Friday, September 14, 2012

Hope Came in the Shape of a Drop of Blood

Previously on the Mind of a Gus, I retold an epiphany I had this summer...
I came to the conclusion, on the steps of a monument, commemorating the life of a man with a 19 foot tall statue, that neither me or that girl will ever become someone people will make a 19 foot statue for. We will never be famous. We will never be unique. How can there be unique when there are almost 7 billion people on the earth right now? 
After my mom read this post (I'm not sure if she is a regular reader or not) her only comment was that I am a cynic when I write. That, I will own up to fully. It is possible that I am a cynic about a lot of things in life. However, hopefully this will make up for a bit of it.

And now, for the rest of the story:

Months after this so called epiphany, I was at a pretty low point in my life. Nothing the average Joe hasn't been through in their own lives, but to me it just seemed like God couldn't throw me a freaking bone.

I was at work, walking from house to house, knocking and ringing doorbells. I had gone through my usual list of affirmations to get myself pumped and positive: I LOVE MY JOB (repeated over and over), I am great at sales, I want a new pair of shoes....But, nobody was answering their doors and I could even hear them inside, "Mom, I think it's someone trying to sell something...shhhh, don't answer it." Erk, that bothered me.

Anyway, I got a call from my dear brother. It was almost one in the afternoon which means that it was before 10 in the morning for him. It kinda freaked me out because 1.) he never calls and 2.) he is never awake that early. Well, he was calling to check up on me. Oh, I love that kid.

I spent the next few minutes venting to him about how rough everything in life was going. I found myself saying feeling I must have been having for awhile and had just never said: "I am so frustrated with Heavenly Father. I did everything to make sure I was doing what he wanted me to do and then He put all these stumbling blocks in my way, so why should I go to Him for help."

Again, I have been stewing on the fact that no one in the world is unique and in that case, why should even God care.

Adam listened to me and then gently replied with a few comments that gave me some hope back. The first being: if you're gonna have a battle come up in your life, of any sort (in my case depression, anxiety, health problems...) you're gonna have to deal with it. If you deal with it alone or with the help of prescriptions then great. But, if you fight it doing everything you can AND have the Lord next to you helping you, you can only be better off.

After that, Adam reminded me of the Atonement of Christ. That He lived, bled, and died for each of us individually. I have had numerous accounts in my life where I knew this was true. That Christ knows me personally and that He knows what I'm going through. But I had forgotten.

Sure, me nor that girl in DC will ever have statues made of us. I will never be the president, or a rock star, or the winner of a nobel peach prize or the pulitzer. But to God and Jesus Christ, I am unique in thousands of ways from anyone else who has ever lived on this earth or who ever will. I believe that when Jesus Christ suffered for our pains, afflictions, and sins, he didn't suffer for them in bulk. He didn't suffer and shed one drop of blood for everyone who will ever experience depression. No, He bled a drop of blood for me, Chelsie Akers and my multiple struggles that were going on during the summer of 2013.

To some of you, this may seem far fetched or even crazy. But in Adams words "wouldn't it be sad" if it wasn't immensely personal.

Friday, September 7, 2012

One in Seven Billion

This summer, as I was out in DC, I had an epiphany. Bare with me on the retelling of my thoughts...

I was walking up the stairs to the Lincoln memorial and there was a class of some sort (I assume a "close up" type experience) coming up the stairs along side me. I slowed down to let them pass and to watch them. Sure, call me a creeper, I like to consider myself a people watcher.

As they pass, a girl with a camera and a notebook, lags behind a little. I watch as she pulls away from the group and slowly looks at the monument while taking a few photos and writing a thing or two. Then she just stops and "ponders" for a bit before she heads back to the group.

As I watched her, there were many things going through my head. First, this girl wants to be different. She is probably known by her peers as the nerd, or the artist, or the deep thinker. Her teacher probably assumes that she will go on to be something amazing. Second, she has probably had so much positive and negative attention from her being "different" that she personally believes that she will grow up to be something amazing as well. Third, all of it is in vain. Her trying to be different, the accolades from her teachers, peers, and even her own hopes and dreams, they are all in vain.

How many famous photographers are out there right now? Well, I googled it. One page lists 50, another 99, and another only 12. Out of the almost 7 billion people on earth right now, there are TWELVE famous photographers. What are her chances of growing up and being one of those twelve. Yup, I did the math these are her chances: 1.7142857e-09. I don't even know what that means besides, that her chances SUCK!

Well, lets cross photographer of her life goal list and go to writer. She doodled a little, maybe she could write something amazing about the Lincoln Memorial that will change peoples lives, move people to recycle more, stop wars, and even convince addicts to stop using. Or, she could stop kidding herself because in all of time, there have only been 14,510 books written by popular female authors. ALL OF TIME. And does she really think she can compete with Anne Frank, Jane Austene, Margaret Mitchell, Stephanie Meyer, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Anne Bronte, Ayn Rand, or Harper Lee? No, I think she better throw in the towel.

For that matter, how many people in the world have said "when I'm rich and famous"? Let's think about it, how many famous people are there really? In comparison to the population of the future, current, and past earth, there weren't that many famous people.

I came to the conclusion, on the steps of a monument, commemorating the life of a man with a 19 foot tall statue, that neither me or that girl will ever become someone people will make a 19 foot statue for. We will never be famous. We will never be unique. How can there be unique when there are almost 7 billion people on the earth right now?

As this thought permeated my mind for months, I think it depressed me. What is this all for? Why am I selling pest control? Well to pay for school, but why am I going to school? Well to get a good job, but why do I care if I have a good job? Well, to have money, but why do I need money? To do amazing things. Why do I need to do amazing things? Won't it all be the same if I try really hard to become someone important and fail (because I only have a 1.7142857e-09 chance of being important) or if I just sit in a movie theater for the rest of my life watching movies and eating popcorn (it would have to be at a harkins theater because they have DDP).

(This is an amazing post on depression) 
With this depressing thought bouncing around in my head for months, I had another experience that paralleled this one, which is a lot less depressing. Actually, it brought hope back to me. That however, will have to be told in the next post.

To be continued...

Friday, June 8, 2012

A Year to Live Life

What would you do if you had a year to do whatever you wanted? By this I mean no school, no work and all your bills had been pre-paid for the year, even leaving you the same average amount of spending money that you have when you work.

First, I would take an entire month to not leave the house. I would sleep 10+ hours a day, literally during the day. I'd then wake up some time in the evening and watch countless movies, tv shows, and even throw in some books to read when I got tired of watching tv. The goal for that month would be to 1) interact with no human being (unless they were taking my order for food delivery) and 2) to make up all the hours of sleep I've missed in my life.

Second, to stay on my goal of solitude and rejuvenation, I would drive my little red Prius to California and I would spend my days on the beach and my nights I'd sleep in my car.  There'd be no need for a suitcase of clothes because I'd live in my swim suit, so there'd be plenty of room to make a bed in the back of my Prius (yet to be named). I could do that for at least another month of my free life.

With both longing and dread I would leave California and head back to Arizona. I would spend the next ten months living on a very loose and flexible schedule:

Pick up Rachel and Nathanael and go to the park or movies or go swimming

Go outside and garden

Go to the gym or on a bike ride


Go to Lindsay's and Jared's to play with Ainsley

Cook something

Sip DDP as I read a book on the porch

Do an activity - paint/decorate a room, sew a quilt, take a photography class...

Go to the movies/ dinner with the family - Mattas with whole family, gay bar tacos with Adam, Claim Jumpers with Hannah, Oggies with Corey, or Logan's Steak House with Mom and Dad

After a few months of this regimen, I would take another road trip and head up to Calgary to impose on Camille and Kyle. They'd probably get sick of me after the first week, I know how hard it can be to have house guests... But while I'm taking up residency in their basement (one of my favourite places in the world), I'd cook them meals (since they'd unfortunately still be working), clean, shovel snow (they'd have to teach me how), run their errands, get the mail, pack lunches... I'd practically be a house elf and I'd love every minute of it. In fact, if they'd have me, I might even spend two months of my year there. One when it's beautiful outside to experience Alberta in it's prime and one in the winter when it's miserable, just to say I've experienced a Canadian winter.

Then, in the middle of this euphoric year a fairy would come and grant me one lifetime dream. She would pay for me to get helicopter lessons. I would then add this into my daily schedule and live as happy as could be!

This, my friends, is what I would do if I had a year to just live my life.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Dinner, Dessert, & Dinero

As I have said before, my job can be hard. It takes a lot to stay motivated and motivation is the key to success. So, I made it a goal to see more and do more in VA and DC while I am here this year. Even though I knew, my slumber would feel the loss greatly, I decided to go ahead and take a night on the town. 

My Moxie BFF (you, me and JB) Trina, went to the shopping center at Fairfax Corner with the sole purpose of getting a CupCake. As to not waist the trip, we decided to make a day of it by going for dinner too. After walking around and looking at our choices, we decided on FanFare Eatery.  

We decided to eat out side because the weather has been amazing the last few days. 

They had one of those fancy Coke machines, which normally always have 
DDP. But this one didn't. However, before I could get too sad, I did see that
they had Pibb Zero. Never seen it before in my life but it was pretty good. 

These boneless wings were cheaper than the wings with bone in them 
which doesn't usually happen. And, I am not going to lie, I waited 
to eat them last but was too full, so they are in my fridge for lunch 

The mac & cheese was super good. 

These onion rings were probably the worst I have 
ever had in my life. I felt like I was eating a 
brick of salt. I couldn't even eat one whole one. 

It might just be me, but I didn't know that you 
get chili on nachos...? They were pretty average 
nachos, better than buffalo wild wings, but not 

We then made our way over to Cupcakes Actually for dessert. As we walked over there, we had to forge our way through hoards of people. Then, suddenly, Trina stopped mid stride. When I looked back to see what caused the conundrum, Trina was looking down at the ground at a folded up twenty dollar bill. After a good amount of time, with her staring at it, I finally nudged her to pick it up. "But I feel GUILTY." "TRINA, if you don't pick it up someone else will! Just get it!" She did pick it up, and it ended up being a good deal for me too because there were TWO twenty dollar bills and she shared her "dream" money with me. Needless to say, I guess I am heartless because I felt no guilt and she still does even after it is all spent. 

Any who, we made it to the cupcakes with cash in hand.

This is a raspberry cupcake with vanilla bean butter cream 
frosting, and it is the best cupcake I have ever had in my life. 
Yes it beats Sprinkles and DC CupCake Co. 

I am glad that I got out of the house for the weekend and even more glad to have had such a fun night. Thank you and I am sorry to the person who lost forty bucks last night! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Get Your Garden Outa the Gutter!

Something else you gotta love about Virginia.

Not only are there weeds in the rain gutters but you can also see little old ladies trying to pick them with garbage picking tongs. :)

I was trying to be stealthy as I took this photo and I was a little far away
and the good ol Iphone just didn't know what to focus on.
But you can see her there, picking away! 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Peeves the Poltergeist

*** Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. If you are reading this and think I am talking about you or something you do, it probably is.

11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.

  1. It drives me crazy when people leave the sponge in the sink. Do they not realize that if you leave it there, it will stay wet and the bacteria will multiply and then it will start to stink? 
  2. There are some noises that drive me insane. Loud gulping noises (I can handle one or two but repeatedly? Just kill me!) and insidious scratching is worse than nails on a chalk board. 
  3. Skirting around the issue. Sometimes, people like to just hint or beat around the bush when asking me to do something for them. HELLO, I AM A PUSH OVER. I will say YES so just ask me. 
  4. At restaurants, don't bring me water with two cubes of ice. I don't want room temperature tap water, the least you could do is give me a lot of ice to cancel out the tap-ness of the water. 
  5. I love the movies but I hate inappropriateness at the movies. What do I mean by inappropriateness? Well, I am a talker during movies, I will comment or ask questions, but they are pertinent to the movie. The 14 year-olds who just want to gossip about who likes who, get the heck out of the theater. I also like to laugh during movies, sometimes even loudly. The jr. high gigglers, need to leave, that is not appropriate. Opening weekend of big movies, I will cheer or clap at good parts but it is not necessary to go over board. 
  6. It drives me crazy when people say they don't like things that they never tried. Do they not realize that being so closed minded will only lead to an unadventurous life? 
  7. When people complain about things in their life that they can change and they don't. Don't complain to me about your job, boyfriend, life, school, religion... if you aren't going to do what it takes to change it so you can be happy. 
  8. Fake people. Be who you are. Why be fake? Is there really any reason for you to talk, act, think different than how you really feel? If you think it is to make people like you more, they won't. 
  9. It drives me crazy when members of the LDS church say "the church" says to do this or not to do this. Really? There are so many things that the "church" doesn't have an official standing on and when people say the church does, I just want to smack them. Don't just hid behind some rumor you heard or half-a listened to at conference, do some research and see what "the church" really thinks about it before saying that. 
  10. My sister in-law is a Mexican who legally moved to the United States. I also grew up with parents who teach in the public school system and deal with many legal and non-legal immigrants from Mexico. I think it is a sign of ignorance when people who have never had personal experience with immigrants decide to take a stand against them and put them all in the category of lazy and destructive. 
Don't hate me after reading this. Almost all of these you will never know I am thinking or feeling, but deep down, I am being driven crazy! 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Be Optimistic, Don't You Be a Grumpy!

Dave wrote about the trip to DC. You can read about it here, here and here
Sometimes, my job can be hard. I imagine, that any job can have it's hard moments. In fact, I know I have moaned, on the phone and in person, to Lindsay White Sherman about almost every job I have ever had. It is always nice to get work crap off your chest and wake up and go to work the next day all clear of the crappy stuff before. However, with this job (door to door sales), complaining is like shooting yourself in the foot. Complaining and negativism are contagious and become a chronic problem which end up losing you money and stripping any motivation away. 

So, I am writing this post about Virginia and the many things I see and enjoy everyday. 

Town homes are everywhere out here. 
I don't think I have ever seen any like this in AZ. 
It is fun to see so many people in one area with such 
different lives and stories. These particular town homes
are a godsend because they don't each have 18 stairs to go up. 
Homes out here are so cute and well taken care of. 
I worked in this neighborhood last year and wanted
to live there. The houses were so cute and the people
were pretty nice. (I can take the onslaught of "no" 
but at least be nice about it!)

You can't see it very well, but there is a ridiculous mansion
off to the left behind the trees. It is totally gaudy and
 in such a random neighborhood. The house to the right
and all around are tiny, old homes built a long time ago. 
But, east Indian's know how to do it! Buy cheep land in
a random place and you can build a bigger house! 
Ok, so this I don't get. People pay and have these
wood fences put up around their homes. Then, 
they never put a finnish on it or paint it, just leave 
them to look like rotting wood. WHY? A 
bucket of paint can't cost that much, or better 
yet, have the company who installs it, pain it.

Everyone out here has little figurines in their 
yard. Some are of dears, some have little pigs,
some have noms, cats, dogs, porkupines.... weird!

I kept seeing these crazy huge buds that resembled
rose buds but were round. 

It turns out they are 
these super pretty roses. 

I passed this old, closed down building and couldn't help but take some photos. 

Pink sunset. Such a nice welcome to the evening. 

I know this is blurry, I took it while driving, 
but I thought it still turned out cool. 
This is the sky right after it rained. 

When I imagine heaven, I imagine it looking like this. 
Green everywhere that invites happiness. 
It would have to be 15 degrees cooler with 
no humidity to really be heaven though. 

There you go, There is a little taste of my life here in the big VA! 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Do-u-think-he-saurus Rex

Ok, I know I should be answering number 5 but I have been giving this one a lot of thought, so I am skipping to 15.

15. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

As I drove across the country, there were plenty of animals to see and observe. As we past some cows, grazing on a field in the sun, I said "what a life, wouldn't it be great to be a cow?!"

Dave, my driving partner, did not think that life as a cow would be that great... He also thought I was crazy for saying that. Even crazier when I explained that I have given a lot of thought to what animal I would be if I could be an animal (even before planning for this post!).

I served a mission for my church in Brazil for 18 months. Part of being on a mission in Sao Paulo, meant that you walked everywhere you needed to go. One day when I was walking down a street, I saw this dog through a fence and it was just sprawled on its back with its legs outspread, enjoying life.

When I saw that dog, I stopped dead in my tracks and just watched him. That dog was happy. Life was great. He knew that when he was hungry or thirsty, he could go to his bowl and get some food or water. He knew that if he wanted to play, he could make some noise or claw on the door and someone would play with him. He knew that chasing his tail would give him the exercise he needed for the day. And most of all, he knew that his family loved him unconditionally.

There was also a time when I had my window open a little as I was lying in bed trying to fall asleep and when the sun started coming up, I heard the birds start chirping. You could possibly blame my thoughts on the lack of sleep, but I thought "wow, these birds are so happy to be up right now, I would love to be a bird!"

My bird of choice would be one from Cinderella.
I don't know why, but when I saw that dog I thought "I would love to have the life of a dog"  or heard those birds that I thought I would love to be one. Maybe, it is because animals don't have to make sense out of life. Having a religious background, I have a belief as to why we are here on Earth, where we were before, and where we are going to go. But all of those beliefs are so general and vague. I wish sometimes that I could know why I, personally, am here on the Earth. What am I supposed to do? Who am I supposed to become? How do I make a difference? These are things that wrack my brain on a daily and constant basis. But if I were that dog, I would know that all I needed to do was eat, sleep, be happy, then die.

So, if I were an animal, I would love it. In fact, I almost wish I could be an animal. Which one would I be? Well here is a list of some I don't want to be first:

  • Deer- they are just stupid and seem too uptight to be happy and carefree. 
  • Fish- Really, any water living creature, I don't want to be. I want to take in the world and the fresh air, not be underwater all day everyday. 
  • Insects- I don't want to be gross or hated...
  • Horse- I haven't had a lot of experience with horses, but I also have never seen one that looked happy. So, no. 
Top contenders for my vote:
  • Dog- So happy, even domesticated and living in confinement, they are always happy. 
  • Bird- So free to do what ever they want. 
  • Cow- Cows just seem so carefree and relaxed. Imagine just being out in a gorgeous field eating and not having to think about anything... oh what a life.  
  • Butterfly- Spend most of your life with the purpose to just eat, yes please! 
  • Brachiosaurus- First of all, who wouldn't want to be a dinosaur? Second, as a brachiosaurus, you would just lazily walk around all day, eat from the top of trees, take in the world, soak up the sun, and enjoy every minute of it. 
What do you call a blind dinosaur?
What do you call a blind dinosaurs dog?
Do-you-think-he-saurus Rex

There you have it, more weird things about Chelsie. And believe me, this post could have been way longer, I really have given a lot of thought to being an animal.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Once upon a time...

There was a girl who asked a boy to go on a road trip with her from Utah to Virginia. 

YAY! Road trip...
(Hey I never claimed to be an artist, but this is a prius.)

Little did he know that he would end up being a chauffeur on this trip...

Dave, do you mind driving a few hours, I need a nap? 

Dave, it's snowing. I've never driven in snow. You mind driving? 
(Needless to say, Dave drove 28 of the 36 hours...)

At least the boy got some good food out of it all. However, he did have to do all the research to find the places to eat at. 

After a discussion/argument about the grossness of smoked salmon, they stopped for lunch in Omaha.

Do you like garlic on meat? Yes, but garlic is a plant. Chelsie, so is a tree. 
PepperJax in Omaha is the best philly cheese steak sandwich I've ever eaten. 
After lunch, the two filled up with gas, of course at QT. And, there were some strange people around. 

What is that woman wearing?!?

After a few more hours of driving, a few podcasts and of course, some broadway musicals, they made it to Chicago for dinner. Yes it made complete sense for them to go hours out of their way to get some deep dish pizza! 

What? We can write on the walls! 

I'm so full and my body is so sick of sitting in a car. We should do lunges back to the car! 
Do you hear yourself when you talk? 

Finally, they made it to Virginia just in time to eat again. 

What's the plan? We could go to DC. Ok, where should we go? You didn't figure that out too? 
Oohh's & Aahs Soul Food. I got some good chicken, collard greens, and mac & cheese. 
When the girl did drive, she got them lost. Even though the GPS said it'd take 33 minutes to get to lunch, it took like 2 hours.

If we leave an hour early to meet up with your friend in DC, we should be good...
Founding Farmers, DC. Great meal. Simple yet so good. I have to go back though
because I am still jealous I didn't get the chicken and waffles. 
It wouldn't be a road trip if there weren't a few fights. 

What are you doing? STOP YELLING AT ME! I'm just trying to find out where to go. 
National museum of the American Indian.
Our bodies hated that we were trying to walk around a museum. 
The girl sometimes has weird ideas that she says out loud, like about liking old buildings. 

I've never said that out loud before. I don't believe you, you say everything out loud.  

Day 4 was finally ending as the boy and girl had an amazing dinner with
 the boy's friends Nick and Heidi.  

I am not the biggest meat eater, but I ate all my steak.
That's saying a lot because they give you seconds. 


Thanks Dave!