Friday, December 28, 2012

...a little story about my heart...

I went to see "The Forgotten Carols" again this year. I've watched this incredible play every year around Christmas for as long as I can remember. So I know what happens next with each event, but more importantly, I know how Michael McLean ends the show. It's actually really cool. As he talks about Christmas, the season and his testimony, he has everyone from the audience join him in singing, "we can be together, forever, someday." Then he tells you to think of a loved one who couldn't be with you that night, "whether they're serving our country in Afghanistan, they've passed through the vail" or they turned out to be little jerkfaces! (I, of course, added that last part.) So as I sat and thought about those little jerkfaces, and thought about how I still loved them despite everything they've done to me, and imangined a time where I could be together with them again, not the jerky part, just the part that I love about them. The wheels started to churn in my head, and I asked myself quite a few questions, one of them being, but why in the world do I still care about these people, people who have wronged me in such a way that it's almost unforgivable? And eventually, it came to me. I've known for a while now that I have a much more charitable love, but since the accident, I really have not seen it as a blessing. (Because I obsess over people who want nothing to do with me.) But, that's when I realized that the reason why I can love people the way that Christ can love them is because I seem them through an entirely different perspective. I don't see them the way that the world would have me look at them. I see them the way that Christ sees them. I see their yearning to be better even when it makes no sense, I see them for who they truly, truly are. And that is why I can still say I love these people who have wronged me terribly, because I don't see what they've done to me as much as I see what they try to do for their Savior. The whole way home, as I sat and thought about this, it all started to make sense. And suddenly my whole life changed. I realized why I couldn't seem to let go of "oldShannon" and that, in turn, allowed me to let go of her just a little bit more. For Christmas, I got a replacement BLUE guitar, so I went to my room to tune it today. As soon as I got it tuned, I opened my old songbook to play some of the songs I had written before. And as I read through them, I started seeing examples of this all over the place. So I thought I would share some of those excerpts from my songs. "I love you, for who you are." "All I know, is that I wish that we could be friends again. You have hurt me more than you may ever know." "I'll always believe in you" "And I'm right here, waiting for your call. Don't let go, cause I'm always holding on. And I'll never leave you" "Believe in who you are. I love you, just the way you are." Then there is this song that's titled "I really do love you" and I would basically put the entire song in here. "I care more about you, than I ever even thought I could." "I'll be your best friend, for as long as you want me to" There's also a whole song about being young and innocent... "My mind says no, but my heart won't let you go" And the list goes on and on. But yeah, that's me. That's why it's so hard to move on, to accept change. I've always been this way. Quite a few of those songs are from before the accident even. And it's just the way that I see people, as the Savior would, not as the world sees them.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A few snippets from my life

Okay, well since I didn't get any answers on what parts of my book I should post, I just randomly went through my book and decided to start copying and pasting. So that is just what I did. So, here are some of the parts from my book! Oh and p.s. I won't take a picture with my new smile yet, I need to wait until my stupid face clears up quite a bit and stuff first... bleh! And I tried to get it to "enter" where it's supposed to be a new paragraph or something, and I couldn't get it to do that for the life of me! So sorry!

 TIES Then one Sunday while I was at church in my Sunday School class, Rachel had her little brothers tie in her bag. I don’t know why she had this tie in her bag, but she did. And we were outside just chilling on the grass, so I borrowed her little brother’s clip-on tie. I put it on my shirt as if I was a boy and I actually totally liked it! All of the other girls just joked around saying that maybe I should wear a tie to school or something, but they obviously didn’t mean it. But when I said it, I did mean it. I didn’t care what anyone else thought of me, I was going to do what I wanted to, simply because I wanted to do it. Besides my new theme song had become Typical Girl by Cheri Magill. So I said to my girl-friends, “I refuse to be your typical girl, there’s plenty of them in this world.” And when I went home that day, I asked my dad to teach me how to tie a tie. And the next day, you better believe I was wearing a tie. “What are you wearing?” Samantha asked. “A tie.” I emphatically said. “Why?” Sophia and Olivia said together. “Because I wanted to, and boy doesn’t it look great with this outfit?” I responded. “No, it just looks weird,” Samantha declared. “Oh well!” I said, shrugging my shoulders as I walked towards my first class. “What is she thinking?!?” I heard Rachel say as I walked away. I just chuckled inside my head. I didn’t care what they thought. So I wore my tie all day long. I went to the mall and picked up a bright pink tie from the store Tie One On. Then I wore that bright pink tie all the time. I loved it! After all, it was something that I had just created. But then, something crazy happened; I started noticing stores attach fake little cloth ties to girls’ shirts. And before long, it became the new “in” thing. And just like that, I became a trendsetter.

 SIT UPS Because I had made friends with a whole ton of guys, and I always liked to do something just a little bit different, I decided to strengthen my abs. So every time that I had a boy come over to my house, I would challenge them to a sit-ups competition. Every guy would look at me like, are you serious? But they would eventually get down and go. Each and every single time, I would beat the boy(s), so hard core. He would be going along, waiting for me to give up, while he silently got exhausted until he couldn’t do anymore, while I on the other side, wasn’t even breaking a sweat. But although I was incredible at sit-ups, I still liked doing things that I couldn’t beat everyone at. Like football. I loved football. I would absolutely love getting all of the guys together and get down and get dirty. Of course, with a little tiny girl that I was, I always had an advantage however when I would play tackle with the boys. None of the guys wanted to hurt “poor, fragile, little Shannon.” It was awesome.

 MIAMAID PRESIDENT In my church there are youth groups who have goals and great opportunities to build upon your leadership abilities. When I was just 14 I accepted a position to be a President amongst all of the girls my age. I was always concerned about everyone, particularly in my age group at this time. I tried to ensure that the activities that were planned were never biased towards one girl or another. I would recognize every girl for their accomplishments and all they had done. Then one day one of the Stake Young Women’s leaders came into Young Womens, and told us quite a few things. But the one that stuck out in particular was that we weren’t supposed to use our leaders’ first names, we needed to call them Sister [insert last name here]. That really did not jive too well with me or my crew. So Sophia and I decided to take this whole “appropriate names” thing under our own hands. We came up with a plan, we would make up names, and assign them to the different leaders! We started by asking them what their middle names were. The only one that had a cool/useful middle name however was Nodiko. That is her middle name, so that was her new name. Then we just had to make everyone else’s names up. We came up with some very interesting names. There was Finlinkoo, Dinkenhigen, DingoAce and Malibu. This was great, because everyone started calling them by those names, and the Stake Young Women’s President couldn’t get mad at us because it wasn’t their first names!

 FOOTBALL 8.14.08 8.15.08 I went over to Tyler’s neighborhood as one of the last days of summer before we started high school. The day started out just Tyler, the twins, Daniel and Joseph, and I, but the twins left pretty quickly after I got there. But then Tyler’s little sister, Julie, came out and hung with us for a while. Then Alex came over, we played on Josh’s tramp (he wasn’t with us, but his backyard is connected to Tyler’s), Tyler’s swingset, and best of all, we played tackle football! Of course, the boys wanted to be all masculine and be on each other’s team, so Julie and I were a team of our own. It was great. We had a whole lot of fun, and Julie and I were not those wussy little girls playing “big boy football” or anything. Oh no, we were tough! But I did end up getting a goose egg - on my eyebrow nonetheless! Then we left Julie, and we headed back over towards my neighborhood. Of course, Tyler, being the amazing sweetheart that he is, he had to call Sophia and Olivia to have them come play with us. Alex and I really did not want them to come though. Tyler knew that, so he told us not to worry, that he doubted that they would come. Alex and I just looked at each other, thinking, “they will come, they’ll do anything for Tyler.” So when they didn’t come after like 30 seconds, Tyler called them again, and again, and again. He called them so many times I think they ended up coming over just to get him to stop calling. Alex and I were not very happy with Tyler. And now two other girls were with us too, so Alex and I walked off away from the other 3 and we just started talking. After we had been talking for quite a while we went back, hoping that Tyler would not still be with Sophia and Olivia. Of course, he was however. So we took him aside and we talked to him, while in the meantime, Sophia and Olivia had Tyler’s bike. We just left and went up to my house. At my house we jumped on the tramp. It was so fun because the boys would be on both of my sides, we’d count to three, and then I would go on my back. The boys would pop me up, so I went so high, then they’d both rush in to catch me. It was such a blast. At one point in time, Alex was trying some different ways that he could pop me and catch me and stuff while Tyler pretended to be filming us. After we had been worn out from all the jumping, we just sat down on the grass barely underneath the tramp. Of course, it was me in the middle and Alex and Tyler on each side. Tyler and I thought we were so sly when we slipped our hands in between each other’s fingers. I don’t know if it was my shortness of breath, or my delirious thought processes, but Alex seemed to notice something, so he hopped up on the tramp and put his face in between the springs, right where Tyler and I were holding hands (underneath our legs of course though). He just like stared at us. Curfew time came upon us rather quickly after that. So Tyler and I retrieved his bike back, and we walked Alex home. Then Tyler showed me his brand new pegs that he had just put on his bike. He told me to get on them, and we would ride around for just a minute. He told me that I was the first one on his “virgin pegs.” While he rode around my block once and then back up to my house, I would either rub his shoulders, lean on his back, or mess up his amazing hair. Oh, I loved him so much! I loved being so close to him! But we knew we had to say goodbye, so he gave me a tight hug. “I love you, Shannon.” “I love you too.” It was getting progressively easier to talk during a hug. It was just hard when he’d squeeze me in tighter, only barely because it cut off some air to my lungs; mostly because of the way in which I could hardly breathe. This was because every time he squeezed me in closer, or even just squeezed my hand while we were holding hands, it was like he was telling me that he really does love me or something.

 GOLDEN DESERT WITH DILLON But during those 4 months, I was doing a lot of other things. I went to many national, prestigious debate tournaments. The first tournament I want to talk about happened in early December. It’s called Silver and Black held at Alta High School. But first, I should explain a little bit about national debate tournaments and how they work. First, you have prelim rounds where that decides who breaks (goes on) to the elimination rounds. Then depending on the tournament you get a TOC bid at different stages of elimination rounds. You need 2 TOC bids to go to the Tournament of Champiuons at the end of the school year, which is a tournament that has only the very best high school debaters in the nation that year attending. Then at national tournaments you assign which teams are your schools best teams. For example, David and I were the B team, because there was one team who was better than we were. Okay, back to Silver and Black. This tournament they have 7 prelim rounds. You were guaranteed to break if you got 5-2 (5 wins, 2 losses) or better. By far, the most exciting round at this tournament was the 6th round. We were up against a team that was pretty dang good. One of the team members attended the TOC the year before. Going into this round however, we were 4-1, and she was 3-2. We went into this round being assigned the negative position. When we went negative, I was the 1N speaker position. When you are in 1N speaker position, it is nearly impossible to look seful at all. It is very, very easy to simply look like you are a tool, not doing anything to help your team win. But as the round got started, David and I got prepared. After the round was over, it felt like an eternity for the judge to make his decision, but he made his decision. He announced that we had won. David and I, we had just beat a TOC debater, stopped her from breaking thus even having a shot at getting a TOC bid and we were guaranteed to break without even using all of the prelim rounds. The only team we had lost to at this point in the game was Palo Alto’s (Palo Alto High School is pretty good at debate) A team. The final day we lost the last prelim round, but we hit a team from California’s A team. And after we broke we barely lost, because there are 3 judges in the elimination rounds and in this round 2 of the judges voted for the other team and 1 voted for us, but even then, one of the two that voted against us said he really could not make up his mind.