Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Different Kind of Integrity

I am writing this post at 12:45 am on June 16, 2012. So much has happened since my last post but its late and I'm tired and I don't feel like filling you in on all of it.
But here's a comic I came across earlier today that wasn't very funny at the time but seems to be extremely funny now. maybe thats cuz its almost 1am

anyway I was just thinking about life and food and stuff and I felt compelled to, instead of being responsible and going to bed, type up everything I've been thinking about so all 6 of my followers can read it and know exactly what's going on in my head :)

Let's start with what I did today.
I woke up at my great aunt Leah's house in north Salt Lake, ate some food, took a shower, left, drove to gateway bridal, looked at dresses, tried on dresses, left, drove to some other dress store, tried on some dresses, left, repeat 5 times.
This went on for hours. Dress after dress, store after store, until I even started trying on the strapless ones and convinced myself it wouldn't be THAT hard to add on sleeves. And then the little fashionista on my shoulder screamed NOOOOO Emily I refuse to let you wear an over-all dress AGAIN!!! And I came home empty-handed and angry.

Why is it so dang hard to find a modest dress that isn't poofy and doesn't have a square neckline that makes it look like a skirt with a t-shirt on top? WHY? I can see the perfect dress in my head, and I'm not Tony Bowls or Sheri Hill or anything but my idea of the perfect dress is pretty dang attractive and I can't figure out why top designers haven't started making all of their dresses look like MY DESIGN. Seriously. It's not hard to make one of those sexy, sleek jersey gowns have TWO long sleeves instead of just one. Or to take one of those big old latter-day-bride poofy dresses with the pretty sweetheart necklines and TAKE OUT THE POOF but leave the pretty neckline! I have never seen a dress like that in my life and I can't figure out why.

Okay okay, I found one. But guess how much it costs? You don't even want to know. More that what I'd get in scholarship money for winning the dang pageant that's for sure...
But you know what's even harder to figure out? Why I'm going all crazy about this when I could just buy my favorite gown and wear it, modest or not, for the evening gown competition like any other normal human being would.
Sometimes I really wonder why i bother. 
And sometimes I'm almost convinced NOT to bother anymore
But then something always happens that reminds me

This time it was last friday at Miss Idaho. I had bombed my interview and gotten so nervous for talent competition that my piano solo ended up sounding like mashed potatoes. Then, after seeing everyone in their swimsuits and evening gowns I realized my body wasn't anywhere close to where it needed to be to compete with the other girls in lifestyle and fitness, and my dress looked totally cheap compared to the others. My confidence was shot and I felt totally inadequate in every single area of competition. I remember feeling completely hopeless and wondering what the heck I was even doing there at Miss Idaho with 19 women who were totally in a different league. 
Finally, I went out on stage in my cute purple interview dress to answer the onstage question and, in spite of how awful everything had gone earlier that day, I rocked it! My answer was fluent, intelligent, and confident, and I should've been totally excited to have FINALLY done something right! but I wasn't. Instead I walked off that stage feeling guilty that my three younger cousins out in the audience, who looked up to me so much, had just seen me present myself to over a thousand people in a dress that didn't fit the standards of modesty given to me by the leaders of my church. It was cute, yes, and it had a very high neckline so in all reality I was showing less skin than most modest dresses show anyway. but it didn't cover my shoulders, and I know for a fact that if President Monson had been there that day there's no way in heck I would've walked out on that stage wearing that dress. I should have read the signs when two months earlier i tried to wear it to church but felt so uncomfortable I couldn't ever take my jacket off...

anyway the funny thing about this was that I was totally upset about how everything had gone competition-wise and in my mind there wasn't even a glimmer of hope left to hang on to -  and yet without realizing it I gave up the one thing that I actually DID have to hang on to - my convictions. Although I HAD been modest in every other area of competition, it wasn't complete because I had let my standards fall just a tiny bit in order to wear that dress I liked so much. And my cousins saw me do that. 
Maybe not everyone would agree that my dress was immodest and they might say that it was totally in line with the reasons why we've been given modesty guidelines in the first place (you know, SPIRIT of the law not letter...) but that's not the point -  the point was that I understood in that moment of guilt the impact that I was making on my little cousins' views about modesty and compromise and standing for what you believe in. So i decided right then that if I was going to be modest, I was gonna do it all the way and follow every little itty bitty rule as if my life depended on it. 
Because you never know who's watching you
and you never know who looks up to you more than anyone else
and you may not ever realize it when something that you do or say impacts them in a negative way (ooh that rhymed!)

We each have the ability to be an amazing influence on those around us, simply through example. Sure, they say that integrity is doing what's right even when no one is watching, but I think its also following commandments we may not fully understand, simply because you never know who IS watching. 

I don't care if you believe in modesty or not or even if you have a totally different idea about what modesty IS. I care if you believe in what you BELIEVE in. If you're going to have convictions about something then have them and don't ever compromise them for anything, whatever they may be. I believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored to this earth by a latter-day prophet and that part of living that gospel requires keeping the commandments we've been given. Modesty is one of them. And because I believe in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I believe in being modest. 

That being said, my quest for a modest, fashionable evening gown continues tomorrow... and if I don't find one then bring on the over-all's!!! :)


  1. Never give up. You look beautiful in this gown. And you are right - you have to decide where to draw the line in the sand and keep it there. So...I never have heard how anyone did. You, Kristina, Diedre? Whatever it was, you are a winner. Very good story. Love to you.

    1. Well Kristina got 1st runner up!! And Deidre made top ten... I didn't get any awards (like I said, I bombed my interview) but it was a great experience and I've learned SO MUCH from preparing for it! I'me excited to do it again next year