Sunday, April 27, 2014

My Music: April 2014

In which I admit that I was one of those people that played "Let It Go" from Frozen over and over and over again.  In my defense, I spent a good deal of December and January studying during snowstorms, and I needed appropriate music for that.

My Top 25 Most Played on iTunes:
  1. Organ Donor (Jeremy Messersmith)
  2. Anything Could Happen (Ellie Goulding)
  3. Let It Go (Idina Menzel)
  4. Vuelie (Frozen soundtrack)
  5. C'est la Mort (The Civil Wars)
  6. Poison & Wine (The Civil Wars)
  7. It's Only Dancing (Jeremy Messersmith)*
  8. Lazy Bones (Jeremy Messersmith)
  9. Hold On (Mary Beth Maziarz)
  10. I Don't Feel Like Dancin' (Scissor Sisters)
  11. Frozen Heart (Frozen soundtrack)
  12. Toussaint Grey, First in Life and Death (Jeremy Messersmith)
  13. Look At Me Now (Karmin)
  14. How (Regina Spektor)
  15. Thursday (Asobi Seksu)
  16. Shake It Out (Florence + the Machine)
  17. Snow Day (Jeremy Messersmith)
  18. Heidi (Jeremy Messersmith)
  19. Dillinger Eyes (Jeremy Messersmith)
  20. Knots (Jeremy Messersmith)
  21. Timshel (Mumford and Sons)
  22. Slow and Steady (Of Monsters and Men)
  23. Elsewhere (Sarah McLachlan)
  24. Explosions (Ellie Goulding)
  25. Your Song (Ellie Goulding)
Good heavens, I listened to a lot of Jeremy Messersmith over the past few months.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Bravery

On occasion, a combination of me obsessing about/practicing a song a lot and me looking really cute will give me the courage to post a video of me singing and playing the ukulele.  So here I am, dressed up for a choir concert, singing "The Story" (originally by Brandi Carlile).  Enjoy...or mock me silently...or say (if you're anything like my mother), "you couldn't have put on a little lipstick?"  

video

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Laundry Day*

Washing my underwear even though I'm not out of clean underwear.




*See you there.  Underthings tumbling.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Getting Real for a Minute

This post inspired me.  If I ever meet K in person, I'm going to throw all my rules about no hugging out the window.


General Conference (aka ten hours of church) is this weekend.  I'm nervous.  I used to love General Conference for all the messages and memories.  Last October was different, though.  It started out okay:  President Uchtdorf's talk--fantastic!  Elder Holland's talk--so necessary!  Then it changed.

I don't have children, I'm not married, and I'm older than a lot of Mormon women who are married.  I'm obviously conscious of these things, but the talks at last October's General Conference ensured that I was painfully aware of them.  Excruciatingly painfully aware that even though I was on a great career path and studying awesome things and succeeding in my schoolwork, I wasn't making the single most important contribution to (Mormon) society that a woman could possibly make by being a wife and mother.  What almost made it sting more was that I actually wanted to be a wife and mother, but I just wasn't, nor was I on a path that was going to get me there anytime soon, and I felt I was being told--by men whom I had sustained to be the mouthpieces of my God--that, that wasn't good enough.  That I was failing.  Deficient.

(I'm sure the context of my life at the time didn't help.  I had just started my PhD program, essentially committing myself to school and to Boston for at least four years--into my early thirties; I was in a relationship that I wasn't sure about and was starting to go downhill; and People who weren't me Were getting married.)

Nonetheless, I felt awful.  I spent the Sunday evening weeping in my poor then-boyfriend's room (on his Birthday, of all days, which made me feel even worse).  I don't think I had ever cried that much before, but I had good reason.  General Conference is supposed to be uplifting, but instead, it made me feel worthless.  I felt betrayed.  Later that month, I went to the temple for solace, but that just made me feel even more sad and alone, but this time in a very Eternal sense.  I struggled with going to church for a while--I tried going an older single adult ward to be around women who maybe had feelings similar to mine, but I kind of felt out-of-place and underage there.  Going to my own ward became a source of social anxiety.  It was really hard.  But it was also during this time that I realized that I must have a testimony of at least some of the Gospel, because otherwise, why would I still even come to church?  If there wasn't at least a tiny piece of me that believed that Christ was my Savior who died to take away my pain, I wouldn't have put myself through so much anxiety and emotional discomfort every week.

I don't know if it was the Atonement or if it's just time (it's probably both, to be honest), but I'm better now.  Not 100%, mind you, but better.  I went back to the temple last month with my visiting teacher.  Despite my apprehension, it was a generally positive experience.  I've gotten to a place where I'm a little more hopeful and at peace about things.  I still fight the Mormon Doctrine/Tradition/Culture vs. Personal Convictions battle at least once a week, but I've found kindred spirits (both in real life and on the internet) who are in that same battle and whose voices have been a real comfort and inspiration.

I'm still wary of this weekend's General Conference, though.  I feel like I'm going to be watching it in assumed "crash position," bracing myself for something that might again shatter my sense of self-worth as a Mormon woman.  I'm just hoping I can find something good that speaks to me and that those things are enough to sustain me for the next six months.



*****
End-note that is sort of related but doesn't really go with the rest of this post:  A while ago, probably not long after last October's conference, I wrote some thoughts that would probably have gone into an imaginary letter to all the general authorities that talk to all the single ladies.*  Here are those thoughts:
Acknowledge that there are single, childless women in the Church, but do it without pity.  Don't tell us that your hearts ache for us because most of our hearts ache just fine for ourselves.  Don't tell us that we can still be nurturers by sharing stories of old maids who became awesome Primary teachers.  Talk about other roles single women fill within the church; talk about single sisters as visiting teachers, missionaries, and temple workers.  Tell us that we are daughters of a Heavenly Father who loves us and wants us to find meaning and joy in our lives, even if that meaning and joy won't come from serving in the "ideal" role of wife and mother.

*Now put your hands up.