Tuesday, July 22, 2014

July 22, 2014

JULY 22, 2014
**EXPECTATION**
Best friend and I will be up all night, excited, maybe crying.
We will drive to the airport together.
We will sleep on the plane. Maybe, if we were up the night before.
Both our families will be there, together, with their balloons and "WELCOME HOME" signs.
We will sign. Throw them off.
When we can't stand it anymore, we will run to them.
I will run to them. Hug them all.
Probably Mom first. Mothers get first call.
Then, the boys.
Then, Dad.
Say goodbye to best friend. Drive home. Tell them everything.
 
*******************************
 
JULY 22, 2014
**REALITY**
Wake up.
Clean.
Apply for classes.
Appointment.
Work.
No hugs.
No brothers. No Mom. No Dad.
Drive around alone.
 
......


Sometimes, you just want to escape.

No, I'm not talking about going on a trip, or going to another state.

I'm talking about that confinement that you feel by just being you.
The realization that you are you and you won't ever be anyone else but you, and you have to live with being you.
Your struggles. Your weaknesses. Even your happiness and triumph.
It's all exhausting sometimes.
Escape would mean just having a brief moment of freedom of being you. Almost like as if your spirit could just leave your body for a few moments.

Not like death.

More like a jump. A jump through space. Matter. Time. A jump through your story.
What will I become? I need to know the end of my story...

Or perhaps, more like a dream. An escape from reality.
I love dreaming. It gives me a chance to be away for a little while.

It's interesting how many forms that confinement can be.

..................................................................................................................

This is a trial of faith.

I won't say the trial of faith. There may be more.

And from this, many things have happened.
Tears.
Trials.
Miracles.
Smiles.
Stumbles.
Triumph.
Confusion.
Inspiration.

The following does not happen in the above order.

..................................................................................................................

"You're an inspiration!"

You'd think I'd be used to hearing it. But I'm still not.
I appreciate it very much.
Although, I am still trying to see it.

Very few people see what happens behind the closed door and pulled curtains. All the suppressed feelings that build up. Even all the "what ifs" and "whys". They still happen.
I think, to some degree, they always will.
Confinement.

How is that, pray tell, an inspiration??

....................................................................................................................

I'm not the inspiration. As much as you all think.
It's not me.
Can't you see that? I'm just a normal girl, going through a crazy, unexpected ordeal.

The inspiration is the Atonement. The inspiration is that the crazy, unexpected ordeal can be fixed in due time.
No, they won't come back. Not anytime soon, anyways.
But we are a forever family.
THAT, my friends, is the inspiration.

Or, perhaps even, the inspiration is that we won't be completely and utterly alone. Ever. Although, maybe at times, we may feel that way.
You won't know how I feel, and I won't know how you feel. Even if we switched our circumstances, it would never be the same, because you are you, and I am me, and you and I handle things even slightly differently.
But we are never alone. Because that price has *touch finished* been paid.

Perhaps, the inspiration comes from that in a very small town in this gigantic earth, where things are becoming crazier by the minute, there is a girl who still believes that there is a God. One that can do miracles.
And there are so many more of the like.

Shouldn't that be SAYIING something?

My family were who they were.... who they ARE... because of the Atonement of Christ. My brother is back on his mission, sharing his experiences, regardless of how hard it may have been to leave, because of the Atonement of Christ. I am who I am because of the Atonement of Christ.

And when I remember that... I don't feel so confined anymore.
Because I know that Christ died for us, so that we wouldn't be.

.........................................................................................................

Confinement takes on many forms.

But so does freedom.

The freedom of being happy. Being with family. The freedom of togetherness.

...........................................................................................................

I wonder...

HEAVEN
**EXPECTATION**
Maybe, it's like a homecoming.
Everyone is excited.
Maybe they have signs that says, "WELCOME HOME!"
I hope they are there. I'll run up to them and hug them.
Probably Mom. Mothers get the first call.
Then, the boys.
Then, Dad.
 
 
That would be nice... 




Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Amazing Bell Collection

When I was really little, I had a bell collection.

It all started years ago, in a random little gift souvenir shop in West Yellowstone National Park. I felt the need and desire to buy SOMETHING. Something that would forever remind me of this, in my little 8 or 9 year old mind, best trip ever. I walked up and down the aisles, searching and observing.

And that's when I saw it.

It was big. It was white. It had paintings of buffalo and deer and an eagle. "West Yellowstone" was printed nicely in yellow. The glass was thick. And I could even hear the jingle when I rang it.
It was perfect in my eyes.

In my excitement, I ran up to show my Dad. He could see how excited I was, and suggested that I start a collection. Anywhere that I go in the world, I would buy a bell, as a token and memoir.

Pure genius!

And thus, my amazing bell collection began! Anywhere we went that was outside of Pocatello, Idaho, I would buy a bell. Big ones, little ones, tall ones, small ones. Ones that rang, and ones that clicked. Ones made of metal, and ones made of glass.
The list could go on.

Soon, my whole family knew about it! Everyone was in on it. Grandmas and Grandpas knew, aunts and uncles knew. Mom and Dad clearly knew. I would get them for birthday presents. I would get them when people would go on trips and bring me back a gift. The collection grew and grew. And I loved it so.

They all were placed on a little pretty wooden shelf that was placed on the wall. If I rolled over onto my right side right before I went to bed, I would see them there, standing tall and pretty.

I had one bell that I especially loved. It was one from my grandmother, my mother's mother. It was pure glass, with some flowery printing on it, that was pink (back when I loved flowery pink things). I can't remember why she gave it. (Probably because I'm her favorite granddaughter. Or maybe a present.) But, regardless, I loved that bell more than all the others, because not only was it beautiful, but it was also the only one that I received from her. It was placed on the shelf so that I could reach for it whenever I wanted to...

... Which, as fate would have it, was towards the right end of the shelf. Next to the book shelf. The very high book shelf, in my little 9 to 10 year old mind.

And, as it turned out, was also in my little 8 to 9 year old brother's mind.

One day, for whatever reason, he decided it needed something from the top of the bookshelf. (I'm assuming he either wanted a book, or that creepy furby that Mom had placed on the top of the shelf.)

(Sidenote: Yes. I did own a creepy furby doll once upon a time. It was blue.)

For a little boy who hasn't grown into his shoes yet, the only solution to reaching an object that was about 6 feet above him, just so happened to be to stand on the rocking chair and climb.
He didn't mean to do it right by the shelf, I'm sure. That didn't even cross his mind. He didn't plan for the chair to rock, and fall backwards, bringing him with it, and knocking the Amazing Bell Collection.

And. Well...

Surprisingly, not a lot of them broke. I hadn't even realized that he was climbing the chair. I was alarmed to hear clamoring and commotion. Then heartbroken as I realized, my shelf was no longer on the wall, but rather, in the floor. Mom came down, and we started gathering the bells...

And that's when I saw it.

A piece of glass. With a pink twisting flower.
Then, another piece.
And another.

It was destroyed. Not broken up. DESTROYED.

I was so upset. I was angry. Of all my bells, THAT one??? Seriously?? I remember feeling the anger well up in me.
And it was at that point, I looked over at Ian.
Oh, the look on his face...

It's seems good to point out, that at this point, Ian and I DID NOT get along very well. You know, one of those sibling phases where you push buttons to the limit, and walked along the edge.

So, when I saw that face...
I couldn't take it.
I remember I walked upstairs while my parents talked to him.

I went into the hallway, and paced back and forth. Over and over. I was so mad. And I wanted to be mad.
But that face of hurt was sewn into my brain.
But I was so mad.
...

Conflicted.

There was a full length mirror. I liked to look into it when I was thinking. So...

I'm pretty sure I had a primary lesson in church about forgiveness. Or maybe it was a Family Home Evening lesson. It's been so long, I don't recall everything. But for whatever reason, the term "forgiveness" was in my little brain.
And I already knew what I had to do.

It was hard. I've never really done something like this before. (The littler version of me didn't realize that forgiveness, was another word for, "It's ok.") I remember praying, asking for help.

Maybe it's cliché, but even at a young age, I understood that my relationship with my brother was far more important than a pretty glass bell.

I walked out of the hall, down the stairs, through the door, and there was our piano.

And sitting on the bench, head down on his arms, on the keys, was my brother.
Crying.

It was super awkward for me.
But I walked up to him.
Placed my hand on his shoulder.
I forgive you. 

The rest is history.

....................................................................................................................................

Sometimes, I feel that we get foreshadows in our lives.

Almost like Heavenly Father lets things happen, then say, "Hint Hint, you're going to use this way later."

I'm coming to find that life is a collection of moments sewn together to create of collage of memories. And those memories become our eternity.
The collage of memories somehow fit itself into the deepest pocket of our brain and stays there, hidden. We almost forget about them sometimes.
Well, maybe not forget, but we don't necessarily go looking for them. Maybe we take them for granted.

And then, something happens.

And it's like the memory jumps out of the brain pocket and says, "BAM! Remember that one time you did yada-yada-yada? Ya, you need to use this."

And, for some reason, this memory jumped out at me a couple days ago.
The memory of the bell.
The memory of my first actual, real life, non-primary lesson of forgiveness.

......


It's kind of hard when there is no actual source for the reason for your pain.
There was no mindless drunk driver.
There was no ax murderer.
No stop lights.
No warnings.
Nothing.

Nowhere to direct the blame.
Just dumb luck.

And. That. Hurts.
I want to blame someone. I want to place my anger somewhere. But I can't.
So, it's directed everywhere. Anyone. Anyone who crosses my path. I yell at someone. I hit something. I run away just for the sake of getting away. I cry into the pillow. I break a plate. A martini glass.
But, in the end, it doesn't take the pain away.
And I feel worse later.

Why do I still feel this way? Why can't I just get over myself? More people suffer worse than me. My life isn't even hard.
Yet, it is.
No, it's not.

I know this is normal. I know there's no limit in the grieving process.
Happiness is a choice. I GET THAT.
But that doesn't mean that I won't have hard days. Or angry days. It doesn't mean that I won't get frustrated.
I hate the feeling.

So. Why the bell memory?
Perhaps, it was a foreshadow for later? Or maybe it has nothing to do with foreshadowing. Maybe it's a lesson I need to remember.

Forgiveness is just better. Maybe not necessarily easier.
But better.
You are happier.
Because, some things are just not worth the grudge.

Confliction will come up. Your mortal nature will fight with your spiritual nature.
It's kind of interesting how opposite they can be.
But also, how similar they can become.
And in the end, you can decide.
Over time.

Some things just take time.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Pawns


"What are you up to these days?"

Living life. Figuring it out.

That's what I've started to say every time I'm asked.

But hey.
It's better than, "How are you?"

...........................................................................................................................................

"Asking 'why' can be a frustrating, and even dangerous, thing to do."
Wise words of a wise seminary teacher.

The walls have started growing. I can feel them being built around me.
I don't know why.
Maybe because I'm tired of the questions.
Maybe I'm tired of the answers.

There are days when I close up. It happens more often than not.
I don't think I mean to.
It just happens.

There are days when after I've held it in for so long, I blow up. And scare people away.
I don't think I mean to.
It just happens.

There are days where I will randomly cry for no reason at all. A song. A picture. A memory.
I don't think I mean to.
It just happens.

And people get that. They understand. I think, in some ways, they are more patient and understanding about it than I am.

I want to be done with the grieving process.
I know some day, I will be.
It's just a matter of when.
In the meantime...

..............................................................................................................................................

I used to think life was a chessboard.
We were pawns.
We were here, doing our thing, waiting for some higher being, (whoever or whatever that higher being is in your head) would tell us what to do, and where to go, and who to love, and what to study, and what job we should get.
You know, that we would pray and ask, and just be TOLD what to do.
He would place us where we needed to be.

How wrong am I.

I realized it one day.
We teach that concept totally and completely wrong.
Ok, maybe not totally and completely.
But slightly.

I've been home for... what? Almost 5 months? We will say 4 1/2.
I came home. Vulnerable. Terrified. Uncertain.
So many nights. So many prayers...
No direct answer.
Only comfort.

Everything that I had planned for myself was gone in an instant. As I am sure it was for a lot of different people. My future for myself, where I would go, what I would study, what job I would get...
Gone.
Not gone, sorry.
But more or less put on hold.
As the days morphed into weeks, then months, those thoughts of the future started to take its toll on me.

What will I do?
Where will I go?
Do I go here?
Of course, I was there before.
I'll study this.

And it didn't seem right.
So.
I adapted. Changed things up.
MADE SOME DECISIONS.
That is the key...

Here I am now. 4 1/2ish months later.
Different plans. Different directions.
But it's still good.

.............................................................................................................................................

If there is anything that I have learned this week, it's that we are not pawns.
We will more often than not NOT be told what to do.
But we will be led.

At the moment, it seems that the world has stopped. And you're alone. And the road is foreverrrrrr long, with no shades and no resting places, and you feel inclined to keep going in order to catch up. And you want to run down it, get it done, get it over with.

But then you look back, and you realize... ya. The road is still long. It never shortened.
But you definitely had some help along the way.
Perhaps nudging.

You will always be led, even when you don't think so.
You're not stupid.
You have a brain.
Make the choice.

You may just shock yourself with how much you can do.
And you may just shock yourself with how much you can't do.
And that's ok.

.....................................................................................................................................

4 1/2ish months.
I still have bad days.
I have weak spots.
But I am a whole heck of a lot stronger than I was.
And I have a much better idea of what I will do.

Not overnight.
But time.

...

Living life. Figuring it out.

That's what I've started to say every time I'm asked.