Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Reflections on Lent, Kittens, Libraries, etc.

So I gave up Youtube for Lent, but I'll get to that in a second. First of all, Shiloh Rules is over and the performances went wonderfully. Secondly, I am in denial of finals week (finals week? What finals week? What on earth are you talking about, voices?) And thirdly, this is National Library Week. I am celebrating this week dedicated to America's libraries by tweeting twaiku -- twitter haiku in 17 syllables and 140 characters. For example: "The boy is embarrassed / to be at the library-- / and then he sees her." The twaiku contest is hashtagged #nlwtwaiku and the prizewinner gets a $50 Amazon gift card (which the winner will, of course, use to buy books).

But back to Lent.

In the past, I've given up chocolate, soda, fast food, and makeup. One year I decided to write a poem for every day of Lent -- I produced a few haiku and a weird poem about roadkill, but I soon discovered that Lent vows kinda go the same way as New Year's resolutions. You tend to forget them after a week or two. But I gave up YouTube for Lent this year; I've kept to it despite the at times horrendous temptation; and I honestly think it was not a good decision. I'll even go so far as to say it was a bad decision. This has been one of the most depressing Lent seasons of my life (whether related to YouTube deprival or not). Which I suppose is sort of the point, but still.

Oh, well, I guess I shouldn't complain. Maybe a more depressing Lent means my life will be proportionally more cheeful after Easter. But then some things about Lent are just absurd. For instance, the Presbyterian church didn't technically even start celebrating Ash Wednesday until the 1970's. Even today many Protestants think of Lent as a "Catholic thing." And did you know that the only reason you can't say "Alleluia" (or hallelujah, take your pick) is because a long time ago some people decided it sounded too pretty for such a serious, depressing season in the Church year?

Being honest with myself, though, giving up YouTube has gotten me more into the spirit of Lent...even if I haven't been to a single church service since starting college. (Don't tell my dad.) I use YouTube to watch videos about humor, current events, movie trailers, music, A Very Potter Musical, and of course adorable kittens (don't judge me). Basically I decided to give up a very large chunk of "things that cheer Laura up after hours of school and rehearsal." No wonder I'm feeling down, right?

Still, here we have an interesting philosophical question. By giving up YouTube, I have realized how much I really use it as a kind of music and humor therapy. I have Pandora, but it's not the same as watching Dudamel conduct Danzon No.2 (many <3 to Dudamel, and to that eargasmic piece). Therefore, I will never take YouTube for granted again and when I permit myself to return to it after Easter, I will be that much more appreciative. The question is: if I actually use YouTube to enrich and enjoy my life, would God/Jesus rather I did not give it up? Or would they rather me be gloomy because I can't watch/listen to adorable kittens? Ok, ok...but in all seriousness, wouldn't God want you to enjoy life? Rather than plunge into a mini-depression every Lent season? Perhaps someone should check suicide statistics for the 40 days of Lent. Or is said mini-depression supposed to make you enjoy/appreciate life more by comparison?  Are you supposed to realize that some people have no interest in Dudamel or eargasms or have never seen a cute kitten in their lives?

I think we can conclude from this that I gave up something harmless for Lent; that watching YouTube in moderation will not destroy my soul; that YouTube is not as frivolous as I probably thought it was when planning my Lent; God likes kittens; Lent should teach you some kind of lesson, whatever the hell it is; and you should not take little, frivolous, harmless things like YouTube and kittens and Dudamel's hair for granted.

In other news, I auditioned for the one act plays this term. *fingers crossed*


  1. hahaha I love reading your posts so much Laura :) they make me laugh

  2. Haha. I just re-read this one and it made me smile. :) Thanks for reading, as always! :D


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