Friday, January 9, 2015

Sometimes I Don't Want A Comment

 My family and I went to a movie tonight before I head back to Utah. We were sitting in our row watching the previews when a row or two behind us someone commented on a new movie coming out in March. "The first one was good but the second was only okay. I will be surprised if this one is anything." I turned to my dad and we laughed to ourselves. Everybody is a critic.

 I sat there for a second and thought about that. Facebook, family, friends, etc. We all have opinions and comments on what is happening in each others' lives. Why do we care? Why do we care about what others think? I know a lot of those people we love and care about but at the end of the day we make our decisions. We choose what we will do, where we work, what we study and whom we date. Before Facebook and Instagram and all of these other narcissistic social media tools, we physically called people. We talked to people. We made an effort to get to know one another and we weren't so busy.

 For as much as I am an introvert, I want to talk to people. I don't want to burden them. I guess that is why I can be such a good listener at times. Still, the biggest thing I think everyone wants is to be noticed. This is going to have a little "me marketing" but people want to matter to someone. They want to be thought of. They want to be needed. They want to be accepted. They want to be understood. I guess that is why I try to love people the way that I do. I love people the way I wish I was loved.

I pray for people. I want them to be successful, I worry about them, I remember things and I ask. The biggest thing I forget to do is pray for myself. Sometimes I don't do it because I don't think I am worthy. Other times, I simply forget. Recently, I don't know what to ask for because I feel like I should be more grateful. I know what I want. I just hit roadblocks each time I pursue things.

I was talking with a friend later that same night and we talked about these same things. Her stance was that we don't need someone else to complete us and that we need to love ourselves. In some aspects I agree and in others I don't. God made Eve so Adam was not alone. No matter how much Adam learned to accept and love himself, he was incomplete without Eve. It is in through our relationships that we become whole. I do my best to love and accept others with the understanding that we are always changing and (hopefully) trying to become better. I feel like I can this more easily with others than I can do with myself.

I struggle so much accepting my own insecurities, failings, weaknesses and faults. I know I can become better. I know I will fall short and I am supposed to love myself but I struggle because of that and with that. I was taught that I should maximize my strengths and minimize my weaknesses. When you are on your own without a spouse to compliment your weaknesses with their strengths, it is hard to minimize characteristics that are necessary to accomplish the things you have to do. I know patience helps to accept where I am and hope that things will be better soon. With graduation from graduate school around the corner, I hope "soon" is coming real soon.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Fault In Our Stars

There are movies and then there are MOVIES. The Fault In Our Stars may be one of the latter. Typically I am not interested in the sappy life story kind of films where the main characters are dying but I liked the approach. It reminded me of The Bucket List in that it encourages people to live and love and find freedom in situations out of their control. It reminds me that there is always a silver lining in even our worst experiences. I don't want to share too much from the movie because it was really good but there two different parts where the main characters share with each other the eulogies that they wrote for one another:

Being an engineer, I love math so this was particularly beautiful to me. It is logical and emotional. It made me think of each relationship I have been in. Do your friends know how far you would go to support them? Do they know how much you care? It doesn't matter how many friends but how deep your friendships are. Do I let people in so much that they can glimpse an infinity of memories? It gives new meaning to best friends forever.
 "Van Houten,
  "I’m a good person but a shitty writer. You’re a shitty person but a good writer. We’d make a good team. I don’t want to ask you any favors, but if you have time – and from what I saw, you have plenty – I was wondering if you could write a eulogy for Hazel. I’ve got notes and everything, but if you could just make it into a coherent whole or whatever? Or even just tell me what I should say differently.
  "Here’s the thing about Hazel: Almost everyone is obsessed with leaving a mark upon the world. Bequeathing a legacy. Outlasting death. We all want to be remembered. I do, too. That’s what bothers me most, is being another unremembered casualty in the ancient and inglorious war against disease. I want to leave a mark.... Hazel is different. She walks lightly, old man. She walks lightly upon the earth. Hazel knows the truth: We’re as likely to hurt the universe as we are to help it, and we’re not likely to do either.
  "People will say it’s sad that she leaves a lesser scar, that fewer remember her, that she was loved deeply but not widely. But it’s not sad, Van Houten. It’s triumphant. It’s heroic. Isn’t that the real heroism? Like the doctors say: First, do no harm. The real heroes anyway aren’t the people doing things; the real heroes are the people NOTICING things, paying attention....
  "After my PET scan lit up, I snuck into the ICU and saw her while she was unconscious. I just walked in behind a nurse with a badge and I got to sit next to her for like ten minutes before I got caught. I really thought she was going to die, too.... But her hand was still her hand, still warm and the nails painted this almost black dark blue and I just held her hand and tried to imagine the world without us and for about one second I was a good enough person to hope she died so she would never know that I was going, too. But then I wanted more time so we could fall in love. I got my wish, I suppose. I left my scar....
  "She is so beautiful. You don’t get tired of looking at her. You never worry if she is smarter than you: You know she is. She is funny without ever being mean. I love her. I am so lucky to love her, Van Houten. You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers"
 - Augustus Waters
 To be honest, I have been in this boy's shoes before. I know the feeling. I know the scars. And I know how grateful I am for each and every one of them. Sometimes my parents let it slip that they wish I would just date someone "normal." I don't think normal exists as much as it is a point of view or a perspective. We all carry things and have our own experiences and we survive in our way. No one comes without scars. Love is finding the beauty in the pain because "pain demands to be felt." Our emotions and feelings want to be shared. We want to be understood. We want to be accepted. Love is choosing to accept the whole person, both the good and the bad, knowing that inevitably they will hurt you in some way but you still would love them because they are worth it.

 One of the things that this movie made me think of was how we are to be remembered. People talk about their lives as if they are passing from chapter to chapter in a book. You close something old to begin something new. The period both ends a thought as well as foreshadows the beginning of a new one. You don't know how long you have to be remembered and you never know how long you will have to wait for that new chapter or thought to begin. Still, if we notice more and observe more, we can make memories out of the small things. In all parts of my life, I am transitioning. I'm coming up on the end of some chapters in my life and I'm ready to see what's next.