The Dreaded Growl

Generally I like to think of myself as a pretty stable person.  By stable I mean to say that I adapt to new and unique situations fairly well.  However, there is one very specific situation that catches me off guard almost every time.

Every Monday and Wednesday I wake up at 8 am ish.  Disoriented I stumble out into the kitchen, grab my usual square blue bowl, pour a generous amount of cereal, add the proportional amount of milk, and haphazardly attempt to feed myself.  On good days all of it makes it into my mouth, other days...well...my green, mold like carpet gets a luxurious creamy bath.  Why is it necessary that you know this?  It's my proof that I do indeed eat, despite what I'm about to tell you next.  

You see, twice a week, on those beloved Mondays and Wednesdays, I have a New Testament class at 11 that lasts two hours.  This class takes place in an intimately small room with fantastic acoustics.  It is five rows deep and houses about 30 people total.  Because of its religious nature my professor has a very strict "no technology" policy as well as a "no talking policy", unless you are responding to something he has said.  Because of all of these factors, the class is extremely quiet.  

I have a love/hate relationship with this class and I'll tell you why.  At approximately 11:15 each class period (it seriously is like clock work, I should create some sort of log) I face the most utterly terrifying feeling in the entire world (yes, it is that bad).  It starts out as a subtle hollow feeling, then slowly works to an ache.  At this point in the process I'm panicking.  I chomp on my gum, chug my water, hastily search my bag for anything edible, yet, it is never enough.  Because...what happens next...happens regardless of my tireless efforts...and is almost worse than Emily Maynard keeping the self proclaimed entertainer in the awful green shirt on the first night of The Bachelorette (almost, he's terrible)...it is...the growl.

A soft gurgling, it causes a frenzy.  Internally I'm freaking out.  As subtly as humanly possible, my arms creep up to my stomach and get in position, ready to tightly fold over my menace of a stomach at a moment's notice.  The ultimate feeling of emptiness comes next.  I feel hollow and my body knows it.  All of my muscles tighten, the little hairs on my arms jump up, every nerve in my body in tune with my teeny tiny stomach.  Then, as if out of no where, it comes.  The deep grumble.  We're not talking little rock slide grumble.  We're talking Mt. Vesuvius grumble.

Nobody around me will make eye contact or acknowledge that an earthquake just took place next to them, but they are all thinking "Hmmm...she should probably eat" or "Wow, I'm willing to bet that this girl never eats", and the most likely "Huh...I thought Mt. St. Helen's was in Washington".  j

Everyone's been there.  It's incredibly awkward and personally irritating.  Generally my response to the situation above is silence.  Sometimes I throw in, to the person sitting next to me, "Wow, I must be hungry", to which I usually get a pity chuckle.  And on occasion I've found myself wishing for an imaginary friend that would bring me some imaginary food that would, at least in my imagination, end the misery.

Fortunately for me I have found my salvation in snack form.  Before now I had tried virtually anything and everything to satisfy me with out throwing off my eating schedule.  Sound the trumpets for this little bit of heaven on earth:

So simple.  So yummy.  So filling.

Try it out, I promise you'll love it.  I have been stomach growl free for two class periods on this baby.

To my beloved readers I wish a wonderful Memorial Weekend, a full belly, and a pity laugh on my behalf.




I've never been one to yearn for the past, but I know the type.  Longing for simpler, easier times they reminisce on the many great memories while selectively eliminating the negative ones.  It's in human nature to avoid present tense.  We can't wait until next week...or next month...or when we finally hit our twenties...and we wish we could go back and rekindle the flame with our elementary school flings, relive our 16th birthday, experience prom all over again, and score the game winning goal.  There's nothing wrong with thinking like this, in fact it's healthy to remember moments of positivity, but it should also be kept in check.  

This might come across as a random post, but I promise I will get to the point eventually......  You see, I spent the weekend with my family in Disneyland.  It was my 7 year old brother's first time.  Being able to witness firsthand the raw happiness that manifested itself in his subtle half smile and incessant chatter as he met his favorite characters and rode the rides was truly a privilege.  I've honestly never seen him happier.  Was it Disneyland itself?  Highly likely.  Was it the warm weather?  Eh...potentially.  Was it the fact that he had full control over what we did for four days?  I'd be welling to bet the lemon raspberry cheescake waiting for me in the fridge that it was.  (Yes.  Lemon raspberry cheesecake is sacred.  And very bet worthy)  Regardless of what it was that made him happy, I distinctly remember feeling the slightest bit envious of him.  To be seven again, free from the chains of the young adulthood poverty and the academic strain that bind me, would be fantastic.  And...I've felt this way since I said adios to him at the airport.  But then...it hit me.  His life is not any easier than mine (right now you're thinking "Alright Chelsea, where in the heck are you going with this?").  I may have some aspects of my life that I struggle with and that I find inconvenient, but so does he.  He has bad days.  He has to find someone to sit by at lunch.  He has to share is favorite legos.  He has to learn how to read.  He has to go to bed before everyone else.  He can't have fruit rollups for dinner.  His life is tough!  

Kody and I both have difficulties.  We both have joys.  However, they are catered to our age.  Remembering this is key in those moments (or hours in my case) of nostalgia.  Wishing away your life with the vain hope that you'll someday return to your "glory days" or "high school years" is silly because it wasn't any easier back then.  Sure, looking back makes it seem that way, but that's only because of the perception and growth that came from overcoming and moving on from the things you faced back then.  The same could be said of the times that we look forward, thinking "Oh, I'll start reading about Ghandi next week to become a better person" or, my personal favorite in Provo, "I'll start working out once I'm engaged".  The time is now my friends.  

My hope for those that read this is that you will recognize that the best time to focus on is right now.  Stress about the future and remorse for lost opportunity is inevitable, but recognizing that you can neither change the past nor control the future is crucial.  So...a challenge for all of us to work on together is to a) set attainable goals that you can work on a little bit each day; b) slow down and cherish the simple things of daily life; and c)  Look back to remember good and learn from the bad...and look forward with hope that you will be able to look back and remember the good and the bad that you are currently experiencing.  

Forgive me for the long post, it was much longer than anticipated.  And forgive my eternal rampant, I like to write, so...naturally this happens.  

*stepping off my soap box*