Archive for January, 2007

procrastination, mighty procrastination

Posted in blogging, Life, School on January 23, 2007 by drbolte

i should be reading the end of this article chronicling how the tourist literature of the 18th century contributed to the development of a kind of rabid tourism. i should be writing the annotated bibliography entry for it.  i should be cleaning my house in anticipation of a few high school juniors or seniors coming to stay with me.  i should be prepping for class tomorrow. i haven’t done the reading yet.

but i’m here, blogging, instead.

what’s new?

i wrote something last night that i had to rewrite three times before it got to be right-feeling to me.  i had planned it all out.  i even had the phrasing ready.

and then pffft.  nope.  not the right wording. i can’t explain it to anyone who hasn’t experienced it, but when you’re trying to say the right thing and you have a prayer in your heart, you gotta listen to the still, small voice.

i didn’t want to. i wanted to do it my way, to be selfish and articulate my concerns. because i really have them.

instead, i ended up being generous and understanding, with a dash of reticence that i think will be apparent to the person in question, because it’s pretty different.

i’ll tell you.  even though i’m glad that i did what i did, i grow tired at times of being generous and understanding. sometimes people should just show up–in every meaning of that term–and not rely on someone being generous all of the time.

but i digress.

i find it fascinating how, time after time, my best-laid plans are absolutely turned inside out by the Lord’s plans.  it was pretty clear to me last night that, for whatever reason, i absolutely had to take the high road. that’s what the Lord needed from me, and that’s what the person apparently needed as well.  i mean, i think i probably know why, but it doesn’t make it any easier on me.  me being magnanimous requires a lot of self-sacrifice.  apparently, that’s the Lord’s plan for me right now. or maybe He knows that i can do it, so i should.  i don’t know. but it wasn’t what i planned at all.

you’d think i’d learn.  that i’d stop making plans.  that i’d just roll with whatever He has in store for me.

but no. i keep on making the plans. keep on thinking i have a clue when it’s really clear i don’t.

funny.

i gotta get back to studying.  the internal clock to March keeps on ticking, reminding me that i have something like 14 books and 18 articles to read, dissect, and write about (not counting all of the fiction, poetry, and travel literature i have to read) before i can take my exams.

i think i’m going to have to learn how to operate without sleep.

postsecret

Posted in blogging on January 22, 2007 by drbolte

so i deleted my post about postsecret because they need to stop putting naked people on that site.  it bothers me.  a lot.

so, i’m done with it.  i think the thrill was gone anyway. too depressing for me.  it has changed, in tone and content, over the past few months. a  lot of unhappy people in the world, i guess.

just an fyi, in case you were wondering.

popular?

Posted in blogging, Life on January 21, 2007 by drbolte

i am addicted to the blog stats section of wordpress.

it tells me how popular i am in the blogosphere, which, by the way, is not much.  i, on my best day, got 24 hits.  but, you see, they graph these numbers that has a line that (occasionally) resembles a dying person’s heartbeat–up and down, sometimes more up than down–that only encourages the addiction.

see, a few days ago, i had a big blog day. today? two hits.

i certainly don’t gain any self-esteem from this section–i think it actually makes me nervous that more people are reading my blog, especially when i don’t know who they are (i think i only know, for sure, of three or four people who read it)–but it does motivate me to write.

today, i realized i hadn’t posted in a while. in order to get my numbers up, i post again.

funny.

it’s a double-edged sword.  you know how popular you are, or you know how completely unpopular you are.  i’m glad there’s not a parallel structure for real life.  i’m not sure that i could handle the results.

shattering illusions can come at a price–that being either a monstrously large ego resulting from realizing that you’re way more popular than you think or sadness from realizing that you aren’t.

i guess this is where my worst-case scenario thinking comes from.  i would rather be completely flabbergasted to be thought popular (which has actually happened lately) than deflated by the reality than i am not.

but i’ve been thinking lately that such an attitude, rather than just keeping me from deflation, keeps me from seeing what’s really going on as well, from seeing who i have become and recognizing the amazing miracle that is the me that i am now.  can worst-case scenario thinking create the worst-case scenario?

blank stares

Posted in School, teaching on January 19, 2007 by drbolte

i hate nothing more than blank stares in class.

i don’t get them a lot, but i got them yesterday as we were discussing one of my favorite poems.  i think it had more to do with the fact that it was thursday and, thus, a double period (really, only a few of us can take more than 60 minutes of deep literary analysis at a time).

but i still hate it.

there’s one student who seems almost condescendingly amused by me, as if somehow everything that i say she’s already heard and already knows.

grr.  that BUGS me.

because the reality is that, as i’m talking and leading discussion, i realize how much i know. i know a lot. the fact that i can, without worry or concern, talk intelligently about the influences of Romantic poets or of how the movement was a reaction to the neoclassicism of the 18th century? that’s crazy cool.

and i know more than them.

i’m not saying that to be smug (although it’s entirely true), but to highlight the fact that i do know more than they do. i may be young, cute, and fun in class–i like to keep my classroom environment lowkey–but i am no lightweight when it comes to teaching.

but i guess this always happens at the beginning of class.

once they get their first paper grade, they’ll realize i don’t mess around.

i just wish they loved what i loved!

such is the danger of teaching your speciality, i suppose, to undergrads.

admiration

Posted in Church, Life on January 18, 2007 by drbolte

forgive me if this seems self-indulgent but it’s what i’ve been thinking about.

we all have those people that we look at from afar and are like “wow.  s/he is great. i wish i was more like him/her.”  it’s not worshipful admiration, but just a deep sense of respect and a degree of, if not envy,  recognition of qualities that we aspire to have or to develop further in ourselves.

i’m no different. for the most part, i find those qualities in my favorite people.  so many people have something that i wish that i had more of–a knowledge of the scriptures, a confidence in individuality that disregards what others think, a stunningly beautiful ability to see the world uniquely, a really great sense of optimism, or a huge heart.  sometimes it’s purely physical–a sense of beauty and grace (or even fashion sense) that i wish that i could emulate or adopt.

please realize that i’m not talking about feeling badly about yourself when you see these people–because this kind of admiration is all positive, just a recognition of our potential and a motivation to work for it.  when we hang around people we admire, we become better people.

everybody has that in their lives.

the trippiest thing ever is to realize that you are one of those people for someone else.

that’s been the theme of this week–people telling me the effect that i have on them.  and it’s all been positive.  strangely, surreally positive.  qualities that i never thought i had–NEVER–are the ones that people are saying that they admire in me.

but it’s been so out of left field, but so completely an answer to a prayer that didn’t really have anything to do with seeing my good qualities but instead about how i can be a better friend, that i know that it’s true.  hard for me to believe–i believe some of it, but not all of it–but i know that it’s true.

the message seems to be for me to recognize that what i am doing already, in being myself, is good and valuable–much more than i recognize.  i was told once by someone that i trust that more people love me more than i think they do.

apparently that’s true.

it’s just weird, though, that i could be so flawed and yet have the capacity to do great good.   weird but nice.

lyrical expressions, part three

Posted in etcetera, Life on January 16, 2007 by drbolte

You can spend your whole life building something from nothing
One storm can come and blow it all away
Build it anyway
You can chase a dream that seems so out of reach and you know it might not ever come your way
Dream it anyway

God is great, but sometimes life ain’t good
And when I pray it doesn’t always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway, I do it anyway

This world’s gone crazy and it’s hard to believe that tomorrow will be better than today
Believe it anyway
You can love someone with all your heart, for all the right reasons, and in a moment they can choose to walk away
Love ’em anyway

God is great, but sometimes life ain’t good

And when I pray it doesn’t always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway, I do it anyway

You can pour your soul out singing a song you believe in,

that tomorrow they’ll forget you ever sang
Sing it anyway, sing it anyway

I sing, I dream, I love, anyway,

control freaking

Posted in Church, Life on January 15, 2007 by drbolte

so i don’t like not being in control.

this, i think, is not a mystery once you know me. i do better when i can plan things, when i can control the outcome. i don’t like mystery.

funny how my entire life is mysterious, then, huh? but that’s rather beside the point.

i am finding, strangely, that with my responsibilities come a great need to let go and let people do what they are going to do.

i don’t like it.

but i know that it is a lesson that i really need to learn.  i need to let go, to rest in the Lord.  i try to be patient, but do i really REST in the Lord?

i don’t think so.

being a leader is sometimes hard. to sit back and let people do what they are going to do.  if i feel this way, i can’t imagine how Heavenly Father feels when he watches all of us make stupid, shortsighted decisions every day.

He must mourn so much.

but i hope he takes comfort and joy in those that are valiantly serving him and doing their all. because i do.  it’s such a peace to know that there are people all around me who are standing up and making their lives a living testimony of their devotion to Him.

that’s remarkable and comforting and amazing.

just some thoughts i’ve been kicking around.  i wonder if i’m doing all i can, all i should, all i might.  i wonder if i’m getting the inspiration that i should be.  i wonder if i’m really close enough to the spirit.

i tell my best friend that he is everything that the Lord needs.  i believe that–that we are put in the place that we need to be, and He needs US to be who we are, the best that we can be, so that He can accomplish His works. for whatever reason, we are the people who need to do it.  i really know that’s true. having the opportunity to call people to callings, i see it is true. i can watch it manifested in their works–they are precisely the person that, for whatever reason, is supposed to be there for that reason.  their skills, their personalities, their gifts and ideas–they are all exactly what needs to be there.

i probably need to believe that more about myself.

homesick

Posted in etcetera, Life on January 11, 2007 by drbolte

i am missing the people who feel like home to me.

i am missing the people who love me the most.

a lot.

i don’t really understand WHY i am feeling the way that i am, but i am.

and i needed to say it out loud.

thanks for letting me.

should i be sad about that?

Posted in Church, Life on January 10, 2007 by drbolte

i was talking to one of my favorite people today in the institute, and we were talking about asking dads before proposing (he is recently engaged).

i said that i find that old-fashioned, which i amended to traditional.

i do. it’s not a pejorative term. but i do find it traditional to ask my parent whether or not it’s okay to ask me if i want to get married forever.

pretty sure i want the guy to ask me first.

someone else piped in and said that it’s asking for a blessing.

that’s great, but i’d like to be in on that conversation.

when i started talking about not asking my mom first (mom can’t keep a secret…which would mean that i would know before i should…), this person mentioned that he wouldn’t ask the mom.

to which i replied that i didn’t have a dad.

and he said “oh, i’m sorry.”

which sort of struck me as peculiar.

should i be sorry that i have an amazing mom who chose the hard road to get us out of a bad situation before i was even born? should i be sorry that the person legally considered to be my father really decided that it was better off if we never met?

because i’m not. i suppose i was before, when i went through what every child goes through, trying to figure out where they fit and how the people that should be in their lives but aren’t fit into that life. that was no fun. but now? i don’t mourn that absence at all. i am not bitter either.

it is what it is. it is what made me me.

perhaps i should be sorry that i don’t have a dad in my life. but i guess you don’t miss what you never had, and perhaps that’s why it struck me as peculiar that someone would pity me. because that’s what it was–pity.

i wanted to say “hey, don’t pity me. i have the most amazing mom in the world, a family who has taught me most everything i need to know about love and marriage and forgiveness and unconditional commitment, and i have the gospel which teaches me that i have the best Father i could ever have and that i can create an eternal family where there is a mom and a dad forever.”

but i didn’t.

until now.

1 John 4:18

Posted in Life on January 10, 2007 by drbolte

i’m trying to figure out what this scripture means.  i have yet to decide.

what is perfect love? what does it look like? i’m looking for an operating definition.

and if i fear, and i love, at the same time, does that mean that my love is not perfect?  i think that’s true. that much i do know.  because, honestly, if i truly loved someone, i would have confidence in them.  i would be willing to give that person my whole heart and fear not the consequences.

i’m not there yet.

in fact, i have been wondering if perhaps my heart is too hard or prickly for my own good.  i love…but i hold back just a little.  it’s almost as if i need someone to prove something to me before i’ll be all in.  i’m keeping back a few chips, hedging my bets.

(appropriately ridiculous gambling metaphor, yes?)

i’m working to put all my chips in.  not to throw them down indiscriminately, but to toss them in intelligently and with purpose.

it’s tough.  but i have to believe it’s worth it.