Sunday, March 18, 2012

To the person who didn't eat their pizza crusts. I'm trying to get over it.

One of the unfortunate things about the fact that we have to live with other people is that we are constantly at the mercy of other people’s choices. Which I suppose can be awesome when they do something like leave skittles in your hollowed-out calculus book, but can be seriously sucky when they do…a myriad of other sucky things that suck.

Scott Pilgrim pretty much says it best --

You kicked my heart in the butt (or for the unedited, and let’s be honest, funnier version, watch the movie).

So being at the mercy of other’s people choices means that you get hurt and it’s pretty much unavoidable unless you live by yourself on an island.
And then when your heart gets pushed over, all the conference talks about forgiveness are a lot more meaningful and dealing with it all becomes not so easy.
Forgiveness is probably one of the hardest virtues because it often feels like sacrificing yourself at the altar of vulnerability. Maybe that’s why forgiveness is often perceived as weakness. But forgiveness is different than getting trampled on and it takes some serious courage to let yourself be open enough to forgive.

But really this is what I decided; the world was never hurt by anyone being too kind. And no one ever lost any self-respect by forgiving someone. So it’s hard. And sometimes you might get screwed over because you’ve been too loving or too kind. And sometimes you might do someone’s dishes and they may never notice. But so what, you were loving someone… and that’s never a loss.

In the words of Mother Teresa…with one of my all-time favorite quotes:
"People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Growler

I would probably be remiss if I didn’t mention Abbie at least once.

Abbie is old now and most likely deaf. Her once energetic little body is knobby and trembles slightly whenever she walks. She runs into the wall and when she looks at me through cloudy eyes I see her as a crazy old lady with white hair who smacks her toothless gums while pointing her finger at me like she’s got something to be angry about.

Abbie is my dog, and I know it’s silly to be sentimental about animals, but I am, because I came home and suddenly she’s so old and senile. The vet thinks she had a stroke, and I wonder if an abrupt lesson in mortality is on its way.

Abbie likes to sit on my mom’s shoes and growl at anyone who comes near. She likes to rip open my presents when it’s my birthday. This morning when I took the 15-year-old on a walk she decided to have her morning constitution in the middle of the street, which the garbage truck promptly ran over. Oops.

Abbie, wearing her torn-up bed as a protective shell. It's normal.

Anyways here’s to the sometimes annoying canine whom I wheeled and dealed so hard for when I was eight. She growled at me when we went to go pick her up as a puppy. But I think we’ve gotten over that by now.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Nature is neat.

Spending time in the great outdoors makes me happy.

Take this for example:

That expression may look like a grimace, but I think that’s actually the face I make when I can’t floss because I’ve been camping. Really, I couldn’t be happier to be right next to this delicately (pun appreciated) fractured, eroded, and weathered Entrada Sandstone!

I just realized I’ve been to N.I.N.E. different national parks in the last two years.

Two things are common in park culture:

1. There are more Europeans than Americans.

2. Europeans carry walking sticks.

I’d like to comment on the latter first.

Dear Europe,

Walking sticks, really? You’re not even carrying a backpack, Moses. And you’re on a trail.

Love, non-sedentary Americans.

But here are my more important thoughts on the first:

Hello Americans, go explore your country! It’s so great! Eurotrash is outnumbering us on the trails of ours truly. When the Sierra and I went to the Grand Canyon last year, all of our friends back in Provo said they’d never been. But I think half of France has. I’m pretty good at math, so you can trust me that Provo is indeed closer to the Grand Canyon than France. What’s going on here, dear people? Just because it’s close, doesn’t mean it’s not cool…

And since nature’s cool … I think we could save it too. So while you’re here click on this cool link about clean energy! Being a tree hugger isn’t synonymous with crazy-socialist-PETA either, so don’t be afraid to say it.

Yep, here it is: my one true love that’s not going anywhere, at least for a few million years.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Why yes, I will.

Circa age 11, I discovered that the whole gum in your digestive system for 7 years thing is a myth. That’s because 7 years previous I had swallowed gum, very much on purpose, just because my mom told me not to. My gum ingestion was motivated by the desire for freedom. Sort of.

Motivation is important. There’s a million.5 ways to define people and I say that one way to define someone is by what motivates them. Perhaps on the surface you’re motivated by Reese’s Puffs, or by attention from boys, or by saving baby chimpanzees.

But if I were to make a huge generalization, I would say that the main motivators of the human spirit boil down to two things: freedom and love.

Freedom makes you want to think for yourself. Love makes you want to keep commandments and follow others. It seemed that the two were always at odds with one another until recently. Are obedience and freedom opposing forces?

(Probably not and here’s why)

If our main motivator is love . . . then the obedience/thinking for yourself thing falls into place. Because if I really love someone, I’m willing to sacrifice a little bit for them. So then it’s not like I’m a blind bandwagoner. I’m thinking for myself and I’m thinking that I love someone else more than me and am willing to do what they ask. Still very much free, just using my freedom to show love through obedience.

This puts my anti-establishment spirit at rest a bit. Because obedience doesn’t mean you aren’t thinking for yourself. It means you are thinking about more than yourself.

And a Merry Christmas to you.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

for the sake of camaraderie

Sometimes I find myself doing things I don’t actually want to do.
This one time, a car passenger of mine, rolled down the window and began snaking her hand up and down like her fingers were doing ski jumps.

“Don’t you like to do this?” Passenger says, phalanges flowing freely through the wind.

Me (thinking): No, not really. In fact, I wish you’d stop because if the car suddenly crashes right now we will be frozen in time as “those” people who do things like “that.”

Me (in actuality): “Sure,” while rolling down my window and watching my fingers unfold a life of their own.

Rolling down your car window and sticking out your hand is probably not a big deal; I get that. But there seems to be some things unavoidable, especially in the girl sphere, and it upsets me. Namely, like, such as, Bachelorette things and Twilight things and so on.
When faced with the opportunity to see a Twilight movie, I only had 2 options.

Do I . . .
a. Stay home, scowl superiorly, prove my point, and refuse to talk about it because that would only give it more attention (like I’m doing right now. Dang it. )
b. Go, swallow that pride, and “bond” with my sistas (speaking figuratively, not literally, although the literal sisters may apply here too)

Do I be antagonistic or agreeable? WHAT do I do??!! In this great contest of reason vs. feelings . . .

It’s a talent to stick up for things that are good while still letting people know they’re loved.
It is now that I have come to this conclusion:

People > points proven.

If our motive is really to help people and not push our own agendas, that’s good right?

Because it's hit me lately that Christ wasn’t crucified to prove a point, but to save people. It didn’t matter if no one saw and no one knew. It didn’t matter if the event was unrecorded and the rest of history went on quite naturally with this whole thing forgotten. We were rescued from our own destructive selves. That’s what mattered. Love is much more than a system of checks and balances.

So yes, stick your hands out my window dear car passenger, because you are more important to me than the stigma of hand wavers.

Love, Chloe.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I’ve been staring quizzically at my friend, who is not actually person, for quite awhile.
I think he changes his facial expression like every twenty minutes but all in all, his meaning his clear:
“Hi, Chloe. You suck at this. But I’m not going anywhere. Love you long time.”

My friend is the Decision. He sits glaring and not once has he ever blinked , even though I sit there sometimes squeezing my eyes shut, in hopes that when I open them, he is gone.

He’s never gone. I’ve realized I’ve got to do something about him.

I’ve been plagued with phantasmagoric mental states: Decision as it turns out, is a shape shifter. Occasionally he has blonde hair or occasionally he is a grad school or occasionally he is a crappy summer apartment.

The point is that he’s ubiquitous and entirely unavoidable, which I guess when you think about it, is kind of the point. Because if he weren’t ubiquitous and entirely unavoidable, well then I’d guess we wouldn’t really be souls. Just robots learning to perform a function. Because if everything in life could be fixed by reading the right things or going to the right places, wouldn’t we just be learning how to compute?
Ah. I guess that’s where the whole choosing thing (and closely related cousin: faith) comes in handy.

Someone wise once said: “In mortality, choice isn’t a goal, it’s a method.”

Which at first seems like a nice flowery phrase, but really it means so much. Choice is a method. Not a goal. So the point is not to have choices, but to make them! Cool! And scary!
Choices are not to be collected and put on a bookshelf, looked at and examined, until they are dusted away by the cleaning fairy. No sir. They are to be used. They are utensils.

So this is why I decided (oh!) Decision is my friend and not my enemy. Maybe he’s still the friend I love but don’t like . . . but I’m getting there.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Recurring Themes

So me and Sierra hit the road this last weekend for a camping trip in the Grand Canyon.

We were acting so grown up! Planning it all, fixing the car, having our own tent, oh man. We're like super adults now.

But of course, every vacation needs its indulgence. We had lots of Oreos (more of a staple than a luxury) but even splurged on some Dr. Pepper. It was Heritage Dr. Pepper. Real sugar and no syrup! Also, it comes with letters in a groovy font.

If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you see where this is going.

It was Sunday morning. We found a branch that met inside the Grand Canyon and we're all dressed up ready to go (evidence of grown up ness!) We were even ready for church EARLY. So we decided to put a few of those precious cans into the cooler for cold-keeping.

Sierra did it. She picked up on DP and dropped it. It bounced off the cooler. It exploded. Into the dirt.

Shrapnel splattered all over us -- a sticky combination of Dr. Pepper and mud all over our Sunday clothes.

As if the sight of two twenty-one year old girls walking around a campground in dresses wasn't weird enough, you could say we looked a a bit more funny.

I hope the Bishop didn't notice.