Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I kneel down hold my ground...

Tell me again why I've decided to go to grad school?  Wait, let me correct that.  Why I decided to APPLY to grad school.  I'm beginning to feel very certain that I'm not going to get accepted ANYWHERE.  And it's driving me nuts.  I wrote the world's crappiest personal statement on Saturday and it's got me wondering... what am I thinking?  Why do I think I'll get accepted into a program that I know nothing about?  Like, I seriously know presque rien, or nearly zilch for my anglophones, about the field of social work.  I just know that it's where I want to be.  I know that I was made to help people.  And I know that God's okay with me doing this.  Well, I think He's okay with it.  I've been so doubty about my own abilities lately that it's hard to tell.  DUDE.  Did you know there's a spiritual gift of being able to discern whether an inspiration comes from God or some other source???  I just read that during my studies on Sunday.  I am soooooo putting my name on the list for that one!


I was talking to Felipe the other night, you know, when he wasn't cheating on me with his REAL girlfriend, the TEXT BOOK.  Ohhhh yes, I know how much time he spends with her.  They go to the library.  He takes her home.  He even takes her to the cadaver lab... When I see her in MY seat in his car I could scream with rage.  That little....

Bref. Talking to Felipe, and ... crud.  I forgot what I was going to say.  I'm sure it was deep and important.  Cruddy cruddy crud crud OH!

I remember.

So, I was talking to Felipe about grad programs and he was doing his very best to convince me that I'm beyond stupid if I think I'm not going to get accepted.  I expressed my concern that maybe I was making a big mistake, and then I realized that God won't let me if I'm being righteous.  He asked what I meant.  Then I gave him the best example I could.  It has now been long enough since this experience that I'm actually able to share it without feeling bitter or sad.

So.  I was freaked out about dating when I came home from my mission.  Kim can testify of this.  Yeah.  Totally wigged.  But when I came home, a man that I greatly loved and admired told me that he loved me and wanted to marry me.  I was so taken aback, I didn't know how to respond.  But I knew that I would LOVE to marry him... once I got to know him better.  For three months he courted me, and for three months I couldn't decide.  Finally, after two weeks in the wilderness, I realized that I couldn't marry him.  That just like my job in the wilderness, the idea of him was wonderful, but I didn't really want him.  He wasn't the right one for me.  I wasn't the right one for him.  That was hard, sad, and difficult to express, but I finally did.

Two weeks after that, another boy caught my eye and asked me out.  I enjoyed my time with him, but something wasn't right.  Well, two things weren't right: he wasn't as committed to the gospel as I was, and.... I was kinda in love with another guy.  I say kinda because I didn't know him well enough to be REALLY in love with him.  But what I knew I loved.  Anyway, so I tell this boy that's trying to date me that I'd like to continue dating him and see where it goes.  But he needed to know that I had very strong feelings for another boy... who was serving a mission at that time and returning in two months.  He said he was willing to take his chances, and thus began our relationship.  I almost broke up with him like three times, and begged the Lord to tell me what to do.  He trusted me enough to try and figure it out.

Things started to get serious with this boy, so much so that even my dad noticed.  "You're not checking the mailbox every day, Kacey.  Has Kyle talked to you about marriage?" I nearly choked on my chili relleno, and said, No.  He hasn't.  His comment did make me realize that I was thinking less and less about my missionary. "My Missionary," ha.  We'd never dated, never talked about dating, never even alluded to it.  He was just the man I cared about who happened to be a missionary at that time.  Anyway, there was this one weekend where everything came together perfectly and I realized I soon would want to marry this boy.  That  was odd for me.  I told him, "If someone asked me to pick between you and him four days ago, I would have picked him in a heartbeat. But if they asked tomorrow.... I don't know who I'd pick."


I get a letter from my missionary.  He says "I wasn't going to bring this up, but I felt impressed that I should..." He then goes on to tell me that he was aware of my feelings for him and his feelings were similar.

Holy. Crap.

I had four days of solitude babysitting my nieces to figure this one out.  At the end of that week, I knew I had to break up with him.  I HAD to know if my missionary and I could work.  He was my best friend, after all, and doesn't everyone dream of marrying their best friend?

No, it didn't work out between my missionary and I.  I'm not sorry about that.  I'm not sorry that he sent me the letter.  We are still good friends.  I still love him... I'm not IN love with him.  But I love my little BFF.  I know that if I hadn't gotten his letter when I got it... if he'd waited till he got home to say something... I'd have been at the very least engaged.  Engaged to someone who wouldn't help me reach my full potential.

"I'm a home wrecker!" he said when I told him the story.  I laughed and said, "No, you're not.  You saved me from making a huge mistake.  And if we become nothing more than friends, at least know that you were inspired to send that letter when you did."

The Lord trusted me.  But when I almost made a stupid mistake, He beat me over the head with a romantic two by four.


So there.  That is proof that if Grad school isn't right for me, God might have someone send me another proverbial letter, right?  If I'm being righteous and trying hard to listen to the Spirit, i won't make major mistakes, right?

Right.  That's what I tell myself.

I'm gunna feel like such a reject if NO grad schools accept me.

This is worse than dating.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Gentlemen's Club

Today all the girls from my table called in.  It's just me and three gentlemen.  I call us "The Gentlemen's Club." Because they all have addictions to certain drinks, and they're sitting in a circle around me, I feel like that is an appropriate name.

You know when you have those dreams that seem to be on your mind until you dream again?  That is me today.

I stepped through a door into a world different than this one.  It was a place where "should have's" were kept, along with all the "could have's."  It was like walking in a world that wasn't congruent with itself, yet it flowed successfully.  I strolled down the path and stumbled upon a could have I haven't thought about in a while. There he was, standing en pleine forme, and looked at me expectantly.

"Hi Kacey.  Is that what you're wearing on our date?"
I looked down at my outfit which seemed fitting for most any occaision.
"Yes. I guess so."
He shrugged.
"Well, you're the one who wanted to wear costumes.  Let's go, I hate being late."
He grabbed my hand and pulled me into a Halloween party. I began to see the inappropriateness of my garb.  A girl I didn't recognize saw us and smiled. She announced to the group, "Hey look! The Pitmans are here!"

It was odd. I didn't feel elated or anything like that.  We were just like before, only with rings on our fingers.  After the party we chatted, sitting distantly on the couch.  The emotional distance between us was manifest physically as well as mentally. Our discussion was choppy. Strained. Finally, Ben broke the tension and explained that he almost ended our engagement a few weeks before the wedding. I sat there, shocked.

"You what?"
"It just felt like the right thing to do."
"So why did you marry me?"
"I was too scared to call it off."

This information did not surprise me the way his early declaration did.  It made sense and was consistent with the man who was sitting beside me.  I moved closer to him and took his hand in mine, trying desperately to feel some kind of spark between my husband and I.

"I'm glad you married me," I said, trying to convince myself as much as anything. His hand was clammy and limp in my hand.

"I don't know if I am," he replied.

"Good," I thought to myself. "Because I don't either."

Later in the dream a bunch of random happenings occured, leading me to work and living in an RV.  But when I woke I didn't think about the weirdness of my living situation. I thought of the odd disatisfaction I felt with being married to Ben.

I think this came about because this weekend my parents met Felipe, and they interrogated me a bit on the subject of our relationship.  Unlike the last time when Mom came, I didn't feel anxiety or panic. I just felt calm and happy.  He makes me happy.  He reminds me a lot Kim, odly enough.  They have some similar characteristics, characteristics that I love.  So while talking to Sydney last night, I realized: I don't feel panic. I don't feel scared. I feel good, happy, and hopeful.

And that's scary.

I don't know how to deal with this... hmmm... calm situation.  I haven't felt it in ages.  And the last few times I did it ended very badly. Or abruptly. Or... yeah.  Luckily, Felipe's name is Felipe, and not Ben (now all you Bens know I love you, but you should all understand my curse by now). So maybe there is hope :)

I am happy.  All you could have beens or should have beens-- stay confined in your world.  I love my world quite a lot.  I don't want to be married to Ben.  I want the bright future I see ahead of me.

Happy happy joy joy!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It is long overdue...

"Kacey!  Kacey!  Brandee, where's Kacey?"
"She's on break, Tom."
"Oh.  Where's Kacey?"
"On break."
"When's she coming back?"
"When her break is over."
"Kacey's my bud."

enter: Kacey.

"KACEY!  You made it!"

I love that guy.  Tom (name has been changed) has this huge thing with me.  As soon as I leave, he starts asking the nearest Staff, which is usually Brandee because one of her individuals is almost always in the bathroom and my table is right next to the bathroom, where I am and when I'll be back.  And as soon as I get back he'll throw his arms in the air and say, "KACEY! YOU MADE IT!" Like I'd been on the verge of death or something.  And if I was, all I'd have to do is think of that and I'd come right back to life.  He just makes me laugh and feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  We are good chums.  If he ever goes on trips that I don't go on, every other thing he says is, "Where's Kacey?  When are we going to pick her up?" Awww... someone misses me!

Here are some other funny ones I've heard/ seen.

A tall man from the other department sees me coming out of the changing room, stops me and says, in all seriousness: "He is using bad words."
"Uh oh."
"Yeah, I told him we don't use bad words. Because there are womans here."

Yup. Womans.

The same man today hugged his peer and said "Guess what I'm going to be for Halloween!"
"What???" the other responded enthusiastically.  "I'm going to be a mousy!"
His peer takes a second, cocks his head and says, "A mousy?"  The best part was, another peer, a woman (not to be confused with womans) smacked his arm and said, "Duh. A mousy."

Another thing that happened this morning:

One of the individuals here, let's call her Susan, was in our department one minute, then she was gone the next.  I looked around wildly and said, "Where's Susan?" Another Staff said, "She's in bathroom number two." I calm down.  Uh duh Kacey.  She's independant in the bathroom so she doesn't write her name on the outside like a Staff would.  Then Brandee comes up with one of her guys (told you she's always by the bathrooms...) and says, "Is there anyone in here?" knocking on bathroom two.  I say, "Yeah, Susan." She opens the door a bit, pokes her head in, looks around and says to me, "No, there's no one in here."  Panic starts to set in as I realize that Susan has been off the floor for at least the five minuts I thought she was in the bathroom. Crystal, the Staff that told me she was in there in the first place, exclaimed, "What? THat's impossible!  I saw her go in!" At that very second both Brandee and I look back at the bathroom and Susan is standing in the doorway. "Hellloooooooo!" she crooned in her shakey old lady voice, as per usual.  I nearly wet my pants it startled me so badly.  Brandee almost dropped the individual she had.  Susan was apparently throwing her paper towel away behind the door the first time we looked in. But it was spooooookkkyyyyyy....

My life has been up and down lately.  My car keeps giving me heck.  I applied for auto loans at my two banks (Wells Fargo and US Bank), but both rejected me on no previous debt.  Yeah, my credit score is good... I just have no comperable debt experience.  To quote one of the bankers working with me, "How dare you live within your means and not incurr debt!"  Right?  So I applied at this one federal credit union here in Reno that one of my friends got her loan at.  I didn't actually expect them to approve.  THey didn't exactly- they gave me a counter offer. $10,000, with the stipulation that $10,000 is 80% of the Kelly Blue Book value of the car. The highest APR (which is only if the car is the oldest it can be) is 4.99%, going down with the age of the car. I feel like there was one more stipulation.  Hmmm.  I don't remember.  I'm gunna go talk to the banker today.  Hopefully I can find a car that fits all those qualifications and is tons better than the car I have now.  Which is in the shop.  Again.  Shocker.  It hates me. Sigh.  Ma pauvre Amandine...

Anyway.  Lunch is almost over.  I've gotta study some more tonight for the GRE.  Then it's my birthday party.  I was supposed to go shopping with Felipe to help him put together a costume (he just wanted to buy one, how silly! Thrift Stores are the way to go!) but my test studying is taking precedence.  He understands.  He's a stricter studier than I am.


La fin.

"Brandee!  Where's Kacey?"

Friday, September 28, 2012

To Whom it May Concern

28 septembre 2012

To whom it may concern:

Hi babe.  I know I don't know you yet, but I felt like writing to you anyway.  Why?  Because I've had some big thoughts lately.  Uh oh, big thoughts.  Yeah, I know.  But they need sharing.

Today was rough.  This whole week has been rough.  It has taken every ounce of will power and some tender mercies from God to get through it and still love my job.  It's been a combination of being short staffed at work, demanding individuals, and my personal life running amok with my emotions.  I could run through a bazillion true scenarios that happened this week, but I have no desire to relive them.  Don't get me wrong-- there have been some amazing experiences this week.  While work has been frustrating, tense, and demanding, I've also had some rewarding realizations as well.  But those... I'll tell those to you in person.  I told my mom over the phone last night, and it just didn't have the same impact it did when I told Felipe in person.  Yeah, I know.  So, I'll share those special things with you later.  Just remind me to tell you.

I've had a lot of interactions with the Spirit this week.  I believe a large part of that was triggered by my trials.  I love how difficulties do that, whether consciously or subconsciously.  I also had the chance to see the Spirit tell me and another person the same thing.  Wow, I haven't experienced that since... since Olympia.  Also, another story.  If you really want to know, ask me about it.

Anyway.  I broke today at work.  I swore.  I never curse.  But I cursed today.  It was a plethora of things, which basically boiled down to my coworkers being inconsiderate, my workload being endlessly added upon, and my individuals that I serve being beyond their normal demanding.  I couldn't handle it anymore.  At two p.m. I finally had a chance to go to the bathroom, at which point I cried.  Yes, I sat on the toilet and cried my little stressed heart out.  But only for a minute, because I still had work to do with my individuals before they went home.  

The worst part was, one of my supervisors just got back on Thursday from three days off.  While she was gone, work was MUCH harder and we ALL had tons more to do. She didn't see that, of course.  But she felt the need to criticize and yell at us all day.  Hmmm, yell isn't the right word.  Guilt trip?  Yeah.  She was critical and full of guilt to dish out.  It made me want to scream.  She didn't see how much we all had on our plates and how we were all doing the very best we could with what we had.  She didn't see how discouraging and deceptive her comments and demands were.  She didn't see that I tried to run every time I saw her come near my part of the department.  She didn't see me kneeling next to one of my individuals and say, "Look, I know you're feeling crappy cause you're on your period, but so am I, okay? I know you're tired.  Me too.  And I know you can't speak.  But please try to keep your yelling down to a minimum, okay?"  My voice broke at this last part.  I was asking her not to communicate in one of the few ways she can just so my senses didn't overload.  She grabbed my hand and put it on her shoulder, a gesture she does often, in an attempt to prompt me to rub her back.  I smiled through the hellish stress, rubbed her back, and said, "Please, girlie.  This is my only request."

After all this, and after several hours of thought, I had some realizations.  One- my job is hard.  I love my job.  But it's hard.  And no amount of criticizing or encouraging is ever going to change the difficulty of my job.  I don't do my job because it's easy.  I do it because I believe in its power and validity.  I do it because I believe that I am making the world a better place by doing it, and completing my responsibilities to the best of my abilities.  I do it because I love and care about these individuals.  Oh how I love them.  When one individual's mother told me that she can't believe her son calls me by my name because he won't even call his sister by her name... oh my heart soared.  And when another individual who is normally prickly and violent grabs my hand to hold it while he sits quietly and waits for the bus... I want to sing out in joy.  Literally.  When I see one of my girls complete her training WELL, even if it's only once out of the five times a day we do it, I feel so proud and giddy it's ridiculous.  That's why I do my job.  It wasn't until today that I realized that my job is hard, no matter what.  And knowing that lightens my soul.  Why?  Because I know that I can do my job well, no matter what an irritated supervisor says or does.  I know that I am a blessing to this company no matter what any of my friends say.  I know that I am doing good, no matter how tired or stressed or PMSy I am.

Secondly-- I realized that this is going to happen again, but in a different context.  Like I said earlier, I don't know you yet, but I love you deeply.  So remember that I love you when I say that I know you're going to be that angry supervisor some days.  What do I mean?  I know your job won't be all peaches and cream.  And I know there'll be days that you might get jealous that I'll be at home with the kids.  And I know there'll be times that when you get home all you can think about is how crappy your day was, and why can't the house just be clean, or the kids be calm, or fed, or bathed?  Why do you have to come home and take control?  Babe-- I'll be doing my best.  And that job is a hard one, no matter what anyone says.  But I do it. Why?  Because I love it.  Because I believe in it.  I am not perfect, and I know I won't be a satisfactory wife and mother every day-- haha, probably NEVER-- but I will be doing my best.  And I'd appreciate it if you didn't criticize.  Don't forget that I'll already be getting criticism from a lot of other sources.  People ask why I have so  many children.  Why don't I work?  Why don't I have my own life?  I get that from every angle.  I don't need to get that from you too.  So all I ask is a simple thing: I don't think your day is peaches and cream.  I don't expect you to be immediately and completely satisfied with the state of our home.  But I do expect you to love me and respect my job.  Respect and support me.  I'm your help meet.  You're not my supervisor-- you're my coworker.  Remember that I appreciate everything you do for us.  Remember that I love you more than you can ever imagine.  And I think, with all that in mind, things will be just a tiny bit easier.

I wish I knew who you were.  I'm working very hard to find you.  I'm putting myself out there, trying to improve myself, and trying to follow the Spirit.  I'm doing everything in my power to get to you.  But I am limited.  I am only one half of the equation.

I hope we are desperately in love.  How badly I want to be in love again.  I have found that it is easier for me to respect and admire a man than to love him.  But my heart yearns to love and be loved.  Please-- romance me.  Don't make our marriage a fulfillment of a commandment and that's all.  Make it an adventure.  Make it full of love, and fun, and chemistry, and respect.  Make it a relationship worth perpetuating beyond the grave.  If you promise to do that, then I promise to do the same.


I will wait, I will wait for you.

Dear whomever you might be, I'm still waiting patiently.



Wednesday, September 26, 2012

So that's why I came home giggling....

Today's cast of characters is:

Just FYI- these aren't their real names. For confideniality reasons, I can't use their real names. 


Linda (one of my coworkers): And that's all I have to show from Japan.  Now we're going to talk--
Tom: About SAFETY!
Linda:... No, Tom, we're not going to talk about safety. We're going to talk about Japan some more.  But thank you for wanting to be safe.
Tom: Let's do a fire drill!


Karen, an SRC coordinater, walks through the lunch room yesterday.  Tom yells "Have a good Christmas!"  Cassie, one of my coworkers, looks over at Tom.  Tom smiles and says, "Have a good Halloween!"  Cassie says, "Yes, Tom, that one is a little bit closer."


Sam tries to cuddle with me while we wait for the bus at the end of the day.  He used to walk away every time he saw me.  Now we're BFF's.


I sneeze while standing by my table.  20 feet away, and from inside the bathroom, Betty yells "Bless you!"  Twice.


Lydia was getting in another individual's face.  I walk over to break up her obvious tyraid.
Me: Lydia, you need to go sit down.
Lydia: He has lots of girlfriends, you know.
Me: Oh really.
Lydia: Oh yes.  I stepped on the bus and found one!


This one needs a little preface.  At work we have small whiteboards on our bathroom doors.  We write the initials of the individual that is in them and the time they entered.  We do this for several reasons. 1) so Staff can see from across the room if the bathroom is taken. 2) Staff can deduce about WHEN the bathroom will open up. 3) So we don't forget an individual in the bathroom. 4) So we know where each individual is at all times. 

Well, Mike, my boss, was walking through the area and saw a small line for the bathroom.  Someone hadn't erased the last individual's initials off the door, so it looked like she was still in there... half an hour after she went in.  Mike, a little irritated that an individual had the bathroom for 30 minutes, especially when there is a line, shouts, "JANICE D. IS STILL IN THE BATHROOM?"
"YUP!" Janice D shouts.  From right behind Mike.  HAHAHAHAHA!  I nearly wet my pants.


Lydia: I feel like a tire going round and round on a wheel.

What does that even mean?


These are the pompom chickens the guys at my table made.  Awesome.

Yes.  Tom picked the smallest head and the biggest googely eyes to go with it.  And Bill is my big friendly giant, it's no mistake that his yellow chicken actually looks like him.


Whenever Bill leaves the bathroom without washing his hands, I immediately tell him to go back and wash them.  This morning, anticipating my interrogation, he sees me, smiles, and turns right back around into the bathroom.


Betty asks me what I'm doing tonight.  Every two minutes.  I've never felt more pressure to have a social life in my entire life.

Anyway, just a few  fun experiences from this past week.  I love my job.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Happy National Chicken Month!

Today has been one of those days where... there's not ONE thing wrong.  Just a bunch of... little things.  Not only a bunch, but more like a gazillion.  I woke up early to do some sun salutations (my body has been super tense so it's a part of my new routine), but forgot that I had to take West out this morning.  So I brushed my teeth while West ran around and peed on everything (he now owns half the apartment complex).  Then I bolted out the door to try and get to work on time.  I decided to make some tea, comme d'hab, but the hot water wasn't working.  Not only that, but once I got it to work, I decided to try a NEW tea. Today was not a good day to do that.  I ended up throwing the cup out it was so abrasive. Anyway...

One of my guys yells loudly to communicate.  Usually I can deal with it.  Today it just grated my ability to think.  Then another one of my guys threw his drink on the ground.  And another one didn't want to eat the honeydew for snack.  Then I was in charge of an activity, and as soon as I opened my mouth, the entire crowd of people started talking, yelling, making incoherent noises.  So I shut my mouth.  They stop talking.  I open it again and it's like a TRIGGER.  Not only that, but one of my guys has been talking incessantly about Christmas.  "Are we having a Christmas party?" "Yes, in December." "So on June 21st we're having a Christmas party." "No, in December." "Christmas is just around the corner!" 

I breathe deeply and decide to proceed with caution.

Then.  We have staggered lunches, shoot me, and I'm on the last lunch. Not only that, but no one tells me until right before lunch time that the guys are eating in Skills, not in the lunch room.  Now my only issue with that is instead of 12 microwaves we only have two.  Well, one and a half, because one is utter CRAP.  Bref.  So I am stuck in the kitchenette of Skills trying to heat up forty lunches with one and a half microwaves.  It's exhausting.  Then I go back to my table and see that the guy who threw his drink that morning had just thrown his milk all over the floor and my chair.  The man next to him decides to inform us all that he's ready for the Christmas party and Christmas presents. I lost it. 

I went off in French. "Qu'est-ce que c'est?! Pourquoi est-ce que vous m'embettez comme ca?" (I say vous because they all were driving me nuts) I bent over and started to wipe up the floor. "Vous aimez me faire du mal?  Parce que j'ai l'impression que vous me detestez aujourd'hui! S'IL VOUS PLAIT, laissez-moi!"


For like a second.

The first person to speak was.... "So, Christmas is right around the corner, Kacey."

I just stared at him as he ran through his speech about a Christmas party in June.  By the time he got back to "Christmas is just around the corner," I just giggled.  Oh how ridiculous was my anger.  My fatigue, however, was very real and felt by three other staff.  We just got on lunch and Heaven help us get through the afternoon.

Anyway.  I love it.  I'm just ready for a nap.

Yay naps!

Last night I saw Felipe's capeoira class.  It was like dancing.  In jello.

Wow I'm seriously tired.  Dancing in jello is a very inept way to describe capeoira.  But I don't care.  I'm just gunna sit here and down a can of Coke.

Judge me now.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

No matter how you heart is dreaming, if you keep on believing...

The dream that you wish will come true.

Heavens help us if last night's dream comes true.

Had another crazy dream. I went on another mission. To Las Vegas. Apparently Vegas is north of Reno in my dream, and you take a train to get there.  I get on with my family, and when I report to the mission home I see a TON of my Paris Missionary Bud's, including Elder Draleau and Soeur Cope.  Soeur Cope was great, hanging around me, helping me get used to stateside missionary work.  She also told me about this big conference that we have where we pick which color Power Ranger we are.  Uhm, what? Yup, that's right.  I found out that all the "missionaries" that were with me were all RM's, and this whole "2nd mission" thing was a cover for our REAL mission- Power Rangers. Ohhhhh yes.  I tried to be the pink ranger, but Cope said she already picked that one.  So I was the Magenta Ranger. Slightly less cool.  Anyway, there were four of us in this helicopter at one point, me, Draleau, Cope, and some other elder, and our job was to jump out of the helicopter into a raging river.  Oh heeeeeck no.  I screamed and said "NOT ON YOUR LIFE!" so they slowed down over a small lake and we all hopped out.  I did a sweet dive while wearing my amazing pink swimsuit (I really do love this swimsuit, it has now made two distinct appearances in my dreams) and then we got to work: we were infiltrating this sketchy company.  While undercover as tourists, we discovered why this company was so sketch- they kidnapped people and harvested all their organs!  And stuff like their arms and feet and shiz like that! In fact, all the employees had at least one limb missing, and their prosthetic limbs were all crappy.  By the time the tour ended, I figured out that the main source of the organs were tourists, just like us.  That was confirmed when I saw that Draleau was missing. I told the group that I was bookin' it back into the factory to find Ben (Draleau). But the group tried to stop me because I called him Ben, which obviously meant that we had an inappropriate relationship.  I tried to remind them that none of us were actually missionaries, and that it didn't matter what I called him because all his organs were going to be harvested! The group then got into this debate about how lame my animal was-- a dolphin, can't say I really liked my animal either-- but I told them to stuff it. Cope came with me and we snuck back into the factory.  We found Draleau and started to sneak him out right when I woke up.

C'est fou ca.

Anyway. So. I'm sitting here on Michayla's computer because mine crashed.  Just like my CAR! Ha. Hahahaha. Yup.  I just shelled out $680 to fix my car.  Well, luckily Mom and Dad lent me a big chunk on that money, but still.  Doesn't that seem excessive? obviously not because my computer wanted to crap out too.  But oh well.  At least it lasted as long as it did.  And my car has much more pep than before, which is good.

Thanks to all who replied to my last post.  It has helped me.  In fact, I am still dating afore mentioned guy.  We'll see what happens.  I dunno.  I just get SUCH anxiety about dating.  It's been this way since my mission when Heavenly Father gave me an unsolicited Denial.  I'm like, "What if that happens again?  Why should I date if God could at any time say, 'nope, not that one'?"  Why?  Because that's what dating's for.  There was this one time I was talking to Ben, yup the one from my dream, and I was expressing this same anxiety.  And  he laughed and said, "It seems you have finally figured out the purpose of dating."  Indeed.  And it's fun, right?  Not just anxiety ridden?  Yes.  Yes Kacey it is.  Remember, it's been nearly six weeks that you've been going on dates with this boy.  Don't discount the fact that despite all your doubts, you still like him enough to keep dating him, and have awkward DTR's and putting yourself out there because you don't always understand his cultural issues.  Yup.

Anyway.  That's my post for the day.  I hope you enjoyed.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I don't mean to complain and all

Sigh. Let me start off with my dream.

And it was the opposite of what I asked for, btw. (yes, in my nightly prayers I tell Heavenly Father what I don't want in my dreams, eg scary nightmares, sad things and specific men).

I dreamt that He (an unmentioned male) thought he was in love with me.  "I just can't tell though, Kacey, because now there is this other girl, and she's making me all confused."  In my dream we hadn't seen each other for a while so that made sense. He gathered up all the letters we sent over the past few months, and studied them, like he was going to get an exam on them. I just watched. Until he said, "A bunch of us are going to lake Shasta" (is there even a lake shasta?) "and you should come.  It'll help me decide." SO I go, looking mighty fine in my pink swimsuit, and I see her- the other woman.  She's this petite blonde with short flippy hair and big blue eyes.  Why is the other woman always blonde?  Anyway, we hang out, I hit it off big with everyone in the group. But he sits in the corner and thinks, looking over and over at our letters.  In the end, I don't know who he picked- I woke up.  But it doesn't matter.  Because neither of us in real life is exactly-- available. Well, kinda. Anyway, that was my dream.

My question that I pose to the big wide universe is-- how much?  how much do I allow before I either cave or say something? I've met this guy (Ah! right?) and he's pretty much awesome.  We've gone out quite a few times over the past month, and we continue to see each other, but... anyway.  The events in my life have led me to ask the universe what is it I need to look for in my future spouse. Like, I know what I SHOULD look for, and said person totally has a ton of these VERY important and key qualities. But... like, what do I accept and what do I hope to see change? LIke one of the things I love most about my friendship with this guy is that we are similar in some very core ways, but we are pretty much different in every other way. And that makes it fun and exciting! But where do I draw the line? When does different go from exciting to irritating? When am I in the wrong, or when am I being wise?  I don't know.  Obviously this guy is in no rush to get engaged, so I really have time to figure it out. But I've never posed this problem to myself, or anyone else really. 

So there.  There is my short post for the day.  My lunch break is almost over.  And I am excited to get back to work.  I love my job.  Don't really know why, just-- I do.  I get warm fuzzies when I walk in to work every morning. Yay!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

I'm gunna be fiiiiiiiinnnneeee!!!!!

Sometimes work is rough.  Why?  Because I haven't learned everyone's specific needs yet, so I feel like I'm scrambling to make sure no one dies.  Odd.  One of my coworker's favorite anecdotes about me during my second week of work is this: "And Kacey stepped in from the lunch room, grabbed her hair and said, 'THERE'S JUST SO MUCH!'"  Yes.  That about sums it up.  There's just so much.

The thing is, everyone has all this specific health things, but most of them don't happen very often.  So, like, I forget them.  Luckily one of the more serious ones didn't happen when I was on duty.  I came back from lunch one day and another staff pulled me aside and said, "Okay, so everything is fine, but I feel like a horrible person."  Ah yes, that's exactly how I love to start my afternoons.  What had happened is she was helping one of my guys to the bathroom.  We'll call him Joe.  Joe is older, super cheery-- except when his Alzheimer's kicks in.  He is a little shaky and once in a while, not often at all, will just fall.  Because of that, we have to hold his hand while he walks.  Oh everyone loves "Joe"!  He's a lover not a fighter!  Well, my coworker was walking him to the bathroom.  She let go of his hand for a second to grab something, and in that second he dropped to the ground.  A complete and honest accident.  She wrote the report (Our policy is CYA- Cover Your Butt) and told me what happened.  "I checked everywhere and the only thing I could find was his knee got scuffed.  So I did First Aide and he's fine.  In fact, he will tell you he's fine."

"I trust you, Cami.  He doesn't need to tell me he's fine," I reply.

"Oh no, Kacey.  I know.  But he'll tell you anyway.  And his bad mood is completely gone."

See, he'd been in such a bad mood all morning.  So much so that when his home staff came to pick him up for a Dr's appointment he would NOT get into the car.  They had to reschedule his appointment.  So to know that him falling put him in a good mood... that was odd.  I didn't buy it.

She was right, by the way.  The first thing he said when I went over to him was "I'm fine!  I'm gunna be fine!"

"I know, Joe!  I heard!"

"Kacey!  I need your help!" another one of my individuals said.  I turned to her and said I'd be there in a second, while my coworker came over to watch the others while I helped this one.  As my coworker approached, "Joe" stood up and started singing.  He has this amazing warble of a vibrato and it always sounds straight off a vinyl record from the 50's.  What did he sing, you might ask?  "I'mmmmmmmm  Gunnnnaaaaaa be fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnneeeeeee!"

Yes.  He sang that for ten minutes.

I understood then what Cami meant.

Oh I love him.  He's one of my favorites to be around.  He'll sit and sing allll day long.  It's a wonderful thing!

There's another woman there with Alzheimer's.  It's not as bad as Joe's, but it can get pretty bad.  I love her compliments though.  One time I was helping her over to Cooking Class, and she looked right at me and said, "Boy you are cute, Doll!"  She calls all the female staff "Doll" at least once.  Though she can get catty with the other girls.  I just tell her, "you're an adult.  Act like one."  "I don't want to talk to her!" she'll say.  "Well then-- don't!" I say back. That gets her quiet real fast.  Oh she's sooo funny.

Hmmm what else...  One lady that I work with always asks me "What're you doin' tonight?"  I tell her, then she forgets and asks me again about an hour later.  A bunch of our guys do that.  Sometimes it's just for attention, so if I've already answered the question, I'll just turn the question back on them.  There's one man, we'll call him Bob, who is the best at it.

"Kacey.  What does High Sierra mean?" (Though he can't say his r's so it's more like "High siewwa")
"What does it mean, Bob?"
"The mountains."
"That's right."

"Kacey, Kacey.  What's Wal Mart?"
"What's Wal Mart, Bob?"
"Supah centah."
"That's right, Bob."

Bob has what we call "Shiny Moments," as in, he'll change topics midstream as if he got distracted by something shiny.  The other morning he went up to Crystal and said, "Cwystal Cwystal, I know how to spell your name."
"Okay, Bob, how do you spell it?"
"C- Aw- I"
"Okay, that works." (because it's CRY)
"S- Linda.  Wheah's Linda?  Why isn't Linda hewah?"

And we all lost it.  He's so funny.

I look forward to my every day question from Bob "Kacey, Kacey, what does High Siewwah mean?"

And "Joe" and I sing every day while waiting for the bus (he's obsessed with Elvis) "Wise men say only fools rush in..."

My internal song though, from now on, whenever I have anxiety is:
"Iiiiiiiiiii'mmmmmmm gunnnnnaaaaa be FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN NNNNNEEEEEE!"

I love my job :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Blast from the past...

I found my first journal.  I loved finding this old journal.  My parents were BRILLIANT to do this.  I'm totally doing this for my kids.  And here is why:

This is the very first entry I dictated to Dad on April 5, 1992. 

"Kacey is my name.  I like to jump on the trampoline and on Michayl's bed when Tori is laying down on it.  Today I went to Cheryl Anderson's house and played as my mom and dad watched General Conference. 

Grandma Carlee took four of us to McDonalds.  I got a hamburger, some fries, and a drink of soda.  I like McDonalds and I go to the Pizza store.  I eat pizza with fries at the Pizza store.  I took my Barbie to the Pizsa store. It was hot.

I like to talk to Grandpa David.
Grandpa David gave us a talk and a puppy.  We call the puppy "RJ" (which stands for Rusty Junior).

I like to play with RJ at our home.  He bites me on the leg and makes me scream.  I then hit him on the head.  He cries just a little tiny bit.

We washed the Blazer yesterday.

We watched a movie about Ninja Turtles.

Mary Beth came over to my house this week.  When she was here we played horsey land.  While Mary Beth was here I changed into another girl.

I like to play with Tori and Mary Beth.

I like to play with RJ."

Some of my favorite quotes that only a child could get away with:

"Kelsy's mom, Sister Edgin, and she's got eyes and a whole head about her, was my teacher."

"The girls got the master bedroom downstairs.  It's VERY big!  The boys made the stairs.  We slide down the stairs.  Heavenly Father made the world."

"We moved already.  This is an old house."

"Mommy is silly."

"We went to the store.  Tor-pee (Tori) went with us."

"Tomorrow will be Brandon's 2nd day at school.  And blue track started and my friend Kathleen from the airport goes to my class.  She always late on the playground.  I always see the teacher and know she is there."

"My Dad told me on the phone she had a baby girl.  Kathryn, my baby sister, is so cute that everyone in my class will want to hold her.  She likes when everybody holds her.  She sleeps a lot.  She barely even eats, but mostly sleeps.  When she sleeps she acts like a statue and stays very still."

Sigh.  Life was good as a kid.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Then Sings my soul

Part of me really wants to write down everything I've been experiencing and feeling, but another part of me just doesn't see how that's possible.  I try to fit in everything that I can remember before FHE starts.

Reno is awesome.  my job, though intimidating at first, is WONDERFUL!!!  It reminds me SOOO much of being on a mission.  How you ask?  Well, first off, I'm in the Skills department.  We work with individuals who are the lowest functioning.  People in other departments often say "Gosh, I could never work in skills.  It's too tough."  Why does that remind me of being a missionary?  Well, it's what people said about me serving in France.  And within the mission, that's what people said about Valenciennes, one of my absolute favorite areas.  "Not enough success; too hard."  People, listen up: I LOVE THE SKILLS DEPARTMENT!!!  I can't imagine being ANYWHERE ELSE!  I have grown to love every individual I serve in my department, even the ones who scared the crap out of me at first.  I say scared because I really was quite uneasy; what are their disabilities?  How am I supposed to act?  What am I allowed to let them do, and what behavior am I supposed to hinder?  But as I got to learn about each individual even the most unpredictable and THEIVING (oh yes, we have drink thieves) have become precious to me.  What makes me love them the most is when I'm doing the down and dirty work: the toileting.  Mom and Michayla were nervous for me on this point.  But I decided, hey.  I've changed a bazillion baby diapers.  I'll just think of them like that.  But I didn't have to do that.  Why?  Because all I'm doing is helping them with something they can't do for themselves.  It's not an imposition.  It's an opportunity to serve.  It's what I believe the Savior would do.

Each person in my department, and there are about 40, has such a unique personality and set of talents.  Yes, talents.  There's one man, whoooooeeeeee!  He can keep rhythm better than any drummer I ever played with.  I remarked that today to his staff, and she said, "It's not just music that he keeps time to.  He'll do it for your rhythm too."  She started clapping a beat and MAN was he ON!!!  So I tried the same thing.  It took him like two seconds to get it right.  I made it a little more difficult: triplets.  Shiz, that man was ON IT!  Then he started smiling and laughing.  His staff turned to me and said "He loves doing this.  It makes him so happy."  How simple!  How fun!

There's another individual who tries to steal hugs.  He'll come to your side then slip his arm around your shoulders.  Today he tried that with me for the first time.  But I cut him off, like I'm supposed to, and said "no."  Then he asked politely, like he was supposed to, and I agreed.  That's generally the rule: they can hug you if they ask.  And I love my hugs. 

One man looks like a blond Robert Pattinson.  He's non verbal, but I love him.  He understands so much, we just don't understand him.  I wish I could.  He loves to interact with people and communicate the best that he can.

Then one of my favorites is a woman. She is just so cheery!  She is always saying, "Hello!  How are you?" and smiling, even when unpleasant things happen.  It's not that she's oblivious; au contraire.  You can visibly see that she knows what's happening.  But she chooses to be cheerful and upbeat about it.  How many of us can say that?

I could go on and on about this place.  I actually look forward to work.  I won't get to take over my own table for a few more weeks, but I found out which one it is, so I'm looking forward to it.

My ward seems pretty great.  I've made some new friends.  And... well, I'll talk about that later :)

Anyway.  Off to FHE!!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Draft: the mountain waves shall dash upon you

This is a draft of an article I'm sending in to the Ensign.  Comments and suggestions are beyond welcome--- they're what I'm looking for!

This was a battle I’d been fighting for quite some time.  The dark feelings of hopelessness, irrational anxiety about my future, and the sureness that nothing could save me from my own imperfections plagued me at all the wrong times.  I was raised in the church being taught that none of these feelings should occur if I was being righteous, and according to the tools I’d been given, I was being righteous.  So why did these feelings persist, especially during my personal scripture study, sacrament meeting, and moments of pondering?  What was wrong with me that I couldn’t feel what I’d always believed?  I didn’t pay these emotions too much heed until the second to last transfer of my mission, when my episodes of anxiety became frighteningly overwhelming.  I had a wonderful companion who knew my history with depression (which followed my fiancĂ© calling our wedding off one week before the date).  She urged me to call our mission president and tell him what I was feeling.  “Soeur Barros, there’s no reason you should be feeling this; you’re working so hard and we’re having so much success!”  I called up my brand new mission president who gave me advice directly contrary to what I thought was best.  Having faith, however, that he was called of God, I took his advice and managed to keep this anxiety at bay for the remainder of my mission.
I, as many returned missionaries do, lived in a lovely land of denial after my mission.  I was still riding on that strong spiritual high when the episodes returned.  About six months after my return home however, denial abruptly ditched me and left me with cold hard reality.  Yick.  I didn’t like reality.  Not only that, but without denial, my episodes became stronger and more prominent.  I would be sitting in Sacrament meeting when an episode would start up.  First came the feelings of “I need to do better,” which developed into “I’m so terrible because I’m not doing as much as I could,” and then quickly progressed into “I’m such a useless person I can’t do anything right or well enough to satisfy God.”  Obviously, none of those were true.  But they felt so real that it shook me down to my core.  I created a habit of praying like crazy when I started feeling this way.  My prayers never shortened or softened the experience, but feelings of peace and love never failed to creep into my heart as the fear subsided.
Anyone in my family can tell you that I’m horrible at hiding my emotions.  My dad frequently tried to warn me that what I was thinking was written on my face.  Though this attribute has often been a gift, at this point in my life it was a curse.  I’d have exert every ounce of willpower and energy I possessed to only allow silent tears down my cheeks and not the violent sobs of distress that my heart so desperately wanted to express.  After I was called as the ward organist and required to sit on the stand, it became ever imperative that I hold it in.  Though, after a while, I found my calling to be a tender mercy: members often tried to console me after the meeting about my less than amazing organ abilities, assuming that that was the reason I cried every week.  Who knew: because I played wrong notes, no one caught on to the fact that I was losing my emotional grip every week.
I rationalized and ignored these episodes a good three months before I told my parents that I needed to speak with someone about it.  I’d come to realize that this wasn’t a spiritual matter, but an emotional and maybe even chemical one.  My family has a history of depression, and, like I said earlier, I had experienced it before.  My dad, a bishop in another ward, gave me the name of an LDS therapist that the stake president liked to refer people to.  I called him up and made an appointment.  While certain aspects of my life started to improve, my episodes did not. In fact, they worsened steadily.  I remember two episodes specifically that show my never ending and drastic deterioration.
My normal episode pinnacled with an unshakeable feeling of hopelessness about my future.  Literally, when I tried to think about my future, I saw and felt nothing expect bleak, black, darkness.  But this episode culminated with my irrational but very real question of “what is the point of planning my future?  What is the point of having a future?  My future holds NOTHING for me.”  That was a distinct progression from my normal “ehh… my life is junk.” 
The second episode was much scarier.  My heart jumped off the cliff of hopelessness and dove down to “I have no point.  Nothing in this world would be different if I didn’t exist.  I wish God had never created me because… because I’m useless.  There’s no point to my life.” Alas, that was not the bottom—not yet. No, I knew I’d finally reached the bottom of the depression ravine when I “knew”, and this “knowledge” was very appealing, that I didn’t have to have a future.  I can disappear. 
When my heart crashed into those rocks, my soul shuddered.
The episode slowly ran its course.  I found the desire to pray, which was quite a breakthrough, actually.  I hated praying during these past few episodes because it brought me no consolation, and in reality, I just ended up yelling at God; I was too deeply lost in the depression to truly pray.  The moment did come where I found enough faith to pray and ask Heavenly Father to help me.  “Help me feel like I’m worth something,” I sobbed.  “Like there’s a point to me.  Like my future is worth living for.”
No big response came.  I was still so upset that I wouldn’t have been able to hear it if one had.  I did, however, feel an undeniable and unmistakable peace.  The calm was almost palpable, like a blanket wrapped around me, protecting me from my anxiety and depression.  A clichĂ©, I know, but the feeling was so physical there is no other description.  My breathing slowed and my heart began to beat at a normal pace, allowing me to fully exit the scariest experience I’d ever had.  The peace continued to fill my heart and surround my being.  I had the wistful thought “I wish my patriarchal blessing spoke about this.”  I chose not to look at my blessing.  I’d honestly NEVER had an experience where what was specifically written spoke to me in a time of need.  Sure, sometimes the Spirit would calm my heart if I read my blessing, but never any of the words.  Not in this kind of situation.  And I wasn’t yet in a state to understand the Spirit in any way beyond the peace I was already experiencing.  So I decided to open the scriptures and read a few verses, which pulled me a little further out of the dark abyss that was my mind.  My hunger was not yet satiated, and like a child needing breakfast to fully wake up for the day, I had the desire to feel more.  My patriarchal blessing again popped into my brain.  Not able to deny the urge any longer, I decided that I was far enough beyond the episode to be able to hear the Spirit speak to me.  So I pulled out my blessing and started to read.
I never got beyond the second paragraph.
I didn’t have to.
In the first few lines of my blessing, the words that I so desperately needed to hear were written on this paper printed nearly ten years earlier.  Declarations of my divine lineage and priceless worth pierced through my cloud of self-depreciation and self-loathing straight to my soul.  I read with disbelief the specifc qualities and purposes Heavenly Father had given me, qualities that directly contradicted the deep and penetrating emotions that possessed my heart not ten minutes earlier.  Amazement washed over me and practically knocked me to my knees, prompting me to pray once again.  I poured out my grateful heart to my loving Heavenly Father for the words of love and encouragement He prepared so many years earlier for this specific experience.  For the comfort He so readily gave me at the end of each of my manic episodes.  For the love that He possesses, a love that doesn’t tire of my repetitive depressions, but continues to attend my needs.
I have no words to describe the peace and joy that filled me. I can only borrow the words of the scripture in 3 Nephi where it states “no tongue can speak, neither can there be written by any man, neither can the hearts of men conceive so great… [was] the joy which filled [my] soul.”
Believe it or not, I’m also grateful for the severity of that manic episode.  That episode was so scary so quickly that it woke me out of my pride and got me to tell my therapist what was going on, after months of living in denial.  Through his help and the help of my doctor, we established that I suffer from a mood disorder, specifically a mix between depression and bi-polar disorder.  I take medication for it, and my episodes have all but disappeared.  I’m grateful that Heavenly Father has given us modern medicine which helps me regulate this chemical problem.  I bring this up because I don’t want anyone to think that I believe prayer and faith is enough to overcome issues like depression or other mood disorders.  That is not true.  Some things are physical and require physical remedies.  Heavenly Father gave us these resources for a reason.  And, as I learned through this experience, it often takes faith and prayer to have the courage to use them. 
The other half of this, and maybe the more apparent half, was that He was ready for me when I came to Him.  Yes, He showed me my weakness, and used the moment to show me that His love is always there, ready to comfort and reassure me—especially in the place that I least expected.
I know that Heavenly Father is aware of each of our needs.  He loves each of us in such a unique and individual way.  I am grateful for the knowledge I have about my relationship with my Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, through the restored gospel.  No man can convince me to turn from the gospel.  Not when I’ve had experiences like this one that help my testimony grow.

“For behold, ye shall be as a whale in the midst of the sea; for the mountain waves shall dash upon you. Nevertheless, I will bring you up again out of the depths of the sea; for the winds have gone forth out of my mouth, and also the drains and the floods have I sent forth.”- Ether 2:24

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Do you ever feel already buried deep?

Uh.  Yes.

So.  Cool story.

I had another episode tonight.  A full out freak out end of my world episode.  They're getting worse.  I'm going to talk to Mark about it.  I think we'll be able to figure something out.  I hope.  Nahh, I'm pretty sure we'll figure something out.  But this one... oh man, this one made that feeling so tangibly real it scared the living daylights out of me.  Enough to tell Mom that I'm starting to wig out.  That this is only going to get worse if not dealt with, worse to an unimaginable end.  I say unimaginable because I really really don't want to imagine what the end is.  Luckily, and who knew THIS would ever be the case, because of my psychology education I know that those thoughts and episodes need to be taken seriously and dealt with by a professional.  And that there is a solution/ help for me.  Gosh, I can't tell you how comforting that is.


So I have these episodes, and everyone who's Christian, just let me tell you that I am usually in an emotional state that includes zero rationality, so faith is completely out of the picture.  For about an hour.  Then I escape my cyclical brain enough to breathe.  

Tonight I thought to pray.  Pray or read my scriptures or something.  I was more ready to text one of my close friends than talk to God because I knew that everything I felt was in contradiction to what I believe.  But when I was calm (enough) I decided to pray.  That prayer was pretty much everything I'd already screamed at the wall with less volume and less English (I find it easier to pray in French-- it keeps me thinking about what I really want to say to the Lord).  And as I finished I thought, "I wish my Patriarchal blessing actually addressed some of this crap."  For those of you who aren't Mormon, here's what a Patriarchal blessing is: 

Patriarchal blessings are given to worthy members of the Church by ordained patriarchs. Patriarchal blessings include a declaration of a person's lineage in the house of Israel and contain personal counsel from the Lord. As a person studies his or her patriarchal blessing and follows the counsel it contains, it will provide guidance, comfort, and protection.
Yeah.  Comfort.  That's not always the case for me.  Anyway, I decided to open the scriptures, and of course, as usual, I fell upon a scripture that brought me some perspective and a little comfort about my situation.  Then... I decided to put my patriarchal blessing to the test.  And you know what?  The exact issue I was having was addressed in the first paragraph.
Who knew?
God did, that's for sure.

This probably means nothing to you guys, but... it means a lot to me.  It means that many years ago, Heavenly Father saw me having an episode tonight and had just the right thing to help me.  Thanks for the foresight.  It really helped.

Even with all my trials and tribulations and insanity, I cannot and do not deny that God lives.  Christ is His Son and atoned for my sins.  He has reestablished His church on the earth.  And I belong to said church. 

God is good.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Driven to distraction

Gosh I love alliterations.

Do you ever reach a point where thinking about yourself and your life make your heart hurt like crazy?  Or you mind explode with doubt?  So you just have to find the right distraction.  One that will remove you from reality JUST ENOUGH to forget the problems but not forget life.  You can still function, you know?

That's me.  Driven to distraction.

Funny thing is... the distractions don't make me happy.  They never did.  But now I'm more aware of it.

I hate when it washes over me like a wave of water, an undertow pulling me down.  An immediate rush of adrenaline to fight the currant surges through me, but it is short lived.  So I just let myself be pulled down, down, down.

I'm tired of down.  I thought it would go away.  But it doesn't.  Just like the tides of the ocean, my need for distraction ebbs and flows in a constant circle.  Just when I think I've got it figured out, it smacks me down again.  Down, down, down,

I'll do what I must to break free.

But sometimes... I just get tired.

Soooo tired.

Too tired.

So I've asked for help.  Cause all the resources I have now aren't enough.  Outside sources must be tapped.

Alors, voila quoi.

I'll be fine.  I believe that.  I hope for that.  I don't feel it right now.  But the circle will turn and so I'll feel it soon enough.

Plus the first round of help starts tomorrow.  HALLALUYAR!


And some great lyrics about the ocean from random artists, seeing as I was apparently so inspired by it tonight:

Now floating up and down 
I spin, colliding into sound 
Like whales beneath me diving down 
I'm sinking to the bottom of my 
Everything that freaks me out 
The lighthouse beam has just run out 
I'm cold as cold as cold can be 

I want to swim away but don't know how
Sometimes it feels just like I'm fallin' in the ocean
Let the waves up take me down
Let the hurricane set in motion, yeah
Let the rain of what I feel right now, come down 
Let the rain come down

and in my dreams
we can live about the ocean
only in my dreams
will we live above the ocean

Deep in the ocean 
There lies a wave for you

I wonder 'bout the herds of the sea
If they will hurt or if they will help me

Monday, June 18, 2012

Righteous Ray, Rotten Radiators and Rad Realizations

People keep laughing at this story.  And there are some parts that are funny.  But... I saw it as a huge tender mercy.

When I drove to Grandma's on Wednesday morning, I thought, "huh... is that steam coming from my engine?"  I pop the hood in Hanford and see nothing too strange, but in all George Washington honesty (or Elephant honesty, as Ben would put it), I wouldn't know something strange from something normal.  I just saw some coolant on my engine.  I checked the coolant and it was half empty.  "Hmmm," I think to myself, "gotta get me some of that."  Well, hunting in Grandpa's shop was unsuccessful, so I thought, "I'll just keep an eye on my heat gauge and if my engine overheats, I'll pull over immediately."

That worked.  Almost.

See, I was doin just fine, rollin' along Fowler road.  But once I stopped to get on the 99, I saw steam coming out of my engine again.  "Baaaaaaaddddd news," je me suis dite.  But again, my heat gauge reported nothing out of the ordinary.  That is, until I tried to climb an overpass at 75+ mph.

Then the needle shot STRAIT UP.

And I pulled over.

When I left Grandma and Grandpa's, I prayed "Please let me get to the temple alive.  Please.  Then home."  But as I saw the engine over heat, I prayed "Goodness, please just let me get home alive!"

Of course the place I have to pull over is Jensen and 2nd.  What a weirdy part of town.  I pull into the closest parking lot which was that of a MacDonalds.  Before I had even turned off my engine, a black homeless man ran at me with his stroller filled with windshield cleaning supplies.  He shouted "Open the hood!  Open the hood!"  I figured if I was still in the car, he couldn't do anything to harm me.  Yes, I am ashamed to admit that THAT was my first thought.  But anyway, so I open my hood and started to cry.  And call my dad.  And decide that it's safe enough to go look at my engine.

His name is Ray.  And he said he was gunna get some water for my engine.  "You're overheated.  You need water.  If you move it over there, they've told me I can use the hose to get you some water."

"I can't move my car.  I can't do it."  I didn't know why, but I was stubbornly staying in my little parking spot.  Later, I decide that it must have been the Spirit telling me NOT to move my car.

Undeterred, Ray runs inside the MacDo's and I finally get ahold of Dad.  "Call AAA," he tells me, "And I'll come pick YOU up."  By the time I've hung up with Dad, Ray is back with a GIANT pitcher and jug full of water.  He pulls out a rag and opens my radiator.

"You're dry.  There is NO water in here."

"That's bad I'm assuming," I reply.

I talk to AAA and Ray at the same time.  Even though all I really need is to tell them to send me a tow-truck, Ray tells me to give them the whole diagnoses he's found.  He tells me "I'm a mechanic."  I believe him.

While I wait for the tow truck, Ray discovers that there is an 8 INCH crack across the front of my radiator.  "Thank you Jesus!" he yells all of a sudden.  I jump a little in my little white dress (remember, I was on my way to the temple).

"Yes, thank you Jesus," I repeat.  "What happened?"

Ray tells me that if I had tried to go even across the street, the block would have been damaged.  "Thank you, God," he mutters.  "You barely avoided DISASTER.  It is by the grace of God that your car is fine."

"I completely agree," I told him.  "I couldn't agree more."

While we stood there and watched the water drain out of my engine, two men came over and mocked me.  One made a single comment, then got into his truck and drove off.  Another man, parked on the other side of the parking lot, came over and lectured me about how much this sucked for me.  Seriously.  He gave me outrageous estimates at how much it would cost to fix.  Then declared that it was unfixable and I'd be lucky to get two grand for my car.  Oh goody.  GO AWAY.  Then Ray asked him if he could wash his windows for money, and the man went off for another five minutes about how he should be on welfare not begging in parkinglots.  Gosh, made me so angry.  Finally the man went away, and Ray went into MacDo's to get more water for my car.  When he came back he told me to go inside the MacDo's where it's cool (it was around 100 degrees outside).  He'd watch for the towtruck.

He tried to take care of me in every way appropriate.  I only had three dollars on me, and apologized for the small amount.  But I gave it to him anyway.  He thanked me then thanked God.  I told him, "I'm a Christian woman, and what you did was very Christian."

He replied, "I'm a Christian man.  I saw you and asked myself , you know, what would Jesus do?  And I think Jesus would have helped you."

I did too.

When Dad showed up, he gave Ray another ten bucks.  But all I wanted to do was give him a Book of Mormon or pass along card or ANYTHING.  The man was an answer to my prayer and helped me in a time of need and distress.  I wanted to give him something that would last longer than $13 would.

I haven't stopped thinking about him.  I hope he stays around that area, because I'm heading over there to give him a Book of Mormon.  I haven't felt the desire, or NEED really, to give someone a BOM like that since my mission.  And there's no way I'm not acting on that.

So, the lesson I learned is:

My radiator broke.  Luckily, it has been fixed.  Radiators can be fixed.

Heavenly Father often sends homeless men to help me (totally not lying or joking... it's a series of long stories).  Especially ones who think about others much quicker than they think of themselves.

What I want people to have more than anything else in the world is the peace and joy that I find in the true and full gospel of Jesus Christ.  So now I have two BOM's in my car.

No more hesitating.  No more hiding.  No more hating.

What a Righteous Ray, Rotten Radiator, and Rad Realization.

For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend 

upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which 

we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for 

silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?

Mosiah 4:19

Thursday, June 14, 2012

"The less I give the more I get back..."

"Oh I don't love you but I always will...."

Less is more.

I really should have remembered this lesson a lot sooner.

I usually like more.  I'm a talker.  I love talking.  I love people talking to me.  I cannot imagine a life where I am not allowed to talk.

But sometimes, just sometimes, talking should be limited.  Not in a like freedom of speech way.  Not even in a "She talks too much" way.  But... when dealing with people... less can be more.

I guess the lesson I learned this week was that it is better to just let go of something than to be right.  I can rally all day what I'm trying to get across, but if this person doesn't want to listen, then it doesn't really matter.  But even then... even if he did want to listen... is it important enough to risk hurt feelings?  To risk more confusion?  To risk broken hearts?

I asked him if he wanted to hear my side.  He said yes, he does.  But... I don't want to tell him.  It's not worth the backlash.  Because even if he "wants" to hear my side, who's to say it will even be viewed with a clear and unskewed perception?  Who's to say it won't spurr another argument?  Or another disagreement.  So today, when he told me "I want to know your side,"... I decided to not tell him.  Not yet.  I'm still too scarred from the last time I told him my side.  He got angry and defensive.  He didn't understand me.  He REFUSED to understand me.  The lense in which he views me is marred and dirty, leaving out plain and precious evidences that support my honest claims. 

And then he had the nerve to correct me on something.  Show me how silly and dumb I am.

Hahaha.  Funny thing is... I don't care.  I didn't tell him what I told him for the reasons he believes.  And I could correct him.  I could make some snarky remark about how he totally and egocentrically misinterpreted my remarks.  I could be very clever and mean.  And, had this conversation been in person, I probably (unwisely) would have.  But seeing as we are corresponding through other mediums, I have the chance to step back and think a good long time before I react.  And... I have decided that it's not worth it.  His need to be superior, to show me how I lack, to show me how he knows what's better for me than I do... I don't care about it.  I have no desire to feed into that.  Actually, a better way to describe it is that I have no desire to ACKNOWLEDGE his poor behavior.

Yeah.  He thinks he knows what's best for me better than I do.  That's one of the reasons I have a hard time opening up to him.  Because he'll tell me what to do, because I OBVIOUSLY as a 23 year old have ZERO experience or ability to orient myself.  Obviously.  sheesh, wonder how I missed THAT memo for so long.

I choose to believe that his intentions are without guile.  Intentions or not, I don't have to subject myself to his scrutiny.  I don't have to be everyone's friend.  I have to love everyone.  That's what the Savior taught.  But I don't remember being commanded to be everyone's friend.  And honestly, it's easier to be his friend when I'm not talking to him.  When I'm not under his "care".  That's one of the saddest parts: him telling me what to do is how he SINCERELY shows that he cares about me.

No more.

I'm a grown up.  And I've had to be humbled to admit that... that less is more.  I do not have to explain myself to him.  he may never believe my side of the story.  And that doesn't have to matter.  I really can just step back, let go, and walk away. 

Maybe someday I'll look back and say hi.

But not yet.  today is not that day.  And that's okay.

Because today... less is more.

"You only know what I want you to
I know everything you don't want me to
Oh your mouth is poison, your mouth is wine
Oh you think your dreams are the same as mine
Oh I don't love you but I always will
Oh I don't love you but I always will
Oh I don't love you but I always will
I always will

I wish you'd hold me when I turn my back
The less I give the more I get back
Oh your hands can heal, your hands can bruise
I don't have a choice but I still choose you
Oh I don't love you but I always will
Oh I don't love you but I always will
Oh I don't love you but I always will
Oh I don't love you but I always will
Oh I don't love you but I always will
Oh I don't love you but I always will
Oh I don't love you but I always will
I always will
I always will
I always will
I always will
I always will"