Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Autumnal Breakin', Day 5

Today started off with a victory and a lesson. 
Victory: I fit into my size four dress pants that I haven’t worn, I swear, since junior year. 
Definitely an “I am woman, hear me roar” moment. 

Lesson: If you don’t say “good morning” with a smile, it’s not a real good morning. 

My day got off to a great start. 
The highlights of my day were a text from my dad, which verbatim read: “Hope u r doing well, love. dad” I miss the man. 
That text made me smile so big. 
And then I got this quote from my momma: 
“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is in the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence...We need silence to be able to touch souls.” Mother Theresa 

After hearing so many people speak non-stop about their opinions, you realize that talk is so useless. Listening is so instrumental and silence-letting silence seep into your soul is important. We need silence to think and grow and flourish. 
My throat has been hurting something awful fierce these past feel days. It feels like I swallowed a cactus, in fact. Honestly, though, this has been a very good thing, because if I tried to speak, thousands of tiny cactus needles made that a difficult chore. So, I would only speak when I deemed it absolutely necessary, which cut down on a lot of extraneous “I like to hear myself talk” words. And, furthermore, when I have been speaking, I speak more softly, so I sound more gentle. This came in handy during the Catholics for Choice meeting (George Weigel later summed up our feelings about them very aptly, when he succinctly wrote them off with a one-liner “They’re not a real organization.”) when any question I put to them was asked in a low, calm voice. And also, if you can’t talk as much, you have to listen more. This week has really reinforced the value of listening. Most people just want to know that you’ve heard they’re story, truly listened and absorbed it and understood it. They often don’t care if you agree or not-they just want you to give it a fair shot.

 Speaking of George Weigel, I met him. I wrote about him previously on this blog, in this review of his book. He was hilarious-very Chestertonian, as one girl pointed out. When I entered the meeting room where everyone was sitting, he was sitting at the head of the conference table, eating chili. This simple theologian and biographer of Pope John Paul II was given deference by his two companions. And his two companions were Yuval Levin, head of George W. Bush’s council on bioethics, and Jim Capretta, who also previously hailed from a presidential council, and was a congressman in a previous life. These two incredibly powerful and intelligent man gave the place of honor to a chili-eating Catholic with a wry sense of humor. It was the most enlightening conversation we had all day. 
George Weigel made Chestertonian statements: “Sometimes you have to hit the jackass over the head with a two-by-four. Whack.” But then countered them with incredible compassion and intelligence. Dr. Levin was direct, to-the-point, and clearly enlightening, like a laser. Mr. Capretta was so contemplative and calm-he seemed like a peaceful, happy spirit. They made a fantastic team, and even though it was a post-lunch conversation, it was incredibly stimulating-definitely not soporific in the least. That was the highlight of my day. 

So, being in D.C. has awakened a dream that stirred within my soul when I last visited D.C. Here it is: I want to be First Lady. Laugh all you want, my career aspirations are to be the First Lady of the United States. Think of how much influence you have. In fact, I think it’s the most influential position you can have in which you don’t have to sell your soul to politics. I can be a fashion icon, a home decorator, and I can choose any cause I want to champion. How freaking awesome is that? My friend has been telling me about Heartbeat International, which works to help women afford pregnancy. Here’s a sad truth about our country: if a woman gets pregnant, especially a single working woman, her workplace would rather she get an abortion. A decent length of fully paid maternity, far from being the norm in the U.S. is practically non-existent. The rights of working mothers are definitely causes I can see myself advocating with passion and commitment. In fact, I’ve been getting ridiculously excited the whole trip about being a First Lady whose mission is working mother’s rights. I’m obsessed. It’s an issue. And this group is not helping me. In fact they’re aiding and abetting me. At every turn, I hear the sweet music of “when you’re the First Lady,” “if you become the First Lady,” “you’d make a great First Lady,” and my soul flip-flops with joy. 
It’s fair to point out, this is not a dream I have control over in any way whatsoever. But a girl can dream, right?


  1. I am so jealous of you right now.

  2. Picking a random post--the one at the top! how original!--to wish you a beautiful weekend and to thank you for your smart, funny & sweet witness to what I hope my daughters are when they grow up.

    Did that make sense? It's still early and I'm only on my second cup.

    Anyway, I am SO enjoying your blog. Thank you. Also, think of our little Saints & Scholars tonight as they clip-clop onto the stage to present their speeches! Maria will be Mrs. Penelope Smith, "a wife, mother and member of Opus Dei."

    Stephen is standing (embarrassedly) in as St. Josemaria Escriva--embarrassedly because he's a big 12-year-old kid and--AND!--is no longer homeschooled.

    Avila is portraying her patron, dear St. Teresa of Avila...and Camille will be St. Bridget of Sweden, funny little Bronx accent and all.

    So that's what WE'VE been up to! : )

    Blessings in Him,


  3. Thank you so very much, Mrs Berns! :) And wish them all many "break a legs" for me tonight-I miss the days when I was doing Saints and Scholars as well. :)
    I'll definitely keep your little Saints and Scholars in my prayers tonight. :)