Sunday, February 27, 2011

and yeah, we're still mormon.

Everything I do in life is defined by the fact that I'm Mormon.

"I go to school in Utah." "Oh that Mormon school?"
"Jimmer Fredette, POY material?" "He's Mormon!"
"She doesn't drink she's Mormon"
"Hi, my name is Hannah" "YOU'RE MORMON."

Yeah. I am.

It's not like I'm ashamed of my faith, you know? My religion defines a lot of who I am and who I want to be. But getting past the "Mormon Girl" definition is difficult. I'm other things, too.

I guess I never noticed it before until a friend brought it up a couple of weeks ago. I'm so used to being That Mormon Girl that it hardly phases me. But since that conversation I've been paying more attention, and I cannot escape the stereotype. Yeah I live in Utah. I love it here. No I'm not going to be one of those sister wives, or whatever they're showing on TV these days (that's not how we roll here in Happy Valley anymore, gotta go down south for that). I go to church on Sunday and spend the rest of the week involved in various church activities. My family is Mormon, I'm going to marry a nice little Mormon boy someday and have lots of Mormon babies - what gives? I like other stuff too. Philosophy and theology, lets talk religion outside of Mormonism. Harry Potter, that's kind of a big deal to me. I love hiking and camping and being outside, I could talk for hours about my outdoor adventures. I like books. I like dance parties. I really love ice cream and otter pops and... shall I go on?

Everytime BYU beats SDSU in basketball, their student section chants "you're still Mormon!" as our team leaves the court. And yeah, we're still Mormon. And apparently being Mormon means you can't be good at basketball, and it means you don't know how to have fun or live in the real world. This Jimmer Mania has added a whole new dimension to the apparent shock people have when they realize Mormons can do things too.

Maybe I'll always be Hannah the Mormon Girl. Probably. But I hope that stereotype changes from the weird cultural stigmas my religion has to and understanding of what being Mormon really means theologically. (Yeah - a girl can dream, right?).

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sometimes we give our hearts to people who don't really deserve it.

But that's part of life, isn't it? Allowing yourself to become vulnerable in order to build a relationship. Kierkegaard said the only way we actually deceive ourselves is if we do not love. I never liked Kierkegaard's Works of Love, and on this Valentine's Day I hate it even more. It seems unfair. You know how much easier my life would be if I just gave up and became a nun?

I was crying on my bedroom floor this afternoon, thinking about all of this. Then, as I was literally giving up, I was reminded about the real meaning of love. You know, the kind that keeps you safe and comfortable, the kind that stands up for you and cheers you on, the kind I think Kierkegaard was really trying to get at.

My friends pulled me up off the floor, shoved ice cream in my face and helped me remember that there are a lot of people who come and go, but the right ones will always stay. That's so painfully cheesy, but I'm the luckiest girl in the world because I'm surrounded by genuine love. Real friendship, a family that I got to choose myself. There is nothing on this earth that could ever replace the genuine concern we have for each other. I'm rambling, but I really needed to remind myself (and everybody else ) that no matter how hard it seems right here, right now, I never have to go it alone.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

some philosophy

"What is our course, and what is our means of flight? We should not rely on our feet to get us there, for our feet just take us everywhere on earth, one place after another. Nor should you saddle up a horse or prepare some sea-going vessel. You should put aside all such things and stop looking; just shut your eyes, and change your way of looking, and wake up. Everyone has the ability but few use it...For no eye has ever seen the sun without becoming sun-like, nor could a soul ever see beauty without becoming beautiful. You must become wholly godlike and wholly beautiful if you intend to see god and beauty." - Plotinus

I've been thinking a lot about this idea of ridding oneself of the body and the senses in order to reach the divine and complete the process of theosis. I've been studying this idea in the light of neoplatonism recently, but it shows up everywhere. Mormon theology puts such an emphasis on the body, how it is a temple and that we should care for it, which seems to contradict the idea above. But, I don't know if it does completely. Don't have any conclusion to present, really. Just some thoughts that have been bouncing around my head the past few days.