Monday, July 2, 2012

God is Love

Brace yourself. I'm gonna get rill for a sec. I mean, I'm always rill, but this is real rill. Get ready.

Oh. And I apologize if this doesn't make any sense at all, because that is entirely possible. Remember last post, when I said I'm going to post what I think? Well, my thoughts aren't always organized and orderly. So live with it. I do.

All I know is how I feel.

That's not entirely true for everything, but it is true about my stance on certain things.

About a month ago, Emily and I participated in a group called Mormons Building Bridges and walked in the Salt Lake City Pride Parade. I had never been to anything at Pride before and to be completely honest I was pretty nervous when we first decided to participate. Even though I was nervous, I wanted to do this. I felt really good about it.

A couple of nights before the parade, I decided to make our poster. I chose to use John 4:8, "God is love." The letters would be in the colors of the rainbow. Of course. When I told Emily about this idea for the poster, we both got this incredible and positive feeling. This was happening. We were going to march in a Pride Parade, in our church clothes, holding a rainbow poster that said, "God is love." We were saying that we believe that God is love. We were saying, "We love you."

Let me tell you, it felt so so so so good. Walking in the parade brought on so many unexpected emotions. I cried almost the entire time as I held Emily's hand with one of mine and our poster in the other; Emily was waving a small rainbow flag in her other hand. The crowds watching the parade were so nice and so receptive as they applauded, cheered, smiled, and cried with us. It was truly a beautiful experience and I am SO glad that I was able to do it, and that I did.

                                                          I am proud of it.

God loves all. And He loves unconditionally. I believe that with all of my heart. Religion aside, church aside, whatever belief you have or don't have aside, His love can reach anyone and everyone who is wanting and willing to experience it. That's what religion means to me: doing what you believe will allow you to experience God's love; this complete, unquestionable, unrestricted, unconditional love. And there are so many ways you can experience it/feel it/see it. For me, the main way I experience it is my wife. Her love for me is so perfect and so delicious and so lovely that I can't even imagine living without it, and my love for her is so inexplicably strong, and the fact that I have her makes me so grateful, and that gratitude makes me so happy. It is SOOOOO good. That is what this love is to me. Other ways I feel it are: my family, my religious worship, my friends, my involvement in theater. Those are just a few things, for me. And they are the things I choose because they are the things I like. And even though every human is different, even though everyone believes different things, everyone can experience this love. Or not. Whatever! That's cool, too. Because really, it is cool, too. I think it is anyway.

Everyone is different. But different does not mean less. Different does not mean unequal. All humans, though different, are equal in God's eyes. Ladies and gentlemen, and I right? I think that it I am. So, that being said, to me, that means that a right allowed to one person should not be withheld from another.

You guessed it, I'm talking about marriage equality.

 I know that there are so many arguments out there but I don't want to argue. I haven't argued about it, actually. Not ever. With anyone. I have discussed this topic with people, so if you think discussing is the same as arguing, then I guess I have argued. But I don't think I have. Because I don't care to argue. I do want to discuss, I do want to listen and to talk and be heard and to learn.

Different is not less, right?

Equality means equal. I think that everyone, equally, should be allowed to marry whomever they want. And for right now, that's all I care to say. But I do care to say it. I really do care.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

All You Need Is Love: Who knew!

So much for my New Year's resolution, right? Life is life and I didn't make time to post as I planned. But I will move forward, because WHY SHOULDN'T I? Honestly, I didn't really know what I wanted this blog/thing to be in the first place. I just started it because I thought it was cool.

So, I have decided that I am going to post what I think.

I have started to strongly think that life is what you make it. I always say that. Everyone always says that. But I guess I never really thought about it. Life is what I MAKE IT. I can be happy, I can be smart, I can be successful, I can be strong, I can be beautiful, I can be good. I can be whatever I want to be, making my life the way I want it to be. Of course it will be hard and of course it will take time, but I can make it happen. I believe that with all of who I am because I WANT it so bad. I want ALL of those things.

Do you ever feel like your surrounded by nothing but negativity? Like, not actually, but you just feel like all you can think about are negative poo-ey things? Things that don't make you happy, things really don't matter and are so silly but that feel so real for some reason? Yesterday was one of those days. It started off like every other day. But then I started thinking about stuff and things I have do and I started stressing out. Then, like an hourglass with grains of sand falling, one right after another, negative things started popping into my head. Well, not just popping. It felt like they were slamming into my head. They circled around and around and just wouldn't leave. Worries, doubts, fears, insecurities, jealousies, everything. I couldn't get them out of my head and I hated it. I knew that I shouldn't care about them because they didn't really matter but I  just could not get them out, no matter how hard I tried. Seriously, I haven't ever experienced anything like it. It got me all confused and  really upset - Why can't I just let go? Why can't I just forget about it? I am a pretty positive guy and can usually shut stupid crap stuff out of my mind. Why can't I right now? Of course, the confusion and anger only made it all worse.

Rehearsal was pretty long last night, as it was our first tech rehearsal and everything was thrown at us. All things considered, it was a pretty good run, as first runs go, with everything the cast had to deal with (set pieces, costumes, wigs, props, mics, etc.). Even so, I felt like Mr. FloppyMcFailure because of the AWFUL mood I was in. Seriously. It was awful. I tried to be as good as I could but I felt like poo.

I got home and let everything out to my sweetie. Really, she is my sweetie. She is so sweet and understanding and patient and loving and perfect for me. She didn't really know what to say because, what do you even say? She just held me and listened and loved.

Then I got out my Book of Mormon. (I don't read it nearly as much as I should. The one I grabbed was the copy I used on my mission. It has EVERYTHING highlighted and markings next almost every verse, which you would think would be super distracting and confusing but it is actually the opposite for me. In this copy, I tabbed all of the Christlike Attributes from Preach My Gospel in verses as I read them; not every time each attribute was mentioned, but ones that I liked specifically at that time.) Not knowing where or what to read, I flipped to the last tab for Charity/Love. Why not. Moroni 7:39-48.
39 But behold, my beloved brethren, I judge better things of you, for I judge that ye have faith in Christ because of your meekness; for if ye have not faith in him then ye are not fit to be numbered among the people of his church.
 40 And again, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you concerning hope. How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope?
 41 And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.
 42 Wherefore, if a man have faith he must needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope.
 43 And again, behold I say unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and lowly of heart.
 44 If so, his faith and hope is vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity.
 45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
 46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—
 47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
 48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.

 I've read those words so many times and I have always loved and appreciated them. But never have they had such a strong  and profound affect on me. After I read those verses everything I was obsessing over in my mind melted out and away. I cried some more but it felt so good. Like everything would be OK and that I CAN make my life the way I want it to be. I just have to be good. 

"Do good and be good." That's what my mom and I always wrote to each other during my mission. When you think about it it's pretty simple. And that's all that's asked of us, really, if you put it simply. 

"As I have loved you, love one another."

I think that love is the key to everything. I mean, if you think too hard about those verses above it can get a little confusing - You can't have love without hope and you can't have hope without faith and you can't have faith without love - wait. What? So, you just have all three, right? To me, faith and hope are so important in life. Whatever it is you have faith in, whatever it is you hope for. You need to have faith in something. You need to hope for something. I need to. And the key to having both, to me, is love. Your heart will be open to things. You will be patient, understanding, accepting, willing, and ready. AND AND AND. You will be more able to make your life the way you want it to be. 

That's my philosophy anyway. Well, that's what I learned from my experience last night. It's so simple and something that I've been taught since I was a tiny one. It seems like the simple little things in life are the ones that we need to be reminded of the most, the ones that are the most important to remember.

Friday, January 6, 2012

What I like.

I'm not usually one to really make New Year's Resolutions. I just don't ever get around to making them, and if I do I rarely follow through. But that is going to change this year! This year I am going to blog every week! Emily tells me I need to write in my journal more (because I don't at all) and she's right. I do need to. But I don't like writing. Like, writing with a pen and paper. When I write, with a pen and paper, I can really get into it at first and then I start pressing really hard and then my hand gets tired and then I can only concentrate on my hand hurting and then I stop writing. So instead of writing in my journal, I am going to blog. Yeah? I will blog every week - maybe once, maybe more. And they don't have to be long entries. They can and will be anything: what I'm up to, what's on my mind, quotes I like (But I promise I'll actually know what the quote means; I won't just google "quotes on being happy" and then post something that I have no attachment to other than simply liking it. I mean, not that that's bad, if you do that, but I won't. At least, I'll try not to.), rantings and ravings about RuPaul's Drag Race (season 4 starts in 24 days!!!!), maybe even my latest craft made from my Silhouette machine (Yes. Sometimes I "craft." Silhouette.). I'm excited. 

Today I would like to talk about what I like. 

I like my life. I know that's a pretty broad statement but I truly do like my life. I like it a lot.  It isn't perfect, it isn't always glamorous (I say always because it really is pretty glamorous occasionally), and it seems like we're always just scraping by. But my life is fun. Really fun. And I wouldn't have it any other way. (I know that everything else I say is all just part of this "like," but just go along with me.)

I really really RILLY like my wife. She is the best girl that I know, and I'm sure that even if I knew all the girls I would still think that she is best. Because she is. Things aren't the easiest right now but even still, she is so strong. She doesn't always think she is, but she  is. She is amazing because she keeps going. Winston Churchill said, "Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm." She probably doesn't think that she's very enthusiastic but I think she is. She is because she does keep going, she does do everything she can to make things work. She loves me. And she loves our cats. She is the best girl. PS- She is in a really cool play right now at Hale in West Valley. It's a really fun and NEW murder mystery comedy. But tough luck gittin' tickits cuz it's already all sold out! Thaz righ'!

I really like our cats. Yes. Emily and I have cats. If you know anything about anything about us, you know that we have cats. Two of them.  Their names are Trevor and Lucille 2. They are the cutest, funnniest, most best cats that ever lived. They really are! Most of time. I'm sure I will blog about them later, and probably a lot, so get used to it. Hello. My name is Ames. I am a cat person. 

I really like my family. Even though we are kind of all over the place and even though I don't see all of them too often or talk to them nearly as much as I should, I like them a whole lot. They are the reason I am who I am and I'm very grateful for all of them. 

I like my job. I work for this really cool company called Silhouette America. The company manufactures this super nifty and extremely handy crafting-cutting machine. It is so so cool. I have one at home and I use much more frequently then I thought I ever would. It became especially handy for a Stage and Screen Design class that I took (and ACED) this last semester. I'm a customer/technical support rep, so I talk to people (mostly middle-aged women from the South (No offense to them, I love them most of them)) every afternoon for 4 or 5 hours and help them with all kinds of things. It's actually pretty fun, and it's a great company!

I like school. Do I want to be done with school? Yes. But I like it. At least, I keep telling myself that I do. Maybe it's just that I like being lazy. That's probably it. I really like being lazy, but that has bitten me in my tooched booty way too hard recently and I'm getting over it. I'm learning how to be pretty good at school and I'm really starting to like it. I mean, I never really HATED school or anything, it was just a kind of a nuisance. I'm getting over that, too. It has taken me forever but I'm almost finished with all of my G.E.'s and can almost start taking my Education courses. Yeah, that means that I still have a while but it also means that I'm that much closer to being done!

This isn't the extent of things that I like. I like a lot of things but I can write about them later.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Adventures in the Night

Huh? What? I haven't posted for more than a year? I don't know what you're talking about.

I know that this post's title may seem raunchy to some people... if that's t your case, then I apologize ahead of time. No raunchy... in this post.

The other night was a first. I sleepwalked. In my memory, I've never sleepwalked before. All that I can actually remember is kneeling down in front of Emily's side of the closet, FRANTICALLY SEARCHING THROUGH HER SHOES. That's right. I don't know remember why, but I was looking for one of her shoes that I was positive HAD A MICROCHIP PLACED IN IT; according to Emily, I called it a 'coin.' WHA--? I have no memory of what I was dreaming that had led me to look for this shoe, or why there was some kind of a chip inside a shoe, or why I was even looking for it. But that's what I was doing. Ok.

I must have woken Emily up, either by turning on the lamp at my bedside table or asking her where it was, because I'm pretty sure that her trying to calm  me down was what brought me to full consciousness. Well, somewhat of a  full consciousness. I think I had said, "I know it's here - I'm just trying to find it," and then stopped and starred at her shoes for a while. It was only after I realized that I had NO IDEA what I was doing that I slowly got back into bed and went back to sleep. Doo doo doo...

But really, what the hull?

At first I was really scared by it. Thought I was crazy for not realizing what I was doing until I was deep "in the act." But after thinking about it further... I want to sleepwalk more! Call me crazy, but this a whole new world of sleeping that I've never even experienced before! I've been missing OUT! I mean, I could be going on some crazy BAD-A** adventures: beating all sorts of Wii games, chasing Trevor Cat (SOON, thankfully!) and... yeah, stuff like that!! Right?!

Sleepwalking 101: SIGN ME UP!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Town of Urine


I'm in a show with my wife and a whole bunch of friends at school. It's called "Urinetown: the musical." You may have heard of it. If so, you know why you need to come and see it. If not, I'm telling you, this show is hilarious. Really, like, so funny! And I promise you will love it. If you want a fun night of live (and lively) theater, please come and see it.

It will open in UVU's Ragan Theater on January 21 (next Thursday) and runs every night until January 30 (excluding Sunday, and including possible matinees on Tuesday and Friday morning of the second week). For more information on how to buy tickets go here.

I am having the most fun I have ever had in a production before and I want everyone to come and see it!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I was asked to post on UVU theatre department's website about Charlotte's Web. I'm in it, and it opens September 17. Also, it's amazing, and I really think you should come and see it! Here is my post:

Christopher Clark told us at our first cast meeting that Charlotte's Web "isn't a dumb kid's show," and I wrote that at the very top of the first page of my script. As we've rehearsed I've continued to think about that. This isn't a dumb kid's show. Sure, the story is known as a children's story, but the way it's told is so unchildlike, and the experiences within the story are things that everyone, both child and adult, can experience: incredible friendship, hard work, happiness, loss of a dear friend, etc. In fact, the main reason why I'm so excited for this production is because of how much it means, and will mean to so many people. Whether they know the story, love the story, or don't know the story at all, everyone can relate to something in it. The entire cast has worked so hard to be able to produce this amazing experience on stage, and I can't to share it with everyone.

Last night, as I was getting ready for a scene, one of Wilbur's lines hit me and really sank into me. I don't remember his line exactly, but he was yelling at Templeton for being inconsiderate to him and also towards Charlotte's dire situation. Now, this is my personal take on his line, but he says something about how it doesn't matter how long you live, but how you live. Wilbur assures both himself and Templeton that he, Wilbur, has lived a good life, and that he is happy. As I was walking towards my entrance location I thought, "Wilbur is less than a year old. What has he experienced to make himself so happy and fulfilled in such a short time?" Then I thought about his friendship with Charlotte, Fern, the farm animals and others. They trust eachother, are dedicated to serving eachother, and love eachother. Thinking about good friendships and relationships that I have, or have had, I realized/remembered that that's what made them so meaningful, and made me so happy. Trust, dedication, and love. This production portrays these traits (and so many others) that are so valuable and meaningful to everyone.

I love this show. I love this story. I'm so glad that I'm a part of this production; part of this experience. Come and see. You won't regret it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Forever and ever

I have a friend of the Book of Faces. She recently posted a picture of her grandparents at their 70th Wedding Anniversary. "That's right, 70 years." She probably has no idea how AMAZING I seriously think that is, and how grateful I am that she posted that picture. Her grandparents look SO happy. Yes, they look tired as well, but so happy.

I'm getting sealed to Emily on Friday. This Friday. I cannot believe that it's here already. We will be married and become husband and wife forever and ever. I believe in that and want it with all that I am; it makes me so happy just thinking about it. My friend's grandparents have gone through 70 years and they will probably go on even longer. Forever and ever even. Emily and I will do the same.

Family is amazing. Once upon a time, my Grandma Mari Bell recorded herself reading a book to her grandchildren as she was serving a mission with my Grandpa. It was a book about how the Bats became the 'outcast' animal, or something like that, because they couldn't choose between the animals or the birds, which made both sides, the animals and the birds, hate them, and thus, the Bats are now all by themselves... Anyway, after she read the book to us she testified about how important it is to choose a side, "either the Lord's side, or the Devil's," and how when we choose the Lord's side, we can all be together, as family, forever and ever. "That is our strongest, most deepest desire, to be with all of you." And that is my strongest, most deepest desire. To be with my family forever and ever. To be with Emily forever and ever.

Friday is going to be a good day.