Friday, June 28, 2013

The Cave

A wonderful song by the most stellar of stellar bands. But not what I'm here to talk about.

I'm here to tell you an epic tale of one girl's journey through the times of social media. It's the story of one teenager and how she became a somewhat distracted youth who loves to laugh at her own tweets.

The reason I must tell you this story is not something I'm proud of. I caved recently. I started using both Spotify and Pinterest. PINTEREST, you guys! I was never planning on using Pinterest because I was already spending a lot of time with my other social medias. Social media accounts. Forms of social media. Whatever. Both of these websites were things that I've known about, but until this week didn't allow myself to get distracted by. But something happened, as has happened many times in the past - the cave.

It all started with Hotmail. 
Don't worry, Gmail took over soon after. 

Then there was Bebo (I wasn't allowed to get MySpace, and this was kind of like an even more tweeny version or something. I dunno. Not my proudest cave. I don't know if it even exists anymore).
That led to Facebook. Facebook was enough for a long time. 

Somewhere along the line I created a YouTube account and started actually subscribing to people. 

It usually takes me a long time to cave for social media. I'm like "uh, I shouldn't because I already spend so much time on Facebook." (as if I won't find less entertaining ways to waste time...psh...)

That's why it took me so long to get a blog. BUT. Guess what. I got a blog. True, I have spent hours and hours writing less than useful gibberish to post to the interwebs. But it was probably better-spent time than what I would have been doing otherwise: staring at my wall. Taking pictures of my carpet. Trying to invent recipes that more than always end up being less than edible. Trying to convince my mom to buy me a puppy. Making sock puppets. Curling my hair (forreals how much time have I spent doing this TOO MUCH IS HOW MUCH). 

So, I caved to Blogger. This was one of my more dramatic caves. Because I also, for some lame reason, always have a hard time using social media just because it's what everyone else is doing. I'm like BUT THEN I'LL BE LIKE THEMMMM!!! NOOOOO!!! 
But I always get over it. 

Perhaps the most dramatic caves were Twitter and Instagram. Instagram became my most favoritest social media of ever. 

Facebook became pesky thing that you just keep around because once in a while you need to use it, you've spent a lot of time perfecting your profile, you have uploaded so many photos, and you hope that one day you can show it to your children (HA. AS IF). 

Twitter soon replaced Instagram as my most favoritest. I just really love words. 

The next cave was Vine. Twitter is still my most favoritest but Vine is fun. 

It's kind of sad that I can spend so much time talking about the history of my caving to social media. My absolute MOST favoritest is still real people. Chillin like villains (haven't heard that one since the "cool" days of Facebook have you?). Getting shaved ice in the summer and hot chocolate in the winter. Driving around and barking out the window at people (if a human has ever barked at you from a car, DO NOT consider this my confession. I'm sure there are other people in the world that do it too, not just me!!! ... I hope. I surely surely hope. And don't call me Shirley. I haven't even seen that movie since I was little. Why am I still dwelling in the land of the parentheses). 

The cave to Pinterest was purely business-related. Pinterest is a great way to promote an Etsy shop, which is exactly what I was doing. Speaking of which, check out my Etsy shop. ArbitraryArray. The link's on the right side of the page. Go there. Share it with your fraaaaands. 

I wonder what the next cave will be? I'm actually going to have NONE of them for 18 months, so it'll be really interesting to see what happens in the time I'm gone. It'll also be interesting to see what happens to my brain when I don't have a billion little outlets for all of my photos, less-than-140-character thoughts, etc. Will people get more and more into social media as time goes by, or will people start to reject and go back to more face-to-face interaction? These are the kinds of things that occupy my mind, and now can occupy yours because of this blog right here. So. I'm not sure what my point, conclusion, or take-home message is. We'll see what I cave to after the mish.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


I usually pretty bad at keeping my own goals. But every once in a while I get something in my mind that I just can't not do.

This past week it was reading the Book of Mormon. (Non-LDS Followers, I know I'm going to lose you here. But let me just warn you, if you run away now, you will miss out on one of the most epic tales of all time. It is a tale of fierce bravery, adventure, insane chance encounters, cheesecake, sleep deprivation, and basically none of those things except sleep deprivation).

I am always reading the Book of Mormon, at least a few verses a day. My Bishop recommended that I study it for 30 minutes a day leading up to my mission. I did pretty well until I moved back home for summer. I still had been reading every day, but not as much as I should have. I calculated earlier last week that I would have to read 8 pages every single day to finish the whole book before entering the MTC. I was discussing this with my used-to-be-roommate/basically mom, when she suggested I should just read a ton at once and get ahead. I was like UM YEAH. SOUNDS GREAT. She was thinking like 20 pages a day for a few days so I can go easy later on.

Then, I got one of my most brilliant ideas ever! (FEEL my sarcasm. FEEL IT. It is DRIPPING from those words like a popsicle in a small child's hand in summer). I said "Wait a second, I should just read the WHOLE thing by the end of this week so I don't have to worry about staying caught up when I'm on vacation later." Roomie/mom said "yeah okay" like she always does. Just agrees with me to make me feel good. I was already in the book of Mosiah, and I was like "yeah I can do this, no biggie." That was Tuesday.

Wednesday I didn't read much, so I decided I needed something to motivate me. They say you're much more likely to meet a goal if you tell other people about it. So I tweeted that I was going to finish by the end of the week, that way I would be accountable to all 56 of my Twitter followers (although I'm fairly certain that like 40% of them are spam accounts. It's whatevs).

Thursday I finished the book of Mosiah. I planned to read the whole book of Alma on Friday, then finish the rest Saturday. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Alma has 63 chapters. BILLIONS of pages (yes, I'm exaggerating, but that's kinda what it seemed like). It came to be about midnight on Friday (so, yes, technically already Saturday. But I still consider it the same day if I haven't gone to bed yet) when I realized that I had 50 chapters left if I was going to finish Alma. I remembered that I had 56 faithful Twitter followers, plus roommate/mom counting on me, and I couldn't let them down!

I live tweeted the whole night, if you wanna check out my tweeeeeeter page.  Wait, if you don't already follow me on Twitter, what the heck, why? Oh. You don't have a Twitter account. Okay. That is the only valid excuse. If you have an account though, sheesh. Follow me. Okay. Moving on.

It. Was. Brutal. I'm not going to say how late I was up (or early . . . as the case was . . . ) because my parents would be like are you kidding me that's the worst thing ever you can't live here anymore you aren't our daughter GO LEAVE WE DON'T WANT YOU YOU'RE ADOPTED ANYWAY NO CAKE FOR YOU YOU'RE GROU-

Let's just stop that train before it goes any further. Okay. Deep breaths. Just don't tell my parents that I was up until almost 4:30, doing laundry and sitting in really weird positions to keep myself awake. I was also mostly speed-reading/skimming. Surprisingly, I picked up a good amount of the story. And the cool part it, it's easier to keep track of who everyone is and how they relate to each other when you read that many years worth of history in that small amount of time. It was actually a cool experience, except the part where I was thinking "WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO" the whole time.

The cool part is, I didn't hate everything at the end. Usually when I HAVE to keep a goal and I do something unwise like stay up until 4 am to do so, I just hate myself and the whole world. But when I read the concluding words of the 63rd chapter, I felt good. Relieved to be done, yes, but calm. I didn't feel like I was going to hate my life the next day and regret it. And I don't regret it.

I finished the rest over the next two days, and I feel great. I got a little less sleep than normal, yes, but everything worked out. I'm fine. And I actually kept a goal I had. And it was a worthy goal. The scriptures are great. You might be thinking, this is a terrible way to end such an "epic" story that wasn't even that epic. But the point is that we really can push ourselves and accomplish crazy things. And even if those things don't end up being worth it, they might at least make a blog-worthy story.

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Unfairness of Missions

I'm planning on serving a mission at the end of this summer. (I'm working on a post that tells that whole story, so stay tuned for that). I am more grateful and excited than I can explain. And guess what?
It isn't fair.

I attended both of my older brothers' high school graduation ceremonies. In other words, I endured the most boring hours of my life to support those guys. Seriously. Graduation is BORING. Don't even try to argue with me on this.
They were both serving missions in different parts of the world during my high school graduation. Not. Fair.
You'd think I might just give the same treatment for my other siblings, right? Nope. I'll be back in time for my other siblings' graduation ceremonies, and I will attend with all the love and support I can muster. (It will be hard, because like I said, graduation ceremonies are literally the worst).

My family always grows a big garden. One of my older brothers was here for the planting, but left for his mission before all of the harvest. This year, he will be returning in time for some of the harvest, after missing all of the planting.
I am here for the planting right now, and I will not reap the rewards. I will get the harvest when I return, of course, but I will also be home in time for the planting. Fair? No!

One of my brothers decided to go away for the summer to pursue an economic endeavor. (Sales. Wish him luck, that crazy man). So, while I was forced to play the piano at his farewell service and homecoming service, he won't even be attending my farewell. This one's just downright sad. And unfair. My other brother is still serving his mission, so he won't be attending either.

I could continue. But I won't, because I'm kind of illustrating the opposite of the point I'm trying to make. The importance of these examples is grossly exaggerated here - who flipping cares about whether they attended my graduation ceremony? My parents bought the DVD of it anyway. Who cares whether they are at my farewell? The important thing is that I am going to share the gospel with others, not who hears me speak before I leave.

The real point I want to make is this: We can perceive all kinds of reasons why missionary service is inconvenient. Why life isn't fair. And we are right about it not being fair. Just sometimes we're thinking of it from the wrong perspective. We think it isn't fair for us, when it's actually unfair on the other end. The Lord blesses us so much for the small sacrifices we make. The blessings of missionary service are immense, immeasurable, beautiful, and wonderful. No matter what we do, no matter how hard we think we are working, the blessings (whether they be in this life or the next), outweigh them by a million times. It's not fair that we only have to improve ourselves a little bit every day to receive strength and inspiration. It's not fair that we only have to keep the covenants we have made so that we can have the Holy Ghost with us constantly. It's not fair that all we have to do is speak a few words to ask for an answer to any number of important questions. It's not fair because God loves us just that much.

In the end, fairness doesn't matter. All things are justified in the end. What matters is doing what's right.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

I Can't Talk To People

My friends have been joking for years about how "awkward" I am. Ha, ha, very funny, guys. It's usually just a joke, but then there are times where I just don't know what to say to people.

About a month ago, I moved home from my first year of college. I started attending my home young adult ward. The first activity I went to, I was lost. I literally couldn't remember how to talk to people. Sounds silly, right? But it's true. The explanation I came up with was this:
For the past school year, I had been living with a bunch of other college freshmen, surrounded by people who were basically experiencing the same thing I was. It's relatively easy to start a conversation with these people, there are pretty standard topics that we can all relate to. But once I was back to being surrounded by people who are different ages, go to different schools, and are mostly in a different stage of life than I am, I couldn't think of anything to say.

While this seemed like a pretty valid explanation for a while, I finally discovered an even better answer. It was at another ward activity earlier this week. I talked to one of my old friends a couple times, and this is what I started with:
"I think I just kind of hit a deer" and "I really want a gazebo".
These are NOT normal conversation starters. No wonder I can't talk to normal people!
I either need to learn how to talk like a normal person, or just accept that I'm going to talk like a weirdo. I think the weirdo thing sounds pretty good, what do you guys think?