19 August 2011

A Provo Parting

After 6 years, tomorrow I will finally depart Provo, UT.

Everything is packed, and I mean packed, into every corner and crevice of my car. Somehow, I managed to make it all fit. I've cleaned, sorted, organized and de-cluttered for weeks (albeit sporadically). The bike rack I bought and assembled is (persumably) securely attached to the trunk of my car with my bike (hopefully) safely in place (a miracle in and of itself). I've tried my best to say a few goodbyes and tie up loose ends. And now all I have to do is get in the car and go.

I will wake up in the morning and leave as early as I can to make the 12 hour drive to my parent's home in Tucson, AZ as safely and smoothly as possible.

I will sit behind the wheel of my poor little car, crammed with more junk than I ever thought it could hold, and I will drive like hell, and hope that I'll make it out of Provo before I'm too afraid to go and before I try to change my mind or go back or before I let myself cry so much I can't see the road.

Because it's time to go. Because I have to. Because, as much as I hate change and goodbyes and not knowing when I'll be back or when I'll see some of these beautiful people who I love so much again, I know that now it is time to move on and do something new. Because Provo has been so good to me, but I've gained what I came here to gain, and so SO much more, and I am finally ready to see what another little corner of the world can teach me.

And so, Provo, farewell.

10 August 2011

Very nice indeed.

Yesterday I went to the Utah State Capitol Building, and I was completely captivated!

There were the impressive columns carved out of smooth, cool, gray marble, decorated with intricately carved flowers; paintings, new and old, depicting various scenes from Utah's history; huge, solid stone statues representing immigration & settlement, land & community, science & technology, art & education; grand doors and winding stair banisters all of a deep, rich mahogany; the ceilings were laced with gold and accented in pale pink and blue; busts of famous people, from Abraham Lincoln to the first man to invent TV, Philo Farnsworth, and many in between lined the halls; there were even recycling bins, which bolstered my hope for Utah's future significantly (in Provo the anti-recycling bug has a firm grip... maybe other parts of the state are doing better. One can only hope!).

But, of course, my favorite part of all was the display detailing the history of women's suffrage in Utah. As we know, women were not granted the right to vote nationally in the United States until 1920. However, in Utah women first officially gained the vote in 1870. This right was revoked later (in 1887) by the federal government in the Edmunds-Tucker Act, and was not reinstated until Utah was officially granted statehood in1896, at which time the vote for women was included as part of the state constitution. This makes Utah one of the first states to officially adopt women's suffrage. Pretty awesome!

I enjoyed that little history lesson, as well as learning a bit about some of the strong female voices in Utah during that time--Emmeline B. Wells, Martha "Mattie" Hughes Cannon, Seraph Young, Ruth May Fox and others. Aside from fighting for the vote, voting and even being elected into the state legislature, these women also set a standard, as have women throughout the United States and the world, for those of us who benefit from their legacy. These women exemplify the bravery, strength, hard work and determination that we should all have in standing up for our rights and the rights of those around us! I am inspired by the suffragists from all parts of our country and the world, and it is exciting to know a bit about a few from my current home in Utah! These are some pretty upstanding ladies! I kind of love them.

In this picture, suffragettes in Utah sit with Susan B. Anthony!

06 August 2011

Running lessons

I hated, hated, running when I was younger. From elementary school through high school and beyond. I loved swimming (even though it was hard for me too sometimes) but running- it just wasn't going to happen! So it was strange, about a year and a half ago, when I happily agreed to train for a half-marathon with two of my friends.

It was stranger still that I actually ran the race, and liked it.

Now, I'm training for another half marathon. This time I will run with my aunt. And this time, I haven't been training as well I should have.

So today, when I should probably have been running 8-9 miles, it was a struggle to make myself complete the 5 1/2 or so miles that I ran. But, during that hour this morning, I remembered an important lesson that running has taught me:
You can do it!

Simple, right? But the funny thing about running is that I always think I can't make it. Yet I do. I always think I'm going to have to stop. But when I don't leave myself that option, I don't stop. I run all the way home, and I think, that wasn't so hard!

I've learned that, when running, the most important part is just to keep going. When you feel like you have to give up, don't, because, pretty soon, it doesn't seem so hard any more. It's like something in your brain just decides to let you go. You stop feeling, or thinking about, being in pain or being tired or hot or thirsty or anything else. It's amazing!

And, for me at least, the pain comes back. And on a long run I'll have to "just keep going" time and again before I reach the end. But every time there are hidden stores of energy that I somehow tap into when I just make myself go onward a little longer.

I've learned and relearned that lesson many times while running. And while it doesn't really get easier to keep going--I always get tired!--when you know that you can do it, because you've done it before, it does get easier to tell yourself to push on a little further. And it works. You keep going. You finish. And it's awesome!

What I haven't learned yet is to apply that lesson in other aspects of my life. I give up too fast. I don't push myself hard enough. As soon as I hit the first road block I just turn around and limp lamely home (metaphorically speaking, usually). But if running has taught me anything, I should know that as soon as I get over that bump in the road, I'll be thrilled to see how much easier things seem, if only just for a moment. And it's worth it! No matter how hard it feels, it's worth it in the end to know that you not only go where you wanted to go, but that you made it through every obstacle in your way, even when it seemed impossible. It's worth it to know that you are capable of "impossible!" It starts to feel like anything might be possible... I mean, if I can run a half marathon-- me, run a half marathon!-- what else can I do?

That's how I want to live. I don't want to give up when it's hard. I don't want to stop trying because I'm afraid I wont make it to the end. I want to do my best and work my hardest and tell myself every step of the way, you can do this! Because I can. We all can. We just have to believe it's possible when it is the hardest to believe.

It's a miracle... just like me running!

04 August 2011

A new lens

Photographer James Mollison created a book capturing a piece of children's lives by showing where they sleep. It is an intimate look into the way children live in various parts of the world. These pictures speak for themselves. And it is gorgeous.

Here we see 4 year old Kaya in Japan.... and her bedroom.

See more here.