Elysha's World

Elysha's World

Sunday, February 21, 2016

You'll Pull Through

Today as I left church I was trying to remember where I parked. I try to find a pull through parking spot every Sunday, so that I don’t have to back out. We were late today, so I just pulled into the first parking spot I could find. While walking to my car I was hoping the car in front of mine would be gone. 

As I walked toward my car I noticed an empty parking space in front of my car, and hoped that no one parked there before I had a chance to leave. In my mind I thought, “I hope no one parks there. I hope I can leave first. I hope I can pull through. I think I can pull through. I think I’ll get to pull though. I can pull though. I’m going to pull through.” Then as an afterthought I heard in my mind, “You’re going to pull through. You’re going to make it through. It’s going to be okay. You’re going to pull through.” 

I was surprised and amused at the play on words. While I was just thinking about a parking spot, I was left pondering the words “Pull Through.” I’d never thought of the double meaning. I guess a lot of times it’s used when people are referring to people who are sick, and whether or not they’ll get better. 

Now I feel like I should mention that I'm also fine backing out of a parking spot. I do it every single day. However when I'm in a crowded parking lot, I'd prefer to just drive out of it instead of worrying  about hitting things behind me that I can't see.

I found this quote today about arrows that I really liked. It makes a good point (The quote and the arrow.)

A few years ago I came across the song I posted above. It’s surprisingly uplifting and every time I hear it, or it comes to mind, I just feel better.  “You’re Gonna Make It After All.” Sometimes it’s hard to know if we’ll make it through something. When you’re on the outside it’s easier to assure someone that they’ll be just fine, but when you’re in the middle of a chasm, sometimes it seems like there is no way out. 

There is a way out! Sometimes you have to be creative. Sometimes you have to go back out the way you came in. Sometimes you need to grab on to a rope or a hand that has been dropped down for you. I promise there is always a way to see the light and feel the sun again. 

You'll pull through! 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Dating 101

Dating. That seems to be something that is on everyone’s mind recently. I’ve had countless conversations with countless people the last few weeks about it. They all have different questions. Recently a new one has surfaced, and that question is “Why?” “Why didn’t he call me again?” “Why didn’t we work out?” “Why did he not think I was good enough?” I don’t have an answer to any of those questions. I’m also probably the last person that should be giving dating advice, but I realized during a recent conversation, that most people haven’t lived my life, so they have a different outlook on dating. 

I actually really surprised myself with some of the adult responses I was giving to my friends. I didn’t realize how strongly or passionately I felt about the subject until recently. A penny for my thoughts:
Sometimes I wonder why the little things are so important to me. Why I reiterate that chivalry is not dead! Tonight I may have figured that out. Some people may think that opening the door for someone on a date is archaic. Yes it’s awkward sometimes. The guy is racing around the car as fast as he can, while his date sits in silence waiting for him to open her door. However, it’s allowing someone to serve you. I’m very capable of opening my own door, but I feel special, adored, and loved every time someone willingly goes out of their way to be a gentleman. It’s the little things that add up. 

I grew up in a house hold of all girls. We had to do the lawn mowing, the dish cleaning, the vacuuming, the unpacking, the lifting, the moving. That’s fine. I’m a capable healthy woman. However if someone wants to help me bring in things from the car, it’s amazing! It’s unexpected. I’m grateful. Those little things that so many people take for granted, surprise me and have me standing in awe every time. 

I think every person male or female deserves to be loved. They deserve to know that they are special. I’m not even talking about like in the movies; I’m talking about every day normal life. I know that this doesn’t necessarily happen on the very first date, but if you’re in a serious relationship, it should be said. Each person should feel valued as an individual. Everyone should feel wanted, included, cherished. If someone doesn’t feel that way about you, they are not worth your time. You should feel that way about each other. 

When I’m on a date I’m taking notice of all the little things, like how he treats the waiter and how he treats me. After a few dates I start thinking of things that could happen down the road, like if he’d get along with my family or is he a hard worker. After that I take into consideration how he handles money, roommate situations, his job, and things like that. 

No matter what I’m constantly thinking about normal future situations like, if we got married and we had kids who got sick middle of the night. Will he get up to help take care of them? Would he be willing to give them a priesthood blessing in the middle of the night? Will he help clean up the mess? Or will all of these tasks fall upon me?

Maybe that’s an extreme example, but I grew up in a home with a single mother, and she did it alone every time. I don’t want to do it alone every time. 

Maybe people don’t realize that people are thinking these kinds of things, or they’re not trying to impress those they date. I know that everyone has different things that they look for and expect or want out of dating and marriage. 

So when I go out on a first date with a guy and he says, “I feel like I should get your door, but I don’t want to.” I take that in to consideration and put that into all different kinds of situations. Guys don’t have to always get my door, that’s fine, but it’s always nice and appreciated when they do. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

You Are Loved

You are loved. That is a simple truth. It might not feel like it or seem like it, but you are. I was trying to think of something to write as I was walking around today, and this is the thought that popped into my head. In particular the Josh Groban song I posted above. “Don’t give up. You are loved.” 

I was thinking about what an interesting week I’ve been having. Yesterday I had the opportunity to do some service. I got to be an usher for a big new local attraction, and had the job of working with the disabled. I helped make room for them in line, told them where to go and basically was a bouncer. I got to stand by a warm heater and be alone with my thoughts for about 4 hours. 

I’m not ashamed to say that most of the time I kept myself entertained by singing Hamilton, or some other song to myself. Part of the time I translated everything I was thinking into Chinese, just to see if I could do it. The rest of my time was spent looking at the hundreds of people that walked by me, and trying to see if I knew any of them. I always run into people I know. I’ve decided that is God’s way of telling me, “You are loved. There are people all around you that love you.” It's a constant reminder, and it works!  Recently this weird thing has happened to me when I come across a lot of people in a short amount of time. I stand still and watch them all pass as I think of what a cool creator God is. This thought happens at the most random times. I will be people watching and all of the sudden I'll have the thought, "All of theses people are loved. They all belong to a family. They are all important." Then I'll feel this deep connecting love to each one of them. They of course don't notice me, but I notice them.

Whenever I have this thought, I always am transcended through time back to Taiwan. I see myself standing on the corner handing out English class pamphlets while thousands of people rush by and take my slip of paper. Most of us never spoke but we spent a few seconds in each others life.

Here is another not as expected group of people. I’ll admit that I’ve tried Tinder once or twice, but I usually get nervous and delete it after a few hours. However as I’m swiping I am just amazed at how uniquely different everyone is. We are definitely not all the same. We all want different things. We all have different interests. This is why society works so well, because we all have a different job to do. Some people actually enjoy doing math. Some enjoy teaching, while others like to enforce the rules.
I think something that helped me see this vision a little bit better, was a class I took in high school. My senior year I took an acting class, and in that class we did a “mask class” for a semester. I think it might have had something to do with the Suzuki acting method or something like that.  We had a A-B schedule and on the B days we had mask class. 
The Black Box
We went through an entire lifetime  in just a semester. The first day of the mask class we sat in a circle and one at a time our teacher handed us a unique mask set apart for us. It helped define who we were, and we were reborn at that time as a new person. We were instructed not to talk about anything that happened in this class with anyone outside of class. The mask class was held in a black box classroom and talking was not allowed at all. Our unique masks were ours, they had to be left in the classroom, and we had to use the same mask every single time. 

At first we started out with individual exercises that stretched our mind and our imagination, but then as the semester progressed we built our own houses and eventually an entire city. I made friends with the people who lived around me, all through body language, without talking, and looking through a mask. Our teacher became this all knowing being who would set the scene for us and let us know what was going on. He eventually gave us all a profession as well, so that we would have something to do in our time while living in our imaginative city. I was told I was a doctor. I would go watch people play in the local theater; I would visit friends, and buy food on my way through the park. This would happen all in a dim lighted black box. It was incredible. I became friends with people who I wasn’t friends with in real life, however when we were in class and behind our masks we were best friends, almost sisters. At the end of the class, we’d take off our masks and walk outside into the sunshine and the girl I was friends with 5 minutes before would totally ignore me. 
We are all preparing to put on masks in "Love's Labour's Lost."

I saw the world in a whole new light, and in a sense got to live my life with a different profession. I was respected for my position, and even saved a life or two. Toward the end of the class my teacher had to bring a close to our imagined town. He had one of the students take off their mask and enter the room as a normal person. The feeling in the room changed. This person who used to be one of us was now different. I knew this kid, we were friends, but he was different than we were, and our instructor told us that he wasn’t a good person. My classmates started to become violet towards this classmate. They started building a barricade out of tables and chairs around us so that this intruder couldn’t get to us. I’d never experienced racism before, but for a brief second I understood all of the hate and injustice in the world towards someone who was different from me. 
Eventually the semester ended and we all had to go back to living our normal dull high school lives. However I was forever changed. Sometimes I wish I could go back, or that I could see through different eyes. I think a lot of times we get caught up in our own thoughts, and we forget to “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.”

 I wrote a song while in high school. It was the first song I ever wrote, and it alludes a little bit to this class. I’d like to share it here. Enjoy! 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Avalanche - To Love is To Be Vulnerable

It’s funny how we can read or listen to something many times, and never see or hear something until it’s pointed out to us. I love the song I posted above called “Avalanche.” I heard it for the first time maybe 2 years ago when my cousin sang it for a talent show, and I instantly fell in love with it. I looked it up and found that Lindsay Mendez sang it, and I’ve listened to this particular performance on repeat ever since! 

I feel like I’ve been trying to learn from and overcome certain things in my life recently and it’s really very hard. I’m constantly thinking about it, and I have no idea how to just let it go and move on with my life. I think I’ve come to terms with it in some aspect of my life, and then it creeps up in another part. It’s almost all too all-consuming sometimes. I feel like it’s a new side of me that I’d never recognized until someone pointed it out to me. However, now that I know about it, I can’t forget it. I can’t run away from it. I’m trying to change it, but it feels very innate and comfortable. 

I feel uncomfortable. I feel like I want to retreat and stay by myself for a while until I can overcome myself. By doing this, I’ve found that I’m not being true to a whole other side of myself. If you’ve never explored yourself, your mind, it’s amazing and scary all at the same time. You find out all of these wonderful qualities about yourself, and sometimes you find out things that you were blissfully unaware of. I feel like this song spells out what I’m trying to say.

The musical Next To Normal is one of my absolute favorite musicals. It's about a mother trying to deal with bipolar disorder. In this scene she is talking to her psychiatrist. My favorite line from this song is, "At times it does hurt to be healed." 

So how do we move on without having all of our annoying friends sing “Let it go" from Frozen? I have no idea. I’ve tried a few different things, and they don’t seem to be working, but I think I’m getting closer. Before I got into bed tonight, I wanted to listen to a song, and have it move me into feeling something. I’m not sure what I was looking for, but I’ve decided I need to put more of the 
music I enjoy back into my life. 

I opened up YouTube and saw “Avalanche.” I really just love everything about this song, and since it won’t stop snowing I thought it would be appropriate. I sat and listened to it, taking in every single note and word. At 4:02 I heard a new word that I’ve never heard before in this song. Instead of it saying “catch me” like it does a few minutes after it says, “teach me.” It says, “Teach me. I want to let go. Catch me. I’m letting go.” I had to look up the lyrics and double check. How had I not heard these lyrics, the millions of times I’ve listened to and shared this song?

This frightened person at the beginning of this song, is a completely different person by the end of the song. She’s transformed. She’s open. She’s learning. She’s excited. 

Facebook reminded me of this really cool quote I posted a few years ago today. I really like what this person had to say. 

Dean L. Larsen shared this thought in a BYU devotional, “The Lord has made it clear that each of us has a responsibility to exert an influence for good in the lives of those who share this mortal experience with us. We cannot live in isolation from others and still fulfill the purpose of our existence here. Our actions, our words, our thoughts, and our values will inevitably affect the souls of those whose lives brush against ours. In fact, the Lord himself has said that this influence may continue to reverberate long after we have departed, even to the ensuing generations (see Mosiah 13:13). This is an awesome prospect. When we contemplate the power we have for perpetrating both good and evil in the lives of others, we have good reason to reach for careful understating of this power. It is clear that we will be held responsible for making our influence felt. There is no safety or sanctuary in living passively or in avoiding contact with others. This is true for individuals as well as groups.” 

I found this quote very insightful. In fact it reminds me of two other quotes that I also love. 

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” –C.S. Lewis

I first heard this quote while in college and it changed my life. How are we to progress if we keep to ourselves? One can only change and learn so much by one’s self. Here is the last quote. It was given by President Lorenzo Snow. (No pun intended by his last name.) 

In a nut shell, we’re all trying to figure life out. We all problems, and as I’ve learned recently most people are suffering in a way we can only imagine. However, if we take what we know, and share it with those around us, perhaps together we can start to build and understand life a little bit better. 

As David Archuleta says, "Things are gonna get better!"