Thursday, February 24, 2011

...If You Should Choose to Accept It

Sometimes I, like many of you, have average days. I'm okay with those. Unfortunately, I also have days that start out pretending to be pretty average but then, like Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde, transform into something I wouldn't even like to see in a well-lit alley.

Yesterday was one of those days where the headline reads "Average Day Gone Wrong". Let's just say I could have strangled a baby koala. Maybe one of my professors made my hit-list. Maybe I thought about getting up and walking out of his class right in the middle. I stayed for the rest of the three hours, but it was rough. As I left that class I felt entitled to be mad. I felt like putting my headphones in and turning up the volume on my iPod and just letting the world walk by. Luckily, that didn't last long.

I saw this little old lady named Dorothy who was very lost, and I'm a sucker for little old ladies. She said she graduated in '59 and she thought she'd still be able to find her way around. I told her I was heading to where she was parked and I could walk her there. This 70-something widow was serving a mission for the church and loving life. She even looked pretty classy.
As we walked I told her about myself and she nodded her head to most of what I said in a "been there, done that" sort of way. It wasn't condescending at all, it was encouraging. That simple nod and her quiet smile let me know that I would get through the uncertainty of the future, and I would make it past today's frustrations.

Seeing her made me stop and think about somebody aside from myself. I learned that it's selfish to get mad and to mope around, because you''ll miss the person walking past you who needs you more than you need to be mad. Service really is the best remedy for the worst days. I also learned that hope doesn't depend on circumstances. It is a perspective.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Spine of Satan

I'm currently a little bitter. It involved a dumb girl. If you are a dumb girl, then you should probably find something else to read. I suggest something with glossy paper and lots of pictures.

Last semester I tutored this girl in chemistry. Let's just say she didn't get it. (Part of the problem was that she lives at a place called Liberty Square) Part of the problem was that she had lost her book. I let her use mine for the rest of the semester since I didn't need it. She was overjoyed and I was glad to help. Now fast forward to Tuesday...

She texts me during class and asks me if I can meet her in front of her class to pick up my book. I say that's fine, and the building she named was close to where I worked right after class. I would have just enough time. Just as class ended I checked my phone again to discover that she had mistakenly typed the wrong building. The real building was across campus and down a huge hill. I sighed slowly, and started walking faster.

I walked down the insanely long stairs (the stairs my brother and I call the spine of Satan) to get to the building and called her. It rang until her voice mail picked up. Not that I'm keeping track, but that was one of the top 3 most annoying voice mail recordings of all time. I called her twice more and she didn't pick up. I looked back up the gigantic hill/spine of Satan that stood between me and work, and sighed again. She just made my blacklist.

Not only did she not answer her phone, she chose to call me back just after I had clocked in and sat down at work. Let's just say I'm considering making our next meeting place the top of Y Mountain, and then changing it to Temple Square just as she reaches the top. Maybe I am a bit vindictive, but she does live at Liberty Square...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Family

You know how you used to think you're family was pretty crazy and maybe even a little messed up? I think a lot of people, no matter how awesome their family really is, think that as teenagers. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe you are the exception who was incredibly ahead of his/her peers. Maybe.

But now I think my family is the best thing since sliced bread. It's like your first car. There's the broken door handle, the windshield wipers that couldn't, the seat that doesn't go back, and maybe even a radio that only picks up AM stations. But I wouldn't have it any other way. Maybe it's because my family is obviously a masterpiece in the making that I feel so at home. Maybe it's because we know each others weaknesses and strengths and we choose to love them anyway. Maybe it's because they are the ones who believe in me even on my worst days. Maybe.

In any case, my family is one of the greatest blessings that I have ever received. Without a doubt.

Proof from the last 24 hours:
1) Hannah (in the blue dress) called me to wish me a happy valentine's day while I was studying.
2) My Mom telling her kids they're crazy even though she's smiling because we've got nothing on her.
3) My brother Andrew (posing like a rock star) making fun of me from another continent. It was the uplifting sort of making fun, I promise.

Now I just have to find a girl that thinks my family is awesome...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

To Whom It May Concern...

I love BYU. I also love BYU girls. However, I think it's time we had a heart to heart

A few months ago some poor schmuck wrote a letter in the op ed portion of the Daily Universe. He sat outside of a large religion class and counted the number of girls that walked out wearing immodest clothing. The next paper was plastered with angry girls talking about how judgemental the boy was. I don't necessarily agree with his methods, but I know what he's talking about.

Ladies, I (and all of the guys I have talked to) would rather date a girl wearing a burlap sack than a girl wearing immodest clothing. And if he doesn't care that you dress like that then he probably isn't in it for the right reasons. P.S. wearing leggings (a.k.a. nylons) under your skirt does not add four inches.

You sign the honor code every year, and that means you want to live that standard and live in that environment. So, to the guys and the girls, please step up your game. I came to BYU because of that environment and that standard. So, what's your reason?

Monday, February 7, 2011

To My Future Wife

Once upon a time I went shopping with a friend. She said she just needed to get a few things so I went along. I went into Sports Authority and was done in thirty minutes. After wandering through the mall for 1 hour trying to find things to pretend to be interested in, I found a couch in an art store that I could nap on. After over three hours, she finally came out of Victoria's Secret with a dozen or so bags. I vowed I would never go shopping with a girl again.

So, I will not go shopping with you unless it is for groceries. On the plus side, I will cook dinner for you any night of the week.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What I Be Thinkin 'Bout

The other night I stumbled upon a book club at a friend's house. They looked like smart/classy people so I sat in on there meeting. As it turns out, they were reading a book on religion written by a prominent atheist (which one of these is not like the other...). The hypothesis and information isn't important, but the discussion was.
The guy who had suggested the book in the first place said "There were just so many things in the book that spoke to me!" In response I couldn't help but think "You are a returned missionary studying at BYU and talking about a book on religion written by an atheist. What part of that spoke to you?" These really smart kids (I use the term deliberately) were building an intellectual maze and then getting lost in it. It was sad.

Let's be frank. I'm a twenty-something college student who has never been married, had children, or even held a full-time job. I think it's fair to say that my life experiences/wisdom are limited, but here this group of kids my age or younger were trying to stuff God into their near-sighted and dramatically human paradigms. So forgive me when I say that those were some really dumb smart kids.

Fast forward to getting a letter from a dear friend of mine who is serving in Guatemala as an LDS missionary. She said "Don't fall into the trap of believing that when you leave the temple you're going back to the real world. The temple, the mission, the gospel - that is what's real. Everything else is fake." I couldn't agree more. The question then is how much time we spend in those pursuits rather than bathing in the world's perspective.

They say the best way to understand somebody is to walk a mile in their shoes. I believe that God is there and that he loves me/us, but I also believe nobody can truly understand God as he really is without trying to become like him.