Tuesday, April 27, 2010

You at the barricade listen to this!

Yay for graduation and a reprieve from bureaucracy and esclavitud! I am proud of my wonderfully handsome and brilliant boyfriend! J, congratulations on working "moderately hard" this last semester!!! Haha! Jonathan is actually an incredibly hard worker but man did we both hate schoolwork this semester and man were we highly (undeservedly) successful with exorbitant amounts of slackery! I'm glad that the prison doors have opened and summer is nigh.

I wanted to buy him a lei, but either they ran out or there was a little too much rain on that parade, so Mahwey and I gifted him this magical ball of destiny when we ran down to shriek and take pictures of him. I felt extremely gratified for the large part I played in his graduation (teaching him, in his last semester, what his ABC report was).

Free at last! Free at last!

Jonnerthan with his amazing parents. It was really fun to be at graduation with them. My mother and Jon's mother sat together and were hilariously intolerant together. Haha!

One year left! When I get free, you won't see me, 'ere for dust!

Jonathan was part of the last group of graduates from the BYU BSW program which was tragically obliterated by bureaucrats and Sith Lords. Jonathan was president of the BSWSA which I told him was like being Mormon or Moroni; leader of a fallen kingdom. Time hath not quelled my fury for injustices rendered, but I am glad that J and I both got to participate in and graduate from the program, and I feel badly that others will not have the opportunity. We also met each other through the program, so we have a lot to be grateful for!!!
In addition to being presidential, Jonathan is also super hot because he sassed the Dean (in my opinion, this was his finest moment at BYU). You can read about it here if you scroll down till you see his name.

Felicidades amor!!! Ready for our next adventure!!!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bendita tu luz

I love my Jonathan so much…he is such a joy to me! He is endlessly loving and patient even when I am irrational, despairing or having an outbreak of my Histrionic Personality Disorder (like today, por ejemplo). He has such a kind and open heart for me. He loves to do sweet things for me and surprise me...and he is so surreptitious and clever about it.

When I lived in Mexico, I subsisted mainly off habanero Toreadas chips. It’s difficult for me to put into words the passion I have for them. As I prefer food to be violently spicy, they are blessed chips. I brought about 16 bags of them home to the U.S when I left Puebla (mira la foto abajo). Of course they were all gone within about a week and a half. I've been pining for them ever since.

One cold December morning, Jonathan and I happened upon the kettle-cooked version of the Toreadas at Allens (where The People shop). I rejoiced so intensely that I practically had a stroke, and that morning I felt a re-lighting of a long deceived hope--that I could actually indulge my Toreadas addiction without having to go back to Mexico lindo, Mexico querido. Since then it's been a game for us to explore Latino markets looking for las papas benditas...

A few months ago, Jonathan started hiding bags of chips in random places to surprise me. His preferred method is to hide them in the refrigerator and then ask me to get him something out of it. I open the door and see them on the shelf. My heart pounds at the sight and then melts out of love for my wonderful novio. I am filled with glee. Then I eat the entire bag and am filled with chips. It's a delightful, delicious somatic experience. I want him to know how much I appreciate things like that. I really do.

Amorcito, TQM...gracias por ser tan bueno conmigo!

P.S: All soda pictured belongs to one David Michael Lowe. Don't hate.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Unforseen

Sometimes in life, things happen that you could not have anticipated. This can be frustrating for the side of us that likes things to be planned out, predictable, and structured. We want to have control over our lives, over the way we feel and think. Unfortunately for that side of us, there are so many situations and experiences in life that we cannot understand until we have them. And for many of those experiences, we have to be willing to make sacrifices earlier to ever get the experience we seek.

I think this is my experience with love. We have our ideas about what love is, what love feels like. We imagine what true love would feel like. But you're never prepared for the feelings never before felt or experiences never before experienced.

I struggled in my life a lot to be the one who was in control in my relationships. I did this through a myriad of unhealthy habits. My favorite was to not show that I cared about the girl until I was sure of her feelings. Once she had taken all the risks of being vulnerable, then I would reciprocate feelings. I didn't realize why I did this, but I know now that it was my struggle to keep that part of my life predictable.

Several years ago I noticed this flaw in myself. I had these set of standards that I always attempted to adhere to. One of the most important was to love others before myself. While I generally have failed at this, I have tried. But in my relationships I hadn't attempted this in any real sense. All of my habits, unbeknownst to me, were actually calculated to put myself before the other person in the relationship. In retrospect, I don't think I believed that the risk was worth the cost. I always had an idea of what love would feel like but could never have anticipated how it would actually feel.

This caused me to not take risks when I should have. I withheld the best parts of me to protect myself. At the time I'm sure I had all sorts of fancy language to justify my actions. In the end it was just me being selfish.

So I started changing. Change was slow. Its hard to break life-long habits. I started taking risks in the relationships I was in. I made sure that they knew I liked them before they expressed it to me. Any of you who know me you know that it wasn't me being imprudent. I simply needed the experience of putting others in relationships before myself.

Being different was scary. For certain, I felt much more pain and loss as these relationships didn't end in success. At least not the way I saw it. It hurt to be rejected. This was the part that was easier for me to anticipate. I think I knew all along how it would hurt to put myself on a limb only to have it break.

As I took risks with people, I started to realize how different it was than I anticipated. I started feeling a sense of fulfillment that I had never felt before. I think it was the confidence at having tried my hardest. This sense of fulfillment out shined any rejection I felt. Trying my best is what made me happy. I loved this time in my life!

What I couldn't have foreseen was how I would actually feel when I finally got to the point in a relationship where the risks I took and the care I gave were reciprocated. The intensity of that love was something unknown and unknowable to my previous selves because they would never have risked themselves. It shattered my expectations of what love would feel like. It was simultaneously more beautiful and terrible than anything I could have imagined.

How amazing the risks we take in life! In order to feel in a way you've never felt, you have to take risks. You have to be willing to hurt. If I hadn't, I would never have felt as I feel now. Oh what a tragedy that would have been! This love that I'm still striving to understand and manage is the best thing in my life.

I hope I can continue to take risks with Rachel. I know that there is probably pain in our futures. But I'm confident that the love we can create will continually shatter our expectations of what love feels like. I believe that when you love someone as you should you cannot foresee its eventual intensity. I want to live right so that my love will be ever more intense.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I'm Luke Skywalker, I'm here to rescue you

I asked Jonathan what I should write about and he selected the topic of "Our relationship and Star Wars." At first I whined for a better subject, but then I realized that I actually had a lot to say. So let it be written, so let it be done.

When I was really young (like 12-14) I was embarrassingly oblivious to the fact that people thought I was a huge dork for liking Star Wars. Which I was very public about. In various and shameful ways. Such as: I had a Jedi name. I also had a purple Jedi cape and a lightsaber that I made myself, as all Jedi do (green, of course). In 9th grade I convinced a friend to skip class with me so we could go over to Weber State to hear Mark Hamill speak. I was Princess Leia for Halloween in 1996, complete with cinnamon buns on the sides of my head. I entered a gingerbread version of Jabba's palace into a contest at my school, complete with a goopy marshmallow Jabba (with red hots for eyes). I refused to play anything on the piano but the Darth Vader and Star Wars main theme songs. I even wrote my name on my schoolwork as "Rachel Leia" (my middle name is Leigh). It gets worse. I wrote Star Wars fan fiction (AUGH! I can't believe I just revealed that!) Some of my stories were based on myself as a character in the Star Wars universe; others were about Jaina and Jacen, Han and Leia's twins. It gets even worse...I might as well make this a full confession...I used to address my journal entries to "Dear Luke" when I was around 12 years old. OH, THE HORROR!!!!

HIJOLE I WAS EMBARRASSING!!! When it finally dawned on me what a colossal and irredeemable nerd I was, I shaped up quick! My obsession quickly went underground, much like the Rebel Alliance. Jedi who?

Now, one of the best things about my relationship with Jonathan is how many of the parts of myself that I secreted away or bound up in cupboards of my past are freeing themselves and coming out to play. He's so amazing! He likes that I can recite most of the dialog along with the characters in the movies and he thinks it's adorable that I used to write fan fic. We have similar feelings about the wretchedness of the prequels.

We both read stacks and stacks of those Star Wars novels by Kevin J. Anderson, Timothy Barron, etc. when we were young teenagers. I can't tell you how delighted I was the first time I went into his old room at his parents' house and saw the bookshelves stacked thick with Star Wars novels. If my mother didn't have hypomanic episodes where she periodically thieves my stuff and hauls it off to D.I, I would still have those shelves full of Star Wars books, too. I never expected to have that in common with someone.

Jonathan and I also love to quote Star Wars together. Mostly threatening lines.
"It's a trap!"
"Your overconfidence is your weakness." "Your faith in your friends is yours!"
"Impressive. Most impressive. Obi-Wan has taught you well."
"Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen!"
"A sister! So, you have a twin sister!"
"Good...FEEEEL your anger!"
"No...that's not true...that's impossible!"
"That thing's operational!" (HAHA! Sounds suggestive.)
"I am altering the deal! Pray I do not alter it any further." (this is the one I probably use most often, since I, much like Lord Vader, am a notorious promise-breaker).

Another reason our relationship is connected to Star Wars is a *secret* for Jonathan only:


Well, Jonathan just got here so this seems like a good place to end my Star Wars post. I will leave you with a spiritual thought:

Thursday, April 1, 2010

In Sickness as in Health

I've been really sick recently and it's given me a new perspective on Rachel. I got a devil of a head cold and it made it so I couldn't think very well or quickly. I really was reduced in all of my capacities. It was a horrible time, it being the end of the semester. But I guess it comes when it comes. I've never been so sick and had a girlfriend around to make me feel good. I rarely get sick, usually less than once a year so it isn't a surprise that I've never had this experience.

I've never felt so needy! When I first got sick I wanted Rachel around all the time. She was so great. She cooked me breakfast, got me tea late at night, and comforted me whenever needed. I can't believe how amazing she was. I felt so cared for! She even cleaned my room and did my laundry, something I usually don't even do when I'm well. I was surprised by how much better I felt laying sick but in a clean room.

Its amazing how strong I think I am until I am sick. I always feel unconquerable until I am in pain then suddenly I understand just how vincible I am. My father has often told me this. He knows from experience

But somehow I forget until it happens again.

I don't let people serve me nearly enough, even when they want to. I think that I am guilty of this with Rachel. She is always asking me what she can do and I just say nothing. One thing that I learned as I've been sick is that it makes Rachel happy to do things to help me. I cheat her out of that happiness when I'm selfish with what I will and won't let people help me with. I always know about this part of me, but then I forget so easily. But I'm always reminded when my memory is refreshed as to how weak I am.

I am grateful for the good girl I have that looks after me and makes sure that I am ok. Its one of the best things in my life. I'm ashamed I don't appreciate that aspect of her all the time instead of when I realize just how much she contributes to my well being.