Friday, October 5, 2012

aaaaand conference.


It's conference weekend!  Bust out the M&M's and notebooks!

If you are reading this because you are a tad bored and you want to know what to look for, here are my thoughts going into it all. 

  • Have I mentioned that the choir is full of amazing people?  In every camera shot you have the potential to see my friends, my heroes, the guy(s?) I'm interested in, and maybe even me!
  • Beyond watching the choir, please listen.  We work so hard.  We spend time memorizing, we get yelled at and pushed to our limits and sometimes we even cry, all to make our own offering a part of the whole deal. The words mean something.  Every last one of them has been prayed over and agonized over by at least 400 people. 
  • Pray for me.  Last conference I fell asleep and drooled chocolate on my dress.  It was still there when we sang the last song.
  • Listen like a reporter. With the elections and Governor Romney, the press will be paying attention and searching for things to blow out of porportion!
  • Did you write down your questions?  Its not too late!  I have over a page.  I know its "supposed" to be 3, but I figure I'll give God options. 
  • Turquoise and Fuscia (but the fuscia looks red on camera). Now you can tell your friends you are in the know. (No Peeps this season.  Maybe for spring)
  • You know how that organ can get loud?  Its even louder when you are standing 10 feet in front of the pipes.  They offer us earplugs, but I don't take them, because I like the noise.
  • You have my permission to throw an M&M at the screen every time you see me. This is only somewhat less disruptive than jumping around yelling "I know her!"
  • I cut bangs, so my hair is different.
  • Elder Holland, President Eyering, President Uchtdorff, Elder Perry, and Elder Scott.  These are a few of my favorite things!
  • (But most of all Elder Perry, 'cause he thinks I'm beautiful.)
  • My friend Brittany's son calls me Fancy and says I sing with the angels.  He's not far off.
  • This seems like a narcissistic list, but honestly, its my blog, so what are you gonna do?

Most of all, love every second of it.  I know I do. Even the accidental naps. (Because let's be honest, they are the best naps you ever get. And you only get them once every 6 months.)

The political post

I want to keep this brief.

I am a democrat.

I am not stupid.

I am not a socialist.

I am aware of the strengths and weaknesses of BOTH candidates.

Are you?

The point of this is not to convince anyone to join me.  It is to invite you to be smarter about whatever party or candidate you support.  Think for a moment about President Barack Obama and Governor Romney.  Can you identify strengths and weaknesses in each of them?

If so, good for you.  Quit reading and go back to whatever you were doing with your life.

If not, you are frankly underinformed.  These men are neither gods nor devils.  Neither of them are wholly perfect nor wholly evil.  The moment you start to believe so is the moment you are buying into propoganda and no longer thinking for yourself. 

I shudder to realize that most of our political system is determined by who comes up with the most clever or entertaining or appealing propoganda. 

Start thinking.  Weigh the issues. Choose according to your thoughts on economy, foreign policy, healthcare, welfare, education, abortion, gay marriage, and any other topic you find important. But do not choose according to the pictures your facebook friends post, the things stated by either fox news or jon stewart, or whatever your professor/parent/roommate thinks.

And most of all, stop throwing insults at those who think and choose differently than you.  This is America.  The most un-American thing you can do is restrict another's right and ability to think and choose for themselves. 

Don't roll your eyes at me for stating my thoughts, especially if you asked for them.

Incidentally, I can still get a temple recommend, even if I vote for the not-mormon guy.  And I do know a few LDS girls who have gotten married in spite of their democratic party affiliation. 

And while we are on the subject of the stupid things people say, please oh please recognize that when you say stupid and uninformed things, you do more damage to your own party.  Like the kid who announced on facebook that if President Obama got re-elected, he would move to Canada.  Seriously?  You are worried about socialism and you think Canada is the place to go? By being either stupid or mean in the name of a certain political party, you make the party look that way by association! Just look at the damage Rush Limbaugh did to his own party with his "slut" comments. Although, I do wonder if he isn't a clever plant from the Democrats, winning intelligent people to the other side every time he opens his mouth.  I'm not saying anyone is stupid for disagreeing with me, I'm saying that if you say stupid things, you make a case for the other guys.

Here's a guideline: Instead of saying mean things about others, promote your own candidate by being positive.  It makes you look smarter and happier. 

Oh and one last thing.  President Obama is the President.  He is not Obama and he is not Barack.  Governor Romney will get the same due if he becomes president.  But for now, his title is governor and I respect him as such and call him by that title.  Let's try and at least maintain some propriety.  (Come on, you know me well enough to know that I don't call for propriety that often.)

I am constantly telling people I have smart and amazing friends.  Don't let the political season make me question you!

Cyberbullying? Really?

I've been absent for a while.  That's fine.  My head is in school and choir and all sorts of good things. 
But as always, I return to here when I need to write. And I need to write.

This is an open letter.  Meaning since I do not know to whom I should address this, I address it to everyone. 

I've gotten some harassment lately.  It came to the email address that is associated with my facebook account.  And it came anonymously.  Thus all I know about the sender is that they are probably my facebook "friend".  You'll see why I use that term loosely.

Apparently I'm fat. 

OK, well, really I knew that. 

Apparently, this sender feels it is their duty to inform me that I am fat and unattractive and irresponsible.  And they somehow have reasoned that while it is their duty to inform me, it is also their right to remain anonymous while doing so.

I would like to rant about how unsigned words have no power, but clearly they do, because here I am responding to them in the only way I can.  So instead of responding with off-the-cuff irritation, I am going to reason through a few things here. Its not that your words don't have power.  Words always have power.  The problem is that without a name attached, the individual who used them is relinquishing their power.  They take no ownership in their words, and are made weak by so doing. 

Do you hear that, Anonymous Cyberbully? You are weak.

There is a theory about bullying and power.  It is that those who bully feel powerless themselves, and so they target others that they perceive as weak in order to establish power for themselves. 

Do you think you are being my friend?  My friends are strong.  My friends know me.  My friends know they can talk to me about concerns.  My friends would sign their name. You are not my friend.

I am frankly familiar with bullying.  I remember the mean girls from elementary school, and their ridiculous games.  I can still hear the names that followed me around the hallways of my high school.  I can even name for you the adults who participated and contributed, and who impacted my sense of self in every way that they were not supposed to.  I remember their names because I learned that I don't have to believe them.  And I remember their names because I am learning to forgive them.

In spite of not knowing your name, I do want you to know some things about me.  I want you to know that I am strong.  Maybe I wasn't in high school, and those names hurt to the core.  But I am strong now.  I am strong enough to sign my name to whatever I write, and I am strong enough respond to you.

And I know that my body is not the ideal movie star or olympic body that the media tells me I am supposed to have.  You clearly think there is something wrong with me because of that.  But you are misinformed.  My body is strong.  I run 3 miles a day, I eat my veggies, and I sing with my whole core.  My lungs will produce a louder, longer, purer tone than most, I can run to class, hike up mountains, and dance ridiculously to a good beat as long as anyone else.  I will never be thin.  I will always be strong.

Beyond the physical traits that you so injuriously included in your message to me, you should know that I am strong beyond the reach of your words.  I have succeeded in acheiving everything I dreamed of as a child, and I succeeded early enough to create new dreams.  I am fulfilling those as well.  My goals reach far beyond your opinion of who I should be, and they will be accomplished without regard for your asinine approach. 

Your words do not impact my goals, they neither discourage me nor spur me onward.  Even if I someday choose to make thin-ness a goal, your words will not be what drive me towards it. 

Frankly, I have better concerns for my time.  We live in a world where souls balance on precarious boundaries.  While you blindly toss your brand of filth at those who surround you, I am using my strength to pull people from the muck.  It will take more than anonymous emails to hinder my efforts.

I would like to invite you to quietly remove yourself from my facebook list.  I do not think your version of friendship is healthy. I promise I will not scour my list to see who leaves.  I would guess that I won't even notice your absence.  If you ever become someone who would like to sign your name to your messages, look me up.  I will happily welcome you back. Until then, may you figure out how to have strength without tearing others apart.