Good ole days

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“I think I’m ready to go home now,” I inform my roommate Patrick, yet again, as we mix cement and shovel rocks for hours upon hours under the beating Mexican sun. It is Tuesday of our week-long mission trip to Nuevo Durango, and I already feel tired of moving rocks, eating dry tortillas, and having restless nights of sleep due to my creaky hammock and the unbearable humidity inside the small, windowless den where we stayed. With sweat dripping down my face and stinging my eyes, I continue to contemplate why I decided to come down here to this place. The more I think about it, the more I hate being here. I would much rather be back in Southern Chester County, Pennsylvania watching “The Office” reruns on my iPad. Nevertheless, I clench my shovel harder and continue to mix the cement until it’s just right.

“You want to do what?” my father exclaimed, as I sat at my dinner table, unsurprised by his reaction to my proposition. I could tell he liked the idea of me going on the mission trip, but he wasn’t too fond of the idea of the thousands of miles I had to travel to get there. I knew it would take months and months of pleading, but I was so determined to go that I never stopped bugging him about it. Finally, in mid-January, right around my birthday, he started looking into it more. He called the head of Mission Youth, started looking at plane tickets, and kept reading up on what to bring. Finally, towards the end of February, he came into my bedroom with a grin on his face and said, “You’re all set.”

Stepping foot inside my house for the first time in a week after my trip feels unexpectedly unsatisfying. Though the hot shower and warm bed felt incredibly amazing, everything else just seemed so different. I can’t tell why, but I yearn to be back in Nuevo Durango. I want to go back and play on the tile basketball court and see the hundreds of stray dogs in the village. I ache to go back and see all the little kids I met that sneakily made jabs about me and my friends in Spanish. As I lay in bed that night I came home, with my stomach still turning from the horrific food down there, I ponder as to why I couldn’t stand living there, but all the same, I hanker to go back. As I pull out my iPad and start watching the much anticipated “The Office” reruns, I find some insight through the character Andy Bernard, as he says, “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the “good old days”, before you’ve actually left them….”

Often, I’m not always going to realize how amazing something is until I’m finished with it. This allows me to understand that though some things may feel tedious, annoying, or meaningless, they’re always a crucial aspect into shaping me and modeling me into the person that I strive to be. I need to realize that when I’m older, every moment from each day, whether they are good or bad, will be recognized as the “good old days”….and it’s a good feeling knowing that I’m in the good old days before I’ve left

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