Thursday, December 15, 2011

This is a late-night post, most definitely. Or early-morning, whatever you prefer. But for me, this is about bedtime or an hour outside of it. What is a late-nite post, anyhow? One that borders on lack o' judgment, usually. I've sent a few late-nite emails lately and it hasn't turned out all bad. The one I sent to Lois Duncan ended up with a surprisingly quick and personal reply from her--and if you haven't read any of her young adult fiction, you really ought to. And M Ryan Taylor has been pretty nice, too, considering haha.
I'm in my office--down the hall, in the living room, Something's Gotta Give is playing. Sometimes I put movies on for the white noise-ness, for the illusion of another person's presence. Then again, it could be just because I'm addicted. Movies are a legal escape, you know.
I've had a pretty crazy December--Messiah sing-a-long, Christmas recital for my students, and now finishing planning the choir's Christmas program---I kind of wonder how it's going to turn out, but I'm not too worried--it is just for church, after all, and if all else fails, we could always sing a bunch of Christmas carols from the hymnbook and who doesn't like that? :) Our ward recently split, though, and I was told that there is some kind of background worry that the program will be good enough or something like that because "our" ward is in charge of the combined service---versus the other ward? I don't know. All I know is that my music chairperson was adamant that we try to use equal amount of ward members from each ward, and more from the other ward wouldn't hurt. Personally, I don't give a damn about that kind of bullshit. If that's what is really going on, then it boils down to two wards competing to see who can honor Christ better. haha Oh, we humans can be so petty sometimes, right?
I suppose I have a serious topic in mind that I feel like putting out in the "open" right now. I'm thinking about quitting the LDS church. It's something I've thought about for years. Years spent in a constant emotional inconstancy---I have long termed the status quo of my faith in the Mormon religion as a rollercoaster, up and down, up and down. My family and my close friends know it and just roll their eyes. I'm getting tired of the ups and downs, though. I'm ready to try to find a more stable place, a healthier view of my own spirituality, and try to not be angry at God.
I've been reading a lot of ex-Mormon blogs, posts, etc. I don't always agree with all of the viewpoints, but it's interesting to read. If I do leave, I may or may not need a support group. I may or may not need therapy. Knowing myself, I won't get the therapy and I won't join a support group. I just don't function that way.
I've been trying to mentally prepare myself by thinking about my spirituality outside the confines of a set religion, a prepared set of beliefs, an organisational system. All I can come up with so far is my connection with flora and fauna. Would I still pray? Would I still give thanks? I'm trying to prepare myself for those kinds of things. If I don't believe in codependent prayer the way the Mormons do, I can still send good thoughts toward others. I can still state aloud that I'm grateful for my life, and the trees and the wind and the moon and the sun may acknowledge it. And what about the idea of a supreme creator? A god or a goddess? I must say that this world seems suspiciously like it was created by a man or men for a man or men, but does anyone really know for sure? And if the proof that there is a supreme creator is that this world couldn't have just sprung out of nothing, then what is the rationale for the supreme creator's beginnings? Should I even care? Does it really matter? Shouldn't I just be concerned with living my life the best that I can? Am I prepared to say wholeheartedly that I don't believe in God, the Bible, or the Book of Mormon?
Now: why? The patriarchal order of it all is one big, huge impetus. Training the women to rely on men for spiritual advice (bishops, stake presidents, etc.), for protection and leadership (the father of our home leads the family...), for relationship-building (God and yet not his supposed wife and our supposed mother), for side-taking (either the evil male son Lucifer or the good son Jesus), the cruel, morally wrong, and perverted practise of polygamy (and the church deems homosexuality to be an abomination?!). The LDS idea of heaven is another reason. In order to reach the utmost level of happiness, as a woman, you must agree to continually bear offspring and then stand aside while the men just create world after world and rule them like crazy. It just doesn't seem appealing--not any of it. I wouldn't mind an eternal, cozy nothingness after I die.
So, I am considering it very seriously. What do I believe if I don't have anybody telling me what my feelings mean anymore? I believe that I would be less angry and conflicted.
I have found that you can remove your names from the church records via email now, and that seems like a nice, efficient way to go--not to mention that you'll have a nice, electronic copy as proof that you did send it.
As time has gone by, I am realising more and more that I just don't believe in most of what the church puts out. I am not really a Mormon, but I've sure tried hard to make myself believe that I could be (if only I were better, different, more faithful, etc).
End of late-nite spouting and bad writing haha.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

So I just came home from my friend's wedding in Utah, which was beautiful and fun. The older I get, the more weddings I go to, it seems. One thing that I really enjoy about weddings is the palpable love that is ever-present. So many times, I feel blessed to be allowed to share in that love and experience it through the words, faces, and the unnoticed glances of the wedding parties and guests. It's a touching, beautiful thing when it's right. (On a side note, I notice that many ladies are ├╝ber-reluctant to catch the bouquet these days haha, myself included.)
I flew, which I haaaate. Usually, I deprive myself of food and sleep on the day that I fly so that I will be more apt to sleep through the flight and also so that I won't have to use the bathroom on the airplane much or possibly get sick or something. It took a total of 6 flights to get me to and from my friend's wedding. Gulp. Well, the first one was the worst, of course. Then the second and third started to come a liiiittle bit easier. The day I flew home, my first flight was out of Salt Lake City and I sat next to a man who was going home to Phoenix. He must have noticed my constantly-darting eyes to the window for verification that we were still right side up and not upside down and the constant twisting of my excess seat belt. Whatever the case, he started a conversation with me and we talked the whole flight. He didn't mind my sometimes-nervous responses or maybe my sometimes-mindless chatter. He mentioned his family right off (good for him!) and he said he felt very lucky because his family all had good jobs and his wife and daughter had the flexibility of at-home jobs. I am grateful to that man who took the time to help a very scared fellow passenger.
On the last flight home, I took a small plane from Charlotte, NC to Knoxville, TN. It was a short flight, but veeeerry bumpy. I usually don't get that upset about turbulence, more about the takeoff and the possibility of going down in the middle of the flight, but for some reason, that doesn't include turbulence. However, this unexpected up, down, side-to-side stuff had me involuntarily grabbing the side of the seat in front of me and emitting small groans. I even closed my eyes and started whispering, "It'll be ok,'ll be ok." I heard a young mother behind me reading a book to her small child and if you had just listened to her, you wouldn't have known that anything was happening at all. She sounded so calm and intent on the story. The child seemed nonplussed as well. Across the aisle, another mother and her children were just gabbing away. And so I found myself whispering, "Brave parents." I don't know if I would be able to do that for a future child/future children of my own, but wow.
On the takeoff and the touchdown of that flight, the children across the aisle were saying, "Whooooooaaaa!" in awe and enjoyment of the experience and scenery. I thought about how children are so without fear and how I used to have less fear myself. Children get on a plane and they think nothing of the possible dangers and they think nothing of the turbulence. They just think, 'I'm getting on a plane. The pilot let me look in the cockpit and that was cool--he's gonna fly us home.' No doubts. Faith. Childlike faith. Don't know what that's like anymore.
I guess I've been thinking about marriage a lot more as I've gotten older, too. Yeah, I'm finally the 3-0, and it's fine (on the upside, people are still confusing me for a 19-20 year-old and in some cases, 12-14 year-old sheesh), but I'm feeling like my settling-in days are coming on. My 20s were for wandering, my 30s will be for focusing, and my 40s will be for...marriage? Childbearing? Dunno. So where was I? Oh yeah, marriage haha. I used to think that getting married young was a bad thing, but now I see it as a possible benefit in that you don't know too much about the world or the opposite sex or the dangers ahead. You just jump in with childlike faith and go for it. I'm definitely waaaaay past that point in my knowledge haha.
Today I rummaged through all the dresser tops and zippered pockets in various bags and my BYU plastic cup and found enough change to fill my car up with just enough gas to get me to Knoxville for a piano lesson (I know you were thinking Taco Bell haha). Being low on the cash flow is a side effect of teaching lessons, especially during the summer when half of your lessons leave (I'm up to about 16 students regularly now!) and especially when you roadtrip every few weeks haha. Anyhoo, I walked into the gas station and dumped my change onto the counter, apologising to the clerk. He was so kind, though. He told me that it was fine and that he needed the change, so I was helping him. I'm grateful for that little kindness.
Well, I read my last blog on here and I've partially updated what's been going on. As I said, I pretty much doubled my students since the last time I posted, but I'm considering applying to be a substitute for the school district (if their application date is still open) because it's still flexible and it would be a little more cash. I also want to start gigging around town. I've talked to some peeps, now I just need to buy a cheap PA system, record a demo CD (copyright some musik), and get a small website up. I'd do weddings too, if I had the equipment. I did end up taking guitar lessons, but stopped them about 2 months ago...possibly temporarily. They were a great help and a lot of fun and I was able to teach some advanced things to some of the advanced players at Girls Rock Vegas this year, so woo hoo! I got Rosetta Stone Spanish from my brother, so I've slowly been working on getting that done. I am just finishing my first semester at Western Governors University (an online school that my friend teaches at and it's just great). I decided to get a Bachelor's in Accounting because it's practical (who needs a degree for artsy fartsy stuffs anyhoo?! :) and it's usually a job that's always in demand in maaaany different fields and it's flexible--I hope to be able to work from home. I want to become a CPA, though, so I'll need to get a Master's degree, too. No prob, yo. No prob.
So those are the gratitude goods for now (as well as some extras...maybe too many exTRAYS--as Tori would say hee hee). Ciao! Buona vita!