The world is your oyster!: Under the Influence        

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My name is Heather.

I am 22 years old.

I am an East Coast girl
who also loves Utah.

I love my life. How could I not?

The world is my oyster :)
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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Under the Influence

You know how sometimes, someone says something, and it is said in just the right way and at just the right time, so that it has an everlasting impact on you?

Here are some things that people have said that you might not think would influence me so strongly, but they did.

1. "Time to wake up and get pretty for school!"

My Aunt Carol said this to me one morning when my parents were out of town and she was staying with us in their absence. Something changed in my brain right then. I thought, "Oh. Getting pretty? I love getting pretty!" I realized then that I have the opportunity to get pretty every. Single. Morning. I jumped out of bed and made my way over to the mirror, beaming. Getting ready for school was no longer a chore, because I wasn't just getting ready; I was getting pretty.

2. "'Will you marry me' should be the easiest question you ever answer in your life. If it's not the easiest question, it's either the wrong guy or the wrong time."

My Miamaids teacher, Sister Obering, said this in one of our many many lessons on marriage. It gave me a good deal of comfort, because I always thought that getting married would be such a stressful decision. But really, shouldn't it be easy? Shouldn't you just know that you are saying yes to the right person, and it's the right time? I like that idea a lot.

3. "You're just so comfortable in your own skin."

My roommate Olivia said this to me a few weeks ago. I'd never thought of myself in that way, and when she said that, it made me think that maybe other people don't think I'm as awkward as I think I am. Not that I think I'm so awkward or anything....I just never realized that people might think of me as someone who was obviously confident and comfortable.

4. "Heather. What if, tomorrow, you get all ready for church. And you have a beautiful dress, you do your hair all pretty, everything. And you sit down with your family and you're waiting for the meeting to start, when in walks Prince Charming. And he is so handsome, and so perfect. And he sees you and just thinks, oh, that is the most beautiful girl. I must have her. And he starts to walk towards you. And you see him coming towards you and you just think he is the best thing since toilet paper. And you can't wait to meet him. And then, right when he's about to get to you, you smile at him, and your teeth are all black, and they're falling out of your head, because you didn't brush them. And that perfect Prince Charming just thinks, Oh my. What a mistake. And he walks away. Wouldn't that be sad? Don't you think you ought to brush your teeth?"

My dad said this to me when I was about four years old. I might have been five. Regardless, for some reason that night, I didn't want to brush my teeth. And after that, I never didn't want to brush my teeth again. I mean, how traumatizing! What if my teeth did turn black? What if Prince Charming did walk away when I smiled? How awful!

I've also found myself subconsciously applying this to other things in my life. Like, when I don't want to shave my legs.

5. "You'll want a pair of headphones."

My sister Kelly said this to me when we were stuff-shopping when I first arrived in Provo for school. I didn't have an iPod then, and still don't, and I never listened to music while studying, so I didn't think I would need headphones. But hooooly cow was she right. I got a pair of headphones and used it every single day of my life after that.

6. "Sometimes, it's best if you've gone on a few dates with someone and you still don't really like them, it's best to just tell them, 'you know, maybe we shouldn't go on any more dates, I think it would be best if we were just friends.' That's okay, you know."

Sister Giles, another one of my Young Women's leaders, said this when she and her husband participated in a panel about dating for one of our activities. Sister Giles was beautiful, intelligent, and sweet, and I remember thinking that she must have had millions of boys wanting to date her at college. Of course she would have to come up with something to say to eliminate a few of them.

I was certain then that my situation at college would be far different, that I would never utter those words. I couldn't imagine that many people were as popular as Sister Giles had been. Maybe one of my friends would be that popular and I would hear stories about her turning down dates. As for myself, it didn't seem very likely that I would ever avoid a date, much less tell someone straight out that I wasn't even interested in being asked out by them again.

But now I understand that it's not even really a matter of popularity. Everyone doesn't always want to go on a date with everyone else. It's not a big deal if you realize that it's not going anywhere with one person and you tell them so. You'll both just move on and get over it. Now I think it's funny that at one point, this was such a foreign idea to me.

7. "You've got a good sub-conscious."

My Grandpa Hammer was everything from a teacher to a military man to a scientist to a hypnotist. Obviously, my brothers and sisters and I were the most intrigued by his history as a hypnotist, so we all let him hypnotize us when he came to visit us and was feeling up to it.

After one time of hypnotizing me, my grandpa said those words and gently tapped my arm, where he always tapped me to get in contact with my subconscious. I was immensely pleased, and since then, I have felt an impressive sense of control over my thoughts.

If you ever have the opportunity to be hypnotized, I highly recommend it. Your brain is capable of so much, and exploring that is a unique and invigorating experience.

8. "No projects."

I think it's pretty safe to say that this is my dad's favorite thing to say. It's the one phrase thing I've heard him say with the most frequency, other than like, "I love you" and "What's for dinner" and "Oh! Girls....Stop it. Now I mean it. Oh.....MELODY!" and stuff like that. It's in reference to boys, and the kind of boys he wants us to date slash marry.

A project is someone who you talk about and you say, "Oh he would be so perfect, if he would just stop smoking," or "control his temper," or "go to church." And then you date them with the intention of being so good and perfect yourself that you can get him to stop smoking, or control his temper, or go to church. Girls sometimes get this "Beauty and the Beast" mindset that has us convinced that the beast we are in love with will miraculously become a prince. But that isn't really true most of the time, and it causes a lot of heartache for girls who believe that they are the exception.

He started pounding it into my head at such an early age that now, I don't even consider dating boys who would be "projects." Sometimes I see my friends dating "projects" and it stresses me out.

Last year in my mission prep class, Brother Bott put a little addendum on this mantra. He said, "We are all works in progress, and we are all going to marry a work in progress. You just have to decide if this person is someone you want to work with as you both try to attain perfection." I think that is quite profound.

9. "Everyone is a potential friend."

This was my sister Nicole's piece of advice that she said when I was about to go to college. It changed my life! I got on the plane and saw potential friends. I got off the plane and saw (30 hot Utah boys and) potential friends. I went to Freshman Orientation, where I met one of my very best friends to this day. My classes were chock-full of potential friends.

I've learned to remind myself of this idea whenever I'm about to embark on a new adventure. Coming to Florida was hard, because I was leaving behind some really good friends, but it was easier, because I just reminded myself that everyone is a potential friend. Since being here, I've made friends with the people I work with. I've become friends with the people in my ward. I've met people on the bus, at the pool, and in the parks who are now my friends (on facebook, at least).

So remember this, whenever you are about to go to a party where you don't know anyone, or you are about to start a new job. Everyone is a potential friend. You never know where a friendship might form when you have this attitude.

Please don't be offended if you didn't see yourself on this list! It's just a short list, and I'm sure it is incomplete. In fact I know it is, because I don't even have anything that my mom said. My point is, you have all influenced me in more ways than I could even begin to enumerate here. Thank you :)

1 comment:

  1. I honestly have no recollection of saying that... haha probably one of my less profound thoughts but I'm grateful to be included none-the-less :) love you!