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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Marriage Musings.



I've been thinking a lot about the topic recently. Coming home, I've noticed that my parents aren't perfect. They have their sarcasm, their eye rolls, their disagreements. But all in all, they still have a lot of love for each other. And even more than that, they have a strong commitment to each other. It brings to mind the Nickel Creek song, "Why should the fire die? My mom and dad kept theirs alive."

Love can't carry a person through marriage. Commitment is more important. Meaning you're always looking out for one another, always helping each other, always working together to become better people.

It can be easy to forget that marriage is meant to be a constructive institution. Neither person wants to hurt the other. But it can be hard to remember that after living together for so long when patience wears thin.

They say marriage is hard, but that's why we don't do it alone. God promises to help us and the only way a marriage can work is with the help of the Lord. And I don't just want my marriage to work. I want it to rock. I want to work so hard for my husband that my love and commitment to him will overwhelm me. I want to keep in my mind and heart the reasons why I married him. I want to be his soulmate, the kind that is formed after you're sealed to each other by the power of God and you become each other's soulmate. I want to want to be with him even after decades of being together. I want to still feel lucky and blessed that he chose me when we're thirty-seven and stuck in a repetitive routine.

I want to be part of something that's so rich with work, understanding, care, spirituality, and joy that I cannot help but smile when I come home.

I feel like some people would tell me that that's a fantasy. But I have a deeply rooted feeling that it's possible. And I pray very hard that every married and future-married person will see that too.

Goodness knows I'll have a lot more to say on the subject when I join the lot myself, but for now, I'm grateful for strong examples, a loving Heavenly Father, and the preparations one kid's making now to commit to me someday. (:

Love to all. Happy Holidays.
-Whit

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Makeshift fireplaces





Hello friends. It's been a while.

Well, in the spirit of an upcoming Thanksgiving, our apartment decorated for Christmas. Actually, we started decorating on Halloween. I'm so grateful to be in an apartment of girls who like to celebrate Christmas as early as I do. (: I boiled cloves and cinnamon so that the house would smell like the holidays. We colored pictures printed off of a coloring pages website of Mrs. Claus and Rudolph, and we've been playing Sufjan's Christmas Album ever since.

This last weekend we talked of having a fireplace. We don't actually have a real one, but I printed one off from Google images and we surrounded it with bricks made out of lunch sacks. Strange as it is, the two-dimensional flame seems to keep me warm.



All of these makeshift holiday decorations have paralleled the makeshift decisions I've had to decide concerning big changes in my life right now. It hasn't hit me yet that life will be different this time next year. Hopefully I'll be out in New York attending a school that's paying me to learn how to write novels. Or in California taking out a fatty federal loan to pay a school that will teach me how to write television shows. Either way, if things turn out, I might not be here in front of my paper fireplace.

I say "might" because I've learned by now that things never turn out the way you think they will. I've been flying by the seat of my pants these last four years, not knowing where I was going and not able to steer one way or another. You'd think I'd be used to all of the uncertainty by now, but it still scares the crap out of me.

Still, I feel good. I've been especially touched by Henry B. Eyring's talk this General Conference titled, "Trust in God, Then Go and Do." That really is all we can do, isn't it? We have to stop trying to pretend that we know more than God. He knows what will make us happiest. He knows what will make us reach our potential. It might be good to simply do what's right and let Him do the rest. Easier said than done. I know, I know. But we can make the best of what we do not know and what we do not have.

I hadn't planned past graduation when I first came to BYU. But I feel good about where I'm going. I'm content with this erratic life of mine. It's no traditional fireplace, but I've built a makeshift one with the only tools I have. And if God's okay with my printer ink and lunch sacks, so am I.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Oh hey!



Yes yes, I'm back in Portland. (:

I can't tell you how wonderful it's been to take a load off and really rest for a few days in the tree-filled cultural hub of the Northwest. After nonstop work and classes since last September, I was feeling a little burnt out. Coming home has been wonderful and a little confusing as well.

I've been in a groove, to say the least. I've known my place and known what I can contribute to my own little world of Provo, Utah with the friends I play with, the campus I interact with, and the ideals I flirt with. (Ideals can also be replaced with "boys" (: ) Here, however, I've realized just how small my world has been. And yet, we all lead somewhat small lives wherever we are, don't we? We have our jobs, our friends, our family, our wards/clubs/schools/knitting groups and we rarely step outside that circle.

Stepping outside of my circle these past few days--even if it's just back into the circle I came from--has opened my eyes to how much I'm looking forward to the future. It's been just the parentals and myself here in this big house with lots of memories and I've come to recognize just who I want to be when I take their places as a half-centurion parent, grandparent, and spouse.


* I want to maintain a certain quirkiness that keeps people on their toes while maintaining the dignity and authority that every parent should have.

* I want to have a collection of my talents stored in one place that I can access frequently, sharpen, improve, and use to keep me grounded as a progressing individual.

* I want to feel the deepest love and charity I've ever felt so far in my twenty-one years as a regular occurrence when I take in all I've learned and shared in the family and humanity around me.

* I want to have experienced enough in my life to offer profound advice and valuable aid to those around me both through empathy and through problem-solving skills I've developed in my life up to that point.

* I want to get away with saying words like, "bunkfest," "craptastic," and "anywho."

* I want to know another person as well as I know myself.

* I want to have traveled the world and experienced all ranges of cultures, or at least conduct myself like someone who has.

* I want to pleasantly surprise people on a consistent basis by my actions when compared to my age.

* I want to dance frequently.

* I want to laugh habitually.

* I want to be grateful always.


And at this point, I think I might just be on my way. (:

Love to all. I hope your Augusts are going as well as Augusts are meant to go.

-Whit

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It's coming on Christmas, they're cutting down trees...




I'm not exactly sure what to write in this post. Normally I wait until something inspiring hits me in the face and then I expel my thoughts onto the keyboard, which transfers it to the screen, which transfers it out into the cyber world where you and I eventually brush fingertips and sensational ideas.

This post is merely in the interest of keeping an updated blog.

I did have a wicked awesome dream, though:

I don’t remember if it was a theme park like Disnelyand or if it was a kooky organization sponsored event geared toward cult propaganda and like-minded conversion, because it started out as the latter and concluded as the former. But Matt, Gregory, Natalie and I were at this park and for some reason I didn’t want to buy a ticket to be able to ride on the rides or see the shows, so we spent much of our time dodging ticket sellers and even swimming through ponds to get to the other side of the park so that we could get into places for free. I think I had some moral dilemma about paying this organization for any entertainment and mostly I wanted to sabotage their event.

Then, while we were waiting in line for a ride that seemed like Splash Mountain, we were wondering how we were going to get around the ticket taker. We got to the front of the line and saw there was no way around her, so we went back into the line and looked around for alternate escape routes. But everything had chicken wire or barbed wire or chain links surrounding it. We would have to try to climb the fence inconspicuously without getting caught. Well, on the other side of the little garden courtyard that divided this Splash Mountain line into two queues, there was a tree. So Nat, Gregory, Matt and I went up to the bridge at the top of the line to get to the tree on the other side. I think I signed something to Matt about how we could use the tree in our escape route. But then, a bunch of hooded figures came out onto the grass in the garden between the lines. They were creepy, medieval looking folks with bows and arrows, while the authority figure carried a crossbow. They started talking to everyone in the lines about how sign language was an evil mechanism and that it was only meant for people with no soul. They said they could feel someone in their presence using sign language, that was when they zeroed in on us. This authority figure said he was going to kill all four of us so that we’d learn our lesson.

All four of us had congregated around the tree at this point, so Matt and Gregory hid behind separate trunks of the tree (it had a split trunk), Nat hid behind Gregory and I hid behind Matt. We were all so scared. I don’t know why everybody else in line was doing nothing but we sat there for a second, awaiting a terrible doom. It was here that I started praying saying, “Father, please watch over us.” Immediately, a distinct character came to my mind: Samuel the Lamanite.

Whoosh! What a rush, eh? I felt so inspired and encouraged and strong and relieved. I knew we would be okay. I said to the others, “Guys, I know for a fact that their arrows will not hit us.” And they all took courage and we braced for the worst.

All at once, arrows came flying towards us, whizzed by our tucked in arms and faces. I felt my hair get whipped back as arrows swept past my head. This went on for a long, long time, yet it was exhilarating, and almost in slow motion, like a moment from an action movie only with arrows instead of bullets and a creepy cult instead of covert assassins.

Then it was done. None of us had even been grazed.

(Perhaps I'm a softy for the philosophical, nay, theologically pregnant blog posts. And yet it's the only thing I can bring myself to write with any purpose in this sort of situation. I am not writing for myself, I am writing for you. What is the most important information I can give you? Generally it is pertaining to the divine, unless I'm feeling particularly egocentric).

What a wonderful dream, eh? I don't believe I've ever had revelation in a dream, and yet I took it so clearly and used it so boldly that I cannot ignore the instance. Right now I find myself barely keeping my proverbial head above the metaphoric water. I'm not sure where I'm going, why things happen, or what's to become of me. But I do know that all too often I lose sight of the most important truth to keep me grounded in the hubbub of life: God will keep our ultimate happiness His first priority. We cannot fail when we turn to him.

When we lose our lives for the Lord's sake, we find it. We find it.

Oh what a test of patience it can be to step back from our many worries and remember that this is life eternal: that we might know God and Jesus Christ. When we do that, our lives become more productive, more meaningful, richer, and happier.

So I say--while I'm stressing over my grades, my finances, my dating life, my future--I think I'm going to take the night off from my worries, say a hearty prayer, and go to bed.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I made this...




It's a parmesan pound cake that I found online, liked, and recreated in almost exactness and it was delicious. It even looked as aesthetically pleasing.

I've come to discover that we are much more capable of things than we give ourselves credit for. There is potential energy (in the philosophical sense, not necessarily the scientific sense) burning within each of us and waiting to unleash its unstoppable power in this desperate world.

I have a friend who, when I first met them, seemed entirely put together. There was an inspiring sense of accomplishment in this person's moral and secular life. The more I got to know them, though, the more I saw cracks in their confidence. It became a real source of confusion for me because I had placed a lot of my own insecurities into the idea of this person I could become. I very much disliked where I was going with this mindset when another friend of mine spoke to me about this said individual and told me, "I just don't think they realize how normal they really are."

Normal. That's why it hadn't fit together. This person was not the super-being I had initially imagined them to be. No one is. They have fears, insecurities, and idiosyncrasies like the rest of us. But isn't that the beauty of the human condition? It seems like I originally saw many of this person's positive qualities and was later taken aback when I saw the rest of their qualities because I simply didn't think those other qualities existed. We all have those "other qualities." We have doubts about our spiritual capacity to change, about our social abilities to extend ourselves and love, about our body image, our (lack of) talents, our ambitious futures, our projected selves, and our overall essence. Are we good enough?

After much praying about this said individual and why I might be feeling such confusion and reluctance to understand all of these other qualities, I realized that, while we all have those qualities, we also have the positive--which is what I originally saw in this person. I saw every good aspect of them magnified, and then I saw it again, but in a fresher perspective with the wonderful knowledge that we all have these good aspects inside of us. There are sides to everyone that seem like a super-being. What keeps us from seeing those sides in the people we interact with everyday and, most importantly, in ourselves?

Good gracious, it is hard enough to make it through this world unscathed by our circumstances, but to be inflicted with inner turmoil every time we magnify an unrecognized goal, a flaw, a shortcoming, will leave us broken pieces of ourselves by the end. Think of how much good we can do to others when we realize and expand the good in us.

I made a parmesan pound cake today. I love to bake. I saw this recipe and it looked like it would be hard. I was intimidated by the fancy chef language and expensive equipment. But the recipe was fairly simple, and it all tasted good, and everyone enjoyed themselves. So I'm glad I tried.

Perhaps most of us will succeed when we try.

This post has a bit of a mindless structure to it. I can't exactly pinpoint what my theme of this might be except this:

We have so much potential in ourselves that it's absolutely wasteful to spend our energy on the qualities we fall short on. There is something to be said for a little bit of confidence.

You came from a good God who keeps His eye on you. It is by faith that miracles are wrought so how in the world do you expect for God to step into your Great Test and do the work for you?

I am a kick-butt baker. I can cook pretty well too. Now isn't that a start?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Memorial

I thought there would be more happening during this springtime that many of you would be interested in reading. Instead, I dedicate this post as a memory.



To Sugar Ray.

I am not jiving you. We all remember the upbeat guitars. The frosted tips. And the sexy goatee stuck on the bottom of Mark McGrath's face. We all remember the highly saturated music videos. The frequent confusion of "Who did sing "How Bizarre" if it wasn't Sugar Ray?" (Perhaps it was the trumpets). And then the wondering if anyone else saw a distinct resemblance to Brad Pitt.

Let's take it back, circa 1999.

I was ten years old. It was during the phase our parents let us have cable (we often vacillated between basic and not-so-basic television depending on how fed up my parents were with MTV). Summer smells stick to my bare and calloused feet while I sit cross-legged on the floor in our upstairs family room. Ashleigh and I have just finished "Rocko's Modern Life" and are watching music videos to pass the time.

I look out the window, down at our street, and I see something larger than a suburban street scene in the middle of July. I see potential, capability, and freedom. I see the option of running through a field of high grass and looking for birds' nests. I see the orchards out a ways and the blackberry bush that Ainsley and I hollowed out into a fort. I see slip n' slides and capture the flag, hide and seek, sardines, and kickball. All resting on the bottoms of my feet while "Every Morning" courses through my ears, echoing that same feeling of light optimism.

Now, when I hear Sugar Ray, I smell wet grass. I feel hot pavement. I remember the careless way I played through sunny days and then, for the smallest moment, I feel the future brush against my fingertips, waiting for me to reach out and take hold of it.

This is why I bought three of their songs last week $.99 a piece.

You may call it nostalgia. I call it inspired recollection. And in the dim and grim world we live in today, we could all use a little inspiration.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Our own Tree of Knowledge and we're focusing on the leaves




For the last hour I was involved in a simply wonderful conversation with a friend who I respect very much. It seems like she's got everything figured out. Whenever we talk, there are no frivolities involved. Just the meat and potatoes. Hopefully I'll gain enough insight in life to never busy myself with pointless talk.

Anywho, this conversation covered a broad spectrum of topics. This friend paused in our talk and thought to herself. Then, with a face of genuine remorse she said, "We are such spoiled children."

And we are, aren't we? No other time on earth is akin to ours today. We have communication technology, education, we have revelation, the Priesthood, thousands of pages of scripture packed with the mysteries of God. We have prophets, apostles, we have direct communication with our Heavenly Father. We have current messages of truth delivered right to our doorsteps. Do we utilize these luxuries to the fullest of our capacities?

Laying out a few things on the table, my daily concerns include grades, dating, friends, weight, DC, money, and at the end of the day when I am finally laying down to rest, I think a little bit about how much closer I've come to God in the last 16 hours.

Now these are all things that can be important in their own rights, but heavens, is the ratio of time and energy really in the right places in my life? Where do we get lost? What tasks loom in front of us with such heavy consequences that we must put our eternal progression on hold to fix them?

And in our interactions with others, oh how I need to rearrange my way of dealing with this. Each of us considers ourselves the protagonist in our own story. We carry this mindset positively as well as negatively. For sometimes we worry what others think of us. What reactions will our choices emit that may make us feel stupid or inferior? This line of reasoning is preposterous when we recognize that only ourselves and God are looking at us under so powerful a microscope. And in that sense, shouldn't we be even more concerned with Eternal things as only God concerns Himself so intimately in our lives?

I pause to consider these interpersonal interactions because I think that second to our own spiritual progression, they are the most important choices we make in this life and are inherently connected to our spiritual progression. Do we recognize in others the layers of doubts, fears, histories, testimonies, concern, passion and love that connect us all in the human experience? I would find it such a wonderful and eye-opening opportunity to conduct an experiment on this: What if we were to find one person whom we interact with on a daily basis but do not know very well at all, then work every day to peel these layers back so that we could understand the inner workings of that one person? We would be floored by all of the hurt, love, fear and faith stored in that one person and recognize that we are all rich with personal experiences that have made us who we are. This friend of mine remembered a quote to the effect of if we were to understand the reasonings behind another person's actions and all of their history that makes up who they are today, it would be impossible to feel any hatred for them; we would only feel love and compassion.

I suppose these are two separate ideas, but they correspond in the big picture: Are we taking advantage of the plethora of information that the Lord is waiting to give to us?

Our Father has in His keeping limitless promptings, guidance, love and direction that we have access to! We can tap into these resources if our minds are open, our ears are listening and our hearts are waiting to receive them.

Perhaps this was a personal "Aha!" moment for me that might not resonate so loudly within the rest of you, but I felt like I should put it here so that we can be reminded of what is really important.

We have a Heavenly Father who is perfect. He loves us and wishes for nothing except our happiness. If we were to focus on perfecting our relationship with Him, the most intense core of who we are as individuals would be enhanced, allowing us to be our best qualities all of the time! Does that make sense? Your personal attributes would heighten, making you the most potent, pure and perfect version of yourself if you set your focus of this life on the One we're all striving to live with in the next life.

Sadly, I'm sure I'll forget this soon. I'm sure the cares of grades, dating, friends, weight, DC, and money will again encroach on my senses. But for now, I'd like to document a moment and hopefully set my course a little straighter so that my journey from here on out will be closer to the right direction.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I am Smitten






Behold: the Smitten.

I stumbled across this lovely picture and thought, what is this? It's exactly what it appears to be--a double-handed mitten. Why would one want a double-handed mitten? Because many have extra hands they'd prefer to hold inside the glove rather than outside.

First I thought, This is madness.
Then I thought, This is loveliness.
Finally I thought, This is genius.


After frequent episodes of searching with Mal through countless Youtube videos for "Top Ten Movie Kisses," we often conclude our day thinking something along the lines of, "Is this real? Is this attainable? Is this what I'm going to get?"

And The Biz will answer you with a bold-faced "YES."

However, let us look at the logistics. The passion, the ridiculous circumstances, the misunderstandings, the quirky friends, the high-paying jobs. Fiction. All of it. Something to make us do rash things and then cry about our stupid choices while watching the newest chickflick. Nicholas Sparks, don't even get me started.

Do I have a point? Sort of. Much of my self sought after the thrill of it all and very much intoxicated myself with notions of wonderful soundtracks playing all the live long day when I finally meet him. Of course, I've been in love. Sunshine and daisies, surely. But our feet must stay planted. Our minds must stay intelligent. Our hearts must stay within the confines of our ribs because when it leaves the shield of bones, it has no protection and eventually stops.

So as I see the Smitten, I am reminded of the wonderful titillations that gently prick us when we fall. It is a romantic idea. It is also ridiculous and keeps this ridiculousness in mind, using that as an advertising strategy, like the Snuggie. So I think to myself, "Self, I would like you to fall in love. But I would like you to catch yourself before you get in a mess of things."

Whitney Call in 2007 was a lovesick dear with pure intentions and a very soft heart. She was looking for Mr. Wonderful.

Whitney Call in 2008 was a lovesick gal with hasty intentions and an eager heart. She was hunting for Mr. Wonderful.

Whitney Call in 2009 was a lovesick lady with surprising intentions and an achy heart. She was frustrated with Mr. Wonderful.

Whitney Call in 2010 is a loving woman with calm intentions and a strong heart. She is leaving a forwarding address for Mr. Wonderful. He can catch her when he's ready.

This may not make much sense. But I'm excited that I'm not of my old ways. Oh, I still get excited, but I have not looked at wedding pictures in months. I don't know what I want my colors to be. I try to have fun with several guys at a time. And I'm going to Disneyland. (:

Smitten--may you whisk away many young lovers on an exciting adventure without doping them with the pervasive fictional garbage we're smothered with on a daily basis.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Three down, one more to go...



Unrelated note: Cecil is my homeboy.



We come to the close of another school year. I have loved this semester. It has filled me with so many uneasily-answered questions. My favorite part of this semester has been my Shoah class. I have probably seemed to be quite the Debbie Downer among my friends when I bring up random Nazi facts in everyday conversation. But the truth is that this was such a terrible moment in humanity, how can we afford to rob it of the attention it deserves.

Another wonderful aspect of this class is my teacher, Ilona Klein.

(Picture taken by Cate Williams)

Many of you have probably seen her on the video I constructed for my mom's 50th birthday. She is an absolute hoot. An Italian professor who survives as the only member left of her paternal family as her grandmother was gassed in the concentration camps, she takes everything with passion and vigor and regards life as something so very precious. Shouldn't we all be like that? My favorite motto I've taken from her is that you only live once. You might as well live with a little bit of oomph!

Well, she closed our final exam for this class with a question: Where do you go from here?

That is a heavy-handed question. Where do I go from here? During the semester while I was taking this class, it was hard to sympathize with myself when I was undergoing any hardships because I merely had to look at my stack of homework and remember that there are many who have had it infinitely worse than me. But spiritually I have dabbled in the gracious idea that while these experiences scrape at the bottom of the barrel of human mortality, every individual’s interactions are important. Every person’s pain is paramount. Every human’s heartache is historic. We experience these times in our lives not so that we can compare with one another’s epic tales, but so that we can further the progression of humanity to a place where one will not need to feel pain again.

Incited in me is an appreciation of passion. Passion fuels the important actions of this world and allows other humans to experience the better life. This class has taught me a sense of moral duty we are all endowed with on this earth as fellow human beings. We have a responsibility to look out for each other. When witnessing another struggling, how can we idly sit back and list all of the reasons why we are powerless? We are only powerless in our lack of commitment and our lack of passion.

This class has shown me the ugliest sides of humanity. To know that these atrocities continue today, how can I not extend my hands? After seeing the effects of indifference in the lives of 13 million voices lost, I cannot help but use whatever tools I’ve been given to promote life for all. Life the way it is intended to be lived.

It seems overwhelming, but I think we owe it to our fellow humans to look at the world, take one issue we are really passionate about--on a local level, national, familial, etc.--and work at it with all of our might to make it better. How awesome would the world be if every person did that?


Ah, who knew that studying so much death would teach me so much about life?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Bustin' out




Not in the common sense of busting out of your clothes as that problem has since been remedied for me. (:

But it has come to my attention that I am close to graduating. A year from this April I will walk and receive my Bachelor of Arts in English. I figured this day was a long ways away but now it's about to hit me in the face and I can't help but wonder


now what?



I'm looking at grad schools all over the country that have good creative programs. What do I want to write? I don't know. Justin says I could write TV shows if I wanted because I have so much experience with DC that it'd really be not much transition for me. It's something I'm seriously looking into. On the other hand, I want to teach in high schools to kids who have problems expressing themselves. I would love to be in a funky little classroom and have writing exercises that would help kids look past themselves and create something they can really put their hearts in. But would I have fun doing that for forever? Would I be able to get into the book market and actually sell my stories? These are things I should probably start thinking about.

Also, the GRE. Whoever thought I'd have to know what the heck that was? Not me, I can tell you that. To tell you the truth, I never thought I'd get as far as grad school when I was eighteen. I wanted to go to grad school, I just always thought I'd get married by then. Granted, I got through my undergrad pretty fast because I knew what I was majoring in and I didn't dilly dally very much. I'll be leaving with a BA before I turn 22. Not too shabby, eh?

But all in all, I'm pretty excited to go to grad school. It's awesome to think about being in little classes with a bunch of really talented people and working closely with professors who can get me to where I want to be in my career.

Which brings me to my last tough decision. Where do I go? I want to go to schools that have a good creative writing program and I want to go to schools that will pay for me. Goodness knows I don't have the money to go to grad school. This leaves me with intensely competitive programs in schools like Cornell, Boston U, NYU, New School, Johns Hopkins, Brown and Penn State. Can you see why I'm a wee bit intimidated?

At any rate, I'm thinking about life after BYU and it's exciting. Who knows what will happen in the next year before I leave this place, but I'm preparing to live up my 20's as best as I can and it looks like it's gonna be a good decade.

Hooah.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Pah!




That's a favorite word among the Deaf. It means, "Finally!" (: Anywho...

May I attest to something that has hit me hard this week?

Answers do not come until after a trial of your faith.

This is truth. I do not regurgitate some nice-sounding fortune I found at Happy Panda. This is scripture. This is life.

For months upon months I have suffered with a particularly grating mindset. I was stuck in a rut, mourning and missing a situation that I had lost and would never recover. I told myself, "Whit, buck up. You're a smart girl with other things to worry about. Go out and do some real, Christian service and you'll feel better." But alas, your brain can only beat your skull so hard with the same information that never fully reaches your heart.

But I had a dream this week. It happened after a particular day when the melancholy was thick and stifling. I dreamt that I had at my disposal a time machine and that I could pick one memory I'd had to go back and relive. In the dream I was so excited, but I ended up choosing a memory from years and years ago that was random and frankly rather awkward. As I was reliving that memory, I wondered to myself, "Out of all the experiences I could have gone to, I chose this one?"

Then I woke up.

So as I was preparing for the day I couldn't stop thinking about this dream. What did it mean? What could I glean from such a unique scenario my brain conjured up for me in the wee hours of the night? As I was hustling around, though, I had a thought: This particular time that I dreamt about may seem silly and even undesirable now, but at the time it was a wonderful experience; one of the better ones I'd had. It merely became what it is today because of better experiences I went through as I grew older. It reminded me that the recent past I long for right now will soon become a memory that is equally silly and undesirable because I will have experienced better. I had told myself the gist of this idea many times before, but at this moment while applying my makeup in front of my mirror at 7 AM on a Monday morning--I felt it. I felt an excitement resonate within me saying, "Look at this! Look at this! This is how you'll feel later on because you WILL experience better things for yourself."

I couldn't help myself. I started crying. I couldn't imagine ever internalizing the soothing words I kept administering to myself. I couldn't imagine ever leaving this experience of mine behind as just an experience and nothing more.

Since then I have tested the waters to make sure this wasn't a temporary fix. I've thought of specific instances that have previously brought a melancholy smile to my lips and an aching pull in my heart. It's changed. Now, when I look back on good times that I so yearned for not one week ago, I am happy. Those were good memories. The best I've had in that department so far. But how great it will be when I make better memories for myself in the future.

There is a fresh and fervid hope within me now. I am energized to push forward and store these memories in my toolbox in case I ever need to draw on my own experience to solve an upcoming problem.

The Lord has been merciful to me. He has changed my heart after I have stopped to let Him. Now, my world is looking up in all areas. I've got goals and prospects that make me glad to live my life again. I enjoy my waking hours more than when I sleep because I know that what I have ahead of me is much better than any fantastical journeys I travel in my bed.

Thank goodness our Father is patient with us. Had it been me, I would have gagged me after mere days of hearing the inside of my head. But there is an infinitely more loving and understanding Being who knows our needs and knows when we will be able to progress closer to Him. I encourage you all to find that patience with yourself. As long as you're keeping with the Lord, your life will start to look up.

Love to all,
Whit

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Perhaps it's the promise of spring

I feel good.

You might be tempted to ask "Why do you feel good, Whitney?"

Well, after signing up for a writers' group, training to be president in Divine Comedy for next year, working with Women's Services in a couple areas of outreach, applying for summer internships, writing a headliner for our February show, establishing a deaf-friendly best of show and its advertising to the Deaf community, teaching Relief Society, working part-time, taking upper level classes and soon to be adopting a grandparent for community service credit for Honors 240--I feel pretty good about this semester. Which makes me wonder, how big can a person's proverbial plate essentially get? I imagine last semester I would have crumbled under this kind of pressure. But at the moment I feel very good about life.

So good, in fact, that I wonder whether it is me at all that is conquering this shopping list of life.

That is a philosophical way to let you all know what I'm up to these days. I thought an update would be appropriate given the dirth of personal information I've included in many past blog posts. Now that that bit of tedious exposition is out of the way, I've something of a crucial nature to discuss: my unhealthy love for chalk.

You see, I've known I've had this problem for some time now. It's just taken me this long to admit that my habits are hurting not only me but also those I love.

It started out as a mere inclination to sniff the chalk erasers in Young Women's during the third hour of church. I'd casually pick up the dusty bricks, inhale once or twice, and return the instrument to its powdery place. In the last two years or so, however, an addiction has arisen out of this harmless inclination. I now find myself scraping trays at the bottom of chalkboards every time I pass one so that I might not only inhale the satisfying aroma but also ingest the tantalizing mineral calcite.

I cannot explain myself. It's as if a deep, burning part of me is overwhelmingly satisfied whenever I expose myself to chalk. Like eating Thanksgiving dinner in a matter of seconds with thrice the richness filling your palate. Even recalling memories of these white mini-feasts causes me to salivate more than I care to admit.

Now I know what you're thinking. My iron count is constantly above average for women my age. I drink milk everyday and I've never troubled myself with other less redeeming habits such as cocaine. Though ice in the context of frozen water hits a similar spot for my inedible eating habits.

There is a box of Crayola chalk pieces on my dresser given to me by a very supportive and understanding friend. I have whittled a piece of chalk in that box down to mere centimeters solely from ingestion. I tell you this to illustrate how far this addiction has gone past my control.

After several interventions from concerned loved ones, I have ceased denying that I have a problem. I now am making the decision that it is time to snuff out to this fire, to tame this wild beast, to stop this terribly gross and unflatteringly habit.

But I cannot do it alone.

Friends, family, loved ones--I plead for your assistance. I dream of one day pursuing the plans I'd made so long ago. No longer burdened with this weakness, this vice. I can only achieve this dream with my band of loyal fighters behind me, ready to defeat the ugly thorns of humanity. Are you with me? Can we do this together? Can I throw off these mighty shackles?

With all the energies of my heart that beats behind dust-filled lungs, I say, "Heavens, yes. I can."

I will. video