Heading for venus and still we stand tall

31 March 2014



It's the Final Countdown.

One week left before I will FINALLY slow down my pace.  For awhile.

I'm a bit unhinged right now, as I ended up sprawled out on Leslie's floor yesterday.  And when her husband gently laid a white fleece blanket over the top of me, I yelled from underneath, "THIS IS WHAT A POLAR BEAR FEELS LIKE!!"  Then I pulled the blanket off my face, "just assuming."  Chris said, "Well when you find out for sure, would you let me know?"

And then Leslie kindly let me spew out how I was convinced the world was caving in.  While we both wore our matching moccasin slippers.  And then Julie texted me that she's hit a wall too, so I raced home so we could adventure ourselves out from under the weight of the world.  But really I just ended up stealing all the cookies I could find and hiding them in the folds of my scarf, while wearing my moccasin slippers to church-attire events and shimmying out of a skirt while running through a parking lot in a rainstorm (leggings for the win).  Then I pulled out my stolen scarf cookies at a ward party, so I could film a video with some friends, reiterating our church lesson on chastity and posting it to the ward facebook page:

Stop!  Don't touch me there.
That is my NO-NO SQUARE!


We each had different sizes of no-no squares and mine covered my entire body and then a couple yards, because that's just how I feel right now.  It's the final week of March Madness, and I feel the pressure!  HOMEGIRL NEEDS A SCRATCH POST OR SOMETHING!

See, I'm a bit unhinged.  My wild is more wild.

But also my heart is more soft.  As I let my eyes water while reading Brooke's loving email yesterday at church, and again watering up through my Sunday School lesson where Kersti and I were actually asked to teach this time instead of just pretending to be the instructors for an hour, and again watering at how protective and encouraging and adoring my ward family is. 

It's my final stretch and boy does it hurt.  But the fight isn't over yet.  Like I said at the beginning of the month:  I don't know how to say "I tried."  I only know how to say "I did."  (See here

When I drove Katie home from work last week, she told me that she's never known anyone in her life with my level of willpower.

And Mace said the same when I called him at the beginning of the month to tell him about this BIG PLAN I had.  He said something about my determination being completely unmatched and that is why I'm such a fascination - no matter what, I just keep turning around and saying, "Alrighty.  Here I go!"  with unfailing enthusiasm.

Which I suppose is inspiring when I'm at the onset of all these challenges I choose for myself.  Is it obvious yet that I am a little dare devil?  Whatever my mom and dad say about their parental experience with me...  well it's probably all true.  Though they never had to duct tape clothes on my body like they did with Trevor, so at least I'm good there.

Anyway, the final stretch of my challenges don't always look so glorified.  Right now I'm torn between puking and crying, because I don't have time for both.  Dark eye circles.  Drained body.  Extra sleep demands.  Continual job accelerations.  Immense responsibilities.  Brain overload.  Hours upon hours of focus and dedication.   And all this mental and physical weariness opens an awareness to sideline cynics and thoughtless idiots and wanting to stuff a whole lot of socks in people's mouths.

"I don't know what to do with critical people!"  I vented to Leslie last night.  "Haha, I know you don't."

But my heart will go on.  Maybe I learned that from watching Kate Winslet on the back of a ship.  But her heart only went on because she hogged that entire piece of wood in the ocean when CLEARLY there was room for two.

Though I can't joke about that because a month ago, I talked to my grandma for the FIRST time about my grandfather's passing years ago, and the song "My Heart Will Go On" started playing on a radio in her kitchen.  Did I mention he died of a HEART ATTACK??  So I had to clamp down on my full bottom lip the entire time to keep the irony from escaping out in hard laughter.  That just wouldn't be a situation to ever be redeemed from.

ANYWAY,   (unhinged people can't focus very well)

Winners must have very hearty hearts.  I don't believe they have any special powers that offer them an easier battle.  They just take many moments for silent re-committment to brighten their flame, never letting the fight become stronger than the fighter.

So deep breath in, clench the jaw, narrow the gaze forward.  And breathe out.

Gotta keep going strong for another week.  And I should probably find a safer outlet than blaring Pink and tapping out my acceleration on the freeway. 

Here's to you Leonardo Dicaprio.  May I not sink to the bottom of the ocean on this one.

Upward and onward,






P.S. To my friends, thank you.  Truly.  Support is felt.  And all the wins for my mama.



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My fire beats real fire

26 March 2014



Yesterday my work lit on fire.

Everyone nonchalantly exited the building with their cell phone and hands in their pockets.  And I came bumbling out of the building lugging as much as my arms could carry.  It was ridiculous really.  But to hell with the fire that melts my belongings that could be easily replaced...

So everyone at the studio stood outside for a couple hours while an entire fleet of police cars and fire trucks came rushing from all corners of the universe.  We could hear them coming in every direction until packs of them blocked off our entire campus.  I mean I didn't actually see the fire, but my buddy said it was a couple flames on the far side of the roof.  But hey, I won't be the one to judge that 200 fire trucks and police cars was not absolutely necessary.

My buddies and I felt that our only responsibility was to sneak down to the scene of excitement and take a selfie.  But something of common sense held us back from going up to a fireman and saying, "Hey, you look kind of busy, but could I get a picture with you really quick?"  So instead I went back to the balcony of an adjacent building with all my girlfriends, and we watched with packs of trail mix and cookies.  Firemen sure deliver a good show.

And now, what good would this post be without a life comparison?  I've felt that my life has been on fire lately.  Though I did declare from the start that this was the month of March Madness so it was to be expected.  But the final stretch of any ultimate endeavors always seem to bear the hottest flame. 

I've pulled inward a lot in just the last 2 days, switching from Miss-Social-With-All-the-Friends-and-Dates  to  I-Want-to-Rip-50%-of-People's-Faces-Off.  I've had to redirect a lot of social engagements to future hours because my body is too exhausted, and my mind is too jam-packed that if I turn my head too fast, something will fall out.  The worst example of such is when I replied to a gentleman's inquiry for a date, saying maybe we could meet up in two months.  The next morning I woke up feeling a bit more rational and laughed my head off about that one.  "How does July 15th look on your calendar?"  Ha, sorry Sir.

But I did find this picture on the wall at work the other day.




I'm still deciding if it makes me feel more horrified and fatigued.  Or more determined and powerful. Or just makes me want to belt-sing some Journey...   Let's go with the last two for good energy's sake. 

If someone could send a convoy of firemen my way for the next two weeks, that might help. 

One step, two steps, three steps... To hell with this fire.  I got this.

Upward and onward,


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Honesty Box - Seal the Mouth, Ignite the Mind

18 March 2014

Somehow I forgot to work for the second half of the day.

Also, how bout a useful holiday in March?  Like one day in the year where we can say whatever the heck we want, and no one will remember it tomorrow.

I'll start-

I value people who trust my judgment, knowing I am a well-thought out and deliberate person.  

And I value friends who play the real role of one.  

I praise those who keep their egos behind their hearts. 

I am in deep throws of admiration with my ward family right now.  A group so unified and safe.  Ward crushes never hurt and who cares that I'm a couple years above 14.

And also, WHY AM I SUDDENLY OBSESSED WITH GRAPENUTS?


 
Now I close my mouth and work on.





Upward and onward,



Literally I'm a Rock Star. Literally.

13 March 2014

 

Mmm.. I'm writing a 2nd time in my no-writing month.  But I deserve it today because I just conducted the most successful process management meeting this world has ever seen, and people were so happy they threw flowers and powdered sugar at me, literally.  So in honor of all that, here's another story for you that I wrote in the draft of an email during a different meeting:



The use of the word "literal" amuses me.

Literally, the use of that word amuses me.

In a meeting with my division this morning, Boss Man 1 was talking about how work often pidgeon-holes people into one position and they have to work in that spot for the rest of their lives because they are the only ones who know those duties.  "Literally, they just have to sit there forever."

Do they though?  In one chair?  Forever?  I laugh out loud every time "literal" is used to describe ridiculous and in fact, very unliteral circumstances. 

[Are self inside jokes a thing?  Kind of like how My Self apologizes out loud every time I see a car accident or smashed up vehicle. My Self likes to laugh and sympathize with My Self.]

Anyway...  In honor, I'd like to literally share a short story of my own.  And include other communication enhancers that also entertain me when misused.

A few weeks ago, my roommates and I went to "ward prayer."  And this particular week, the attendants at ward prayer increased by literally 800, so we had an introductory period to help other ward members get to know each other, if you know what I mean.

So we went around the room and took turns sharing one interesting thing about ourselves.  One dude was literally born with a gill on his neck!  And another dude could literally bend over backwards and touch his head to his ankles.  (True uses of literal).  My friend David shared how a "chicken" attacked his entire face until there was literally nothing left! 

The introductions were approaching my roommates and I.  We could not think of anything to say, so I whispered to them that I would "take care" of this situation.  Our turn arrived.

I told the ward that a couple weeks ago, my roommates and I went to a program in southern Utah on how to train peacocks.  One "girl" responded, "What did you learn at this training?"  I replied, "Oh ya know, how to get a peacock to fan its feathers, if you know what I mean," as I fanned my hands out in front of me.  And Julie chimed in, "And how to get a peacock to move its head like this..." as she pecked her head back and forth. 

"How did you find this training?" someone literally asked.  Literally!  They asked that! 

"Online" "On KSL."  Kersti and I replied at the same time.  Phew!  Good thing our "facts" matched.

Then everyone started screaming and cheering about how awesome we were and carried us around on chariots of rhinestones.  Literally, that happened.

They all literally believed us!  And we went home and snickered into our "couch pillows!"  And now we lie as often as we can to see how much we can get people to believe about us.  IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

And evidence that I work for the Church - as I was typing this story, I overheard a co-worker say to another co-worker, "It mattereth not."  ...   Next time, maybe I'll share a story using religious phrases that are LITERALLY NOT USED IN REAL LIFE!


Upward and onward,



 


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And My Day Begins

12 March 2014

 


I'm breaking my no-writing rule of March to deliver a mid-month message:  I'M ALIVE!  (See here)  And I am doing so well!  Focused and driven - goals are coming along exceptionally well!  And I'm thriving in some grand popularity.  I'm having so many experiences I can't wait to write about.  Life is beautiful.  I hope your month is also going well.  I'll write again in April.  Here is a story to keep you hanging:  
 

This morning I had to peel my body out of bed.  My neck is sore from dancing so much.  My legs are tired from running even more.  And my brain is so swollen with studies and pursuits that I think my head is rupturing open.

But my days are too exciting to keep me down!  Up I go, and out the door.

I approach my car to head off to work, but all of Will's windows are iced over.  The kind of ice that doesn't scrape away with only arm strength.  No, you gotta climb on top of your car and use your entire body weight to hatch away.  But I was too tired to do that  (see above).  So I did what I always do: turn on my car, set defrost to high, and resort to the The Roll-Down Method, as I call it.  Roll down all the windows, listen to the ice crack off, and roll them up and down a few more times for good measure.  Once the front and back windows defrost, I'm on my way!  And as always, once I get going on the main roads, and my arms are turning purple, I roll the windows back up.  And if visibility is still opaque, then I roll them back down when I need to make turns and such....  It's a short drive to work, okay?  Hey, at least I make three-day hair blowing in the chilly air look sexy.

So I'm on my way to work, cruising down the fast lane, when I try to roll the windows back up.  Except none of them do, save the driver's window.  I push the buttons harder, because for some reason the human mind thinks slamming broken things makes them work again.  No.  Well my arms are getting colder, and I think my eyelashes are frozen to my glasses because my eyelids can't move - though, in this situation, I think it's better to call them EyeBlankets.  And heaven forbid I wear a coat when everything outside is covered in ICE!

So I reach back to the door behind me and start play with that window button.  No avail.  I reach over to play with the button on the front passenger side - any button I can reach while driving 50 miles an hour.  Nothing.  Well crap!  How many times have I used the Roll-Down Method and had no problems?  I broke my freaking windows after 2.5 months of owning Will!  And I can't just leave ALL my windows rolled down for the rest of forever!  The people who shop at my grocery store look like the exact type of people who would steal a snowboard from someone's backseat.  I probably froze the windows to the inside of my car!  Would pliers be useful in this situation?  Maybe a blow dryer?  Or should I just go ahead and drive my car straight to my mechanic?  Or maybe to the shop at work and have my buddies look at it?  But what would I say, because, "I froze my windows to the inside of my car" just seems a little.... dumb.  SO THEN WHAT DO I DO??

And I proceed to brainstorm the entire drive to work, while my entire body is turned to a glacial mummy, and my eyes are so dry and frozen petrified.  And then I look down and see a button on my door panel.  It has a window with a cross through it.

Oh....   

I push it and the windows roll up as smooth as ever.  #newcarproblems.  Well, I'm really glad I didn't take my car to anyone for inspection.  I can't think of a dumber car vs. girl problem.

So I arrive at work, and grab my bags to head in to the receptionist area and get the keys for a motor pool car that will take me to Job #2 in Salt Lake.  I approach the woman at the front desk and she tells me that one of the studio men has already turned on the car for me to get it warmed up for my drive.  "Oh, how nice of him!"  I say, right as my heavy purse slips off my shoulder and falls to my elbow, taking my hair that was pinched under the strap with it.  "MY HAIR!!  OH MY GOSH, MY HAIR IS BEING RIPPED OUT OF MY HEAD!"  I shriek, as my arms flail around to adjust the anvil purse and cement block laptop bag.  I get my hair free, and I turn my head upright again.  Then I take the keys from the woman's outstretched hand, noting her wide eyes and open mouth.  "Thank you,"  I say quietly, "Wednesday, you know?"  And she laughs.  And I laugh.  And it's just weird.

I head out with no more frozen-car-window problems, stop to quickly say hi to my former voice teacher, and continue to cruise up the freeway, formulating mental to-do lists so I can maximize productivity.  But then I feel the drowsiness kicking in.  I told God in my morning prayer that I am going to need His assistance today, particularly in the area of energy production.  Especially as I pass the Adobe building, where my buddy David is going to take me on a tour after work today! 

And then I remember that V8 Fusion Energy drink shoved in the bottom of my purse.  I bought it at that grocery store full of the people-I-don't-trust-with-my-broken-car-windows.  I thought these drinks would be excellent supplements to my heavy training program.  But ALSO, today seems like the perfect day to dope up on caffeine....

Except... I'm an easily impressionable person, which is a statement that says a lot about me in few words.  I am easily happy, and easily inspired, and easily enthused, and.... easily energized, not ever needing extra doses to heighten my natural state.  Because here's what happens: 

I remember when I was first introduced to caffeine.  (It's a bit of a sketchy story).  I was 16 and his name was Ian Fogg.  He wore a long black trenchcoat and more black clothes underneath.  His fingers were covered in skull rings, and he drove an army jeep that was also covered in skulls, and filled with knives, and always played scary screaming music.  But we were buddies.  Because even though he had an extremely hard exterior, he had a really kind and loving heart.  We met at my first official W-2 producing job - Dairy Queen.  And Ian was very keen on protecting me, evident by him spitting in a boy's hamburger who broke my miniscule 15 year-old heart.

Well, those sorts of vampire-trenchcoat people never sleep, as Ian was completely dependent on caffeine to open his EyeBlankets each morning.  When he'd come in for his shifts at work, he'd unload his skull bag in the walk-in refrigerator, lining all his energy drinks up on the shelf.  And if he'd run out of those, he'd straight up drink the Mountain Dew syrup from the boxes in the back.  And if anyone even breathed in the direction of his drinks, Ian would rap his skull knuckles at them. 

Except for me.

If I was ever getting tired on my shift, Ian would always tell me to go into the back refrigerator and drink his Rock Star or Monster or Morphing Juice, whatever they're called.  So I'd gladly prance back there and take some sips because "they taste like SMARTIES!!!"  And he was happy to allow me to because "you get really hilarious and fun after you drink it." 

Yep. 

I was a HOOT!  I made people laugh so hard that girls would pee their pants and boys would snort and everyone would be holding their laughing stomachs.  I was voted everyone's #1 favorite person to work with at that little Idaho Dairy Queen.  People would CHEER if they found out I was on their shift, and they'd attempt to rearrange their schedules if I wasn't.

So do energy drinks affect me?  Yes.... Just a bit. 

Well, despite how fun I am when I'm wired, I just never really bought in to the caffeine train, save a few gulps before dance parties in college.  Well... now driving to work with such a weary, cold body, I figure today was a good day to join the rest of the working American commuter clan.  I'm assuming they are all buzzed on coffee and soda, so I should just join in, RIGHT? 

So I chug my V8 Fusion Energy.  It's like... healthy caffeine!

I arrive at work and drive to the very bottom level of our underground parking garage.  After I'm loaded with my mammoth bags, one on either shoulder to balance the weight, I am standing dead center between the elevators on the right.  And the stairs on the left. 

I proceed left.

ENERGY!! 

So I climb 5 floors up to the top of the parking garage.  And then I head into my office building where I usually enter another elevator, stuffed with other drone working faces, and ride up to floor 21.

Instead, I ask the Sir at the front desk where the stairs are because "I'd like to walk today."  "ATTA GIRL!" as he points to the door. I open the door and look up.... all the way up.....  Onward I go, setting my pace to be pretty quick.  Because that's what you do when you're late.  Or you just ride the elevator.

By floor 8, I'm breathing noticeably heavier.  By 11, I'm panting.  By 14, my legs are burning.  But I haven't slowed down even a tiny bit.  I re-adjust the heavy weight of my bags, wondering if I really needed to shove a food storage for a small family in my purse.  I pass a woman in the stairwell, and I start giggling because it's uncomfortable to be breathing so heavily in such a confined space with someone else.  And also, my giggling suppressants work even less when I'm so tired.

By 17, perspiration is secreting all over my body.  Never break the pace.  That's always my rule.  18... Going Strong.  19... Heaving.... 20....  FIRE LEGS...  21.  Done.  I break through the door of my floor and have a bent-over-wheezing party.  Fun little party.  A couple co-workers pass by, "you climbed all the way up here?"  But of course since I'm focusing so hard on breathing, I can't answer.

Then I hobble down the hallway towards the front desk.  The girls tell me to sit down on the couch for a second because they could hear me panting all the way up the hall.  Sweat is dripping off me onto the couch.  So professional.  They give me tissues to clean up.  I attempt to dry off my face and neck, but my body just keeps sweating as it pleases.  So I shove the tissues down my shirt because that's where a woman is most affected. Then I head off to my desk.

I drop by bags and plop down in my office chair.  Purple freeze-burned skin.  Fossilized eyeballs.  A patchy bald head.  Caffeine drenched veins.  Wobbly legs and rashed arms.  Wet little black dress.  And a stuffed bra.


And so my Wednesday begins.

I'm a champion.  Still feeling the rush.


Upward and onward,






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The ache is meant to be walked with

02 March 2014




I wish it were a prerequisite that every human go through a heart break.

I do not make that statement as a way to say "If I have to go through this, then so must everyone else."  Not that my pain is transferable when others do fall into this ache.  Unfortunately, pain is limitless so it is capable of further presence, regardless of how much hurt already exists in the world.  But it's like my soul was stunned years ago, and it just won't grow back.  Being plundered in the most intimate way.  DeceivedGosh it shredded me.

But this is good, perhaps.  When I work really hard to see it that way.  This sort of heart ache pushes a person into their most raw, vulnerable state, really questioning the world, loosening the grip on former safe-holds, and selectively choosing where to re-enter.  And I think that is a beautiful and beguiling process for an individual. 

But, in that process, I'm aggravated.  I feel that an increasing number of heart breaks are caused by one person failing on the commitment.  And the patterns, oh the patterns!!   apathy.  retreat.  emotional closure.  And then betrayal.  justification. a loss of control.  a loss of effort.  a loss of integrity.  so they blame.  and blame and blame.  covering their lying little faces.  It's absolutely senseless.  And downright infuriating and wrenching. 

And, it seems that those who end up betraying relationships are reading the same books, because they all keep saying the same things to pardon themselves - "I just don't love you anymore."  "I'm only human."  "It's just too much work."  What way to get relationship exoneration!  Escape clauses to be excused from any guilt or accountability, shifting the responsibility card to the other person for not being more for them.  Here, I'm handing the responsibility card right back for your own lack of effort to see my beauty.  And also, here are the rest of my muffins, because I'm done trying to out-eat the speed at which you're offering an acquittal.

But really?  Am I so radical to still hold my ground on commitments?  Once I watched a YouTube rapper share his similar beliefs on that matter, and I wanted to open my windows and shout that someone else in the world agreed with me! 


I mean, if marriage isn't a commitment, then what's the point of the vows we say?
"'Til death do us part" really means "Until the feelings go away"
Like, I'll stay with him, but only until it gets tough and my love shifts
But I say imagine if a parent took that perspective with their kids
Like can't you see it? The minute the kid spills something on the floor
The mom's saying, "Forget it, I don't even love you anymore"
No, it's just like marriage, to last you need the strength from above
Because it's not love that sustains the promise, it's the promise that sustains the love

Yes.  Cheers to loyalty and long-lasting effort, investment, resolve, and dedication.  Love has never been defined as the person who makes us the most happy, shining our happiness as the success factor.  Love is about the augmentation of your finest and most benevolent actions to care for another, it's a pathway for you to nobilize.  Not a handout card.  Changing the success factor to be one's own consistency in the ability to stay true to another.  To throw a cloak of charity over the other person and protect them from the harshness of the world, aiding in their restoration.  It's a responsibility, not a reward.  It's our own atonement for another person.

And now look how cheap my ex, The Unnamed, made it to be.  He thought he was a victor who deserved more.  HA!  He was a coward who understand so so much less.

But, I've learned that no matter how many windows I could throw open and shout what I believe, it won't revolutionize much of anything.  I'm not believing in principles that are beyond our understanding, and spouting them wouldn't suddenly cause him or the world to stop what they're doing, and start frantically nodding their heads, as if they've just come to an understanding finally about what love means, and then we all act exactly so devoutly to one another, and then love becomes globally consecrated, and now we are finally all safe to give our hearts to one another.  Nah.  Instead I just lay face-first into my pillow and sometimes spout my beliefs there.


You may have gathered - it just downright hurts tonight.


"…I care, I care."  
 



Upward and onward,




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