The Importance of Getting Dressed in the Morning

After I graduated High School I started to question why anything was really important at all.  

Any of these things may have included:

Celebrities in the Media. Why do people play into the hands of big-name celebs who are obviously stipulating for attention? e.g. Miley Cyrus, Donald Trump . I still don’t get it.

Employment nowadays. I’m sitting in traffic on the way home from work and I look around me and wonder, why do we participate in the rat races that make up the job market economy? Whatever happened to individuality and self-reliance?

I know Ron Swanson would be proud.

College. More specifically 4-year college and questioning the glamour that comes with it (parties, greek life etc). How important is it all? Really? Cause if say you were allergic to alcohol then it seems like you wouldn’t have much to do.

 

Getting dressed in the morning. This is another one I’ve thought about which is probably typical of a quarter-system student with an 11-week long summer coming out of high school. That’s a long summer, and for the majority of it where I wasn’t working I spent the day in pajamas slipping in and out of a Netflix coma.

Cue Ty Oakley’s most relatable tweet ever:

tyler oakley, laptop, lol

 

After days drinking nothing but decaf Earl Grey and finishing Once Upon a Time I realized that some part of me was missing because I had let it go.

My confidence, my health… some of the key components to my own happiness had vanished because I was spending too much time on the internet providing my appreciation of scenes that were a part of other’s lives by double tapping, and neglecting to appreciate the life I had been given.

But Sydney…

 

Source: Pringlei on tumblr
Source: Pringlei on tumblr

how can these lovely pictures

Source: Sincerely Kinsey on tumblr
Source: Sincerely Kinsey on tumblr

have the power

Markus Haltmayr
Markus Haltmayr

to make you hate yourself?

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Simple. Because wishful thinking can be draining.

The days where I decided not to get dressed in the morning were the same days I let all the internet confabulation and rapid scrolling down news feeds define what I thought of myself… no makeup, hair in a bun, reblogging or favoriting pictures of waterfalls and berry smoothies. It seems innocent enough, until one realizes that the internet is a deadly weapon of comparison.

This is what all my time spent online had led up to and I was tired of staying in my pajamas. I realized that the key was to find beautiful content in the world around me.

Next week I’m giving a talk at church about charity. In doing research I watched this clip from the LDS Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson and it turned my world around.

(If you want to cut to the chase skip down to the underlined section)

My favorite quote is around 11 min when he says,

” A woman by the name of Mary Bartels had a home directly across the street from the entrance to a hospital clinic. Her family lived on the main floor and rented the upstairs rooms to outpatients at the clinic.

One evening a truly awful-looking old man came to the door asking if there was room for him to stay the night. He was stooped and shriveled, and his face was lopsided from swelling—red and raw. He said he’d been hunting for a room since noon but with no success. “I guess it’s my face,” he said. “I know it looks terrible, but my doctor says it could possibly improve after more treatments.” He indicated he’d be happy to sleep in the rocking chair on the porch. As she talked with him, Mary realized this little old man had an oversized heart crowded into that tiny body. Although her rooms were filled, she told him to wait in the chair and she’d find him a place to sleep.

At bedtime Mary’s husband set up a camp cot for the man. When she checked in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded and he was out on the porch. He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, he asked if he could return the next time he had a treatment. “I won’t put you out a bit,” he promised. “I can sleep fine in a chair.” Mary assured him he was welcome to come again.

In the several years he went for treatments and stayed in Mary’s home, the old man, who was a fisherman by trade, always had gifts of seafood or vegetables from his garden. Other times he sent packages in the mail.

When Mary received these thoughtful gifts, she often thought of a comment her next-door neighbor made after the disfigured, stooped old man had left Mary’s home that first morning. “Did you keep that awful-looking man last night? I turned him away. You can lose customers by putting up such people.”

Mary knew that maybe they had lost customers once or twice, but she thought, “Oh, if only they could have known him, perhaps their illnesses would have been easier to bear.”

After the man passed away, Mary was visiting with a friend who had a greenhouse. As she looked at her friend’s flowers, she noticed a beautiful golden chrysanthemum but was puzzled that it was growing in a dented, old, rusty bucket. Her friend explained, “I ran short of pots, and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn’t mind starting in this old pail. It’s just for a little while, until I can put it out in the garden.”

Mary smiled as she imagined just such a scene in heaven. “Here’s an especially beautiful one,” God might have said when He came to the soul of the little old man. “He won’t mind starting in this small, misshapen body.” But that was long ago, and in God’s garden how tall this lovely soul must stand!

I cried at that part. Today I watched it again and I almost cried a second time, but then I caught myself and wondered why. It’s a lovely story that would make a great film, but there was another reason. It was the same kind of bubbled over emotion I felt when my mom sat me down one day and asked me why I seemed sad.

I described to her how ugly I felt, inside and out. I felt like a hideous burden with legs. She just stared into my eyes and said so matter-of-factly,

“Sweetie you’re beautiful.”

I bubbled over then like I bubbled over at Monson’s story. Both reminded me that because God created us, he loves us and because of that we are innately beautiful and worth saving. Sometimes he sends people to love us and remind us of that. Sometimes those same people are the ones who help us get out of bed in the morning. In case you didn’t already get that, I’m trying to say thanks Mom.

The laws of superficiality seem to dominate how many of us view ourselves, and not just when we’re looking at god-bodied models posing magazines. The erosive effects caused by living in an appearance-driven world can break us down in subtle ways, eventually leading us to doubt our worth measured by social position, financial standing, and material growth.

When we can find the moral momentum to pull ourselves into a larger perspective, we can see that these laws of comparison are trivial.

No matter what your situation looks like, remember that you’re the chrysanthemum in the tin bucket. Regardless of disabilities, physical appearance, or social standing, remember that you’re a freaking chrysanthemum and don’t forget that life is better when you love yourself.

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Your soul painted by me

Have an amazing week lovely reader,

-SJT

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And so begins March

hello,

how’s it goin?

(That’s me btw ↘)

March is my fave month. And this march started off with the Oscars where right off the bat, we fell in love with this couple:

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…But especially fell in love with her

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And after doing some googling…

found that Lupita Nyong’o is a truly remarkable human being who is now my new hero.

Then JoTo won a photo contest with this photo depicting “Education Today”.

winnerwinner chicken dinna

Wooooooo

But the day she found out she had won, she then received news of the opposite kind. News that nobody ever wants to hear or have to deal with the repercussions of.

…am I gonna go there? Let it flow…

Sad news that will change his daughters lives because he is no longer in them, and yet he always will be a part of.

This one’s dedicated to you Uncle Mike.

Were it not for that camera, I wouldn’t have been able to capture this beautiful memory of his oldest daughter and my cousin dancing in his honor.

His youngest daughter, and one of my best friends, sang to the tune of her dad’s legacy. If you’re reading this, I love you T and R. Never stop making your art.

There’s a book that I’m reading to L right now called “Each Little Bird that Sings” EachLittleBird1and in it there’s a quote– something like “People die, so we can live on”. I love the perspective there, because with a grey thing like death, it’s hard to keep from looking at it from a downwards angle– like a grave in the ground. But if you look at it like a white thing thats high, higher than the beautiful blue ceiling of atmosphere overhead, it’s easier to turn around and walk on and make something incredible of yourself. I promise you, those memories and lessons will stay so much closer when you can dance and sing about them, always living on. That’s what they would have wanted, and you know it.

This post was something I started the other night just to catch up with my readers and at first I thought it would just be a blurb on all the happy notes March has kicked off with. It was going to be something to get my mind off this. But then it grew into what I guess I’d call my closure, and I just want to thank you dear reader for reading it. If any of you are struggling with loss, I truly hope this helps.

tumblr_mibjscds4p1rtzbb2o1_400And have a wonderful March

I think I like Oregon..

oregon instagram tumblr amazing states
Yesterday Los Torrens arrived in Oregon in the Swag-mobile. Weird and a little strange because that’s North, and our family doesn’t really go north that often. South is Disneyland and East is everything else. Now, a family reunion brings us to Seattle for the first time… like ever.  It’s exciting and so I guess that’s why I’m writing about it.
To describe the entire drive up here would be blah, so here’s a sampler. We stopped in a little railroad town for gas and because my dad’s local history app convinced him it would be a good idea, which it was :)
We found a baseball field that Babe Ruth once played a small charity game on while he was in the majors. What a nice fellow.
Weird how deserted the place was except for the community pool right next door that was hopping with music and wet bodies. Guess that just explained itself. Wow Sydney.
Anyways, we checked the field out, the boys with their recently purchased iPods and I got our Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat-worthy pictures and headed out.
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(Mhm we’re cool)
Then Urbanspoon gave us a gem when we asked for a place to get grub. The Kailaidascope Pizzeria and Pub is a place I will gladly write my one and only restaurant review for… someday. Not only was the pizza crust and cobbler incredible but so was their mission statement. Their artsy menu was designed entirely by kids with special needs. I vow to return for more.
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Then we drove back and the whole way home my addiction to cloud porn drove me to hanging out the window and snap the cotton candy sky.
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Hotel and sleep.
Sunday.
Ever notice how states have their own certain flavors of people? Not exactly sure how to describe it, but during  Sunday School, I kept watching these kids and tried to imagine them telling someone “Hi I’m from Oregon!” It was an easy thing to imagine. They were all super duper friendly and just glowed with the spirit of Oregon. Yes.
Then later that afternoon I felt the “world shrink” when dad recognized someone from his childhood at church and we were invited to her family’s house for lunch. We learned that some of the best ice breakers are sprinkle pancakes with strawberry syrup and then playing a game of Disney Apples to Apples.
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And then came the play. It’s getting late and I don’t think I have the energy to write as much as I would like but if you ever have the oppourtunity to see Robin Hood in the Elizabethan Theate at the Shakespeare Festival in Oregon, GO AND DO IT.
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Anyways, goodnight world. To be continued…

The Saddest Week of my Life.

I wrote “love” on my arms on Monday for suicide awareness week, because that’s what it was. And then I  had to go over the faded letters again in pen on Tuesday, 9/11, because I heard about Sally. Her name isn’t Sally, but it’s better that I call her that.

Sally had done exactly what Suicide Awareness Week was established to prevent. She had succumbed to teen depression, and made a choice that would cause permanent results not just for her, but for her family and for her friends, and for her teachers, and any of those who knew her name.

This week a grey blanket lay over my school where she once laughed with her friends in the halls. It was sad at first, awfully sad. And then it changed to a solemn sense of remembering. Remembering her life, remembering if there was anyone else at school who had shown the same symptoms as Sally, or who had shown them that day. In my circle of friends, we found a few and checked in on them. We cried together as a school, and it was cold and dark. Not yet rainy. We cried together at lunch as friends and in classes with teachers. We held each other, and were always asking,

Are you okay?

My spanish teacher put her desk where she had sat in the back of the room facing the class, holding cards and flowers. The desk seemed sad. A table was set up by a wall where a poster read her name and people wrote messages to her. Unsaid thoughts written in Crayola marker on the poster and on the table sat flowers, several bouquets, just as beautiful as her life had been. A friend brought candles, and we lit them reverently.

I haven’t been the same. Nobody has. It’s hard to put any effort into anything, like studying or Volleyball. All drive to do things seems to be gone because there’s a hole in our school and sadness in every corner. But there’s always hope. I’m looking back up at the candle as I type… fire is hope and sorrow. It’s okay to be sad, but that sadness must spark a change. I’m still sad, but I also went to church today. Oh thank heaven for church. It’s thanks to my religion that I know where Sally rests. I do. Again, that’s faith.

All will be okay. It will be better than okay because there is still good, good life in this world. I believe that Sally is not lost, and she did not live her life here on earth in vain, because it was beautiful. And it was something to learn from. Something big enough to wake up a whole school and city. And I believe that I will see Sally again later, and we’ll all run up to hug her. We will all remember how to laugh again soon. Together. That’s what Sally would have  wanted. And may she rest in Paradise.

“Don’t forget to love each other”  – Our Principal