Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Writing A Book Is Hard

Boo to not realizing that I loved writing until school wasn't an option. Not that I couldn't go back, but my kids are a little too little right now. I have every intention of going back to soak up all I can and become a writer. I semi already consider myself one, but I feel like I need that extra credit and experience to gain that special title. To say "I am a writer". It'll be nice someday, but I know what I am and I know what I'm not. 

I am:

-A good story teller
-Capable of living this life for myself
-Never going to give up on my dreams
-Great when I put my mind to something
-Worth it

I am not:

-Educated in writing (except for high school... that's it)
-Giving a crap about either of those two things.

I have been wanting to write a book for years. YEARS. I've even attempted a few times and got pretty far with one of them, but felt myself not loving the book, and feeling overwhelmed with it all. Honestly, I felt like Stephanie Meyers just whipping a book out of my butt with ZERO experience. I felt it sucking. I felt like an imposter, so I stopped. I didn't want to write an official book until I felt I had some credit behind me. Until I felt confident enough to feel worthy of even writing one.

But my creative self came up with an idea...

I have found a way to write a book without really writing a book. I've decided to write a book periodically on here. For all of you. I'll post chapters every so often and put up links to previous chapters in case you miss a post and you can be my listeners. This way I can write my book, but without the pressure of making it absolutely perfect for printing. You'll be my practice. 

Because my brain is constantly full of ideas that I need to get out. I don't know which one I'll choose for you, but I'll make sure it isn't scary or gross, so I'll save my zombie book for some other time. :) 


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Sunday, February 15, 2015

'Cause I Gotta Have Faith ***DISCLAIMER***

talking about my journey with the church, talking about faith, talking about knowledge of the gospel, talking about truth.

Growing up I never had a great knowledge of the gospel. That doesn't mean my parents didn't make a great effort. They definitely did. Sometimes I wonder if I was a little ADD before I had part of my thyroid removed and just couldn't concentrate. I always knew the stories as they were being referenced, but then they'd leave my brain as soon as it was over. I just didn't especially care. I wanted to play and play and play. 

Then when I hit teenage years I became very rebellious due to tragic circumstances, that I'll talk about on a different post. I rebelled because I didn't care about life. I wanted attention, I wanted to feel, I wanted to feel fear, I felt that sinning would accomplish this, I wanted to... die, I guess. Learning about the gospel was the last thing on my mind during these years. I did believe in God though, and I believed in the church to an extent. I thought that I was feeling the spirit and I felt that it was telling me I was doing wrong. 

When I was 18 I made a giant change in my life. I had stopped going to church and I felt as though the spirit left me for the first time in my life. It scared me. I had never felt so depressed. I vowed to change. I vowed to try with the church. I moved home, and started going to singles ward for the first time. I visited with the bishop on a regular basis beginning my repentance process. If I could pick a favorite bishop, it was this one. He made me feel like I wasn't lost, and that I was completely capable of change and happiness. He started out very simple, he told me to read a scripture every day... even if it's a sentence, just read everyday. I thought it was simple enough and did it. At the same time slowly shedding the sin out of my life. Coffee was one of the absolute last things I stopped doing, I basically just replaced it with hoards of diet coke which, now that I think about it, made no difference but it put my mind at ease. 

I began to feel happy again. I began to feel like I was doing the right thing. I was like the prodigal son returning. Everyone was so welcoming, I hung out with my sister a lot, and all the boys that lived in her basement, and I loved boys, so it worked out nicely for me. I eventually finished reading the book of mormon and at the same time stopped all sins. I had an amazing spiritual experience the following Sunday. I remember I decided to take the sacrament again, it was also testimony meeting and for the first time in 5 years I went up and bore my testimony. It was... thee most spiritual experience I had ever had. I had never felt so right about anything. I remember after walking down from the pulpit and sitting back down, someone next to me, I won't say who cause I don't want to call him out, turned to me and said that was the best testimony he had ever heard. Because I'm a horrible public speaker I held onto that because I was sure it was God speaking through me. I remember telling myself then that I needed to hold onto this moment during times of doubt.

I should also point out that during this time I was going through intensive therapy for PTSD, but whatever... side note. 

The one thing about this story is, it's very nice but, I had basically no deep knowledge of the gospel at all. I was the definition of a faith-based member. Which I knew, but I just thought that meant I had a deeper connection with the gospel. I didn't need to know, because I felt it's truthfulness. I told myself this all the time.

There were other things that came into play for me too. I didn't agree with everything the church believed in, or as I would say then, I didn't understand everything the church believed in. I had gay friends that I loved, they are great people, they are what I used to call "members waiting to happen". I specifically remember my friend telling me his "coming out to his family" story. It was so horrible to hear about his family not accepting him, to hear the pain in his voice (fyi he wasn't lds). Why would anyone not love him? Why would anyone put this amazing human through this horrible pain? It didn't make sense to me because I thought he deserved happiness, that he deserved acceptance, that he deserved equal rights. I listened to talk from Pres. Hinkley about doubts and according to him if there was a question you couldn't answer through research or prayer to just put it on a shelf in your mind and bring it back out when you're in front of God, so you can have the chance to talk to him about it then. That was a relief, I could stop worrying and thinking about it. So that's what I did. I had a lot of doubts that were similar in the sense that they weren't doctrinal based. Things that made me feel uncomfortable agreeing with.

But hey, faith. 

The one thing that gets me is the idea that faith = truth. That's how I saw things in the church. That why I was able to say that I knew the church was true, because my faith in it made it true. I received a blessing from my husband when I was 8 months pregnant with my first child and in it he said that my son would be fine, that he would be healthy, that everything would be okay. I had 100% faith that he was right, that the blessing would be true. 5 days later I gave birth to my dead baby. What does that say about truth? What does that say about my ability to have faith in something and have it mean that it will be true? I know what people will say "It wasn't God during that blessing. Sometimes it's what the man wants and he'll speak for himself and not for God" So when can we know what's from man and what's from God? Only when it's things that work out? Why would God give us these answers through such confusing methods that are sometimes true and sometimes false? and what does that say about my ability to pray and the power that comes from that? Does that mean that sometimes the answers I'm receiving are from me and not God? and if that's true then what's the point of prayer if everything is already planned out for me and there's nothing I can do about it? Obedience?  "Hey, sorry you had to bury your stillborn son after I made you feel that everything would be fine, but I just wanted to make sure you'd be obedient to me anyways" ...thanks?
That's something that I had to work out during these intense moments in my life. It was extremely difficult and draining. It left me feeling lost and as if I was doing something wrong.

When I came to the conclusion that the church wasn't true I had several people ask me how I could possibly have such spiritual experiences, experiences that they saw me go through themselves, and throw those moments of confirmation away? It's because I no longer believe that faith=truth. Because when I went through that extreme moment of pure faith I didn't know anything of the things I know now. Because I was choosing to believe what I was told was truth, based on a feeling I had. A feeling that, at times, would deceive me. 

"how do you find answers now?"

It's hard. I'm not going to lie. Coming from a place where answers were handed to you, to nothing at all has been a challenge. I think for myself now, all my choices are on me. I have to weigh options and considers all paths. In some ways it's terrifying, to be doing it all on my own, but in another way it's exactly what I need to grow. To truly learn from my mistakes and my success's and find happiness. I have an overwhelming amount of independence now, and I'm going through life as best as I can without the idea of faith, or at least without faith that God has the right answers, or even more so, that God isn't really there at all.

In the end I choose truth over faith and whatever it brings with it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

My Blog My Writing.

I love writing. It's a passion I've had for a while, and I feel this amazing release when I do it. I've always been open in my writing, and had a "I don't give a crap" style to it. Lately I've been dishonest with my writing. Mainly because I've left the church and I don't want to offend anyone, and if you read my last post, you know how much I dislike confrontation.

But let me be honest now. It's hurting me that I can't write openly anymore. I have feelings, thoughts, emotions, and I can't let any of them out because I don't want to lose friendships and receive hateful comments.

This is my year to be me. To discover who I am. I'm going to write about what I want to write about, but I don't want people to feel like they have to drop my blog completely, so I'm striking a bargain. I'll put a disclaimer at the top of my post so those who don't wish to read my opinion on my journey with the church, they don't have to. It's up to you. I strongly suggest that if you can't possibly fathom the church being false that you do NOT read my disclaimer posts, because they will annoy you and, quite possibly, hurt you.

"Why write about something that's going to hurt a group?"

Because it's my life. I was born and raised in this church. It will always be apart of me and me leaving it isn't going to change that. The phrase "You leave the church but you can't leave it alone" is a joke. Of course I can't leave it alone. That's not going to happen for years. Years. This blog is a type of open journal for me, my therapy, my way of working through grief.

I hope you all understand that.

I still would like to not receive articles, talks, book suggestions, videos, etc. If you had an opinion on a post I don't mind hearing it, but nothing extra please, or else I'll started emailing you special literature too. :)

Yes. That was a threat. 

^^^yes that was a joke.

 I should also add that if the temptation becomes too much and you feel as though seeing the words "disclaimer" are too much to handle, then feel free to leave the blog forever. Sorry to see anyone leave because I want freedom to express myself. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

"I Am Dance"

I am not normal. I've never felt normal and the only time I ever felt like I belonged was when I was in kokopelli choir, and even then it was because we all had a painfully obvious thing in common, which was our love for music and for singing. Nowhere else in my life have I felt at ease.

I never understood it, and after years of wonder I came to the conclusion that I was weird, that was that, and I should move on with my life trying to act as normal as possible. I somehow managed to find someone who loved me for me. I was able to be my weird, quirky,emotional self and be loved for it too. Who knew there was love out there for everyone. I didn't. No offense to all the dudes I've dated, but the feeling I had dating my husband compared to the rest of them was night and day.

"Why do you think you're weird?"

Well, there was always a part of me that I felt I could never control. I am extremely emotional. I cry easily. I wrote a whole post about all my embarrassing crying moments HERE. That's one of the big ones, but there's more. I was always overly aware of my body and my surroundings. I hated being the center of attention because I became cripplingly nervous. I notice detail to an annoying amount. It's why I think my memory is amazing. "where's that obscure paper I mentioned 3 weeks ago?" "it's under the printer, in the filing cabinet, in the 4th folder labelled 'random stuff', 7 pages in".  How can I remember that? I have no idea. and this is a family thing too. I made a bet with Maren and Sarah about the rhythm that a bird makes in one scene of the movie 'Cinderella'. We were all very close, but I believe it was Sarah that won. Why would we know this??

"Wow, that's amazing".

Is it? That when I go to the grocery store I'm constantly worrying about being in someones way, or worse, when someone is in my way and doesn't notice that I need to get by.

"why can't you just ask them to move?"

...that's a fantastic question. Because I hate any form of confrontation, because I hate speaking to people, because the grocery store overwhelms me, and I just don't want to deal with another thing.

"but it's just asking a person to move so you can get by... why is that such a big deal?"

It's not. That's the worst part about it. It's not a big deal. I've just made it into a big deal. Even making the decision to go to the grocery store in the first place is a big deal. All decisions are a big deal. I'll avoid almost anything if I can. I have attempted to get out of every single vacation I've planned on. No lie. Ask my husband. Even KIDLESS trips. I know. It's insane. I didn't realize I did this until my husband pointed it out to me. "you did it again". The last trip I went to was a 3 day trip to Canmore with Brett. It was amazing. It was relaxing, and I had an amazing time. I tried to get out of that particular trip twice.True story. The reason? I was worried about leaving Milo, because he didn't quite make the toilet and pooped on the bathroom floor. Complete accident. Almost cancelled my trip. Would've if it wasn't for Brett.

I'm also obsessive with time. You know the idea of being fashionably late? Nope. I don't do it. I can't. I've attempted to get better at this, but I'm just a very punctual person, and I hate it. I want to be the person that's 20 minutes late, but I care WAY too much about making it on time.

"but if you want to be late, then just plan on being late"

Can't. Can't do it. Can not control it. Very annoying.

I have bawled multiple times over facebook debates. DEBATES. Not even arguments. Although the arguments have me in a state of depression for days. Any confrontation KILLS me.

"don't take things so personally"

Thanks for the advice. Meaningless. Impossible. I can't. I try very very hard to. This is where I feel really bad for Brett because he has to listen to me cry over a complete stranger on a youtube channel tell me I'm dumb. "He said I was a stupid idiot!! That's just so mean!" ..."...well it's youtube". It's thing like this that make having "me time" a must. I need it, or I'll lose my mind. I need peace and quiet. I need zero chaos moments to recharge. Sometimes I'd rather stay home than party with my favorite people. 

"Hey Jenny, what do you want to do tonight?" Don't. I beg you. Don't ever ask me this question. I have no idea, and if I had an idea, I wouldn't be sharing it with you. I'd likely give you five options and make you pick. I don't want to make the wrong choice! What if my choice makes the night boring!? No way. Too risky. I suggest getting treats and that's my contribution for the night. Because being wrong? Horrible. Worst feeling in the world. You know in the movie "Home Alone" when the mother realizes she's forgotten her son? "KEVIN!". Imagine that feeling. I feel that way over forgetting to bring my wallet to the movies.

Turns out this crazy thing I suffer from has a name, I didn't hear about it until about a year ago and thought "FINALLY!! I'm not and introvert or an extrovert". I'm a Highly Sensitive Person. I feel a lot. It's mostly terrible. There's one thing though that makes it all worth it. 


I. Love. Music. 

I don't know how to describe it to you, other than to say that it does something to me. I feel what that artist is attempting to convey. I feel the beauty. Even those songs where the singer is screaming their lungs out, I feel it, and sometimes... I cry. To screaming music. Yes. It's happened. Just yesterday I cried listening to a NOFX song. ...yes. That is true. It was "The Decline" if you must know. I love it though. Because I feel like my passion for music is something that is mine alone. I know other people feel what I feel, but in the moment I have this feeling of "I get it. I understand it, and no one else knows what I understand about this... because it's a feeling". I'm rambling. Lets just say that if I could choose to be deaf or blind, I would be blind. Music is too amazing to me. It means too much. It makes everything okay. It makes everything not okay. It makes me feel happy, sad, mad, relaxed, envious, lustful, bliss, content. It's like breathing the cleanest air you can think of. Taking a deep breath on the top of a mountain on a crisp morning. I remember watching a So You Think You Can Dance Canada where this dancer from montreal (Nico) described what dancing meant to him and said "I am dance" and my sisters and I made fun of him for it, because it seemed so cheesy. ..well...

I Am Music.

 Because of that one thing it makes the rest of the craziness worth it.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

My Little Sweet, Cuddly, Loving, Clingy, Never Leaves Me Alone Buddy

Let me start by saying how much I love my son. 

Now that that is out of the way... My goodness. This kid can cling. He was my ghost child! Drifting from room to room, doing his own thing. "where's Abbott?" "I don't know... playing somewhere". 

No more. 

Now he's constantly touching me. He has to be touching me. "where you going Mom?" "mom" "Mom, I love you" "mom, look at this dinosaur" "mom, you look so beautiful today" "mom, listen to me sing this song" "mom, don't leave me" "mom, can I have more juice?" "Mom mom mom mom mom mom" AHHHH!!! 

It's cute, don't get me wrong. I'm doing my best to savor these moments where I'm his whole world, but other times... like when I'm trying to shower, or when I'm trying to make dinner, or read a book, it becomes less cute. It started at Christmas vacation. I don't know if having Brett around caused him to worry about me leaving, and then I did leave for a day, and he became much worse. 

He reminds me of that SNL skit where Bedelia (Nasim Pedrad) loves her mom (Tina Fey) more than her friends, and keeps hanging out with her. Her Mom is constantly trying to get her to be with her friends, but she just loves her so much and keeps praising her to her friends etc. (p.s. you should really look that skit up, it's hilarious)


Honestly, this isn't a huge complaint though. Abbott is adorable. He's currently sucking him thumb pressed against my leg watching me type. When I walk into a room he lights up, laughs, and runs to me. He always wants to cuddle, and he gets extremely jealous of anyone who is near me. I'm sure if I let him stay up, he'd be like Edward Cullen and watch me sleep.

I think this will be one of those things where I'll miss it deeply when it's gone, and he's a teenager that curses my name and tells me he hates me. 

It's official... I'll just love it while it lasts.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Alberta Winter

I never in a million years thought I would be missing Cleveland. A place where the snow melted when it hit the ground. A place where roads were plowed instantly. I'd watch the sparks the plows made against the bare streets in amazement. "They plow roads this early?" In Edmonton only main roads were plowed instantly. If you didn't have winter tires then good luck because you would 100% get stuck if you ever stopped. It's a common occurrence to hop out of your car to help push the one in front of you. The one time Brett and I did this in Cleveland, the driver sped off without a thank you.

At this moment I wish I could be with that thankless driver.

Today was Milo's first day back at school. He's a 30 second drive away. I usually start warming the car 15 minutes before I take him... which I realize is ridiculous for a 30 second drive, but I need to do it to soften the ice that's caked on the windshield every morning. I forgot to plug in my car and before Brett left for work I asked him to plug it in before he left at 7am. At 8:30 I went to start the car. Nothing. I tried again. Nothing. I sank into the seat debating whether it would be worth it to pull out the stroller and push my two kids to Milo school which would normally be a 5 minute walk, but with the snow covered sidewalks would definitely be a 15 minute sweat fest.

Is it bad that I didn't think it was worth the trouble? I walked inside and called the school. "sorry... my car won't start. Milo won't be coming today".

An hour later I was bundled in my warmest, shoveling the walks. I normally would leave it, but my Doctor Who phone case would be arriving today and I'm always afraid someone will slip on my porch and sue me, so out I went.

Yes. I have a doctor who phone case arriving. I'm a giant nerd.

January is the worse! Okay maybe February is, but it's 2nd worse. Alberta winter makes me want to set myself on fire.

I shall attempt to not let myself fall into seasonal depression and fill my time with books and hot chocolate and never leaving my house and perhaps watch old episodes of Doctor Who. Yes. Doctor Who. Don't act that way...Doctor Who is awesome. YES IT IS! Maren... quit it. You just don't get The Doctor. I know he's an alien and I'm afraid of aliens, but he's a TIME LORD! How can I not love a time lord from the planet Gallifrey? Every time I hear that Tardis I burst into gooseflesh.

All I can say now is ALLONS-Y!!