29 August, 2007

Coward Pt. II

So you take a chance.

You bite the bullet.

You try to be noble, to be responsible. You take one for the team, for the world.

Who are you to waste your life being happy?

So you steel yourself for adulthood and make yourself sick in the process. You want to die. You can’t eat because there’s no room in your stomach. Your body is as unwilling to let go as your mind.

You can’t relax.

You can’t let go of the worry, the fear.

It would be easier with a partner, either professionally or socially. A teammate to share the responsibility of your life with.

You’re good at making decisions, but you don’t like having the last say. It’s easier with someone more sure, someone to refer to.

You don’t like stopping the buck.

You don’t like holding the destinies of other people’s children in your hands.

Somehow, you know it will be different with your own children, you’ll definitely have a partner then. And they come one at a time. And you love them more than yourself even before they are born. You love them now.

But you don’t have them now.

So you have to do something else.

Because you feel guilty just waiting around.

So you take a chance.

But you still can’t relax.

26 August, 2007


Do you know what it is to walk through life knowing that mediocre for you is still better than what most people can produce? So you never rise to your full potential because you don’t need to.

It’s only a half victory to be praised for what you know is really just a pathetic attempt, a last-minute, scrapped together, half-hearted effort.

Even though you know it is good, it’ll never be as good as you knew it could be. Any accomplishment is over-shadowed by what it should have been, by what you know you are capable of.

Is it wrong to be used to seeming amazing to most others? To be apathetic about your own impressiveness? You don’t like caring what most people think about you, it protects you from their negativity, but it also makes their praise seem less valuable.

But you still go on knowing your potential and value....you just never seem to do anything about it. And you wonder if you’ll ever really do something amazing, truly amazing. You have suspicion of your own greatness, but you don’t know if you’ll ever realize it. You slog along in the ditches of humanity, feeling alone in the concourses of people you love. You’re happy, but never really content.

You could break free, you could go climb a mountain, or start a rebellion, but it would be a lot of work, and it would take far too long.

You don’t need glory, but it would be nice to feel alive with purpose instead of potential. You don’t need accomplishment, but if you’ve never truly felt it, can you really know?

And then you realize that you are a coward. You are afraid of working too hard, of feeling too much. You are disdainful of human realities, but by refusing to partake, you deny yourself and all mankind the blessed prospect of your creations.

Whatever they might be.

22 August, 2007

To my fellow Latter-Day Saints: He may be ignorant, but he's got a few points....

Okay, my fellow Latter-Day Saints:

This Blog:


Was posted in response to the question: "Can a Mormon get elected President of the U.S."

The author makes many ridiculous, ill-informed statements. It is probable that most of the Mormon doctrine he knows has been given to him third-hand. He makes generalizations that really apply only to HIS experiences, or his "friends."

So why am I concerned? Because, there is NO WAY that ALL of these things are lies/misunderstandings. This man has faced ignorance and PREJUDICE from his Mormon neighbors.

It stinks. But it happens. We never said we were perfect, we just said our doctrine is.

When was the last time you were the only LDS person in a room full of people? How did you feel? What if it was like that all the time? When was the last time you were with someone who was the only person who was NOT LDS in the room? This is rare for some.

Do you remember? Was it difficult? Were you polite? I'm sure you were, but you can still be polite and IGNORANT. Did you use LDS Lingo that left them confused? Did you speak about "The Church" as if it is the only one in existence?

Yes we believe we have the fullness of the Gospel, but do we discount all other religions and the good they teach/do?

Do we remember that other people were not raised like us, that they have different backgrounds, and should not be held accountable to OUR notions?

Is it a sin for someone to drink a glass of wine when they have never been taught not to? Is it our job to make sure they feel uncomfortable doing so, just because we don't agree? (If you have a lasting relationship with such a person, say they're in your family, they should know your feelings on the subject, after all, if they care about you, they don't want to make YOU uncomfortable. A relationship is a two-way street)

We are supposed to view people as who they are, not the choices they make.

So is the author of the blog above wrong for thinking Mitt Romney would make a poor president, merely because he is Mormon? YES.

So is it ALSO wrong for Latter-Day Saints to vote FOR Romney, merely because he is Mormon? YES.

I haven't decided who I will be voting for in upcoming elections. As a political Moderate, it is rather difficult to back one candidate over all others.

So what's my point? Please remember:

1. Be an example of understanding and a promoter of diversity in your speech, actions, and attitudes.

2. Don't judge a book, friend, or candidate by it's cover. Get to know each as an individual. Find out what they stand for, and allow them the privilige to be who they are.

Isn't that what you would want?

21 August, 2007

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." ~Eleanor Roosevelt

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." ~Eleanor Roosevelt

I've been thinking recently about why it is that I am a happy and confident person. I look around me, and see so many others who do not like themselves. As a teenager, this always confused and saddened me. What makes me different; what makes me special? I feel like I've always been this way....Is it personality? Is it a spiritual gift?

I was raised in a home where I was loved, appreciated, and encouraged toward individuality; I was happy because I didn't have reason to be unhappy. I never felt pressure to conform to the views and expectations of others, but this is not enough. What is the essence of that which has carried me beyond adolescence and into an adulthood fraught with pain, stress, and (occasionally) even sorrow?

My earliest awareness of this "thing" inside of me, this confidence, occurred when I was ten or eleven. I was in Primary and a scripture was read. I liked it. It stayed with me so I looked it up when I got home that day (an unusual occurrence) and read the following:
"For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life."
In that moment, I knew some things. I knew that God not only existed, but also loved me. I knew that He knew me, as an individual, and that He had a plan for me.

That moment marked a gathering of all that my parents had engineered for me. The peace, happiness, and spontaneity of my childhood stood as a support for the truths that I had learned.

I was important, special even. I was unique. I was me. God made me that way, and He needed me that way.

This moment, along with joys, successes, trials overcome, and the companionship of the spirit in my life have formed this “thing” inside of me. I realize now that it is a testimony.

I have a testimony of myself. I know that I am true. I know that I am good….and right. I know that I am the way that I am, in the place and with the people that I am, for a purpose….for a reason. My Heavenly Father wants, and needs me to be myself.

By embracing this knowledge, I have embraced myself, not physically, but my body and spirit, my whole soul. I love myself.

Now, while there is no doubt that I believe myself to be special, important even, I know that the same can, and should, be said about you, each of you. It frightens me to think that someone may read this, and not understand that this also applies to them. I have a testimony of myself, and it has helped me to have a testimony of you.

Usually “Self-Esteem Lessons” are reserved for teenagers, but you do not gain this testimony automatically. You don’t get it by growing up, graduating, getting married, or moving out. In fact, how much more difficult will it be when you have a spouse or children to take care of?

Please, please, PLEASE. If you feel shaky in your testimony of yourself, do not let another day go by without pleading with Heavenly Father to help you gain one. I don’t know how long it will take, a day, a week, or a year, but make a goal to do it, to know yourself, and to love yourself.

We all have reasons that hold us back. This is a scary thing. Once you know who you are, you will see all that you can accomplish, and then you will be responsible to live up to that version of yourself. I’ve been there, reluctant to begin that journey. But, as I heard Elder Groberg say on Sunday, “Hypocrisy is pretending to be something you’re not, but it is also pretending you cannot become what you really can.” Don’t be a hypocrite! Jump into that never-ending pattern of self-rediscovery that will force you to grow and grow. Don’t listen to fear, it comes from Satan. He wants you to focus on how hard and scary it is, but he never mentions the rewards. Don’t forget that it is worth it! When you are doing what’s right, growing and learning, you feel amazing! You feel happy, and best of all you have the spirit with you. That simple peace is the best feeling in the world.

Beyond this, like Enos, once you have gained a testimony of yourself, you will grow to consider your family, friends, and people. Then, your concern will move to your enemies. Can you imagine having a testimony of an enemy? That they are the way they are, and that that’s a GOOD thing? I don’t believe we can have that kind of empathy without having a very strong testimony of ourselves (along with a huge dose of Humility and Charity, the pure love Christ).

This brings me to the idea that brought me to write this tirade. It is popular to blame others (the media, the public school system, and of course MEN) for our own lack of confidence. While we ARE affected by our environments, in the end WE must take responsibility for ourselves and not rely on what others do, or do not, say.

While I believe that it is wrong to objectify women (or anyone), I think it is also wrong to blame men and society for the way we feel about ourselves. It is up to us to "stick it to the man." We (men and women) must work for a change, but we (women) must FIRST take responsibility for our own feelings. Eleanor Roosevelt (one of my favorite historical figures) said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I truly believe this.

It is difficult to let the world wash off your back, sometimes we feel less like rubber and more like glue, but a testimony of ourselves is the most effective tool against such days.

This last year has been the most difficult of my life. I’ve had health problems, occasional hormonal depression, and my first broken heart. Looking forward, I see few dating or job prospects, no real security. There are times when I am overwhelmed, times when I’m unhappy. I sink, but I NEVER drown. There is still that “thing,” that testimony that won’t let me give up, that keeps me fighting for myself. I get discouraged, but I know I am worth it.

*For God….John 3:16: http://scriptures.lds.org/en/john/3

*Enos: http://scriptures.lds.org/en/enos/1

*Charity: Moroni 7:47: http://scriptures.lds.org/en/moro/7

Poem: Ready for More

Ready for More

I looked around at all the games

The shallow minds and youthful glances

They boggled my mind with their crazy choices

It didn't make any sense at all

And I said, I think I'm ready…

I am ready

For something better

Something bigger than this

I looked around at all the boys

A few actually worth a second look

This cheered me up and threw me down

And made me feel like a normal kid

And I thought, maybe I'm ready…

I am ready

For something better

Something bigger like this

I looked around at my old friend

I saw him with new eyes that day

He taught me joy that couldn't last

It somehow is better that way

I guess I wasn't ready…

I am ready

For something better

Something bigger than me

I looked around and saw my mom

I couldn't tell her what was in my heart

I wondered how, I could out grow

The woman who created me

So I think I must be ready…


I am ready

For something better

Something bigger than that

Waste no more time

Being comfortable

I am ready

Ready for more…

I am ready

I hope I'm ready…

My Dreams

A friend asked me today what my dreams were....she really made me think, so I'll post some of my rambly ponderings.

My dreams? I have many. I have a teaching credential and I love working with children, but it's hard to know what I will do for them. I get so drained by a whole class, but I am energized by working one-on-one or in small groups. Maybe that's because I want my own children so badly, but it's also my personality. I go a little nuts from all the bustle of a classroom, and I have to constantly battle between the desire to allow my students more freedom (stick it to the man!) and the desire to keep the classroom orderly and quiet (mass hysteria, anyone?).

I'm very excited, because yesterday I saw a listing for a teaching position that is for a Teacher in a program that works with children who are English Language Learners. I love the idea of working with a few kids each hour, children that really need extra help. I don't know if that's what I will continue doing, but I know I'll find my niche.

I also dream about my own children. I have a tendency to live in the future, and it's hard to teach other people's children without thinking about how you will raise your own.

Have you ever shared one of your favorite foods or books with a child and then watched them grow to love it, too? That's what teaching really is about, helping children to discover what they've been missing in the world around them, and helping them to value the unseen, unthought, and untried.

I guess that's why I love talking so much! Cause I get to share and discover with another person. If you've ever had a three hour conversation with me, you know what I mean.

The more I care about a person, the more I love these times, so it's no wonder I get impatient for my own family.

I also dream about improving my talents. I want to experience things, sing more, act more, write more, push beyond my abilities. In some ways I feel untapped.

That's why I'm so excited for this play! It's a little cheesy, because it's for families, but it's meaningfully simple. My character, Barbara, represents each member of the audience. She starts in Heaven, comes to earth, lives her life, and then goes home. She struggles, like I have been lately, with a sense of not being enough, not getting to the point, not finding her purpose and achieving her goals. There are so many distractions.... If you don't want to wait for August, you can watch this video on YouTube. Just be warned that the costume I will wear is VERY different from this girl's:


Thanks for letting me ramble on like this, it is good to take your dreams out and really look at them once in a while, to make sure you're doing right by them.

Have you ever seen Lady in the Water? It's a wonderful movie about dreams and how important they are. It's pretty metaphorical, so if that's not your cup of tea, you might find it lacking, but I love it. It made me realize that we have a responsibility to PROTECT and NOURISH our dreams.

Think about that, and let me know....

What are your dreams?

Poem: Viscosity


Rising near the surface
Volcanic activity
Soul spilling forth

Out of control
Or truly honest?

Pyroclastic techniques
Brutal, but free
Till I slowly let it build again