Ode to Julia

It seems most fitting to write an Ode to Julia.

Julia (Jujubee, Juria, the Baby, Hulia, Julliard, etc.) has been my roommate for the last three years and we have been friends for four. I think there is a certain amount of insanity that comes with someone wanting to live with me for three years. But if there is, I'm glad Julia's got that amount.

About three years ago, Julia and I were both living in Provo and working in Salt Lake. We had been interns with the Church magazines together, she with the New Era and I with the Liahona. We had continued on to other internships, and became "bus buddies" as we continued to commute. One day, on the bus ride in to work, I mentioned to Julia that I was thinking of moving to Salt Lake and was looking at some houses. She said she was thinking of moving as well. I told her to think about if she wanted to move with me and let me know. At the end of the bus ride, Julia turned to me and said, "Ok, I thought about it. I want to move to Salt Lake with you."

I think that was the fastest Julia has ever made a decision, but I am so grateful because that was the beginning of a major blessing in my life. We found a place and moved to Salt Lake and instead of being bus buddies, we became carpool buddies and froommates (friends who are roommates) and added more froommates to the mix. In the past three years, we've had Heather, Katy, Katie and Cheryl join us in our roommate-hood and I include all of them in this love as well.

This past weekend, Julia was sealed for time and all eternity to Jon Ventura.

As such, there were a lot of goodbyes. Julia, however, said there is no "good" in goodbye, so she renamed them "Stupid-byes."

Thus, this is my Stupidbye to Julia.

Top 10 things I learned from Julia

10. Don't get worked up about things.
Julia is perhaps the chillest person I have ever met. Ever. She doesn't get mad about anything. I tried really, really hard to be so annoying sometimes just to get her riled up, but it never worked. She just doesn't get mad.

9. Wait on the Lord
Some may think that Jon was the patient one since he waited for Julia to marry him for FOREVER (or at least it felt like it). But really, Julia knows the principle of waiting on the Lord. That doesn't mean she sat there and didn't do anything, she just moved forward and let the Lord give her answers in His own time.

8. Persistence
Julia and I set a goal one year to hike Mount Olympus and nigh about the end of August, we decided to actually do it. In the meantime, I started dating someone so the three of us decided to hike it together. Mount Olympus is a beast. It is straight up for 72 miles, or thereabouts, and it was a hard hike. My boy and I were pretty energized and he was on high speed up the mountain. Julia was having a harder time, so she told us to just go on and she would come up slower. I have since repented of this, but we trusted her judgment and headed on up. We made it to the top and it was magnificent. As we came back down the steepest part, we ran in to Julia. She was not going to turn around. She told us to just wait for her and she would make it up and then meet us at the bottom of the steep part, if we would just wait.

Another hike with Julia where I did stay with her the whole way.
So we did. And she made it up. And then we all walked with each other for the rest of the hike down. I was amazed at her persistence. For one, she was really tired. Two, we had abandoned her and she was hiking alone (with a ton of other people, but not with us). But she did it anyway. A million times over, if I could, I would go back to that moment and not be so concerned about keeping up with my guy, but instead stay back and be with my roommate. Because what she taught me about persistence that day was more important than me reaching the top of the mountain with my bf. Thankfully, Julia forgave me because that is the kind of person she is.

7. Sing!
Julia was the choir director for a good portion of her time in the ward. She taught me to actually enjoy choir, instead of just go because I felt guilty that no one else went (yes I am THAT kind of person). And she joined me nearly every week for the past three years as we sang to residents at the Wentworth Care Center. In fact, she supported me in nearly every service project I coordinated (of which there were many). It's just nice to have extra support.

But back to singing, we just liked to sing. When it was Heather (an opera singer), Katy and Julia (amazing singers) and me, I was definitely the dud. But we made up songs ALL THE TIME. And we sang all the time. Some people wish their lives were like a musical. Well it was in our apartment. And I loved it. We started writing a musical called "The Psycho Ward" which was about our singles ward experiences. If you're lucky, perhaps you'll see it performed some day.

6. Nuns are cool.
Julia has an amazing voice. And she's also a ridiculously good actress. In our first year in Salt Lake, our singles ward was part of a family stake. As such, we got to participate in family stake activities like the Stake Musical! Julia, Katy and Cheryl and other friends tried out for the Sound of Music and made the part as nuns. So much fun!

Julia, Katy and Cheryl backstage.
But what you didn't know is that Julia already had a fettish with nuns.

This is perhaps my favorite nun video of Julia that she made with her sister Lauren. Nunchucks.

6. Bask in femininity
Heather once said that Julia is so feminine that we all just bask in her feminine glow.

What do you think?

(Also, did you notice that there are two number sixes? Julia taught me numbers are not her thing, and I had 11 things to say instead of 10 so I had to make do). 

5. "Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart!" (Jane Eyre)
Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice are REALLY important. Also, anything British is important. Also, British accents are appropriate at any time of the day or night, except during prayers. Also, North and South is a beautiful movie. "It was her brother!!!!" Also, if you want to take a random trip and hike around England, call Julia because she did that. Also, if you have a movie love quote calendar, Julia will know where nearly all the quotes come from. Unless they're from Pillow Talk.

4. Practice what you love
Julia, Cheryl, me, Katie. The White House.
Julia is an excellent writer and writes something creative nearly every day. She started a writing group that met once a week at our house. Let's be honest, most of the time it started out talking about writing and then turned in to a counseling session with friends, but it was awesome. I could only attend for a short while before I began night classes with my program, but she got me back in to just writing creatively for fun. And I hope to keep doing that. Also, I really wanted to include this picture of Julia, Cheryl, Katie and me on segways in front of the White House. So there you go. Speaking of segways...

3. Create traditions 

You know you have been roommates a long time when you start having traditions. Like dressing up like pumpkins for FHE at Halloween-time. And buying a heart-shaped pizza on Valentine's Day. (The first year, the pizza started on fire--Don't go bakin' my heart!-- and filled our house with billowing smoke. Luckily, the second year was a little less dramatic).

The most important tradition we created was weekly temple trips (which Julia, Cheryl and I almost always managed to go together on) and roommate prayer (which we were diligent at for long periods of time, and then not so diligent, but never stopped trying).

 2. Just listen
The past three years were rather interesting for me, as years usually are for most people. But they saw a lot of new things in my life. We both started a new crazy life moving to Salt Lake and going to a singles ward instead of a student ward (back when they were different). I decided to start an MBA program up at the University of Utah. I dated someone for the first time and broke up for the first time and then did that process all over again. I was promoted two times in my employment. A lot of emotional times with family and friends and callings and life. And let me just tell you something. I talk. A lot. Like an uber large amount. I like to talk out my problems. It's not that I usually want advice. I just have to talk out my feelings and then I can come to grips with them and work to resolve my problems. In so doing, a talker needs a listener. And Julia has been a listener. She's listened to way more than she deserves. And she's never judged me for being upset or angry or disheartened or discouraged. She just listens. I think some Skype conference calls are definitely going to be in order here.

1. Sacrifice
I would have to say that the biggest sacrifice Julia made by getting married was having to leave me. Ha! Hardly. But she really gave up a lot. Julia and I talked extensively about how hard it is at times to be "older" and looking to get married. We're kind of already established in a job, in a house, in a neighborhood, in a ward, in a community, in friendships, and especially in our independence. But as she made the choice to get married, she had a lot to give up. She is moving to Georgia. She quit a job that she loved at the Friend. She is moving far away from family and friends to unknown territory. She does not have a job yet and she does not know very many people in the ward out in GA. She doesn't know the culture of the South or how things will be in married life. But she decided to go for it. She gave some really awesome things up for something better, which is a new life and a new adventure and an eternal marriage with Jon. She's pretty brave and courageous, if I do say so myself (which I do). So maybe, just maybe, there is something I can learn from that, too.

Thanks, Julia. Also, Cheryl and I (the real us, not the goldfish version of us-btw they are still alive) just decided we are moving to Georgia, so we'll see you soon! Bwhahaha!

[Note: This is a formal apology to all former roommates because I was not a blogger when y'all left. Just know I love you.]