Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Mixed Feelings and "Go Set a Watchman"

Having mixed feelings on the release of Go Set a Watchman.

It's not about the whole "Atticus is racist now" controversy, either. Since GSAW was written prior to To Kill a Mockingbird, and in fact TKAM is basically an alternate universe storyline born from aspects of GSAW during the editing process, I can separate out that this Atticus is literally not the same Atticus as our beloved hero. Instead, GSAW'S Atticus is a dark first draft of his character, completely changed and refined in the authoring of TKAM. They are really quite exclusive to themselves. So no, my concern does not lie here.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


In the spirit of full disclosure, I didn't go to church today.

I should be in Relief Society right now, but I'm not. I am at home. Surrounded by a nest of blankets while I sit on my laptop. Scrolling through Facebook. Blogging, obviously. Chomping on ice. Missing my husband for the next hour or so until he gets back home. Definitely not dressed in my Sunday best. And of course, I have a million excuses for it all: I'm tired, my back hurts, I just want to play Pokemon Fire Red in bed... Okay, so that's three excuses. But there we are.

And so I have that lingering feeling of guilt tickling at the back of my mind about it, because you know, I actually am okay with going to church right now. My heart and spirit really do feel renewed, and whether it's a general attitude shift on my part or an inexplicable attitude shift in my ward or what I believe to be a combination of both, the past few weeks have been really good (and thusly, surprisingly healing) there. I've felt welcomed. I've felt loved. I've even vocally participated in class and not felt entirely crazy when I crossed into the feminist-y side of my faith.

Next week again, I tell myself to calm my anxious conscience. Next week. And amazingly, I mean it--not just grudgingly, but in a spirit of firm desire.

Meanwhile, I find myself employed (full-time, even!) again for the first time since September. Robbie and I had talked about me going back to work for a long time before this point, because I've felt so useless at home and honestly we really needed the money, but I've put it off. Of course, for much of the time, I've been legitimately sick. But then, I think I was just scared of recommitting to something like that when I'd have to leave again soon anyway. I was scared of having other people depend on me again. And so I stayed at home and watched about three more British mini-series on Netflix since the last time I posted. Then suddenly at the end of January a series of dramatic events (that probably aren't appropriate to discuss in an open setting like this) set in motion, and before I knew it, I was determinedly applying for a job again, and miraculously, I was hired.

At first, I was a little let down by the hiring. Not because I didn't want to be hired, because I wanted that more than anything, but it was not for any position that I applied to or interviewed for. I had intended to have a quiet data entry or quality assurance position, but instead, I got a phone position, which I had specifically requested against. I hate working the phones pretty much across the board. I hate the stress of inbound calls and escalated customers. It's not healthy for me at the peak of my mental and physical performance, so entering my third trimester of pregnancy as I did that sounded utterly unappealing. But I accepted the offer all the same, because as has been at least implied, my hatred of being at home doing nothing for so long outranked even my hatred for call centers at this point, and the wage I was offered was nothing to complain about (especially compared to my $0 biweekly income for the several months previous). And Robbie and I had been praying recently for a healthy and appropriate way for me to be more active and even employed, both for my benefit and to better prepare our family for our baby's birth at the end of April, so I decided to take it on faith that despite that this was not close to the job I wanted, maybe it was actually the one I needed after all. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad.

And miraculously, it's not bad. I actually love it. I mean, I've only been working in this position for the past two weeks, and one of those weeks was training, but it is exactly what Robbie and I had been asking for. I ended up not being on the general inbound phone team, which most people even in my training group were, but a team that specifically takes care of our Hawaii customers in various stages of their early contractual processes with the company. It has largely outbound contacts to make instead of a constant stream of callers phoning in--I mean, we get inbound calls, and my first real day on the phones I did end my shift with a rather escalated customer, but it's overall comfortingly easy-going. And apparently Islanders are a pretty chill bunch, so that's even a lot nicer to deal with than rowdy East Coasters. Plus, my team is a small and tight-knit but inclusive group of people who I get along with really well so far. This is honestly the best place I could be right now, hand to God.

Our Heavenly Parents care about us, you guys, They really do, and They will lead us down the paths we need to take, and we will experience non-ironic tender mercies along the way.

And when I think about that, all of a sudden now I get these little glimpses into the exciting future I'll soon have with my own burgeoning parenthood. Last night I imagined the fantastic potential of the little human growing inside of me, who I still haven't actually met in body and definitely haven't overtly met in spirit, the mostly clearly I've been able to since I first became pregnant. I literally imagined worlds, galaxies, universes inside of him, instead of flesh and bone. I saw a flash of the beauty of his eternal destiny, the worlds without end extant inside of him even prenatally. I saw a glimmer of eternity I never have before. I realized more fully that now my personal hopes, goals and desires are much more significantly to raise him to receive his own divine inheritance than ever before. I see my purpose through his, and it's deeply moving, deeply humbling.

Is this how our Heavenly Parents see us, but on an unfathomably larger scale? I have to imagine so. And that gives me so much hope.

Life moves quickly and unexpectedly and even wonderfully, I've learned once again. Maybe this time I'll remember. Probably not, but I can dream.

Monday, January 19, 2015


I am inexplicably terrible at keeping up with blogs and journals at this point in my life. 

In kindergarten I drew elaborate scenes giving form to my deepest thoughts, namely a series of pastoral images involving myself and a boy in my class married to one another and holding hands in a blossoming meadow. Through middle school I kept an embarrassingly thorough blog account of each and every one of my days of early pubescence—so thorough that each class period I attended had its own generally lengthy paragraph dedicated to the going-ons there, plus any extracurricular life; to this day, I still have friends liken it to the Georgia Nicolson book series and Gossip Girl. Through high school I must have gone through at least six thick journals to organize my thoughts and relieve the pressures and pains and romanticized joys ("He touched my knee by accident today!") of giddy, angst-ridden teenagerhood. Post high school, as I entered college at BYU and for some substantial time after I left for health reasons, I got hooked on Tumblr and posted more Legend of Korra gifs and moony personal posts than the rational human should be able to imagine.

But here we are, about six months from my last blog entry on this site, only just now updating. It's not that I haven't had time: I have been miserably pregnant and subsequently unemployed to keep my and my baby’s health in check for quite a while now, so I should have had ample opportunity to write and express myself. But instead, I have watched literally every episode of every season of Twin Peaks and The X Files ever made and accompanying movies for both, in addition to Orange is the New Black, House of Cards and the episodes of Damages, Pretty Little Liars, Scandal and Supernatural I got behind on. I knit about a third of a scarf. I did the dishes maybe twice, which considering my morning sickness, trust me, was a feat. But the most I ever wrote during that time period were thoughts brief enough to post directly to Facebook. In a way I regret my absence, because I'm sure blogging or even keeping a small handwritten diary of my life would have proven extremely cathartic to the serious depression I encountered, and I would have had a more accurate account of what pregnancy is like for me should I choose to reflect on it again in the future—plus, I have way too much to say now (as you can probably tell already).

I almost want to break this entry up into different posts, but I feel that would damage its fluidity, and for the first time in ages I have the desire and the courage to express the carefully hidden sentiments that have been weighing on my heart for far too long. Of course, I have had my unmatchably loving, patient, wonderful husband Rob as an outlet, and I've been fairly active in various Facebook groups for intermittent support outside of his, but I feel very strongly that it's time for me to go forward with myself publicly. Part of me is honestly terrified—terrified of wild misunderstanding, of judgment, of hurt, of well-meaning but patronizing advice, of all sorts of things—but no longer can I be as disingenuous to the world as I have felt for so long now, and I want others like me to know they are not alone. At this point, perhaps the title of this entry is beginning to make sense: I feel as though I am on an emotional and spiritual kamikaze mission right now. Each keystroke could be a nosedive.

So in humility I implore you, especially my active and traditionally believing friends and loved ones in the LDS Church, to read on only if you are willing to with an open mind, an open heart and an open spirit—and I know most of you will, but I beg all the same. I implore those of you with anger, animosity or a sense of derision toward your spiritually different and oft downtrodden brothers and sisters in the Church and in Christ to take a deep breath and step outside yourselves a moment to walk alongside me through the somewhat abbreviated journey expressed here in this post (that continues on every moment of my real life). I do not ask you to agree with me. I ask you only to love and respect me and the many more like me; to avoid othering and inaccurate terms, for example "wolf in sheep's clothing," "apostate," "contentious” and the cruelly callous “silly;" to accept that my spirituality and devotion to the will of the Lord is as valid as yours. To be more concise, I ask you only to sustain me as a fellow child of God earnestly seeking to do the best I can in pursuing my eternal worth and destiny. I am not trying to lead anyone astray, to incite rebellion, to frame the Church as evil or anything to that effect. Please do not misinterpret any strong words I may use for fighting ones. What is expressed here comes from the profoundest depths of my soul after much experience, introspection, study, prayer and temple attendance. My intentions are only a greater expansion of honesty and understanding and a desperate plea for charity, that greatest spiritual gift of all and the pure love of Christ, at what has proven to be the most trying period of my life on earth so far. I feel this hour is my personal Gethsemane, and oh, how I seek comfort.


Monday, July 7, 2014



For anyone who is just now visiting, you may notice that the last post I made before this one was from an entire year ago. Scroll down to its comments section, and you'll understand why I took the hiatus, though: Truly I have never encountered anyone so rude and antagonistic directly toward me as were so many of the commenters, and all because I decided to share a little acrylic/gel nail removal hack I discovered (and openly admitted was in no way the "correct" way to do it, only the cheapo way) in my second post ever at this url. I'm embarrassed to say that the incident really turned me off from blogging for a while--the anxiety I found with each notification of a comment made was even greater than that I tried to escape when I left Tumblr, and I soooooo didn't want to deal with it.

But here I am, trying again! Though it's funny, that, because I have a feeling the heft of what I'll be posting after this will be substantially more controversial than loosening old acrylic fingernails with dental floss: My intention is to renew this space as an outlet primarily for the recording of my journey through Mormonism and feminism and the wacky combination of the two I love so much. And I mean, we'll see how often I really end up posting, but I do intend to.

So here goes. Round 2. BE NICE, BLOGGERS.

Friday, June 7, 2013

How to remove acrylic or gel nails from home

Note: Do NOT attempt this with nails that have had a gel polish applied. Gel polished nails are different from gel nails, which are applied with a powder instead of a polish and are similar to acrylic nails.

A little over a month ago I got my nails did for the second time in my life. The first time was for my bachelorette party back in December, and during that outing I only used a regular polish and it chipped within a few days. The second time was for my wedding, and I was bound and determined to have nice nails that lasted longer than the drive from Utah to Nauvoo, so I went to a salon and had acrylic French tips and a gel powder sealant applied. And guess what! They looked really nice for a really long time.

And not long after we got home from our honeymoon, they started looking really, really bad. The regrowth showed beneath the polish line and above the fingertip, and the gel began to crack and separate from the natural nail. Today (and this is the straw that broke the camel's back) strands of my hair got caught beneath the gel layer at least five times before I'd finally had enough of it.

I'd already been planning for tomorrow to go to a salon to have my fake nails removed and a gel polish put on to protect the real guys after. But between an inability to braid my own hair without getting my fingers tangled in it and a very depressing bank account, I was at the end of my rope.

And then it came to me: DENTAL FLOSS.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Real. Adult. Blogging. ...Or something to that effect.

I've been an avid blogger in the past. A very avid blogger. In middle school, I ran what my friends have recently referred to as a "Gossip Girl blog" for my time--very in-depth posts about each and every school day with entire paragraphs designated to each class period, plus my home life, plus my fangirling over Lord of the Rings. In high school, I took a break because my dad cracked down on what information my family made available online to the public, and so I kept several (very emotional) journals instead. As I started college, I began microblogging on Tumblr, and suddenly I had to limit my posting queue to 24 posts a day so as not to overwhelm my followers; granted, many of these posts were gifsets of Doctor Who and Harry Potter, and yes, still Lord of the Rings, as well as one-liner nightblogging episodes, but there were also quite a few long, personal, thought-out posts and a hefty volume of responses to theological questions sent to my blog inbox.

Then suddenly a few months ago, I decided to take a break.

It relieved my husband (then fiance), mostly. But it really has relieved me, too. I don't need to spend what was sometimes hours scanning through my seemingly infinite dash each morning to catch up on what I missed the night before. I don't need to read through (or ignore) hundreds of angry diatribes on social issues other people seem so much more qualified to speak on than myself (or so, sooo much less, in some cases as well). I don't need to be wary of accidentally seeing really weird porn, even though the people I followed were usually pretty good about that stuff and I learned to use a tag blacklist. Instead, I find myself able to breathe online. And I still see enough pictures of cute animals and Jensen Ackles that I'm really not missing much from it.

Now, I know what you're thinking. "Well then, Evelyn, if your old blog was such a chore, why did you start this one up?" And that's valid.

I'm well aware that keeping a regular blog can be hard work, especially in a more "adult" format (like this) than I've grown accustomed to (Tumblr). I'm a little anxious about it. I hope I have enough solid material to write on, and I hope what I do write doesn't come off sounding like it's from 1) a pretentious snob or, even worse, 2) the fictional TAMN from Seriously, So Blessed! And I hope that while I am (...hopefully) writing to an audience that that fact doesn't take over for me. Because at its root, this is supposed to be a way for me to defuse my stress and reignite my creativity. This blog is for me. At first Tumblr was good for that, and its method was easy--but it was too easy; when a pastime became a timesuck became a stressful compulsion that was supposed to be an outlet of relaxation, it became a problem, and so I think my work is done over there. But anyway, here I am, trying again, and being incredibly self-aware about it.

Writing is healthy for me, and it's the best expression of self I feel I can give. And yes, in this blog I will probably still blather on about the Fellowship or the Golden Trio or Brothers feels, and admittedly there will be Pinterest fodder documented here as well, but... I'm excited about this, guys. I'm real excited. In the hubs's words, I am about to do some "real. Adult. Blogging." So humor me? This is going to be GREAT.