i wrote this a few weeks ago, but it deserves a place on this blog

Ten weeks in.
I have have been back in Champaign- Urbana for 10 weeks. I’ve been working as the Senior Desk Clerk position for about 10 weeks. And, I have been doing the class thing all over again for about 8 weeks. 
I have gone home twice (maybe thrice). I have missed my two brothers more than any other time in my life. I have seen my extended family almost fall apart, only to stand up under the shadow of the Most High. I have seen the bilingual communication barrier come crashing down with the power of love and Jesus Christ, but I have also seen it rise again due to pride and haughtiness.  
I have chosen to miss out on Florida. I have never been more scared for my brother and my cousins as they make their way through the high school years. I know the pain all too well.
I have seen my sister more often than in the past 2 years. Yet, I wish it was still more.
So far, i have cried less about big things and have cried more about simple things. Somehow, it has allowed me to feel more. 
I have gone grocery shopping more times than I can remember, and I have spent more money than I can count. I must rely on a kind soul to offer me a ride somewhere so i can, “get stuff done”. I have never missed Ken (my car) so much
I have managed to make it 8 weeks without using the unnaturally expensive laundry machines down the hall.
I have interacted more closely with my roommates/friends and have learned to better love their quirks. 
I have taken quizzes and bubbled in exams. I have written papers on subjects that do not stir my soul. I have written out labs on methods that explain the unnecessary.
In these 8 weeks, I have learned ASL grammar, and tried not to let it interfere with English grammar, so, it does not confuse me with Spanish grammar.
I have contemplated graduating early, graduating on time, and not graduating at all.
At one time, my Kronos timecard had 29 extra hours that had to be spread out over multiple pay periods.
I have printed, laminated, hole-punched and cut more papers than necessary. I have never been more excited about color coding & organization. I have approved way too many substitution requests. My phone rings at the darkest hours because something happened and someone is freaking out.
My name has been shortened to Yess because sometimes it is too tiring to write out Yessenia, and Gmail has become my worst enemy and my best friend. 
My biggest accomplishment in these 10 weeks is learning to communicate more effectively by using the word, “slash”,  as a transition whilst speaking.
This idea works well because instead of pausing and fumbling for a socially acceptable (slash) creative way to connect two totally different thoughts, you just combine them into one BIG ”run-on” thought, with the word “slash”  scattered throughout.
Yep, ten weeks away from home and 8 weeks into this new semester that we call, “getting an education”, has given me the concept of “slash”. 
This weekend will be the first time in 8 weeks that I will be completely alone (almost). 
My sister will be in WI. Two of my roommates will be at a retreat. My family will be in Florida. My two best friends are deployed. Ava and Ally will also be gone. Teen will be home as well.  
And you know what?
I am excited! Not because these people distract me or they are a problem, but because I am just ready to be alone.

I have been fortunate enough in the past two years to live alone— at least for half the semester—, and the Lord has worked marvelously through that. My biggest fear for this third year was in my ability to maintain my “closet life” (with the Lord— Matthew 6:6). 
I have learned that it takes discipline to do so. It takes prioritizing, but it also takes balance.
For the past two years, I’ve was fed by the Lord in amounts that I do not deserve. I think most of it was for healing since my heart and soul were so wounded.
This year, I have been blessed with opportunities to share my experience and knowledge of the Lord with the people that surround me.
This year I value the closet time more than ever because it is out of overflow that I desire to speak, not out of necessity. Without personal connection with the Lord, without pain, without wrestling, without listening there is no overflow, just obligation.
At the same time, it has become difficult to set aside time to solely dwell on/ in the Lord, when someone is always around or something is always happening.(Those things in themselves are opportunities to glorify the Lord, but they do not do so if they take His place).
So, Laura, Mayra, Shelby, Ava, Ally, Teen, Mom, Dad, Manny, Adriel, Brian and Isaiah.
Thank you for leaving. I need my cup to be refilled and set on overflow mode, so that I can serve you better. 
Thank you for giving me the time I need to learn how to better combine my affections/desires, with my actions/intents. Thank you for showing me that my life and my Jesus should always be connected with a “slash”.


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