Firstly, I would like to thank all of your for your understanding. when I posted this journal at the beginning of the month (which feels like forever ago), I was bracing for negative feedback. But, I was pleasantly surprised to receive so much warm support. The advice was very helpful as well
As great as all of that is... it makes it even harder for me to leave (even if that "leave" is a temporary
two years). I want you guys to know how much I appreciate all of you, and that I'm going to miss you dreadfully
But, I'm still going
. At 7:00am tomorrow I'll be on a plane to the next chapter of my life... and I'm excited to meet it
The offer still stands that, if you would like, I can give you my address to send me letters. My mom will be monitoring my notes while I'm away to give that information to anyone who asks for it. I'd love to hear from you
To read about the details of my trip, look bellow. Everything still remains the same.
On January 25th, I'll be leaving for some training before ultimately ending up in the south of France where I will be serving a two year mission for my church.
I've actually known that I'd be leaving on a mission this year for a number of months, but it wasn't until late September that I knew it would be France. I've kinda left that part of my life separate from my art... but, since it's coming upon us (in 20 days or so
) I thought it might be more prudent to make an announcement instead of just disappearing.
I didn't mean to leave you guys (many of which I consider real friends) in the dark so long. But, to be honest, this is the internet. And the internet isn't always kind about the treatment of beliefs or personal decisions... and I didn't want to have to deal with that sort of abuse while I was preparing to go on something I truly believe in.
So, I'll be here for a bit to answer any questions you might have... but, I'll try to cover the basics here:Where "Exactly" will you be going?
My mission is called the "Lyon, France Mission" and it's boundaries include from the border with Spain (the Pyrenees Mountain Range), to the Swiss and Italian borders; and from the Southern Coast of France up to past Lyon. Also included in my mission will be a small sliver of Switzerland (almost to Bern), Monaco, and the Island of Corsica.
Does anyone watching me live in these areas? Do you have any advice for someone planning to live there for a few years Do you have to learn French? Do you speak French?
I will be expected to learn the French language- which sounds like a tall order- But, I've taken four years of it in School, and before I go I will take part in a nine week training course. I've also purchased the Rosetta Stone French Program to study on my own before I go. I feel like it will be tough, but I'm confident that I'll learn it somehow
. I have a friend who went to the Philippines with absolutely no prior experience (besides the training they give) and he can speak Tagalog (the native tongue of the Philippines) fluently now.
If you speak French, I'd absolutely love any advice you have Why did you decide to do this?
For personal reasons (that I won't get too much into) but, mostly because I feel I can do some good in this world. Also, I took four years of French in school for a reason. I love culture, I love to learn about new cultures and experience the world from different perspectives. Between my Freshman and Sophomore years of High School I went on a trip with People To People: Student Ambassadors to Europe; our trip covered six countries (France included) over 20 days. I've always wanted to go back, and better understand even one culture that I experienced... this is my chance to do just that.What will happen to your DA Account?
Nothing. I'm going to leave it up... but I won't have access to it like I do now, nor will I have my tablet and Photoshop to make and post artwork. I will be taking a sketchbook with me though, to use as a sort of visual journal.
I've talked with my mom about maybe sending stuff home every so often that she can post for me... but, no promises. In all honesty, there won't be much activity from me for quite a while after I leave. And, if anything does come up, it won't be the cool, colorful stuff I do now... but everyday sort of things. I'm not going to France for fun or free time, I'm going to work and experience.
That said, I think it would be neat to put those visual journal pictures up. I could talk a bit about the people I meet and the experiences I have. Tell me what you think
And, I WILL be coming back. I fully intend to return to DA after my mission... it's the only social media site where I feel I can really interact and add to the community.How can I contact you while you're out?
I'm not going to post my Address on here (for security reasons). And, I don't expect a lot of you to want to write me... but if you do really want to send me letters, note me asking for it, and I can reply to you with my Mission Office Address before I leave. I'll see if my mom can do that for me after.
I would like to hear from you guys while I'm out... you can tell me how awesome Korra is, or complain about it's getting pushed back again, etc (if I'm lucky, it won't be out until after I get back
). Of the things I'm going to miss about my life, my connection with all of the great people on this site is going to be one of the biggest (next to being able to understand the language
). You guys are really awesome
I'll still be making art up until I leave. I'd like to finish my Avatar Project before I go, but I doubt that could really happen (I'm eight away from finishing it
I'd really like to thank all of you who watch me, and favorite my art (no matter how bad it is sometimes). I've dealt with confidence issues in the past... and reading your comments really helps me through the tough times in my life.
There are a number of people on here that I consider friends. So many, in fact, that I think making a list wouldn't do them all justice. I try to reply to every comment I receive, and even though they might just be simple thank you
's... I want you guys to know that I do read them and recognize the names that show up often.
Thank you for your support and understanding. I'll update this journal before I leave with any more information.
Thanks for reading