Things I Would Never Do (dot dot dot) or So I Thought!

Since being in school for the last year and a half my life has been very routine and in all honesty not very exciting. I dread being asked the question "What's new with you?". Nothing, absolutely nothing. Every minute of every day is accounted for. Studying for school is like a full time job when you carry a full load of classes. I started to think back to what my life was like before I went back to school and I missed the exciting life I used to live. This brings me to my life now, well, my life for the past 5 months since this year began. I have officially declared 2010 to be the year of "Things I Would Never Do...Or so I thought!" A friend of mine told me that since 2010 is the Year of the Tiger it makes perfect sense that I would get out side of the boring box I have been living in and attack some new experiences. The moment the words "Oh, I would never do that" escape my mouth I am pretty much locked in to doing it. Naturally I wouldn't do something that goes against my standards so there is a limit to what I experience this year.

Here are a few of the things that I have done that I never thought I would do.

1.  I dropped in on a skateboard ramp using my wheelchair not to mention a lot of body pads. 

Life Rolls On had an event called "They Will Skate Again" in Venice Beach. In my head I recalled my friend Aaron Fotheringham taking many falls doing this activity so I wasn't thrilled about giving it a try. I have had many shoulder and neck problems in the past few years and it reminds me that I am not invincible as I once was. I hugged the side of the ramp and let others go ahead of me. Finally, it was now of never. I dropped in and came out of it unscathed. I had done it. So why not do it again? And I did. At the end of the day received the "going balls out" award. With some encouragement from Aaron I did my best version of a back hand plant with some assistance of course. I mean, C'mon! Let's not get carried away.

Life Rolls On had an event called "They Will Skate Again" in Venice Beach. In my head I recalled my friend Aaron Fotheringham taking many falls doing this activity so I wasn't thrilled about giving it a try. I have had many shoulder and neck problems in the past few years and it reminds me that I am not invincible as I once was. I hugged the side of the ramp and let others go ahead of me. Finally, it was now of never. I dropped in and came out of it unscathed. I had done it. So why not do it again? And I did. At the end of the day received the "going balls out" award. With some encouragement from Aaron I did my best version of a back hand plant with some assistance of course. I mean, C'mon! Let's not get carried away.



2.  I starred in and sang a solo in my Stake's musical "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers". 

When an announcement was made in my ward that the Stake was putting on a musical my mom jokingly said with a laugh in her voice "Briana, you should go audition!" I started to respond with "Oh, I would nev..." and then as you know I was locked in. What the heck! I'll do it! I can carry a tune. Let's be honest, I'm not cutting any records and no one is offering me a record deal so trust me, I know my place. Singing is not something I am known for. My sister Kristen was given that talent in the family and she carries that torch high. I am more of a back up singer. Well, I auditioned and the director thought I had a strong voice and a charming personality. Some may say that she was at least half right. She offered me a starring role as the narrator for the musical that is on stage the entire time reading from a journal. After I accepted the part she then proceeded to say "Oh, by the way, you will be singing a solo." My jaw dropped. That wasn't part of the original deal. But once again it's 2010; how could I say no? The event was great and it turned out to be a lot of fun. I think I would consider doing it again one day.

When an announcement was made in my ward that the Stake was putting on a musical my mom jokingly said with a laugh in her voice "Briana, you should go audition!" I started to respond with "Oh, I would nev..." and then as you know I was locked in. What the heck! I'll do it! I can carry a tune. Let's be honest, I'm not cutting any records and no one is offering me a record deal so trust me, I know my place. Singing is not something I am known for. My sister Kristen was given that talent in the family and she carries that torch high. I am more of a back up singer. Well, I auditioned and the director thought I had a strong voice and a charming personality. Some may say that she was at least half right. She offered me a starring role as the narrator for the musical that is on stage the entire time reading from a journal. After I accepted the part she then proceeded to say "Oh, by the way, you will be singing a solo." My jaw dropped. That wasn't part of the original deal. But once again it's 2010; how could I say no? The event was great and it turned out to be a lot of fun. I think I would consider doing it again one day.

3. I was called to teach Sunday School in my family ward. When I first moved back into the family ward that I grew up in the executive secretary asked me what type of calling I would like or not like. He mentioned that he had an "in" with the Bishopric and could put a good word in for me. I laughed and said "Yeah right! I am not telling you anything. From my lips to God's ears." He laughed and said "O.K. then, what type of calling would you be uncomfortable with having?" I still wouldn't give it up. I may not have told him but the calling "Sunday School Teacher" flashed over and over in my mind like a Las Vegas billboard. Wouldn't you know a few weeks later I was called into the Bishop's office and was offered a calling to teach Gospel Essentials a Sunday School class for investigators, new converts and missionaries. A word to the wise, if you don't want something don't even think it. I do have to say, I love my calling and every week (yes, I teach every week) it is as if the teacher becomes the student. I have learned so much more about the Gospel Principles and I feel so blessed to have this calling.

4.  I asked a guy out on a date. I am an old fashion kind of girl. I feel it is the man's job to court a girl and request her company to escort him somewhere. Well, I am not getting any younger and I can see the crows feet getting deeper everyday. I knew it was time to take matters into my own hands if I ever want to call myself a "Mrs." one day. I met a guy while shopping in a store I had never been in before. He approached me, flirted with me, spent a good amount of time talking to me and seemed generally interested. He gave me his card and asked me to contact him. A couple days later I did just that. I invited him to come with me and some friends to dinner and watch the Newport Beach boat parade. To my surprise, his response was pretty much thanks but no thanks. I guess I have short circuit somewhere because I must have received his signals all wrong. Have I just been out of the game too long?

5.  I submitted my drawing into my school's art show and it was chosen to be featured in the show. 

This semester I enrolled in a Basic Drawing class. I really have no artistic talent. The first day of class my teacher said "If you try really hard chances are you will get a B." I immediately got nervous. This is supposed to be Basic Drawing. I don't know what I am doing and for years I was told "an A for Effort." Clearly it was going to take a lot more than effort to impress this teacher. The drawings started off weak but gradually improved. When I learned to draw and shade with charcoal I found my niche. I did a drawing of "Nefertiti". I had no intention of entering it in the art show but when the teacher said she will give extra credit to each student that does I submitted it regardless if it was chosen to be in the show or not. There were over 500 entries and only about 100 were chosen. I was floored when I saw my name on the list of those selected for the show. I soon found out that I was the only one in my class that made it. I knew I couldn't celebrate in their presence but I couldn't help but smile a lot during class. My drawing didn't win any awards but I was very proud to be amongst some amazing artists.

This semester I enrolled in a Basic Drawing class. I really have no artistic talent. The first day of class my teacher said "If you try really hard chances are you will get a B." I immediately got nervous. This is supposed to be Basic Drawing. I don't know what I am doing and for years I was told "an A for Effort." Clearly it was going to take a lot more than effort to impress this teacher. The drawings started off weak but gradually improved. When I learned to draw and shade with charcoal I found my niche. I did a drawing of "Nefertiti". I had no intention of entering it in the art show but when the teacher said she will give extra credit to each student that does I submitted it regardless if it was chosen to be in the show or not. There were over 500 entries and only about 100 were chosen. I was floored when I saw my name on the list of those selected for the show. I soon found out that I was the only one in my class that made it. I knew I couldn't celebrate in their presence but I couldn't help but smile a lot during class. My drawing didn't win any awards but I was very proud to be amongst some amazing artists.


6. I ate a cricket, held a tarantula and let a hissing beetle crawl on my body. One of my classes this semester is Biology of Insects and Spiders. I have been afraid of spiders my entire life thus far. I decided that I didn't want to be fearful of anything especially something as small as a spider. I figured I would take this class to hopefully turn my fear into a fascination. My hat is off to my professor because he did just that. I have become so intrigued by spiders. They truly are amazing creatures and serve so much purpose on this earth. In class we would get extra credit for every mature adult we collected and brought into class still alive. After about 5 weeks of classes and seeing so many spiders brought in by my classmates I thought I better get over this fear and get myself some extra credit. I recruited some help. I told my nieces and nephews that I would pay them a dollar for every spider they found. They found this job very exciting and it kept them occupied for a couple hours every time I would visit. They didn't break the bank with their findings but we sure did have a lot of fun. In class one day someone brought in crickets as a snack for us the students. My professor focused right on me and said "Briana, why don't you start the class off." After getting in the habit of doing things I normally wouldn't do I said "Sure!" With a surprised look on his face I grabbed one and popped it in my mouth and chewed it up. Today I went to the insect fair at the Natural History Museum in LA. After taking a deep breath and with my heart racing I did the following...

This tarantula is an Arizona Blond. We blonds need to stick together.

This tarantula is an Arizona Blond. We blonds need to stick together.

The flash must have startled the beetle because right after this photo was taken the beetle sprinted up my arm and into my hair. I screamed, panicked and then broke out into a sweat. I realized then that I still have some work to do in overcoming this fear of mine. I screamed with the beetle but had it been the tarantula running up my arm and into my hair you would have had to grab the smelling salt and picked me up off the floor.

The flash must have startled the beetle because right after this photo was taken the beetle sprinted up my arm and into my hair. I screamed, panicked and then broke out into a sweat. I realized then that I still have some work to do in overcoming this fear of mine. I screamed with the beetle but had it been the tarantula running up my arm and into my hair you would have had to grab the smelling salt and picked me up off the floor.

Stay tuned for more posts of "Things I Would Never Do (dot dot dot) or So I Thought!" Take a lesson from me...never say never!