Countdown to the final book of the Hunger Games!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bleak Things

Old treasures are uncovered
Under mathematical formulas
And theories of rock formations
Smelling like summers spent
Buried in books by the dying sun
And late into the night
There are stars and hearts
Pinned next to the open window
Dreams and wishes whispered
That have sunk into the walls
Dolls whose twinkling eyes
Mirror mine
Pictures of friends only imagined
Scrawled on papers that litter the floor

Marred by smoking hipsters
And meetings at coffee shops
People who thought they knew my true nature

And I hoped for the day I could break through

Free to let my spirit fly
And release the sleeping dreamer in me

Who am I to let these bleak things
Paralyze me?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dumb, Ugly, Easy

I had a very interesting conversation with an old friend this past weekend.
Most people who know me know that I have always had a confidence issue. If you don't know that, then ha! fooled you!
It used to be a lot worse than it is now. When I was in high school, I had absolutely zero self-esteem. I didn't find anything about my personality or my looks valuable whatsoever. As a result, I obviously didn't have very many friends. A lot of good acquaintances, sure, but friends? I often say that it takes a long time for me to warm up to people. I like a lot of people instantly, but I'm never convinced that they like me, and why would they want to spend their time talking to me if I'm not even that interesting?
For that reason, I was so nervous to go to college. I gained a little perspective when I went on Trek after my junior year, and I had a chance to see what happened when I started over completely with a brand new set of people, since we were organized into families with people that we weren't likely to know (which they did on purpose). I had to keep reminding myself of that as I sat nervously in the van on the way to Snow College.
I remember sitting at my apartment by myself after my parents had left, and my roomates that had moved in so far were at work, and I was trying to decide what I should do with my evening. It was a new experience to be at home without any other people--since there's 10 kids in my family. The apartment manager came to my apartment to check something and saw that I was alone and doing nothing. She told me that there were people outside talking on the lawn and suggested I go and meet them. I shook my head and said that I would have to meet them later. She said, "If you don't break out of your shell now, then when will you?"
Can't argue with that logic. So I went out that night, and I'm so glad I did. I remember meeting Adam, Jon, Liz, and I think there were other people there too, but hey that was almost 4 years ago.
From that day on, I made an effort to meet people and make friends. I think I made more friends that year than I've ever made in my life. One of those friends was the one (who we won't name) that I had this very interesting conversation with the other day.
Now, let's be honest, my roommate and I were boy crazy, and we knew a lot of boys, and I couldn't even tell you how many boys I held hands with that year. We were 18. No further explanation is needed there ha ha. The point of the matter is, though, that for the first time in my life, I felt accepted and that people liked me for who I was, for my standards, for my quirks, for me.
Since that time, a lot has happened, and a lot has changed. My view on a lot of things has changed, and I hope, I've gotten more mature.
So on Sunday, I went down to Ephraim, and I was feeling very reminiscent, like I always do when I'm down there, and I saw this certain friend, who went on a mission, and I haven't seen him for a couple years. We talked for a long time, and throughout the conversation, he kept being surprised. He said, "Angela, you're beautiful." Yeah, thanks. "I don't remember you being that pretty." Wow, ok. Then later, "Wow, you're intelligent. I don't remember you being this smart back then."
Oh boy. I said, "don't you remember that one time you cuddled with me?" he said, "yeah, because you were easy to get to cuddle."
Not to mention my favorite comment, "Is there something wrong with you since you're not married and you're 21?"
I guess I don't have to say that he wasn't very tactful. But I started thinking...did everyone see me that way that year? Does everyone see me like that now? I don't think the beautiful comment bothered me nearly as much as the other ones. I do agree that I'm prettier now than I was back then. I try harder now, so if I didn't then that would be unfortunate. However, that's only skin-deep.
But not intelligent? I've always considered myself to be a deep thinker. In fact, I tend to overthink things. It's true I've learned a lot in the past few years, so I should be smarter, but it just made me wonder, because I feel like I gained a lot of strength from the way people reacted to me that year, and I suddenly wondered if what I had gained was based on false assumptions. And if that year, when I feel like I had the most friends, I was dumb, ugly, and easy then what am I now? It's a wonder if anybody likes me at all!
But then I had to recall a thought that occurred to me recently, which I think was inspired. It's an act of pride not to believe in yourself and your own good qualities. That almost seems like an oxymoron, but truly, God has given every single one of us talents and abilities, and He thinks all of us are beautiful and intelligent. Not only does He think so now, but He thought I was beautiful and intelligent when I was a freshman at Snow too, and even when I was in high school. And by disagreeing with His view, we're basically saying that we know better than God--the only Person who knows us better than we know ourselves. He sees us as we truly are and He sees our wonderful potential.
So while I still may struggle with my confidence, it's really a matter of faith that He knows me and He believes in me, and if the greatest Being in the universe, Who knows everything and everyone, sees me as someone of value, then who am I to disagree? I really am nothing without God, and He is where I need to draw my confidence.
Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with my faults and my shortcomings, and I want to hide from everyone so they won't think badly of me. But it's not everyone else's opinions that count, and I'm denying people love when they may need it and I'm denying myself love and I know I need it.
I'm writing this as part of my process of accepting this idea, and I know I haven't become totally accepting of it just yet. I mean, it makes sense, but my heart still hasn't totally embraced it because I am a prideful person. But I'm grateful that I almost had a breakdown this week from that experience, because it helped push me toward accepting this truth.

"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalms 27:1

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Sunday, December 19, 2010

"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "Means a little bit more."

I'm going to take a break from the challenge today, because there's been something on my mind.
Yesterday, at work, I was washing some guy's ratty Santa wig and beard, and I thought to myself, "Gee this sure takes the magic right out of Christmas doesn't it?" And I thought about how much I genuinely hate the song, "Last Christmas" because it's so selfish and then I remembered how a few years ago, one of my friends from high school was saying that Christmas didn't excite him anymore. That it didn't really mean anything.

And I had to admit that this year, at least, I wasn't really feeling it either. At first, I blamed it on spending the first week of December in Florida (which was awesome by the way). As I thought of how I would have to stay a few extra days in Provo without my roommates so I could perform with the choir I'm in at the Institute at UVU, I dreaded it. I just wanted to be home with my family so it could feel like Christmas.

I went to the dress rehearsal of Lex de Azevedo's "Gloria" at the Provo Tabernacle on Thursday night, and it was so beautiful in there. I thought to myself, "Wow, this is Christmas. This is it. When we perform in here tomorrow, I'll really feel the Christmas spirit because it looks just like I think Christmas should look."

When I woke up the next morning to a text saying that the Provo Tabernacle had caught on fire, at first I thought it was a really stupid joke. Then as it became apparent that it had in fact happened, a mixture of feelings came to me. I shamefully admit that I felt some relief to think we weren't going to sing "Gloria" anymore. I felt sadness that something so beautiful could be destroyed in one night. I couldn't believe that the one place I thought I was finally going to feel the Christmas spirit was gone. I just wanted to go to Colorado and sit by the fire and Christmas tree in my family's house, in my own house where I've spent most of the Christmases of my life.

Word came that we were going to sing "Gloria" in a different venue and give people the option of donating to help people who lost things in the fire. I didn't really want to do it, but I've had a really good experience with this choir and I had agreed to spend my time rehearsing and performing with them. So I wasn't going to back out.

The Alpine Tabernacle is pretty enough, but it is nowhere near as stunning in my opinion as the Provo Tabernacle was. And there were no beautiful decorations, no cool lighting. Just the choir and the instruments and the audience.

As Lex de Azevedo addressed the audience and shared his feelings about what had occurred, he pointed out that although he felt sad that it was all gone, the fire could never destroy the music. That when all the flashy and fancy packaging was stripped away, the fire couldn't take what we had in our hearts. I'm not even totally sure that's exactly what he said, but that's what I heard.

Suddenly, as silly as it may sound, the words of Dr. Seuss came to mind from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." In the end, when the Whos join hands and sing, despite having their Christmas "stolen" from them, the Grinch realizes something:

"'It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags!'

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.

'Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas,' he thought, 'Means a little bit more.'"

Christmas isn't in the beautifully decorated trees or the holly or mistletoe. It's not in Santa wigs and beards. It's not in the hot chocolate and warm fire during a blizzard. It's not in the bells or department stores.

Christmas is the love we show our neighbors in remembrance of Him who loves us more than we can possibly imagine. It's in good friends who come to your choir concert and keep you company when otherwise you knew you'd be sitting at home all alone. It's in cheering up those lonely hearts of God's children, and reminding them that two thousand years ago a Child was born in a simple stable among the animals, a Child who would one day give His life for each and every one of us. Christmas is the Love of our Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ. And no material thing could ever take the place of that.

I love Christmas.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Rascal Flatts - I'm Movin' On

Yeah, someday I'll figure out how to work this thing....

Day 10-Songs you listen to when you're bored, happy, sad, mad, hyped

Oh man, so it's been a while. Really, the reason why I haven't been so strict with the 30 day challenge is because my sister-in-law has been just as bad. Yep, I'm using her as an excuse.

Also, I've had to think about this one. Which is weird. It should come that easy because I am constantly listening to music. I'm one of those people when someone gets up in church and says that we should try to turn off our ipods and radios who nervously looks away ha ha.
I just love music so much! I love to listen, and even more, I love to sing it!

When I'm bored, I listen to a lot of different music. It's like I have this choice when I'm bored. I can either eat or listen to music, but either will defeat my boredom. I really listen to anything from Elton John to Broadway musicals to The Rocket Summer to Lady Antebellum. If it's got a good melody and good lyrics, I don't care what genre it's in, I'll listen. And belt it out if I'm alone. Just check out my playlist at the bottom of the page. I listen to that at work.

The songs I listen to when I'm happy depend on what's made me happy. Because honestly, it could be something like "If It's Love" by Train, or it could be something like "The Spirit of God." So...could be a temporal happy or a spiritual happy. I mean, I guess either way is good, one's just more lasting. ;)

The Fray, Dashboard Confessional and Taylor Swift win points for the most sad songs I listen to. Although "I'm Moving On" by Rascal Flatts is the all-time best song when I'm sad. Because it helps me get through the sad part and onto the "moving on" part. Another song that gets me every time I'm sad is called "Sometimes He Lets It Rain." I'm not sure who sings it, but it's on my girl's camp CD.

When I'm mad, I'm all about Pink and Kelly Clarkson. They just have so many good girl-power songs. If I'm listening to one of their angry songs, don't mess with me.

When I'm hyped, I have to say I love those terrible songs by Ke$ha, Lady Gaga, and Katy Perry. Like, if I'm gonna have a night out with the girls, you can bet those songs will be blaring. "Hot and dangerous, if you're one of us then roll with us, 'cause we make the hipsters fall in love when we've got our hot pants on and up."

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 9-Something You're Proud of in the Past Few Days

I edited this. I love making things with my hands and being creative.