Bible Scholars, Whales, and Elf Kings

October 26, 2013

That title is a cryptic alternative to “My week at a glance.” It’s been one dang exciting week, if you can’t tell.

This week I finally paid off my graduation fee, and then I nearly screamed, because I JUST PAID OFF MY GRADUATION FEE. WHICH MEANS IT’S HAPPENING. WHICH MEANS…I DON’T WANT TO THINK ABOUT IT.

I’m more frightened than I’d like to think about what will happen when I graduate. The most pressing issue is the thought of all of the people I’m beginning to love who I will then have to leave. I can’t begin to tell you how heartbreaking that thought is.

Moving past that, I’m suddenly having dreams of living in an apartment in New York City and working for a publishing company while I write on my free time. I love peace and quiet, but there’s something attractive about the idea of living where everything almost does too much living. Do I do that after graduation? I don’t know. I don’t know that I could afford it or that it would even be possible, but some part of me wants to experience it once.

This week I also passed a midterm that I passed solely by the mercy of Heavenly Father. Seriously, last week, when I took it, I was a few minutes late to take it and only because I had just finished a paper that was due at the same time twenty minutes previously. I’ve dubbed stupid accomplishments like this “Ari Stylin’ It.” I Ari Style It waaaaay too much.

This week I read the first romance I’ve read in two years. There is a very good reason why I have avoided reading romances, namely that the 14-year-old me rears her pitiful face at me, and I’m immediately put out by everything. My biggest problem in life is not that I have too many books, but that when I read, I get so sucked into what I’m reading, detaching me becomes dangerous. I guess that’s why I typically stick with nature writing and nonfiction these days.

This week, speaking of books, I bought a TON. I bought Brave New World because a quiz told me that my personality type would like it, I bought a kitchy romance written by a Utah native whose husband is friends with one of my Facebook friends, I bought the upcoming Hyperbole and a Half book, written by a girl whose blog I absolutely adore and envy. Read it here: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/. I bought detective fiction, a book about temples, a book about Mark Twain’s best essays…it’s gotten to the point where I no longer have room in my room for things. I complained about not having room for my clothes the other day and my mom was like, “Says the girl who orders more books than her shelves can hold.” Touche’, Mom, touche’.

This week I learned the valuable fact that most people are ten times more amazing when you get to know them. They draw and they play games on whiteboards, and they play Uno stretched out on a table. They dance and they sing and they throw around inside jokes and they laugh at things that nobody else would understand. They are afraid but they are strong and they are determined. They love with abandon and they hurt, too, even when you cannot see it. They’re just beautiful. People are beautiful.

This week I met one who loves and knows more about the Bible than I may ever know and love. She was sweet and kind and humble, but her intelligence was astounding to me. Absolutely astounding.

This week I had an eye-opening moment when I realized that no matter how much makeup I have or hair on my face or which way my scraggled eyebrows twist, I am still a daughter of God. Those things enhance, but they do not change our beauty. Beauty is something solitary that works in its own internal sphere. So when I got my eyebrows waxed and my face burned and I sat in the corner laughing about the pain, I also realized that the best part about me is that soul that finds the need to be amused. She’s what’s important, not what my face looks like.

This week I drove at least two or three cars that have serious problems, and instead of being overly frustrated with my Heavenly Father, I was able to laugh, because this is my life.

This week I watched a documentary about orcas and how SeaWorld strips them of their offspring in captivity and how one mother whale had her child taken to a new park, and she just sat in a corner for weeks, screaming and crying out for her child. And even though I went to SeaWorld when I was eight and I was in awe of the whole place, I don’t know that I would ever go again after watching how they treat these animals, how these animals and their aggressiveness have been handled in the past. It sickens me.

When I think about that, I realize that I’m more of a granola than I sometimes think I am. I would live in the mountains under the stars so quickly if I could. I would move to Washington and watch these beautiful whales leap and play in the wild, uninhibited and free. That’s how they were created to be — free. That’s how we were created to be, too, which is why the idea is so attractive to me.

This week I thought about how much I love my job, how hard it would be to leave it. The people are amazing, and I think they always will be. And even though I really hate donuts most days now, it’s worth it to know that I can work at a place that values me and my contributions.

This week I worked on my Halloween costume, which I realized is way too high maintenance. It usually is because I just want to go all out with it. Sigh. But here’s a small peek:

This week I learned about fear and how I must go and do what scares me. So I’m going to try. I’m going to try so hard that I may end up hurting myself in the process, but it will be worth it to say that I can overcome the things that scare me.

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