Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I saw the musical my son is in today. His high school is doing Seussical. It was incredible; the talent these kids have is amazing! M had such a great presence on stage, as he always does. He has talked about possibly majoring or at least minoring in theater in college. He is a senior and getting ready to graduate. I am often amazed to look at the person he has become. He had a very difficult few years, but seems to have come through so well. I feel so proud when I watch him.

I love going to the kids' plays and other performances, but often as I watch not only my kids, but the other talented kids performing, I begin to feel . . . jealous. Today, while I watched the musical, I found myself nearly in tears, angry with my parents. I grew up being told I was stupid and worthless. For so long I believed it. I felt like I wanted to call them and ask how they could treat me that way. How could they possibly justify teaching me that I am incapable? Stupid? Fat? Ugly? Worthless? My dad's (who quit school in 9th grade) favorite nickname for me was "college." He would tell me that I may be book smart, but I have no common sense. With these thoughts creeping around in my mind, although I felt inspired when I left the musical, I also felt defeated.

I often feel like there is some kind of greatness inside of me just screaming to get out, but I can't find the key to unlock its cage. If I could just have someone show me the way or give me an opportunity, I know I could do great things if I continue to have faith in myself. Ideally, I shouldn't need someone to tell me what to do, but I have no idea how to embark on the path to greatness. When I say greatness, I'm not suggesting fame or fortune. I feel like I can make the world a better place and I don't need world recognition. I just need to recognize the difference I make.

I teach part-time at a local Community College. I have taught at one other community college and an historically black university. (I am white.) I have had students tell me that I made a difference in their life. In fact, when I taught Women's Studies at the hbu I had a student tell me that I made a difference. I assigned a gender autobiography as the final project for the class. Part of the autobiography was to discuss two or three people who impacted their life and explain how. One woman in the class named me as one of those people who impacted her life. In this case, it was my open discuss about my depression that encouraged her to see a doctor and get help for the depression she had been experiencing for quite some time. It was certainly a humbling experience. I have a current student who is particularly needy and seems to have found help and comfort in talking to me. Unfortunately today he was hoping to spend time talking to me, but I had to rush out after class so I could take the younger kids to the musical matinee.

I suppose maybe I am already making a difference. Maybe that greatness is already at work. I am sure part of my problem is that I tend to focus too much on what I have not done or finished. I am ABD in sociology. That ABD is often a thorn in my side that constantly taunts me and tells me that if I were better, or smarter, I would have my PhD. My depression was not under control when I was trying to finish things up to begin serious work on my dissertation. As a result, I failed my qualifying exams twice and was dropped from the program. I have spoken to a prof at a local college who told me that he worked with a man who was in a similar situation, but was able to be readmitted and complete his doctorate. I would like to do that some time. I don't know how I can possible do that though. I barely have time enough in the day to get things done. I was all prepared to make a move for a full time gig. DH and I talked about the possibility of moving wherever I might find a job. The oldest would be graduating HS and the youngest would be well into elementary school. Alas, it wasn't to be. It turned out that the barren pumpkin patch had one last sprout. A beautiful sprout she is, but she sure did complicate things. So here I am . . . trying to figure how to make a difference . . . wanting to understand what I am capable of doing . . . wishing to have self-confidence . . . hoping to recognize when I do (make a difference, understand myself, have confidence.)

I know no one really reads this blog. (Heck, I only have a few posts.) I sure would appreciate any insights you might have about these ramblings.

Friday, March 7, 2008

My Spiritual Journey

I have been struggling with my faith as a Mormon for about a year now. Over the past 7 months, I have begun to question not only my beliefs, but whether there really is a God. I feel comfort when I think that God does exist. Yet, I have always struggled with the idea that a loving God allows so many terrible things to happen to innocent people.

I had been reading Rough Stone Rolling and came to the part where Bushman discusses Joseph Smith's revelation(s) on the three degrees of glory. One suggestion that JS made was that in the end everyone will be accept the glory they receive. I told my husband that I did not want to enter the Celestial Kingdom. I would certainly miss my family, but I do not want to be responsible for creating a world or worlds where people victimize one another. He then suggested that perhaps in the Celestial Kingdom, I could choose whether I wanted to create worlds or not.

I can't imagine another religion being better than Mormonism, but I feel lost in it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I am such a wimp!

There are so many things that I want to do but I can't seem to do anything about it. I have spent so many years depressed that I have forgotten how to "take chances, get messy, and make mistakes" (Ms. Frizzle -- The Magic Schoolbus). I was never particularly brave before my depression hit, but now it is worse.

I honestly feel like I am entering a midlife crisis. I'm only 38, but I feel like I gotten old. I know that I'm not, but I don't feel like a kid anymore. I married and had my first child way too young. He will be graduating from high school in a few months. Maybe that's it. We also have a surprise 6 month old. Maybe that's it. Or, maybe I'm just a wimp.

I am so envious of people who are able to go after what they want, even when they're scared. I am that coward who dies a thousands deaths and I don't know how to be otherwise. My son (the senior) loves acting. He has been in every school play and musical he has been able to fit in his schedule (all but 2). He can carry a tune and has a nice singing voice, but is not a spectacular singer; yet he will get up in front of a group of people -- including many PHENOMENAL singers -- and sing to audition for the musicals. He hopes to get a principle part each time, but doesn't because there are many kids who sing much better than he does. No matter what part he gets, he is always thrilled.

This year they are doing Suessical. He made callbacks to audition for the Grinch. He didn't get that part, but is in two choruses and plays Vlad Vladichoff. Additionally he is Student Director. He called me from school the morning the parts were posted and was absolutely thrilled by the parts he got. And it wasn't just that he is one of the student directors, which he had been for a play in the fall. He was thrilled about the parts! I so admire him. It is amazing to me that he has the courage to audition and then is thrilled with whatever he gets.

I wish I was more like him. Instead, I feel like I am afraid to live my life. I think part of my problem is that I have this need to figure out exactly how I need to do something before I do it. Maybe if I could just figure out how to get started, I could find some of that joy I've been sent here to experience.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Tuesday

So I voted today. Although Bill Richardson dropped out of the race, he was still on the ballet. I voted for him on principle. I am confident he would have made a phenomenal president. When one of the news stations broadcasted the results, they listed all of the Dem candidates from the ballet except for Bill Richardson. I think I must have been the only one in the state who voted for him. I mean, Dennis Kucinich was even displayed. Of course when I would talk about Richardson often people who ask me who he is. It's a shame that he didn't get more attention.

Although having a black man and a woman in the race for president is an incredibly important precident, I am not convinced that either Obama or Clinton is best for the country. Of the two, I chose Clinton because she has the most experience and aside from her vote on the war, I find myself in agreement with many of her ideals.

Still, I wish the media would have given more attention to the other candidates. I know in other countries the media is required to give the same amount of airtime to all candidates. I wish it was more like that here. We are a politically lazy people (myself included). We seem largely to only pay attention to the information we are fed. If we need to be fed, atleast we should be given a well round diet of all the candidates.

Oh well. I guess I can hope that if Richardson is named VP as some pundits, he have an opportunity to be president in 8 years. I hope that whatever happens he put in an important position in the administration. He'd make a great secretary of state.

I might write him in in November. ;)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

First Time Blogging

Just setting up today. I guess we'll soon see if I have anything worthwhile to say.