Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Why is your face all red?

I get this question a lot. When I was a kid, I'd get it in exactly those words from other kids. Now I still get it in those words from kids, but I also get it in other words from adults. Usually it sounds like, "Wow! Looks like you got some sun!" Or "Did you forget to wear sunscreen?" Or "Ouch! That sunburn looks really painful." But my personal favorite is when someone thinks I'm blushing, which actually does make me blush sometimes and then it's like a whole chain reaction thing. So awkward.

When I get this question or something like it, I usually laugh it off and change the subject. Because it's hard to explain to people who don't know me that my face is red because that's just how my face is. It's like you might as well ask me why I have five fingers on each hand or why my eyes are blue. It's just part of me.

I really don't know what else to say. It's genetic and it's environmental. That means it's partially because all of my ancestors are from Great Britain where rosy cheeks is a thing and it's partially caused by the sun I get from living in California. Occasionally my face looks extra red because my skin is sensitive so it gets flushed when it's reacting to something like temperature changes or make up. It's also partially because I have super dry skin. Which means that I've never had a pimple in my entire life. Not one. But I do have dandruff. Because my scalp is not immune to the general dryness of my skin. Dandruff vs. pimples. I'll let you decide which is worse because I honestly don't know.

It's not like I haven't asked a dermatologist about it. Apparently there's some sort of laser treatments they could do to try to lessen the redness, but it would be expensive and I'd have to keep doing them periodically, which doesn't appeal to me.

At this point, on the list of things I'd like to change about myself, this one isn't even close to the top. In fact, I kind of like my face the way it is. People seem to remember me more often because it's harder to forget a unique, distinguishing feature. And I could think of a lot worse unique features I could've had.

But it definitely has had an effect on my psyche. I've always known I was different. When I was in elementary school I used to dream about what it would be like if I were normal. This was even before I was overweight, which is another post entirely, and one I do plan to write someday.

I imagined that if I looked like the other kids I'd be more popular or I'd have more friends. But the truth is, I was really happy with the small group of girls from my class who played make-believe games with me during recess or made intricate objects of marginal usefulness out of grass and sticks and whatever else we could find. Plus, I kind of was popular in my own way. I was a good leader. Maybe a little bossy sometimes, but being the oldest of five or six or seven will do that to you. I was elected president of my fifth grade classroom if that counts for anything. And I was very smart. Still am. Humble too. :)

Anyway, my point is, I actually was a normal kid. But because I had something different about me, I didn't see myself as normal. I think that kind of thinking is more common than we realize. Especially for girls.

If I had stuck with my psych major in college, I'd give you lots of evidence and articles to support my argument, but since I switched to English, all I can offer are some literary tropes.

There's the one about the girl who wants to fit in, but doesn't. Although it turns out that's a good thing because she's actually way more awesome than everyone around her.

Then there's the one about how beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Or the one about how we're all flawed in one way or another.

I guess that last one best fits the point I'm trying to make. Some people have obvious differences. Some people look normal but really aren't. Like serial killers. And some people are so normal they bore the pants off of everyone around them. But normal isn't all it's cracked up to be. Because as a wise old twenty-nine-year-old, I have learned what I could not grasp as a child: variety really is the spice of life.

So yes, I may look different. But I like my kind of different because I like me, red face and all.

And now for one more little burst of childhood nostalgia...

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Where are you right now?

As a heads up, if you're looking for a happy, fluffy post about how fun my life is, try this last one:

Yay! Life is grand!

Today I'm feeling not so fluffy. In fact, I'm in a full-on mood. Keep reading if you want, but don't say I didn't warn you.

So... I've been avoiding talking about this on my blog, but I think it's time to face reality.

I moved.

To Utah.

Yep. Land of the... dollar movie theater? Well, and Cafe Rio. And fry sauce. And... uh... my new job. So that's... yeah.

Sigh. I don't know. Can I just be honest with you guys? I don't really know what I'm doing here. I thought I was done with Utah, I really did. And I am in love with California. Like totally head over heels infatuated. It's so pretty there...

And yet... I'm here.

Part of it has to do with the job. I am now Cedar Fort's Production Manager. It's pretty cool, actually. Except that I spend a lot of time on things that should only take me a few minutes because I haven't learned everything I need to yet and so I get stressed and I feel like I'm always about two steps from seriously messing things up. And the times when I don't feel like I'm two steps away from that are the times I have already messed something up and am now trying desperately to fix it. So far, nothing major has happened--at least nothing that was my fault. But I feel like it's only a matter of time.

Part of it has to do with my social life. I had one in California, but it was getting a bit stale. Which is not in ANY way a reflection on the tons of wonderful people I left behind. I love them. I miss them. And I'm sure it was mostly my fault that I didn't exactly feel like I was making progress in my relationships there. The ironic thing is, now I'm in Utah where I have no social life. And it's actually kind of nice. I mean, okay, that's not true. By most normal standards, I do have a social life. I went out to dinner three times this week with friends, and I only spent one night in my room watching a BBC drama on Netflix, so that's about par for the course with me. But I don't feel like I have a social life here because... there are so many people here that I don't know. And compared to my roommates, who are all still in college and really bubbly and cute (I love them), I don't stay up late hosting parties and chatting with people. I go to bed at 11ish because I have work in the morning.

I know comparisons are silly, especially because I really like my life the way it is. I know this and yet I do it anyway.

Part of it has to do with my needing to prove to myself that I can live here on my terms. When I lived in Provo during college, I got swallowed up by how big this place is. I sort of lost myself for awhile. I didn't feel like I fit in. I got really homesick. I went through some depression issues. I spent several semesters skipping class and hiding out on campus so my roommates would think I was living a productive, normal student life. But instead I would spend the hours reading in the campus bookstore or playing around on the internet in the computer labs. That's why I almost failed out of college. Yep. True story.

Now there's a permanent part of me that's always worried I'll slip back into that mode. I overcompensate for it, actually. I freak out if my room stays unorganized for too long or if I hit snooze on my alarm more than two days in a row. It's not so bad now as it used to be. I'm starting to trust myself to take care of me, but it's been a long road.

Okay, I'll stop rambling. Wow I get verbose when I'm moody. Sorry about that. I hope you skimmed. Here, maybe a nice pretty picture of Utah will get things back on track. I took this one yesterday.

The real actual reason that I moved here is that it seemed like the right thing to do. I don't know if everyone reading my blog believes in prayer. I do. And I assume you do too, reader, because I only ever assume that about three people read my blog. (It feels safer for me to write this if I only think about it going out to three people.) Anyway, I prayed about this whole thing and I felt like I needed to move... here... now.

So I'm here.

To answer the question more specifically, I am in a nice comfy chair on the fourth floor in my favorite sitting area of my favorite building on BYU's campus.

I am here in a totally silent building on a Saturday night, feeling so much older than everyone else around me and yet still so clueless about where my life is headed. All I know is that I'm here.

For now... I'm here.

Except, that I'm about to not be here anymore because now that I have finished blogging and I've finished the other tasks I came here to do (one for work, one for my novel), I am going home to watch more of that BBC drama. And since I like to end things on a happy note, here are some beautiful pictures of the beautiful people I am currently watching in The Paradise, which happens to be really, really good. Just saying.

Oh, and here's one more picture I took yesterday. I like it. The fact that there are trees here is obviously a major plus in my book. Of course, there are no palm trees, but one can't have everything.

Sorry this post is a bit erratic. I really am happy here. Mostly. Sort of. Or I will be. I think. Like I said, I'm just in a mood. And I think the fact that tomorrow is Easter and I won't get to spend it at home with my family or singing in Lamb of God like I was planning to is kind of making things worse. Oh well. I'll get over it. Or I'll keep finding more BBC dramas to take my mind off things.