Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Multi-active Time, or I Think I Was Meant to Be Italian

My mom posted this great article on time to my Facebook wall the other day:

How Different Cultures Understand Time

As I read it, it became crystal clear to me that I view time like a Southern European. This, for example, resonated with me so strongly, that I decided to write a blog post about time as soon as I read it:
Spaniards, Italians and Arabs will ignore the passing of time if it means that conversations will be left unfinished. For them, completing a human transaction is the best way they can invest in their time. For an Italian, time considerations will usually be subjected to human feelings. [. . .] The business we have to do and our close relations are so important that it is irrelevant at what time we meet. The meeting is what counts. Germans and Swiss cannot swallow this, as it offends their sense of order, of tidiness, of planning.

When I was young, I was very much a planner. I was a slave to time and order and paid obsessive attention to schedules. At some point -- I don't know when -- I began to change, and my sense of time centered on conversation and relationships and building connections with people. To this day, I rarely cut a conversation short; if I feel like it's not done, I'll stay until it is and push all other appointments back.

This attitude gets me into sticky situations sometimes, and I find myself apologizing profusely or emotionally attacking myself with guilt over not using my time wisely. And yet. At the end of the day, I feel like I view time exactly how I should. Yes, I am constantly battling the pull of American Time, but I guess I wouldn't have it any other way.

At any rate, it's so nice to read an article like this -- an article that helps me go a little easier on myself. That lets me know that perhaps much of my struggle in life is because I'm an Italian trying to fit into an American world.

Thing I'm thankful for: sweatpants and hoodies

Thursday, October 15, 2015

I Melt With You

Watching Valley Girl makes me wish I had grown up in L.A. in the 80s. I probably would've been a Valley Girl, but I'd like to think I would've fit in Hollywood, with all its rough and tumble ways––and mohawks. Ohhh, the mohawks. Love 'em.

Here's the thing: If I had grown up in L.A. in the 80s, I probably would've had a chance to see Modern English play their hit song "I Melt With You." And then my life would have been complete. Just listen to it. Isn't it the best 80s song you've ever heard ever? And definitely in the Top 25 Songs of All Time.

Have a listen, and let it make your day.

Thing I'm thankful for: blood orange gelato in the middle of the night

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Three New Apostles

I'm a Mormon, and like every other Mormon, I was excited for this month's General Conference because three new apostles were going to be called! That hasn't happened for a long, long time -- since 1906, to be exact, and I felt like I was witnessing something big. So on Saturday afternoon, I walked with my friends to the North Visitors Center on Temple Square and made my way to the theater, where the broadcast was being shown on the big screen. It shouldn't have been a surprise, but I was shocked to see just how packed the room was. There were people spilling onto the floor and out into the hallway. I found a space at the front of the theater and sat on the floor in pain as I strained my neck to look up at the giant screen of Elder Eyring's face. This was the moment everyone had been waiting for. Who would the new apostles be???

Since this is a global church, I thought we'd witness unprecedented diversity. With nearly 4 million members in South America, we'd definitely get a Spanish- or Portuguese-speaking apostle. Or maybe with just over a million members in Asia, the next apostle would be from there. My dad suspected maybe there would be one from Africa. The possibilities were endless! And then.

Elder Eyring called the names of three white men.

It was an interesting moment in my mind, when Elder Rasband, Elder Stevenson, and Elder Renlund were called. For a second, I doubted that the existing apostles had gotten it right. Less than a minute later, though, I admitted to myself that I believe in divine revelation. That God had revealed to the brethren of the Church the names of three men who were meant to have an apostolic calling at this time.

I did think about it, though, for the rest of the day, and obviously, I'm still thinking about it now. Here's what I've come up with: How small-minded of me to think that 1) I know better than the brethren of the Church, and 2) The new brethren called aren't diverse.

It's that second point I want to emphasize because as a rule-following, sometimes-shy, never-trendy middle-class white girl, strangers and acquaintances in high school and throughout life often called me sheltered. They expected me to be a normal girl with typical thoughts and boring tastes. But I surprised them -- with my love of rock and roll, my openness to new ideas and varied perspectives, and my curiosity to learn about everything around me. I give nearly all credit for those traits to my parents and siblings, but the rest goes to the Deep South. I learned so much about life when my family moved from Oklahoma to Georgia, and I discovered that you can never fully judge someone's mind and heart by their physical appearance. And here I was this weekend, thinking that three white men fell short of the diversity mark. That they would be too normal, with typical thoughts and boring tastes.

Since Saturday,  however, I've seen lots of things online about just how diverse Elder Rasband, Elder Stevenson, and Elder Renlund are, and I suspect that many people had similar thoughts as me. I suspect that many people besides myself wanted to see more physical diversity in the new apostles.

I also suspect that naysayers and many non-Mormons wonder why I feel the need to correct my initial reaction to the announcement. I can hear them now: "Sara, you're simply justifying your faith and buying into a belief that you were taught as a child." And that's true. But we all do that on some level. The neat thing is that we can all constantly evaluate our faith and upbringing and decide whether they are things we want to continue to believe in and trust. For my part, I do.

Thing I'm thankful for: a good bed.