Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Want to Be Great, But Moreso, I Want to Be Me.

I want to be great.

I want to write a great blog, that thousands will follow and have cute (donated by someone who can do graphics) buttons on their blogs, so the good news of Thora will spread.

I want to be witty and funny and soulful (but still sincere) and religious, and inspirational, and make you fall-out-of-your- seat-laughing funny, even when people are looking and you're trying to pretend you're reading something important, like your stock portfolio.

Occasionally, I even want to make you cry. Not manipulated tears of a fake story about a little boy that was looking in a window when a stranger came and bought him a new coat/a pair of shoes/an entire wardrobe and then she left before she could thank him and he ran outside and either couldn't find her, because she was an angel, or he did see her, and asked her if she was an angel, and she said "No, I am a child of God" and he said, "I knew you had to be some relation." (Footnote 1). I also don't want to make you cry from an activity that makes you feel guilty for poking a nail or pin into a covered-up picture of Christ, and then your seminary teacher unveils the picture and says this is what you do when you sin. Because I think that this is more about the guilt of having poked holes in the Savior's face and not knowing it, and less about sincere and real repentance that brings you to God and causes a change of heart that will make it so you don't even want to sin.

I want to be great.

I want to inspire you to take more pictures of your kids, and read more, and read better books (although I never talk about reading) and tell your husband that you love him and remember that you're a daughter or son of God (because you are) and make you think about the little quirks that are all about in life.


Sometimes I like to talk. And talk. And talk. And I make my point and it's a great point, a life changing one even, and then I keep on going, and my great point is completely obscured by all the extra pieces that I had to tell you that led me up to this point, and how I felt afterwords, and what I'm doing right this minute that has nothing at all to do with this post but I just thought of right now. And by the end of this paragraph, you don't even know what I was trying to say, which you also could really relate to, which is that I talk too much, and you think I do too.

And sometimes, I don't have very good grammar. I need to retake basic English, because honestly I can't even remember when I ought to be using a semi colon or a colon, and whether I should have just written ought or aught, but I know which ever one I choose it's bound to be completely wrong. And I like to start my sentences with "and", and usually they also manage to be run-on sentences (don't forget the gratuitous parentheses) because this is really how I talk in real life, except when I know I'm telling something of topic IspeedupreallyfastsoalthoughI'mgoingoffpointI'mnottakingupanymoretimetosayit,soit'sokay.

Maybe I'm writing in the style of William Faulkner. He once had a two page sentence. But he also doesn't often leave out pronouns or say it for in (and the spellchecker doesn't catch that). And he had an editor. I need an editor.

I want to be great.

And I do reread through my posts before I post them, but I always miss things anyway.

I want to be great.

But sometimes, my Mom says that she never knows what's going on in my life because all I ever write are screwball posts about the random thoughts in my head (okay, she really was a lot nicer than this), and that all my new friends really want to know what cute things my daughters are doing, so I should write about Lydia at least once a week.

So then my blog turns into a Mommy blog for a few days, and I post lots of pictures of my family, at least until I lose my camera batter recharger, and so I can't take anymore, and then I devolve back into my usual ramblings and screwball thoughts.

The most famous, best blogs don't jump genres all over the place. Or if they do, they have a bunch of blogs on the same site so each kind of post can go into its proper section.

I want to be great.

But I never post rants or controversial things, because I don't really like having controversial conversations with large groups because they almost always turn ugly or awkward, and I know that I like some things (I was going to list them, but then remembered that this would be being controversial, so I didn't) that are mostly very disagreed with, and I don't want people to not be my friend just because of extraneous views we have on subjects. I've noticed lots of controversial blogs get lots of comments. I like comments (which is funny, because I'm actually really bad at commenting on other's blogs, so basically I'm a hypocrite). I'd like you to comment. Now. This very post. Tell me what you're having for dinner, if you have nothing else to say. (I can always use new food ideas).

I want to be great

But sometimes, in the deep, dark recesses of my soul, I know that although I enjoy writing, I don't enjoy writing enough to make sure it's good before I post it. To rewrite and put a cohesive theme in.

(Unless it's: I want to be great).

To focus on what I really want to say. To write so that many people who read it can relate to it because I bring their own thoughts back to them, only wittier and better formed. I want to resonate with homemakers, and Collegiate Men and Mormons, and Muslims and my Mom and the stranger who just stops by. Like Paul I want to be all things to all men.

I want to be great.

But, at the end of the day, although I want to be great, I keep writing because I love to write.

I love comments, I love keeping up with old and faraway friends, I love to show my family what I'm doing, I love to keep a family history for my children, I love making new friends through blogs. But this is not why I write. I write because inside of me there's a voice that's screaming to be heard, a Thora that needs to let herself out, needs to be articulate (if only to myself) that needs to share herself with everyone (and noone) all at once about why I am, who I am, and what I had for breakfast (Cheerios) and where I live and who I see and who I worship (Christ and God) and what I think, and think, and think....

So I just keep on being me. I know I won't ever be famous (and please don't comment and say that you're great, and I'd buy your book, because I really do like myself and have great self esteem) or a great writer. And (most of) me's okay with this.

I want to be great, but even more, I want to write because I am Thora, and that's what Thoras do.

(Footnote 1) This may have been a true story once, but I've heard and read so many versions of it that it has long since turned into a manipulated fake story.


  1. I feel exactly the same way that you do. But you said it much better than I could have.

  2. Nooooo... please tell me that you did not truncate your blog so that I can't read more than a few lines in Google Reader...


  3. You are great Thora. Your blog, like many, represents the unrefined fire of humanity writing that is without contrivance or special creation. Write and be honest, speak to be heard. Many people read your blog and enjoy the wonder that is your life. My friend I must point out that you are married to Avram Shannon who would not settle for anything that is less than Great.

    Little by little we get better at what we do weather it's a blog or just life. You are building a solid foundation to your blog and in time you'll have you're whole Flying Buttressed Gargoyle Thingamajig. Keep up the good work. I for one sincerely appreciate your blog. And if I were your only reader I'd hope you know I think you're great too.

    As always Your Friend

  4. That is exactly how I feel about blogging. But better put. And with proper spelling. :) I just have things in my head, that I want to tell people. And sometimes they are deep and meaningful (maybe) and sometimes they are innane (chocolate cookies are what I had for breadfast. the joys of eating when no kids are home!).

    For what it's worth, I really really like your blogg. And I like the mix. It was great reading about your trip a while back, but I allways prefer to know whats going on INSIDE people, rather than outside. And you share the inside part soooo well.

    So ya. I like reading your blog. I think I know you least well, of all the sisters...which is a shame, cause as I'm reading your blog I'm finding lots we have in common and and really like you.

    You are cool.

    Oh! And the grammer. I have to many friends who are writers. One gave me my ap style book a few months ago and it's wonderful. Do you have one?

  5. There's nothing better than being read (ie, listened to) and having someone acknowledge that they read (via comments).

    Otherwise, I would just write a journal with one of those little locks on it.

    I guess what I'm saying is, I agree.

  6. You ARE great, Thora! But I also know what you mean, although I don't really aspire to have a wonderfully famous blog or anything, I just keep writing what I want and wondering why people read it. I also take a while getting to my point, as you know, and I totally cannot paraphrase. I hate that.

    But I can really relate to much of this post, and I think we're kinda kindred-y.

  7. Erin stole my comment. This really hit home for me, as I experience the same struggle every time I blog. There are so many different aspects of me and my life - how can I hope to cover them all? And be great while doing so?

    So I focus on what seems to be forefront in my mind, whether that's something silly or profound and hope that, like you, I can manage to be great by accident.

  8. We all like connections. This desire to create connections with people and things can be very strong for people at different times, and is manifested in different ways. Having a seemingly random blog has only created a feeling of knowing a more complete Thora. I know my blog doesn't accomplish that at all. But for me, my blog is simply an outlet for me to write poetry, where anyone can read it that wishes to. I have considered making a blog where I am more open about me, but haven't got the courage for that yet. I am taking the first step, though (I recently made a facebook account, and update what is happening to me on a regular basis).

    Eventually, I will have a blog that is more open about me. And I hope that I am able to share myself with others as well as you have!

  9. SO...we're have spaghetti with lots of hamburger in it. Just kidding. Not about the spaghetti, but just kidding that I have nothing else to say.

    I want the world to come by and love me and still be able to say everything I think exactly the way I think it. I want to march to the beat of my own drummer and have everyone stop and stare in wonder and awe at the rhythm of my life. Not gonna happen.

    Oh well. I'll have to settle for being just me. The best me I can be, but still me. Playing to the crowd will get me nowhere.

    You are a very good (might I say great?) Thora. No one else can be you. Keep doing it and you'll become an even better Thora. And doesn't everybody start their sentences with conjunctions? Because that's certainly the way people talk.

    (Oh and what psychopath came up with the stab Jesus' picture visual aid? My, that's sick.)

  10. To everyone; I love the comments, awww, thanks (ego stroke, ego stroke).

    Erin: Thanks for commenting! I went and checked your blog out,and now my husband is obsessed with know what your husband got a Phd in (since he's just starting one). So what did he get it in?

    Tianna - yes, I decided to be cruel, and up my stats by shortening by feed. I'm mean like that (but I'm glad you came anyway).

    Travis - you're already a brick to me. Or a very strong cornerstone gargoyle. You always leave such nice comments.

    Katey - I'm sad we don't know each other as well, but then it's also great that we have blogs now, so we can get to know each other a lot better.

    hj-you even signed up to be a follower!

    kevin - I'll have to look you up on facebook.

    Jami-yeah, it's a common thing in seminaries in Utah (not that this is a statement against Utah, because I love it. Just that sometimes Seminary teachers in an effort to get everyone to listen go a little to far).

  11. ramen - a little pathetic, I know

    I vote more random Thora thoughts!

  12. I was going to say what Jami said, only just the first and last bits:

    We had pot roast for dinner, only my husband who kindly put it in the crock pot for me last night because I was sick missed the word "roast" in there and made soup instead, but it was surprisingly good anyway.

    And, that thumbtack Jesus thing is one I had (thankfully) missed. Horrible.

    Oh, and I pretty much blog to get attention, within the constraint of blogging about things that interest me (so there's kind of an inherent problem, right there. Oh, well.)

  13. We had homemade pizza for dinner, and it was really yummy. We haven't had it since way back before the bread machine went into storage in May 2007. Yeah for bread machines! Yeah for stuff coming out of storage! Yeah for random rambling blogs! Yeah!

  14. Here's a short comment: AUGHT does not have an O in it, because it means "zero", and everybody knows Os aren't zeros. The other OUGHT does have an O in it, and is the One you Ought to remember.

  15. Thora, in my life you are kind of like a celebrity. I read your blog the way most people read celebrity bloggers' blogs, like NieNie or something. I am kind of obsessed with your blog because you are a really important person in my life; because you are the wife of my husband's brother and best friend. I would say you are the most important woman in my life, after my mother, mother in law, and sisters. Also, though we have different personalities, we have a lot of the same interests and goals, so I just plain like you. So, Thora, you and whatever you write in your blog are really important and great, to me! I like the variety. Whether you write about your thoughts, your kids, post pictures, journal, whatever, it is all great because it all reflects your life, which I'm pretty much obsessed with. Haha!

  16. Well, you know what Uncle Walt had to say about that, yeah?

    "...loose the stop from your throat,
    Not words, not music or rhyme I want, not custom or lecture, not even the best,
    Only the lull I like, the hum of your valved voice."

    I've come to appreciate him more and more in recent days. There's wisdom in his wildness.

  17. Matt! You commented! You are the gage of the greatness of a post. If Matt comments, then I know I've arrived (or you happened to feel commenty, but whatever).

  18. I love Thora. (Everything else has been said.)