Monday, May 21, 2012

Terrified- A Post Graduation Thing

Don't listen to them when they warn you. Those people who tell you that real life starts after you get your bachelor''s just not true...real life drops an anvil on your head. Ok so not so much but lately Justin and I have been dedicating our time and talents to figuring out how to go about beginning this whole real life thing. Justin still has plenty of school left but this side of graduating reveals a few areas of interest that are going to take a lot of thought and planning. For one thing there's that whole paying for P.T. school thing that's hovering on the cusp of this next year . Justin still has a few year-long pre-req classes he has to take before he applies so the big numbers aren't quite looming yet, but that hovering thing is still pretty uncomfortable. My second concern is quite selfish, yet totally normal. I am absolutely terrified that I won't get a super-awesome job to show off to everyone! There I said it. I know it sounds vain, but I keep feeling the pressure to become something brilliantly amazing and the terrible thing is I am not so sure I want it anymore! Is journalism truly where my heart and future lie? Honestly I chose journalism because I love to write and deadlines suit me, but with the economy the way it is and newspapers becoming a thing of the past I don't know what kind of jobs will be left for me, and I am just too prideful to work my way from the very bottom ( think bicycle route-ouch). I also wonder if I should go for my master's degree. My mom and grandma want me to. They tell me I am too good at school not to stick it out and  take it to the next level. I did like college and I would love to take more classes, but I balk each time I get to that point in the conversation with myself because of my fourth concern , the biggest concern of all, the one that tugs at my heart and keeps me awake at night-alternately quivering with fear and cooing with excitement.

I want a baby. This will make little sense to those of my friends who are busy being college students, but I am leading a very different life than they are. I finished college in three years. As you can imagine that means there was very little partying and experimenting involved. I did a lot of finding myself, but I didn't do it with a killer internship or by switching majors. It happened somewhere between running to the tops of mountains and late night talks with the man who would become a part of me. I got married ( remember how confused that made people?). What I am trying to say is that I am in a different place than most of the kids my age. And I am sure most of those kids will think that this is all terribly cliche this whole getting married at twenty and then blathering on about wanting kids NOW instead of when I'm 23 thing. But that's just it, I want a baby. No matter how silly or cliche or brainwashed or whatever else it sounds the real truth of the matter is that I am longing for it , aching for it all; the pregnancy, the birth, the raising up. 

I'm sure I sound quite naive. I'm KNOW pregnancy can be absolutely awful and that that's the easiest part. I know I'm still a little girl with a lot to learn; but I also know that I can be a wonderful mother. At BYU-H when I was taking philosophy and humanity and anthropology classes, when I was asking myself really deep questions, when I was working as an editor-in-chief...none of it struck home more than when I was working with the little 3-5 yr olds at Church. More than anywhere else , that is where I felt at home. It's where I felt I had the most power, could make the greatest impact. I wrote some great articles. I even made it into the Church News. I started two news shows ( admittedly in dire need of professional equipment and development). I got my degree. None of it eclipsed those little girls though. None of it quenched the yearning. 

That's why I said that real life is an anvil. Not because we are having a terrible time making ends meet (we've been blessed by others' graciousness in that department). Not because Justin's upcoming schooling is scary. But because on this side of graduation lies that opportunity, that blessing, that dream, and that promise of children. It's brilliant, it's amazing but most of all it's absolutely terrifying.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Today I was thinking about being blind...sort of. I was taking advantage of my parents dvr this morning watching some episodes of one of my favorite t.v. shows, The Big Bang Theory, and one of the scenes got me thinking. I won't go into detail about the scene but basically the uberlogical and scientific/ obsessive compulsive Sheldon Cooper is closing his eyes and feeling around with his hands, thinking he was reaching for one thing but touching another. Another character asks him if the object he is touching is an arm ( like he thought it was ). Rather than saying "No" he says "It doesn't feel like an arm".

This little scene is a succinct portrayal of scientific reasoning at its best. If something is not visually observable ( either literally or through experiments and deduction) then it cannot be declared a fact no matter how obvious that fact might be. Perhaps it sounds silly to make a statement about an entire epistemology based on a scene from a t.v. show, but hear me out. How funny it must sound to a blind man when people ask "If you can't see it how do you know it's there?". Certainly when people say that  they are usually talking about faith and god and what not, and what they mean to say is that there is a lack of physical ( not necessarily visual) evidence, but the question that arises from my observation is, I think, still reticent. How often , especially being raised in a culture where the most prevalent epistemology is scientific, do we take one or other of our senses for granted? If I can't visually observe it then I can only make a very specific, inconclusive statement about what I am feeling as opposed to coming to "see" it in another way. How often do we brush off those more spiritual or emotional promptings because they don't make sense with the straight- forward way that we view the world. How many times have you laughed at someone who insisted that they came to know something in a non-scientific way( through religion, a dream, a shaman, an astrologist)?

Hear me out on this, I am not saying that we should all invest in a pack of tarot cards and a collection of essential oils, but I just wonder how many miracles have been missed, how many lives have remained unchanged, simply because we are too afraid to believe that our way isn't necessarily the only way.

P.S. In going over this post I was reminded of a poem I wrote a few years ago...

There are those who see the ledge but think they cannot fall,

There are those who see the ledge but deny it's there at all

There are those who stand beside it, and contemplate a leap

There are those who see the other fools and safe distance humbly keep.

P.S. If blindness is the lack of sight, aren't we all blind?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

White Roses

My sister thinks I have anxiety. She’s probably right too. I am nervous and cautious. I worry about things girls my age shouldn’t be worried about. Mostly I’m afraid of dying. It got worse when I married Justin. Sometimes I just get this desperate feeling like I just can’t lose him. I love him too much. I’m afraid to die because it would mean being separated from him. It would also mean taking a leap. It would mean it was time to see if my faith is going to pan out. Time to see if all the stuff I know and believe is real. I know it sounds silly. Perhaps it sounds like I lack conviction, or real faith. That’s just how it is for me.

I’m not afraid all the time. Like the other night… the other  night Justin and I went out for a movie while we were in Santa Clarita for our anniversary. You might say the movie inspired me; or maybe I was just in the right place at the right time… We’d been to Pasadena earlier that day and it was beautiful there. It was beautiful in Santa Clarita too. We went to the Santa Clarita mall, the buildings were big and lovely and there were rows and rows of expensive looking stores, but none of them were responsible for the feeling I had. What got me were the roses.
White roses. Coincidence or no we had seen a lot of white roses that day. I stopped to smell one on the way in to the theatre. It smelled good—just your average rose. But when we came out of the movie late in the night, when we walked slowly and quietly (as my dear husband does) the roses were calling to me. I walked up to one, caressed it’s soft petals, breathed in its scent, and I thought about Heaven . I thought about divinity. I thought about how absolutely wonderful it was to be alive right then and there. I thought about how people spend their whole lives trying to inject meaning into their world, trying to find the drama of the moment, to be more than just average, more than just human. All this time it was right there in front of them. Just stop and smell a rose. Touch it, feel it, call to it. It will call back. And suddenly everything makes sense.
Anxious, nervous, fearful. Every time I get into a car, or a plane, every time I get a sunburn or eat junk food, I get all worried that I’ve made a choice I can’t take back. Violent images will string through my head like flashes of a camera bulb. It’s really cliché actually. I realized this on the road between Pasadena and Santa Clarita. I was talking to my mom on the phone and Justin was driving. We reached a stretch of freeway that seemed unfamiliar and a big semi-truck was next to us on the on-ramp. “Wouldn’t that be terrible if I died right now with my mom on the phone?” I thought, and instantly horrific images and a stream of audio started playing, all jumbled and terrifying. My heart raced. I felt sick. Sadly, this was not an uncommon experience. This time, though, I was watching myself do it. I thought about it the way I was taught to think about things. I looked at it with the critical eye my diploma says I am supposed to have.
Some things I noticed: 1) The images were strung together in weird flashes, just like every movie scene of a car wreck 2) The audio was not really plausible. It wasn’t even my voice screaming 3) The images were overly dramatic, heart wrenching, there was dripping blood and crunching noises.
I realized that the things I was seeing in my fit of anxiety were implanted there. That lots of my concerns were concerns that lots of people have. Lots of people exposed to computer-graphics filled action movies and the sensationalism of the American news media. Adorno would have laughed at me, quivering with fear as I tried to stave off a full-blown panic attack.
And then I smelled the roses, and a very different feeling came over me. One of calm reassurance, of self-confidence. One of gratefulness and intelligence. Awareness—like I’ve never felt it before. I was suddenly alive. Suddenly fearing death seemed all too silly. You can’t die if you haven’t truly lived. That’s not to say that I think my life has been a waste of time, or that I discount any of my experiences or anything like that; what I mean to say is that I am done letting movie directors decide how I see life.
I’ve been thinking about a detox for a while now. There was a point , amidst the stress of finals and and graduating and all that , that I screamed it to the heavens. “ I’m done with the computer screen, with the hunching over a keyboard. I’m done with processed grease and not even knowing what I’m eating, or watching or thinking or doing. I’m done with screaming or crying into my pillow at night because I'm exhausted and yet dissatisfied with what I did all day.” I screamed it, shouted it, prayed for a miracle. Then I came home and laid on the couch, ate cake, and surfed the web. It didn’t seem all that bad when the pressure of deadlines and becoming something were lifted.
Still I have this knawing feeling that I need to smell more roses, and I also have the feeling that I can’t do it immersed in a culture of mindlessly absorbing everything the money-chasers shove in front of me. I don’t plan on being radical, I don’t plan on never going out for a movie, ( it was going out for a movie, after all, that gave me the roses) but I do plan on a detox. A physical, mental, emotional, spiritual detox. Starting tomorrow I am going to spend my time outside instead of in, away from the t.v. and the computer . I’ll write down my blog posts on paper. Starting tomorrow I am going to eat things I can trace back to an original source , I’m going to try a few different things to flush the popcorn butter and pizza grease out of my body, I am going to let myself drift in thought, rid myself of violent emotion. I am going to do yoga and meditate dang it! Just for one week. Then I am going to re-enter society. But this time I am going to direct my life. I’m going to keep things in perspective. I am going to smell the roses.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

One Year Richer...One Year Royer

If you were misled by the title of this post stop now...Justin and I did not win the lottery or make inordinate amounts of money this year. But we certainly are richer for the time we've had together, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my first year as a Royer.

On Monday, Justin and I celebrated our first anniversary! I can't believe it has been a year already, time has flown and I think that's a good thing. We are very proud of ourselves because lots of people told us the first year is one of the hardest, but we found it to be amazingly awesome and indescribably happy. I know though, that there are also those who say that the hard part doesn't start until after the honeymoon stage...BRING ON ROUND TWO!

Speaking of round two, Justin came up with this really great plan to catapult us out of the honeymoon stage. See, my birthday happened while I was busy not blogging ( look to later posts to read about the New York Karaoke Bar Fiasco) and Justin got me the best present ever ( see below). This little bundle of fur, teeth, and energy is sure teaching us a lot about ourselves, our relationship, and the ins and outs of having your very own ( in our case miniature) family. I guess you could say she is really living up to her name. How cute is this--we named her "Beta" as in "Beta-test", as in we are doing it like the Grogans  (Marley and Me) and starting with a dog first. P.S. I get the creeping feeling that we are pretty nerdy whenever we have to explain that a beta test is something often used by video/computer game makers to refine their product before releasing the official game.

Anyway, we had a really fun anniversary going out to dinner and eating our frozen wedding cake ( fun fact: We didn't have it preserved , we didn't wrap it in foil or wax paper, we didn't even use a ziplock...that thing had been sitting there in my parent's freezer, whole and untouched, on a plate for a year. fun fact#2: We did not die or get food poisoning.) The fun is just going to keep on coming too since I booked a hotel in Valencia for this Friday night and we are going to good ole Six Flags on Saturday. There was quite a debate between the two of us, or should I say the four of us ( we both wavered between the two sides at one point or another) as to whether it would be honest for me to borrow Aimee's ( read: little sister that looks a lot like me) season pass and her coupon book for a $25 ticket and only spend $25 total  for both of us to get in. We talked and talked but never really made it to a good conclusion and so we figured we were better safe than sorry and asked my family to come with us (that way they can legally use their coupon books and get us in for $50 bucks total ; which is still a pretty good deal.) I think it'll be more fun with the family anyway, but what do you think? Using a sibling's season pass-yea or nay? Let me know in the comments.

I'll spare you the lovey-dovey bit for now, if you want to know how I feel about Justin, and how celebrating our love in commercialized glory brings it out, refer to my Valentine's Day post.It feels good to be back to blogging and trust me when I say that I have a lot more to write about.(Think cool challenges that you are going to want to read about me failing at.)

P.S. I noticed that a lot of my friends also have anniversaries in late April/ early May...could this be because that's when the BYU's Winter/Spring Terms gets out? That said, happy anniversary to all my BYU-tiful friends too!

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I am a videographer located in Goodyear, Arizona. Visit my site to check out my best work and the Stories Told blog.