Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I fear the wind

When I was in high school my family got cable for the first time, and to our delight as children, the Disney Channel.  One of the first things we watched was this weird movie about these aliens who lost their home planet and had to come live on earth.  On their old planet they were bubbles, and so they had some problems adjusting to human life.  Like the wind, for example.  Turns out wind is a scary thing if you're a bubble, but not such a big deal for a human.  Since that time, my family has often used a phrase for the movie, "I fear the wind!", to denote some ridiculous fear that one of us might be having.  Here is one such fear.

I fear people.  Actually, I'm sure most people have this fear to some degree.  We all more or less fear rejection from others, I'm sure.  But I think I sometimes express this fear in ridiculous ways.  For example, I hate cooking or cleaning in front of people.  For whatever reason, I always feel people will judge me and think I'm doing things wrong, and therefore inferior.  One time on my mission my companion and I were home for lunch, and she was cooking something up.  I knew that she wanted help, but I had such a great fear of helping that I sat at my desk, watching her do all the work, knowing the whole time she was getting angrier and angrier that I wasn't doing anything, yet being absolutely paralyzed with fear and unable to get up and help.  I have no idea where I developed this fear, I cooked and cleaned a ton at home with no problems.

This fear has also been more prevalent or less prevalent in certain apartments I've lived in with certain roommates.  Like I don't really remember this problem with my BDA peeps in Provo.  I remember having an extreme aversion to taking out the trash (my least favorite chore, for whatever reason), and therefore making my brother take out the trash every time he visited me.  Luckily he was over quite often, so there was rarely a problem.  In fact, it became such a habit that even my roommates knew that if my brother was coming over soon, they'd wait to take out the trash until he did it.  He may have even been on our little chore chart.  But other than that I don't remember being afraid of my roommates for anything.  But that hasn't always been the case in living situations.

I think a large part of this fear stems from my fear of conflict.  Conflict paralyzes me.  Another time on my mission, with a different companion, a couple we were teaching all of the sudden got into a huge argument.  My immediate, almost unconscious reflex-like reaction to situations like that is to ignore the people in conflict and pretend there is something else much more important going on.  In that particular situation I played with the little 4 year old in the room, and completely left my companion to stop the arguing couple by herself, much to her annoyance I'm sure.

In living situations in the 6 years since the mission, I've been chastised for arranging a fruit platter wrong when volunteering to help set up a roommate's party; I've been angrily accused over and over again of making messes that absolutely weren't mine; I've been yelled at for messes that I did make and didn't clean properly, but didn't realize it was such a big deal or just hadn't had the time to get back to yet.  I've probably gotten worse since brain damage, since I forget things more easily and become much more easily distracted by other things.  I think whenever someone  lashes out in anger like that, they expect to see visible results right away.  But due to my fear of conflict, I wait until there's no one around to see me clean, and then I'll fix the problem (even the ones that aren't mine that I get accused of making).  And if the person never leaves the kitchen, I never clean the mess because I'm scared of being around people when there's a chance of conflict, which of course just makes them more angry.  It's a brutal cycle, most of which stems from illogical fears on my part, but alas.   What can I do?  I fear the wind.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

There's A Wall There

I'm a little like Yzma.  But I don't just have a wall, it's a 5 ft. thick, concrete wall with barbed wire on top, archers lining the wall, a moat full of crocodiles out front, and just in case, I have an intense squad of highly trained ninjas on the inside ready to take out any one who gets past the defenses.  Perhaps not the most friendly way to live life....It's not like I keep everyone out of my walls.  There are a select few people that I can sense quickly are uber trustworthy, and they get full access pretty quickly.  I also have levels to my walls.  There's an outer courtyard for those who I decide to associate with occasionally and probably aren't dangerous.  There's an inner courtyard as well, with a few more trust points, then the main castle, etc., etc.
However, with time and patience a person can eventually make it to the top.  I think I discovered this week the secret entrance to these walls that I didn't know about.  One of my best friends in Boston had a very large personal bubble, and would get uncomfortable if someone got inside.  I watched a funny episode once where another friend was testing to see if he started at a safe distance and got involved in a conversation, and slowly inched his way forward, perhaps he could eventually be standing right up next to her, shoulder to shoulder, without her noticing.  It didn't work, and it was funny to watch as he inched closer, she inched back.  With me however, it turns out I don't notice the people inching closer.  It's as if I looked over my walls one day and saw a suspicious figure standing next to the wall doing nothing.  As the figure does nothing for a while, I grow bored and turn my attention to the people politely knocking on the door that I'd rather throw water balloons at then let them enter.  Weeks or months later, I'll be relaxing in my keep, playing an intense game of cards and drinking juice, when I look up at the dude next to me and say: "Hey, weren't you that kid standing outside the wall a while ago?  Well, what do you know..... Can you pass me more juice?  And no, I don't have any 9's.  Go fish."
I definitely had this sort of experience this week with a couple people in different circles of my life.  While hanging out with them I would all of the sudden realize: "Hang on, I've forgotten to be scared of this person for a while now.  I guess it turns out they're not so scary or untrustworthy..."
Maybe this whole trusting people is easier than it looks.  Maybe I'll even make a New Year's Resolution to take down one of my barbed wires.  The ninjas stay though.  Just in case...

Friday, December 14, 2012

For Everything There is a Season: A Time to Vent

I've been a little stressed and over emotional the past week, and I just needed a place to emote.  What is it about the holidays that makes people's plates so suddenly full?  I've been stressing over the loss of an AMAZING co-worker whom I will miss greatly.  I've been stressing over the health of a good friend.  Not that I'm worried about her being able to recover, since I have the medical knowledge that I do, but having said medical knowledge also helps me to understand exactly what the recovery entails and I know it won't be fun.  I'm also overly emotional about my sister coming back from Australia.  I haven't missed her too dramatically for most of this semester, because I know she's off doing fabulous things and I want her out doing them, but now that I know I'll see her in a few days, it's almost impossible to be without her.  The fact I've been PMS-ing this entire week doesn't help either.  Luckily I managed to get my Christmas shopping done last week, or I'd never survive.  I'm mostly super sad for my co-worker leaving though.  She's off doing bigger and better things, that's for sure, and she's going to be great in grad school and in her future career, so I shouldn't mourn.  But I am losing my go-to for fashion advice, boy advice, yummy new recipes, help for making last minute lessons for my Monday night church meetings, help in decorating the office for holidays, my book buddy, the whole works.  I'm probably going to accidentely be mean to the rest of my co-workers next week as I mourn.  But así es la vida.  I've moved around enough that I should be used to goodbyes by now.  It really is a good thing I'm seeing my sister in 2 days, who really is my ultimate for all things friend and sister related.  If I'm losing one great friend, and least I'll be gaining my sister back.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lincoln: National Day of Prayer

Someone at church yesterday had this quote in Sunday school, and I loved it.  It was said by President Lincoln in April of 1863, setting apart a day for a National Day of Prayer.  I loved these words so much yesterday, that I thought I would pass it on.

By the President of the United States of America.
A Proclamation.
Whereas, the Senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing the Supreme Authority and just Government of Almighty God, in all the affairs of men and of nations, has, by a resolution, requested the President to designate and set apart a day for National prayer and humiliation.
And whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.
And, insomuch as we know that, by His divine law, nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment, inflicted upon us, for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole People? We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!
It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

My Bi-Polar Personality: The Teeny-Bopper vs. The Granny

I had the realization today that most of the characteristics of my personality fit into two catagories:  Teeny-Bopper and Granny.  Rare is the part of my personality that actually fits into my real age bracket.  I had this realization as I was thinking about my favorite hobbies:  family history, crocheting, baking, drinking tea, crafting, traveling...the list could go on.  I sound like a grandma for sure.  An AWESOME grandma, of course.  As I was giggling over this coincidence, I also thought about how I feel mentally/emotionally so much more like a teenager.  Even though I technically got my drivers licence in high school, I rarely drove and never had a car all through college.  I've really only been driving for like 2 years, and all through college I felt so much younger than everyone else, just because everyone else had their own cars and had been driving for years.  I've also never had a boyfriend, never been kissed, etc, etc., so I feel very underdeveloped and maybe not even at teenage level as far as that aspect of  life is concerned.  The only books I read are young adult books or old classics.  While my music selection is much more complex and diverse that these two categories, I do have quite a few teeny-bopper songs (like JoBros, Tokio Hotel, Sonohra....) and a few granny songs (classical music, opera).  There are stuffed animals on my bed, like a teenager.  I also go to bed uber early, like a granny.  I'm no where near a real career yet, despite being a mere year away from my 30's.  Yet I've managed quite a few spectacular experiences in my life, like traveling to lots of amazing places, that usually only come to grannies.  I'm sure I could keep the examples coming, but it turns out it's past my granny bedtime!