The best thing about you, 2014, is that you’re gone now. And that you left quickly. So thanks for that.

I think this is what happened, 2014. Professor M made me read Nietzsche in January, that’s what.
And Goethe in February.
And Kafka in March.
And Hesse in May.
I mean what kind of person does that in the middle of winter? Oh yeah, A German professor.

What else happened, ’14? Oh yeah, that New York Times article rattled me. You know, the one talking about all of those Mormon feminists getting excommunicated. That was rough. And then the Trib article about the General Relief Society meeting only with the Mormon Women Stand, a group led by Mormon women I find distasteful to say the least. That was rough. And then trying to talk to the men in my life about this painful subject.

And then what, 2014? I felt incredibly alone. I got on Facebook and wanted to scream. And some people tried to make me feel better by talking about it, but instead of talking about feeling alone and the whole church thing, it felt more like a big church bash. And that didn’t feel good either. Cause when someone says to you, “I get you, Anne. I really hate going to church too. It stinks. They’re so judgmental and I hate being associated with them.” I’m thinking, “WHOA WHOA WHOA, hold on, NO!”

I spent many many phone calls crying with my mom.

I hadn’t had an anxiety attack in front of Spencer ever until this fall. He got to see three full-fledged panic attacks. He had to see me fall into depression and understand what it really meant for me to be anxious.

I think a mix of all of this put me into a low self-esteem. I never thought I had low self-esteem, ’14. But I realized that I hated being in my own skin. I hated being me and hated the expectations I had for me. I worried about looking silly. I worried all of the freaking time (guuhh, exhausting) what others thought of me–that I was not enough, not enough, not enough.

Then fall was here and you did provide me with some fun classes, ’14. Like Spanish and watercolor, even though they were harder than I expected. And then I became friends with Pilwon, a study abroad student in my business class from South Korea. And together we spent many nights at the library until 1am working hard and snorting and bursting out laughing. That was good, 14. Good work. I’ll give you that. But that business class gave me headaches, as you know. Like having to kick someone out of my group. Yep. That was rough. Real rough.

One more thing, and I think then I’ve covered the bad stuff about you, ’14. I was so angry. And I can’t tell you why in this letter, but I was so close to losing it, you know? Like running away losing it, hahaha, into the woods! I was planning out my loin cloths! I was done. Not with Spencer, you know that. It wasn’t about Spencer.

So yeah, I think you’re a big whore, ’14. But here are some good things that happened, that I need to let you know before I say my last goodbye.

I was called to be a gospel doctrine teacher in my ward, which meant each month I got to teach the basics of the gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Sunday School. And better than teaching, I got to spend my weeks sticking my nose in the Old Testament, learning about righteous kings and fallen kings and the warnings about pride and the prophets’ pleads to serve and love the poor. This calling was an answer to my prayers. And I felt like God was saying something like this to me, I want you to know how much I love you and how rockin’ awesome I think you are, and I want you to stop thinking that you’re not worth anything, because you are. So here. Now you get to be with me all of the time.

I got a full tuition scholarship from the department of languages and literature, and then an $800 award from the German department. That rocked.

I got to spend another year with Spencer.

I went from not exercising at all to running 5 miles easily and doing a 5k.

Even though we only had one income, WE PAID OFF OUR BILLS EVERY MONTH. We were freaking, but we felt a lot of financial safety because of tithing. Since being a 12-year-old girl babysitting, I’ve had a testimony of tithing and the promises that come with paying that 10%. I know God gave us protection this year.

“Spencer!”
“What!”
“What else happened in 2014 that was good!”
“I don’t know! I can’t thinking of anything!”
“Okay!”

So there we have it, 2014.

Wait. One more thing that sticks out to me the most. I was full of sadness, anger, and fear all of 2014. For the first time in my life, I thought seriously about my future as a Mormon woman. I thought about my testimony and I felt I needed to leave. But as I’m looking back at this year, even with all of the pain I have felt due to the Church, even all of the sadness I often feel during the three hours on Sunday, even when everyone is choking me with “I challenge you” or “I encourage you” phrases, I have known this year more than ever that my Heavenly Father loves me.

And I know that I would not have felt Heavenly Father’s love for me as strongly without sitting in church for three hours every Sunday learning what it meant to feel the spirit and knowing the blessings of prayer and scripture. Because He told me he loved me through scripture. He told me as I sang a song with my family in sacrament meeting. He told me in a blessing from Spencer. He told me in a journal entry I wrote during relief society. He told me as I said goodbye my brother as he left on his mission. He told me when Spencer kissed me and said “I’m so glad I get to be with you forever.” He told me when we drove up the canyons to Silver Lake. He told me in a prayer that burned within me.

So, yeah, I still think you were a big pooper, 2014. But thank you for making me strong.

Love,

21-year-old Anne

P.S. I’m going to post my iPhone pictures of 2014 sometime today or tomorrow, so I’ll see y’all soon! Not you, 2014, I wasn’t talking to you. We’re over.

 

3 Comments

  1. Louise Plummer

    I hear you. You’re right about church. We’ll talk about this sometime, but not now.

  2. Josie

    Hi Anne, I don’t know you and stumbled onto your blog circuitously(sp?). This post is honest and beautiful and you articulate things that I and certainly many others have felt. If you haven’t read it, pick up Unapologetic by Francis Spufford and substitute “Mormon” where he writes “Church of England.” It’s so worth a read for those of us who explore our faith from these angles. It’s a beautiful book. Sending you a fist bump from Australia.


    • Josie, thank you for your lovely comment! Fist bumpin it! Will definitely check out the book.
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