Saturday, January 19, 2013


Last night I saw Phantom of the Opera at BYU with my family and it was AMAZING!! I was totally blown away by it, they did such a great job! Something about that movie always leaves me confused and unsettled though. I realized last night that it's because you're not entirely sure who you're supposed to feel sorry for. For most of the play, you feel sorry for Christine because she is being tormented by the monstrous Phantom. It isn't until the very end when the Phantom is left alone in his lair with his agony that you feel sorry for him. As I was leaving the theater thinking about this, a quote that I'm sure has plagued all of your Facebook feeds came to my mind: "We stopped checking for monsters under our beds when we realized they were inside of us."

Who's really the monster in the story? Is it the Phantom, who murdered several people and terrorizes Parisian opera goers? Is it Christine who deserted a guide and a friend that desperately loved her? Is it society, who deemed the Phantom unworthy of love? I reached the conclusion that it's a chain of events. Society turned an innocent yet deformed boy into a heartless monster that spent his life in pursuit of revenge. The Phantom turned Christine into a hopeless monster that turned away from a teacher that loved her for an airhead best friend. We all create monsters of men and other men create monsters of ourselves. It makes you think how this relates to our time. Who turned the man who shot twenty children and six teachers in an elementary school into a monster? Who turned the terrorist who organized the most deadly attack on the United States into a monster? Who turned the school bully that inflicts terror on children his own age into a monster?

I can't really end this thought with a call to action. I've turned men into monsters myself and I know that I have a long life ahead of me to continue to do that. I know that we've all been turned into monsters to some degree by someone else and I know that we've all continued that chain of events ourselves. Just as I'm sure the people of Paris that went to a street fair to laugh at a disfigured boy didn't realize that their mocking words and laughs would create a monster that would torture them, we don't realize how our words and actions change others. Be mindful, be cautious, be kind.

Sorry if I totally ruined your day. Please enjoy this video of a girl dancing to boost your spirits again.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

My AA Meeting: Agency and Accountability

No I didn't really go to an AA meeting. But in a way, it sort of was. I had a meeting with my best friend Agency and my formidable enemy Accountability and had a confrontation that made me face the problems I've been trying to hide.

Agency is just fine and dandy. He always lets me do whatever I want without comment. He's that awesome babysitter that sits on the couch and stays glued to Kyle XY while you jump on the chairs, drink milk out of the carton, and tease your brothers til they cry. He's that parent that shrugs their shoulders and says "I don't care" to whatever you ask. He lets you try your strength to infinity and beyond without stopping you.

Then there was Accountability. That guy's just a brat. He's the babysitter that makes you take walks and learn about plants instead of playing. He's that parent that crosses their arms in front of their chest and shakes their finger at you for every deed you do. Judgment, Punishment, Agony, Anger.

Our decisions always come back to us at some point, no matter how far we try to run. Sometimes it runs up from behind and gives you the biggest hug you could ask for. Sometimes it runs up from behind and gives you the biggest slap in the face you could ask for. Regardless of what treatment our good friend Consequence decided to present us with, he never fails to greet us with something. And unfortunately, we never know how Consequence is going to greet us. But the one thing that we can always count on is that he'll be there.

Wouldn't it be better to greet Consequence first? To never have our back to him, to never ignore him, to always welcome him? If he's going to visit every time we make a decision, wouldn't it be better to be on alert? Sadly, that's not the way most of us work. We try to sprint in the other direction, we try to hide behind something else, we try to pretend we're someone else. But Consequence will always find you, no matter the distance, no matter the time, no matter the disguise.

Accept that Consequence is always going to come. This week, I was slapped in the face by Consequence and he slapped FREAKING HARD because I hid for so long. This week I was also hugged by, danced with, laughed with, and smiled at by Consequence. Welcome Consequence, not necessarily with open arms, but with responsibility, courage, determination, and a new hope for the future.

Love, peace, and pizza grease

Thursday, January 3, 2013

I'll Be Home For Christmas: The Story of Christmas Miracles

I can't freaking believe Christmas Break is already almost over!! As I look back on it, I was truly blessed this holiday season. Pretty much everything possible happened: heart-stopping advice that crushed my dreams for the future, heart-stopping promises in a blessing that fueled my dreams, Christmas miracles that changed the lives of dozens of people, Christmas miracles that ended relationships on a comfortable note, seeing dear friends near in Lehi, seeing dear friends far in Monroe, closing doors and opening new ones. Oh, and some good old fashioned romance ;) Oh, and I fell in love with David Bowie. True story. All in all, it was a truly rewarding break, one that I will always treasure and remember.

I can't go through this post without posting about the Christmas miracle of my friend Sam's baptism. Sam and I have been friends since the awkward days of sixth grade when I had an afro and it was cool to play the flute (ha...ha...ha). She didn't find out I was a member until much later when I introduced her to the "cool Mormon kids" and we took her to a stake dance. Stake dances led to youth conferences which led to church and firesides and I was really excited for where the future would take her. Unfortunately, her parents didn't want her to be baptized and I moved away from Seattle wondering if that was the end of the road. Sam is truly one of the strongest people I know though. She continued to attend church and church activities (with three different wards nonetheless) and her parents finally gave her permission to be baptized two and a half years later. Her baptism was one of the most incredible experiences of my life, I am truly overjoyed that Sam now has the companionship of the Holy Ghost in her life. I am so proud of her for becoming a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and I know that she will forever be richly blessed for her decisions.

One of the most amazing aspects of this story is how simply it all started: An awkward stake dance where my insane group of friends was usually the only people dancing. Yet it was the example and spirit that each individual of the church had on Sam that brought her to the gospel. Never ever ever doubt your worth and your impact on the universe. I never thought when I was 14 years old that bringing Sam to the dances would bring anything more than hilarious stories of guys that we danced with (stories that we still giggle hysterically about to this day =D) but it ended up being the door to something wonderful. It really is by the small and simple things that great things happen.

I'm sorry if you were looking for something witty and hilarious in this post. Sadly, I don't have much to post about in that department. But hey, here's a funny thing: I went to the mall last night and as I was stopped at a red light, I saw this old man standing on the sidewalk. As I looked more closely at him, I almost died at the realization that this guy had a tampon sticking out of his nose. Picture that scene in She's The Man with Channing Tatum (drool) and the tampon in his nose when he had that nosebleed. Then replace Mr. Sexy Pants with your grandpa and you've got the image I saw. Apparently the light had turned green as I stared at this man because he gave me the biggest smile you've ever seen and pointed exuberantly at the light, tampon still firmly in his nostril. I was still giggling like a little girl for about five minutes after this happened. You know you have a sad life if that was the best part of your day =D Hopefully that satisfied your needs for cleverness enough!!

Have a lovely weekend!!