GEM LIFE: Origins

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Once upon a time I was a missionary. At summer training. Which is like high school combined with summer camp while fundraising 100% of my salary and not having a permanent address. It had its ups and downs. One day at summer training, I was having a crisis (okay, recurring daily crisis) about how I did not have a lot of friends and did not really feel like I belonged at training. I knew I was supposed to be there, and I was decently happy and definitely content and fulfilled, but just not socially super busy. I think the fact that none of my college friends were missionaries made me feel left out, just because the mish culture felt different from my close-knit college friends.

ANYWAY. One day I was voicing these concerns (my lack of social life, essentially) to my fake-teammate-turned-real-teammate, Jess, who had a LOT more friends than I.

Jess and me during her grad school graduation weekend. 
Jess used her positive thinking skills to put a new perspective on the situation. "Katelyn," she said, "here's the thing about us. We are like gems. Hidden gems. People don't really know us that well, but when they get to know us, they are like 'YES! They are a gem!' and they know that they want to be friends with us."

That analogy has followed me the past few years and has inspired the title for this little corner of the interwebs. Through grade school and high school and college I often felt like people make friends so much more quickly than I did. In reality, it just takes a little while for people to know me and for me to know them. And I'm a keeper. That's what it boils down to. My year at Southern was a year of #GEMLIFE discovery with wonderful "gems" around me. People often aren't what they appear to be.

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