Category Archives: Building Zion

Before I Die

I check the stats like a crazy person, so I know that nobody reads here anymore. But because I am a crazy person, I’ll continue to post here. Which suits me fine, because I get plenty of attention whore fulfillment on my more private/public blog. Talk about the irony!

Anyway, while I was moving, I found a list from a few years ago of 100 things to do before I die, which was really only 50 items long. It was interesting to read, because I could cross a few off the list because I had accomplished them: 

  • Beat Bret at Pinochle
  • Embrace my Inner Geek
  • Be Comfortable in my own Skin (hey, almost there!)

And some I could cross off because I just don’t want them anymore:

  • Serve a Mission
  • Recieve my Endowments

I guess it’s time for a new list. 

Heck, I love adding new pages, even if no one reads them but me.


Moving On

I’m really moving on in so many ways these days, that my head is almost spinning.

There’s the literal moving of home, which is now 95% complete, and will be finished before close of business today. And while this moving is the most immediate and phyisically demanding, it’s not the hardest.

I’m a clinger. I hate change of any kind. but I love growth, and growth demands change.

I’m learning that it’s okay for some people not to be in my life, even if their influence is mostly positive, and especially when their influence is mostly negative. Time may be infinite in the long term, but in the short term, there is a distinct shortage. It reminds me of that joke that in the long run, the market will fix itself, but as Keynes says, ‘in the long run, we are all dead.’

Letting go of fanciful notions is a tough process, too, and it’s one that pushes me into cynicism, as if I am not jaded enough. My One True Love is not my one true love. Heck, even my crushes are no longer my crushes. This aspect of moving on is one that is so healthy, but not so healthy, too, because it makes me build walls every time. I still have some growing to do in this department.

Instead of letting go and letting God, I am simply letting go of God. If he is really all-knowing, he will know why, and perhaps if he can see the future, he can see my eventual return, or maybe I won’t return. The universe I envision does not include a God who needs or wants worship. He seems far too laissez faire for that.

That post is still coming, but the boxes are beckoning.

Sweaters and Leaves

 Fall is my favorite season. It’s cold enough for sweaters, but not cold enough for snow. The leaves turn countless shades of beautiful–my favorite being that deep red that almost looks purple, and the streets become lined with the leaves that have floated down in farewell until the spring comes and they cling to branches once again. 

And did I mention the extra hour of sleep?


But of course, no sleep in happening here, because my brain won’t shut off. My life has become much more complicated, now that I am being all open to new ideas and trying to grow emotionally.

Deciding to be a big girl about life doesn’t mean that I don’t still get my feelings hurt; it just means that my emotional response should be more proportional to the stressor. And I think so far, so good. Most of the time. I’m still going to be very emotionally sensitive. Whether that is a result of the abandonment or the abuse, or just a perfectly healthy character trait, I’m not sure. 

I do know that I am much better at coming down from my irrationality rather quickly, after some time to think things through. This is progress for a girl who usually reacts to any small emotional wound as if the world were truly ending.

Somewhere out there, is my happiness. 

Maybe it will come dressed in a deep red sweater.


Yesterday, I tried a little experiment. 

Usually, when I listen to my iPod, if a song isn’t one of the chosen few of the moment, I skip right past in to one of my favorites. I don’t even give it the time of day. 

But last night, I decided that as long as I didn’t absolutely hate the song, I was going to listen to it and give it a shot. It was quite enjoyable. 

I’ve also been doing the same with thoughts. Instead of just pushing away everything that didn’t fit into my pre-concieved, narrowly defined paradigm, I entertained thoughts that often leave me uncomfortable. 

A lot of these thoughts have to do with God and divinity in general. I’ve been questioning my conception of God, and where I fit in the scheme of things in a much different way lately. 

In the past, God was just GOD and I was just this completely insignificant, unworthy creation who would simply never be worthy–Atonement or no Atonement. 

And I’ve come to some conclusions that many in my life, culture, and religion would find completely disturbing. But this is my journey and my struggle. My path to enlightenment is simply going to be different than yours, but that’s okay. 

Now that I’ve accepted that, my next post on the nature of God and the inconcievibilty of sin will be much easier to write.


As everyone else in my life, besides me, expected, I caved. 

I didn’t end up quitting my job.

Partially because I am a pushover; it’s part of my genetic makeup. People convince me of things all the time. On a minutely basis, even.

And partially because I have nothing to lose by waiting a few months. I have the opportunity to keep my secure job and start over in another location. I really ought to at least try. 

* * * *

Spent some time on the phone with my brother-in-law, who I am closer to than any of my brothers, and he could sense the abject sadness that I just can’t shake. I told him all about work and home and the moving, and he could tell that those were issues, but that it wasn’t what was really bothering me. Older brothers are awesome like that.

So, we talked about what was really bothering me, and while it didn’t help in the fixing it sense, it helped in the everything is going to be okay sense. 

I try not to have a lot of bitterness about the past and the circumstances of my childhood, but the one thing that just pisses me off is the stunted emotional growth that has resulted. I’ve been able to get past everything else by sheer will. This is a little harder to overcome. 

I shouldn’t be feeling this right now. I’m 26 years old. Time to be a big girl about life. 

And I try, and sometimes, I even put on a good show, but everybody is right. I am such a mess.

Hope for the Hopeless?

It’s difficult to capture poignant moments in words and tell stories about them, when there aren’t really stories to tell, just moments and insights that one doesn’t really know how to share.

A single moment of an ordinary day can change a life, so long as the potential changee doesn’t lose the lesson in the hustle of building a life.

It breaks my heart that we live in a world overrun by destructive moments; that callousness seems to be the order of the day, and that I often help callousness on its way.

 It reminds me of when Elder Holland gave a talk in General Conference about Speaking with the Tongues of Angels. I remember how convicted I felt, because I am nothing if not biting and sarcastic.

How do I reconcile my cynicism with my quest for Christianity? It causes such cognitive dissonance that I often despair.

How can I decry the cruelty of the world, when everyday, in some way, I contribute to it?

It almost makes life feel vain. What is the point of lofty goals and pretty creeds, if not accompanied by integrity and character?

No wonder we need the Atonment; if only I could cast off pride, let go of doubt and surrender.

Crawling Toward Zion

It must come as quite a shock to see new words on this screen. It will come as a shock to me if there is anyone left reading this blog.

The hour is late and my lids are droopy, but my mind is wide awake.

So much has changed and so much is so much the same.

I have a move planned that begins in two weeks. I am moving southward, back very close to my hometown.

I feel an ever-increasing need to gather closer to the people whom I love. So, I am. I will be leaving a few people behind here, but I will still work with the most important of the bunch. The commute to work will be more than worth the time and effort.

I’m renting a few rooms from the Livingstons, a family to whom I have been close for many years. The children are truly a delight, Bret makes me laugh even when calling me to repentance (which he does for good reason!), and Kora always helps put things in perspective for me.

For the first time, I will live in a household that has the Priesthood present, and it brings me an odd sense of comfort. I’ve been praying and studying and changing, and there is nothing more I need right now than the influence that only the Gospel can give.

School can wait.

I have more important things to learn right now.