Thursday, February 13, 2014

Movies That Always Make Me Cry

I like a good movie cry. They are tragic, and cleansing, and usually involve fictional characters. Last week my roommate and I saw The Monuments Men and at one point I left out an audible sob - it's cool, the theater wasn't too packed. That got me thinking that I should post my list of "go to" sob fest movies in case anyone who reads this blog needs a good cry.  

I only chose movies that I would watch over and over again. They touched my heart for a variety of reasons but normally the tears fall because someone lovely and worthy of life ends up dying. Or movies about oppression - sheesh, those get me every time! 

So next time you need that deep, soul wrenching cry, please turn to my list, grab the tissues, and cry like no one is watching!

Million Dollar Baby
Steel Magnolias
The Green Mile
Fried Green Tomatoes
The Shawshank Redemption
The Help
Dead Poets Society
My Girl
Seven Pounds
Romeo and Juliet
Boy in the Striped Pajamas

(be careful with these, they involve real people)
Dear Zachary
We Were Here
The Cove

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Blogging Break

(I took this at the Korean War Memorial)

One day, I just stopped.

Blogging became something I didn't enjoy and it didn't seem worth the effort. I had changed, yet whenever I posted something I was still trying to come from the perspective of who I used to be. Living in this area for the past 3.5 years has been extremely challenging on all accounts and the turmoil has rewritten my personality and changed the core of who I am. I could no longer sustain posting from the voice of who I was when I was transitioning to someone quite different. 

So I'm leaving.

I moved to DC knowing that it was the right place for me. I will never doubt that God told me to be here, so I happily moved because I figured He would illuminate the purpose for my relocation. The difficulty of the past few years has made me wonder if He just needed me to be stronger - to fall and pick myself back up with His help, and to learn things about myself that He couldn't teach me any other way. 

For the past 8 months I have felt that I am no longer in the right place. After having been obsessed with DC for several years it was odd to fall out of love with a place I never expected to leave. People would always ask, "How long do you think you'll be in DC?" and my answer would be, "Until someone gives me a reason to leave". Ha! When you have the feeling of being out of sync with where you live it is tough to stay because it effects every area of your life. I looked at going back to San Diego and gave Arizona very serious consideration, but Salt Lake feels right. Before I could make the official decision I had to take this to the Lord. He wanted me here so He had to release me and let me know that it was alright for me to leave. I prayed for several days with no answer and then one night I felt it. Not in my heart or mind, but in my stomach - weird, but perfect. My roommate, Hannah, said that knowing me, that was the most trustworthy place to receive a spiritual prompting. She couldn't be more right!

I am thrilled with this new adventure I will soon be undertaking. Leaving DC will be difficult because I still absolutely love this city. Too bad it didn't love me back. Okay, that's dramatic. The city is wonderful and charming, but it will still always represent a tough but enriching time. Just over the weekend I was walking around, marveling at the beautiful details of our nation's capital city. I love it, I will always love it, but it's time for a new chapter.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Please Stop Saying This to Single People

We seem to live in a society that feels it appropriate to ask intimate questions of people we barely know. I'm not talking about your actual friends because they mean well and they know you, but there seems to be an epidemic of casual acquaintances making statements or posing questions that hurt, and seem more nosy than out of concern. If we're not close, don't ask. If you really want to know, start bringing me donuts and we'll definitely get closer, and then you can ask.

I blame Facebook. Not really, this has been an issue long before Facebook but can we all agree that Facebook does give us a sense of deserving to know more about our "friends" than we actually do? Great. Now that we've agreed with me, let's talk about this not so pressing issue on this blog that no one reads.

(and a quick reminder - if a good friend say these things, it's fine, NOT a casual acquaintance!)

Things to stop saying to single people

"I just don't know why you're not married". This is a tricky one because it's posed as a compliment. You think I'm great therefore, why hasn't someone snatched me up, right? But I've probably only shown you my charming side or my super hilarious side. Real talk - I watch a lot of TV and eat a lot of ice cream. Attractive and appealing, right? Other side of the coin would like to point out that there are A LOT of lame people who get married. A. LOT. So by saying this you make it seem like marriage is some exclusive club just for the coolest, prettiest, funniest, smartest, and all around "est" people. This one is definitely allowable if coming from a good friend because they know your best and they know your worst. Oh, and I know why I'm not married - I haven't met him yet. The end.

"You need to love yourself first and then you can love someone else". Again - are you saying that all married people have this figured out? All pre-married people completely and totally accepted themselves as is (as are?) and then *poof!* Mr Right landed in their lap? I call shenanigans. Yes, loving and accepting yourself is far more attractive to those doing the pursuing but it's not a guarantee. If this were the case, all marriage self help books would contain just this super useful information. Also, to someone who is struggling with happiness, this is far more detrimental than helpful. The battle to love yourself is a daily struggle for many people so to say this to someone looking for love, it feels like an unreachable goal just gets further and further away every time you think a negative thought.

"It happened when I stopped looking". Cool. That's the story you remember but I've had many, many, many roommates get married and none of them would say this. First of all, as a girl the concept of looking is different than it is for guys. We are not the pursuers so your advice to basically give up is confusing because I WASN'T DOING ANYTHING ANYWAY. Secondly, back to my comment about my roommates. Something I've noticed about married people is that some of them tend to romanticize their single life. "You're so lucky! Dating is so fun!" No it's not, and I guarantee that you hated it when you were single too. You just remember life differently now. It happens in almost all aspects of life. Ever heard of "the good 'ol days"? Of course you have, the future is a mystery, the present is a mess, so let's change our memories of the past so that we can put it on a pedestal and have some sliver of happiness to cling to because if not, we have a mess and a mystery to focus on.

"Have you tried online dating?". Stop. This directly contradicts the one we just hashed out. Stop looking but maybe look online. What? Also, if you know me well, you know online is a scary place for me. So if you don't know me well, you see this as a viable option. Since you don't know me well, please don't ask this.

"If you aren't happy single, you'll never be happy in a relationship". Again, married people are not the ones who figured out the key to happiness. Happiness is not only afforded to a marriage certificate! Some married people are even *gasp!* unhappy! And happiness is not a permanent state of being - it's something to ebb and flow throughout our time on Earth. All these questions do is to make it seem like the only source for happiness is to be married. Granted, it's a club I wouldn't mind joining but by framing it as the all encompassing reason to live and without it there's no way to be happy, you're only making us feel worse.

Here's what this all comes down to - we should probably stop giving unsolicited advice to people we don't really know. If any of my good girlfriends said any of the above mentioned phrases it would be welcomed and we could have a real life discussion about my real life. My walls are down and I know they are coming from a place of genuine love and concern for me. 

Added bonus -
Stop asking married people -
"When are you going to have a baby?"
"Have you considered adoption? There are lots of babies that need love"
"When are you having your next?"

Can we all agree that anyone else's fertility and family planning are NO one else's business?!? At least being single I'm not having to field these questions!