About a week and a half ago, I packed up my desk, shut off my lamp, and locked the door to the office building for the last time. I knew this day was a possibility from the moment I decided to apply for the MBA program, but I didn’t realize what a punch to the gut it would be when it actually came. I baked cookies and brought them to the office that last day, hoping that the literally sweet parting gift would take some of the bitterness away from the experience. It was a nice, yet insufficient gesture.
I had worked at the advertising agency for a little over two years. As my first “real job” out of college, I can still remember my newly graduated, 23 year-old self accepting the offer and gaping over the reality of things like salaries, sick days, and business cards. I loved the rush of independence I felt, knowing that I could support myself without the aid of my parents or my (as yet nonexistent) spouse. I was a working woman, ready to soak up the business world and all its wonders while stacking up years of experience. Continue reading
I grew up Protestant and was taught a somewhat different view of Jesus than the one most Mormons hold. Though I eventually decided Protestant doctrine was too full of holes to feed my spirit adequately, on this point about Jesus, I think they have it right. We talk a lot in the LDS church about “coming to Christ” and fully recognize His role as our Savior, but it has always puzzled me that many Mormons seem wary of phrases like “born again” or “baptized by fire” or “having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ” even though our scriptures are full of such phrases and it is clear Mormon doctrine that we must be born again to truly belong to Christ. Continue reading
I have been recently called to serve as the Young Women’s president in our ward. I’ve never been a president of anything before, and the bishop took some time with me to talk about the calling, the ward, and some general ideas about the church.
We talked about inspiration, and how we know when inspiration comes. My husband and I have a catchphrase in our home: “The Church is inspired enough”, which is basically our way of saying, “People in the church screw up, don’t panic, it’s not the end of the world, they are not bad people, keep moving forward.” But the bishop pushed me a little bit on that, asking how I decide when something is inspired or not. I didn’t have a great answer for that, and told him so. I admitted that I am often left wrestling and reconciling and thinking and pondering and festering. (Oh the festering!)
And then he said, “The church has to be more than just a good idea. Otherwise it’s just too hard.” Continue reading
Today I moved into a new house marking the end of a full summer long move, and while I’m too jumbled to offer you a full post or even any post before eleven o’clock at night, Pacific Time, I’ll still give you a bit of that mess in a first draft poem. This day is too sweet, too sweaty and too dense with work and joy to not record at least a few lines.
Tomorrow and the next day and the weeks ahead
I will open box after box and again,
tunneling through our past, unwrapping:
my grandmother’s plates,
pictures of my once pink, rubberband-wristed babies,
and so, so many books I’ve read or meant to.
How do you know you’re home?
I was pregnant with my first child and in graduate school when I read Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique. As I listened to my classmates, mostly older mothers, talk at length about the sense of malaise they’d felt when their kids were young, I thought it would never happen to me. I would never fall prey to “the problem that has no name.” I was educated. I had chosen to become a mother, so certainly I would not be one of those women who ferried cub scouts all day and lay in bed at night wondering, “‘Is this all?’”
Fifteen years later, it’s my preoccupying worry.
A few years ago, I won a writing contest, and got a check for $50 in the mail. I didn’t want to cash it; I wanted to frame it. It’s the only time I’ve ever made money for my writing. It was both incredibly gratifying to be paid and a little bit depressing to see that the sum total of years of my work is less than my husband could make in an hour. Marriage isn’t a competition– I know that. But it still rankles. Continue reading