Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Commenting in Church

So, in church last Sunday I definitely had too much to say. I think the ladies in Relief Society got pretty sick of me. Maybe I say too much, however I just can't sit back and enjoy a sugary sweet lesson anymore. Life is not sugary sweet. I am sorry. I hate playing it safe, and bringing up little examples of the perfect life, the perfect prayer, etc. I understand that some people pray so that they will not think negative thoughts while driving. I have never prayed for that. Not that I do not think negative thoughts while driving. It is just that I have so many real sins and problems in my life, that the day I graduate to "Please bless me to be kind to the stranger who cut me off" will be the day I expect a ticket straight to the Celestial Kingdom. I look at a room full of women from different walks of life, and I think "You can't all be thinking these things! Don't any of you still struggle to know the truth of the gospel? Doesn't anyone have serious family problems? What about addictions? Doesn't anyone hover on inactivity? What about depression? What about financial problems? School? Career?" These are the things I imagine people pray about. Am I wrong? Or are we all just so set on looking the Mormon part that we cannot be honest with ourselves about our struggles? I really wish Relief Society could be a place that women could truly express their worries and needs without judgment. I am not saying we should reveal every little sin, but can we be real? Can we discuss real issues.
I feel so sad to admit that we can't. I know for a fact that a woman would be looked down upon if she raised her hand and said she prays to overcome sexual desires, addiction, or other things that are just not mentioned at church. Why not? When a person is trying to live the gospel, they should be supported, no matter what the sin. I wish, hope, and pray for that world.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The pre-missionary look

The other night I went to my sisters Drama Club closing social. She is a theater teacher, and she needed me to do some last minute piano playing. It is to be expected with my sister. She is very good at utilizing her resources, and couldn't let me rest for more than a week before using my talents. Not that I mind, it is just funny.
Sitting there watching the kids perform, get their awards, etc, it struck me that most of the guys had the "pre-missionary" look. Like they are clean cut and dressed ready to open the mission call.
I guess there is nothing wrong with that, except for the fact that everyone looked THE SAME!! There was no difference. No personality, it seems. I am sure these kids all have individual personalities, they just seemed masked by the need to look the same.
The girls were not much better. They had more variety in colors, of course, but they still all looked the same.
The part that was the saddest for me was realizing that I was just like them! When I was in high school, I looked just like the rest of them. I would like to think that I had a unique personality, that I somehow stood out from the crowd, but deep down I know that I was just as dull and boring as the rest of them. I went to seminary every day, went to church, did my hair the way my friends did, ate what they ate, sang what they sang, etc.
My other question is "Am I really any different now?" Have I changed that much, because I have been away for so long? Well, back in New York, most of my friends were not Mormon. Most of my friends were not white. I was different. It was great. However, I feel I have entered into the sameness again. I have blond hair and blue eyes, just like everyone else in my neighborhood. I am pregnant, just like 20 other women I seem to see every where I go. My only difference is that I have lived in the "world" or the "mission field" or "hell" or any number of other names people have for the city.
Well, I loved "the world". I loved being with people who did not believe the way I did. I hope that I will always feel that way. I know there is diversity somewhere in Utah, and I am determined to find it. Just as I am sure there have to be stores that sell clothes that look more like the styles I began to love in New York. There has to be more people who feel like me.