Friday, July 22, 2011

strength in numbers

We are human. We are imperfect.
These two qualities connect us more than any other, but they are also the very lines that pulls us apart. Our inability to understand the imperfections and human tendencies of others is what creates conflict and strife.
We seek for understanding – we yearn for someone who will tell us that what we feel, what we think, and what we do is not abnormal; that we are not strange. We seek for empathy, not sympathy; reception not acceptance. We seek for love.
And yet…when we come across someone who has felt what we’ve felt in some way, or done what we have done, we cast them away. We view them as mockeries to our pain, or even an aching reminder of the brutalities of life.
We build walls around our pain, our suffering, our mistakes…We hide behind stones of concealment, because we are sure we alone know; We alone understand what it feels like – what it means to be us.
This is the hard truth of it all:
There is only one who knows. Only one who understands. Only one who can even comprehend the logic and reason behind each action – each choice we make.
And it is not us.

How often do we fail to recognize our own behavioral instincts, until it is too late? It is one of the very reasons we slip up. It is the core to our imperfections.
We rely too much on ourselves.
It is not wrong to place faith in our own ability to choose right from wrong. Agency is the greatest gift ever given to man, and our free will is what makes life on earth possible. We have strength and power beyond anything we could ever imagine, but even those of us who recognize this are scared. Afraid to act, afraid to reach that potential…afraid of success. We are more scared of our ability to do good than our ability to do evil – because it is the harder option. More opposition, more strength, more desire… Our human nature is to take the easier path, so most of us do.
And when we do, we begin to look down upon ourselves, because we know we can do better. Deep inside of us we know there is the ability to stand on our own two feet. We know because we’ve done it before.
We have all chosen the harder path. It was a decision made long ago, when we chose life on Earth, when we rejected Satan’s plan…We set ourselves apart from the rest. We chose a mortal life – an opportunity to learn and to grow. An opportunity to feel, sorrow and pain – yes, but also joy, happiness, relief…love. We chose this!
And we can chose it again.
But not alone.
Never alone.

                I’m pretty sure I’m just rambling now, but I do believe firmly in the power of companionship. The power of friends and family – the power of just being together, as a team. When we work alone, no matter how strong we think we are, or how strong we really are, we will always be more prone to pain, hurt, anger…sin. All of Satan’s tactics work stronger on the separated – the individuals.
As painful as it may be to seek a confidant, find someone to rely on – it is the only road that leads to perfection.

Separate, we are human. Separate we are imperfect.

But together – together we are children of God.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I seem to be living my life in reverse. I was born a girl - that much is certain. I've got pink baby dresses and buckets of dolls to prove it. But growing up in a household of boys quickly altered my personality. I played with ninja turtles and power rangers much more than barbies and house sets. In fact - I didn't even own my own barbie till I was 11, and I think I played with it twice. I never wore makeup, except when playing "pretend". I never wore dresses if I could help it. I changed my favorite color from blue to pink when everyone else said their favorite was blue (I wanted to be different), but almost as soon as I did that I switched it again; pink was much too girly. I switched from violin to cello, because violin was a "sissy" instrument, and for most of my life my hair has never been long enough to touch my shoulders. These may seem like silly things, but nevertheless they made me much less a "girl" than the rest of my female friends. I have distinct memories of girls in elementary school getting mad at me for hanging out all the time with the boys they liked. I had no problem talking to them; if I wanted to play kickball with the boys during recess I would, instead of worrying about if they liked me or not, or if I made a fool of myself. I never understood why the girls were upset with me for "hanging out" with guys until middle school. I didn't even have a real "crush" until middle school. Scratch that. I didn't really like guys till High School, and even then they were friends first, and "crushes" next. 
When I go back and look at my journals growing up, I have entries before my mom was pregnant with both Luke and Joe. Both times I remember writing about wanting a baby sister, and how much fun that would be, but when two boys followed I never complained or wished otherwise. I don't think I've ever regretted being the only girl. It has perks - my own room at 11, my own clothes (at least for the most part), my own 'unofficial' bathroom. I love all 5 of my brothers (haha, jk. All 6), and I wouldn't trade the experiences I've had with them for anything.
But I'd be lying if I said I've remained the same. I'd be lying if I said I was happy still, being alone in the mix.

It's almost laughable how "girly" I've become.
Obsessed with fashion, art, boys, chick flicks, romance stories, make up (even though I still don't wear it), dresses, 'feelings', fairy tales, drama, naming children, watching children, playing with children, children in general, crafts, housekeeping, design, colors, flowers, scents, beauty...I mean the list goes on and on! I get embarrassed every time I think about it, because it just seems so out of character to me. I've even grown my hair out these past few months. I think it's the longest it's ever been.
And just today - I was overcome with the strongest desire I've ever had...the desire for a sister. Someone to talk to, in my own family. Someone to tell secrets to, and giggle with. Have sleepovers with. Someone to help me dress up and someone to talk to about boys. Someone to cry over cheesy movies with, and create murals for my wall was such a strange and foreign desire to me; it made me cry. Seriously, have I become the leaky faucet of the century? I almost wanted to slap my eyes silly when I felt tears falling. It's the one thing I don't think I'll ever be okay with, being a female. How much I cry.

But as I was thinking about all these strange new emotions I've been dealing with, I realized something even more unusual...something that should have been obvious from the beginning...I AM A GIRL! 

I mean, obviously, I've got some body parts that have never changed - so I've always been a girl, but I mean that I've always been a girl; always, deep down -These emotions aren't new, they were just suppressed for years, and while it may have mad growing up a bit easier for me in some regards - it's making it worse for me now, cause it's like these feelings are double what they should be. I think I feel twice as hard as I should about some things...and sometimes it makes me an emotional wreck. I'm sorry if you've ever been on the receiving end of that. I promise I'm working on mastering my mood swings. I think I've made progress this semester.

And while I've now become an odd mixture of the two - I think the one emotion that has taken strongest hold is the desire for a sister. A real, flesh and blood sister. And I'm really a selfish person, so for me to say I want someone to share everything with is saying something...

I can't go back and change time. All I can do is keep working toward a brighter future.

I don't even remember why I started this blog post now. I don't think it was to vent about being female...but that's what it turned into! heart and brain aren't quite on speaking terms right now. Brain wants to be finish up the semester; heart wants to watch bones and eat ice cream. Alas, the choices in life!

If you actually read this through to the end - I just gave you a cyber high five for being awesome. Pass it along. (The high five, not the rant).

Friday, July 15, 2011

simple joys that bring my soul to life

  • drawing pen across paper
  • looking at the moon
  • wind
  • music that sparks memories
  • laughter
  • children
  • staring at something beautiful
  • stories
  • life/earth/the world

Post-Potter Depression

Not only was the film everything I hoped it would be and more, it was ... more. So much more.
Tears rolled down my cheeks for most of the film, and the warm spirit of happiness I felt within never left - from the moment we stepped in line to the moment we collapsed on our beds I was happy. It took me even longer than usual to fall asleep. It was a film that played over and over again in my head; music that kept me thinking for hours; cinematography that had my eyes never wanting to close...

I woke this morning expecting to feel some sort of sadness, or loss and the end of such a brilliant series.

All I felt was drained.

I am not sure if it was because of the last nights events, or simply because I slept for less than 4 hours, but I was so physically (and emotionally) drained that I honestly had no desire to do anything. At all. Hannah and I drove back to Rexburg today and I have yet to accomplish anything with my day.

As I was sitting on my friends couch, trying to think of what I wanted to do, I began to recycle through a few of the old overused ideas - Play a game. Eat. Do some weekend homework. Study. Watch a movie. Talk. Sleep. Read a book.

I kept standing up and walking around trying to decide what to do with my day. I would finally sit down to do something, and 2 second into it I knew it is not what I really wanted to be doing. Finally, after getting up after a failed attempt at a nap, I realized that what I really wanted to do was grab my ipod. Music sounded good. I would listen to something peaceful. Maybe I would be able to sleep after that.

Of course, the first thing I thought of listening to was Harry Potter.
Not the music - the book.

Figures that is all I would feel like doing - sitting on a bed, listening to Jim Dale's beautiful timbre of a voice retell the stories I love...

But not tonight. Not today. That will have to wait until after school - after the semester ends. I will just make it through this week, and then I can start over again.

But you know, even after last night - I do not feel sadness - not really at all. I am not even upset that this was the final film (probably because they did such an amazing job with it), because for me Harry Potter will never die. Harry Potter will never be complete.

And not just Harry Potter - but stories in general. This is what I have chosen to become my life - for the rest of mortality. For the past 7 years I have been planning on a future where creating life - sharing worlds of words - is my day to day existence. Stories are what I live for, and for me I feel they have no end.

Harry Potter will forever live in my heart, and I pray that someday there will be another 6 year old girl, eagerly sitting on her father's lap, listening to the words I have penned just for her; the lives and the images I have seen - the hopes and the dreams I have envisioned - and that this girl will someday grow, too, into a creator of worlds and and inspirer of dreams.