Saturday, August 25, 2007

Mormon to Human; still "moral" and "spiritual"

This whole year has been such a great year, and I've never been so happy, but it has also been a period of self discovery. Quite a while ago I was running and was thinking about what I believe (see previous post). I've always thought that being religious is a way of abiding by certain morals and values, and that people (Mormons in my experience) act like if you aren't religious you are an immoral person with no values or guiding system; a sinner. This has always bothered me because I've never thought that you had to be "religious" to have morals or values. I believe that morals and values are inherent to human nature because they benefit the whole of society. Realizing this made me feel much better about not abiding by any particular religion.

Somewhere along the run I then began thinking about what it means to be "spiritual" and to have the "holy ghost." Once again I thought that religious people (Mormons in particular) think you need to be religious to have spiritual experiences and to be able to feel the "holy ghost." I just don't agree with that idea because of what I've observed in all people I've ever met, as well as my personal experiences. I decided that a sense of "spirituality" is inherent to human nature as well. So to make a long story short, I decided that spirituality is a common bond that all humans experience on some level. It is a feeling, not a power. It is a connection to a feeling that ties us to other people, places, experiences, and things. It is also a human characteristic that causes us to form bonds, listen to our bodies as well as nature, and feel compassion towards all people and things.

What I Believe:

A while back I was thinking about what I find to be spiritual, and about my stance on spirituality. I realized that I am a humanist. I always have been, but now I feel like I am able to define myself as a humanist without religion getting in the way. It is nice to know WHAT I am. It is nice to feel like I have an answer for when people want to know what I believe. Someone might say they are Catholic, Mormon, Jewish, Baptist, Muslim, (or whatever) AND I can say I am a Humanist!

This is WHAT I believe:
I value morality on all grounds because it affects all humans. I value the here and now because it is the time I have to live, and I believe I need to be the best I can be for all people that come after me. I don't believe that all people are capable of living up to the ideals that make the world a better place, but I believe that we all are connected by our basic needs, and vulnerabilities.
There is something so extremely beautiful about life, and all people's commonalities, something so beautiful that I am always deeply touched when I see or experience humans coming together and helping each other, or overcoming high odds, or reaching an unexpected potential. It is the feeling I get from these kinds of experiences that is "spirituality" to me. It is because I believe all people have potential and are so much the same yet completely unique that I seek to understand people, and am bothered by unfair judgments, not only when people unfairly judge me, but when anyone is unfairly judged. I believe in logic and reasoning. I believe in finding the beautiful in the simplest of situations and people. I love when I know someone with a huge disability achieve some simple task they have at hand, or when they reach a goal they've been striving to achieve for a long period of time. I love when people begin to understand something they never thought they could, or grasp some nuance that changes their perspective or attitude.

People are truly beautiful and I feel honored to be associated and connected to all people. I am grateful for every day of my life and all experiences I have had. I am deeply grateful for all of my relationships with other people and the lessons I've learned from them. i am especially grateful for my husband. It is because of him why I have been able to fully discover myself, and truly experience life through every little nuance in every situation I encounter.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

job search

I graduated a year ago with 2 bachelors degrees and lots of hopes for a wonderful career. I took a year off, and now I'll be starting my masters degree in September. During my time off I've realized there is so much pressure to be successful, or at least pressure to be doing something. I don't know why. Maybe it is because I married a Stanford graduate, maybe it is because all of my friends seem to be successful, or because my family always seems to assume I should be doing something. Mostly, I think it is a combination of the three.

It seems like anytime I get together with anyone they want to know what I've been doing. I always want to say, "Why the hell does it matter!? You know I don't have a job! Do I have to explain everything I do to you so that you are satisfied that I am not wasting my time!?" And it isn't that I don't want to explain to them what I've been up to, but no day is the same. I'm involved in many activities, and hobbies. I feel like if I was to say to them, "All I did today was watch Oprah and go for a run," they would secretly be disgusted with how I spend my time.

On top of that I do have a job. I am a part time nanny. I think it is a good job, but whenever I tell someone that I am a nanny I always feel like they are expecting me to then say something about what I'll be doing in the future. As if being a nanny isn't good enough. I also feel like no one ever seems to understand what a difficult job it is. I literally take over a household and have to take kids to preschool, music class, dance class. I create activities that I have to prepare in advance. I cook, I clean, I discipline, and it exhausts me! But no one ever seems to ask me about how my job is going, they only want to know what I will be doing in the future.

So I decided that with all this pressure I'd better start looking for a "real" job. Now that I've been searching for at least a month I am becoming more and more satisfied with being a nanny. Despite my degrees and experience with other jobs I can't seem to get hired for any job other than ones that high schoolers seems to manage just fine. But even the good jobs that I feel like are a good match for me don't pay as well as nannying does.

I don't know what I'll be doing in the next few months as far as a job is concerned. Maybe I'll still be nannying part time. Maybe I'll have some low-end job, or maybe I'll be working somewhere that I want to be. One thing is for sure, I won't be wasting my time, I will be enjoying my time, and I'm proud of that!