Sunday, September 27, 2015

You'll See Me Tomorrow.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and yet I chose to write this post on one of the last days of the month.  Why? — because the conversation is never over.  Because suicide claims the life of a hurting soul every 13 minutes.  Because exactly one year ago, I stared at the ground from the rooftop of a building, thinking that the end of my despair was one step away.

I am honored to support To Write Love on Her Arm's campaign: #tomorrow15.  There is always a reason to live for tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.  We need to help each other (and ourselves!) find the hope and joy that lives in the future, that lives in today.  And I want you to know why you'll see me tomorrow.

You'll see me tomorrow...

Because I want to be brave and stay.  I still get scared sometimes, but I know that's okay.
Because of my family, especially my mom and dad, Kristin, Kylie, and Brigham.
Because Theo Huckleberry needs his cool aunt, and so will baby #2 who will join our family soon.
Because of my silly dogs, Lucy and Ellie — the cutest, happiest trouble-makers alive.
Because of the friends who have touched me, as well as the friends that I have touched.
Because of the little kiddoes in my neighborhood who hug me, love me, and talk to me.
Because of my job — the opportunity to teach students what I love, to teach them what has brought me so much comfort and healing.
Because I am in graduate school — heck, I've gotten this far, and I'm not turning back!
Because of BBQ. And s'mores. And lemonade. And songs. And dusk. And stars.
Because of love, and I have yet to find the perfect kiss with the perfect guy for me.
Because Harry Potter is just beckoning for me to read the series again. And again. And again.
Because of banana-grams and the day when I will finally reign champion against my mom.
Because of M*A*S*H with my family, the Hogan's Heroes theme song, and Jeopardy.
Because of the millions of books that I haven't read, and the boxes of books I need to read again.
Because God is preparing me for something special, something so wonderful, and I don't know what it is.
Because of the places I have been and the places I have yet to go.
Because some day, I will be a mom, and I will be the most important person to a child.
Because of vintage bicycles.  And the new book smell.  And singing in the shower.  And a clean car.
Because one time, a homeless man said, "Life's goooood, yo." And even though he was high, I suspect he was right.
Because my house is almost renovated.  It's almost everything I planned it out to be.
Because I still cry at night, and I still feel sad.  But I know I will feel a little better when the morning sun peeks out from the blinds of my window.
Because there is so much more I want to learn, so much that I haven't learned, and probably, so much that I will never learn.
Because of sky-diving.  It's on my bucket-list, and I prefer falling with a parachute.
Because of summer evening walks.  And fresh eggs.  And those stupid chickens.  And sunflowers.
Because hope is everywhere.  It's in the air you breathe, the sunsets you watch, and the stirring of the wind.
Because I am a writer, and when are stories ever finished?
Because the "goods" and "greats" on a seminar paper feel like a congressional medal of honor.
Because someone is always hurting.  And I understand hurting.  I can help that someone.
Because I've been there, one year ago, on that tall building.  And I am never ever going back.
Because I have a story to tell, and I have a person, at least one person to reach.
Because I want people to ask me about my story.  I want people to ask about my scars.
Because my soul has been stretched so unbelievably far that it would make a rubber band envious.
Because I want to be here.  My friends and family want me to be here.  Heavenly Father wants me to be here.  And life wants me to be here.
Because I think I love being here.

So I'm here. 

Love, Bekki

Sunday, September 20, 2015

BYU's Secret Code.

BYU boasts a code, and I'm not talking about the Honor Code.  BYU has a secret code that's actually not-so-secret for seasoned zoobies.

I am not seasoned, nor am I a zoobie.  I don't even know what "zoobie" means.  Thus, I violate this secret code every time I step foot on campus.  I've gotten looks, and whispers, and stares, and even a "whatta jerk!" So please, my dear cougars.  Be patient with me.  I'm trying to understand your strange culture.  I'm trying my best to fit in.  I feel like the Hiccup among experienced dragon-slayers.

Secret #1:  Smile.  Even when you're not happy, smile.  Smile at people you don't know.  Smile at people you don't like.  I thought that I was a pretty "smiley" person, but compared to the rays of sunshine on campus, I probably look like this:

I don't smile enough, I guess.  Also, I believe my eyebrows are permanently scrunched together from reading and analyzing so many different texts.  This makes me look angry, even though I'm not.
Aside from smiling, everybody on campus starts a conversation with you, even if you're sitting on the toilet in the ladies bathroom.  (Oh, and I was not exaggerating on that last one — it happened to me last Thursday.)

Secret #2: People on campus never, EVER wear sweatpants or pajamas.  And, MORE IMPORTANTLY, it is wrong to ever assume that pants that might look like pajamas are pajamas.  A girl in my program was wearing bright plaid bottoms that looked so movable and baggy.  I told her that I liked her pajamas and that they looked very comfortable.  She stared and me and said, "You mean you like my pants?" She left the room promptly.  I guess the part of my brain that's supposed to register fashionable pants is broken.

Secret #3: When people on the quad hand you flyers, you take them.  All of them.  Every single one.  I did not.  A girl was handing out flyers while I was speaking on the phone.  I shook my head, I smiled, I whispered "no thanks," and continued walking.  That's when I heard this, "Rude!! Whatta jerk." I got so mad that I wanted to march right up to her and slap her in the face with those tree-killing flyers that people throw in the trashcans anyway.

Secret #4: Call the BYU buildings by their secret nicknames, not their actual names.  I once asked my peers for directions to the Spencer W. Kimball Tower.  They stared at me quizzically.  Apparently, this building is called the SWKT, pronounced "ticket" but with SW.  Does ASU have any secret building names?

Secret #5: When BYU secures two "Hail Mary" football games in a row, it is a testament to God's love for His school, as well as the talent and skill of football players and ol' Bronco.  I said it was merely luck in my class, and my students gasped as if I failed them.

Secret #6: Excessive PDA is not excessive at all, really.  This one... I just don't get.  I like seeing couples on campus, especially when they're holding hands or studying together on the green grass.  I think it's cute and charming.  I get really really uncomfortable when I see couples kissing a lot or when they put their hands in each other's back pockets and feel around.  When I see such couples, I feel like I am the only one staring aghast while everybody else zooms on their merry way.


Now, don't get me wrong.  This is certainly not an attack against BYU.  I love this school, and I am having an incredible experience.  I have met so many good people who care about their schooling, their work, and their peers.  There is a sense of camaraderie in the graduate instructor offices that I have never experienced at ASU.  My WRTG 150 students are incredible — smart, hard-working, kind, and honest.  Everything is going right... except for the fact that I don't understand BYU's secret code.  There are probably several other secrets that I have yet to discover, so until then... I'll just be unconsciously offending people.  Because that's what I do.

(Did you know that tunnel-singing is a thing?!)