November 7, 2013

The Sandlot Remake

We decided to do this on the last day of summer. It was a spur of the moment sort of thing, but I sure do wish I could be Wendy Peffercorn every day. 

September 23, 2013

Dear Anonymous:

"Hi Bre! I live in Utah and have been following your blog for quite some time now. I was wondering if you could give me your thoughts, advice and perspective on something. I'm younger than you, and living in Utah I often feel the pressure to be married. When things don't work out with guys I date I feel pressure and I know deep down it's ridiculous. From an LDS perspective, what has helped you always keep a good perspective and, quite frankly, not freak out? You're very young yourself but I'm sure a lot of your friends have gotten married along the way. I'm sure you're aware of how people marry extremely young and just want your advice on how to avoid that mentality and just enjoy life!"

I received this comment on my blog not too long ago. I read it at a busy time and completely forgot about it until now. I just read it again and realized I actually have quite a bit to say about it. 

I grew up in a small Utah city where everyone knows everything about everyone else and nearly everyone is LDS. It was fun and I loved it, but it was also frustrating. I realized at a young age the judgmental nature of others. There was (and still is) this expectation to do the right thing and if you made one step out of line it was the town's topic of conversation until someone else messed up. It frustrated me then, and it frustrates me now. Of course, we're all judgmental sometimes, but we should constantly be striving to be nonjudgmental. Because aren't we taught that the only one who can judge is God? I've said this for years and I was so happy with President Uctdorf mentioned it in one of his talks; when you judge someone for doing something, you are just as much (if not more) in the wrong than they are for doing whatever it was they did wrong. "Let he who is without sin among you, cast the first stone."

I moved away to college when I was 18 and I was excited for a new experience in a new place. But I realized quickly that this college town was not much different than my home town. There are thousands of college students but somehow we all know personal things about each other. I'm sure this is true for a lot of other places around the world too, but because I'm here it seems extra annoying. 

I've dated my share of men in college and I'm here to tell you, Anonymous, take your time. There have been a couple guys in the past that I just knew I was supposed to marry and I knew they would make me happy. But I was young and those feelings were based on shallow infatuation. I'm 23 now (hold the gasp) and I've finally figured it out (yeah, right). 

If I fall, I fall fast. I don't tiptoe to the edge of the pool and slowly ease my way in. I run full force off the diving board and, sometimes I hit my head on the bottom. I can't open my eyes underwater so I become blinded. I don't see the neon flashing sign in front of me saying STOP THIS ISN'T RIGHT. This happens all too often, not just with me, but with a lot of people. We become so infatuated with our significant other that we ignore the red flags. But infatuation is not love. And marriage is hard enough without the added problem of lust being greater than love.

I never felt major pressure to get married until last year. I was dating a guy who was absolutely perfect. He was (and is) one of the kindest people I've ever known. I told myself that I couldn't let him go because I'd never find someone more perfect than him. I've never heard one bad word said about him and, of course, my friends and family adored him. But there was always something missing in our relationship. I tried to ignore it but I never really could. And I couldn't understand why God would give me this perfect man if we weren't meant to be together. My parents would always say to me, "Bre, maybe he is perfect but that doesn't mean he's perfect for you." I didn't listen to them (because who listens to their parents? (we all need to listen to our parents)). But they could not have been more right. 

Que sera, sera. Whatever will be, will be. 

It took me months and months of praying for the wrong thing, to finally pray for the right thing. I couldn't bring myself to ask for help to move on. I didn't want to move on. But one day I finally asked. I asked for help in moving on and I prayed that God's will be done. It worked. It took a long time, but it finally worked.

There are days when I still wish I could marry that boy, and I tell myself that's normal (it's normal, right?). But I realized that the pressure I felt to marry him came from me. I was pressuring myself because I thought everyone else wanted me to get married. I had to learn not to let anyone around me make me feel pressure to do something I knew wasn't right. 

The truth is, Anonymous, it's hard. Dating is hard. I think we all feel pressure sometimes to get married. That's why so many of my friends have gotten engaged and then quickly realized that it wasn't right. (Or worse, married and then quickly divorced.) If you ever come to a point in your relationship where you say, "Well, we either break up or we get married." YOU BREAK UP. I have never understood when people say that because if you're even thinking about breaking up with this person over marrying them, you should not get married. 

And another thing. And this is something that I constantly have to remind myself when going through hard breakups. One of two things will happen. Either things will work out with that person, or you'll find another person who will make you realize why it never worked out with all the others. 

Don't ever let the pressure of others force you into a relationship that you know (or think) isn't right. The truth is, nobody knows you better than you know yourself, except God. He's the person you should be listening to most. The hardest part of this is that God isn't going to just lay everything out on a platter for you. When you're wondering if something/someone is right for you, you must make a decision on your own and move forward. Then ask God if it's right and if it isn't, you'll know. Just keep close to the Spirit so you can receive revelation when it is given. 

Remember that when something is right, the adversary will give you doubts about it. Don't lose sight of the revelation God gave you that it was right. Don't let the adversary take that right thing away from you. And when it comes to deciding who you'll marry, the adversary will work extra hard on you because you're one step closer to God and one step farther from him.  

Life is hard. It's full of hard decisions and hard relationships and a lot of other hard things. But I can tell you one thing, it's a lot easier when you stay close to God. Light and darkness can't coexist. Keep filling your mind, spirit, and time with good things.

All of this reminds me of something I wrote almost a year ago

"Nobody knows what it is they want, until they find it. How many love stories do you hear that start like this, "I wanted a girl who acts this way and looks like this and loves doing this, and I finally found her!!!" No. You hear love stories that start like this, "I just knew. She was everything I never knew I wanted." And it stops them in their tracks.

You are exactly what someone is looking for. They just don't know it yet."

May 21, 2013


#Pottering minus the broom, with my invisibility cloak.
We wanted to pay our respects to Dumbledore.
I'm on the moon.

This one time we went to the sand dunes at midnight and took cool photos. It was a long walk up a hill of sand (which is really hard to accomplish). It was cold. It was late. But it was worth it. These photos were taken by the amazing James Winegar and Sean Huntington. Despite what it seems, it was pitch black outside. These photos were made possible with the use of flashes, flashlights, and 30 second exposures. These guys are awesome and the experience was awesome and the pictures are awesome.

"Did you have an awesome time? Did you drink awesome shooters take awesome photos, and listen to awesome music hold awesomely still, and just sit stand around freezing and while soak(ing) up each other's awesomeness?"

Yes, yes we did.

PS: If you're confused as to what #Pottering is, type that search into your instagram/twitter. You'll see.

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May 14, 2013

Junior High--The Beginning

It should be required of all junior high-ers to sign a contract stating that they will never again speak of junior high once junior high is through. These are the awkward years. I keep a large shoe box full of notes from sixth through ninth grade. I wish, more than you know, I had copies of all the notes I wrote to girlfriends. I may have to make some phone calls to get those because I’m sure they are gems.

As I went back through and read them for reference I noticed a common theme. “Who should I like?” With eighth grade seemed to come the helpless girl phase. Girls were just running around trying to find boys to like because, what’s life without someone to daydream about? “Who should I like? I have no one to like!"

Introducing, the first time Breanne actually had a ‘boyfriend.’ Mark. It lasted an entire week. A week filled with awkward hallway hugs, notes in each other’s lockers, and never actually seeing each other outside of school. I ended it. Well, technically my friend Marcy ended it. She wrote Mark a note telling him that I was breaking up with him.

I know.

I was actually madly in love with a boy named Alan. (These fake names, right?) He was one of the few boys in my grade taller than me, as always. Which I think had a lot to do with my affection for him because I don’t remember a time I actually talked to him. We weren’t friends. But he knew I liked him. OH. He knew. And he was mortified by it. I was still awkward and overly obsessive. Again, not much has changed.

And then came Kirk. He was a ninth grader. Can you believe it?! A ninth grader. He was my ‘boyfriend’ for a couple months. (Eighth and ninth grade were in the same school). Insert more awkward hallway hugs and notes in lockers. And MSN Messenger. Yep. This was the start of something good. (To be sung in the tune of the High School Musical song).

I was obsessed with MSN Messenger. Everyday after school I would log on. I had a few key people I would chat with. Kirk was one of them. He also had bleached tips (like fifth grade, Tyler) and we had weight training together. This was one of the few classes eighth and ninth graders shared. I could bench a solid ninety pounds, once. But in my defense, that’s about how much I weighed at the time.

MSN was our primary form of communication. We chatted for as long as my mom would let me before having to log off. Kirk was the first boy I wanted to ‘fix.’ You know how girls are always wanting to fix boys?

We dated over my fourteenth birthday--my first co-ed birthday party. It was in a park and it was perfect. I wore my favorite Abercrombie shirt. Kirk couldn’t come to my party because I’m pretty sure my dad would have killed him. So before the party, I went to the movie ‘with my BFF Hannah.’ We met Kirk and his friend there. We held hands. HELD HANDS! My dad picked us up after and noticed the two boys walking away. Needless to say he wasn’t too happy about us going to movies with boys.

Kirk gave me a stuffed panda bear for my birthday. And something else but I can’t remember what. We had a song. Ocean Avenue by Yellowcard. I don’t even know. And holding hands was as far as it ever went with us. Although, one person thought a lot more was going on. We were at my friend Mary’s house with a big group of people watching a scary movie. The Ring, if I recall correctly. Kirk and I were sitting on the couch with Mary and a few other people. We had a blanket because we were holding hands and didn’t want anyyyyyyone to know. Duh.

Mary had a stepmother who was a little off her rocker. She came over to me and asked quietly,
“Are you cold?”
“No, I’m okay!”
“I can turn the heat up if you’re cold.”
“No, I’m fine, thanks though!”
(Clearly not picking up what she was putting down.)
“Okay,” she says, “then stop feeling up."

It took me about three minutes to process what she had just said to me. And five more minutes to realize what ‘feeling up’ meant. I was barely fourteen! I had never even kissed a boy, let alone felt one up. I was mortified. I took the blanket off and slowly slid away from Kirk. He was so upset. And I couldn’t very well explain to him what Mary’s stepmom had just accused me of. No way was I ever telling him.

I’m not sure the timeline of this relationship, but somewhere towards the end I found out Kirk was cheating on me with a ninth grader from a different school. Portia. Portia! Of course he cheats on me with a Portia! I was devastated to say the least. (Portia is actually her real name. I’d protect it, but it’s just too good.)

(Ninth grade coming soon.)

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May 10, 2013

Dear Vogue

Recently I wrote a letter to Vogue (and some other magazines) inquiring how one should go about getting a job. It's pretty humorous. Thought you'd all enjoy. 

Disclaimer: All of the below information is completely true and not exaggerated in any way. I'm telling you this because exaggeration is my forte, but I went with the truth this time.

Anna Wintour

4 Times Sq C1b
New York, NY 10036

Your Excellency,

I am inquiring as to how one should go about getting a writing job at your beloved Vogue Magazine. Assuming this gets to you (I googled your address, so I can’t be sure), I appreciate the time you’ve taken to read this. (If this letter ends up in the hands of a random New Yorker, hello. Also, why are you opening mail that isn’t yours? That’s a felony.)

Because we aren’t having this conversation in person and you can’t answer my above inquiry right away, here are a few reasons you should consider hiring me.

In the second grade, our teacher matched us with fifth grade “tutors” who were to help us write a story. By that time, I was already an accomplished writer (as you can imagine) so I took offense to my teacher’s assumption that I needed a tutor. Nevertheless, I wrote that paper on my own, and I wrote it good. My tutor was happy to get out of her assignment and I was immensely proud of my hand written, one page paper. (Double spaced, font size approximately 24pt.)

When we were asked to read our papers aloud to our class with our tutors present, I gladly volunteered. The first line of my paper went something like this:

“When I was born, I had to spend a week in an incubator because I took my first breath when only my head was out.”

Now, technically, I did take my first breath when only my head was out (as do most babies). What I failed to mention was, my head wasn’t completely out so that breath I so bravely took also contained “fluids” (let’s not think too much about those “fluids”). As a result I got pneumonia which put me in an incubator in the ICU for a week. At least that’s what my mom explained to me years later when I was in junior high still believing that taking your first breath when only your head is out results in a one week incubator stay. (I’m not too bright when it comes to science. Or math. Or geography. Or history.) (Good thing I can write, huh?))

Still not convinced? Fine.

In the sixth grade we were asked to write a letter to the President (Bush) addressing his (possibly fabricated by my teacher) desire to make us go to school on Saturdays. I took this assignment to heart. I wrote that letter to Mr. President, and I wrote it good. (The repetition, I know.) The letter contained phrases like, “You aren’t even in school so how could you even know what it’s like?” followed by, “It’s not fair!” and, “Some of us have to go to church on Sunday mornings so Saturdays are our only day to sleep in.”

I felt very confident about my letter. So confident, in fact, I spent the majority of my time daydreaming about how my teacher would actually send that letter to the President. He would be so touched by it that he would banish the thought of ever having school on Saturdays and there would be a holiday in my honor! Oh the magnificence of that letter!

And then my teacher gave it back, without praise. Oh the infuriation of my sixth grade self. She had circled almost every sentence in my paper and wrote things like “opinion” and “assumption” in the margins. What, we’re no longer allowed to write opinions and assumptions in angry letters to the President? She had crushed all my dreams with a single red pen.

If you’re still on the fence about hiring me, here are a few more reasons that may help sway your decision:

-I trust Wikipedia.
-I love Harry Potter.
-I once wrote three paragraphs about doughnuts.
-I often quote Mean Girls.
-I’m a great stand in for mannequins should you ever run out. (Double-threat guy!)
-I once played Cher in a “music through the ages” performance opposite a girl dressed as Sonny.

Okay, we’re getting off topic.

I grew up wanting to be a lot of things (see: singer, dancer, wakeboarder, stylist, designer, actress, model, mother, etc.); writer was not among them. I realized my love for writing when I started growing up. Unfortunately it was after I stopped going to college (I was a late bloomer). I don’t have a bachelor’s degree in, well, anything. I have an associates degree but it’s pretty worthless because it’s in “University Studies.”

While I believe college is so wonderful, I believe that great writers cannot be taught. It’s an ability that few have and most don’t. I feel I’m among the able few (#humblebrag) and I’m confident you’ll agree. (Yes, I did just use a hashtag in a letter).

I can’t promise you that I’m as fresh, candid, and audacious in person, but I also can’t not promise you. (That’s a double negative. What a way to end a letter, right?)

Faithfully yours,

Breanne Nicole Rutledge

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