Monday, February 12, 2007

Oh please, release me, let me go

I quit.

I give up.

I'm taking the easy road.

I wish it didn't feel like the right choice. I wish I were having a harder time with leaving. I hate quitting. I feel like quitting is an admission that I suck, that I am, in fact, incapable of performing the required tasks. But that's probably just my pride talking.

I've never really felt the powerlessness at church that so many women talk about. I know of women who feel oppressed, but I've never felt the power structure of the church as oppressive in my own life. My current calling is making me feel that way, and I'm really unhappy about it.

I know it's partially, maybe mostly, my fault for not toeing the line, and for saying "no" when I was asked to refrain from using certain teaching techniques in primary (really, who cares if I pick the kids who are doing well. That's how it works in the real world--you get called on if you do a good job. Nobody picks names out of a hat for anything significant). I could have just sucked it up and done what they asked. Instead, I chose to blatantly ignore them and do things the way I wanted to. When I was publically used as an example of "how not to teach" I kept doing things my way anyway. I knew when I did that I was setting up a power struggle, and a situation wehre people would have to choose between me and the primary president. And I was pretty sure I knew how that one would turn out.

I did it anyway, and now I'm tired. I'm beaten, and perhaps most of all, I'm ashamed for having created such a conflict in primary. I shouldn't be there making things difficult for others. My primary president shouldn't have to work to feel grateful for everything I'm doing (which she just bore testimony of doing). So, for the first time ever, I'm asking to be released, not because of a move, but because I don't feel like I'm contributing, I don't feel like I'm doing a good job in either my eyes or in the eyes of anyone else, and I don't think I can get my attitude to where it needs to be.

You see, I'm just too pissed that I'm being asked to change, not because the way I do things is bad, only because it's not the way my president wants it done. I want the freedom to decide what to do and how to do it, and I really resent being instructed in every little detail of my calling. Having that much instruction makes me feel like 1) I'm doing something wrong, and 2) like really I'm just a placeholder and the person in charge wants me to become an extension of her. I don't want to do things her way. I want to do them my way. Again, not because my way is necessarily better, simply because it's better for me. I hope this is all over soon.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

The weather outside

I've started wearing two hats every morning: one knit, to keep out the wind; and the other fleece, to keep my head warm. This strategy, strange-looking as I'm sure it must be, is remarkably successful, which I am incredibly grateful for in these novacaine-cold mornings.

Yesterday, it snowed. I gather it must not usually snow much around here, because the newspaper claims the approximately four inches I see on the ground is a "heavy snow." It's so cold the snow isn't even very moist--it's dry and powdery like the stuff I'm used to from growing up in the desert. I walk outside this morning to a brilliant, snow-capped world, full of buttery sunlight and baby-blue shadows. If I were a painter I would stay home, commemorating the wonder of the dappled light and shadow; preserving the wonder of the world outside my window for another, warmer day. Instead, I am a student, so I pull my two hats further down over my ears and simply enjoy the wonder of a sugar-coated world.

At least, I enjoy it for a half a block.

Then the cold kicks in, and I progress from chilled to frigid to numb. I've told my husband before that it's okay for me to be slightly underdressed for my walk to school. After all, I'm walking and I warm up pretty quickly from the exertion. Novacaine cold proves the fallacy of that thought after only a few minutes of exposure. Movement keeps me from shivering, but it doesn't keep my glasses from feeling like a burning cold mass on my face, or keep my cheeks from feeling like the wind is attempting to peel frozen chunks of cracking, dehydrated skin away from my skull. It's not long before the only part of my legs that have any feeling are the muscles, which scream out against dragging along the rest of my heavy, heat-sink of a body.

Fortunately, my walk is short. More fortunately, it doesn't take long before even most of the discomfort of my exposed skin is numbed away by the cold and, slower, and with an even greater appreciation for the warmth that waits inside my building, I can go back to enjoying the crystalline beauty of the morning.