends all year (first in Madrid, then back at Stanford, and now here) and it's hard. I went to church and kind of snuck under the radar, not really wanting to be noticed, even though my mom told me it was my mission to "put myself out there." I know it's a lifelong process, but I'm honestly kind of exhausted of putting myself out there...but I don't want to get comfortable in my loneliness, so I will persevere.

 Anyway, I've been thinking a lot about Conference and Jeffrey R. Holland's talk about the Savior. It really touched me, and got me thinking about how Christ knows completely how we feel in all of our pain and can support us and carry us and sustain us because of how personal the  Atonement is. When I was on the metro there were a bunch of kids and families...I guess tourist season is coming. So it was crowded and crazy, and the train was shaking and people were falling and stumbling all over the place. And I looked down and saw this little boy holding on to the rail. I'm not very good with guessing age, but I'm going to guess he was 5 years old. His little sister was standing next to him, and she couldn't reach the rail, so she was wrapping her arms as tightly as she could around his waist, hugging him, and holding on for dear life. I feel a lot like that girl right now. And I'm glad that I have the Savior to hold on to. 

12 comments:

david a bouchers said...

noelle, you are amazing. what a great adventure you are on. someday you will look back on this time of your life and see the great opportunities life has given you (and that you have worked hard to deserve) and be so happy that you took the risk to "put yourself out there". the risk will pay off big time. also, don't forget-- anyone who has the chance to get to know you should consider themselves VERY lucky! one last thing....we are here for you if you ever need anything! you have all our love and support!

Mariko said...

This is really nice, Noelle. I don't think nice is quite the right word. I can't find that word though. Something that makes me feel good.

Yes, the putting yourself out there thing is a lifelong mission. I, on the other hand, prefer to surround myself with people who are pretty much stuck with me and not really venture out of that.

austin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
austin said...

I didn't even realize that we talked on the phone for 45 minutes. Thanks for being my best friend. ты моя самая лучшая друга.

Colleen said...

Noelle, thanks for writing this. Did you see the film on LDS.org that accompanies this talk! I showed it to my class. I love your analogy from the metro. But, you may not fly under the radar every week at church! Mom

Damaris said...

so many things come to mind. I consider myself pretty social but I have felt so so lonely at times.

when I was 14 I moved out of my house to go to high school in Sao paulo because of the scholarship I won. I lived with this family that was very broken and needed the extra cash, i was the extra cash. The mom would scream at night in her sleep. Then I moved and lived with another family. The son was a crack addict and was scary. THEN... my parents finally got their act together and decided to get back together and move to the city so I lived with them, until they divorced.

Then I moved away to college and the beginning was so hard.

Basically I realized that going after my dreams and ambitions often made me lonely, but it was worth it.

Life might be easier for you if you had just stayed put in Laie instead of having some cool adventures. The adventures will be worth it specially when we get to vote for you as president!

sienna said...

i'm no good at putting myself out there either. so i can relate to that. i would definitely take advantage of being in DC by going to the museums, etc. even if you have to go alone. some of my favorite memories of New York are getting lost in the Met by myself and trying to see what cool new stuff I could find. also, use this time to write in your journal cause you obviously have so much good stuff to say and you're a great writer. you'll appreciate it later when life is too busy to have a second to think and write.

Pamela Palmer said...

there are some cool people there somewhere who can change this experience from lonely to fun. lonely people in movies always find people (or people find them). i guess i'd start at church. invite someone to dinner? (i've never done anything as adventurous as you are doing.)

mariah said...

noelle you will meet people that will love you, it's inevitable. call me some time. i get lonely too, and i've been living in this relatively small town for my entire life... so as usual let's relate. i loved your story, thank you for being such a strong and good person

Karen said...

thank you, noelle for this tender easter message. you are good and using your gifts to do good. love you.

Robbie said...

Love you, Noellie! I'm glad you got to see Ali, at least. And that you know exactly where you can turn to for the most comfort in times of need--our Savior. It's hard when so many changes happen in life, so consecutively, but it's true what everyone above has said--it's worth it! I went to 3 colleges and don't regret choosing to live in such different places, even with all the loneliness I may have felt at times. And believe it or not, someone else out there needs you to be their friend as much as you need that person! Good luck with adjusting and making new friends this time around.

ali said...

Noelle-
We just loved having you for Easter and hope you can come over more often...boy am I lonely without Lehi around and he doesn't even talk much (ha ha). Mateo just adores you and Chloe felt comfortable with you right away, two great signs that you are exceptionally likeable. I hope you know that you can call on us anytime to come over, go explore, etc etc....i like having someone to go with me and the kids to explore and extra set of hands is always welcome. My friends were all so very pleased and impressed in meeting you and I hope you had a good time meeting all of them too. I left home at 16 and traveled and lived all over the map learning to be alone is both empowering and humbling and you will need both to survive this crazy adventure called life. Much love and joy even though you are probably studying or working...not always a source of joy. Oh well, come visit again.