Tuesday, April 8, 2014

what do you Really want?

Ordaining Women has been all over my Facebook, the news, blogs, etc. My family and friends all have opinions, and very few of them agree completely on the issue.

Last week, I wrote about how I left the church because it was an abusive relationship for me. I could stay and try to change the church to be better for me, but it's not my responsibility... and the trouble with trying to change someone (or something) that I have no control over - it just doesn't go well. They don't want to be changed, they feel resentful that I am trying to change them, and who am I to decide who they should be anyway?

On a completely different note, I have had a temporary tattoo on my right arm for a year. It wears off and I replace it. Not many people have seen it, because even though it reminds me of a goal I am working on, (Still. After a year.) I am embarrassed that I am working on it.

You might think I am embarrassed, because this is a goal I have been working on for a year, and I haven't made much progress, but you'd be wrong. This is how much of a struggle this is for me. I am embarrassed to be asking myself that question. A "good" person doesn't worry about what they want. A "good" person only thinks about what everyone else wants and needs, so I don't want anyone to know that I am constantly reminding myself to think about my own wants.

Six months ago, I watched the videos of the women asking for what they wanted - to be let into a meeting. A few days ago, I watched as they gathered and asked again. There weren't as many cameras there this time, but a few still caught the conversations. They asked for what they wanted. They still didn't get in, but they asked.

I've believed that even wanting something... anything... was bad. Asking is annoying and wrong and selfish. A good person doesn't do that. A good person doesn't HAVE wants, let alone ASKS... But these women belong to a church that is entirely based on asking questions. Over and over and over the church has changed because someone asked a question. Why shouldn't they be asking?

And whether they ever get what they want doesn't feel like the point today. Today, I think it must be an incredibly powerful feeling for them to ask; to hear the words spoken in their own voices. To feel supported by other women and men who care. To feel connected, even in a small way, to the woman that turned them down and asked them to listen online.

Watching them has motivated me. If I do nothing else, at least I am writing here and showing off my tattoo. I'm telling you all how hard it has been, and continues to be. I'm sharing with anyone who reads this that I am reminding myself everyday to think about my wants. Maybe one day I'll get around to asking for more too.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Finally driving a Subaru or "How is that like your life?"

I bought a new car.
It's pretty.

The roof doesn't leak. It isn't held together by duct tape. The windows stay up when I want them up, and go down when I want them down. It has a radio, and I can listen to it. There's even a CD player that doesn't have a CD stuck in it permanently. It has a cigarette lighter that I could plug something into if I wanted. It goes uphill with very little effort, and gets up to 60 MPH faster than 60 seconds. It also has cool features like all wheel drive, it connects to my phone through blue tooth, it has paint on the outside, and it fits more than just me comfortably.

I've wanted an SUV type car since I was 16 - something I could take to go on adventures in the mountains, but would also work around town. I have been looking at Subaru's and specifically Foresters for a year and a half, but my little duct-tape-Nissan kept passing safety inspection, so I kept driving it. I paid cash for that car fifteen years ago. I admit I didn't take very good care of it. I rarely washed it. I changed the oil every 6000 miles (maybe). It was held together by duct tape. I put more than 180,000 miles on that car. I had several friends pushing me to get something nicer, newer, safer, etc., but I felt like as long as it drove, I didn't NEED anything else.

About six months ago, I realized I WANTED something else. I checked out Subaru's everywhere I went. I read the specs on gas mileage and other functions of the car. I researched how often they broke down, what broke down, and how expensive they were to fix. I knew what colors they came in, and what year the body style changed.

In December, there were several good snow storms that made it impossible for me to get my Nissan out of the driveway. With the slippery roads, I missed a few orchestra rehearsals because I didn't feel like driving down the mountain.

My uncle has a dealer's license and goes to auctions to buy cars. I told him what I might be looking for a year ago, but in January I told him I was serious. Only two Foresters came to the auction in the next two months, and they both went above what he thought they were worth.

BJ's sister bought a Forester. I drove it from Montana to Utah for her when they moved back here, and I loved it.
My sister-in-law bought a Forester, and that just made me want one more.

On Pi(e) Day (March 14), I went with BJ to look at a new truck for him. We were supposed to go to my brother's house for pie that evening, and we had an hour to kill. So... BJ suggested we go "just to see what was available" at the Subaru dealership.

They had three used Foresters. A 2011, a 2012, and a 2014.
The 2011 and the 2012 were really nice, but out of my price range... but the one with only 2000 miles on it... was really close to what I wanted to spend. I fell in love with it.

I walked away. We got in BJ's truck and drove away.
As we were leaving the parking lot, I said, "I really like it. I want it."
"Then why are we leaving?"
"Because... I don't NEED a new car. I don't need one that is that nice. I have a car and it works. What if people think I'm greedy and entitled and selfish? Or what if they think I'm stupid for even trying to qualify for a loan on a car that nice? Or... I guess you could say I'm scared out of my mind, but I want it."

The old (in front) and the new (in the back) and BJ (in between).
And so... he turned around... and I bought a car.
I entirely missed Pi(e) Night.

And then I had two days of mental break down. TWO DAYS where I felt so guilty for spending money on a car that I didn't need. TWO DAYS where I almost couldn't function because I didn't deserve it and it wasn't okay. TWO DAYS where I kept considering taking it back, because I was comfortable in my old Nissan that was held together by duct tape.

Then a funny thing happened, I was driving somewhere.... Down the canyon that I live in. There's a hill. It's not super steep, but it is long enough that my old car really struggled to get up it. By the end, I was always at least ten miles under the speed limit, and that was if I hit it speeding. This time, it had no problem, my new car just breezed right up the hill.

I started to cry. Only this time, it wasn't out of guilt or shame for buying the car, I felt happy. I never knew it could be that easy, so I lived with less for a long time. I had no idea how good it could be.

That's when I heard the voice of a past therapist whispering inside my head, "And how is THAT like your life?"

I put up with a lot, because I never knew anything better was even possible.
And now, I am enjoying having a really nice car that is perfect for me.