Tuesday, September 18, 2012

perk of being home sick . . .

 . . .  is that i can update my blog. 

i actually should be writing for my memoirs writing class i am in. it's pretty cool. it's at the harvard extension school. it's about 18 people and we write 3 pages on anything we want each week. then everyone in the class writes a sentence of feedback. 

the first class was intense. julie - my dear friend i work with - is in the class too. thank goodness! the first day, we sat around a table and the teacher asked what we were going to write about. What!? um, didn't realize we needed to be decided writers on the first day. 

i had no idea and when it came to my turn, i said i was a religious teacher/speaker and wanted to form stories better to teach with. Oh wow. the groans and complaints. although julie and i have very different beliefs, she was just about ready to stand up and make people respect me. :) it was pretty interesting. and yet, i understand. we have all been around over zealous believers. so when that is the vision you have, then i would have groaned too. 

i wanted to write stories/memoirs of faith. and i will. but maybe not for a few more weeks. 

but this is what i wrote today. it's 3 pages double-spaced, so so pressure if you don't want to read!

Emily Snyder
September 18, 2012


My mom had come to help. It was my first apartment all to myself. It was my first time creating my own home. 

It was a big deal for me. All my life, the only thing I have wanted to do or be is a mother. I have a mother who truly loves her role as mother. She and my dad have worked hard to make sure she could be a full-time mother. My mom had a mother who dearly loved the divine role of motherhood. While I know that there are many wonderful and incredible things I can do to change the world, the only want I want to do is be a mother.

In the Mormon culture, many people get married in their early twenties. I hoped that would be among that number. In every apartment I lived in, I never made it a home; I would make home when I was married – which, I had hoped, would be any day. I was always amazed at roommates I had that invested so much time and money into decorating the rooms, or buying dishes, etc. I bought cheap mis-matched plates from the Goodwill down the street. I brought a few things from home, but had posters laminated that I put on my walls with pushpins. That’s all I was going to invest in my daily surroundings.

After graduating from BYU and not having earned what my uncle called my MRS degree, I slowly started realizing that I was okay without anyone by my side. I was worth a bit more. I started investing a bit more in my apartments. I bought a red love seat. In one apartment, I had enough space in my bedroom that the love seat was in my room. As much as my friends joked about it being the love couch, it only was ever used for therapy sessions as friends wanted to come and talk.

In one apartments, I was really creative and started using my purse collection as my wall décor. I used the removable 3M hooks to hang various black purses with a few key red ones scattered among them. I made a quilt with my mom that was a beautiful black, red, and white quilt with fun giant red ric-rac. I was trying to make my own space and home even though I had yet to find a man to create my real home with.

I don’t know how to date. All my relationships end up very serious and engagement or almost engagement. What’s the point of dating if this isn’t someone that I want to spend eternity with? Perhaps I wanted it too much. Perhaps I was too willing to look past the red flags until things were too close. But after another broken relationship, and realizing I was going to suffocate in my current teaching job, I was done.

There was nothing left for me in Utah. I had tried dating online. I had tried set-ups. I tried playing the games. I tried “being myself.” I was done. I was done hoping that I would find my prince charming. And with the encouragement of my sister, I jumped: I quite my job and decided I was moving to Boston.

After being here for 9 months and living with a family I not-so-kindly refer to as “the pickle people” for the entire shelf of pickles they stored in their fridge, I was finally in my own apartment.

I left my dreams of finding a life with someone in Utah. And I was finally creating a home of my own. I had come out with nothing more than I could pack in my car. And now I was furnishing my own space. I found year old pottery barn couches on craigslist. I discovered an antique store in Pembroke, MA and fell in love with a book shelf and old wooden ironing board. I rented a van and picked these things up by myself. A friend and her kids were here to help me unload. But, all alone I was creating my home.

The next weekend my mom was here to help me create order of the moving chaos. As we drove to Ikea, we got in some sort of an argument. I have no idea what it was about. But I soon started crying. In the past 9 months, I hadn’t been able to get mad at someone. I was this city I knew was the home of my heart. I had a wonderful group of people to love and who loved me. But no one that I knew would love me through an argument. I hadn’t had a frustrating experience with anyone in 9 months. I was playing it safe.

But with my mom, I could be a brat. I could be a selfish and whiny 33-year-old adult. And my mom would still love me.   She wasn’t too thrilled when I shared my epiphany. Not exactly the words of gratitude I am sure she imagined. Yet, in facing a life that I hadn’t ever imagined or planned on, in living a life that looks very different from the norm of my culture, I realized that I could create a home. It was okay not to have the deep, safe relationships I had imagined. I could have that with myself. I could find home in myself.
But just in case, my mom made me a quilt for my wall. It’s a hug for the moments I forget. 


ellen said...

You have a happy home. :)

Brian, Emily, Charlie, and Lucy said...

you seriously amaze me. I wish I was there to give you a hug and hang out in your awesome home. You inspire me!

melimba said...

That was really 3 pages? It was a breeze to get through. Great stuff. I'm so psyched for this class of yours that will help uncover all these great life experiences you've had. Go em, go!

Amanda said...

This is only sort of a comment about this post, since I love following your life and often find myself wishing we were new englanders -my husband is, but we are Utards for the time being. So, on that topic, we're coming back east next week and will probably spend the latter part of next week or the weekend in Boston (his family lives near Amherst, so we don't head East very often). I know you're learning everything wonderful there is to learn about Boston, and I'm hoping you might have a few insider tips to help us with Halloween fun. My kids are young - 5, 2 1/2, and 6 months, but I want them to enjoy it, since I know the two older ones will balk when I tell them we're leaving Grandma and Grandpa for a road-trip. My husband might be working one of the days, so we'll be managing with me and my three against the world!
And thank you for having white furniture...because you can!

Amanda said...

I just re-read that and I seem a bit needy and as though I'm using you only for your tips. I guess it just seems like you have fun in Boston such that you have better things to say than random internet searches, of which there are plenty. I would love to see Boston the way you do, and perhaps that's why I beg.