Thursday, October 04, 2007

i'm more the way i used to be now than i was when i used to be the way that i am

I used to be afraid of…being alone. Now I enjoy the times when I am on my own, but that might be because I am so aware that even when I’m in a room by myself I am never alone.

I used to hate…eating yogurt. I even had coworkers open the container and mix it up for me because having to do that was so revolting that then I wouldn’t be able to eat the yogurt at all. Then, this summer, I discovered fresh blueberries and Activa vanilla yogurt. Now it is the highlight of my lunch.

I used to refuse to eat…beets. Then I discovered them looking all fancy at a salad bar and gave them another shot. They aren’t so bad. And then I went to dinner at my friend Ann’s house, and she made the yummiest beets that didn’t even need salad dressing to help them out. Yum. And now I will eat them whenever they are served.

I used to dream of…being chased through a corn field by people who wanted to kill me. I haven’t had that dream in years, but it was so terrifying, and so common in my youth, that I can still remember it vividly.

I used to be friends with…some of my former roommates. But living with me didn’t turn out to be the non-stop party that they thought it would be and things ended badly. I wish that I could go back and behave differently, and make more of an effort to be nice all the time, but I can’t. And, unfortunately, those people will never come back into my life, and I will never be able to tell them how sorry I am.

I used to get angry when…Somebody didn’t follow my strict rules of where things go in the bathroom. It would annoy me when his toothbrush was on the wrong side of the sink, or he didn’t put the gel away, or for any number of tiny details that I get uptight about. And then I heard a talk at a stake conference and the women was talking about a very similar situation in her house where her husband would leave things out and she would get angry at him every day for it. Basically her resolution was, “Do I want this annoyance to go away so badly that I want him to go away?” And the answer, obviously, is no. No, if having a clean countertop meant that Somebody wasn’t in my life, then I want a dirty countertop every day. Thinking that has made a big difference and has released me from my bad habit of wishing he would just change the way he did things. Now I am much more likely to just notice an out of place item and smile and be glad that he is there to mess up the bathroom.

I used to believe…that the opinion of others mattered. And then I graduated from high school. Now I know better than to try to hide who I am to fit in and be accepted by others. And besides, I think we all know now that high school doesn’t mean anything at all.

I used to avoid…taking out the trash. It is one of my least favorite jobs. I would always beg my roommates to take it out. One time, at a charity auction, I even bought the service of someone coming to my house for a week to take out the trash. Then I lived on my own for a while and was forced to take out the trash because there was no one else to do it. And then I got married and I was able to pass that chore along to someone else again. So now it’s not so much that I avoid it, it’s more of a trade-off in responsibilities. He takes out the trash, and washes the dishes, and cleans the floors, and I make yummy dinners and give him lots of kisses.

I used to think love was…all about making the other person happy, even if it meant not being true to who I was and what I wanted. It meant insecurity, doubt, and games. Now I know that love is all about security and trust. And doing things to please the other person comes naturally because you know what makes them happy, and seeing them happy makes you happier than you could make yourself without them.


Janssen said...

Jennifer, your posts just make me happy. And I'm so so so glad to be your friend.

Also, I'm thinking of five things to vent about tomorrow, and I'm a bit worried that my keyboard will die from the intense pounding I already forsee. For I like to rant. You can be SURE that capital letters will be involved.

Becca said...

Awesome post. You are a good writer. And ah, those wonderful days of high school....why must we all go through them?