First - just a few points that I was thinking about.
- I'm fairly certain that I moved into the ward I did strictly because of the bishopric. I truly feel like they love and care about every member in the ward. I've felt this with most of my bishops and their counselors, but this has resonated true in my mind and heart since the first Sunday. I can't explain it - but I know that when Bishop Robinson stands up and says that he loves us and is there for us... I believe everything that comes out of his mouth.
- I really do not like my new ward. This comes strictly from the awkwardness that I feel in the ward. I know that I need to put forth effort in order to include myself in the activities. But really, the brothers and sisters in my ward are so different. Even though I feel a genuine sincerity in most the girls trying to learn my name, I feel that is all they want to know. They seem nice enough. But... I don't feel comfortable being myself around them. They are all too perfect, seem superficial and there is something about that ward where I just don't feel like I will ever measure up. It's daunting and intimidating. Overwhelming. And not worth my effort. Or it is - and it should be. I am trying to be better. I know it usually takes me about 7-8 months in order for me to feel really comfortable. But I don't know if I have that kind of time. I don't know how long I will be in this ward - and I can't help but count the months until I leave it. Aside from the bishopric, I really don't want to stay.
- The girl that taught relief society today - who almost always does a rather spectacular job, I have loved her lessons more than anyone else - kept referring to our future boyfriends and husbands as "boys." I couldn't help but shake my head. She's admittedly almost 50 (really, she's going to be turning 25 in a few months, but apparently thinks that is close to 50) and wants to marry a boy? Something doesn't seem right to me. I say, we should be looing for men. Men, after all, hold the priesthood. Not boys. Boys attend cub scouts. She also flubbed up today in saying that we should look for a boy that would be a good husband to our children. I'm pretty sure she meant father to our children, but Becca and I snickered anyway. We were the only ones. I think that means that we were the only ones listening.
- My ward is FULL of 25+-year olds. Please tell me WHY they need to have their phones out every second of the meeting. Even sacrament meeting. It may not be a screaming baby, but...it's still not reverent. Also, semi-whispers and talking throughout the WHOLE class is not reverent. But that doesn't seem to disturb our ward members. I don't mind the occasional comment. I like to make a few to Becca myself. But seriously? Just go in the hallway (you'll find half the ward there anyway) and talk if you can't sit and listen to the lesson. It isn't like we are getting the full version anyway. We always get a condensed version because we are always running late.
- Have you ever seen Baptist at Our Barbeque? or read the book? Do you remember the part when the bishop bans singing from church meetings because there aren't any hymn books, and all they have sheet music for is I Heard the Bells? And they sing it for the opening and closing hymn...every week? Picture that and you have our relief society. Only instead of the Christmas song, it is Families Can Be Together, I am a Child of God. Singing is my FAVORITE part of church. And so when I get ripped off by singing the same hymn every week, or they eliminate the closing song because they've run out of time or shorten it in anyway - it makes me really upset. And who wants to leave church upset?
However, the "knows what we are going through" kind of stuck at me. Obviously, they are my parents. They know a lot about me. They know my situations because I keep them informed. I feel like they do understand my lack of direction. My inability to decide what I want to do with my life. Not knowing exactly what sort of career path I should take. They know what it is like to be frustrated at work. Or whatever.
But one of the things they focused on in relief society (typical) was that our mothers know what we are going through when it comes to dating. And that is just not true at all.
This is where my fun game comes in with my dating history:
At age 16 - I was a sophomore in high school. The only date I can remember was not really a date. I asked a guy that I had crusehd on sinced the first grade out to a movie. I drove. I paid for my own ticket - and I think his. He bought us McDonald's ice cream cones.
When my mom was 16 - She had a steady boyfriend. She had gone on a few dates with other guys in her school before she started dating Geoff.
At age 17 - I went on a few double "dates" with my sister and her boyfriend. Really, we were just hanging out... I had my first kiss with a coworker who took me out on my first real date. As in, he actually asked me. We hung out a lot after that, but never did get around to actually dating, or repeating the kiss.
When my mom was 17 - She was still dating Geoff. I'm pretty sure they kissed.
At age 18 - I did not date. Much. A random pairing off of friends, a blind date set up by a cousin or roommate. One date with a smoker...turns out he was also a druggie and immature. We did not go out again.
When my mom was 18 - She was practically engaged and sending Geoff on a mission. She wrote him, he wrote her back. She moved to Kentucky where her dad had been transferred.
At age 19 - Blind date. After blind date. After blind date. If at all. Usually, not at all.
When my mom was 19 - Geoff wrote her off. Her first (and only) broken heart, of sorts.
At age 20 - Meet a guy I really like but who is preparing for a mission. Two dates. He leaves. We write. More blind dates.
When my mom was 20 - She meets my dad. They date. He kisses her. He proposes to her. They get married.
At age 21 - Still writing boy on mission.
When my mom was 21 - Has first child - me.
At age 22 - Still writing boy on mission. He comes home. False hope flares, but dies down just as quickly. More blind dates. Start making friends with boys who are fun. Determine to go on 9 dates for the year and succeed. Went on ONE second date. No third date.
When my mom was 22 - Enjoying a very poor but happy marriage.
At age 23 - Become friends with boys. Enjoy friendships. Go on friend dates. Have a rockin' good time, but no romances. Crush on several people. Joke with lots of people.
When my mom was 23 - Had second child - Amy.
At age 24 - More or less the same.
When my mom was 24 - Two children. One house. A garden. And a husband who is working and going to school.