Sunday, November 11, 2012

Husbandly Qualities

When I was first in YW, one of my leaders gave a lesson in which she recommended making a list of qualities our dream husbands might have, so that it would be easier for us to notice the presence or absence of those things in our (eventual) boyfriends. I guess because you marry who you date.

We started our lists in class and, because I was thirteen and in church, the qualities I deemed most important were a special brand of LDS cliche. Over time, my "dream husband" has evolved into a man I seriously doubt that YW leader anticipated. This is what my list looks like now:

1. 110% heterosexual.
2. Non-creative profession (lawyer, doctor, CEO...)
3. Well-educated
4. Both intellectual and smart
5. Appreciation for, if not love of, fine arts and humanities
6. Willing and able to argue/banter with me (wordplay!)
7. Willing to be the boss of me, as I dislike being the Decider
8. Ambitious career goals and the drive to achieve them
9. Assertiveness
10. Knowledge of a variety of pop culture elements and events (necessary for conversation -- I don't want him to have to take a Wikipedia time-out any time I open my mouth)
11. Social butterfly
12. Masculine sense of style (non-metrosexual suit wearing)
13. Beardability
14. Supportive of my professional endeavors; encourages me to take risks and push myself
15. Financially responsible

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Whoa.

I've been writing again. Little stuff, mostly flash fiction and one sentence stories, but I'm really pleased with what I'm churning out. It's scary to go back to something you've abandoned, especially if it involves some level of creativity. How do you know if you're out of practice, or if you really just suck balls?

I rarely let anyone I know read my writing, because it tends to be kind of revelatory re: my character and life experience, but I'm not embarrassed by what I'm working on now, and that's a great feeling.

Here's a teensy excerpt from a short story:

It's easy to assume that some things will exist eternally -- life, time, and heartache each carry the collosal threat of permanence -- but love, he knows, is as fleeting as childhood or the tail of a shooting star.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Honesty Hour

This evening's post is an excerpt from my journal, because nobody reads this blog and also because I'm tired of self-editing. Here it goes:

I'm trapped at home all the time; I have no life, no reason to shower or get dressed. Reading my horoscope is the most exciting part of my daily routine, and I usually do that right at midnight. Today, I cried because Zoe interfered with my toast-making procedures -- the disturbing thing is that I was legitimately upset.

My life is TV and online jigsaw puzzles. I've now seen almost every episode in the 13 year history of "Law & Order: SVU," which has resulted in numerous sexual fantasies involving Christopher Meloni. I'm also completely caught up on "30 Rock," having become somewhat obsessed with the Jack/Liz relationship dynamic (they're in love, I don't care who you are). Thinking about them makes me cry, so, you know, there's that.

90% of the stories I tell my family members (aka the only people to consistently experience my existence) begin "So I saw this post on Tumblr ..." and the other 10% are memories from college. Everything I come across that reminds me of the active, chaotic life I used to lead fills me with unbridled rage. Similarly, any evidence that other people on the planet are having fun makes me want to puke. I'm so lonely that my skin hurts, and all I want to do is sleep.

Why didn't anybody tell me that graduating from college would immediately lead me into a circle of Hell that Satan and Leonard Cohen collaborated on for a hipster outreach effort?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Thoughts


  1. I need to write more poetry.
  2. "Potato" is a weird word, especially if you say it slowly.
  3. Some of my freckles have fallen off.
  4. I might be dying.
  5. Every time I tell someone my plans for the future, like six random people pop up and lecture me on all the alternatives I "haven't considered" yet. It's starting to irritate me.
  6. Bat for Lashes' new album is really good -- I want to cover "Laura" sometime soon.
  7. What's a way to celebrate that I'm back down to my Macbeth weight that doesn't involve food?
  8. I'm getting sick.
  9. I can't be getting sick.
  10. ...I'm getting sick.
  11. Halloween's gonna be so crappy.
  12. I don't want Ian to move out. I'll miss him too much.
  13. Today on this episode of Couples Therapy on VH1, the counselor (whose name I don't know) was talking about how a lot of times insecure people are attracted to confident people because their subconscious knows that they can have "confidence by association" and I thought about that for a long time.
  14. I'm really proud of myself for executing such crazy willpower over the past two months. I'm a champ.
  15. I don't get what the big deal is with RPGs and the middle ages. I'd like to be able to kill time on the internet without having to deal with knights/fair maidens/hideous winged dinosaurs ("dragons").

Sunday, October 7, 2012

I've had a hard time coming up with something to write for the past few weeks. There's been a lot I've wanted to say, but with personal stuff I'm never quite sure how best to express myself. I don't really have anyone I can talk to face-to-face, either, so that makes it a little bit harder to decide what to discuss here. (I mean, there's Spencer, but he's in grad school and doesn't always have time to play therapist.)

Life's coming along all right. I've done really well with my diet and exercise regimen -- I've been committed to it for over a month now and today is the first day I've really made any food-related errors. I've lost a little over twenty pounds (success!), which puts me ahead of my October weigh loss goal.

It also looks as though I may have found a job. I don't want to say where yet, as they're still running a background check -- which, to the best of my knowledge, I should pass -- but I'm very excited at the prospect. I desperately need some sort of obligation, and cash flow will allow me to make legitimate contributions to my NYC cash fund.

In other news, I've become addicted to the process of coming up with "dream casts" for film adaptations of my favorite books/plays. So far I've done Fahrenheit 451, House of Leaves, Hamlet, The Secret History, and Invisible Monsters.

I really need some friends who are available to hang out during the day. I'm becoming the internet's equivalent of a cat lady.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

You're Invited! (to a pity party)

I haven't felt this weird about life in ages. Which is crazy, because I'm a champion lately -- I'm kicking butt at diet and exercise, I'm super helpful around the house, I'm getting reasonable amounts of sleep for the first time in years.

But.

But, but, but.

I feel like a huge loser.

I have no job. I have no reason to get dressed when I wake up in the morning. I have no tasks that need to be accomplished. I have no mode of transportation. I have no romantic life. I have no social life.

My 23rd birthday is on Tuesday, and it'll be the first one in like ten years where the participants will exclusively include members of my family. Not because I'm cutting people out, but because I don't really have any friends who I know well enough to invite to my house.

I miss Spencer and Guy.

And Bryant (even though I'm bugged that he hasn't texted me).

Mostly, I miss being in school. I knew who I was when I had classes to go to and homework to do. I knew what was expected of me and where I had to be and when.

Oh, heavens above. I don't know why I can't just spend a stretch of time being happy.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Quick update thing

This is gonna be a pretty brief, summary-type post because not a whole lot has gone on in the past few days. So, a list!

1. I've been working out and dieting for over a week now! Huzzah!
2. I'm going to be an extra in an Italian film tomorrow. I'm so excited!
3. It's been a week and I haven't heard anything from Bryant. So... whatever, I guess.
4. Last night I watched movie previews for like an hour and forty-five minutes on IMDB. Let's just say that I can't wait to live in NYC where theaters show all kinds of film and not just family friendly/blockbusters.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dig deeper.

It's been a crazy few days! To start out with, on Friday, Mom and I drove up to Provo and saw Mandy Patinkin in concert. He. Was. INCREDIBLE. There are not even words that begin to describe that man's talent, passion, or stage presence -- not to mention his voice. He sang a ton of stuff, but my absolute favorite number was "The Ballad of Booth" from Assassins. There's something about that song that just gets me -- I think it's to do with this thing I read once, talking about how everyone vibrates to a different musical note, just like objects do. There must be something in the composition of that particular piece of music that harmonizes with me, because anytime I hear it I feel like I'm being swallowed by something really pleasant and warm.

Anyway, after the concert we drove up to Grannette's house in Newton. When I woke up on Saturday morning, I had the worst cold Zeus has ever thought to bestow upon me. I thought I would die. Fortunately, things got better. On Sunday, I felt well enough to run over and spend an hour or so with Spencer and his new roommate, Chelsea (who is darling). Monday, we drove back to St. George and had a few minor Labor Day Adventures, including a stop at Smith & Edwards, IKEA, and Onion Days in Payson.

Today was a bit lower key, as far as activities go, since I'm still getting over my cold. I started calorie counting again, and I'm also doing the Insanity workout DVDs. Today was just the fitness test, but hooooooly shit, it wiped me out. After I finished, I fell onto my bedroom floor and tried not to puke.

Zoe and I are also starting to work on a couch-to-5k exercise regimen. We were supposed to start tonight, but she was really tired from work, so we're gonna try to do it in the morning.

In other news, I got a text from my soul-mate, Guy, today -- he's officially submitted his paperwork to join the union in NYC! I'm so excited for him. I can't wait until I can join he and Jaden in their east coast Broadway adventure!

Also, today I got a message from Bryant. I don't wanna go into detail about what it said, but I messaged him back. I think we're going to try to be friends again. I told him I'd buy him a Diet Coke when he got back into town (which should be sometime this weekend) and we could talk -- I guess we'll see what he says to that idea. I'm just gonna try to go with the flow.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

My room smells like an ashram.

I've been up at my grandma's house for the past week. It was a much needed and, I think, well-deserved break from the insanity that is the Outside World. For seven peaceful days I was totally free from all worries related to money, transportation, social circumstances, etc. I got to watch Law and Order: SVU marathons and stay in my pajamas, and I never had to go on a Quest for Quarters so that I could buy a Diet Coke at the gas station because (A) Newton doesn't have a gas station and (B) there was always Diet Coke in the fridge.

This reprieve from worldly sorrows gave me the opportunity to think about my life -- which, in my experience, hasn't been particularly rewarding. Nevertheless, I decided to give it another shot, and tried to focus on looking at my decisions, etc, as objectively as possible. I came to the following conclusions:

1. This past year was shitty.
2. I used its shittiness to justify making stupid choices.
3. I made some (very) stupid choices.
4. I totally take my family for granted, and that needs to stop.
5. It's time to turn things around.

My plan for turning things around is to implement as many spiritual boosts and as much positive energy as possible. This includes reading the scriptures (of any and every religion -- as far as I'm concerned, there's no point in ruling out potential help just because it's not exclusively Mormon doctrine), exercise, meditation, and cultivating harmony. To begin initiating the "practical application" phase, I made a new feng shui bagua for my bedroom:

Oh, yeah. My chi's gonna love this.

I also invested in some incense to help promote happiness and calm in what I am now pretentiously referring to as my "fortress of solitude." They had a really good deal at Walmart ($4 for a pack of 91 sticks, which included an ash catcher. I burned my first stick of lavender like half an hour ago and I have to say, not only do I feel calm, but also kind of exotic -- like I should be swaddled in white linen and constantly practicing kundalini yoga.) I'm hoping that, with all of this progress-directed intent, I'll be able to erase the psychic damage of the past twelve months and continue to grow and develop as a person.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Bluesday.

 I recorded Rushmore yesterday -- it's the only Wes Anderson movie I haven't seen. Alec and I were supposed to watch it this evening after everyone else had gone to bed. I went to the store on my way home from work and got snacks, etc, and was totally stoked to hang out with my youngest bro. He was in bed five minutes after I got home, leaving me with absolutely nothing to do.

It's times like this when I realize just how much time I spend by myself. During the day I usually just hang out in my room, as its stifling 85-degree temperature is infinitely preferable to Dad's taste in television. (Pawn Stars, Operation Repo, military specials on the History channel...) And I'm usually alone at work, too. There are maybe seven solid minutes of time when I'm occupied during the show -- beyond that, I'm just waiting for my next change -- and I'm the only backstage crew member who isn't on headset.

I promise I'm not whining or complaining; I have a pretty active social life, too. It's just interesting how often I'm my only company throughout the course of day to day existence.

It makes me wonder if I've subconsciously started some kind of self-imposed exile. Because the past, what, seven-and-a-half years have been kind of rough for me. And that's not just because I've been a teenager/young adult and life's hard for everybody at that age. It's because I've made some phenomenally shitty choices and have had relationships with some phenomenally shitty people.

ANYWAY. The point is that I can understand how my brain might be encouraging me to squirrel away based on things that I've experienced.

I probably shouldn't spend extended amounts of time thinking this late at night.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I wish I had something I wanted to call this post.

I hate feeling like I have to have something specific to say when I start a blog post. It's unneeded pressure. I already feel like an Internet Loser because my blog doesn't have a theme (like "recipes and cute things" or "reasons why I hate this planet), so the supposed necessity of a unifying factor for each post kind of stresses me out. Some days I have one specific thing I want to talk about, and I do it, and I feel like a champion. Other days (today, for example), I just need to type.

This is, I guess, where lists come in handy.

1. Spencer left Sunday. We got a chance to hang out for like an hour and a half on Saturday night after Spelling Bee, which was nice. It wasn't anything fancy -- we went to Taco Bell and chatted -- but I was glad I got to see him before he left. I was also really proud of myself because, when he dropped me off at home, I didn't make a big deal about it. I just told him I was gonna try to come up to see Legally Blonde and goodnight and drive safe. I miss him a lot already.

2. In the past two and a half weeks, I've watched almost seven complete seasons of How I Met Your Mother, and it's made me really sad. Yeah, it's a comedy. But also, it's not. Not really. It's a kind of weird heartache-and-ennui cocktail disguised as an appletini. It draws you in with slap bets and sex puns, and then it reminds you're single, unfulfilled, and should start investing in your cat collection.

3. I really need to move out on my own. It's time.

4. I keep trying to decide who I'm voting for, but I feel pretty "meh" about everyone. I agree with Obama on most social issues, but I don't know that he's the best bet for the American economy. Romney's running mate will probably be the deciding factor for me.

5. My horoscope for today reads:
"There is a burden you have been carrying for a long time. You have probably fantasized for just as long about how to be free of that burden. After all, it impedes your progress in a certain area of your life. It makes various aspects of your life less fun and interesting. And it's an obligation that takes up your time and energy. You may be so caught up in being free of this burden that you have fantasized all kinds of complicated methods for extricating yourself. But it's really quite simple, Virgo. Just put it down."
I know what this is about, and I'm starting the process of Putting It Down tonight, when I get home from work. I have a feeling that will be a blog post in and of itself.

6. Last night, when I got home from work, there was a random kitten hanging out in our driveway. Alec has adopted him, but in the (highly likely) case of negligence, I think I'm gonna claim the little bugger for myself.

Anyway, that's all for today.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Capitalism, Consumerism, and Art: Money Ruins Everything

Within the past 24 hours I've become fully convinced that everything that's wrong with America's perception of and attitude towards theatre can be blamed on money.

While most people might agree with me, citing lack of income as the primary difficulty, I think the problem exists at a much deeper cultural level and is, therefore, much more difficult to solve. Rather than blame a reluctant public and advocate unwieldy advertising techniques, or pandering, in order to sell tickets, I focus my ire on good old American capitalism.

I think that, if theatre dies out -- the likelihood of which has been a topic of discussion for years -- it will be because American culture and society has successfully imposed capitalistic business ideals onto what is supposed to be an art form. This is, in my opinion, kind of like scientists growing human ears on the backs of lab rats. Sure, it can work, and may solve some problems. But at the end of the day, they're two completely different animals.

It makes me sad to think of how many creative and artistic theatrical impulses are curbed by financial concerns. As I've spent my entire life around actors, directors, designers, technicians, and playwrights, I've overheard many conversations that included questions like:

1. How will this show sell in the community?
2. How can we market this show to young people/old people/non-theatre goers?
3. Will this show alienate our base audience?

These kinds of questions, and their answers, dictate a lot of what theatre companies and educational programs are able to accomplish. Notice that, in each of the above questions, the audience is equivalent to any group of consumers.

Karl Marx, the father of communism, made a series of very interesting points on capitalism's impact on the self esteem of the individual throughout the course of his writing. One idea that really stood out to me is that, in capitalistic societies, consumers get lumped into a sort of amoeba. Individuality is lost because people only exist as particles of target markets. This has happened to theatre, too. The People Who Want to See "Hamlet" are different from the People Who Want to See "Legally Blonde: the Musical." Because theatre companies feel the need to isolate and play to these specific groups, they end up alienating individuals.

(Another problem exists in shared terminology. For example, referring to a staging of a show as a "production" implies that the play or musical is a product to be consumed rather than an event to be experienced. But that's a discussion for another day.)

I was fortunate enough in my theatrical education to have had teachers (both in high school and college) who never focused on selling tickets or making money. They were in it for the story, and that's what gave those stagings meaning and purpose. But now, as I slowly make my way towards the professional world, the majority of the decisions I observe tend to be judged in terms of money rather than artistic value, and that makes me nervous.

As far as I'm concerned, money is never an adequate motivation for art.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

What's going on.

It's been a weird few weeks. I'm still working at Tuacahn (wardrobe managing "Spelling Bee") and doing that whole thing. It's been sort of stressful, for a variety of reasons, most of which are personal. However, I'm enjoying myself. It's a good job and the cast and crew are wonderful.

On Sunday, I went to church (for me) for the first time in months. It's not that I'm anti-Mormon, I just have spiritual and religious opinions that are somewhat divergent where traditional LDS doctrine is concerned. Anyway, testimony meeting was lovely, and turned out to be, in many ways, exactly what I needed. It inspired me to implement some perspective alterations, which I'm sure will be discussed at a later date.

Independence Day was average. Spencer and I went to brunch, then to work, then to the grocery store for barbecue items, after which we promptly had an "intense disagreement." I'm not sure how I feel about him at the moment -- not because of the fight, but because of what the fight says about him as a person.

I think my curse in life is that I'm able to see people's potential, but I'll never watch them live up to it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"Nobody gives you a chance or a dollar in this old town."

Spencer is silly and sometimes a doofus, but he's a pretty good best friend. Last Thursday, at like 1 AM, I was catching up on Degrassi and Facebook stalking, when I got a random message from Spencer asking if I'd like a temporary job. Apparently, Tuacahn's costume shop was a bit understaffed. I said sure, and I started eight hours later.

Mostly I've been working on Aladdin -- putting little lights in some of the costumes and props, which isn't very hard but takes a lot of time. Last night we were at the theater until close to 3 AM because it was first dress. I'm freaking tired, but it's good to know I'm earning some money.

Anyway, it looks like this little job has morphed into something a little more long-term. I think I'm going to be wardrobe managing The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which is a 9-week contract (I think?). Spence just needs to talk to Wilma and then I guess I'll be good to go.

On the 6th or 7th I'm taking a mini-vacation with Spencer up to Logan, to help him with the set dressing for a production of Steel Magnolias he did scenic design for. It should be fun. I'm not getting paid, but he's going to feed me, and it gives me a chance to get out of town for a bit.

My social life pretty much consists of Spencer and Matt. Every once in a while we get together with other people (usually Olin), but for the most part it's just the three of us. It's a weird group dynamic. We have a lot of fun, and we all get along really well, but sometimes I feel like I'm one bisexual female friend away from becoming Debra Messing's character on Will & Grace. Which, you know, isn't bad. It just feels a little stereotypical, which is a totally new thing for me, where life patterns are concerned.

Life's good, though. I feel like I'm making at least a little progress, and I've met some fun new people, so that's good, too.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Existential Crisis Party Time!

I need to get a job so I can get out of St. George and follow my dreams.

I need to lose weight so that I can do the kind of acting that I want to do.

I need to figure out what I want from my interpersonal relationships.

I need to get my shit together.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

G-BFFS (or, the One Time Hannah Decided to Voice her Sociopolitical Opinion)

For the past week or so I have hardly talked about anything but homosexuality. Not necessarily because I want to, but because of things that are going on in my life, as well as President Obama's random declaration of support for same-sex marriage, and the blast-from-the-past allegations of bullying leveled against Mitt Romney.

This is frustrating because it's one of the few topics I cannot discuss objectively. I rarely get emotionally involved in politics, but this is, as they say, a "hot-button" issue for me.

I have an unusually lengthy list of gay men in my life -- all of them have been close friends, people I've dated, or both. In the past 7.5 years, I've had relationships with 15 different dude-lovin' dudes (not counting their significant others, those who are/were bisexual, bi-curious, just plain horny, etc). So, when people bring up the civil rights issue that is same-sex marriage, I don't see things in terms of "normal people" and "the gays." I see my friends.

I know Mormons are supposed to be all "sanctity of marriage" and stuff, but I just can't bring myself to think that way. Although I still have this weird, secret dream that Spencer and I can be Julia Roberts and Rupert Everett a la My Best Friend's Wedding, if he meets the man of his dreams, I want them to be able to get married. I want them to be able to adopt kids. I want them to get all of the same benefits as heterosexual people who love each other, because that's what this should all be about, anyway.

Today, some guy on the news said that marriage "has always been defined as a union between a man and a woman, and that's why it shouldn't change." I seem to recall a time when the phrase "all men are created equal" meant, quite literally, that civil rights only applied to men. Obviously, as society grew and developed, we had to adapt the traditional phrasing to include not only women, but people of non-white ethnic backgrounds. But we didn't make this adaptation in word choice, we made it in definition. The quote still reads "all men are created equal," but we've decided that it means "all people."

As far as I'm concerned, it's about time we did the same thing for "marriage." I'm not saying that religious institutions should be forced to perform ceremonies for homosexual couples, but as far as governmental regulation goes, everyone deserves to be treated equally.

Anyway. The primary reason I decided to type this all out is that I haven't really had a chance to voice my opinion on the matter in all the time I've been discussing homosexuality, because I've mostly been talking to my grandma. She's a lovely lady, and she's very open-minded for someone her age, but it's difficult for her to consider gay relationships as being valid in any way, shape, or form -- and that makes real discussion somewhat impossible. So I've had these ideas floating around in my brain, needing to be expressed, and I realized this was probably the best place for such a thing.

I guess it just boils down to the fact that most people get so hung up on sexual orientation that they forget about a human being's capacity to love. And if love is the basis of marriage, I don't get what the problem is, here.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

It's the perfect blend-ship!

It's been a while since I've had time to write. Although spring 2012 has easily been the lowest-maintenance semester of my college career, finals week was a bitch. From Friday - Monday, I did the following:
  • Performed a scene from Five Women Wearing the Same Dress with Anni (for acting II)
  • Wrote a 3-page research paper, "Math in Theatre," and presented it (for math)
  • Performed a scene from The Heidi Chronicles with Jordan (for acting II -- I'm nice)
  • Gave a small speech on white privilege (for multicultural studies)
  • Performed two, five-phrase fight scenes with Devon (for stage combat)
And, to top it all off, on Saturday I gave a seven-minute presentation on my senior showcase to the theatre department faculty, the rest of the graduating seniors, and many other students, during which I basically had to persuade everyone that I was ready to graduate.

That's a lot for four days, isn't it?

In addition to all this running around, I've learned several things about myself, and other people. Some of it is nice (for example, Devon and Erika are really awesome and supportive female friends -- which I've needed for, like, EVER), and some of it is not (people tend to tell me all of their horrible secrets). In any event, all of this Breaking News has really reiterated the importance of friendship to me.

I've befriended a lot of people who turned out to be pretty shitty. HOWEVER, I'm happy to say that these doofuses have contributed to who I am, as a person, just as much as the non-shitty friends have. And who I am, as a person, is someone who is capable of dealing with
  • a million gay boyfriends
  • cancer scares
  • lies, and the lying liars who tell them
  • walking in on scarring events
  • holding everyone's secrets
  • financial woes
  • OCD/anxiety
  • four HELLISH (yet pleasant...) years of college
So I feel okay about the bad times, even. Because it's a combination of the good and the bad that's made me the Hannah I am.

Friday, April 13, 2012

This is my life.



After a great deal of experience and deliberation, I think I've finally figured out what my Major Earthly Challenge is/was/will be: letting go.

(I'm Rose, and all my troublesome scenarios are Jack Dawson.)

I am apparently on this planet to learn (A) when to let go, (B) how to let go, and (C) how to deal with people and places and things that don't want to let go of me. So far, I'm really bad at all of it.

Like, really, REALLY bad.

This is partially because the universe is full of tricks. For example, if I decide I'm not friends with someone anymore, I'll get two or three solid weeks without hearing from/worrying about them -- everything will be peaceful and low-maintenance in my life. But then, like a gust of wind, I'll receive a random phone call or text or Facebook message that begins "Hannah, I'm sorry..." and it completely blows me over.

And people will be like, "Just ignore it, girl -- they're not worth your time!" But my heart is like, "But I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to forgive people 70x7 or something like that." And then there's this conflict between my brain, which is rational, and my heart, which is... you know. Not.

At the risk of sounding somewhat sacrilegious: Sometimes I get frustrated with Jesus because he set such a good example. I know he flipped out when those dudes were gambling in the temple, but that's such an extreme situation. I almost wish that the New Testament contained one instance where Jesus looked at someone -- maybe an apostle or someone he was teaching on a hillside -- and said, "You know, you're kind of getting in the way of progress, here. I think it'd be best if you left and we never spoke again."

Because sometimes I feel like Christianity begets pushovers. Not politically (heavens, definitely not politically), but socially. I often feel like fighting back or sticking up for myself is not the "Christian" thing to do. However, when I try to do what Jesus would have done -- forgive and forget and try again -- people seem to think I'm being stupid or naive.

I don't know how this is supposed to work, really. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

True love.



It's been a weird few days. Everyone I know is in rehearsal for (The) Odyssey, so I've pretty much been a shut-in. I've watched two seasons of Frasier since Thursday of last week -- which isn't bad, or anything. It's just... emotional.

(If this isn't true love, I have no idea what is.)

Today I finished season 7, which ends with a two-episode extravaganza, "Something Borrowed, Someone Blue." Part two contains one of my absolute favorite TV moments: Niles and Daphne on the balcony of her hotel room after he's confessed his love for her. It's romantic. It's painful. It's awkward. I've seen this episode probably 25 times, and it never ceases to make me tear up. For whatever reason, the emotional context of this scene is always (strangely) relevant to my life.

Unfortunately, Phoebe and Mom came home from shopping just as this scene was about to commence and, while I feel totally at ease bawling in front of my mom, Phib is much less forgiving. I forced myself to look away from the screen, to pretend to by busy -- I bit my bottom lip trying to keep myself from crying. It worked, but it left me with all of these extra feelings that won't come out.

I know this is totally illogical because Frasier's a 90's sitcom (not to mention the fact that its primary demographic was probably, like, Very Well-Educated 40-Year-Olds and I'm 22 and supposed to be, like, partying or something retarded). I mean, who cries over a show that went off the air 6 years ago?

Apparently, the answer to that question is "Me." The really weird part is that I totally know why.

It's because on this show, Niles has loved Daphne since, like, the second he laid eyes on her. And he waits for her to come around for SEVEN EFFING YEARS. I want someone to love me like that. Not, you know, right now or anything; I'm young, definitely not ready for marriage, etc. But if the dudes that wrote Frasier could, somewhere down the line, maybe type me up a classy, lovably pompous romantic interest that could magically come to life and take me to the mother-effing ballet, I would not complain at all.

...And now I'm crying, haha.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Blerg.

I got into a car accident today. I was driving over to Tuacahn to pick Alec up from school, and had stopped at a traffic light. The woman behind me had stopped, as well; I was jamming out to Erasure in complete safety. Then, all of a sudden, there was an incredible amount of force -- my head slammed against the headrest, and all of the CDs in the compartment under the CD player flew, like ninja stars, into the back seat. The car had been shoved forward, but by some miracle I hadn't hit the people in front of me.

It happened right by the parking lot for The Spectrum, so I pulled in there and got out of the car. No damage to dad's back bumper (thank heavens -- the Galant is his best friend). The woman who hit me had simply pulled to the side of the road. I'd seen her hit her head against her headrest in my rear-view mirror -- she was an older lady -- so I ran over to make sure she was okay.

As it turns out, Debbie -- the woman who hit me -- had been rear-ended by a 19-year-old-ish girl who'd been trying to keep her son from crying while she was driving and didn't notice that Debbie had stopped for the traffic light. (We later learned from the guy who volunteered as a witness -- a cop from West Valley -- that this girl had been talking on her cell phone, as well.) The force with which this girl hit Debbie is what caused her to slam into me. Nobody got hurt, but the girl whose fault it was didn't have insurance, so it wasn't exactly pleasant to stand around with the police for an hour.

I've been in two other (pretty scary) car accidents -- once, I ran off the asphalt on Tuacahn Drive (don't drive angry, kids); the second time, my friend, Matt, and I were hit by a semi truck as I was taking him home from a Drama Club service project -- but for some reason, this one seriously freaked me out. As I tried to get the insurance information/registration papers out of the glove box, my hands were shaking like crazy -- I dropped everything I was holding at least six times. When I was finally able to get back on the road, I started crying.

At first, I was super confused by why I was having such an intense emotional response to what had happened, but I think I finally figured it out: So much of my life has been just like that car accident -- me, sitting in neutral, if not safe, territory, getting slammed by something I am completely unprepared for. This is especially true of Recent Events (which I have only addressed vaguely in this blog). It was a sort of symbolic car accident, in that respect, and I think that's what got me. It's not necessarily that I feel victimized, because I always turn out all right. I just feel... I don't know. Bewildered? Disoriented? Overwhelmed?

I was looking at a book today, Sun Signs, that talks about astrology stuff, and in the section titled "Recognizing Virgos," there was a neat little paragraph discussing the Virgo tendency to prepare for any and every situation. It's an innate personality trait, I guess, that's coupled with compulsive (and logically rationalized) worry. So the thing is, when I encounter something I never could have prepared for or prevented, it trips my shit. It goes against everything I believe the world should be.

I think that's going to make life kind of hard.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Silver lining.

I love General Conference weekend. It revs my spirit up in a way that nothing else can -- and this time, it seemed like every other talk was being given just for me. It helped me realize that, even though I've been dealing with some pretty ridiculous stuff in my personal life, God's still blessed me in, like, a MILLION ways. So, today is all about silver linings -- positive things that sneak up on you when all you can see is the negative. And I'm gonna highlight some of these awesome occurrences with my favorite organizational tool: a list.

What I've Been Whining About: Having no friends.

Why I Should Shut Up: First of all, I do have friends -- it's just that they're new, and they're not the friends I'm used to hanging out with. Second of all, having a reduced social life has given me the time to do so many lovely things. I've been able to help my mom out at home, hang out with my youngest brother, focus on my guitar skills, paint my fingernails, etc. Even though I'm not out until 2 AM every night or partying it up with pretty people, I'm still living a full and entertaining life.

What I've Been Whining About: Dishonesty.

Why I Should Shut Up: Dealing with so many dishonest people has taught me to appreciate those in my life who I can count on to tell me the truth, no matter what. Sure, there aren't many of them, but they're all awesome. (Shout-out to everyone in my family, Crystal, Spencer, Guy, Brittany C, both Jadens, Erika, Kristina, and Christhian.)

What I've Been Whining About: A former best friend (we'll call him "Ted").

Why I Should Shut Up: Regardless of whether or not Ted and I stay friends -- which isn't looking super likely, at the moment -- I've realized that there's one bestie with testes who will always be there for me, and that's Spencer. Going through all this shitty stuff with Ted (A) helped me and Spence grow closer as we've exchanged advice on how to deal with disappointing people, and (B) made me realize just what a gem my mustachioed madman really is.

Anyway, those are some of the things I realized this weekend -- and now that I've acknowledged just how positive negative things can really be, I'm feeling much better about my life. I think I've finally managed to re-focus on the kind of person that I want to be, and I hope I can keep all these silver linings in mind as I finish up college. 'Cause once I've got my Bachelor's, I can pick up and move away, and then most of these problems cease to exist. :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Lesson learned.

This has been an emotionally exasperating week. I've been putting together a lot of complex puzzle pieces that I'm hoping will eventually fit together and make a nice portrait of my intrinsic nature. (That's a term Spencer taught me -- it means, I guess, the things that I would be if I were boiled down and distilled into just a handful of qualities and ideologies.) At any rate, it's been both a positive and stressful experience. I think I'm really starting to get a handle of my "Hannah-ness," which is good, because my personal identity is both unusual and sort of intense. I've learned a lot about me, as well as who I am in relation to other people -- which is, of course, where the fun begins.

My mom always says that dating is a tool people use so that they can discern what behaviors they're willing (or unwilling) to put up with in other people. Personally, I'd say friendship has been my most enlightening exposure to unseemly or undesirable habits and idiosyncrasies. Over time, I've made a pretty thorough list of deal-breakers -- all of which were culled from former friends. The first five items on this list? Dishonesty, pessimism/negativity, laziness, disrespect, and selfishness.

At this time, I'd like to add to this list "using others."

What I'm about to say is going to come across as totally bitchy and self-righteous, but I don't care because I truly believe it:

There is very little that disturbs me more than one person's willingness to manipulate, deceive, or otherwise take advantage of another person for their own gain -- whether that gain is financial, physical, psychological, spiritual, etc.  That level of self-absorption appalls me. I am especially agitated by  the practice of excluding, avoiding, vilifying, or otherwise discriminating against someone in order to feel better about yourself.

I don't want to be in any kind of relationship with a person who does those sorts of things. I don't want to be associated with anyone being treated poorly. 

The thing that kind of blows about adding that item to my list is that, now, I have to do some weeding in the garden that is my social life. It's not meant to be judgmental, although that's how it will probably be construed. It really just comes down to my perception of what it is to have integrity. It's not that I'm above that sort of behavior, it's that people -- the people I believe exist, underneath all this universal apathy -- are above that sort of behavior. 

We're all connected by the over-soul, which I believe to be the light of Christ, and doesn't that mean we should hold ourselves to a higher standard?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

No mean feat.

Today I'm feeling quite accomplished, because I finally managed to do something that I have great difficulty with, as a general rule: I stuck up for myself. Not with physical violence or anger or anything -- it was just a calm, precise "I'm-not-going-to-do-that-thanks" -- but it seemed like I'd climbed the tallest mountain in all the land.

Despite the fact that I've got a fairly strong personality, I'm a notorious doormat. I think it's a combination of my oldest child/blue/Virgo personality traits -- I want to make other people's lives easier; I want people to need me; I know that we must sometimes do unpleasant things if we're to be considered responsible people.

There's also Ralph Waldo Emerson, who came into the equation late in the game (11th grade -- I blame you, Mrs. Madsen!) but had a pretty intense impact on my social ideology -- especially his essay "Self-Reliance," which contains the following adage: "Discontent is the want of self-reliance: it is infirmity of will."

Heavy stuff.

As a fellow transcendentalist, I got what he was saying -- "you've gotta work to be happy" -- but it kind of added this weird layer of self-deprecation to the way I experience... well, discontent. It's like if I feel taken advantage of or abused in any way, this voice in the back of my head goes No, no -- you're not the victim of any wrongdoing, you silly. You've just got an infirm will. Toughen up!

Today I told that voice that I was tired of toughening up, and that it was someone else's turn, and I feel totally liberated from the responsibility of being a good friend/student/person.

For once, I think that can be someone else's problem.

Unicorn Head Profile Clip Art 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Advice From an Album Title (or, "When Harry Met Sally")

I like being friends with boys a lot more than I like being friends with girls. Boys are relatively easy to understand -- like an Ernest Hemingway story. Sure, there's depth and symbolism and wordplay, but it's all very to-the-point. For the most part, you'll get it the first time through, and that's a nice change from the ambiguous world we live in.

Girls, however, are much more like Chekhov. A girl can say something that seems straightforward and, in reality, the subtext is something from a completely different planet. That doesn't mean that it's absurd or that it's impossible to figure out, it just takes a lot more time and effort.

As a person, I believe that the best way to do anything is "as the crow flies" -- take the most direct route, for the sake of both efficiency and logic. This is the same philosophy I try to use for communication. Unfortunately, it seems that my attempts at clarity do not make up for the fact that I have ovaries. I don't know if it's because I, as a woman, am incapable of being blatantly honest, or if it's that my male friends are unwilling to be blatantly honest with me out of some sense of... I don't know, emotional chivalry.

Whatever the case, the main issue seems to come up when we are Dealing With Feelings.

There's a quote from a film I saw, Magnolia, that's delivered by a character played by William H. Macy: "I really do I have love to give; I just don't know where to put it." This is, I think, my tragic flaw. Sometimes the love I've got for someone is romantic, sometimes it's platonic, sometimes it's maternal or sisterly or philosophical. Whatever the case, it's there, just waiting for someone to take hold of it and use it all up. And when I love somebody (regardless of context), I try to be up front about it. As far as I'm concerned, telling someone I love them is never meant to be hurtful or threatening or indicative of expectations. It's just a statement about how I feel.

In the past six years -- so, from 2006 right on through today -- I have had a grand total of nine male friends with whom I was exceptionally close. As of this moment, I can confidently say that I am still friends with 1.5 of them. 

That's a 16% retention rate.

The only thing these boys all have in common is that I told them, at some point, that I loved them -- which I would consider Points for Hannah in the "direct communication" category. But apparently Feelings are the one thing that men prefer not to converse about, period, even in a friendly or familial sense. I guess this is is where my ovaries start to influence my interpersonal skills, because the determination not to deal with feelings doesn't make any sense to me. We're already experiencing them all the time, and not talking about them doesn't make them go away, you know?

Okkervil River, a band I like, has an album entitled Don't Fall in Love with Everyone You See. Maybe that's the direction I should be heading. If I don't love anyone, I won't feel the need to tell people I love them, and then nobody will get uncomfortable, and maybe that's the key to Being Friends with Boys.

Sadly, I don't think I'll ever be able to do that. I'm a transcendentalist -- "...I know that the spirit of God is the brother of my own, / And that all the men ever born are also my brothers, and the women my sisters and lovers, / And that a kelson of the creation is love." I'm sure that album title would be very good advice to take, if it were philosophically possible.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Like a ton of bricks.

Last night I went and hung out with Jaden and Tyson (two of my high school classmates) at their apartment. It had been like... I don't know, three years since I'd seen Tyson, and we had a lot of catching up to do, conversationally. The three of us discussed a lot of different things -- from religion to ghosts to old high school drama. Eventually, we broached the topical trifecta that is love/sex/marriage. I'm not going to go into detail here, for a variety of reasons, but as I was getting up to leave, Tyson -- in all of his ginger-headed wisdom -- said, "You know, Hannah, the guy you're supposed to be with doesn't live in Utah."

I was momentarily stunned. Not because this was a foreign concept to me -- I've had at least twenty different people tell me that exact thing -- but I guess because the timing was finally right for me to hear that and understand it. Because that statement -- that my soul-mate doesn't hail from the beehive state -- means I haven't met him yet.

And that means I don't have to worry about any of the boys I know, whether I love them or not, because none of them are the one that I was promised in my patriarchal blessing.

As retarded as this sounds, I feel completely liberated from all of my romantic anxieties now.

I hope the guy I'm supposed to be with -- wherever he is -- is sitting at home tonight, too. And I hope that, through the magic of the over-soul, I can send him an energy message, because I want him to know that I'm working really hard at being a good person and that, even though we haven't met yet, I'm so grateful to know he's out there. And also that I don't care how long I have to wait if he's as good as God says he is.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

"I'm tired of prices; I'm tired of waiting for something."

The final performance of Fiddler on the Roof was a lot of fun, but very emotional. I cried like a baby during "Anatevka." I couldn't help but see, in my mind's eye, a million other performances -- Travis and I on the chaise in Macbeth, Whitney and I facing off in front of family portraits in Dancing at Lughnasa. It was really just so much to process at once.

I came off stage trying desperately to pull myself together because I'm the sort of person who hates having feelings in public. Despite the fact that I had several close friends in the cast (including Bryant), the person who made the best effort at comforting me was Brigham, who I've really only interacted with this semester. I'm really impressed with him, as a person, because it's not like we hang out or anything -- we have one class together, and were ensemble characters in this show, and apart from that I haven't spent any time with him. But he gave me a big, long hug, told me everything was going to be okay, and gave me some friendly Jewish advice -- he was just really sensitive and compassionate, which isn't something I see a lot of. I'm really, really grateful he happened to be in the hallway at that moment.

Strike went well. For the most part, I worked with Cameron on breaking apart the framework for the platforms. I helped Bryant get nails out of some 2x4s for a little bit, which was sort of awkward. (I got the vibe he wished I was somewhere else -- a sensation that was magnified as the evening wore on.) After we took care of all the nail/staple removal and tidied things up in the wings, we were dismissed, and went into 156 for a break. There were a bunch of people in there. Bry went and sat down between Jalee and I-Can't-Remember-Who and the only chair that was left for me was in the periphery of this funky social circle that included Jordan and Andrew and Grace and some strangers. I sat on the outskirts for about two minutes before I decided that I really didn't want to be there anymore.

It's not that I don't like people. I'm just not socially competitive -- I'm not the kind of person that's into one-upping or fighting for the attention of a group. Everyone else I'm friends with sort of is, so I feel like I'm at a perpetual loss in that respect. (There's also a bunch of other stuff going on, but it wouldn't behoove anyone for me to blog about it, so for now we'll just blame my deficiencies.)

Anyway, I went outside to wait for my dad and, once more, started crying, just because the whole evening had been so completely overwhelming. Anni and Danica caught me, which was kind of embarrassing. Anni knows what's going on in my life, but Danica doesn't -- I talked around everything as much as possible because I don't want what I'm dealing with to influence anyone else's perceptions. They waited with me until my dad showed up, which was so incredibly nice of them, and once I got into the car I absolutely lost it.

As I told my daddy, it would be one thing if I were only dealing with (A) my last show, (B) graduation, (C) the disintegration of one of my closest friendships, or (D) uncertainty regarding my future -- but I'm dealing with it all at once. And, as far as my peers go, my support system is... questionable, to say the least.

But I guess I know I've got Brigham and Anni, which is perfectly okay with me.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A little DSC theatre retrospective.

Tonight is closing night of Fiddler on the Roof, which is my last undergrad show at Dixie. I've been crying about it off and on all day. So, in honor of all of the wonderful people and experiences I've had here, I'm making this post into a photo timeline of the productions I've been involved in.

Dancing at Lughnasa
(from L to R: Rebecca Wright as Maggie, me as Rose, Lindsay Johnson as Agnes, Lindsay Jeppson as Christina, and Whitney Morgan Cox as Kate.)

This was my first show as an official student at DSC, and the experience as a whole is what made me decide to change my major from English to theatre arts. The levels of collaboration and professionalism were incredible, and I will never forget my first on-stage interaction with the lovely and talented Whitney Morgan Cox. She is one of my acting heroes, and has become one of my close friends. This cast also included Jarom Brown as Michael, Spencer Potter as Father Jack, and the late Scott Pederson as Gerry.

Pirates of Penzance
(Back row: Katie Cluff, Natalie Hathcock, Aubrey King, Holly Gladden, Heather Gibson; front row: me, Kristina Harding, Jarom Brown, Anisa Plastow, Meleah Ridd, Lindsay Jeppson.)

Pirates was wonderful to be a part of for many theatrical reasons, but it did much more for my social life than anything else. I was in the middle of some really unpleasant personal stuff, and this show gave me the chance to further develop friendships with some really astounding women, including Crystal Bates (who played Mabel) and Kristina Harding (who played Kate). Without them, I would have thrown myself off a bridge a long time ago.

The Crucible
(From L to R: Lindsay Jeppson, Miriah Kessler, me, Ginger Jensen.)

This was one of the first (somewhat) experimental productions I had the opportunity to be a part of, and I loved every minute of it. It was also my first time working with Guy Smith, who is a mind-blowing actor, singer, artist, and an all-around first class person.

Almost, Maine
(Guy Smith as Dave and me as Rhonda.)

This is tied for first place in the "favorite shows ever" category. Between my costume designs (which I'm still very proud of), stripping onstage, and getting to work with the least dramatic cast in the whole entire world, there was no room for unpleasantness or negativity. "Seeing the Thing" -- the scene I did with Guy -- is, I think, some of the best stuff I've ever done, and I'm convinced that it's because working with him was so freaking easy.

Macbeth
(Me as Lady Macbeth and Travis Cox as Macbeth.)

This is my other "favorite show ever," and there are so many reasons why. First, Lady M is/was one of my dream roles, and I was only twenty years old! Second, I got to work opposite Travis, which was both fun and challenging (in good ways). Third, look at that dress. Fourth, and probably most importantly, it's a chance that I never would have had if I'd gone to school anywhere else. Michael (the director) had a lot of faith in me, which was such a boost to my self confidence, and I absolutely loved the chance to work so closely with him on a Shakespearean script, as that's what he specializes in.

Trojan Women
(Alex Gubler as Talthybius, me as Andromache, and Keely Tree as Hecuba.)

This is probably the most difficult show I've ever done -- not in terms of physicalization or concept or even characterization, but in terms of relationship development and emotionalism. I had to use the "magic if" a LOT as Andromache, because I'd never (A) lost a husband, (B) been the citizen of an invaded country, (C) been raped, or (D) lost a child. I also had to focus a lot on the literary/poetic elements of the script, as my scene was basically a six minute long monologue that was occasionally interrupted by other people's lines. I loved working opposite Alex and Keely and the entire female ensemble. It was frustrating, but delightful, and I learned so much.

And now there's Fiddler on the Roof, my second post-high school musical, in which I've performed my first vocal solo and have actually danced (sort of) well, which is a miracle in and of itself. I've made a lot of wonderful new friends (Brigham, Mindee, Ami, Jacob, Lizzy, Corinne, Julianna, Danica, Jillian, Jordan, Andrew) and have had an awesome time continuing to interact with old ones (Grace, Koby, Gabby, Trey, Bryant, and all the others). I'd have to say that this chapter of my acting career is definitely ending on a high note.

I love everyone I know, almost as much as I love theatre.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Untitled Post #24 (in Which Hannah Complains About Bad Friends, and Congratulates Good Ones)

I was raised by some pretty incredible parents. I'm not just saying that because I'm old enough to realize just how many things they were right about. I'm saying it because they taught my siblings and I a number of important -- dare I say, essential -- skills for socialization that seem to have been lost on many of my friends. (This might be due to the fact that these skills are somewhat rooted in philosophical and poetic ideals. Honesty, for example, is much more difficult to master than the art of small talk.) For the most part, I can accept the fact that there are people who have a hard time with being truthful, respectful, empathetic, etc. As the saying goes, "different strokes for different folks." However, the one thing I cannot tolerate an absence of in other people is consideration.

Every aspect of my life is dependent upon considering others, whether I'm worrying about their feelings, their health, or their general existence. I hold both my parents responsible for this. My Dad's favorite question when we were growing up was "Are you being selfish, or selfless?" Naturally, I was conditioned to prioritize selflessness. That doesn't mean I'm perfect at it, but it's important to me. It means that I try my very best to do what's good for other people or what makes them happy, regardless of whether or not it's easy or comfortable for me.

I'm still in the process of discovering that this isn't how everyone else works. For the most part, people prefer to do whatever requires the least effort, and if that's inconsiderate behavior, so be it. I have friends that operate this way, and I hate it. If I were the Queen of the World, there would be laws against social self-preservation. People wouldn't be allowed to bail out of relationships because the dynamics changed or they became inconvenient. If they wanted an out, they would have to talk about it -- to communicate, which is the considerate way to handle any situation, even though it's often more challenging than avoidance. As far as I'm concerned, consideration simply requires people to choose a course of action, while selfishness just encourages people to withdraw.

Fortunately, I have more friends who are considerate than friends who are inconsiderate. I hung out with a few of them tonight, and it was the most fun I'd had in a long time. I'm convinced that this is mostly because I trust them to be considerate people. They're honest -- I don't have to worry about them keeping secrets from me or hiding from me or being douchebags about anything. They're just straight-up thoughtful, and I love that. If it weren't for people like Brandon and Corinne and Trey and Jaden (the people I hung out with tonight, specifically -- there are many more!), I would probably want to punch everyone in the face all the time.

So I guess the moral of the story is, if we're going to be friends, be considerate. The end.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Feng shui and secrets.

It's been almost four years since I graduated high school. There were like 45 people in my class and, with the exception of three extremely heinous girls, I'd say I was friends with all of them. However, there are only a few of those 2008-ers that I still talk to. Christina, Max, and Aaron are good for discussing music and subversive social opinions (both of which we all have in common); Brycen is one of the most darling people I've ever met; Becca is my only female soul-mate.

And then there's Jaden.

I don't think I've ever met a more honest, open-minded, and excitable person in my whole life. I love him because he is himself, and he doesn't make any excuses or apologize. One of my favorite memories from high school is the two of us driving to seminary in his Scion, listening to "My Heart Will Go On" at full volume... and then ditching out early to get coffee at the only gas station in Ivins.

He's one of my best friends. I know I can tell him anything and he won't judge me, preach to me, or tell me I should feel differently. He just blinks, and then says something like "Well, shit, Hannah. That's rough." Which is usually exactly what I need to hear.

Tonight he and I went on a little drive and told each other some secrets, which was so therapeutic. (We know each other's friends enough to be interested in the details of whatever drama is going on, but not well enough to be involved in it.) After I'd filled him in on the ridiculousness that is my social life, I told him something I haven't really openly admitted to anyone: I'm unhappy. Everything's ending -- Fiddler is my last show at Dixie, and it closes on Saturday; I'm graduating from a program that I've been a part of for over ten years; people I've spent the last several months getting close to are drifting further and further away from me. I don't feel as though I have any sense of purpose.

True to form, he replied enthusiastically: "Well, what do you need in order to become happy? What can we do for Hannah today?"

Of course, I have no freaking idea what to do. Fortunately, he had a flash of inspiration.

It turns out that his answer was feng shui. One of my favorite things about Jaden is the fact that he is far from a trend-following neo-yuppie -- at that very moment he was able to explain to me the entire philosophy behind the practice of feng shui, as well as the layout of the bagua, and had examples of how switching up the energy in his apartment had made a difference in his life. He also told me that I should make a dream board ("It's like the Secret, only real!")

I just made a map of my room, diagramming where all my furniture will go based on the bagua. I'm already feeling so much more positive and inspired. That's one of the best things about close friends, I think. They usually know what you should do long before you do.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Well, it's certainly been a while.

I haven't written in this thing in a million years -- not because I haven't had anything to say, but because I've had too much to say. I'm having a really hard time of things, lately. It's like I'm in this endless Groundhog Day-style loop of relationships that start out with hours-long conversations and unbridled hilarity, but taper off into weird, emotional stalemates.

I don't ever intend for things to happen this way, but they do, over and over again. I'm beginning to wonder if I'm doing something wrong.

Another thing that's been difficult is recognizing how casually my friends approach life. After spending so much time with Spencer -- who is just as single-minded and passionate as I am, and who has just as many convictions -- it's really strange to find myself among this cohort of people, none of whom take anything seriously. None of them will commit to anything, even something as simple as "having fun," which is incredibly hard for me to understand, because if I think something I think it, if I want something I want it, and if I do something I do it -- no holds barred, 100%.

I don't know how to interact with people who aren't sure who they are or what they want.

Finally, of course, there are boys. I'm using the plural form because, for the first time in my life, there is more than one to deal with. As a matter of fact, there are 4:

Boy #1 is my best friend (with the exception of Spencer, who is kind of like the emperor of my heart). He's a sweet kid, and he's talented and he has about a million things going for him, but he's incredibly confusing. 90% of the time I can tell exactly what he's going to do or say before he does it or says it. I can tell when he's making something up, when he's upset, when he needs a laugh. The other 10% of the time, he's about as easy to read as a James Joyce novel. This is frustrating because one of my biggest pet peeves is inconsistency (either be transparent or be enigmatic, but don't go back and forth!). This is also frustrating because 10% of him is a stranger.

Boy #2 is someone I used to be friends with and is now trying to get back into my life. I kind of kicked him out of it because he was using drugs, and he was using me, and it was an all-around bad situation. He moved away for a while, but now he's back, and he wants me to try to put him together again. And he's still on drugs, and he's back at school, so I can't avoid him.

Boy #3 and I have a lot in common. We like each other (liked? I can't remember what tense we were speaking in at the time). I know a lot of his secrets. He's the first person who's ever told me that I was wonderful because I was smart (which is usually something that guys make me feel shitty about). But there are triangles and quadrangles, and then there's the fact that he's one of the casual people I mentioned earlier. And he's casual about some things that are kind of an issue for me. So there's that.

Boy #4 is someone I've known for a long time. He's really unhappy, but it's a secret. And I worry about him, because we're friends and because I love him and because he's an incredible person who deserves to have everything that he wants. I don't think he knows how awesome he is, and I don't know how to help him.

Anyway. That's the majority of what's going on in my life right now. Nothing exciting, mostly this sort of large-scale thematic shift.

On a completely unrelated note, I just Facebook chatted with Spencer. We were having a conversation about the usefulness of his iPod Touch, and then this:

I cried. I miss him so much. For as rough as we've been on each other, he's the only person I've ever met who really understands me, as a human being. We're equally matched in passion and single-mindedness, and we both have really intense ideologies. He's my best friend in the whole world. I love him. And getting this message made my week -- maybe even my month.