Sunday, July 27, 2008

Here's the thing, they started out friends...

So I went on some great adventures this week. I hiked Angel's Landing and the Narrows in Zion National Park. I hiked in Rock Canyon and to Big Springs. They were all great adventures, but the one that needs to be written about is my BFF Jeff taking the next step in his life and getting himself a fiancee.

Jeff and I have been friends since we were born. We have been best friends for the last five years. I have spent so much time with him in the last five years that I almost don't know how to not spend time with him. Since I have had a few girlfriends in that time and Jeff hasn't had any we just assumed that I would get married first. (Maybe that is a bit presumptuous, let's say I thought I would get married first.)

This last Wednesday I went on a hike that I will always remember. I went to a meadow on the Big Springs Trail and set up for a romantic picnic so that Jeff and his girl could have a wonderful time. I did all this knowing full well that it would be the death of independent Jeff.

Anyway, Jeff and I have talked to each other extensively about what we are looking for in a wife. We have discussed everything about what we want our life to be like when we get married. We have also conversed about what we will be like at that point in our lives. I feel that Jeff has gotten what he has worked for. He has progressed and hope for something that is great. It has been interesting to see the progression on Robyn and Jeff. Everything from them overcoming personal issues to start dating from dealing with their first conflict. It is interesting how they have come together to form an incredible relationship.

I have long hoped that Jeff would find someone that would be so good for him that he would have a great chance at happiness the rest of his life. I have hoped for someone that would motivate him and help him progress and grow. I have hoped that he would find someone who would appreciate him for who he is and were he is going. I have hoped that he would find the woman of his dreams. So you can understand how even though it is sad that I won't be able to spend as much time with him, I am so excited that he is making the decision to get married. I feel this is the best decision he has made in his life. I still hope the best for Jeff and I think he will have the best as he and Robyn embark on this crazy journey called marriage.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Twilight - and how it relates to my life.

Yes I am talking about the book by Stephanie Meyer. I have read all three of the books in the series and I feel I need to make some comments about my first experience in the vampire romance genre. First I would like to say that I did enjoy the books. I thought that Stephanie did an excellent job at character development. It is in the three main characters that lies the genius of the Twilight series. At first I thought I would write why I think Edward is way better than Jacob, even though it should be obvious, but then I decided to take a different course in this blog. I have decided to discuss the various characteristics in the different characters that I see in myself. I realize I am going to compare both good and bad characteristics to myself. Please let me be a little liberal with these and don't take offense if I claim to have a characteristic that I don't really have. I think I will also mention traits that I wish I had or I am trying to develop.

What a great guy. I love his patience and his self control. When I was reading about him I was reminded of how hard I have worked to gain patience and self control. Depending on who is reading this may say I do or don't have that, but these are virtues that I will make a part of my life even if it takes awhile.

Some people believe that Edward is controlling, others label him as protective. I think he originally is a little of both. However I like to view people by how they change and progress. In Eclipse when Edward seemed controlling because he didn't think it was safe for Bella to chill with werewolves. However once he realized it was safe he apologized and then changed. The practice of recognizing when you are wrong and then actually changing is a trait I have worked hard to gain. I was so impressed with how well Edward stuck to his decision after he had professed to change.

Another trait that Edward has that causes disputes in many forums discussing Twilight is that he always likes to be right. In his defense, who doesn't like to be right? Also in his defense, he is right most of the time. I think I have had this characteristic for most of my life. I am trying to get over the fact that I always have to be right. I am getting better at being willing to admit that others can be right even if they don't have my same point of view. Even though many people claim this is one of Edward's biggest faults, I kind of like it. It makes him human. I makes him real. It goes along with his confidence that really pulls them out of many sticky situations. And, once again, he really is right most of the time.

Sometimes I had so much trouble relating with Bella. Her crazy, emotionally-charged, sophomoric decisions. At other times I could feel her pain because I have had situations in which I had to make similar decisions.

The characteristic that I most identified with that Bella demonstrated through the second two books was that of loyalty and truly caring about people. The fact that she didn't want to be with Jacob didn't make him less important to her. She wanted him to be happy and she wanted him to be comforted in his time of pain. This is something that I have seen in myself and have struggled with. How much should I care for my ex girlfriends? How much should I allow myself to worry about their happiness. I have gone through this discussion with myself and friends many times. In the books it is easy for me as the reader to say, "Well Bella should tell Jacob it is over and not see him again." Then I realized how many times I have come to that in my life where there are people that I care about that I can't tell them that I won't see them anymore. In fact in the last couple months is the first time in my life that I have had the courage to tell an ex girlfriend that I can't talk to her anymore because it wasn't good for either of us. In fact I have done it twice in the last couple months, and both times it caused more pain than I could have imagined. It may have caused me more pain than the actual breakup. I definitely understood how Bella had such a hard time saying goodbye for good. That is one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do in my life.

I definitely have some real concerns with Jacob and his questionable tactics to win over Bella, but he has many redeeming qualities. I also have found myself in a similar situation that he has found himself in.

I can relate to being the friend of a girl that loves someone else and then falling in love with that girl. It happened to me about nine months ago. After I fell in love with her and made that known she didn't want to date me but didn't want to lose me as a friend. She eventually fell in love with me also and then she was torn in half trying to decide what to do. Should she wait for her missionary or should she date me? I felt a lot like Jacob as I tried to convince her that I was the key to the future. However I differed from Jacob in the fact that I tried not to use manipulative tactics. So, in the end, I decided that I had to let her go. I tried not to hold it over her head or make her feel bad for her decision. I truly desired her happiness and so I wished her the best in her life and I am trying to move on.

I understand how Jacob had such a hard time letting a girl he loved go. But I feel that if he truly loved her he would have desired her happiness more than just wanting to be with her. This is why I will always pick Edward above Bella. Edward seemed to always choose the happiness of Bella above all else.

Twilight is a series that I have enjoyed and I look forward to reading Breaking Dawn and finding out who the three main characters become. In the mean time I will continue to try and gain the best traits I can and make the best out of hard situations.