I've been back about a week.
What have I learned?!
At the start, I was so used to hearing people ask me how I was "adjusting".
The word "adjust" is definitely NOT the right way of describing how I truly feel about being home from my mission.
I don't believe in "adjusting". I only believe in "progressing" and "continuing".
When you return from serving a mission, you find yourself in a lot of uncomfortable circumstances. You come home to the world you left 18-24 months ago.
Your siblings have grown. Your parents may have changed. Your friends have moved on. However, I believe the greatest difference is the change you find in yourself.
Within a few days of arriving home, I attended a wedding reception of one of my closest friends. She and another group of my best friends were present. I was overjoyed to see all of their faces, but at the same time, I was shocked by the fact that most of my friends got married while I was on my mission.
I didn't want to dance.
I didn't want to hear the music.
I didn't want to talk to anyone of the opposite gender...
I'm basically the stereotypical returned missionary. I know there are things I need to get used to, but there should definitely NOT be any compromise to my standards.
Another side to coming back from the mission: You get to see how your fellow missionary friends get back into the gist of things. Some of them seem to go back to the way they were before the mission, as if the mission hadn't changed them a bit.
Some believe that they have to "adjust", that somehow, it is normal and expected of them to lower their standards, start dating, and forget all the standards they set for themselves while serving.
It seems as if the world has been prompting me to just "adjust" back to the way I was, but in all honesty, THAT is exactly what I know is NOT the thing to do.
I firmly believe that God intended us to be on a continual progression.
Just because I don't have my name tag, a white handbook, and a companion telling me what the best choices are and what I need to do, it doesn't mean that I can just lower my standards for some "ego" or some "name".
I guess this is what I'm trying to say: I don't believe in "adjusting". I believe in PROGRESSION, IMPROVEMENT, GROWTH...
NOT decrease, not digression.
Think about it.