Saturday, May 31, 2008

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

When I was pursuing my undergraduate degree, I had an active social life. I was constantly spending time with friends, and I had a steady boyfriend. I was involved in clubs and activities, and I was doing work that I found meaningful. Those were the best three years of my life.

The past five years, since I graduated, have been difficult. I went on a mission and struggled. I went to law school and struggled. I got kicked out of law school and struggled. I've been working two jobs just to make ends meet, and I'm struggling. Somewhere along the way, I think I've forgotten how to have fun.

The story of Adam and Eve has broad application to the human experience in general. I think we all have to eat our own fruit at some point. My college days were filled with a sense of childlike innocence. I was going to school on my parents' money. I had no worldly cares, and all my time was free for school, church, and fun. When I went on my mission, I saw the world in its rudeness. In the pursuit of greater knowledge, I had to leave the garden, so to speak. When I returned home, I was required to work to earn my daily bread.

As hard as it has been, I wouldn't trade it for anything. These experiences have been integral in my rebirth as a wiser person. One of my favorite verses of scripture is 2 Nephi 2:25. "Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy." I had to partake of the symbolic fruit to become the person I am today, but God wants me to have joy. Not just grinning and bearing it, but to truly be happy.

By nature, I'm a social creature, but when I'm under stress, I tend to retreat into my shell and try to just hide from everything. This only makes the problem worse because by avoiding social interaction, I'm avoiding the major cure to my problems. This past week, I've made strides toward remembering how to have fun again. On Tuesday, my roommates and I went out for sushi and then came home and watched the movie Martian Child. While at the sushi bar, I attempted to use chopsticks, and ended up flinging soybeans everywhere. It was a good laugh. On Friday, I was blessed with the first Friday night off in months. Some of my friends were going to see the new Indiana Jones movie, so I went with them. We had a blast, even though the movie wasn't as good as I was hoping. It was the company I was there for, not the entertainment.

My goal is going to be to get out of my shell more and try to recapture the zest for life I had when I was younger. I recognize that I still have to be a responsible adult and work for a living, but I've taken wisdom from the 1980's. Cyndi Lauper reminds us in her hit song:
"When the working day is done,
Girls just wanna have fun!"

Words to live by. :-)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

What is it about trees?

I was walking through the park last week on my lunch break. It was a nice day, so I decided to sit down under a redwood tree and enjoy the weather. As I was sitting there thinking about the direction my life was heading, I realized that there are many epic stories of people receiving enlightenment near trees.

Adam and Eve started out in a state of ignorance. They gained knowledge by eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Buddha received his enlightenment while sitting under a Bodhi tree. It is commonly said that Isaac Newton discovered gravity while sitting under an apple tree and having an apple fall on his head.

What is it about trees? I know that when I'm in nature, especially in forests, I feel closer to God. I am more easily receptive to revelation. I suspect it is because I'm away from the distractions that are so common in the world. Also, I see trees as a reminder of a wise way to live life. They are firmly rooted in the earth, but they are always reaching heavenward. We, too, should enjoy our mortal life while still communing with the divine.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Another Waitlist

Yesterday, I was driving home from work, and the thought came to me that the letter from Santa Clara University would be in my mailbox waiting for me when I arrived. I didn't think much of it because I've been eagerly awaiting it and anxiously checking the mailbox every day for about two weeks. I filed it away and braved the evening rush hour traffic. About halfway home, I got the feeling that I had been waitlisted. I shoved the thought out of my mind as I turned on the traffic report and tried not to get blown off the Dumbarton Bridge by the constant gusts of wind.

I got home and checked the mailbox. The letter was there, buried amidst the bills and junk mail. I picked it up and felt that it was thick, which I took to be a good sign. I opened it up right away and read it as I was walking to my apartment. Sure enough, my thoughts while sitting over the San Francisco Bay were accurate. I've been waitlisted. It's better than a rejection, but it just prolongs the uncertainty.