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Jul 18, 2013

Life is Hard

Sometimes life is like when my friend tried to teach me how to drive stick...
or when someone 11 years younger than me tried to teach me how to dive...
or when my friend tried to teach me how to cartwheel.

You think, No. This thing you are trying to teach me to do is ACTUALLY impossible. I cannot do it. Or nothing in the world could actually be worth doing this. Why on earth would you be asking me to position my body head-first into something solid? 

Tuesday I went to kickboxing and tried to kick something at face-level. I was so determined to hit the pad that was being held up by this kid a foot shorter than me that I ended up flipping myself onto my back--really intimidating to the theoretical opponent.

But this is life, as people who barely know English sometimes say.

Sometimes it's good to throw yourself head-first into the water. Sometimes doing things that are hard are actually good for us (have you tried running for more than five minutes lately? Ugh, it's such the worst, but hurts so good).

But maybe it's also okay to accept that we can't kick someone in the face before we learn to kick them in the stomach. Baby steps.

My mom loves to say, "Life is hard, but you can do hard things." Sometimes I believe her. Sometimes I don't. But I actually think the very purpose of life is to do hard things and experience these mini triumphs.

Sometimes, you need someone to push you into the water. Or you need that handsome yet cynical kickboxing instructor to hold your hand (literally) so you don't fall over while you do a roundhouse kick. Or you need your film professor to tell you 26 drafts just isn't enough when it could be better.

Years ago a smart kid at BYU made a film called Butterflies which was about a kid who is a little shy. At one point he gets on a roller coaster and he says, "I don't want to do this!" but it's too late, because he's already on the thing and it's going up. I find myself often in that same position squeezing my eyes shut and saying to myself, "I don't want to do this!" about things that I know I have to finish whether I want to or not. Like when I had to go get shots or when I have to wake up at 7am.

But hard things are always worth. So go do something hard. If nothing else it's a thrill.

Jul 2, 2013

RomCom Scribblings 1

So I decided I need to just write stuff so that I'm writing stuff. So I happily present...RomCom Scribblings. A segment where I will free-write for 15 minutes or so and it'll probably sound like a RomCom. 

You might not know this about me, but I actually do that thing that girls do in movies/tv shows where I narrate my life and thoughts as if I was in a romantic comedy. Because life is a comedy for sure. So sometimes I play things out in my mind because they'd make interesting scenes in a movie or a tv show...Here we go. This is not based on a true story. Also it is an unedited free-write.

"What do you think about...us?"

Was I going to be honest? I should probably be honest. Honesty was this new things I decided I should vehemently believe in. Not that it seemed anyone else was into honesty these days--figures I would now be sitting across from a boy who was suddenly interested in openness. 

Deep breath. "Honestly, I want...I want to come over to your air-conditioned apartment and sit on the floor while you sit on the couch. I'll work on my musical and you'll study physics while we listen to Radiohead and Sufjan Stevens. Eventually I'll make my way to the couch and we can watch an episode of tv on Netflix and cuddle.  I've been told that my shoulders are kind of bony but otherwise I'm a great cuddler. We'll alternate what we watch because we probably don't agree on any show except Arrested Development and 30 Rock and we've already seen them all a million times.

We can go to parties together. You can drive, or I'll drive, it doesn't matter. You can take me out to dinner every once in a while. You'll think it's weird that I'm more into Indian and Thai places than steakhouses.

We'll just laugh and kind of shrug cutely when people ask if "we are a thing." We'll look great together at all the receptions I have to go to because you wear skinny ties and I'll wear high heels--it's so much easier to walk in heels when you have someone to link arms with. We will tell each of our friends and our parents different definitions of this relationship, whatever it is and when we ask each other we'll say "Yeah, I mean, we're kind of a thing, right? Who needs labels?"

Our first kiss will be highly unromantic. On a couch or in a car somewhere--it definitely won't be raining or on top of a mountain.

Mostly, I am here, sitting across from you right now because I miss having someone I can call 'Babe' which I acknowledge is sort of a cliche nickname, but also not at all if you think about how Johnny Cash uses it in one of his songs and who's more bad-A than Johnny Cash? I'll say no one.

I miss having someone who would bring me a sandwich because I notoriously forget my lunch and I get SO cranky when I'm hungry. I need someone taller than me to come over and help me fix a light bulb.

I know enough to pretend like I know a lot about the things you care about and you'll be really interested in my projects--until months later you realize I'm still working on the same thing and it all gets boring. You'll do little romantic gestures that I'll tell all my friends about, but forget to tell you how much it meant. I'll make you mixed tapes that you'll accidentally lose. You probably will forget to call when you say you will and I'll fall asleep mid-texting.

I'll force whatever the current pop song is to be applicable to our relationship and listen to it on repeat and put it on that mix tape you lost. Or you'll say, "I am so sick of this song" when it comes on the radio and I'll secretly feel hurt because there's so much symbolism there. You'll say I'm "the perfect height" when I'm wearing three-inch heels, which consequentially, will not make me feel perfect at all. I'll wish you dressed more like John Krasinski and smelled more like Giorgio Armani.

After a handful of weeks or months we'll mutually part ways acknowledging that we "kind of drive each other nuts" and "it's totally mutual." We'll have one last make-out, because that's what people on tv do. We'll tell our friends and parents different stories about what happened exactly and then we'll be cordial when we run into each other--probably at future wedding receptions where we'll both be arm-in-arm with someone else (probably a mutual friend).

See, I don't actually think this would work out--but I'm kind of interested in finding out why. I think it's worth a try even if I already know how it'll end."

Instead I said, "We should just be friends."