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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Why You Shouldn't Be "Secretly Sad" For Anyone Who Gets Engaged or Married In Their Twenties

I had a Facebook friend post an article the other day titled Why I'm Secretly Sad For Women Who Get Engaged In Their Twenties.

Let me begin by saying I have no harsh feelings toward the person who posted the article whatsoever. I respect the way she discussed things with me and I think she's awesome for doing it with class despite our different views.

Anyway, the article was from Vogue's online publication and I was interested to see why this stranger felt secretly sad for me.

Basically the author tells her story of being engaged at 24 and married at 33. Because of this, she says, "So I know the difference a little time can make."

She wrote about no longer being able to chase her dream when she was engaged the first time, no longer able to meet a "mysterious stranger" at parties in SoHo.

"Then, I could see marriage only as a series of things I was giving up: the identity I had yet to forge, freedom, a career, the chance to sip martinis and work for a glossy magazine, and, yes, to stay out all night kissing a mysterious stranger... I now see marriage as a series of things I have gained: a partner, a lover, a best friend, a man who always hangs an umbrella on the doorknob when it rains, and the promise that I will never again have to kiss a mysterious stranger. That is the difference a decade can make."

A girl from my high school that was a year below me in school commented on my friend's post. It was clear from her photos that she just got married. She said something along the lines of 'no pity necessary' and that 'God's plans are different for everyone.'

I liked her comment because hey, it's true. A day later there were a few more responses from the poster (who thought I and the others who liked the comment were upset) and others so I decided to speak up.

I said I wasn't angry and argued that sometimes people have many experiences that allow them to grow drastically at a young age. I don't think you can truly put an age on growth, which is why I disagree with the article. And I think it's a common misconception that you lose your identity when you get married, when really it's all a choice.

She responded with "I undoubtedly know that people can grow in any situation, but, I personally believe that waiting until we are older and cultivating experiences will help us to figure out who we are before we slip the ring on our finger rather than waking up one morning next to our husband wondering if we should have waited and hoping we didn't miss out on anything."

Which is where the true problem lies, I think.

I don't think the fault lies in the decision to marry, but in the decisions that follow. Sticking everyone that falls under an age category is unfair. I think society tries to push the idea that you can't continue to cultivate experiences and learn who you are when you choose to be married. I think we can agree that plane tickets to distant lands don't automatically cultivate experiences - it's what you do while you're there. The same applies to marriage. The same applies to anything, really. It's all what we choose to do that determines how much we grow - and people who choose not to grow and experience new things or jump on opportunities life and God provides for them, now, those are the people I feel sad for - regardless of a ring on the finger.

Sometimes it hurts when people think those that are married aren't living their lives to the fullest when truly I feel I'm seeing a whole other side of it all, expanding my views and experiences twice as fast as I was before marriage.

I ended with those points and thanked the poster for discussing gracefully (which doesn't happen to often on Facebook) and cheered "go free speech!" hah.

But the truth is, this discussion doesn't seem like it'll be going away for a long time. Society just loves to try to knock people like me down and try to make one of the choices that has made me happiest seem wrong.

In sign language, when something bad happens to you and you explain it to the person you're signing to, they'll often respond with a sad face and the sign for "pity."

The same sign is used to mean: sympathize-with, grace, compassion, pity, and (the rather sarcastic) phrase "poor-baby."

Because nothing bad happened to me for you to "sympathize with" or offer me grace for, I feel like the feelings of "secret sadness" toward those married in their twenties are more on the "poor baby" sarcastic side.

And I'd like it to stop. Now.

For someone to pity me when I'm far from asking for it doesn't feel good. For others who I've spoken to that have been married in their 20s feels the same.

We feel there's no reason to feel bad for us. If there was, or if we felt bad for ourselves, we wouldn't have gotten married.

We aren't helpless twenty-somethings. Society's idea that we can't continue to cultivate experiences and grow as individuals while being married seems an imagined, unsupported hypothesis. I'm here to testify and say that society is wrong.

Marriage is one of the bravest steps I've ever taken.

I made the choice, and I'll continue to make the choice to be happy every day.

Don't pity me, the only thing I'm sad about is your choice to do so.

K see ya.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Patience & Morgan-ly Advice

Last semester, I was hammered by the needs of one class - Comms 321, Newswriting. The other classes just needed a bit of studying or a few group meetings and I was pretty much set.

This semester, I'm working as an editor in the newsroom - editing the work of this semester's reporters from Comms 321. MY HOW THE TIDES HAVE TURNED MY FRIENDS.

Just kidding. I'm not evil or anything but I do enjoy being on the other side of the thing that consumed my life for four months.

This semester, I feel so incredibly swamped. I'm taking my first (and only) math class of my entire college career in order to fulfill my final GE class, a business class to fulfill a PR requirement, a higher-level PR class wherein the professor grades ridiculously hard (let's not even talk about that, OK?), a "moral ethics and reasoning" (or whatever) class to make sure I'm ethical (or whatever), and a World Religions class that makes me feel the least bit cultured because of the lack of knowledge I currently hold.

And every class has such. a large. caseload.
And I work (although few hours here and there) every. day.
And every class has so. much. homework.

With marriage, I got a few warnings about being patient. "You two need to be patient with one another, it's going to be a huge adjustment."

Yes, it was a large adjustment... but to be honest, we don't find it too difficult to have patience with one another - which I'm so grateful for.

We, or I.. yeah, I.. find it difficult to have patience for the other things I'm not too thrilled about. Like, school. Or work when I'm too busy with school.

I get so frustrated so quickly and I realize I'm not even in love with what I'm doing - but I'm so close to the end, that I have to finish because I know that the things I hate (busywork homework that has nothing to do with my future or tough graders or GRADES IN GENERAL) won't exist in the real world.

And I know it will be better, but I don't want to wait for it to get better to be happy.

Dallon taught the lesson for Family Home Evening last week and it was all about this lovely topic. Patience.

But it wasn't condescending at all - which I think patience is actually a touchy subject in some ways.

He talked about how patience is having hope and faith - holding on because it will get better, but having hope and faith not only to carry you through but make you more of a positive human in the meantime.

And that really resonated with me.

Why can't I find the hope and faith to carry me through school on a positive note?

So I've been working on that. And Morgan's email this week, which I won't be sharing on his mission blog because it was a personal letter to me, had something in it that hit me hard. This was my favorite letter I ever received from lil' guy elder, to be honest. Here's the exerpt:

"I got left home a lot when I was younger, so I'm not sure anyone in our family has an appropriate gauge on how much I love explosive weather. Bert, it's "I truly do love Christmas" levels. I can't count the number of instances where the floods and winds would arrive and I would kick off my shoes and go running out in the mess of all of it. It's a brilliant feeling being in bouts with the sky.  Yesterday Elder Bender and I were just getting drilled in the face with the heaviest of rain and I couldn't help but beam on through it. Bender was slipping and sliding in his too-worn-down-to-be considered shoes (he even fell and ruined his white shirt), going on how Heavenly Father was going to bless us for our efforts and how cold it was, when I was screaming in my head "THIS IS THE BLESSING!" Do you know that feeling I'm talking about? It's euphoric. It reminds me of the times I had alone, cycling through Clovis in the streets through midnight. You know how many calls I took from you from the middle of nowhere on the bike? A lot. A lot. A lot."


I'm in the midst of the blessing. School, work, sickness, frightening moments, hilarious ones, and a husband who reciprocates the huge amount of love I have for him.

This is the blessing. And I'm going to try to look for more reasons why it is.

K see ya.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

From Morgan

I had the fortune of meeting Elder Ellis of the 70 yesterday at Zone Conference (hence why I'm writing you now on Tuesday), It was a powerful meeting. He spoke on having the Spirit present during lessons; how to acquire it, how to recognize it, and how to use it. Stuff like that. I've got pages of notes. One interesting thing he said is that while taking notes at meetings, divide your paper  into 2/3r'ds with a column on the right side. On the left side is where your regular notes would go, but on the right is where revelation will be written. All those thoughts that you didn't anticipate thinking that can be solutions to all the problems you're currently facing. The Spirit speaks to us at times unexpectedly and in ways we don't fully grasp sometimes. Just all those thoughts or impressions in the revelation column might culminate into an answer for you.
Revelation is what our religion is based off of. I wish more people realized that. People ask us sometimes, "What makes your church different?" Sometimes it's a trap (wooe to the misunderstandings of the BoM) and sometimes it's genuine curiosity. Either way, I gotta answer with truth. I say something almost every time about Modern Revelation. God has not stopped talking to His children. It isn't a static relationship we have with Heavenly Father, it is constant and evolving. We can learn that for ourselves. How cool is that? How cool is it that instead of debating about theology and tradition and wild misinterpretations of scripture, we can just say, "Let's ask God." I'm consistently reminded that God's got my back, and His knowledge and foresight far exceed any one else I can ask on the planet. I love how my mission has shown me that God is Father.

Last night affirmed once again we are on the Lord's errand. I had one of the most spiritual experiences on my mission. It was absolutely electrifying. Outward manifestations of the Spirit were matched with how intimate all of our innards were being touched. Goosebumps took the place of where my arm hair normally resides, and my heart felt a million miles away,. It was so powerful, Bert. And so true. And it had nothing to do with the FHE I had intended to do when we walked into that hut. The Spirit is awesome like that. Revelation is awesome like that. I know that family felt what were saying. After closing our "spiritual thought" I looked at Elder Bender and said "Precisamos sair agora." (We need to leave now) So we closed with a prayer and let that piercing, still small voice do what it does best.

 I know I felt it. I know they did as well. So we'll see how that goes. It's up to them to follow up on their answer from God.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

While You Were Away. 1/15

Hi buddo,

I skipped the second month of this November Resolution already... so perhaps you can tell life has been a little busy around the home front. Sorry for no December playlist.

School started, Christmas happened, yim birdai happened, I was able to Skype with you for a bit  on Christmas Eve but didn't ask too many questions for reasons you remember. Love you, brother.

Although still busy, yesterday was MLK Jr. Day and there was no school, so I thought I'd get down to my roots and search for new music again. I love it. Thanks for reminding me to do what I love in simple ways.

Anyway, my lips are chapped and I can't stop picking them because I'm a weird soul, I keep eating a lot of bread because I like bread, and I choose to use the oxford comma here because I can't at work.
(Editing at The Universe takes its toll on your desire to write, so perhaps I'll use as many commas as I can. Joking. Hi Steve Director of the Newsroom Guy.)

But I'm so happy. Family does that to ya.

And you've also inspired me to write more since you said you'd be reading my blog when you get home. Can't disappoint my brudderlady.

Love you. Here's some good stuff.

Mesita - Pheonix Album
Heard You're Happy reminds me of How to Live by Bears in the same kind of "look what I'm doing without you I don't care about you but I totally do" kind of a way. Which is not applicable to me these days (ya marriage ya lyfe) but is a good one nonetheless.

Matching Lovers seems to also be a testament to this. I think Mesita is having a tough time with yim luv lyfe.

But those times make for good tunes, so he's workin' it.

Good for him.

But my favorite from this album is actually titled, "An Old Throw-away From 2011."
Simple, old-school, beautiful Mesita we grew to love simultaneously for similar reasons. The lyrics are relatable but personal.
I think you'll like it too.

Woodkid - Ghost Lights
Yeah. I'm not sure I need to convince you to press play on this one after Iron.
Patience & Prudence -Tonight You Belong To Me
Dallon and I danced to a cover of this as our first dance in Clovis... before we broke out and danced to Poison kind of like Turk in that one episode of Scrubs seen here:
But really, we love this song and I think that old school lovin' Morganzo will love it too. Perhaps after you see American Horror Story, too. We'll talk about dat later.
Kaya Curtis - Grand Central Station Was Blue
I don't like girl singers usually, but I like this song a lot. It has hints of Lana Del Ray without being overly annoying Lana Del Ray-ish.
Can you tell I don't like Lana Del Ray.
Her other songs get real Lana Del Ray ish though so just stick to dis juan.
K see ya, brother.
Love you. Thanks for your kind words.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Hindsight 20/20

I often have these weird situations in my life where a word will pop up in more than one place, in entirely different situations - and it will stick out to me.

When I start to notice that happening, I start to realize that maybe I have something to learn from it - at least something I should be thinking about.

The past few weeks, it's been more than just a word weighing on my mind. It's a phrase.

"Hindsight is 20/20."

I cannot even estimate the number of times I've heard that recently.. and each time I hear it, I believe it less and less.

For those unfamiliar with the phrase, I'll let our good ol' friends from Urban Dictionary enlighten ya:

"Phrase used to describe the fact that it is easy for one to be knowledgeable about an event after it has happened.

IE: An individual has a realization about the event that should have been obvious all along, yet they didn't catch on because they were acting in the heat of the moment."

AKA when someone realizes they've done something wrong in the past, they would have changed it so that it would not have happened.

Mistakes are easy to spot, often because of the regret or sadness they bring about. Sometimes you can tell in the moment when a mistake is being made. Hindsight isn't necessary for those kinds of things. And there are obvious things people would change after looking back... murder, etc.(sorry too much Law & Order forgive me).

The place I get stuck in when thinking about the concept of hindsight being 20/20 are those grey areas.

I guess I've grown to have a soft spot for some mistakes simply because I've learned monumental things climbing out of the holes I dug for myself.
Lessons I don't think I could've learned without those mistakes, without those people, without sincere regret or sympathy or whatever I felt.

I guess without sincerity, period.. lessons that stick aren't learned.
That may just be the way that I am.

On top of that, I think the emotions surrounding every mistake I've made have brought about a much deeper appreciation for life. I don't look back and imagine what I could've done instead, because I'm grateful I learned lessons and felt things the way I was allotted.

It makes me want to scream that life is beautiful because life is not easy and we're given all of these intricate feelings that have the ability to intertwine with others' or go it alone and explode or shrink to a small beat reverberating every now and then and we're all learning what the heck to do with them!

So when I look back and realize I could have made the perfect choice because I understand how things turned out, I would not change a thing. I wasn't perfect then, and I'm certainly not perfect now, but I'll take those mistakes and learn from them in the future. If I never experienced them, what's there to learn from that will really stick?

It doesn't mean I didn't feel sorrow for the things I had chosen at the time.

It just means I value my imperfections and my role as a human. I recognize that imperfection is necessary for me to learn the things I need to.
To be better. And for me and my beliefs, to become perfect eventually like Christ - through Christ - through his Atonement he wants me to use to repent and grow.
For the little mistakes or the big ones.

Mistakes have to happen if you ever want to grow. Please, don't be so hard on yourself. It's how we become better.

I feel a lot of love right now.

K see ya.