Friday, November 19, 2010

A Refresher Course in Friendship and Life

I was delighted yesterday when I got a text message or an email or something that informed me that I didn't have to attend rehearsal. I was delighted because it meant that I could go see Uncle Vanya by Utah Shakespeare in the Park. The show was amazing, and so was the feeling of coming home. It was summer again, with my makeshift family in the basement of the HFAC smiling, hugging, cracking jokes in thick Russian accents. And it rolled over me-- the immensity of what I have gained.

Kat and Jordan and Jackie came over and, after an interior design party, we all watched Thumbelina on the newly rearranged couch. The familiarity was so comforting that I resolved to sleep in my own bed last night (let me explain the significance: when I get very lonely, I sleep on the couch in front of the TV. For some reason it makes me feel secure and important. I have been sleeping on the couch for a week, and my bed has been turned into a giant catch-all. the visit from Kat and Jordan and Jackie effectively banished my loneliness to the extent that I was willing to clear away the detritus and sleep in my own bed) . So I stayed up a few minutes later, changed my sheets, and was about to crawl under the covers when I decided that I should thank the Lord for this small but significant achievement. So I knelt to pray.

It wasn't extraordinary. It was short and sincere. but I had the strangest feeling- it was as if I had been screaming for weeks and weeks, screaming with my whole being, tirelessly straining against the infinite silence. During this prayer the feeling dissipated. It was replaced with an understanding of Heavenly Father's patience and His love for me.

I have never doubted. I read C.S. Lewis's A Grief Observed this week, and it's largely about how he felt abandoned by God after the death of his wife, Joy, and how he found his way back to faith. But I never felt that way. When my mom died we turned immediately to God for comfort. He has yet to fail me. I am ever surprised by His ability to console and His willingness to forgive and uplift.

I have never doubted (except myself).

How can I be doing so well one minute and floundering the next?

I just got this great job as a substitute teacher. I work for Kelly Educational Staffing, which supplies the Provo School District with subs. I have worked two days. I think it's too much for me to handle, but I don't want to quit because I need the money and Kelly needs employees. I only have to stick it out until December. It seems so far away from here. I purposefully left my phone in my car so I wouldn't have to answer a call if I got one this morning.

I'm about to fail my English class, which wouldn't bother me (seriously, I've been failing classes for the last 9 years. No big.) except that I would have to take it yet again, which would be attempt number four. I just wanna pass this stupid class.

I can't get excited for She Stoops. I mean, I am excited because I know the show is going to be great, but I can't be excited about my part yet. This bothers me. It's totally diva. I don't want to be a diva. I want to be agreeable and easy to work with. I want to learn from this experience. I want to work really hard and I want to create something worth watching. I suppose all of this will happen in time. I just have to find a way to fall in love with my character.

I don't much like it when someone tells me to enjoy life, as if that is the magic end-all that will put my sufferings into perspective and snap me out of this awful funk. I certainly believe that there is always something to be grateful for, always some sample of love to be relished. In every bad situation there is the possibility for immense good. I just think it cheapens the significant experiences of life when I just enjoy every minute of it. I would rather celebrate the cadence of life- its rises, its pitfalls, its exhilarating unpredictability. Sadness can be rich, deep, and full. Happiness should expand and breathe and thrive. Love will be glimpsed, lost, and sometimes overwhelming.

I don't have to be happy to be truly alive.

Recorded 10/28/10

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