Elysha's World

Elysha's World

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

My Almost First Kiss

Where do good stories come from? I’ll tell you. First Dates. I’ve been on many first dates. They’re always awkward, lots of long pauses, and are filled with lots of questions. Some are better than others. I ran into a guy tonight that I went out with once, about five years ago. 

The first time I met this guy, we’ll call him Drew, I was a sophomore at a two year college. It was the beginning of the semester, and we were both helping out with freshmen orientation. He was kind of cute, tall, brown hair, blue eyes, and had a western accent. He wore boots and a big belt buckle. The day before freshmen orientation was to begin; he came over to me and used a creative pick-up line that I’d never heard before. 

Drew: “Are you Jamaican?”

Me: (In my head I thought, “Do I look Jamaican?”) “No.”

Drew: “Because you’re Jamaican me crazy!”

He walked away before I could even react. My friends just looked at me, and we all started laughing. This was my first time talking to Drew. A few days into the semester, I found out he was the TA for my beginning guitar class. We talked a little, but nothing too exciting. I think he gave me ride home from class once. 

About half way through the semester he came into the writing lab where I worked on campus. He’d started coming in quite often, and he wasn’t that bad of a writer, so I didn’t know why he always wanted me to come help him. He’d always break the touch barrier by putting his chair close to mine, or lightly touching my arm to thank me for helping him. I knew what he was doing, but by that time I wasn’t really that interested in him. 

This particular night, he definitely threw on the charm. He was complimenting me, constantly needing help revising his paper, and it was hard because there were a lot of people there that needed help that night. Towards the end of the night he asked me if I’d like to go get a shake with him sometime. I said that would be fine, maybe later in the week. He wanted to go that night. I told him I had homework, and that I was really full from a dinner I’d gone to right before I came to work. (This was all true.) 

He kept insisting. I told him that nothing was open at 10pm on a Wednesday night. (We were in the middle of nowhere. Everything usually closed at 7pm except for the gas station.) He told me that McDonalds was open, and that we could go there. So, against my better judgment I said yes. I had no friends there to get me out of it, and it was just one date. 

We got to his car and started driving the opposite direction of McDonald's. (When I say we were in a small town, I mean you can drive straight through it in five minutes. We had one stop light and a Walmart.)  So I start to get nervous, and realize I really don’t know this guy very well. He says he has some coupons at his house, and he wants to go get them. So we drive to his apartment, and I wait in the car while he runs inside. Eventually he comes back and we make our way to McDonald's. 

(Now I don’t have anything against McDonald’s dates, but the coupon thing just kind of threw it over the top. You can get a Sundae for $1. I’m even all for coupons, but this was just kind of ridiculous.)  We went inside and he asked me what I wanted. I told him that, like I said before, I was really full and I was fine just getting a small ice cream. He thought I was just being a typical girl who didn’t want to order something large. So, he got me a large shake. I told him I didn’t want that, and that I wouldn’t be able to eat it, but he didn’t care, because his coupon got him one large shake and mine half off. We sat down at a booth and started talking.  I was 19 years old at the time, and I found out that he was 25 years old. I had no idea how old he was when I'd agreed to go out with him. We were there for a pretty long time. We had nothing in common. I had only a few bites of my ice cream the whole time we were there. I decided I’d just take it home with me, so that I didn’t waste it. 

We left McDonald and headed back to my car, which was parked behind the college library. He drove up behind my car and stopped. I waited for him to get out and  to come open my door, but he didn’t move. The next thing I know he’s leaning over into my seat with his face close to mine and says, “Would you like to make out?”

 I’d never been asked this question. I felt like this might possibly be how people feel when they’re offered drugs. I’ve been taught what to say when offered drugs my whole life, “Just say no!” I was caught off guard, but I was happy he’d asked rather than just going for it. I had backed myself into my seat/the car door and before I had time to think I responded, “No thank you.” He sat back in his seat defeated. I told him I’d give him a hug though, and so he proceeded to give me a hug over the console. Car hugs are the worst. 

He got out of the car and came and got my door. He put out his hand to give me a handshake. I told him I’d give him a real hug, all the while clutching my large McDonald's shake. He drove away before I could even make it over to my car, talk about a winning first date. (In his defense at some point during the next semester, he did come and find me and apologize for what happened that night. I told him all was forgiven, however, it still makes for a great story.)

I’d forgotten about this magical moment in my life until tonight at the institute. After class I was talking to some new friends, when I looked up and there he was. We said hello to each other, and then he walked away. Later he came back and asked if my friend and I wanted to sit down and talk. I had no way of relating the above story to her, so we went and sat down for a few minutes while he continually looked at me and said, “Man, I really miss those college days.”

 Yeah, I can’t say I really miss them at all.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

No Fear!

 “Hello world! How’ve you been?” I think a lot of times we let the things that are around us control our emotions. We’re mad because our team lost the game, someone said something unkind about us, or we were late turning in our assignment. Then all at once something happens in our life and it totally changes our perspective. Like in the music video above, the adults are fighting in the car at the beginning, and by the end of the song whatever they were fighting about doesn’t even matter anymore. 

Life’s been kind of crazy the last few weeks. I got to spend some time with my family and play with my little niece. I took two days off of work and just sat at my house and played with her. It really helped put things back into perspective for me, especially with the holiday season approaching. There is nothing more important than my family. I was constantly fighting myself and thinking how stupid it was to take work off to just sit at my house, but then I’d hear my niece laugh, and I wasn’t just sitting around. I was on the floor chasing her around all day both days. 

I came back to work and my room is still a mess, I just barely finished doing the dishes, and I’m really behind on a few other things that are important to me. However, I wouldn’t have traded those two days for anything. We can learn so much from small children. I learned a great lesson from a small child while on my mission in Taiwan. I couldn’t even communicate with many people at this time on my mission, but this lesson was learned without any words at all. This is an excerpt from a letter I sent home. 

"Thursday we taught Sister Wang . She's an older lady who's less active in the church. By older I mean she’s probably 80 years old. As we were teaching her, her granddaughter was sitting at the little table with us on a stool. Every time we sit with them, I always think that the little girl is going to fall off the stool; she's maybe 1 or 2 years old. So today, she did. She fell backwards off the stool onto the cement floor. Luckily she didn't hit her head on the table, the stool, or a chair. She was fine, just scared by her fall. She started crying, but after her grandma picked her up, and kissed her better she stopped crying and climbed right back up onto the stool. I thought about it after, I thought about it a lot actually. And I realized that must be how God sees us.

He knows we're going to fall and fail. He knows our Chinese is awful and that we'll fall. He knows that your parenting skills aren't good enough; he knows that you aren't going to get 100% on that test, and he knows that you'll probably make a counting error at work. Yet, because we have the freedom to choose, he lets us fall. He watches us, full well knowing we're going to hit the ground, but he lets us fall so perfectly as to not really get hurt. Actually we don't get hurt at all most of the time, we just get a little scared because the wind got knocked out of us and falling down is scary. So we start to cry, or pray, and tell him how scary that was, or how hard it was, and how we're trying so hard to be adults, and trying our best. 

So he picks us up, and puts us on his lap, and hugs us, and kisses our bruises, until we feel better, and realize that we're just fine, and then he sets us up on the stool again. At first we struggle because we don't want to go up and fall down again, but we realize it's what's best for us.  So we eventually forgot we got hurt in the first place, and know that He's there with his hand on our back to steady us, as we are sitting on the stool. We go back to life better than we were before.
Things scare us, but we don't realize their scary until we fall down. When a child falls, the parent feels more afraid for the child than the child does for himself. The parent knows what it feels like to get hurt, and when that child falls down the parent wants to take away the child’s pain. That's how God is with us. He knows we're going to fall, and when we fall it hurts him, more than it hurts us. But he just sits there, and waits for us to come and tell him all about it. He waits and listens and after we're done talking and crying, he'll give us a Band-Aid, not because we need it, but we feel better by having one, so we can go show all of your friends what happened. After that He sits back and let us decide when we’re ready to trust Him and get back up again."

Falling down is scary, but it’s the getting back up again that shows us what we’re made of. 

“It isn't as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don't worry. I say that to myself every morning. It all works out in the end. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us. He will not forsake us. If we will put our trust in Him, if we will pray to Him, if we will live worthy of His blessings, He will hear our prayers.” -Gordon B. Hinkley

When I'm trying to build up my courage to complete a task, these are two songs always come to mind. Not surprisingly they're songs from a Musical and not quite Disney movie. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Have A Little Faith In Me

I am really happy in my life right now. I’m not really sure why that is, but everything is going really well for me. I’m in a good place, and I’m trying every day to be a little better. I’m not worrying to much about others or what they think. I’m not worried about filling every second of my life with things to do. I’m learning new things at work, and I really love my coworkers. I’m healthy. I’m happy. I’m reading new books and seeing new movies. I’m trying new things. I’m trying to move forward in my life with faith. I’m starting to do the things I enjoy. I’m smiling every day. I’m laughing all the time. I’m meeting new people. I’m giving service. I’m having deep conversations with relative strangers. I’m going to random game nights. Life is good.

As I was leaving work this girl left right behind me, and I felt like I should talk to her. I didn’t know what to say, so I didn’t say anything, but I felt like I should offer her a ride. When I noticed she didn’t have a car I pulled over to where she was and offered her a ride. She was very grateful and said she needed to get to the freshman dorms that were about four or five blocks away, and was thinking about just running home. She was late for something, and today was her second day of work. It was kind of random, but I’m really glad I stopped to help her. It’s been a long time since I’ve done something like that. I don’t usually give total strangers a ride, but it just seemed like the right thing to do. 

After that I came home and ate my pizza from yesterday, did laundry, and watched this really really good movie. It was a little slow moving, but I enjoyed it. There were no sex scenes, swearing, or violence, and it basically was about people getting over their fears. The main guy learned to love again, and it was just a cute hopeful chick flick. It’s called “Love Happens.” It’s got Aaron Eckhard and Jennifer Aniston in it. The cover looked kind of cheesy, but the real reason I even chose to watch it, was because of the friend in the movie. She also plays the friend in “The Wedding Planner.” Her name is Judy Greer. I really love that actress. She’s the quirky actress. She’s never the leading lady, but her lines are always so funny! She just owns who she is.

I found this quote a few weeks ago, and I really like it. “Cultivate an attitude of happiness. Cultivate a spirit of optimism. Walk with faith, rejoicing in the beauties of nature, in the goodness of those you love, in the testimony which you carry in your heart concerning things divine.”
― Gordon B. Hinckley

I also like this quote.

 “God expects you to have enough faith and determination and enough trust in Him to keep moving, keep living, keep rejoicing. In fact, He expects you not simply to face the future (that sounds pretty grim and stoic); He expects you to embrace and shape the future--to love it and rejoice in it and delight in your opportunities. God is anxiously waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as He always has. But He can't if you don't pray, and He can't if you don't dream. In short, He can't if you don't believe.”
― Jeffrey R. Holland
Have a great week!