Sunday, September 30, 2012

Adventures in Utah + What Looper Taught Me About Motherhood

Work takes me all over the state. Last year, as a new teacher living the single life, traveling was almost a welcome escape from dumb ol' Provo. It meant I had an excuse for not dating or going to activities I didn't want to go to! It was great! Now that I'm an old lady, this year at work is interesting. I feel like I am a better teacher and can handle "hard schools" better, which in turn makes my days better. But now every time I have to spend the night away from my old man, I can't wait to get home!

(It's a welcome heartache to miss a good husband.) 

This weekend, we had two events five hours across the state from each other. So Rachel went South to cover that event, and I went north. Since I was going to be alone, Matt and I decided to make a weekend of it. We stayed at a hotel the night before my event and partied it up....in Ogden. 

Ogden is a weird place, because it's only 90 minutes away from Provo, but it feels almost like a different state. It's got the ghetto of SLC, but none of the class that goes with it. Somehow (ok, after an hour on urbanspoon.com), we found an amazing (seriously, amazing) Japanese restaurant with some serious swagger and delicious, cheap food. Apparently there was a Greek festival that weekend, so the place was deserted except for a few quiet couples, which we loved. These Hardins love their privacy! 


We went and saw Looper and had a nice swim in the hotel pool, then I had to go to bed so I could present at the event the next morning. Something weirdsies happened during the movie. Read on to find out.

SPOILER and crazy transcendent tangent to follow:

Looper is a cray cray time-travel movie akin to Inception and set in the future. It was so realistic that I walked out of the theater terrified for 2044! The movie sets up different ways the characters' lives could have turned out based on the choices they made. One of the main characters is the mother of a child who we know turns out to be an evil gang lord in the future who kills maybe a bazillion people, give or take, with his telekinetic power. At one point, a character has the chance to kill the gang lord in his childhood, and prevent those bazillion deaths. The only reason he doesn't kill the gang lord is because his mother convinces him that, with a good mother, Sid can grow up to use his power for good and not evil. She can change the course of history by mothering him right. 


Emily Blunt has come a long way from The Devil Wears Prada.

Joseph Gordon-Leavitt srsly changed his face for this movie.


Sitting in that theater, during a crazy R-rated violent movie, I had a silent, introspective transcendent moment; an epiphany about the importance of motherhood.

Of course I already know and respect the role that a mother plays in her children's lives. I had a good mother and a church to give me that example. But sometimes it's nice to see that moral reinforced through a third party. As if having God, church leaders and my family teach me that isn't enough, someone in Hollywood also agrees that a mother's choices can change her kids for good! 

Something crazy happens when you get married. I feel like a dormant part of my personality has been slowly waking up from hibernation, and the hunger for motherhood is fierce after 24 years of childless winter. (WHAT?!?!? That sentence just happened.) Now that the reality of motherhood could hit at any moment, I've been pondering the timing and responsibility of rearing a tiny half-version of myself. Since I am a natural worrier, the task in its ambiguity seems daunting. I keep trying to fill out calendars (in months) in my head, wondering how I'd juggle a baby and a career, or if I'd give up one for the other, for the time being. I keep feeling guilty for wanting to move up in my field , because I feel like my eternal role is to raise children full-time. I really want to get a Masters and one day be an Education Curator at a museum. But I also desperately want to raise a family. I truly believe that being a mother is the most important thing I can do on this earth.

The day after Looper, Matt's mother invited me to watch the General Relief Society Meeting at her stake center. I really enjoy Mary, and I honestly wasn't thinking about going, so it was nice to have a few hours with her.

The first talk was my favorite. 


 The speakers were great, but I kept getting distracted by my own thoughts. I realize that I needed to be in that room to feel the added measure of the Spirit speak to me about my life. The principals they taught were true, but the Spirit was answering the questions I had been pondering for months:

Is it ok to enjoy my job and keep teaching?
Is teaching really what I was meant to do?
Should I get a Masters? 
Should I give up teaching to become a mother? When?

The answer I received didn't solve everything, but it definitely quieted my worries. 

I received a strong impression that the position I have now, teaching children art, is preparing me to be a mother to my own children one day. 

I still don't know the timing of my impending motherhood or how far I will get in my career. I still have days when I wonder why I got into teaching and if I'm really cut out for it. But I also have days that are extremely rewarding. Sometimes I want to yell at kids, other times I want to hug them for their goodness. I hate the lack of sleep, and how tired I feel at the end of a school day. But all of it is preparation for my eternal role. The hard days are always worth the good days. So whatever happens in the future, I will be more prepared for it because of this job. And that is a great answer to have.

Thank you, Looper, for advocating motherhood. And thanks to LDS Conference for letting me have a quiet moment to synthesize those thoughts.




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Kellies said...
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