Monday, May 23, 2011

No More Pencils. No More Books

Today is the first day of the last week of school. I can BARELY CONTAIN MYSELF. As many of you know, I'm in a little charter school in the middle of nowhere. We get out earlier than most schools because they didn't have enough money to pay all the teachers for that extra week. Good Times.

A few days ago a friend came over for a visit. And when he saw me bubbly and happy and singing and being the me I usually think of as me he asked me if I had been drinking. It's a sad, sad realization to know that for people to see you peppy you had to have taken to thee ole bottle (not that I get super peppy when I drink. I mostly just get tired and silly.)

Alas! No! I did NOT need alcohol to feel this way! I felt this way naturally! I felt this way because I could taste the freedom of summer and the knowledge that I had been offered another job (a good job!) so that I would never have to return to that part of the world AGAIN. And I realized how hard this year has been on me. I reread my blog posts about heartbreak and life's hardknocks and it makes me want to throw something (sorry about that). I remember when I used to be funny. I used to be able to spin a good yarn. I used to not quote Jean Paul Sartre in response to people talking about Heaven. I used to wear yellow! I used to do my hair!

So, I've decided, with this summer vacation it might be time to take that portrait of Emily Dickinson off my refrigerator and replace it with Doris Day! Because that's what I feel like. About time.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Rewiring the Brain.

Sometimes I try to pretend that I was never religious. I'm tired of religion. I'm tired when I think of all the decisions that I made about my education and my life because I was worried they would take me away from my true calling as a wife and mother. I'm tired of trying to talk in circles about how to change said religions so they make more sense and are more egalitarian.

I just get tired. Or maybe, I'm just still so hurt. I think I avoid religion lately because it's still so emotionally taxing on me. Having made a break from the Mormon faith just over two years ago hasn't dissipated all the hard wiring my brain has had to try and undo after 30 years of thinking one way. And it's hard fighting with yourself all the time. It's hard second guessing your well thought out decisions. It's hard having friends and family look at you like you are a problem to be fixed. It gets hard. And tiring.

I recently read this article that really moved me. I understood her story. I lived her story. I think you could read it too and see what a lot of women in the LDS church deal with--though it may seem silly that it's engrained in us so fully, but it really is.

She tells her story, and then she optimistically paints a solution to how you can balance your faith, family, and career if certain changes were made. I like the story she paints. She paints it in shades of warm yellow and orange that make me start to feel something. But, my blueness regarding the situation comes back after only a few moments. Sometimes the problem seems so big. And, why should I even try and change what I perceive as a problem, when so many women are ok with it? That's the big question. Do I just get out and then leave the church and it's consenting women to their own demise? Many would say yes. Many would get upset with me even calling it a "demise". But all I know is that if I didn't have a friend who was brave enough to voice her concerns and leave the church and then tell me about it, knowing, or at least hoping, that I would love her anyway--if I didn't have her to see that it WAS possible to be actually happy and religion free--then I'd still be in that same church. I would be meeting my own demise. My soul and spirit and whatever you want to call it were dying in that church and I didn't even realize it.

You can read the full story about this woman here.

Also, you can read this little excerpt below.

Women’s invisibility is at the root of all their problems, and this invisibility comes from women’s profound lack of representation in the major decision making councils of the world and their lack of influence and power. To have their voices heard and better the lives of all women, men, and children, they must find their way into governments, academia, international affairs, and business administration. In that way, those making the decisions will have women’s needs and interests (and by extension, those of the family) in mind. However, this presents a major dilemma for those who are Latter-day Saints and who believe that motherhood and family cohesion are preeminent.

It is broadly accepted that Mormons traditionally believe in stay-at-home moms. For many years the counsel to the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the church leaders has been for mom to stay in the home while the children are still being raised. They were strongly counseled against taking any kind of career when it wasn’t necessary. Many Latter-day Saint boys are raised to look for a girl to marry who is committed to staying home with her kids, and girls are raised with marriage and homemaking as their ultimate ambition. How is a Latter-day Saint to reconcile the need for women to take positions of political influence, when those positions require work outside of the home and a lifelong investment in a career in order to reach any type of authoritative level of influence? Considering that a woman cannot be simultaneously in her home with her children and in the workplace making a change in the world, and boards of directors and politicians cannot and will not hire someone without experience, major societal changes are in order to reconcile this dilemma. These changes must take place in the workplace, in societal values, and in societal expectations, particularly for men.

I feel like it's Indecision 2011 for me. I'm almost 34. I feel like I need to decide if I want to go out and grab that husband and have that baby, or if I want to do what I feel so passionate about in my heart. Is there really a way to do both? I don't really believe that there is. I think having children changes the playing ground so completely that your life is never the same. That you focus so fully on them you let other things fall by the wayside. That's a good thing. I want mothers in this world that would be involved in mothering. And I know myself well enough to know that if I had a child, I would give so much of myself, my time, my talents (and that I would WANT to give those things to that little baby) that all of my other dreams would still sort of be realized, just not as fully. Or my dreams would change. Which isn't a bad thing at all. But it seems bad now. It seems lesser. It seems like I won't reach my full potential. It seems like I'm talking in circles, doesn't it? Meh. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Stellar Love Stories

If you follow my private blog about my love life (fascinating stuff that)--I am here to inform you that it has finally been updated. And it will be receiving many more updates over my summer vacation.

So, please go read it now because I need advice.


I finished reading Earth by Jon Stewart yesterday. It wasn't what I expected. It was written for Aliens. It was written as if all of Earth was dead and Aliens had come down and were vacationing in the carnage. Well, maybe "vacation" is the wrong word. Maybe it isn't. I don't know what Aliens like to do on vacation.

So. I read that. Then, I watched the news and saw people who think the rapture is happening tomorrow. As someone who lived in the South and has a magnet on my fridge about the rapture, I feel like an expert about it. However, I never did watch those movies with Kirk Cameron because I wanted my childhood lust and love for Kirk to remain constant, and I worried those films would diminish the lust and love. So, maybe I'm just an amateur expert.

Last night there was a huge lightning storm in my back yard. And thunder. Lots of both. If I were in Ancient Greece I'd be rolling my eyes that the God of Lightning and the God of Thunder had to have it out at 4am when I was trying to get some precious sleep. Those Gods! So mercurial in their emotions! But, I'm not in Ancient Greece. So, I thought of the next logical explanation. THE RAPTURE (say that in a booming, scary voice, like I do in my head when I use all capital letters). Yes, THE RAPTURE was here. Fox news was finally right!

I lay in bed and listened to the noises and telltale signs that people were going to be lifted out of their homes and taken up to the skies. I pretty much knew I wasn't going to be in that group, I had just had a glass of wine before bed, you see. And it made me hopeful that I wouldn't have to fight morning traffic. Then I laughed at the ironic thought that maybe ALL of Utah would be Left Behind and then, boy, wouldn't their faces be red! Those are basically the thoughts I had while the rapture was supposedly going on.

The other thought I had was that I was glad I just bought food storage because that storm sounded like it was never going to stop and that it was going to take everything except  my basement with it. The third thought I had was, "Oh God! What if something really does happen and I'm stuck in my house alone for DAYS and DAYS?!?!?!?!" Then I started talking to myself and calming myself down and telling myself how much I liked myself and how funny I was and how good it was that I had a lot of books I wanted to read because a huge catastrophic event where I am stuck in my home living off of packaged food items I got at Emergency Essentials (who promised me the pasta and meatballs in that package would taste like the real thing) is the perfect time to catch up on all my reading.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Remember the first time you ended up spooning all night with someone you were nervous to care for, nervous to feel for, but the nerves didn't stop you from fountains of care and feelings. You got a little out of sorts to have them next to you. They wanted to stay the night. They brushed their teeth in front of you and winked at you when they caught you staring. You wondered what sounds you would make in your sleep and hoped they wouldn't be too unfeminine. And yet, they snored the whole night long and you forgave them without a moment's notice. Remember when you needed to turn over and you thought that maybe he would stop holding you, but instead, he turned too, and your bodies fit together. Think about that. A body that fit with yours. Remember that. These are not questions. I want you to remember. Now. Remember when you kissed his shoulder because it was the closest thing to your lips, and he rubbed that back part of your neck, just where your scalp and neck connect and it made you think of sunshine and warmth and this one song by Stevie Wonder, of all people. You felt all of that, All from one little spot by his one hand? Remember. Good.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sometimes I try to Believe.

Sometimes I try and believe in the goodness of men. Sometimes I try to believe that they aren't all the way societal cliches claim them to be.

Sometimes I try to believe that they will listen to me. That they will be interested in what I'm saying and not how pretty it is when my mouth moves.

Sometimes I try to believe that it doesn't matter if I have make-up on that day or not because I never care if they have make-up on either.

Sometimes I try to believe they will see past my blond hair and full mouth and cleavage and see me as a whole person.

Sometimes I want to believe that it is my wit that charms them, and nothing else.

Sometimes I like to believe that they really do want to be making eye contact and that it is not a chore to not look at my lovely breasts (I really do have brilliant breasts). Or watch my ass sway as I walk somewhere.

Sometimes I try to believe that they won't their manhood insulted if I know more about politics then they do. That they won't want me to walk around in 5 inch stiletto heels so that I can turn them on. That they won't feel the need to avoid real conversations. That they actually do want to communicate and commit.

Sometimes I like to believe that the fact that I have an ivy league education, that I own my own house, that I own my own car, that I am completely independent and confident doesn't make them feel like they don't know what they could offer me. Sometimes I like to believe that men know they are actually much more than just providers and protectors. That they can be needed in a woman's life for more reasons than just those. So many more reasons.

These attempts at belief go out the window when I change my facebook page photo to one of my recent  photo shoots. Photos I have TAKEN, not photos that I am IN. The photos I take are of very stunning people most of the time, and when I put a new one up, I usually get about 10 to 15 requests from strange men I have never met who send me a one liner like "Hey, you're hot (though, let's be honest, in this day and age it's usually, "Hey, your hot.")

That's really when my beliefs about what I imagine the amazing possibilities that reside within a man sort of wane.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Don't Be Frightened.

Life Doesn’t Frighten Me
Shadows on the wall
Noises down the hall
Life doesn’t frighten me at all

Bad dogs barking loud
Big ghosts in a cloud
Life doesn’t frighten me at all

Mean old Mother Goose
Lions on the loose
They don’t frighten me at all

Dragons breathing flame
On my counterpane
That doesn’t frighten me at all.

I go boo
Make them shoo
I make fun
Way they run
I won’t cry
So they fly
I just smile
They go wild

Life doesn’t frighten me at all.

Tough guys fight
All alone at night
Life doesn’t frighten me at all.

Panthers in the park
Strangers in the dark
No, they don’t frighten me at all.

That new classroom where
Boys all pull my hair
(Kissy little girls
With their hair in curls)
They don’t frighten me at all.

Don’t show me frogs and snakes
And listen for my scream,
If I’m afraid at all
It’s only in my dreams.

I’ve got a magic charm
That I keep up my sleeve
I can walk the ocean floor
And never have to breathe.
Life doesn’t frighten me at all
Not at all
Not at all.
Life doesn’t frighten me at all.
Maya Angelou