Monday, November 4, 2013

This really is gonna be one of those posts

And by one of those posts, I mean a before and after. This is gonna totally look like one of those, praise me now posts. I don't mean for it to be.
I was looking thru some pics and I found this one from July 2012.

It's from when I helped a friend's son paint a mural on his wall. My guess is that I was at my heaviest. Dunno, though, because I generally don't pay attention. I know this very post seems antithetical to that idea. But in my mind I always look the same.

When I went home for Christmas that year, people mentioned how much skinnier I was looking.
I think there are two solid reasons for it. The first was definitely anxiety. I think the first reaction my body had a couple of years ago was to balloon up to its largest yet. I wasn't really overeating or anything. All considered, I was eating pretty normally, but the body packed it on.
Then my body just started to shed weight. I can only guess at how much it was, but I'm thinking I lost 15-20lbs by mid-September. This had happened during the second/third month of my time in the mission field where I lost maybe 25lbs? Again, anxiety. Like, TONS of anxiety.

Anyhoo, I noticed for real at Christmas b/c people said things.

I think the second reason for the weight loss is healing. This is a catch-all, in many ways, tbh.
I felt significantly better about myself, so I took better care of myself. My soul started to heal up and it quite honestly affected my metabolism. It works better now. I'm more active b/c I want to move. That's a bonus.

Anxiety sucks. Healing can hurt during the process, but sometimes doesn't. Healing has awesome effects and sometimes they're visual:

 


I mean, it helps that I've essentially gotten a new wardrobe b/c I was sick of my pants falling off. You know how Harry looks wearing Dudley's huge clothes? That's how I felt. I wanted to dress the way I felt.
I obviously look very cute.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

ball caps and church

I wish it weren't so terribly gauche to wear a ball cap to church, b/c I think it'd be easier for me.
ball caps are my security blankets

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The best post I will ever post in all of posting-dom

If you're my facebook friend you know that I HAVE A NEPHEW!!!!!
His name is William Scott Bennit. Let me show you the first pic I ever saw of him and then I will tell you a story filled with pictures.


Here's a part of the story. Two weeks ago I was reading before sleep and got a phone call at 10:30 from my brother-in-law, which was odd b/c it was so late. I'd had this feeling for a week or so, but I didn't wanna say anything to anyone, but I didn't wanna say anything b/c you know...
Brian told me to hang on a sec so that he could get Julie Rae on the line. Then they went back and forth about who was gonna tell me. At this point I'm thinking to myself JUST TELL ME THAT I HAVE A NIBLING, ALREADY!! Somehow I knew.
Julie told me that I had a nephew, that he was 8lbs 8 oz and 20 inches long. I'm sobbing so hard that I'm gasping for breath, I'm like HYPER. VENTILATING.
Why? might you ask. My sister wasn't pregnant. She and Brian have had fertility issues in their 8 years of marriage. So this was a zero to 100 deal. She's the only sibling that's married, and the other three of us do as Mormons do and don't do anything before marriage.

I got to meet him the next day.
SO. MUCH. ANTICIPATION.
I had totally lost it at this point. How could I not? I love him so much.

Because he's the best.
I went from not being an aunt to meeting my nephew in a 14 hr span.

William is Brian's middle name. Scott is after my brother and Brian's brother, Brent Scott, who passed away two years ago. Bennit is my mom's dad's name.


Julie and Brian have had so much heartache that they only told a few people that they'd been selected by the birth parents--not even their siblings knew. Here's the kicker: THEY found out 18 days before William was born. The birth parents wanted to be sure. William was born about three weeks before the estimated birth date, too. Although the doctors are positive that the date was wrong b/c he shows signs of being full term.
William with his momma.

More pictures you say? Here we go:

William going home.

William and a binky!

A couple of Fridays William got to go home with his parents, and I got to go over that night to hang out with him again. There were three of us (now FOUR!) in Georgia, so I'm kinda spoiled with my William time.




When he's fussing a bit all you have to do is rub a couple of fingers across his forehead and he calms right down. It's like magic.

Wait! You want videos? I can provide.
video

That was the first video I ever took of him. We were chilling in the nursery at the hospital.

Oh? You wanna see him yawn? OK.

video


I think that maybe that's enough for one blog post. I'm sure I will post about how I got to babysit him a few days later and will share the poopsplosion story.


OK, one last picture:


I love him so much.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

unless you're a ballerina

Tonight I decided to do a hard thing that I'd been avoiding and it reminded me of something else.

A couple of weeks back I drew a couple of pictures for a letter that I sent my cousin in the MTC to try and help make my point clear about decisions we make in life. I was trying to say that sometimes we think of big decisions being HUGE but we forget all that leads up to those decisions. So I used 1st Nephi 8 as my example:


The iron rod is continuous. We can make decisions one after another, even if they're our own decisions and not blatant THUS-SHALL-IT-BE ones from the Spirit. The mucky river is much farther away than we sometimes feel. On top of that, if we make a choice that isn't the best, the iron rod is closer to us than is the stupid misery river. 

I've realized in my life that sometimes I think of these "big" decisions and see abysses at the edge of some faith cliff. I mean, what if I don't jump far enough? My long jumping skills aren't legendary at all.


I forget all of the the seemingly inconsequential choices that I've made that have led me to the spot I'm in and how I was able to make those decisions. I forget how when I made a less-than-stellar choice, I was able to correct course. I forget how Heavenly Father has never seen me make a sketchier choice without offering me a hint on how to get back to a better path.
I'm like AHHHHH!!!! CHASMS!!!!!!

But, no, life isn't really like that, even if it feels that way--and sometimes it feels that way a lot. Sometimes I think that the "walking into the darkness" kind of faith is actually just believing that there isn't actually a chasm beneath me. Oh! this totally reminds me of that scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.


Anyway, I don't think we have to leap chasms, per se. But I think if you're a ballerina, you could probably do it just fine:


Thursday, July 25, 2013

An appendage to my last post

This afternoon when I was driving from picking up a random Bat Mitzvah card for my missionary cousin to the post office, I realized a large part of why the Trayvon Martin case has affected me so deeply. It's the willful attitude that many have of blaming the victim. I mean, it really pisses me off. As I was driving I thought of this scenario:

Would someone say it was my fault that after a while of my mission trainer molesting me and demeaning me I fought back? Would someone say that it was unfortunate that she molested me in an even harsher way, but I had fought back, after all?

I mean, this is utter bull shit, and we all know it. Zimmerman stalked Trayvon. Trayvon was just a 17-year-old kid. He was scared and had a totally normal reaction for a kid of that age. There was both a flight and a fight in his reaction.

Someone explain the difference. There is none. This is part of the reason why it took so many years for me to say anything: I was so damn afraid that people wouldn't believe me, that it was my fault, that I deserved it. I mean, Trayvon was a teenager wearing a hoodie b/c it was raining. Shifty. AND the kid had the audacity of being black.

And here's the thing, that second paragraph up there happened to me. I fought back in this way or that, whatever way I could in the demoralized state I was in. It got worse. She humiliated me more.

So by the same dumb-ass logic that person after person has been posting about on FB, I deserved every shitty moment of my abuse after I fought back. In fact I deserved all of it b/c I was an American woman with big breasts. I was exotic.

Maybe if all these (Zimmerman apologists and the) people that deny that there isn't an undertow of victim blaming in the U.S. stepped out of their ignorant shit-box of privileged comfort and realized what they were saying, and how horrible it was, this nation could actually heal.

Because I know for EFFING DAMN SURE that I have no fault in what happened to me. I've been allowed to heal from a victim to a survivor. I have faith in God and think that Trayvon is a survivor, too, just not on this planet and that makes my heart ache.

recent spat(e)

I don't know if I'm just more sensitive to things lately or if there's been a larger amount crap on my FB timeline, but I have been doing a good job at trimming my facebook friend list. Maybe I'm just done with putting up with racism and sexism and other ignorantism? I used to simply block their posts from appearing, but now I'm to a point where I'm like Do I even want that in a friend?
The trick comes when it's a relative. Blocking the posts is my only real option there.
Sigh.
I think it's probably that I'm just fed up with it and am more sensitive. I'm not sure that's a bad thing.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Suprised that I feel like

I'm not gonna lie, I'm really surprised that I feel like I should share this. I don't quite know how to present it, so I'm hoping it's not too disjointed. This post will probably end up touching on a lot of different topics that I've mentioned before on my blog and on Facebook.

I've had a few realizations and paradigm shifts in the last while that have really changed the way I view my body, myself and the topic of modesty. If you've seen my posts on facebook and the links I've shared, my opinions on modesty are obviously strong. I've decided to describe at least part of the reason why, and I'm not gonna hold back.

When I was a teenager I wore lots of baggy clothing. Part of the reason why is that it was lazily comfortable. Another reason is that I was ashamed of my body. I felt awkward (I mean, what teenager doesn't). But my breasts weren't small and they weren't huge, but I didn't like them b/c maybe attention could be drawn to them. They were sexual and we were supposed to cover that up. With this comes the whole hogwash of "Sisters help the brothers," and all of that nonsense. My body was daily betraying me, so I wore shirts two sizes too big. I didn't understand how to be feminine and I thought that if I were too feminine it'd be sinful anyway.

When I went on my mission at age 21 it was the first time that I got a wardrobe that was more form fitting. It's kinda hard to get away from that as a missionary that's supposed to look representable. No more XL t-shirts and baggy jeans and khakis.

If you've read my blog since last September, you know that my mission trainer molested me. Part of her grooming involved making fun of my breasts, focusing on them. She was a woman, so it didn't compute that it could be a "bad" thing. She'd reword hymns in Portuguese to make fun of them. She'd tell me that Brazilian men wouldn't be interested in them b/c they were all about the butt. She was fascinated by them and it was one of her main focuses in the abuse.

The reason why I explained all of that is that it'll make sense when I say that if I hated my breasts and body before my mission, it was nothing compared to after. If only I'd had a smaller chest, she wouldn't have been interested. It was my fault. My stupid breasts. Without being fully aware of what I was doing and certainly not understanding why, I started physically harming my breasts. I don't know when it started. It was sometime in the middle of the last decade I think. But I have some scars. sometimes what I did wouldn't leave scars b/c I never went very deep, but sometimes scars were inevitable. I even have scars from where my sensitive skin reacted to the bandaids that I was using to help the wounds heal.

I have scars in a couple of other places where she would commonly molest me, as well, and I particularly hated those parts of my body, too. None of this is visible no matter what clothing I wear. But the hatred and disgust for these parts of my body didn't hold a candle to the animus that I felt for my breasts.

I had been taught proper shame for my body by society, school and religion. Well--not the proper way my religion should be taught, but the cultural way things were passed on.

Years ago I had a roommate that told me that I should wear V-necks. At first I was terrified b/c what if I showed off too much? Terrible things had already happened. But she was like, "You'll look great in them!" I trusted her. I now have a multitude of V-necks because I gained confidence in my body thru her confidence in my body.

Obviously things really tanked a couple of Novembers ago when I realized what had happened to me. My utterly disgusting, revolting body, breasts. Being a feminine woman is part of my problem. I shouldn't be. I should hide myself.

Scottie gave me a blessing two Christmases ago that I call my second patriarchal blessing. In it I was told to glory in my womanhood, to essentially not be afraid of it and I was like, I don't get that at all. o_O

I do now. The more I've healed emotionally, the more I've healed physically. Sometimes I dress more feminine now b/c I like it. It's part of me. Sometimes I wear cargo shorts and a t-shirt and a ball cap b/c that's me, too. I wear makeup. I experiment with it. I am utterly NOT ashamed of my décolletage. I wear clothes that emphasize my cleavage and other attributes of my body.

So what changed? I love my body. My body isn't something to be ashamed of. It isn't something I should cover for the sake of others. It isn't the reason why I was molested.

Yesterday on facebook a good friend asked me what my personal definition of modesty was. I thought for a sec and this is what I wrote:

How would I personally define modesty? hmmm, well, first I need to say that it's taken me a while to really understand it and the biggest step was learning to love my body the way it is. I'm pretty normal body-wise and I'm actually really grateful for that. The second step in my understanding was to not be afraid or ashamed of being feminine. I know that this isn't a step for everyone, but it is/was for me. In this regard I realized that wearing clothing that accentuated my features wasn't immodest, but was simply flattering. Wearing clothing that emphasized my décolletage wasn't immodest. I was confusing a shame of my feminine body parts with modesty.
So I would say that I now understand modesty to be a person wearing clothes with no shame of their body. I naturally would cover my body with more fabric than someone else would, b/c that's me. But that doesn't make me more "modest."
 I think modesty at its strongest and most essential is about self appreciation and love.


I know that this post is long and I covered some rough stuff in my life. But these realizations are so important to me. Once I realized what I was doing to my breasts and body, attacking it, and why I was doing it, I began to heal. I haven't gouged my breasts or hurt them in any way in four or five months. It's the longest stretch, I think, since it started happening. I'm not saying that I'm magically cured, because things like this can be cyclical. But I feel better.

On Monday Therapist asked me about my body and I told her that I loved it, even with the scars. The scars now show me how far I've come.
I truly do love my body.


Saturday, July 6, 2013

morning realization

Lucifer was the Son of the Morning.
I feel that it is my Mormon duty to revile the morning.
I'm going on about 34 years of faithfully fulfilling this duty.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I've been very happy this last while. I catch myself grinning all the time.

It's nice being this happy.

Monday, June 10, 2013

lucky in the grand scheme of stuff

This afternoon I was thinking about how lucky I am in the grand scheme of things. I mean, something absolutely shitty happened to me on my mission that messed me up incredibly and slowly dragged me down over the years. But once I realized what happened and started telling people and looking for help, I've never been denied it. In fact, EVERYONE has been loving and supportive. No one has ever doubted me, it's always been an immediate jump to belief and support. When I've needed something or have finally admitted that I'm not doing well, family and/or friends have jumped to me to support me.

How many people in my situation can say that? How many people in my situation get told the fault is theirs? How many people get rumors spread about them? Seriously, how many people end up dealing with stuff that is potentially more mentally and emotionally damaging than the sexual abuse/assault/rape they suffered.

But I have felt nothing but love and support--love and support that has been so overwhelming at times I've dropped to my knees.

I was chatting with Heavenly Father about this earlier. I think my question was a bit rhetorical, b/c I haven't received an answer yet. Maybe it's too early in the game for the answer. All I know is the support and outpouring of love that I've felt, even from people commenting on this blog that I don't personally know, have lifted me so high, have been a gentle upward push helping me get past one painful moment after another.

I don't know why I'm so lucky, but there's no way to express my gratitude about this. Here's a linguist saying that words in any of the languages I know are completely inadequate to describe what the unwavering support has done for my once broken and now healing soul

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Something I now know unequivocally

Getting your legs waxed hurts like a {cussing cuss cuss of cuss}


Friday, May 31, 2013

Can't sleep, must play with eye shadow

I lay in bed for maybe 90 minutes unable to sleep. So I got up to read a book or something soothing. I ended up playing with eye shadow.

Yep.

Fer rills.

On my right I used greys and pinkish purplish colors. I smudged in some purple eye liner over the smokey one just for fun.




On the left I went for soft pinks and browns.



I know that you love the bonus of the purple nail polish that I messed up today and need to remove.



I should be asleep.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

sleep blogging

Last night as I was falling asleep I thought to myself, "Me, did you blog about your hallucidreaming?" "No, that was just another of the weird dreams. Why would I blog about that?"

Yeah, so I really did blog about it and now I know that I can sleep blog, too.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Hallucidreaming

I'm pretty sure I was having sleeping hallucinations rather than dreams last night. At one point I woke up enough and put my phone on its airplane mode so I wouldn't do anything crazy.
I wish I could remember some of the story lines and the whatever else was going on. It really must be the closest thing to a drug trip I've ever felt.

I think it involved hovering, rapid color shifts, crazy dramatic movements, dangerous shifts in space, loss of gravity, irrational anger, giddiness. All of these ramped way up beyond dream level.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

revision on one of the two things.

I realized that they way I worded something in my last post isn't really how I picture it. I talked about how my faith has been "building back up" or something like that. No, I don't think that's really what's going on. I feel like I'm close to Heavenly Father and Mother, that there's light and gold and beauty around me and I can reach out and down and around for truth that will enrich me and help me.

I feel like before in my life I was always mucking things out, building from the bottom up, reaching what I couldn't quite see. I feel like I'm in a much safer place, much higher and can look at and see things that will help me.

Yeah, not building back up, but gathering and encircling.

Monday, May 20, 2013

two things for today

I was thinking today about a couple different topics. First about how my facebook wall has lit up the last couple of weeks with discussions and back and forth about a few links that I posted, the Elizabeth Smart one where she talked about the stupid things that are said in abstinence-only sex ed courses (which is the worst way to go about sex ed) and then one about how kids can't be immodest and we shouldn't lay the heavy of adult shame on kids b/c the adults haven't figured out self worth.
There've been a few negative comments, but mostly positive and there's been good dialog, which I wasn't expecting in the amount that's been had.

So I've been thinking about shame and how it works. Today I realized that shame is like guilt. I've mini-soapboxed on my blog before about the difference between Godly sorry and guilt. This is the equation that I came up with:

shame is to worth as guilt is to godly sorrow
oh! I wanna write it in the logic framework
shame : worth :: guilt : godly sorrow
Then I wrote this down:
  • Guilt drags us down and proves to us that we suck, we're not worth love, that we deserve every bad thing in life b/c of what we've done, that there's no way back to God.
  • Godly sorrow doesn't avoid the fact that maybe we made a mistake, but God's totally on our side, waiting to help us learn and wants desperately for us to feel his love.
  • Shame is a man-made construct that keeps us within a certain boundary b/c we know we're bad humans and without it we'd stray. It's essentially like  original sin, which was a dumb idea from the first time someone mentioned that falsehood.
  • Worth lets us know that we are good, that we can know what to do to take of ourselves, that when someone treats us poorly, it has nothing to do with us. It also lets us know that if we've treated someone poorly, we are not doomed, nor is the other person.
Divine worth will never change. Within the Mormon context we may temporarily not be worthy/able to participate in certain religious contexts, but our divine worth is a constant. It is an unchangeable fact no matter what we do or especially no matter what anyone does to us.



Also today I realized that these last 18 months I essentially started over in my faith. My world crumbled around me and I picked up pieces here and there. I've not picked up some and I've put back down others. My faith has been a more confusing thing to deal with. The only clear truth that I know is that I'm a daughter of Heavenly Parents. That's where my faith has been building back up. It's been going on for a while, but I didn't realize it until today. I have knowledge about the doctrine of my religion, I have faith in how the atonement heals a wounded soul. But I no longer push, I no longer force something or berate myself when I simply can't go to church. Things will eventually work out. I know this b/c I have Heavenly Parents that believe in what my divine worth will do for me.

So there are two of my realizations from today.




Wednesday, April 24, 2013

HIchop

I just kinda want to have access to this forever and ever.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Three things

that I've learned in the last 18 months of my recovery:

  • We are more worthy than we realize.
  • We are more loved than we realize.
  • Heavenly Father is a dad.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pecking Order of Survival

Someone asked me last week of Therapist had a timeline of when I'd be able to function more freely mentally for schoolwork and whatnot. I wish that I'd said that I'm actually ahead of schedule. Truth is that I will always be right where I need to be, even if that current place sucks. I mean, what else could I be doing?
About a day after I got that question, this piece from The Onion slid thru my tumblr dashboard. I found it very fitting. I showed it to Therapist, who loved it.

I don't really know how to do more than I'm doing. My schoolwork is not up to my standard. School is about survival right now, not success. I didn't envision my doctorate playing out like this. It's hard not to feel pathetic or weak. One friend pointed out that I'm doing awesome in character growth, in healing. Another friend said that I deserve a silver medal for all that I'm doing (I don't like yellow gold). Silver is my favorite.

I actually believe that this is true, which is big for me, of course. Unfortunately it's not gonna play out that way academically.

But I sit down and ask myself what's more important, my health or a college class? Previously I would've just sacrificed everything else for the grade. I can't do that anymore--like I am physically and mentally incapable of that option.

So I listen to Adele, Jackson Browne, The Avett Brothers, my friend's music to calm me down. I listen to Daft Punk's Tron when I simply can't think anymore. I paint. I write. I draw. I watch baseball. I talk to friends.

I deal weekly lately with various forms of panic attacks. Daily with anxiety now. Last Wednesday I hugged my dad goodbye as he's at Fort Benning now getting ready for a 5-month Red Cross stint in Afghanistan. I'll tell you just how well I'm doing about that. September 16, you need to come RIGHT NOW.

A friend suggested that I need a milestone for each of the 5 months that he's gone, something to look forward to. One will definitely be a Braves-Mets game in Atlanta. I've never seen my favorite team play in person. Maybe this will happen twice.


So I am left asking myself daily what's more important? What can I do today? How can I survive today? How can I thrive today? What can be just enough?

Sometimes I feel like saying eff everything. Some days I want a hardship withdrawal from life. Other days I feel like I might just make it.

What usually wins out is the idea that on the crappy days, another really good one will come soon and it'll be awesome and I will love it and I will be so happy.

I'm grateful for those happy days. I'm grateful for how they carry me thru the sucky days. I'm grateful for music. I'm grateful for friends and family. I'm grateful that my dad will most likely not leave the base for the 5 months he's in Afghanistan. I'm grateful for baseball and how it calms my soul. I'm grateful for sunlight that buoys me up. I'm grateful for art. I'm grateful for school b/c I would've collapsed without it over the last 18 months. I can't believe it's been a year and a half since I realized that I was molested.

I really am grateful for life. It's odd how much I do like life considering everything, I guess. Maybe it's not odd. I've had more wonderful by far than I've had terrible. I'm grateful for that, too.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

the hardest part about teaching

I love teaching, love it dearly. It takes me about 20 minutes into the semester to realize that my students are the best students. I'm always right, too.

There is one part about teaching that has never been easy for me. This morning I got an email from a student saying that her grandma had passed away yesterday. She actually apologized for missing class. A couple of weeks into the semester her grandpa passed away, too. After that happened she told me that it was bringing back lots of feelings and memories of a few years ago when her dad died of cancer. I almost cried with her.

This morning in a different class I saw one of my students with kind of red eyes. Allergies are hitting and she'd had a cold recently, no biggie. Until she came up to the front after class with tears in her eyes, trying to talk. I told her to follow me into the room across the hall. She told me that her best friend had been having terrible headaches and she finally went to the emergency room last night and the doctors found a bad infection that had spread to her brain. They were going to try to perform surgery, but there was no way to save her. She died this morning and my student's mom called right before class to tell her.

I don't know how she made it thru class. She had a test right after our class, so she decided to stay. All I could do was hug her and we talked for a while longer.

This is the hardest part of teaching: seeing my students suffer thru really hard things and feel that they need to apologize for missing class. I told my student this morning that I loved her, but didn't really want to see her for the rest of the week.

I love teaching Portuguese. I love seeing students think that the language is great, because I remember feeling that way when I first started learning in 101. But what I love to see more than anything is the growth in students, that they've learned that I know that they can do whatever they want to do, that their potential is higher than they ever imagined.

But sometimes the most important thing that I want them to know is that I love them.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Not Firsts During Spring Break

Going to the Lincoln Memorial


Going to the Jefferson Memorial

Going to the FDR Memorial


Chilling with Eleanor

Touching the ground where an ancestor would have been
Listening to Harry Potter audiobooks while driving on an interstate
Calling my grandma all excited because of some family history something that I found
Seeing the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and Constitution
Going to the National Gallery

El Greco
Falling in love with 14th century Italian art
 
Paulus

Feeling transported by art

Seeing a da Vinci

Seeing a Rafael

Adoring Salvador Dalí's Last Supper
Feeling grateful for the brave people that have gone before me
Soldier at the Vietnam Memorial
Getting a sunburn/tan on my left arm from driving with the window down
Returning to get another look at a triptych

Hanging out with Chris

Laughing myself sick with my cousin Katie
Reminding myself that my cousins are the best cousins
Being reminded of why I love Jefferson's words


Feeling overwhelmed at a battlefield
Union cemetery at Marye's Heights, Fredericksburg
Statue erected by New Jersey vets at the Bloody Angle

Bloody Angle from a Union viewpoint
Closing my eyes just to listen and feel at a spot where an ancestor had been
Beaver Dam Lutheran Cemetery in NC, next to the plot of land where a church once stood where my ancestors worshiped
Williams Township, PA
East Angle, Spotsylvania Battlefield, VA
Prying myself away from someplace because I know that I have to leave
Correcting a random stranger about a fact of our country's history
Staring in awe at Lincoln, thinking of all he did

Reading the Gettysburg Address
Cemetery Hill, Gettysburg
Rereading the Gettysburg Address
Lincoln Memorial, DC
Taking pictures of wacko license plates
Hand Cart? Votes on whether or not the driver is Mormon?
Seeing someone touch a name at the Vietnam Memorial
Feeling my heart hurt at the Vietnam Memorial

Tearing up at a spot where one of my ancestors stood
Singing along loudly with my music in various languages
Eating pie (cheesecake) on π day