Move Along, Just Another Vague Post Here

Could two men have been more polarizing?

Thanks to everyone who voted. To those who didn’t: really?

One time on facebook I posted a biased article about a politician who said a very dumb thing about the very serious subject of rape, and the writer presented the article such that the this politician’s philosophy represented his entire political party. We all say things we regret, and we all latch onto the mistakes of those we want to lose to feel a sense of winning, advantage. We stand on any defeat — at any cost — to gain even minimal height. Definitely, rape is serious, but I wonder just how seriously we should have taken one (or several) politician(s) with a relatively fringey opinion.

I should have been more thoughtful about posting that article.

It must be so, so hard to be the President of the United States. I was president of the Free Club with some of my college roommates, and it was hard. All we had to do was get things for free. We could go to grocery stores and try all the free samples, get rebates, win prizes. I didn’t know how much responsibility I had.

I was nervous for both men. I was ready to support both men. Throughout this election season, I thought secretly, if one wins, couldn’t he appoint the other to be an advisor or something? A member of the Cabinet? Wasn’t one’s healthcare plan modeled after the other? Wasn’t that earlier healthcare plan one of greatest achievements of the one candidate? Couldn’t one use his business expertise to advise the other about fixing the economy? If one wins, couldn’t one consult the other in foreign policy or legislation deadlocks? What would our divided Congress do if these two men actually worked together?

What if?

What the if?

That’s not how politics works.

But that’s how we can work.

If our nation continues to divide, I won’t have a choice but to run for president of my square block in Orem, Utah. I’d construct a soundproof highway barrier that would reduce freeway noise and would still let my citizens see the sunset. I’d also reduce rent.

If we can’t at least seek to understand other points of view and acknowledge when others try to understand ours, then our nation will continue its downward spiral into a pit of poop.

If we sidestep accountability and responsibility in our own lives, families will crumble, and entire communities will landslide into the pit of poop.

If we pray for our country but are unkind to one another: pit of poop.

Are these two men standing on opposite ends of this pit?

Or are a better state and happier times a happy medium of something less poopy?

States of America, we are supposed to be United.

Let us make that true.

On Voting

My very first federal election is coming up. After changing my name and residence for voter registration, I looked up my ballot. There are a lot of names I don’t know. The only political commercials that air on television don’t even apply to my congressional district, and presidential commercials don’t even air around here because not enough Obama voters live here, so I guess Romney’s using the money he saved from Utah to campaign like crazy in other states where Obama has a competing influence. Which I know is Mitt’s biggest concern. I just wonder where he gets and how he keeps his tan.

Anyway, here’s what my ballot looks like. I’m about halfway done researching the list, which sort of helps, but it’s mostly overwhelming. I recognize some of the names from billboards. My votes may just boil down to whether I like the spelling of names or if I can write poems from the anagrams of names or if my favorite letter of the alphabet that day is A. It is no coincidence that the initials of my new married name are the same as Mitt Romney. So, I could vote that way. Also, I like the Yes or No questions for the judges. Nothing about voting in Utah, America is confusing in the least little way.

Dear Blog

It’s not you, it’s me.

I’m doing a lot of things I didn’t think I’d do. That first line, for instance. Why do people say that? But I’m not breaking up with you, blog, though I don’t know if an explanation for my neglect is what you’re looking for. It’s been an interesting semester, and I wonder if I had the same discipline in years past maintaining this blog during this semester, . . .  I don’t know. Something had to give. A lot of things did.

Other people have come into my life, blog. When I make friends, that doesn’t seem to distract me from blogging, but this instance — this individual —  seems to be an exception. And that’s because I spend a lot of time with this person, time I could have been spending on blogging.

Don’t get me wrong: I still love to blog, blog. But there’s more out in the world to love. But you probably mean that I can always blog about the things I love, and I can understand your point.

Consider what I’ve blogged about: Everyday, mundane, natural. My complaints, depression; idiot boys, crazy and wonderful friends and school things.

I’m beginning to understand, blog.

I should be keeping better track of this time of my life.

One semester left, and it’s going to be crazy.

I took the GRE on November 22, and my math and verbal raw scores were very close. Either I’m equally deficient or equally genius in those categories.

About 20 pages of stuff are due this week. I don’t really feel like writing for any of my classes.  It is the last week of class, and as I type this, I’m finally feeling some anxiety about finishing the semester well. Strongly. Without failing.

Classes this semester were terrific and fun. I learned so much, and I wish I cared enough about grades to let the work reflect just how much I enjoyed classes. When I went. Which was most of the time. I’d rather just sit and absorb, but for some reason someone decided that writing papers as an English major would be a good evaluation of academic progress. Which: fine.

I could continue writing about my classes and friends, or I could try being one of those annoying blogs that goes on and on about a boyfriend. What a great guy he is. I could document about all the PDA we avoid, except when he walks me to my door at night, and then it’s really short, accompanied by a whispered but confident expression of deep and mutual emotion.

If I kept it up the whole semester, it would have started out as a weekly report of weekly incidents, but then it would have progressed to a weekly or daily recounting of daily events. Hours spent together, every. Single. Day. Conversation about family and books and movies and music. And life. Initial nervousness turning into pure comfortability leading to talks about a future together and togethering together.

It’s really none of the world’s business, this guy. All the world needs to know is that he’s incredible and caring and thoughtful, and he lets me be goofy, and I let him make me happy. But that’s obvious even outside of the context of our dating. It’s not like I need a rooftop tour to shout about it or announce that he’s coming to Florida to meet my family at Christmastime.

It’s serious, blog. You deserved to know.

And I am trying to tell you.

Somewhat Confused

Yesterday, I left voicemail messages with family members about the news I received. One would think this type of news would motivate a quick callback. But no one has responded.

Class starts Monday. I’ve looked over my schedule and visualized where my classes are.

I wonder what my family members’ schedules are.

I will be way too busy to stay frustrated. But if they don’t call soon, I don’t know, y’all.

We all communicate so differently, and we all have different feelings connected to yesterday’s news. I just want us all to be able to support each other.

It’s a beautiful evening. The clouds are heavy, eager to burst. I walked around earlier after getting a haircut, and a slight breeze began to lift the heat of the day from the ground. It was nice.

While crossing State Street to go to University Mall (after my haircut), I heard someone shout my name from one of the cars waiting for a green light. I turned around, and I saw Senegal Grace sticking her head out of a black SUV, and we chatted for about 5 seconds in the middle of traffic, with me standing on the corner, and her in the middle lane of State Street heading north. Then the light changed, and Senegal Grace said that we’ll catch up sometime. I waved. It was fun.

Now, I’m watching Battlestar Galactica (and for some reason really appreciating the special effects and attention to detail regarding muted or no sound in space) and eating ice cream and wishing at the very beginning of this weekend that it doesn’t have to end.

At least there’s floating down the Provo River tomorrow.

In your face, end of the summer.

What. How.


Sometimes thoughts cross my mind, just because they’re thoughts and they’re supposed to cross my mind. Sometimes I can see where they go and other times they vanish. Sometimes they blend into other thoughts and I can’t really tell what I’m thinking. A really nice storm dropped onto Provo today. The wind whistled through the trees and raindrops tapped uneven rhythms on my roof. Right now, the cadence of crickets guides my breathing, but I still want to hold my breath.

I’m Supposed to Be Studying for a Midterm

I’ve been away from Africa for about the same amount of time I spent there. It’s weird. It’s just weird. You get used to seeing people every day for five weeks, and then all of a sudden, they’re not there anymore. Not to the same degree. I mean, the circumstances were unique: Senegal, close quarters, same exposures to culture and language and weather and disease. The same long hours on a bus or in a classroom or the same walk to and from the boulangerie or cybercafe. We all had the same cravings for familiar foods and cold drinks and English anything. A lot of American anything, for some of us. A lot of us came back with stronger convictions or different perspectives. I came back feeling indignant about a lot of things. It’s just weird. Pringles. The sprinkler systems at BYU. Small talk. Mental illness. Child abuse. I came back cussing more and wanting to argue more, about anything. I was on a date the other night, and I bit my tongue to keep from countering everything the guy said. And he was a nice guy, super nice, but I wanted him to stop saying wrong things. I still like talking about Africa to anyone who will listen. People who’ve been there with me, people who will probably never go. People who have maybe distanced from themselves the human parts of humanity. Who knows. I don’t know. I can’t let it go.

It seems silly, but I miss being able to walk into the hotel room next to me and plop myself on a bed and feel comfortable talking about anything. After a long day of long-day things, I miss that kind of decompression, the difference in what I cared about. What I think about. What I want to change.

Just weird. Seeing people out of that context is weird. Not that I’ve seen very many people, but I think about them all the time. All the time. I’ve tried to maintain the friendships I forged there. I’m grateful to have them, to be able to share, to have a way not to forget. I’m back to a school-work routine, but nothing is the same. I’ve wanted to hang on to so much from those five weeks. It’s constantly on my mind, all the stories and laughter and colossally hard times.

So much has happened in the last seven months. I’ve come to accept some pretty hard facts. I’ve learned to let some things go, and putting certain things on that list was not the easiest thing for me to do. Africa is not on that list. Other things are, and I’m finally okay with it. I’ve stopped arguing about those things. They pass; time fades them. It looks different, more manageable, like it’s supposed to be forgotten.

It’s becoming less weird.

Don’t Look for Content Here

This combination is primo. My favorite is the one about the fur pillows. The bike stores one is pretty great, too.

***

In other news, the semester is almost over. I really hope this isn’t news to you. I’ve only announced it somewhat consistently this past week. Finals start Saturday. They end Tuesday.

In yet other news, I’m slowly coming to terms with some hard truths in my life. I wish my heart didn’t have to break.