A November Letter

Dear friend,

There is something about the fall that makes everything seem deeper, isn’t there? Maybe it’s the cool air dancing on your skin or the urgent knowledge that you have to hold onto this perfect in-between time before the frost and ice come and overstay. It could be those spicy, pumpkin-y, rainy, baked sugary smells that make you take notice. Maybe it’s just the feeling of change that can’t be dodged as it envelopes the air. Maybe it’s the holidays that make you remember what really counts. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I know it happens to me every year.

Things with me are fine. I’m learning how to be a wife and also a human. I know I’ve been away a long time and haven’t written to you. I think there’s a period of time when you start a new life that requires you to cocoon yourself in it until you know what it is. That’s what I feel like, anyway… like a new world has started. I still don’t know how to balance things yet. I’m learning slowly. But it does make sense as to why my friends would marry and disappear from my life before. Going from a “me” to an “us” is tricky. It’s especially complex when you dive into another culture outside of your own. You are jolted with shocks from all unexpected angles regularly. It can be quite invigorating and quite terrifying all at once. And sometimes you forget entirely because it doesn’t matter at all. Isn’t it beautiful how two worlds can collide and create something confusing and fresh? I really do love change. Sometimes it racks me with anxiety, but it always erodes at least one of my rough edges a little.

I have come to the conclusion that I don’t think I would be good at being famous. I always thought I was very confident. This is actually untrue. I am fueled by praise. When I am boiled down to only my own self-love, without external influence, I nearly drown in insecurity sometimes. And as extroverted as I can be, I am always shocked when I learn someone is thinking or talking about me when I’m not there. The thought shakes me to the core because I’m genuinely baffled I would be important enough to discuss. And it especially causes me fear that it might be uncomplimentary . Does this ever happen to you? I think this is one of my great follies because I also often don’t realize that I can actually affect others with what I say or do – I don’t process that it would be important enough to cause offense. I accidentally offend often. And if I think too hard about it, I am afraid to speak at all for fear of being an inconvenience. I laugh at myself now, even writing it. How foolish and hilarious it sounds.

My husband is not like that. He doesn’t move out of anyone’s way when he’s walking. He doesn’t bother trying to impress or befriend anyone who isn’t friendly. He doesn’t feel pressured to small talk if he doesn’t have something to say. I admire this about him. He has the most deeply reserved, abiding, internal confidence in himself, and people love him for it. You’d love him too.

That’s what I’m thinking about this fall. I want to get to a place of self-worth where it doesn’t even matter who does or doesn’t think well of me, because I know in my deep heart that I’m all right.

The sun is setting as I am riding the train home now. The flares are coming through the window and warming my cheek. I’m going to walk home toward the sunset and smile into the increasingly chilly orangey-pink air and love myself today. And I will love you, dear friend. It makes me smile to think you can see the sunset, wherever you are, too.

xo,
Aubrey

10/30 things. part 2.

aight. everyone please compliment me on how well I’m doing with timeliness in following up on my last post. I deserve it! this is a BIG DEAL.

haha…

it so isn’t.

anyway. here we go! round 2:

11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.

  • hands down, number 1 is people who don’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re” and when to use them.. as well as “they’re,” “their,” and “there.” this makes me cringe and automatically put them in the idiot category.
  • people who respond to something with, “that’s funny..” with a straight face and no laugh. fake.
  • people who talk down to me or treat me like I’m not at their level. I will slap a pedantic ho.
  • driving under the speed limit makes you a skraight up hazard, and furthermore, it makes me hate you. (this might be my lead foot talking..)
  • married men who flirt with other women (I am appalled at how often I’ve been hit on by married dudes.)
  • the way my nail polish always gets screwed up before it dries. no matter what. I suck at letting my nails dry. and/or I’m awesome at messing them up. I’m A.D.D.
  • being interrupted.
  • being micro-managed like I can’t be trusted to do a good job at something.
  • being awoken abruptly.. (including but not limited to: being suddenly shaken awake, somebody barging into my room at full speed and full voice and scaring the daylights outta me, and having a pillow dropped on my face from the second story, yanking me from a dead sleep — you know who you are!!!)
  • people with no sense of humor who don’t get, make, or appreciate jokes.

12. Describe a typical day in your current life.

well… since, as mentioned in my previous post… my current life is awesome… I don’t have a typical day. because I have very few steady obligations at this time, and no money to do anything with. I sleep in, I job search, I go somewhere (errands, tutoring, family events, etc.) sometimes, perhaps take the dog on a jog, clean or help around the house, and then chill on the couch or my bed and chat with husband online for anywhere from a couple hours to all night. I have no routine at this point.

13. Describe 5 weaknesses you have.

again with the top 5 or 10 lists… how much should I expose my flaws to you, internets? can you handle me? we’ll see.

  • I’m kinda prideful. not in the, “I’m full of myself,” way.. but in the, “you’re not the boss of me,” way. this can present a problem with authority figures on some occasions. if I don’t like you, I’m a bad follower. you could also describe this as.. I’m a sassy pants.
  • I compare myself with others too often.. and I’m too harsh a critic of myself, and expect near perfection. (perhaps universal to most women.)
  • if I’m not good at something the first or second time I try it.. I give up on it quickly.
  • my emotions are very close to the surface, and they are passionate. I can’t ever hide what I’m feeling..
  • I’m really bad at saving money. not one of my talents.

14. Describe 5 strengths you have.

  • I guess this is the flip side of the passionate coin.. because I have a lot of personality and deep emotion, and when I do something, I do it big.. that can sometimes bring great results.
  • my sense of humor. I was raised laughing, I naturally find and appreciate humor all over the place in life.. I find a lot of things hilarious and people tend to be laughing when I’m around… probably mostly at me because I’m apparently a blast to make fun of.. but I dish it back.
  • my creativity. I have been blessed with the ability to see and create things of beauty. to me, art is not just a hobby, it’s the way you see life.. and it translates to everything.
  • I’m observant, and I read people pretty well. I am, as I’ve mentioned before, fascinated with people, and I watch them closely. this oftentimes helps me understand and connect with them. I can make friends easily.
  • I’m pretty quick to forgive. I hate conflict and feeling like somebody is angry at me or vice versa. I tend to want to resolve unkind feelings like.. asap. that doesn’t stop me from getting really angry at times, (apparently I’m scary when I’m mad) but afterwards, I don’t generally tend to hold grudges too deeply or too long..

15. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

um. I guess a white tiger.. that’s always been my favorite animal.. because they’re unique and super cool.. but they have an edge, and you shouldn’t mess with them.

16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?

  • after working my butt off through jr. high and high school.. being awarded 4-year, full-tuition academic scholarships to both Utah State and the University of Utah, and most recently a departmental portfolio-based scholarship to SLCC for my art studies
  • being give the “Outstanding Faculty Award” by my work at graduation in April for going above and beyond in my teaching and job. that was fulfilling, after putting so much in with my students.
  • serving a full-time mission for 19 months for the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints where I was able to do nothing but serve people, and reap the benefits of seeing so many people find the gospel through me. I was so blessed to be a part of that and it was the best thing I’ve ever done.
  • having my piece be displayed in an art show. that was an exciting first for me.. actually I consider some of the fine art and photography I have created to be some of my greatest achievements in general.. they are like parts of me. (in the non-creepiest way possible.) especially when I find out my stuff is being displayed by random people in random places. it’s a cool feeling to know my art touched someone.
  • making it to the temple to marry the love of my life.. being worthy, and having it done by the right authority, where it will last forever.. fulfilling the first step of my goal for an eternal marriage to a worthy priesthood holder. I guess that’s not really a typical accolade according to most people in the world.. but for me, it’s worth more than anything.

17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?

hm… I’m honestly really struggling coming up with an answer to this question. I think I’ve been sitting here avoiding it, doing other things, for about 20 minutes now.

I guess I wish I was great at getting rich. because that would honestly solve most of my problems right now.

I know, I know.. how materialistic of me.

18. What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?

hm… that’s a little personal, there, questionnaire.

I’ll answer it generally and say it’s a toss-up between getting my heart broken.. or more like crushed, and dealing with someone who deeply hurt and messed up the life of a dear friend of mine.

19. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?

ah… man. toughie. how do I choose? obviously I love the good old U.S. of A. it’s my home and my family is all here and it’s a wonderful place to live. but if I go outside of it..

can I give you a top 3?
look at me, asking permission on my own blog. it’s my hot body, I DO WHAT I WANT. top 3 it is!

New Zealand. (okay you probably saw that coming a mile away, since it’s one of the 3 countries I’ve been to besides the U.S.) it’s seriously one of the most breathtaking places I’ve ever seen.. and it has a lot of similarities, as far as the quality of life, to America. not exactly the same, but not vastly different. and people are just so NICE there.. and how can you not love that accent? I mean, really..

England. my whole life growing up my dad has instilled in me a love for the motherland. he served his mission in London, so it’s always been a place I’ve wanted to go.. and stay.. I think I’d love it, like a whole lot.

my third one is actually in the U.S… so I guess I lied about the outside the U.S. part, but it’s not in the continental U.S., so… that’s something. yep, you knew. Hawaii. I absolutely adore the island life and feeling and scenery.. with the higher standard of living that comes with being in America. I think it’s a rather ideal balance. and kind of a perfect mix for husband and me.

20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.

I grew up in Sugarhouse as a child. I loved it. I remember we had a HUGE tree in our backyard and every fall it would drop so many leaves that we’d rake them up and we could bury me plus all my neighborhood friends to the point that only our faces were visible from amongst the pile. it was perfect. I’ve loved fall (especially the fall leaves) ever since.

also, on our corner was our church building. it was one of the cool, old, unique churches with lots of character. it had a giant ramp that went up to a door from the parking lot that I loved to play in, but my favorite part about the church was a giant newspaper recycling dumpster in the parking lot. I remember I used to go climb into the dumpster and sit and look through the papers (I loved to read).. one time I found a magazine that featured figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi. I LOVED to watch figure skating on tv.. it was like dancing on ice. and I took the magazine home with me and read it over and over. I thought she was the greatest.

I was a very imaginative child. as the oldest child, I used to come up with elaborate games or scenarios and make my siblings play them with me. (a.k.a. I kind of bossed them around. so… woops.) but we used to play this game where we’d pile every blanket we could find on my twin bed and we’d have a captain who was steering by the headboard, the middle man – the coveted spot because you got the comfiest blanket coverage, and the lookout in the back. we used to pretend that the bed was a ship full of laundry and the bad guys were trying to track us down and get us, but whenever we saw them coming, we’d hide under all the blankets and they’d think it was just a big pile of laundry and not be able to find us. we thought we were tricky. and it was the comfiest game ever. I had a million games like that.. turning our house into a hotel.. couches into carriages.. or escapes from lava.. turning the bathroom into my own gameshow.. making “anything passes” which were cards that could get us into anything and anywhere we wanted for free.. etc. I dream big. haha.

alright. the second segment of 10 questions is complete. you can expect the next installment soon. 

much love, boys and girls. 

p.s. I wouldn’t hate hearing other people’s answers to these questions.. if anyone wants to play along. 

also…

on a completely unrelated note..

just because my uncle, Danny, has lately been doing showings of the extended blu-ray versions of The Lord of the Rings trilogy at his house for our fam.. and tonight was movie #2.. it was a good time. but I just wanted to share one quote from the movie that really struck me tonight, if you’ll indulge me. I think I needed to hear it:

Frodo: “I can’t do this, Sam.”
Sam: “I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.”
Frodo: “What are we holding onto, Sam? ”
Sam: “That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for. ”

so there’s your uplifting thought for the weekend. take it and keep fighting through the darkness for the good.. because darkness is only a passing thing, and those are the stories that really matter.

30 things. actually, 10. part 1.

30 Things:

So.. I think I must be bored lately. (Not having a steady job and being a newlywed with your husband on the other side of the world and no money to go out nor friends who are very available to see you will do that to a person.) Not only have I finally decided to take on a “Photo-a-Day” project for July on Instagram.. (username: aubreyhavea) but I also found this on a random blog. The instructions here, are that I’m supposed to post something about myself each day, according to the following list of questions.  The idea is to record different parts of my personality for my posterity, and I guess you get to know me better by default. This could potentially be very hilarious, emotional, and/or TMI. Sorry in advance, kiddos! And it’s also suggested that this list would make a fun date night?

BUUUUUT we all know how awesome I am at daily posts on my blog. ha.

laughable.

so I’ma do this in one big she-bam. because I’m in the mood. answers will be kept brief. and future great-grandchildren… y’welcome.

k. here we go.

THE LIST:

1. List 20 random facts about yourself.

  • I hate every kind of cheese. literally. yes.. even the cheese you were just about to ask me if I hate.
  • my first time out of the country ever was going to New Zealand. by myself.
  • I once put $500 worth of damage in a car with my hip, attempting to close the door.
  • I sang my first solo in sacrament meeting when I was 3 years old.
  • I said my first word when I was 5 months old.
  • cold cereal is my favorite snack. and daily breakfast. I feel wrong without it.
  • I can’t waterski to save my life.
  • I got my first kiss in high school over Spring Break in St. George. it was super lame.
  • I once ripped a huge hole in the butt of my jeans while climbing over a fence at a concert.. and I just wore them like that all day. I still have those pants.
  • I hate feet. that includes foot massages. no thank you.
  • I always have lip gloss. Victoria Secret Beauty Rush. always. I even sleep in it.
  • I still play the piano and sing, but growing up I also took lessons for the ukelele and the viola for brief periods of time
  • I once kayaked surrounded a pod of dolphins after snorkeling in a bay in Hawaii.
  • I own over 70 pairs of shoes.
  • the summer after high school, I was a cook at Domino’s Pizza.. and I could even toss the dough up in the air and spread it with my fists, like a pro.
  • I can wiggle my ears and do tricks with my lips, but I can’t, for the life of me, flare my nostrils.
  • my right foot is about a half size smaller than my left foot.
  • I am a closet Disney buff. and I have never been stumped in Disney trivia.
  • I’m fascinated by morbid TV shows like Criminal Minds.
  • I’m only 27.. but I’ve already had 14 jobs since I was 14.

2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.

  • SHARKS. I could not be more terrified of them. I don’t know how it developed. I remember having nightmares about them as a child.. but now, as an adult, I have a full-on phobia. I have a panic attack and cry at the shark encounter at Sea World. I have nightmares from just the previews of shark horror movies. I even cried watching a TV show about them with husband in Tonga because I went into a panic attack. I don’t think he fully grasped my true terror before.. but he believes me now, when I say I’m terrified.
  • divorce and/or ending up alone. I think this is common. and this is depressing.. but.. does it really need further explanation? I am so lucky to have parents who are still so in love.. so I’m grateful for the hope that it can actually last.. despite what I see happening so often these days. (p.s. not concerned about my marriage. we’re fine. it’s just always a scary thought.)
  • losing everything.
sheesh. this question is a downer. NEXT.
3. Describe your relationship with your parents.

it’s wonderful. I couldn’t ask for better parents. they would do anything for me, and I am so undeserving. I’m a lot like my dad and we like to crack jokes back and forth and tease each other.. and my mom and I tend to have deeper conversations. they are just seriously the best. I’m so blessed.

4. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.

woof. where do I start?

  • you will barely even hang out or have contact with your friends from high school when this is over. stop worrying so much about their approval.
  • LOVE yourself. you are okay.. really. comparing yourself to those girls will only make you insecure and hate everything that makes you you.
  • you aren’t going to marry your “high school sweetheart.” you won’t even have a high school sweetheart. none of these boys will even be in your life in 5 years. they aren’t worth your wishes and energy and tears and boy crazy thoughts.
  • this rad little Subaru… will hold lots of memories. and it will teach you about how to deal with old breaking down cars. love her.
  • these are the dates and times of your forthcoming speeding tickets and accidents, and here’s how to avoid them. (this will save you a buttload of cash.)
  • you won’t get asked to prom. please prepare yourself starting now so it doesn’t break your heart later.
  • start working harder now to take care of yourself and be healthy and fit; it will make you feel better about yourself now, and it will make life a whole lot easier for you later.
  • you will bloom after high school. college will be about a million times better for you. you’re one of those people who gets better with age.
  • at your high school, almost all the kids are excellent, driven, and talented. this is a vanilla group where you won’t get a chance to stand out much. this doesn’t fit you very well.. just remember, it doesn’t make you less talented if you don’t make it into a group or organization. don’t lose faith in your talents. you are still special. you are still good. (and don’t bother so much with choir. maybe go for moonlight singers instead.)
  • focus your career preparation, starting now, on art, photography, and design. you already know how much you love those things. you’re good at them. don’t get side-tracked thinking you won’t be able to have a career in them. (you’ll like your Psychology studies, but trust me.. you’ll end up not wanting to work in that field when push comes to shove.) follow your passions.

5. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?

  • my husband
  • my camera
  • music
  • the gospel
  • my family

6. What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?

actually… honestly… I think right now may be (at least one of) the hardest things I’ve ever experienced. I must say.. I never thought I’d be 27 and married, but with my husband across the world — not knowing when I’ll see him again, living in my parents basement, with a job that’s falling through — searching hopelessly for solid employment, unable to afford anything — even my bills for the month, and awkwardly stuck in limbo between a single and married social life, with no friends around to hang out with.. feeling pretty alone, with no control over or knowledge of what’s going to happen in the future.

I have to say.. whatever lesson I’m supposed to be learning now.. is a very hard one.

but let’s not turn this into a pity party. woop woop!

7. What is your dream job, and why?

honestly… growing up my whole life, I always wanted to be a superstar singer. that would be my dream come true.

but my other passion is what I’m more actively pursuing… and that is art, photography, and graphic design. if I can get a stable career in that field, I will be one happy camper.

8. What are 5 passions you have?

  • anything artistic/creative – especially: photography, drawing, design, poetry
  • music – the window to my soul
  • the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or rather, the doctrines of the gospel that it teaches me, especially about my relationship with my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ
  • dancing – I do it on a daily basis. I can’t help but move when I hear that beat.
  • people – they fascinate me. I love to be around them, to watch them, to draw them, to photograph them, to study their behavior, to be influenced by them, to learn about them.. etc.

9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.

in no particular order…

  • I’ll start with the obvious: my parents. they have shaped me into the person I am. they have been the most stable, driving influence I’ve had in my life. I will be eternally grateful.
  • my grandparents (I realize I’m grouping here. but they can be counted as one.) both sets, on mom’s and dad’s sides are the most extraordinary people that I’ve met.. and they would certainly claim otherwise. but they humbly and quietly and steadfastly go about doing good. they are loving and kind and always looking to serve. they have raised righteous families and created a legacy of humble, hard-working excellence.. and I couldn’t be more lucky to have them.
  • my aunt Tiffany. she is only 9 years older than me, and she was my hero growing up. I worshipped the ground she walked on and hung on her every word. she is like the big sister I never had. I always wanted to be beautiful and awesome like her.
  • my siblings. as a group. each for different reasons. I am extremely close with them.. they are my friends, not just my brothers and sisters (including my new sister-in-law, Kristi). even though they are younger than I am, they consistently teach me with their examples. they are all better than I am.. I have been raised in a family of spiritual giants. I don’t know how I got here. but I am privileged. and especially now, I am more grateful than ever for them. they are my closest friends.
  • my cousin Amberlee. through all of the friends I’ve had in my life, she has been the stable friendship that I grew up with since before either of us can remember. we’ve had more sleepovers at each other’s houses than either of us can count.. she put up with all my crazy over-imaginative antics, and even though we are opposites in personality.. I will always adore her.
  • my best friend Cambria. we grew up around the corner from each other, but she is 2 years older than me, so we never knew we were destined to be best friends until I moved back home from Utah State and we discovered that we were so similar it blew our minds. she helped me learn how to just.. be happy.. even in the face of trouble. she was the one who never turned down a crazy adventure with me. and I can’t even begin to count all of the greatest memories we’ve made together. so epic.
  • my high school best friend, Kathryn. so many good times.. she helped me learn how to take care of myself, how to do my hair and makeup, how to feel pretty.. she opened me up to new experiences in life that taught me and shaped me as a person. she even fostered my love for rap and hip hop. and she made me feel loved and included.. which was exactly what I needed as an insecure teenager.
  • you knew this was coming.. but, of course, my husband, Mote. he is the love of my life.. I had to go all the way to Tonga to find him. (I always loved poly men, but I never thought I’d have to look quite that far.) I can’t believe I found someone so much like me in so many ways.. someone who can be my best friend and my husband at the same time. he makes me feel loved and special and good about myself.. he’s funny and handsome and talented and smart and chill.. he brings out my desire to be better.. and I get to be with him for eternity. suckas!!
  • my favorite mission companion, Audrey (Nonoa). my sista from anotha mista. from day one in the MTC it was a special bond. we went through the ups and downs of our entire missions together, we spent a transfer over Christmas together, and then we finished it off together, the way we started. she is the perfect example of Christlike love and selfless service. I have never met someone more capable of such great love for so many people. she is one of my all-time favorite people ever.
  • I’m gonna do one more group.. this one is my aunts and uncles in general. I have grown up with an extremely close relationship with my extended family. we gathered for weekly Sunday dinners, and I cherish all the time spent with my aunts and uncles, on both sides, during my life. I am the favorite brunt of all their jokes and target of all their teasing.. but I dish it right back to them. (in particular, Danny on Mom’s side and John on Dad’s side.) but I think it is largely attributed to them that I’ve always had such great relationships with adults as I’ve grown up. I will always be so grateful for them.
  • honorable mentions: Andrew McMahon, Zooey Deschanel, Coach Downs, Marjorie Pay Hinckley, Pres and Sis Colton – who should actually be on the list and not just honorable mention, Chris Farley, Ryan Reynolds, Bishop Solt, countless friends, Batman.

10. Describe your most embarrasing moment.

pff. it’s hard for me to pick a “most” embarrassing moment. but one that still brings me to the point of blushing and shutting my eyes when I think about it was thanks for my dear, sweet friend, Cambria. we were at a young single adult regional conference. we went to the treats room to get food and mingle afterwards. I saw a boy I’d had a crush on in high school across the room. I had taken him to the Christmas dance and he was the first boy I’d ever held hands with. I whispered that and pointed him out to Cam as we roamed the room. I avoided him. but a little while later, we made contact and began talking. suddenly, Cam walks up to us and blurts out, “hi first boy that Aubrey ever held hands with!” my jaw dropped and I could have died. right there.. as if I had raved about this experience and never gotten over it since high school and she had been dying to meet him all this time. when in actuality, I had never even mentioned him to her before today. he chuckled and said, “I hope I wasn’t the last..” at this point I was simply gasp-laughing.. mouth still open.. unable to respond out of embarrassment, but she continues with, “oh no. she’s held hands with LOTS of boys since then. not that… she’s a floozy or anything…”
and that’s when I had to cut it off. I had never felt so humiliated. like I’d been ruminating on this high school crush all these years and still held on to a few seconds of hand-holding like it was the greatest moment of my life. I pretty much felt like driving straight to a cave and moving in.
such a special day!

okay. so I lied. this thing is WAY too much to tackle in one post. just those 10 questions were exhausting. I think I’ll break this up into 3. so here’s 10. now it’s bedtime.

nighty night boys and girls.

here’s a sneak preview of the questions still to come.

to be continued… 

11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.

12. Describe a typical day in your current life.

13. Describe 5 weaknesses you have.

14. Describe 5 strengths you have.

15. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?

17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?

18. What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?

19. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?

20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.

21. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it first?

22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?

23. List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.

24. Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.

25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?

26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?

27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?

28. What is your love language?

29. What do you think people misundertand most about you?

30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.

my birthday is on Tuesday.

so just in case anybody was feeling overwhelmed trying to figure out what to get me,

I’d like:

  • “The Five Ghosts & The Seance” album by Stars
  • This bathing suit
  • A camera case for my new Nikon baby
  • A shellac mani-pedi
  • New glasses
  • A million dollars

but seriously, you guys.

I’m turning 27. it’s making me uncomfortable. I don’t want to be close to 30. I’m not sure why.

30 shouldn’t be such a scary number.. it should feel like an accomplishment.. and a beginning.

but I’m stressing myself out. I think I thought I would have accomplished more in my life by the time I got there.

or maybe when I say, “accomplished more,” what I really mean is.. that I’d be mature and handling life like an adult.. that I’d know more things, and have more experience..

but I suppose that’s the nature of change.. it makes humans feel unprepared and inadequate.

I am so happy to be facing a big fat new marital stage of life in.. 39 days. so excited.

and simultaneously terrified.. less of the marriage than of the part that follows.. the reproducing and parenting part.

or maybe I just don’t want to be 27.

whatever.

I’m going back to 25.

hey MLK, I have a dream too..

it’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. an advocate for tolerance and equality.. a truly great historical figure in standing up for humanity. I have always held a deep and resounding respect for his impact on society in America and the voice he gave to black Americans everywhere that still echoes today.. the voice that now represents equality for all races. I love his ideals and his oft-quoted line, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

well, MLK… I have a dream too. I daily realize that, despite everyone’s best wishes and delusions, racism is not dead in our world. it is alive and well. and though white people have always been viewed as the big bad perpetrators.. it comes from all sides. I am not excusing my race, because our actions throughout history have been atrocious.. and many attitudes against white people stem from actions long sustained throughout history. but I frequently feel discriminated against.. by those who are not of my race (or, in another can of worms, who are not of my gender).. when I have not been the one to commit a wrong against an individual or an overall race.

I work with a very diverse population of students, which brings a lot of exposure to different challenges and beliefs and points of view. I also have a diverse group of friends that come from different places and ideas. and I follow many people of various backgrounds on Twitter. my timeline is always full of the strangest mixture of comments and pictures and articles. but the most interesting and sad comments to me are the blanket statements and judgments and stereotypes and categorizations and especially the elitist attitudes based on race, religion, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, and social status.

this has always been my soapbox issue — my biggest pet peeve. passing judgment on another person just because they fit into a certain “category” in our minds is absolutely ridiculous.. but it is, admittedly, human nature. basic psychology: our brains process information in the form of snap judgment in order to allow us to function efficiently. yet I still hate it. obviously everyone does it to an extent.. it’s nearly inevitable. but blatant prejudice against a certain group of people for no legitimate reason is unacceptable to me.

why do we have to talk about someone as “the black dude,” or “the poly girl,” or “the Mexican,” or “the gay guy,” or… you knew it was coming… “the white girl?” in most cases, what does that have to do with anything? does that characteristic honestly affect the story that you’re telling or the comment that you’re making? it really can’t just be “the guy,” or “the girl?” or.. if you’re gonna get really crazy.. his/her name?

it doesn’t take long reading my blog to realize that I’m engaged to someone of a different race and culture and ethnic background. he is brown and I am white.. and you can imagine the emphasis that basic difference between us places on race in our relationship. within his culture there is a word to describe my race: palangi. it is not necessarily an offensive word.. it just means a white person. but when anyone in his life talks to him about me, without fail, I am “the palangi.” I’ll always be his “palangi fiancee” or his “palangi wife.” I can’t just be his wife.. they usually don’t even know or call me by my name. my race will forever be my identifier.

now please don’t think I am writing this to bash any one particular culture or to point fingers… I completely love my fiancee and his family and his culture. I am merely using it as an example of a little thing that can have an impact on how how someone feels. and to go a step further, I have even been dumped for being white in a past relationship. it’s not awesome to be dumped by the person you care about for something you can do absolutely nothing about. regardless of the way I feel on the inside, the closest I can ever come to a different skin color is looking like a Cheeto with a Snooki spray tan. and recent events in my life in the past few months have stirred up pain from that past event (in my dating life, not with Snooki) which have hit pretty close to home.

the bottom line is… we are humans. we are brothers and sisters because we’re all members of the human race.
when did it become more important to match skin tones and cultural traditions than it did to love and accept people?
why do we find it necessary to perpetuate attitudes and judgments that injure those around us and blind us to the point of possibly preventing some of the greatest friends/relationships we could have in our lives?

I ask these questions to myself as well, because I am by no means perfect. I am guilty too. but if I reflect, personally, my diverse group of friends has been a huge blessing to me, and so educational. stepping outside my bubble to look through different windows and realize that other thought patterns, other ways of life, and other approaches to dealing with people can be just as good, or better, than my own, has shaped me as a person.

also, I know I have a good life. I haven’t lived in extreme struggle or hunger or terror, but I come from my own set of challenges that maybe another person wouldn’t be aware of. I am still a human being too. being white doesn’t make me bad or inherently spoiled or unable to understand someone. I have a long way to go and much to learn, but I’m determined not to do it with biased blinders on.

I have a dream, too, Mr. King, that someday people of other races and cultures will judge ME not by the color of my skin, but by the content of my character.. as I try to do the same for those I encounter.

and may that dream of yours continue to be carried forward until it finally becomes a reality, because.. essentially, the point of this post is..
racism sucks.

the end.

TX and such

thank you Starbucks for your free wifi and your grande caramel apple spice drink. you are saving my internet-less sanity for a few minutes. being surrounded by the warmth of San Antonio, the din of birds chirping, conversations over coffee, eubonics, a live band singing about Texas at the restaurant across the street, and cars on pavement as the breeze blows through my hair only adds to the sweetness that is this moment. it’s been almost 2 weeks straight that my Mac Daddy has gone without use now, (aside from its daily iTunes jukebox duties) and that is NOT ok, ladies and gents. let it further be known that I do not have TV either, cutting me off almost completely from the rest of society.. but more importantly.. my frustrated boyfriend lives on the other side of the world. kinda need internet to make that work.. and Skype on my phone is def not the same. (but thank the heavens for my phone because I would be 100% screwed without it.)

anyway. I’ve had some peeps ask me when the next post was coming and I am flattered to know that my readers are faithful.. apologies for the delay. would everyone mind offering up a small prayer to the internet gods that something gets fixed pronto so I can re-enter my cyber life? or if you aren’t the praying type you could just chuck them up some deuces so they feel acknowledged and know that their power over my life has been duly noted. I’m considering offering them a sacrifice, but I’m not quite sure what would be appropriate. I’ll continue to brainstorm electronic gifts and get back to you.

SO! the real reason you clicked today was probably not to hear about my internet woes.. but rather what this new adventure in the Lone Star State is like, eh interwebs? eh???
(I’m pretending you guys care a LOT. it makes me feel important.)

so here we go. the pros and cons of San Antonio in typical Aubrey fashion:

Pros:

1. the sunshine! yes it’s boiling hot during the day already and it’s only barely June, but after that underwater frozen world Utah decided to become this winter/spring.. I was ready.

2. is related to 1. our pool.. which sits in direct sunlight most of the day and is therefore a perfect temperature for dipping and sunbathing. and not only that, but they have a large area of the pool that is only 6 inches deep, presumably for small children.. but I employ it for catching extra rays.. because I am a small child (mentally). I am already on my way to brown-ness of the greatest kind. I have to match my Tongan man after this summer is over, right? don’t judge me.

3. our apartment.. which is super nice and brand new and clean and lovely. I’m pretty sure we are the only white people that live in our apartment complex and I couldn’t be happier about it!! such a nice break from vanilla Utah. I actually feel kind of like I’m back on the mission because this is toootally a complex I would have tracted as a missionary.

(interlude: a fly just landed on my neck and jolted me from my screen-trance and I realized I’m tired of the gruff voice singing songs about Texas. please hold while I initiate headphones/better tunes.)

4. the Riverwalk!! love. this. place. it is absolutely beautiful.. especially at night with all the lights reflecting off the water. observe:

excuse the photo for being a tiny bit blurry. I had no tripod. but you get the point that it’s beautiful. and yes. this place is right behind my work.. and I only live a mile away. I can just prance on down there at a moment’s notice.

5. the Alamo.. I guess. it is directly in front of my work and I stare at it all day long. it’s been weird to process that fact. but I am getting used to it. it’s nice and I understand the significance in its history, but overall… not that much to see. it’s nice. especially on the day when I straight up PLANKED it! in my work uniform and everything. yep. buh-lee dat. here’s the proof:

I know I’m the coolest. don’t be jealous. this can’t be taught.
(if you don’t know what planking is.. google it. it will give you all sorts of answers.)

6. the people. I love Southern hospitality. I don’t think that needs to be explained further. this also includes my co-workers and also my new singles’ ward.. in which the guys are a little too friendly because of the male-female ratio being grossly weighted towards males. they saw new girls and attacked like sharks to blood. I almost busted out my fake engagement ring on them. but dropping the “boyfriend” word around enough has seemed to do the trick. (not for my roommate, however. bwahaha. she’s already been snatched up and we’ve been to church ONE time.)

7. the nightlife/general things to do are exponentially greater than in Utah. it’s super nice. you can go out and find stuff pretty much whenever.

8. the food. what are the kids saying these days? OH-EM-GEE? yeah that. everything is good here. this is apparently the 7th fattest city in the U.S. and I can see why. every restaurant I have come in contact with so far is fabulous. but I refuse to let this go to my butt. I WILL BEAT YOUR FAT, SAN ANTONIO!

9. the fact that the band I saw play at this chill place called The Cove on Tuesday night is currently sitting at the table next to me at Starbucks just havin a little acoustic guitar jam sesh of their own accord. what are the odds? I might go fangirl them in a sec. maybe. the lead singer is this big old black dude with a stogey stickin out of his mouth, the lead guitarist is an average-sized latino, and the drummer is a tiny dude of unknown ethnicity. the lead singer sounds like Cee-Lo Green a little bit.. but put to rock. don’t ask me what they’re called.. but I liked them.

EMERGENCY INTERLUDE #2: I STRAIGHT UP JUST GOT POOPED ON BY A BIRD! ON MY LEFT FREAKING SHOULDER! THAT JUST HAPPENED! EW EW EW EW EW!!!!!! WHY?!?!?!?!

which brings me to my next point:

Cons: 

1. birds pooping! it’s like a fad here or something! get off my shoulder and my car, foo!!! I will cut you!!!!!!!!

2. working like a slave. Del Sol is a fabulous establishment.. but I’m starting to believe I live there. today is the first day I have had off in almost 2 weeks straight. including Saturday and Sunday. fml.

3. Cowboy’s Dancehall. for most people this would probably be a pro.. but that ish was not my scene. it was JAM PACKED with people I never thought in a million years I would see in a cowboy dancehall. like whoa there thug with the dreds.. you diggin this Toby Keith? are you sure? I did double-takes pretty much every time I turned my head. it was dangerous for my neck. and I was way too clothed to be present. I had neither daisy dukes nor cowboy boots. this was mine and Lisa’s reaction:

yikes. get us out of here.
and we fled. after we could finally cart our tipsy roommate along with us.

4. no internet. just thought I’d reiterate that.

5. humidity. it’s actually better than it was in Florida.. so I was prepared for worse.. but it still does funky things to hair. mine just goes curly here, which is fine. but I’ve been rockin a lot of this baby:

yay for hats!

6. the roads and the drivers that go with them. this city is freaking confusing and I’m pretty sure the freeways are just giant dried up snakes because they curve and twist and wind like you wouldn’t believe.

7. the drought. it’s super duper dry and hot here. I have a feeling it’s gonna cook me by the time this 3 months is over.

8. the fact that I am on my feet all day everyday. they are hating me. those wood floors and/or stone sidewalks are not forgiving or friendly. my supervisor said I’d get used to it, but… yeesh. we’ll see about that.

9. the smokers. there are a lot of them here. and they like to blow smoke at me from every general direction.

10. the 40 year-old man that hit on us for literally 30 minutes as we sat at a sports bar and innocently tried to watch the CHI/MIA game. sick.

11. the bird poop that’s on my shoulder. right now.
………………yeah. that.

okay kids. that’s gonna wrap it up for this mammoth blog post. it’s dark now (but the temperature out here is absolutely perfect) and I am gonna make my little way home.

moral of the story: there are good and bad things.. but I’m having fun. it’s all about the attitude, eh?

love and kisses and hugs and handshakes and high fives.

PEACE!

it’s pocket grenade time, you hussy.. TAKE IT!

there are a few things you should know.

did you feel that boob stab?

the salute on the boat going by in the background.. KILLS ME. don’t worry that me, Cam, and Chewy all drank some Sun Drop. it’s not amazing, but the commercial makes everything a-ok.

this next one will only make sense if you’ve seen THIS. (dubbed the worst song ever written… gone viral on youtube. warning: you may willfully  burst your own eardrums.) but Glozell.. my favorite youtuber.. illustrates why it’s awesome.

fried eggs.. fried eggs..
did you pee from laughter yet?

if not.. you are a robot. like the girl on small wonder. but maybe this will help:

and if that’s not enough, see this and this.

and the other thing you should know, that isn’t the least bit funny.. but important nonetheless:

or mostly.. rugby players.

and that concludes your weekend education.
you’re welcome.