Thursday, June 30, 2011

Open Windows

I wrote this May 1st but due to some recent posting I didn't want to overburden my readers. Here it is now, and it still holds true.

I'm not a very clean person. I mean, every once in a while, I reach a breaking point and go ape on my mess of a room for a solid hour, but that happens . . . maybe once every 4 months. Lucky for me, tonight was one of those nights. In actuality, this was prompted by the impending visit of my parents, so thanks again Mom and Dad, for picking up after me one way or another for my whole life.

A great outcome of this (aside from not living like a slob any more) was that I can finally use the desk in my room. Previously a holding place for a lot of empty envelopes that I never throw away for some reason, it is now a dust-free writing center. I've heard time and again that to sleep more effectively, only use your bed for sleeping in, so your brain isn't confused when you lie down, mistaking your desire to sleep for the internet surfing you were doing in your bed a few hours prior. Plus, although it's called a "laptop," I absolutely despise having my laptop on my lap. That is some intense heat! (get your minds out of the gutter, all of you).

The result of these cleaning sprees is usually me breaking a sweat, and since I only do that about once every 4 months, the benefits of cleanliness are two-fold (cardiovascular and respiratory health). Invariably, that will force me to open the window and let the cool night breeze (currently a balmy 42 degrees Farenheit) dance into my room. And this, three meandering, self-indulgent paragraphs later, is what prompted me to being this blog post. (would more people read these posts if they weren't so lame in the beginning?)

My roommates love the A/C. I moved into this apartment last August and through October they were blasting the A/C. I'm too passive-aggressive to bring it up, or even change the dial myself, but I'm a firm believer in either freezing or sweating it out if the established A/C or heater temperature isn't to your satisfaction (see: miser). So on rare nights like tonight, when no one else realized it was 75 degrees in our apartment, I got to crack the window and listen to the white noise from the distant busy road and smell fresh air for the first time in 5 hours (I don't move very much on Sundays). And then it gets to the point like right now, where it's getting a little too cold and I'm starting to get goose bumps but I don't want to say goodbye to that breeze and that freshness and the hum of passing cars (and the occasional car full of men singing "Party in the USA" at the top of their lungs as they drive by) that reminds me cleanliness is next to godliness and that some fresh air does the body good.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sister Kramer

I was "best friends" (quotes because I kind of hate that term) and roommates with the same person for about 3 years of my life. In August, we parted ways and I would be lying if I said it was no big deal. For me, it was a big deal. I realized I didn't know how to have fun or be myself or do things on my own, especially in Provo. I'd be lying if I said I figured it out. I don't think I have. But that's part of this summer social program and this try-new-things agenda I've made for myself, and I think things are going well. Better than before, anyway.Before, I didn't know where to even begin. I was too insecure to strike up conversations with people, let alone make new friends. I was too insecure to just go places on my own (still really bad at that). I spent an inordinate amount of time eating, sleeping, and watching TV, and nothing else.

Sometime during fall semester last year, my co-worker McKenna casually invited me to go to a dance and cultural event on campus with her and a friend. It was a simple gesture that was easy enough for me to accept. This is what McKenna does: makes people feel at ease, even if they're not at ease with themselves. It sparked similar invitations. This is what McKenna does: thoughtfully remembers others. Over a short time, this created a friendship. This is what McKenna does: makes new friends with ease and is incredibly loyal.

I like to think I put up a tough front but to those who spend every workday with me,(McKenna) I'm sure I'm actually pretty transparent. So, I like to think that McKenna didn't realize this incredible service she did for me, by doing this one simple thing so many months ago, and she's just that friendly. But maybe that's exactly it; maybe McKenna saw how much I needed a friend and extended a hand. Each scenario is as likely as the other. And while I'm focusing on this one act, over eight months ago, the truth is that her continued friendship has inspired me to be better, and to find myself how I want to be: fun, friendly, and serving others.

McKenna is beginning an 18-month proselyting mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on July 27th, serving in Budapest, Hungary, speaking Hungarian. McKenna leaves on Monday to go home and prepare to serve. I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't miss her and her hilarious sense of humor and her positive attitude and her willingness to always put up with me and all of my quirks. I'm struggling to put what I'm feeling into words because I think so much of this friendship has been about things unsaid, about an understanding without having to spell out feelings or back track to retract misstatements. There's been a very common ground in this judgment-free relationship, and while I'm going to miss so many things about McKenna while she's serving, that might be what I'll miss the most. How many people do you find in your life, that just kind of get you? I think I'd be more worried, except I know that I won't meet too many people in my life as wonderful as McKenna, so I'm not going to let something as small as a year and a half on the other side of the world stop this friendship.