Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Can't Seem to Find that Place Called Neverland

"Every time a child says, 'I don't believe in fairies,' there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead."

-Peter Pan

I really like the story of Peter Pan. I saw the musical once, and seeing it live was absolutely wonderful. I'll admit, I can be quite the nerd when it comes to literature/history/art. I'm not ashamed. But seriously, I think I was happy for days after I saw the live performance. There's just something about going to a world where you can stay young and innocent forever and fly about with fairy dust that gets me.

As wonderful a story as Peter Pan is, I'm afraid there is no Neverland. Some people seem to search for that forever youth and never find it. No, botox and plastic surgery are not the least bit close to finding Neverland. Michael Jackson's amusement park doesn't count either. Sometimes I think going to Neverland would be a nice thing. Let me tell you why. . .

I am not the least bit afraid of growing old. I loved being a child. But I also love where I'm at right now. I have no doubt that I will also love being 50 when I'm at that point in my life. But there is just something about the innocence of children that gets me. When you are a kid, you have dreams bigger than life itself and nothing can stop you. And kids never really get sad. They don't have a worry in the world. The biggest worry a kid might have is if they fall down and scrape a knee.

As I get older, I realize there is more to worry about. I've especially been worrying about others lately. There are many people in my life that I grew up with, who are struggling with different things. These are people I scraped knees with as a kid. But these people are scraping up a lot more than just knees nowadays. I am the kind of person that thinks I need to do something to save people. But I am learning that saving others is not my job. They can make their own choices. It's not up to me. After all, I have my own choices to worry about making. But I'm always here if anyone comes to me, needing me.

I was having a discussion with one of my very good friends and she said,

"Kels, we can worry all we want and it might not change anything. Except make us do a lot of worrying. You can't change what a person is doing. It's up to them to choose to change. They have to decide for themselves."

She's a wise friend, and I knew she was right. I cannot make another person's choices for them. That might be pretty dangerous, actually. But what I can do. . . .is clap.

In the live performance of Peter Pan, there is a scene that is my absolute favorite. This is when Tink is dying and Peter turns to the crowd, desperately trying to save her. He speaks to the audience, saying,

"Do you believe in fairies? If you believe, clap your hands; don't let Tink die."

The audience then begins clapping, softly at first, until it grows to an overwhelming applaud.

I believe. I still believe in my friends that are messing up. And I'll keep believing and clapping for them until they, in a sense, come alive again.

"When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies."

-Peter Pan

Monday, August 23, 2010

If Music Be The Food of Love, Play On.

It amazes me how powerful music is. And I love it. I love music, and I love it's power. It can totally take over a person's emotions. It can be healing. It can boost a person's esteem. It can make a person break down and cry. And one of my favorite things about music, is how it can make you remember. . .

I had a fun time this past weekend. Brian took me to Bear Lake to stay in a cabin with a bunch of his friends from high school. It was great to finally meet them all. And even though we were the only not married couple there, I managed to fit in somewhat. After a few days of the fun at Bear Lake, we drove back to Logan and went to a baptism. All baptisms are special of course, but this one felt very special. One of the Ethiopian girls that got adopted and now live in Logan, got baptized. From there, we went to Brian's house and we were in a boat parade! It took place at night, and all the boats were decked out with lights! Amazing!

Even though everything about this weekend was a good time, I very much enjoyed mine and Brian's time on the road together. It was his job to drive Danger Ranger from point A to point B. It was my job to pick the music. Brian and I both love music, which makes driving with the tunes blasted a guaranteed good time. We both get excited about the songs that come on and we sing them together like it's nobody's business. After all, what really sealed the deal with me falling for Brian was the night I learned he could play the guitar. And sing. Well. But that's a whole different story for another day. . .

The interesting thing about our concert in the truck though, was when I'd put on a song I loved. . .and Brian didn't know it. I was in shock with a few of the songs. I listened to some of them constantly in high school. But while I was in high school, Brian was doing that little, two-year mission thing. And they don't really get to listen to music on those. Unless it's like church related or something. I told him I'm going to make him a mix of all the awesome songs that he's missed out on.

It's funny how different people have their music (their is a goofy word, by the way). And it's funny how you can hear certain songs, and they take you back to a certain memory. Instantly.

Boston by Augustana
My first date. . . If you know this song, you'll guess that my first date must have not been the greatest thing to ever happen. I've heard worse stories about first dates. But mine was definitely awkward. I had the hugest crush on the boy I went with too, so it was a pretty sad experience. I remember as we were sitting in the Mexican restaurant, eating our food, this song came on. There were hardly any people in the restaurant, so you could hear the song nice and clear. . She said I think I'll go to Boston...I think I'll start a new life,I think I'll start it over, where no one knows my name. Yep, that sounded about right. I wanted to get far away from that restaurant I was sitting in. As far away as Boston even. I tried not to cry as I picked at my burrito and listened to the sad song about escaping. That cute boy didn't talk to me again after that date. Until years later. But my sixteen-year-old taste had changed after 3 years when he came back when I was 19.

Fireworks by Plain White T's
Hurdle races. . . Mmmm, hurdle races. I listened to this song before every high hurdle race in high school. It did wonders for me. With volleyball and basketball, I never got the least bit nervous. Track was a whole different story. It could be the day of a small track meet where I knew there wouldn't be much competition. . .and I'd still be sick all day at school. I got crazy uptight before my events. People knew to just steer clear from me. You just don't want to talk to Kelsey when she's in the zone. This happy song always calmed me down a little. I could still hear it ringing in my ears after the gun would go off. I would explode from those blocks just like some fireworks, and try my best to tear through those hurdles.

White Houses by Vanessa Carlton
I think she wrote this song for me. . . This song is about losing people you love, losing a part of yourself, and losing your innocence. Maybe you were all faster than me. . We gave each other up so easily. . These silly little wounds will never mend. I feel so far from where I've been. So I go, and I will not be back here again. I'm gone as the day is fading on white houses. I lie, put my injuries all in the dust. In my heart it's the five of us. In white houses. The summer I first heard this song (summer before my senior year) was the summer that two of my best friends moved away for college, the summer my heart got torn out and stomped on, and the summer I forgot who I was a little bit. And there were five of us friends. And the song takes place in summer too. It's kind of ironic, really.

If You Wanted a Song Written About You, All You Had to Do Was Ask by Mayday Parade
A night I was really drugged, and really ticked off. I had just gotten my wisdom teeth out, and those that encountered me during that time can back me up on the fact that I was very goofy. It was the first time I'd been on any kind of pain relief besides your basic pain relief medicine. And boy, did that stuff work like a champ. I can remember little parts of what I said and did, but not everything. But I've heard stories. Two things that don't mix well, I learned, are drugs and boys. I had been dating a few boys, just having fun before I went to college, but there was one that I really liked. The big problem with us was that we were a lot alike. We played head games with each other like mad. And I discovered I liked doing the playing lots more than getting played. He was just about to leave on his mission, and he promised me that he'd come see me after I got my wisdom teeth out. Well, he lied. I was out and about after my teeth were out. I wasn't swollen at all. Just goofy and sometimes emotional. So I went to the fireworks in Preston with my family and my sweet Shayla. The boy was also there. With another girl. As we were getting ready to leave, I was mad. I don't know everything I said and did. But I was told later that we ran into some of his friends and his little brother, and I told the brother, "Tell your brother I hate him." I don't really remember all that rage, but I do remember this song coming on and yelling at my mom to turn it up louder. And louder. And louder. And I hope this makes you happy now that the flame we had is burning out. And I hope you like your pictures facing down, as even broken hearts may have their doubts.

I could do this forever. It's kind of fun. But I'll just do one more, so I don't bore the couple people out there kind enough to read my blog.

God Love Her by Toby Keith
A boy dedicated this song to me once. I'm not even joking. I've never had a real sweet, beautiful song dedicated to me by boys I dated. It was always songs like this one. But I actually take a little bit of pride in this particular dedication. I remember the boy saying, "I've been listening to this song all weekend, and it totally makes me think of you." I'm pretty sure I laughed out loud. And I still do everytime I listen to it, might I add. You better believe I downloaded it off iTunes the day after he had me listen to it. She holds tight to me and the Bible on the backseat of my motorcycle. So I'm a good girl that likes to have fun. And sometimes I do unpredictable things. I think I can live with that.

Music can change the world because it can change people.


Thanks Bono. You're the man.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mask of Insecurities

Matthew 5:44

"But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you"

I remember reading this scripture for one of the many tasks in my Young Women Personal Progress and thinking,

"That sounds impossible."

Turns out my mom thought I should just make the impossible possible, because she wrote this scripture down along with the words,

"Seriously pray for someone you struggle getting along with for one month."

I'm pretty sure my magical, little pamphlet said I only had to do it for one week but my mom decided on one month. Oh joy. She probably figured this would be a good way for me to figure out how to get along with a certain girl at school that was really frustrating me. Just plain getting on my nerves actually.

Seriously, there aren't many people I don't get along with. I like the majority of the human race that I've met. But I just had issues with this girl. For some reason that I have yet to discover, she just wasn't fond of me. Once upon a time, I had tried being her friend. She didn't want anything to do with me. I figured that out after several dramatic experiences later. So easy to say, she didn't like me. And I'd grown to not be too crazy about her either.

I knew I would be praying for this person for the next month. There weren't any other people I could think of that I would describe as my enemies.

So I did it. Not very sincerely at first. I would pray for her in the morning (because I had to) and as I brushed my teeth, I would stare at that stupid paper on the mirror and want to tear it down. But as the month went on, I started to take the task more seriously. I found myself praying that I could understand her and be blessed with patience for her. Then I started to see her not as the brat I'd seen her as in years past, but as a girl with low confidence. She was just a girl trying to be perfect for her parents and struggling to have any close friends. I started to feel bad for her. I even stuck up for her a couple times when other girls were talking rudely about her. Needless to say, she still didn't like me. But that was ok. That didn't matter to me so much anymore. I had discovered her reasons for being such a mean girl. And I felt bad for her.

I wish this story had a happy ending where I became best friends with this girl, but it's not one of those stories.

I honestly can't even say I grew to like the girl.

But I can say, I learned to understand her.

It's much easier to learn to love a person if you can understand the reasons they are the way they are.

Yesterday, Brian and I listened to The Phantom of the Opera soundtrack on our way to Logan from my house. I wish I could say I picked it out. But I didn't, he picked the cd out all on his own. I love The Phantom of the Opera though. I will never forget seeing it on Broadway. I felt like a little girl that had just gotten a pony for my birthday. I never got a pony for my birthday by the way. If parents do really get their little girl a pony, they better realize they might end up raising a girl that everyone thinks of when they read Matthew 5:44. Just sayin.

We're on our way to Phantom. Just roamin around NYC. :)

I always feel so bad for the Phantom though. Yes, he's a creep. I know. . .he brainwashed Christine just a little bit. Ok, a lot. He just has strange ways of showing his love for her. Because no one ever taught him how to love. He was hated and despised as a child. He was never a child that was held in a warm embrace. No one ever read him a good night story, tucked him in, and kissed him on the head. We would all be creeps too if we were treated the way people treated the Phantom. He has lots of problems that he tries hiding behind his mask.

I know it's hard to do, but I'm going to try harder to understand people that frustrate me. You never know what the person next to you is going through. They could just happen to be having the very worst day of their life. You never know. They could be hiding all kinds of bruises and hurts behind a mask. Maybe they just need some love, and they'll realize they don't need to hide behind a silly mask after all.