Thursday, November 14, 2013

How to Hunt a Husband: The Justin Story

For Aimee.

When I started this blog I imagined that I would be posting , mostly , about marriage. At the time I was very newly married and it seemed like the most fascinating topic one could write about. I posted about the little things: figuring out how to live together--you were there.

In the short time I have been married though, I have learned that the ins and outs of the institution are really not always compelling to other people. Marriage is a way of life. I think Justin and I have managed so far to have a very good marriage and I think what is has boiled down to is accepting another persons' presence as a permanent fixture in your life. Well not just accepting their presence, welcoming it, needing it , breathing it in and knowing that it's what sustains you. Knowing that without their presence you wouldn't really be yourself anymore.

On Sunday I rode back to California with my parents for what my sister is calling my "exile" and my mother is calling my "days of confinement". My insurance is here in California and Justin's very strict PT program is in Arizona. I am 37.5 weeks pregnant and I am waiting here for this baby to come so that we can make the trip back home together. Right now Home is in Arizona, Home is where our husband and daddy is.

I know I have done my fair share of gushing on this blog about how much I love my husband. I know that loving your husband isn't really all that unique and you guys are probably sick of hearing about it, but well you know that's kinda my life I guess.

When I got married at 20 I think some people might have thought I was throwing away my chances at a successful life. Over the past two years I have wondered that myself on many occasions. Most recently, I had to quit coaching for Chandler ( despite lots of people telling me I was really good at it), because Justin's in school and we're having a baby. Sometimes it feels like marriage makes the decisions for me.

I've been reflecting though on why I married that man and how I knew I had to. I was young and immature but I know I made the right choice.

I had always been looking for someone really. From early teens on I craved the attention and affection that a relationship promised to provide. I didn't really have a whole lot of people interested in me in high school, but my senior year I got a taste of what having someone could be like. I wanted to get married, to have someone be mine, to have someone to hold me and tell me I was beautiful and smart and strong. I needed that. I knew I could be someone big, if only I could find the someone who would help me get there.

I graduated and went to BYU-Hawaii and had all sorts of adventures with other 18 year-olds. I'm really grateful for the friends I had, who pushed me to explore the world and enjoy life with or without that special someone. We were busy and having a blast, but that didn't stop me from continually hunting for that person that would be mine. That one who would hold me in the night and tell me everything was o.k., the one who really knew me for who I was and wanted nothing more than to bask in the little quirks and strengths that made me me...whoever that was.

I had crush after crush and I threw myself at them. I imagine I was quite annoying if not a little scary for my intensity. I tended to go after the guys all the other girls were going for too. The ones who were friendly and outgoing and really cool and well-liked. Lots of times they responded to my advances, noticed the good in me, but then things would fall through--there was often someone else who was better, or a little older, or a little more their style. I'd be left feeling dejected and unworthy and horrible about myself, then I'd eat a bag of marshmallows, let my friends tell me what a jerk the guy was, and move on to my next victim.

Then I had a crush that really CRUSHED me ya know? He was very philosophical and very interested in my perspective on things. I felt smart and ambitious around him and I just knew ( this wasn't the first time I "just KNEW") that he was the one for me. I spent hours analyzing every thing he said to me, repeated over and over the signs ( my parents knew his grandparents who knewblahblah) that we were definitely going to get married one day. He'd invite me for late night walks and we'd hold hands. I met his friends and thought I was in. I wasn't. I wasn't really the only girl getting that kind of attention from him. It's not like we were dating, but the whole thing just hurt. He ended up awkwardly terminating our midnight talks by telling me he wanted to date someone else; that he really liked me, that I was this amazing person, but that things would be too serious... it hurt then, though now I can see that I was a very intense person around him and that it would never have been a good thing.

I didn't let him go right away. I thought that maybe he'd date around for a while and then look my way again. We were both in California over summer and I was wishing on every star that he'd come visit, that he'd text or call and want to hang out. My mom said it was like the saddest thing she'd ever seen. I like to call it my period of DESPERATION.

It got far enough into the summer that I realized he just wasn't that interested. If he was, he would have come. He didn't. I needed to move on. I needed to stop trying to find someone who would find me. I needed to be ok with myself, know myself, be ME. I came back determined not to date for a while. I didn't want to be depending on attention from others anymore.

I felt really different when I got back to school. I was still lonely, still wanting somebody, but I was more confident and I wasn't LOOKING for someone anymore. Turns out I didn't ever need to be searching as hard as I had been. A couple weeks into the semester the new guy on the team walked into the weight room and captured me with his big brown doe-eyes. It was different this time. I wasn't going to be following him around like a sick, lost puppy, I was going to attack that man with all the force of a full grown retriever, pin him down, and slobber all over him.

Why was it different? Wasn't this just me being intense and aggressive again only this time it worked out? NO. This is what was different. I didn't want Justin so that I could find myself, so that I could feel like I was worth loving. I wanted Justin because I wanted him. I wanted him more and more as we spent time together. Forget trying to make myself seem funny or unique or lovable. I went on dates so I could hear him laugh, see his sweet smile, feel the warmth and integrity of his spirit. I treasured his kindness, even when it wasn't aimed at me, I marveled at his discipline, his passion. I pursued him. In his words " It was a real shock to me, to know someone wanted me that much, to feel like I was worth it." As our relationship progressed I think Justin started to feel the same way about me, wanting to hear more about who I was because he loved me...nothing more nothing less.

When we started talking about marriage, there was this instant in which I flickered back to that old feeling of needing validation rather than of simply loving him. Justin, who was way more mature than me at this point (ok fine he still is) said this; " I want to marry you because I have to see who you become. You are a wonderful person now and I love you, but I know that you have a lot of growing to do and I simply can't give up my chance to see that. I want to be with you when you become the person I know you can be."

At the time I was really offended and a little panicked by this. " You don't love me for me, " I wailed.  "You want me to be someone different , you are only marrying me because I am a blank slate." Justin just sort of chuckled and half took back what he said, I can see it now, him hugging me to him but half-smiling at my dramatic outburst and looking forward to those becoming a little more thought out ( sorry babe, I hope you didn't think 3 years would be enough time for that.) Now I practically cry every time I think of what he said. He gave me so much room for growth. He loves me so much, sees me so clearly, that he knows now is only the beginning of things. He doesn't just love me for who I am. He loves me for who I will be.

He wants things for me to. He is constantly pushing me to pursue things in the areas he perceives me as talented. He wants me to live up to my potential. And you know what? That's exactly what I want for him.

That's why I am here in California. Doing things in a really inconvenient way. Standing on the cusp of dedicating my heart and soul to Justin's and my son. I'm not just ok with it. I am relishing every moment of it. Every panicked phone call from him seeking reassurance about the final he is about to take is music to my ears. I know him, I see him, I love him. I will do anything to help him be the man I love. Now and Forever.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Can a Scatterbrain Be Tamed?

Maybe this is news to you, but I happen to be a scribbling poet. What I mean to say is that you come to my house and wonder why I keep so many half-used ,battered old notebooks with paper fringe peeping out its because I write poems in them.

Being me, I have absolutely no method to documenting or keeping these poems  nope I don't even start at the front of a notebook and work my way back) except for the one house rule... "NEVER EVER THROW ANY KIND OF PAPER OUT WITHOUT FIRST CHECKING TO SEE IF THERE IS ONE OF MY POEMS ON IT." Justin knows this rule. I am pretty sure my parents and siblings do too.

In any case, I have an ambitious plan to go through all the old papers and notebooks and journals and get my poems typed up, which is what I was just sitting down to when I found what I think is one of the BEST POEMS I HAVE EVER WRITTEN.

Here it is in all of it's glory: ( It's a love poem which is why it is addressed to Justin)


      Just so you know,
      I love the way you look at me, the way you hold my hand,
      I love the way you

(Insert a few hastily scribbled heart drawings, then, in cursive...)

  Just freakin' marry me already!!

OK so maybe this isn't my best work, but I thought this was hilarious, you know since he did end up marrying me...I guess it would not be so hilarious if he hadn't. Anyway here's to the guy who loves my scattered creativity  and who has made it his eternal goal to tame the beast and get me to complete my works, flesh out my ramblings, and - well you know- actually accomplish things. Good luck babe.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Pregnant Femininity: Part I

      I have always been fit and strong and I am wholly unused to needing as much help as I have lately. Yesterday Justin had to buckle my shoes for me...just couldn't get the right angle. It is taking pregnancy to realize just how different life is without the confidence that fitness brings...I don't like it.

     The other day I was on a (short and very slow) run around the block when I found myself in an uncomfortable situation. A road worker was pulled to the side, doing some routine maintenance on the sidewalk. Whether pregnant or no I always take notice of these things out of caution. Normally I would note that the man was rather large and that there was not anyone else along the road if the man ended up being malicious. I would then note the height of the nearest fence, calculate how much speed I would need to get myself over that fence, and generally plan an escape with confidence that I could handle the situation.
    Being pregnant  , however, left me feeling extremely vulnerable. Let me put it this way...there is NO WAY I could hop a fence right now. I think I could run fast for a few seconds, but I doubted having the upper hand in a footrace.
    Obviously the road worker was just your average road worker, out doing his job and not bothering anyone, but this experience has taught me a little bit about my own femininity.

     In one of my college classes, my professor challenged us to really think about the history of female inequality from a cultural perspective. The first question you ask yourself when you start thinking along this vein is "Why/How is it that this form of inequality is present across history and culture" or " Why is it that so many cultures, historically and presently, have defined gender roles which typically favor males with dominant power?" In class we brought up the most obvious reason-that there are inherent biological differences which might lend to this progression. Our teacher challenged our thinking by asking if it were possible that those biological differences could possibly be a result of the gender role itself.

  In other words, my original reasoning for the prevalence of male-dominant/ female-indominant gender roles went something like this ..." well women tend to be physically smaller than males which might explain why , cross culturally males hold power--since males would usually be able to physically threaten or protect their female counterparts." to which my teacher was asking "is it possible that women are smaller because men have taken on that role for thousands of years, and that that adaptation is a result of culture?"

   I thought about what she said, and came to a sort of mixed conclusion. While it seemed more logical to me that biology begat culture in this case, I did ask myself why I felt a cultural pressure to follow certain gender expectations when I was just as physically capable as many men (with mental capacity being a given).

   Pre-pregnant me needed little physical help. Sure I might ask Justin to get something down from the cupboard or open a jar but of course both of these tasks involve man-made objects that could be altered to better fit me. Pregnant me can't even get herself up if she trips over the dog (at least not easily anyway)...yeah that happened.

    Despite my professor's thoughts on cultural influences on biological norms, there is one distinct biological fact which can not be blamed on culture. It's the women who get pregnant. ( After all that is the one difference we base this whole separation on right?) Pregnancy means a certain level of physical ( and let's not deny it-emotional) vulnerability and dependence. And with that vulnerability (that realization that in a very basic way I most certainly am NOT built for the same things as men, that I might need to rely physically on my husband throughout our child-bearing life) comes the sweet realization of a feminine sense of purpose...which I will save for part two. ;)

*Note-Obviously a pregnant women can and should get the help she needs from other women as well, my point is that the existence of the vulnerability itself is a uniquely female circumstance.  

Monday, September 23, 2013

Feelin' 22

   On my birthday this year, Justin changed his alarm ringtone to "22" by Taylor Swift. It totally thrilled me when I woke up that morning, and we sang it over and over throughout our day at the zoo.
   I felt so happy and young and even unstoppable that day. I felt 22!
   Justin never did change his ringtone and now, 6 months later we still wake up to it. Only lately I haven't been feeling 22. I feel old!
    The weeks are flying by with my workload and I haven't had time to revel in this pregnancy the way I
always imagined. Plus I am pregnant and married, finished with my degree and far from hitting the clubs looking for "bad news". My 22 just isn't quite the same as the Taylor Swift version--nor is it comparable to the majority of my peers'. Sometimes I wake up to that song and think that I must be doing things wrong...
     But when I really think about it, there's nowhere I would rather be at this age. I am in love and happy. I feel free knowing that I am well educated. I am carrying my child easily (due at least in-part to being young and healthy). I am mature enough to deal with what's thrown at me, but I don't have a problem being silly or having fun. After thinking it through, I have decided that this is 22 for me, and I am feeling it.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


On those odd days when I don't have a sub job, I usually have a lot of housework to catch up on. The problem is that I am usually only motivated to do one thing on those days...sleep. I improvise by telling myself that for each chore I cross off my list I can watch one t.v. episode on netflix ( o.k. sometimes 2). It's not good because I feel guilty not doing things that make me a better person-- reading classic literature, crafting, writing--but when I am tired and given this precious breather all those things just feel like chores. T.V. is easy and mind numbing and I don't feel guilty for falling asleep while doing it. So here I am , hastily writing this post, so I can get back to that third season of Everybody Loves Raymond. Maybe someday I will reach my sleep quota, maybe I should just enjoy the chance I have to sleep now before my baby comes to hold me responsible each and every choice.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Ain't Nothin' but a Hound Dog

I have decided that having the day of while pregnant is pretty much the same thing as being part-basset hound for a day. On days when I am not subbing, both Beta and I wake up at 6 a.m. crying and whining with hunger until Justin pours food into our bowls ( mine's cereal and I mostly always use a spoon--be proud of me). Then we both act all hyper and follow Justin around, extremely interested in his morning preparations for school. Once Justin leaves, we sit resolutely at the window as his car pulls out, then we go lay on my bed and take a nap 'til 9 or 10 or 11. Basically until we have to go to the bathroom so bad that laying there is no longer an option. Then we waddle ourselves outdoors so Beta can go potty. This is our big outing for the day as it is blistering hot and neither of our bodies is really meant to handle this temperature. We go back inside and stare at our respective screens for a while ( me the computer , Beta the window). Once that's done we'll play tug of war for about 1 1/2 minutes because that's really all we have energy for. If we are feeling really sparky we do laundry, I rifle through the clothes , separate them , and throw them in the washer according to color; Beta rifles through the clothes, separates one, and gnaws it to pieces according to color. (She really likes white guys, she always does her whites first.) Then we take another nap, do some more waddling, some more staring at screens, and some sniffing around the house. When Justin gets home we are both at that window, waiting for him to pull up on his bike and we are both going crazy with excitement when he opens the door. We demand he plays with us for 15 minutes before laying down on the floor and letting our eyes close gently, as though today were the most physically demanding day of our life.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Goodbye Summer...

         Summer has come and gone and in the last few weeks Justin and I have been adjusting to the new drag. Some summer highlights (watch my bump grow as summer passes ;) ) :

The bump in may...haha I thought there was a bump!

We left Casa Grande in late May and made it to Cali in time for Aimee's graduation and my cousins' bridal shower. I was so happy to get to spend summer with my family but it was really sad leaving this garden behind!

June bump pics

We went camping in June with some family friends.
 The whole crew (sans Justin who didn't go out with us cuz he was sick)

 July bump

In case you are not my fb friend, you should know that Justin made A LOT of furniture this summer. I really proud and will probably dedicate a future post to it.


Justin got rejection letters from several PT schools and when June rolled around we kind gave up on the others which hadn't contacted him. So we splurged and bought tickets to Hawaii, figuring we'd both be working this year. No sooner had we bought the tickets then he got the blessed email---He was in!! We've had to do some maneuvering to get everything paid for now, but I am secretly kinda glad his letter came late--because Hawaii was the best baby moon ever!
Justin got in to PT school!!!!!!! I am so happy for him. It's been two weeks and he has been a little overwhelmed by how demanding the program is, but a little moment the other day reassured me that we are in the right place. Justin was bent over one of his books, head phones securely over his ears when he looked up at me and said, smiling, "Everything I am learning is the stuff I've been wanting to research all these years. I LOVE this!" I am so happy that he likes it, also it's really adorable.

We've moved into our very own apartment ( imagine high pitched squeals of excitement). Justin picked it out while I was coaching, I signed the papers trusting him and I was shocked when we walked in the door--crown molding, a bay dining room...he did good.We love our place and where its located. One drawback is my commute--Justin didn't find out about school until mid-summer, and I didn't feel right about leaving my team with so little notice, so I am braving the 45 miles to Chandler most days. 45 miles isn't that bad, the hour and 20+ minutes it takes in traffic is. But's that's more for another post. I propose a toast to the fun we had this summer, to forgetting the negatives, and to FALL. Only 3 months left of pregnancy!And you know, all that other fall stuff that's fun.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Maturing Time

            There is nothing better than anticipation to put you in your place about time. Insist as you might, every minute is not equal to the next. For me the moments are moving fast and slow at the same time as that fateful day approaches, the day of our Ultrasound.

            I’ve had pretty ambivalent feelings about this whole pregnancy. Am I a bad person if I say that I have yet to feel an overwhelming surge of perfect love towards my unborn child? Before I got pregnant I wanted to hold every baby , press them to me and kiss their foreheads. I was rather emotional about the whole thing. Now that we are having one of our own I am sort of up in the air about babies in general. That powerful urge, that “Baby!Must-hold!” shout that used to run through my brain is absent. At first I was surprised by it, but now I have come to think that maybe this is maturity pushing its way in. I love that I am pregnant, I am happy about it, but the girly squeals of excitement have been replaced with a peaceful smile; a more constant kind of love is being allowed to grow.

            I am not giddy with excitement for our Ultrasound, I am simply anticipating it with this new kind of joy; and time is behaving differently in reaction to this previously unmet emotion. Time is freaking out. Like, yesterday would NOT end, but when it did I looked back at it sadly and thought, “Yet another day has slipped past me, without my full awareness, because I am waiting for something different.” I want the days to pass by so I can get to the one that I am anticipating, but I have grown enough to know that this kind of attitude comes with a cost. I am also learning that time is a tricky little devil, who likes to pretend you’ve got the hang of her, just so she can throw you for a loop. This maturing thing is stupid.

P.S. Having to wear a bra all the time is also stupid.

Sunday, May 26, 2013


I am really really bad at keeping secrets. Well, I guess that's not strictly true. I guess I am average at keeping other people's secrets...but I am terrible at keeping my own. When I was in high school and something would happen with regard to a crush I'd decide each and every time that this time was different, that this time I would keep this story to my self for a while, you know be a lady about things , be discreet. Then I'd see a mild acquaintance and blather on and on about how he may or may not have winked at me, how I think that this guy is Prince Charming ,how it wasn't like a full on wink but he definitely had to put conscious effort into it...ah the good old days. I look back and get embarrassed at my big mouth...but what's a girl to do, I've always been a bit of a story teller. Well, now that I am married and settled and whatnot, EPIC stories that just have to be told are getting harder to come by. I've come to find that there are things that are made sweeter when they are shared with your sweetheart and him alone, so I've been learning to bite my ever wagging tongue.

12 Weeks ago though, Justin and I began a particularly adventurous chapter in our lives and that is the explanation behind my blogging silence. This adventure was one of those things that prudence requires a curbed tongue for , and after blurting the news out to one or two-- ok maybe a dozen or so people--I knew that I had to keep my fingers away from this keyboard! It was all so exciting and when I tried to think of something interesting to post about I could only think of my big news. It wasn't time to tell the world yet so I hid my laptop away until the glorious day when the most dangerous part of the adventure had passed.

We've heard that at 12 weeks your chances of miscarriage significantly decrease. So I guess it's ok to let the world know. We are 3 months pregnant! So far everything's been good, the only real day-to-day evidence of it all is my growing belly...speaking of which I have a feeling I am not going to be a magical pregnancy unicorn... but I will be posting photos anyway. I do plan on writing about other stuff though, so if you aren't into mommy blogs keep coming back!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Little Victory

Little Victory
Yesterday marked an insignificant and yet monumental victory for myself. But first some back story.
This weekend my mom came up and she smiled with nostalgia as she talked about me when I was a little girl.  She said that I didn’t really ever play with dolls or even toys. “You played outside” she said, her voice rising as though she thought we didn’t believe her. “You played with rocks and sticks—you didn’t need toys because you had such a wild imagination.”
I have always been a dreamer. I started reading before most kids and my dreams reflected the books I read. I was a hopeless romantic. I wanted to grow up and fall in love. Wear beautiful dresses. Live in a castle somewhere.  I wanted to be an elf ( learned elvish). I wanted to live in the woods and go on important quests, maybe marry the King of Men. Always, I wanted to live in a little house on the prairie with a quiet but knowing husband who would conquer the plains with me. Our world would be small but it would be ours.
Throughout Jr. High and high school I fell in love with dark haired boys. I was enchanted by brown eyes looking up through thick lashes. But my princes never looked back. I was young, too young to be worried about it but being the worrier that I am I became convinced that I would never get married, never find love. I did find love. Sweet, innocent high school love. I knew it wasn’t going to be forever though, and I still fretted about finding my prince/Ranger/farmer.
I found him. Now I have bound myself to him in every way. He is mine. We are one. Except that now I tend to cling onto him tightly. Sometimes I even forget to keep dreaming.
Yesterday I won a small battle though. See yesterday, Justin and I both had the day off. Usually when these days come along we spend every minute together. Justin comes up with a plan for an adventure and I follow him—lovingly, happily, yeah it can get pretty sappy. In any case , yesterday was different because yesterday Justin had to fix a pipe in the side yard. This was an adventure I just couldn’t follow him on. I tried. I went with him to Lowe’s and tried to help find the part, tried to listen to what the guy said as he explained how to fix what was broken, but my dreams were calling me and I decided to listen.
So I spent the day in the dirt. I hefted a bag of soil on my shoulder and hoed and raked away at the raised bed Justin made for me. I added potting soil and did it again. I even went out to the desert and dug up some clay-like stuff and added that. It was hard work and time flew. Soon I had a bed that was ready for planting. So I asked Alonzo…hemhem Justin to help me place the seeds in the ground. It was really special. Sure it was just one teeny tiny garden and sure I am totally over exaggerating the epic-ness. But the point is that I got out there and did something I wanted to do. Learned something and applied it and I am proud. I have the sweetest husband in all the world but I don’t need him to plant a garden for me. That I did for myself. And he loves me all the more for it.
 P.S. Justin has the most beautiful brown eyes and the thickest lashes in all the land.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Who am I?

Hello Blogging world, sorry it’s been a while.
I know that everyone has their own opinions about Les Mis but I loved this version. I was particularly touched by this song, and have had the tendency to sing it the shower lately.
I’ve been thinking alot about identity. Justin and I are in a bit of a transition period of late, and it is wearing on me. It often feels like the majority of my life is being shelved away for the future, like a box of summer clothes left in a closet somewhere, put off until an undetermined date. We are waiting to hear back from the schools Justin applied to, and it feels like somehow I have been left behind somewhere.
It’s partly my own fault, for deciding not to pursue journalism right away. I think I was sort of depending on that , like I saw myself as a news though somehow writing news would anchor me firmly in place. Keep me the same. Make me who I am. I thought that’s what I wanted; saw myself reporting , wearing pencil skirts and nerdy-cool glasses…I don’t even wear glasses. It was a dream brought about by chick flicks and a decision made by a 15 year old me. I loved working at the school newspaper, but somehow I just can’t make that jump…don’t want to.
I’ll tell you what I really want to be. I really want to be a mom, a well educated Mom who raises her children up between the grass and the stars. A mom who teaches her kids how to get what they need without depending on anyone but their family and their Father in Heaven. I want to be a poet. The kind who lives out in the middle of nowhere and is inspired by the things around her. I want to be a painter. I want to go walking and discover the world as it was made for us. Not as we made it. I want to be a life-long runner. I want to be a coach. I want to be a good friend. I want to work for the city like I do now. I want to be a leader in my Church and in my community. I want too much. I don’t want enough.
Can one person really want all those things, be all those things? I think we all know the answer is yes. People are multi-faceted, complicated beings after all. I’ve learned that as I’ve listened to grandparents and great grandparents ( my own and others ) tell their stories. When it’s all said and done none of us will just have been an accountant or an artist or a Grandma. We are all those things.
Despite my meandering thoughts on the subject, I still feel like I am losing myself. My life is hinged upon Justin’s application status. I don’t know where I’ll be working, or in what field. I don’t know if my baby will have to wait another year to come into this world. I’m waiting, nervously, to see where life will take me.
That is as it should be, I guess. Life rarely lets us take the wheel. However much control you think you have will have changed by tomorrow. You’ll panic, you’ll stress out, and then you will add another title to the ever increasing list that makes up who you are.
I am a writer. A runner. A Mormon.  A video editor. A wife. A friend. A blogger. A daughter. An animal lover. Everything I was, everything I am , and everything I will be makes up a seemingly arbitrary scribble. Trace the pathway of my life and you will find only one common denominator. Me.
Embrace who you were. Love who you are. Strive everyday to be better.
Watch Les Miserable. Write blog posts about it.
And then smile, and know that you’ve found yourself again.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Saturn's Rings

In ancients days, in the far corners of the world today, and in the horoscopes section of 17 magazine,  the planets were and are thought to impact one’s fate. In our case, we started of 2013 under the influence of Saturn’s rings.
More absorbing to us than the planet Saturn though , was our car, the 2002 Saturn L200. It broke down as we were pulling out of Justin’s driveway on our way to California. Anxious to get to California for Christmas, we left it in Mesa, borrowed Justin’s Dads’ car and went on our way. When we got back, our lives were consumed with getting the car in working order. Last week, Justin spent several days in Mesa trying to nurse the car back to health but it was all for naught. One of the rings inside one of the pistons is broken( or something like that ), a job which would cost much more than the car is worth to repair. Alas, the Saturn rings have left it on its last leg and we are in the market for a cheap used car that will get us where were going.
As this little family crisis consumed us, I can’t help but think about how lucky Justin and I are to have what we have. But for the whim of fate, the car breaking down would have meant some very bad things for Justin and I. At the very least, we would have had to take out some kind of loan and  and dug even deeper the neat little hole of debt we are currently standing in. Mind you, our debt is minimal considering that so far we’ve got a degree each, and that situation too is largely the product of luck or fate. You see, Justin and I both were born into pretty cush situations. We’re white*, American citizens with married, hard working parents. We are living with Justin’s grandma without a chunk of money going to rent each month. We had the chance to go to a BYU school and pay low tuition fees. Even if we fail, we’ve got a huge safety net to bounce us once and lower us harmlessly back onto solid ground. In the very worst of situations we would simply have to move in with my parents and start from scratch . Still a warm bed, food , and fun no matter how you slice it.
How many people in the world have that luxury? Not many . Bordieu* makes some interesting suggestions about the nature of success based on what fate you're born with. His term "symbolic violence" refers to his observation that kids with culturally astute parents and money backing them tend to succeed, while success is much farther out of reach for those without such advantages. He further discusses how despite these obvious advantages we tell the little man that if he would just try or work harder that he could be where we are.
I think it’s really important to be realistic about our circumstances, and acknowledge the advantages that we do have. With that in mind I am committing myself to the following :
Be thankful for what you’re blessed with. Then, realize that the people around you might not have those advantages, and might not have as much say in their success as you think. Once you’ve come to terms with that, it’s time to do something about it. First and foremost do this; Consider a person or a people’s advantages and disadvantages before you make a judgement about their work ethic. Secondly, be grateful for the fate you were born with. Third, seek to help those who are less advantaged in a personal, and day-to-day kind of way.

* I point out that we are white because I wish to acknowledge the fact that there is a cultural advantage for us there, in the United States. I am in no way stating that my skin color should merit advantages, but simply observing that it does.
* To read about Language and Symbolic power according to Pierre Bordieu click here, then click download if you dare.

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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.