Sunday, February 7, 2016

You Don't Need Me

To you,

I stumbled for you.

Not fell. You know what it’s like when I fall for someone, and judging by how put together I am now, I’m going to guess that I have not yet fallen.

I’ve known you for 17 months. You’ve been one of my best friends for almost six.

Hmm. Yeah, I guess I would call you one of my best friends.  I haven’t really labeled people as a “best friend” since my last one went to Russia. But in terms of who knows me best, you’re definitely in the top five.

Anyway. I’m sorry I stumbled. Almost. I’m sorry if I stumbled because of all the people who told us we should be together, I’m sorry if I stumbled because I wanted to move on with my life, but I’m not sorry if I stumbled because of the amazing person you are. And I hope it’s because of the latter reason that I’m in this situation.

You’ve changed my standards. I actually feel comfortable around you, except for maybe when you are judging the semester-old garlic I keep in my apartment. I actually feel like I can tell you anything. For that reason I’m not scared of posting this letter on the internet lest you find it, because I’ve already told you all of these thoughts. I can actually talk to you for ages. Not just for one night, a week, or a month. I’m constantly learning new things about you and about myself from our conversations. Laughter actually comes naturally with you. I’m not bored with you nor constantly trying to make sure I have something witty to say during pauses.

(With reservation, I’m going to use the word “need”. I really dislike it when people say that they ‘need’ their partners. I think that’s too much pressure to put on an individual. Sure, for some situations, you really do need another person, but I’m saying “need” with a disclaimer: I’m using it more as a phrase in Hebrew “ כדאי לי” which better translates somewhere between “I should” and “it would be in my best interest if I…”. But let’s face it. This is a blog post, and “need” sounds cooler.)

I’m not going to say that I need you. I’m already afraid that I have inflicted a wound on our friendship by admitting that I have stumbled and I am not going to hinder the healing process by saying such a dramatic statement. But I will say that perhaps I need someone like you.

Perhaps I need someone who, like you, acknowledges the dating game, and the need to balance perceived levels of interest, but still seems to play the game as little as possible. Perhaps I need someone who has a goal for his life that he is actively working for. Perhaps I need someone who I don’t need to teach “How to be in a Relationship 101”. Perhaps I need someone who is ‘wise’. Perhaps I need someone who is actually open about his opinions towards harsh topics. Someone who is open to being randomly texted things such as “I actually do have a sauce pan!” with no context. Perhaps I need someone with an exquisite eye for beauty like you. Someone as interesting as you. Someone like you.

Now before you start thinking that I’m about to quote Adele lyrics, I’ll complete my sentence to say: Perhaps I need someone like you.

But maybe you don’t need someone like me.

I’m still growing. My plans for life are still large and far in the distance. I still don’t feel like a fully developed adult. I’m still figuring out how to balance trusting people and protecting myself. I may still be a little too content with the answer “I don’t know” because I feel that I have plenty of time to figure it out still.

You know this, because you know me. You know my strengths and my weaknesses even though you are still learning about me more each day.  Maybe that’s why you say nothing when I tell you about my emotions concerning our situation.

Maybe you know.

You know that while I need someone like you, you perhaps don’t need someone like me.

Friday, February 5, 2016


I like drinking coffee alone, and reading alone. 
I like riding the train alone, and walking home alone. 
It gives me time to think, and set my mind free. 
I like eating alone, and listening to music alone. 
But when I see a mother with her child, 
a girl with her lover, 
or a friend laughing with their best friend, 
I realize that even though I like being alone, 
I don't fancy being lonely.
-Debated Authorship

I don’t have much time to be lonely. I’m much too busy. On an average day I wake up five minutes too late, drive a little too fast, drink a little too much hot chocolate, read a few too many books (is there such thing? When you should be doing Arabic, the answer is yes.), and get too little sleep. I run to class, run too work, run to various church activities, often just before I realize I’m actually early. I’m almost always with my roommates, classmates, friends, or family.

I do enjoy my alone time. I very much like having my own room in our apartment, and I even made a ‘cave’ under my bed in order to get farther away from the world.  When I’m by myself I like to write, either stories or music, or read, either stories or music (even though I guess reading music could be called playing music or something. Technicalities). I enjoy not worrying about disturbing others and feeling able to vocalize my most personal thoughts out loud.

But then I come home from taking an exhausting test to an empty dark apartment, I text a couple friends with no reply and I wonder if I, like the author of the poem above, actually like being alone.

Why do I like being alone?

Is it because I dislike people? I actually really like them. I think they’re fascinating creatures and make life interesting.

Is it because I think better alone? Actually, I think better when I’m talking out my problems.

I more like being alone because it’s an opportunity to escape judgement and situations outside of my comfort zone. I like it when everyone is happy, which is hard to do with crowds.

But maybe the answer isn’t just to avoid the people. I like writing by myself because I feel like I can say anything, but what’s even better is when I feel like I can say anything to another person. I like reading and getting sucked into another world, but that joy is doubled when I can then discuss that world with someone else. I like cooking by myself and not worrying “What if I burn something or this tastes horrible or so and so criticizes me for not throwing my milk out on the day it expires?!?”.

But that’s not the fault of the act of being with a person, the reason I fear that is because I fear being with the wrong person.

My now engaged roommate recently told me something her then boyfriend told her as they were saying goodnight “I hate being alone”. He’s actually not that much of a people person, but that’s the beauty of being in a relationship or having a best friend or a close family member: you get to be as honestly yourself as you are alone except with another person.

I once had the idea that being confident equaled not needing anyone’s approval which equaled being unattached. But more I’m learning that loving people and being vulnerable, while it allows you to get hurt and feel out of control, in a way, allowing yourself to feel allows yourself to be free.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

To Walk a Mile Without Shoes

It's been said that to understand someone, you have to walk a mile in their shoes.

And most of us know that this phrase doesn't mean to steal their shoes and walk in them, but that we need to not judge others until we understand what they're going through.

But before you can put on another person's shoes, you have to take off your own.

I may have taken that phrase a little too literally today.

But the concept remains true.

Too many times we try to understand the people around us by putting ourselves in their situation, but when we put ourselves in their situation, we react differently to it then they would.

In other words, we try to walk in their shoes while we are still wearing our own.

Before we can try to understand our friends, family, mortal enemies, ect. we have to take away our own judgements and our own ways of seeing the world, or else we run the risk of saying "Oh, I've faced worse trials than that!" or something to that extent.

What seems like the smallest incident to you could mean the world to someone else.

Sometimes we should practice not just understanding others, but also how to recognize and strip away our own judgements or preconceptions about our lives and the lives of others.

And when we walk for a while without shoes, we can discover interesting things.

Like that snow is really cold on bare feet.

And that when you see a horse just wandering around, you tend to look at the ground a lot, just to make sure you're not stepping in anything.  ;D

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4th of July!

Who says that you have to be in the USA to have a great Independence Day?

While I was not in the parade like last year in Provo, I was able to have a great time here in Israel.

The beginning of the celebration started when I walked into my dad's New Testament class, with my stars and stripes scarf, and the class singing 'America the Beautiful'

The real party didn't start until dinner time though.  In the student cafeteria, we had a barbeque with genuine hamburgers, and real ice cream (both food items taken for granted in the USA that are hard to find here).

Following Dinner were several 'Minute to Win it' games.  These games included: pouring water from one water carrier to another, while said carriers were on two people's backs; balancing a marble in a paper towel roll to get it from one destination to another; using a spoon to fill a cup with cereal, while only being able to hold the spoon in your mouth, and many other games.

These were followed by an awesome dance party, which ended one of the most amazing Independence Days that I have ever had :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Christmas in July

Once a semester, the BYU students get to go into the West Bank to go to Bethlehem for a field trip.  This time I went with them.  Along with Manger Square and Shepherd's Field we went to the Herodian, and a few other churches.

The Herodian (or 'The Herod Place)
The Herodian was one of Herod's palaces which also included his tomb, this palace lays right outside of Bethlehem, and it is a possible site of where Herod told the Wise men where the Messiah was born.

From Right to left: Camila, Juan, Me, Ann-Marie, Jerica

Boys and Girls separated in an old synagogue

The entrance to the Basilica of the Nativity

In the caves underneath St. Catherine's Church
Being able to sing in the Caves underneath St. Catherine's Church was a wonderful experiences, these caves were separated from the traditional spot of the birth of Jesus only by a wall that was build only a few centuries ago, but the cave we were singing in was just as likely the spot of the birth of Christ.

In the Basilica of the Nativity

The line wasn't nearly as long as on Christmas Eve, but it still took a while to get through it
Me at the entrance underneath the Alter to the traditional spot of Jesus' birth

The 14-pointed star on the traditional spot of Jesus' birth

The traditional spot of the manger

The geniuses that carefully avoided plagiarism

Lunch at 'The Tent Restaurant'  Left to Right:  Me, Luke, Susan, John, Shelly, Pres. Schafer

Shepherd's field

There's five students named Rachel in the program, so every once in a while, we like to take a 'Rachel Pic' :)   Left to Right: Rachel Miner, Rachel Edwards, Rachel Ely, Rachel Macky, Rachel Messick, Rachel Hunts

This field trip has definitely been one of my favorites, it was interesting, enjoyable, and I was able to feel the spirit very strongly.

Walking on Walls and Wandering through Museums

A Sunday Expedition: July 1

So my dad and I checked off two items off of our Jerusalem bucket list on Sunday: visiting the Citadel museum in the Old City, and going on the 'Ramparts Walk' which is walking around the outside of the Old City walls.

Standing outside the Citadel Museum, or the 'Tower of David Museum'

In front of the ruins of the citadel

A replica of what the City of David would have looked like

Ruins of the Citadel

A model of what the original church of the Holy Sepulchre looked like

A model of the inside of the Dome of the Rock

Me in front of (from left to right) The church of the Holy Sepulchre, the tower of Saint Saviors, and the gold Dome of the Rock

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The Dome of the Rock

My Home!!!  The JC (Jerusalem Center)

On the Ramparts Wallk

After we got off of the Ramparts Walk, my dad and I walked to our car through the Old City, and all of its markets and shops.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Formal and Not-So-Formal Nights of Acting!

'Shakespeare in the Park'
These are the words that titled what basically could be called our school play, but we didn't perform a play really, we performed a series of scenes from different Shakespeare plays, and the one that I was able to perform was part of Act II Scene I of 'The Taming of the Shrew', where I played, guess who? Katerina.

My partner was Johannes Exeler who played Petruchio

One thing that I love about acting is getting to be a different person, I don't normally get to be so sarcastic in real life as I was when I was playing Katerina.

And yes, I did love my dress.

Another fun opportunity that was gained from this experience was that I was able to sing all of the songs that had lyrics that we used as interludes between the different scenes, and I even was able to sing during one scene.

I sang 'Come Away Death' which the lyrics are found in Shakespeare's '12th Night'

As a musical interlude I sang 'Better Find Your Love' and as the finale I sang 'Come what may'
 Those that know me know that I love being able to combine my love of singing and acting in musical theatre, so I was very glad that even though we did not have a musical in my school, I was able to not only act, but sing as well.

This is my friend Annie, we had quite a bit of fun playing with the props ;)

'Youth Comedy Night'
For a youth activity, the young men and young women in the Jerusalem Branch decided that we wanted to put on a comedy night for the whole branch to come see.

The first act was a fashion show, where each youth found the most outrageous clothing items they could, and they strutted down the catwalk, and ended with an awesome model pose :)

Then, the Young men put on a skit called 'Boys will be Girls' which was pretty funny, it is guys having a conversation, but using girl-like mannerisms ;)

When the girls heard that the boys were putting on this skit though, we knew that we needed to strike back with our own 'Girls will be Boys' skit.  The only problem was, we didn't know what guys talked about.  So after conducting some 'research' with the boy students at the university, Hannah Harper was able to put a script together talking about, boys, food, sports, and many awkward pauses ;)

The guys then followed by performing a skit done by a BYU performing group called 'Divine Comedy', the skit was titled 'Shoulder Angel'

 Here's a video link: 

Jared Lance, Josh Ludlow, and I also did an improvisation skit, where we went out of earshot, while the audience shouted out one-liners to write on scraps of paper.  We then used the scraps of paper during an improvised scene when we started to run out of ideas.

But first the audience had to give us a scene and a relationship between the characters, so it was decided that we were waiting by a cab, and two people were a couple, and the other was a third wheel.

I honestly don't remember why we were so interested in Jared's pants...

I mentioned the part about Josh and I playing a couple right?  Well, my dad freaked out a little when Josh got into his role ;)
 We also did a 'Mormon Rap'

Here's a video link

My friend Brea Wiederhold taught me the song 'I like Mormon Boys and I Cannot Lie' and I have put that song to good use.  I have taught all of the Young women it.  The lyrics are hilarious, I love it. ;)

Here's a video link

For our final number, we did a parody of 'Mother Knows Best' from Tangled, we changed it to 'Professors know Best'

And thus ended our comedy night.  But hey, I've gotten a lot of acting out of this year :)