My ultra-boring life

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Beauty

OK, so there is this trend lately to make sure that everyone is 'beautiful.'  And I'm not particularly on board.

See, to me, everyone has strengths.  Everyone has weaknesses.  There's nothing wrong with that.  Some people are short, some people are dumb, some people are ugly.  Those sound like awful words, and in some ways they are and shouldn't be used in polite company.  However, I don't think the solution is to redefine the antonyms of those words so that they apply to absolutely everyone.

Dictionary.com defines beauty as "the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest)."  However, I feel like most people define it as visually pleasing when it is used in a generic context.  If something is not intensely visually pleasing, it is not beautiful.

But my point is this: People do not have to be beautiful to be good and of worth.

You don't have to be 'normal,' or clever, or pretty, or talented, or even functional, to be good.  Period.  Being good is all about your choices, which are unrelated to any of those.

The people I know who are not 'normal' (aka 'weird') are great because they add humour and variety to my life.

The people I know who are not clever can be great because they teach me the value of perseverance and trying even when they won't ever do very well.

The people I know who are not fully functional teach me the value of persisting despite obstacles, and finding alternative ways to get things done.  The ones that are truly and completely not functional, teach me to love and to serve without expecting anything in return.

The people I know who are not pretty teach me to look beyond the surface for other qualities.

Now, I have known a lot of annoying people.  But most of them are annoying because of their choices, not because of vacuous societal judgments or inborn traits.

So embrace the good in you, fight the bad, always try your best, and you will always be splendid.  You don't need to be the best at everything--or even ANYTHING--to be wonderful.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Finishing!

I think I've seriously wanted to be a writer since about eighth grade.  I was a voracious reader pretty much since I was four years old.  As I got older, I not only wanted to live in other worlds and lives, but I wanted to live in worlds of my own devising, so I could make sure that things worked the way I wanted them to.  But various things hindered me, the largest of which was a complete lack of self-confidence.
It was easy for me to see for many years that, despite my good grades in English and writing courses, the things that I wrote didn't have the power to transport me to their worlds.  Combined with the idea that I could never finish anything by myself, I spent most of my life feeling hopeless about writing.

But last year I got a bug.  (As well as a dose of mania.)  And that passion pushed me past my roadblocks, pushed me past the 'I know something is wrong but I don't know how to fix it,' and pushed me past my doubts and psychological hangups (aside from being obsessive about Benedict Cumberbatch.  That's still there.).  And last night, I finished the first 'book' I have ever, ever finished.

Yes, it's fan fiction, so no, it will most likely never be published.  And yes, it still needs some editing.  But it's DONE.  And I am so excited and proud of myself that it's like drinking a full case of diet Dr Pepper, because I couldn't get to sleep until sometime after 2 this morning and I couldn't sleep much past 6.

And while I was pondering this this morning, I remembered this quote from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland:
To any who may be struggling to see that light and find that hope, I say: Hold on. Keep trying. God loves you. Things will improve. 
And it made me cry.  Because it's true.