Tuesday, January 31, 2012

be bold...

I stole borrowed this post idea from one of my best friends in the whole world, Brianna. It looked like fun, so I'm gonna do it, too.


...I get weirdly excited about getting letters in the mail. I'm the girl who screams and does a strange victory dance at the mailbox every time there's an envelope with her name on it. Unless it's another credit card invitation. No happy dance.

...I feel overwhelmed with gratitude when someone takes the time to remember me.

...I can't stop thinking about all of the stuff I need to get done...and all of the mistakes I've made.

...I just want to sleep all day, every day.

...I am kind of a bad person and always get behind on keeping my room clean. And I'm scared of everything.

...I wish I could be good enough.

...I just don't understand the allure of the Christian Bale Batman movies. I really don't.

...I can't believe how close I am to running out of stamps. I swear I just bought 100 of them a month ago. Apparently I write a ton of letters.

...I strongly consider spending a lot of money on clothes and shoes and pretty things and low calorie foods.

Try this yourself: Just copy and paste the bolded areas and fill in your..."sometimes"...

Monday, January 30, 2012

little reminders...

I've been feeling very lonely lately. It's been so, so hard to leave LDC. I can't tell you how many times I've dreamed that I've been back in the choir. It always starts out just like it used to be, all of my dear friends there yelling across the room to one another, laughing and giving Mike fits trying to get them to calm down. And then they start to sing, and I don't know any of the songs. I don't know the notes or the words. Brother Eggett ends up kicking me out, telling me not to come back.

I can't tell you how many times I've cried myself to sleep this semester, if I've even slept at all. The transition hasn't been terribly difficult, but difficult enough that it isn't easy.

Tonight I was feeling sorry for myself, stressing out about my Statistics exam tomorrow and a paper that's due, and wishing with all my heart that somebody would think of me. I was feeling alone and forgotten, because so many times I've tried to keep in touch with people and have received no reply.

I was frustrated and feeling downright left behind, even though I was aware of the people who I do have in my life. So then I started to feel bad because I'm a selfish brat. Then I started to think of ways I could continue to let people know I care about them...and then I realized that I don't have a lot of time to do that anymore, and the things I have done lately have always ended with silence from the other end.

Then, out of the blue, one of the LDC boys, Jeff, sent me a text inviting me to his birthday party. He said it wouldn't be a big deal, just a few friends hanging out at his place. For me, though, it was a huge deal. He probably will never know how much I appreciated it. I literally dumped my homework on the floor, got re-dressed, and rushed out the door without putting on any make-up whatsoever because I was so excited. It was only an hour, but seeing a few of those dear people was absolutely wonderful. And hugs! So many hugs.

A couple of hours later, I received another text message from an LDC girl, Allie, who I love with all my heart. I read the message and felt two things: heartbreak that I can't be in the choir anymore and complete gratitude that she had thought of me. She probably has no idea how much that means to me right now, for someone to think of me. It's amazing how something as simple as a kind word can help you to find the courage to keep moving forward.

To you two wonderful people: thank you. You were both answers to prayer.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

doesn't make sense...

I'm very upset at myself right now. I'm very upset at someone else right now, too. So feel free to read this post or not. It's very much a vent.

Dear person,

Why do I miss you? Seriously. I have no reasons whatsoever to miss you. You lied to me, you used me, you threatened me, you abused me. The very idea of seeing you gives me feelings that range from anger to fear to pity for the way you are. But mostly I'm afraid. Why am I afraid? See reasons listed in the beginning of this paragraph.

How could you profess to care for me so much and then treat me the way that you did? Why on earth did I think for a second that you told me the truth? You told me that you loved me. What you showed wasn't love. You placed yourself in a position where you could use your knowledge of my life and our friendship to use me and to control me. You had power, and you enjoyed it.

It was easy to tell; I could feel it when we were together. When you came back into my life after almost a year away, you were different towards me. I was afraid to be alone with you. I was afraid to talk to you. I did anyway, but I never felt safe with you anymore.

My experience with you has set me back so far. I was already scared of any sort of relationship. Then, though, I wanted one. So I took a chance on you. Even you know I'm not a risk taker. You were the biggest risk of my life. Thank heavens I didn't rush in and play for the highest stakes; I'd be way worse off. What we had couldn't even be considered a relationship. It was an almost relationship. For me, though, it was a huge, huge risk, and let me tell you--the return wasn't worth it.

Now I'm to the point where I'm so frightened of a repeat experience that I don't even want to consider a relationship. Now, men are handsome, nice, and friends. There isn't an active desire for anything more than friendship. Even the friendships I have made have come about through extreme caution. It's as though I have to put every man through some sort of test before I can trust him. Perhaps that isn't a bad thing, but it isn't a very healthy thing. Then the second my feelings start to change, I look for ways to shut them down. I actively seek ways to turn romantic feelings back into plain old friendship. Why? Because I'm terrified. What happens if he is as good a liar as you are? Obviously I'm easily deceived, and maybe the next guy will actually follow through on his threats. I don't know, but maybe.

What am I supposed to do, though? I'm not very big. I can't run very fast. I'm not very strong. You made all of those things very apparent to me. Thanks for that; now I'm aware of my physical weakness compared to the opposite gender.

So tell me. Why do I miss you? I shouldn't miss you. Why is it so difficult for me to keep you out of my mind, and out of my dreams, and out of my heart? Why do I wish that things could be different? I don't understand this. I don't understand how I can be so frightened of you and at the same time want you around so badly.

I don't need you. Why do I think that I need you?

I'm faced with all of this evidence of how unkind and uncaring you were. It's as plain as the noon day sun on a cloudless day. Which is why I don't understand why I miss you. I don't understand it at all. I never thought I'd say this, but I would very much like to erase you completely from my life. After everything I gave you and all of the love I showed you, you just used it all to hurt me. I'm not saying I didn't do anything wrong at all. Right now I don't care very much about that though. I'm the one who walked away with the emotional and mental damage. You're the one who went to the girlfriend you forgot to tell me about and got comfort from her. How nice for you to have a back-up plan. Or was I your back-up plan?

Now I will say this: I don't hate you. I just wish I could go back to the day I met you and walk away. That would have been the smart thing to do. Looking back I can see how naive I was. From day one, you had me right where you could play your hand the best. You immediately had the advantage, for I didn't know the rules of the game. I didn't even know we were playing.

and the playlist grows...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

not so sure...

I am a very small, rather insignificant part of this world. What I think and say probably don't matter much to anyone. Especially when it comes to questions about the great plan of life. It's been on my mind a lot lately, the Lord's plan. So many things make me wonder. Wondering about what God is doing is kind of pointless though. He's going to continue doing what He does no matter what my small objections or questions may be. Still, I ask. Rhetorically, of course. I don't expect an answer. Even though I'd like one.

I've been thinking a lot about how the world is today. How society is. The more I think, the more I realize that there are so many things that I don't know. That I don't understand.

I don't understand

...why some people have so much and most have so little.
...the lack of compassion in society.
...why there is so much pain and destruction.
...why people actually choose to hurt others.
...why people cheat and lie and steal and injure and kill.
...the thinking behind using other people or abusing other people.
...how a desire for power can cause an utter lack of humanity.
...the disregard for common courtesy and individual decency.
...why awful, ugly things are considered entertaining.

But the biggest thing I don't understand is why God lets someone hurt someone else. I don't understand it at all. Yes, I know about agency and that if God were to take away a person's agency He would be going against His own laws. If He did that, He would no longer be God. But it still bothers me that an all-powerful, omniscient being would stand by and let terrible things happen. As I've been thinking about it a lot, I can kind of understand the people who say, "I don't believe in God. If there were a God, bad things wouldn't happen. I can't believe in a God who would let so much suffering occur."

I'm not saying I don't believe in God. I've seen and learned and experienced too much to go back on that. I am saying that I can see their point. Even for me it's a hard thing to swallow.

It's probably wrong for me to be bothered. I know that the Lord allowed for an Atonement to provide healing for those who have been hurt or taken advantage of. It isn't just for the perpetrators. It's for the victims, too. But why are there victims at all? Again, back to agency. One of the main laws.

This all stemmed from a commercial I saw for a movie. The whole thing was just awful. There was destruction and violence and anger and pain. The world was literally falling apart. For a moment it was as though I saw the future on the screen. It terrified me, so much so that I started to cry.

Because isn't that what is going to happen? Wars and rumors of wars; secret combinations and not so secret ones; fires and earthquakes and storms and droughts; illnesses; pain and suffering everywhere. It is happening, right now, all over the world. And it scares me to death. People are being hurt everywhere. More people are going to get hurt. And I hate that. I hate it so much that it makes me want to yell at God like I would yell at my dad if he weren't stopping someone from hurting my sister. WHY?! I want to scream. Don't you even CARE?! You say that you do. Prove it!

But who am I to do that? It's wrong to be angry with God. After all, He does know what He is doing. I may not understand what it is right now, but it will all be made right. He's promised it will be. It just frightens me and it makes me so angry that people get hurt, people who have no control over their situations and are just written off as "collateral damage".

I fear for the future of the world. It's the opposite of faith, I know. It's something I'm trying to become better at. Right now I'm just being honest. I mean...I'm going to have to raise my kids in the future. What is it going to be like? How will I answer their questions and prepare them for things I don't even know about yet? The world moves so fast now and changes so quickly; I'll be learning right along with them. How will I know what to do for them and how to teach them?

I want to be a good part of this world. I want to help those around me. I want to be good and faithful and valiant. I want to be strong for my family and my friends and my future family. I don't want to be afraid--but I am.

Friday, January 27, 2012

I miss you so much.

noticed lately...

Sometimes I wake myself up because I've stopped breathing in my sleep.

The speakers hanging from the wall in my choir classroom are installed upside down.

I don't like eating food that has been stored in a lunchbox. Maybe a little germaphobic.

Rules in society seem to fall under the pirate code: "They're more like guidelines, instead of actual rules."

White socks with black shoes look really funny. Case in point, what I wore today...ugh.

A surprising amount of people do not bring a writing utensil with them to class. Um...last time I checked, we were in college. I'm checking again...we're still in college. Right? Chances are, you're going to need a writing utensil. Preferably one that isn't mine.

If I get to bed before 11:30pm, I either don't dream or the dreams aren't too bad. If it's after 12:00am, I dream a LOT and they usually aren't happy.

It bugs me when people eat sandwiches/hamburgers/other kind of food like that in a straight across, or "normal", fashion. Why? I eat mine in circles. All of the rest of you are weird. And when I say all, I mean all because obviously I'm not the weird one for being the only person to eat a sandwich in a circle. Sheesh!

Pizza never sounds appetizing on a Wednesday.

Why is it that pants never fit right in the waist? There's always extra fabric that just sits there with no purpose other than to look funny. Everywhere else fits fine. Just not the waist.

When I wear my "motorcycle" boots I feel super confident.

Every time I see a girl with a black eye I get really worried.

Five minutes is a really, really long time if you're watching the clock.

The five categories of men I've encountered at BYU:
1. Married guys = normal friends and/or professors
2. Guys in relationships = cautious friends
3. Single guys = completely ignore me (again, completely)
4. Gay guys = instant and most dramatic friends
5. High school guys visiting for conferences = only guys who show any interest at all

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

in 800 words or less...

My junior high, high school, and "college prep" days of UVU did not prepare me for this little beast I am now facing. It's called The Research Paper in 800 Words or Less. In this case, it must be done in 700 to 800 words. The word count made many in my English class rejoice. I, however, am close to tearing my hair out due to the length of the paper. Why?

800 words is NOT ENOUGH.

I have never had to write a short research paper. They've always been 8 pages or more, which is way more than 800 words. 800 words double spaced is about two and a half pages, including all of the mumbo jumbo formatting at the top that MLA format requires. I mean, most of my blog posts are in the 600-700 word range! Grrr. Beastly thing.

In short (haha), this is very difficult for me. Finding a topic and narrowing it down to the required specificity has been such a huge mountain to climb for me because I don't research in specifics. Think National History Fair size: start with a broad topic, make it a tad bit narrower, and BAM. Enough information to make 1500-2500 words. This one...it's taken me three days to come up with an angle small enough, and even now I keep wanting to branch out and bring in more information. But that adds to the word count. Buh.

Call me Hermione, but yes. I'm Hermione. I've even got the hair to go with it.

look before you leap...

I'm sitting here mentally kicking myself (and breaking a few ribs). "You couldn't leave well enough alone, could you?" the not so kind voice in my brain keeps saying. No, I couldn't. I never do. Why? Because, and I quote, I'm "too nice." Too nice, too helpful, too over enthusiastic, too grand in my thinking, too...you get the picture.

In the process of getting somewhere, I often forget that the actual process is indeed just that: a process. So I see these grand results in my imagination and get started on making that vision a reality. Then about halfway through the process, I realize, "Whoa...this is a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be..." By then I'm stuck though. No backing out, and not sure how to move forward.

See, oftentimes I don't think. I get myself into trouble with forming relationships (friendships, seeing as I've never had a romantic relationship), carrying out projects, and other various situations because I forget that there is always a mean to an end. This has happened a lot today. The term "look before you leap" is more like "you leaped and now you're stuck looking over your shoulder thinking 'shoot...I should have thought about this a little bit.'"

I should know better. Here's why: Once upon a time I was shown an absolutely terrifying video in a church lesson. A boy was standing on the edge of a dock jutting out into a pond. The water looked fine, greenish and calm like most ponds do. He jumped into the water with a huge splash. Cut to underwater camera shots of dark, murky, weed ridden and garbage infested horror as the boy got caught in the tangled mess below the surface.

And people wonder why I won't go into a pond, a lake, a river, or the ocean if it comes up past my knees...

The message of the video was that of the old saying "look before you leap". I was always confused by this because there were several camera shots showing the water's surface. It looked totally clear. You can't always see what's hiding in a pond, you know. Who knows what could be lurking in there? But I did get the message.

Though I remember the message, I don't apply it well to things that are not body of water related. Like, for example, real life. I keep jumping into things without examining the possible outcomes. I'm not saying I take huge risks, but I don't think. "Look before you leap" doesn't seem to have made it as a retrievable entry in the "command" section of my brain. Instead, I jump in head first and only after I'm at the bottom of the pond do I realize...maybe this wasn't such a good idea.

I guess I'm more of a leaper than a looker. Funny...I can't even swim.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

be exceptional...be complete...

Lately I've been thinking about what it means to be exceptional, to make a difference, to impact the world in some way. Not necessarily on a grand, global scale, but exceptional enough to change something. Perhaps even exceptional enough to change myself, for personal change is no easy thing. I find this to be truer every day.

Some may say that because "everyone is special", no one is special. "Being special" may be seen as the status quot: you're not special because everyone else is and you're only special if you stand out. We sure don't treat everyone like they're special. If that's the way that we saw one another, wouldn't it solve a lot of problems? If when you look at another person, you see someone special instead of someone average--how would that change the world?

2nd Peter 1:3-4 say "According to his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world..."

Doctrine and Covenants 18:10 reminds that each person, each soul, is important to God, commanding us to "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God."

What if we treated everyone with the belief that inside of them is the incredible? Not just the potential: the incredible, the exceptional, the divine nature is already there. Our world is so set on seeing the flaws and faults and imperfections that the true worth of each individual soul has been forgotten in a tide of false perfection. The Lord says, "be ye therefore perfect". Do you know what perfect means in the Hebrew translation? Perfect: whole, complete, finished. That means something different than flawless.

We're not going to be perfect in this life. We're going to make mistakes. We're going to see people not as they really are. We're going to see ourselves differently, too. But--to become finished and complete--one must work at it. Really work at it, involving the Lord as much as possible in everything. That isn't to say let Him tell you what to do. He won't always tell you what to do. Instead, ask for His advice. Ask for His help, His guidance, His strength and spirit to be with you.

How wonderful is it that God didn't leave us to ourselves? It is said that God no longer speaks to men, that He has forgotten us. Some even say that He gave up. He didn't do that though. I believe that God has instilled in everyone a desire to do something great. Why? Because as children of God, we share in His nature. Goodness, the desire to do good, comes from Him. Whether someone knows it or not, whether the desire is big, small, or hasn't come to conscious thought yet, it's in there.

I want to make a difference. I want to do something, to be something great. Whether that is an outstanding, earth shaking thing or a seemingly insignificant thing, I want to be incredible. Every person has incredible inside. It comes with being human. And someday, if we work hard enough and rely on the Savior and His grace to make up the difference, we will be complete.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

up and coming...

Every once in awhile you run across someone amazing. One of those someones in my life is the wonderful Sierra, or Sisi of Oh, Just Livin' the Dream! Seriously, she's pretty much one of the greatest women I've ever had the opportunity to meet. She's given me this blog award, the Liebster Award. Can I just say that this really does mean a lot to me? So thank you, Sierra dear. You made my day.

The Liebster Award is given to spotlight up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers.

So here's how it works now:
1. Link back to the person who awarded you.
2. Tell who your 5 favorite up and coming blogs are. (you can include the person who awarded you)
3. Post the award on your blog & pass it on!

The five I picked have been helfpul, funny, inspiring, and have helped me get to know these wonderful women better. I could have picked five more--seriously. These are the blogs I want to award tonight.

1. Brianna, my lovely choir chica sister at .Trust. Learn. Grow. Live.. This girl is amazing. She blogs about life in a way that is totally genuine and honest. She's been one of the most influential people in my life.

2. Lindsey, spunky lover of all things photography. She takes brilliant pictures and has such a fun way of sharing her work and her life. Check out her space, the wonderfully designed wold of Lindzena.

3. In My Own Little Corner, or in her corner you will find the glamorous Jazara. Her stories of personal discovery and the cuteness of her relationship with her hubby are funny and inspiring. Something about Jazara just makes me want to be a better person. Every time I see her or read her writing, I can't help but feel loved.

4. Erin Day posts such interesting and insightful things. Oh the Awkwardness of Me... is a place where you will find stories of love, school work, family, friends, and all other things that make up this wonderful life. She's funny and real and so much fun.

5. And last but not least, I link back to Sisi at Oh, Just Livin' the Dream! I'll reiterate what I said before. This girl is amazing. It's interesting how often what she writes rings true for me as well. I love her mucho.

So, awarded peoples. It's your turn. Have fun, okay? :)

just a number...

It is said that age is just a number. That weight is just a number. That income, grade point average, IQ, so many other measurements aren't really measurements at all. They're just numbers.

People cannot be measured in numbers. Can people be measured at all? Really...if everything about a person is "just a number", what does a person become? A number? What happened to the term "human being"?

This week I've been slipping. I've been feeling and thinking so many different things. I remember similar feelings and thoughts, ones I hoped to never revisit. They're not fun. They're painful and lonely. Remembering those things has brought me to remember the "treatment" I went through. It works for a lot of people: the doctor visits, the medications, the therapy sessions. For some, maybe most, those things change lives. For me, those things didn't work. I don't know if it's because I was (and am) a very stubborn person who very much dislikes taking pills and talking to strangers about my deep struggles or what, but for me it didn't do much good. It did some, I'll admit. Just not as much as it does for others.

I hated feeling the affects of a drug on my mental and emotional make up. I could feel myself changing, but it wasn't true change. After a year and a half of medications and therapists I felt a difference only in this way: everything was completely fake. My emotions and thoughts were completely...I don't even know how to describe it. It was like every time I was "happy", I was constantly aware that in the very, very back of my mind I really wasn't happy; that it was a chemical alteration that was causing my real emotions and thoughts to be twisted into an absolutely false optimism. I couldn't really be who I was. The real feeling, thinking me was barricaded behind a facade of pills and doctors telling me things were working. But for me, it wasn't working. That probably makes no sense, but it's just hard to explain.

The therapists were the real kicker though. I sat in an office with a stranger for an hour every week. When you didn't want to be there at all and were taken by force, that hour seemed like a lifetime. And then when the therapist told you more than once that if you really believed in Christ--if you were really following the commandments--you wouldn't be feeling the depression and fear that possessed you, that hour turned into eternity. Then it made me feel even worse about myself, that not only was I a bad person for feeling the way that I did, but that I was also a bad person because if I really had faith I'd be happy. No Faith = Bad Person = No Happiness. Bad equation.

Those people were trying to help me. But they couldn't help me, really. I felt that to them, I was a bunch of numbers on a piece of white paper. I was weight, height, age, gender, class, "on a scale of 1 to 10" selections, yes, no, "do you", "don't you". I still feel that way, which is why I fight this so hard on my own.

I stopped taking medications a year ago. I stopped talking to doctors and therapists. This past year was actually the happiest year of my life. There were some really, really hard days and even weeks, but I came out on top. Right now I'm sliding back into old patterns of thought and behavior. I don't want to be like that. That's why I'm trying so hard. I don't know why it's so hard to talk though--usually people can't get me to shut up.

I don't want to go back to being a number. I don't want to go back to the fake, awful feelings and thoughts I had, the feeling of being trapped and unable to express how things were really working inside. I don't want my happiness to be measured out in milligrams and be put into orange containers with white, child-proof (and sometimes me-proof) lids. I don't want to go back to smiling professionals who waved away my expressions of concern about what I felt was happening. That happened a lot.

From this, you could say that I'm a control freak. I suppose I am. I'm an "I control myself" freak. I don't like outside sources stepping in and taking over. To me it is so very important to work as hard as I can on my own. All of this has taught me many ways to handle the depression and anxiety (admittedly they're not working so well right now). I've come so far on my own in the past two years. Why? Because I put the Lord first (finally figured that one out) and asked Him to help me do this without the pills and therapy sessions. To Christ, you are never a number. Ever. You're always, always, always His lamb, and He is always your Shepherd.

I don't want to be "just a number". I don't want to be a piece of categorical data. I don't want to be a quantitative measure. I am a child of GOD (wow...writing that feels good). He knows me. He knows you. Who but He can help? The master physician, the greatest listener, the best friend.

You are never a number to the Lord. Don't forget that.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

why is it so hard to do...


You should know--please believe me--I've picked up the phone a thousand times and tried to dial your number...it's never easy. It's like trying to spin the world the other way.

What can I say?


Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I'm the kind of person who can't keep her own secrets. I can keep other people's, but never my own. Why? I have to talk to someone about what's going on inside my head. The bad things about that are:

...what happens when you can't find any words?
...who do you go to when you don't know what to say?
...how do you call someone when you're too afraid to dial--after all, what if they actually pick up?

I'll try what my English teacher suggests: word vomit, meaning writing every word that comes to mind to eventually get to the main idea.

I'm upset because

...every time I finally feel comfortable somewhere, everything changes and I have to start all over again.
...I hate the helpless feeling I get when I hear my sisters talk about their friend who killed himself last week, and I hate the fear I feel when they don't talk but you can see all over their faces what they're thinking about.
...there's too much to learn and not enough time to become good at everything.
...people are thoughtless. I am, too.
...I'm so awkward, and I feel like people don't think I'm being sincere when I really and truly am.
...being in pain for a week and a half is not easy to live with (it makes me ache for the people who have to deal with it every single day of their lives).
...no matter what I do, I still look and feel the same.
...I'm suddenly faced with great uncertainty in where I stand at work, and I'm afraid to approach my boss and ask about it because I'm afraid of what she'll say.
...I cannot for the life of me find my paycheck (with my W2 in it that costs $10 to replace).
...no one has really hugged me in days, which is weird because I usually don't like to be touched.
...school is boring. It's kind of a let down, actually.
...I'm selfish. I don't know how to change it, either.
...I'm never going to be good enough.
...writing to my missionary friends is getting harder and harder to do, not because I can't make time, but because (once again) I don't know what to say.
...Molly is naughty on purpose to get attention. Irritating.
...things from my past keep coming to mind, things that hurt or frighten me or make me feel so ashamed of myself. All are things I thought I'd gotten over, but I can't let them go.
...my room is messy, my laundry isn't done, and my homework isn't finished. Each my fault. Each beyond my capacity to complete right now...or at least beyond desire.
...I really, really, really dislike being told how I think. How the heck should anybody know how I think? I don't care how many degrees you have. Do not tell me how I think about the world.
...I'm so afraid of people. I can't even talk to the people I trust because I'm afraid of them.

...explosion in progress...


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

what starts like a scary tale...

Nobody wants to be stuck in bed on their birthday. At least nobody that I know. Perhaps I cursed myself when I posted that I was soon to be a nobody due to the whole no longer a teen, not quite an adult line I included. And since I'm a nobody, that sentence can now be read as "Nobody WANTS to be stuck in bed on her birthday!!"

What was wrong? Oh, you know. The usual. There's been no progress whatsoever, and let me tell ya, the pain has been wonderful. If you don't catch my over-the-Internet sarcasm, I'll point it out to you. That was very sarcastic. So the day started out with me, my dogs, and my laptop in my bed as I studied and tried to keep up with all of the birthday wishes on my Facebook page. I got online and saw how many notifications I had and my first thought was, "What the crap? It's like it's my birthda...oh. Right." My phone was off the hook all day, too. That also made me feel really special.

Those birthday wishes made a huge difference in my day. It was SO. GREAT. to see how many people took the time to say hello. It made me feel a lot better, and it wasn't quite so lonely down there in my room writing essays. Then my visiting teacher brought over a giant rice crispy treat covered in chocolate frosting with sprinkles and a candle. Also made me feel super good, because she took the time to make me a birthday treat. And THEN Ann came over with Iron Man. Never seen it before...want to see it again. Brianna, get your homework done! :)

And then after that? Cafe Rio birthday dinner with Ann and the fam while we watched Silverado. I've been wanting to do that since I first saw the movie last year (I resisted it strongly whenever my family would watch it because I hate Westerns and they usually give me nightmares...but I can watch Iron Man no problem? I think I've grown up a little...). It was so great! I think I like Emmett the best of the four leading men. Jake drives me crazy. He is so very ADHD that he makes me nervous. Mal is awesome too, and Paden is a sweetheart, but something about Emmett just gets me. He's definitely someone I'd want on my side. All of them are, really. Jake just needs to stay at a safe distance from me until the shooting starts. Then he can come play.

And then? The Raddatzes came over to sing to me!! It was so great to see all of the kids again, and to see Brother and Sister Raddatz. They brought me a giant, and I mean GIANT birthday cake shaped like a cupcake. It was huge. I was so excited that I forgot to take a picture of it; I started slicing it and handing it out to people before I got my camera. Oops. It is a very, very good cake. I'm excited to have more today, haha! And they gave me a beautiful set of pearl bracelets. That meant so much to me; pearls have a lot of meaning between us. And I got to get hugs from Amy and Mandy and Makay, and I got to talk to Jason and Morgan for a little while, and Kyle gave me a big hug, and Brother and Sister Raddatz gave me hugs and talked to me for awhile and I just love them.

So. What started like a scary tale ended like a fairytale, and life couldn't possibly better be! Now I'm going to take more meds and go to class. Ciao!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

the second decade...

In a few minutes I will break the teens and enter the year of not belonging. No longer a teen, not quite an adult. As one of the corporate people at work said to me, "You're about to hit the absolutely perfect age! You're gonna be a nobody. And...nobody's perfect! A whole year of perfection awaits!"

Perfect. That is the absolute opposite of what my life has been on a scale of perfection to near failure. But what kind of a scale is that? It's a faulty one. Because my life has been perfect for me.

To be honest, there have been times in my life that I never thought I'd make it to twenty. I didn't ever imagine being twenty until a couple of months ago. My thirteen-year-old self went directly to the goal of eighteen, and the goal after that was where I'd be at twenty-five. Two years later, my fifteen-year-old self couldn't even imagine tomorrow. Then, when I was really eighteen, I was back to imagining and planning to where I wanted to be at twenty-five again. Twenty just kind of got lost in the process of getting to twenty-five, just another thing to check off the list of what I was going to do when I grew up.

I've decided that I'm going to actually be twenty. I've spent a lot of my life waiting to be some other age or in some other place. There's nothing wrong with having a plan. It's good to plan! But something I've learned from this life of mine: you can't expect to have memories of things unless you do the things you want to have memories of. I didn't do normal teenage things because I was so focused on getting to being an independent, graduated, degreed and diploma-ed member of the work force. I forgot to be a real teenager. I didn't hang out with friends. I didn't go to football game or basketball games. I didn't go to a lot of the dances. I didn't do extracurricular activities. I never even imagined sneaking out of my house--I didn't have anywhere to sneak to. It's almost like I just figured "I'll do those things sometime. I've got time." There's never time to waste. There's never a chance to go back.

I don't regret how I was (mostly). I don't regret studying and taking hard classes and staying in on weekends to prep for exams. It's pushed me so much further ahead. What I do regret is thinking that time would just stand still for me. That was a very young, naive thought. Time waits for no one.

I've made a lot of mistakes in the past. There have been stupid moments, unkind words, fights and misunderstandings, missed opportunities, burned bridges. All of these experiences have become lessons of what not to do, and in some cases how to do something better. I've learned how to think better, how to act better, how to be better.

I've also done a lot of things right. There have been many successes, many friendships, many amazing opportunities. There have been people who have come and gone, each one impacting me in some valuable way. There have been other people who have stayed around--these I know will be life long friendships.

There's been a lot of darkness in my life. Ever since I was about ten I've really struggled with depression, anxiety, and the normal awkward, insecure feelings every teen faces. Now I still struggle sometimes, but it's so much easier to really take in the good things. There's so much more light now, more than there ever has been. Looking back to the beginning of my second decade, I see a huge difference in who I am now and who I was then. I'm still pretty insecure, but compared to how I was even a year ago I'm different.

Really though--who isn't insecure? We're all putting on a bit of a front for the world--that's why family is so great. They know what scares you, what makes you furious, what weird things you love; they've heard you cry, scream, even swear. And they still love you anyway. That's another thing I've come to appreciate more. I love my family.

Looking back, I've come a very long way. Looking forward, I've still got a very long way to go. One day at a time. On to decade number three.

you had my heart and soul...

This is fantastic. All of their work is incredible, but this is stunning.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


If there was a way to express how I'm feeling, I would. Since there isn't, I'm not.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

sad times...

Before I write anything else, let me say this: I know that there is a ton of beauty and goodness in this world. I see it every day. It's there, it's tangible, and it's easy to see if you are willing to look for it.

Lately the good has been tinged with feelings of sadness. There are a couple of reasons for this. First is that because of the time it takes to keep up with all of my classes, and because of the number of hours I need at work, I had to leave LDC.

The decision to leave wasn't made lightly. I'd been thinking about it for a few weeks. I came up with some ways that I could make it all work, but each time I felt tired just thinking about it. Christmas break came around and I realized something: I didn't really miss choir. I love singing the music and testifying through song. I love learning from Brother Eggett. I love being with my group of girls and guys. But even with all of that, I didn't miss it. Still, I didn't want to leave because I wasn't sure it was the right thing to do.

After thinking about it for a long time and talking to the Lord for awhile about it, I came up with a pros and cons list. The cons outweighed the pros by a long shot. Some people can do it all. I am not one of those people. The good thing about LDC is that I can go back to it when I have more time to be a 100% dedicated member. The bad thing is that by the time I can go back, a lot of my dear friends will be gone, the third years (Sierra, Allie, Jon, Mike, Jenny, to name a few). I hope that we'll be able to keep in touch though! I'll admit it, I miss everyone.

BYU is a hard place to be. It's so, so, so big. I see people I know, but I don't know them. Most of the people I see aren't close friends. Erin, Amelia, and Tiana are there, which is awesome (Erin and Amelia used to be in LDC and Tiana is a good friend from the junior high and high school days), but other than that I don't really know anyone. We're more like acquaintances rather than friends. That will probably change (I hope) but for right now it's a lonely place. Boring, too. Very boring. You can only study for so long, you know?

Third, one of my sisters' friends committed suicide this morning. He went to school with them. I don't know him, but from what I've read and heard today it sounds like he is an awesome, awesome kid. I wish I wish I wish this sort of thing didn't happen. I wish it so much. No one even expected it. It was totally out of the blue. It's so horribly sad.

So, so many sad things happen in this world. A lot of good, happy things happen too. Right now, though, I'm feeling the sadness.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

party in the U-S-A!

A party is a party, but a Captain America party? *insert polite tittering*

Heck yes I did it. I mean, how could I possibly not? I love Captain America! I like the movie, too. So...why not make him the guest of honor at my birthday party? I did. And it was awesome. It was the first time I got to plan and create my very own birthday party (no, it hasn't been my birthday yet). Since I am an official Party Planner at PartyLand, it was pretty easy to do this. I'm surrounded by ideas for nearly 15 hours a week. Wasn't hard with a bajillion options right at my fingertips! It was super fun to do all of the planning, purchasing, decorating, and finally the partying.

Thank you to all of those who helped out and who attended! You made a rough week end with a very fun, care-free Saturday night. I really appreciate it. Let's hear it for the captain!

For those of you who couldn't attend, here are some pictures of the event:

Captain America shield made out of cookies?! Ann's a genuis.

I didn't have time to make a cake, and when my dad found out he surprised me with this. I have no idea where he got it. Isn't it fantastic?! My daddy loves me.

We really are a more lively bunch than we appear to be. I promise.


Monday, January 9, 2012


Have you ever made a hard choice and felt great about it when you made it, but when it hits you that you can't go back and change the decision you can't help but cry your eyes out?

Yeah. That's me.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

December top 10...

1. Perfect Two -- Auburn
2. Set Fire to the Rain -- Adele
3. To Build a Home -- The Cinematic Orchestra
4. As You Turn Away -- Lady Antebellum
5. Mr. Know-It-All -- Kelly Clarkson
6. Paradise -- Coldplay
7. Mistletoe -- Justin Bieber
8. Almost Lover -- A Fine Frenzy
9. Not Over You -- Gavin DeGraw
10. Begin Again -- Colbie Caillat

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

tell everybody I'm on my way...

Well. In t-minus 11 hours and 15 minutes, my BYU adventure begins. While I knew I would get there someday, I never actually thought it was going to happen. Yes, I know that doesn't make any sense. But it's the thought process of the past five years. It works.

I won't lie and say I'm not nervous about this new step in my life. There are things I'm going to have to give up to do this, and it is not going to be easy. There are things I don't know, and things I think I know that I'll probably find incorrect very shortly. But while I'm nervous, I know that it's going to be just fine. I'm going to be just fine! Stressed out, lacking social life, sure. That will be made up for though. In the end it will all be worth it.

Education is my journey. It always has been, it always will be. Learning is something I'm good at, and it's something I love to do. So why stop before I've really gotten started?

Heads up, BYU. I'm on my way.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

who are you?

Parker, a coworker of mine, asked me a question about a month ago that has really bothered me. It has bothered me because I didn't know the answer. I still feel like I don't know the answer, and no matter how much I think about it and try to come up with something satisfactory, it doesn't seem right.

"Who are you?" Parker asked. The question stemmed from a long conversation about how to read people and what he could read about me, just from knowing me for a few weeks. He asked me again a couple of days ago, and I made something up like "I'm a college student, a sister, a daughter, and a friend." He seemed slightly more satisfied with that answer than with my previous "I don't know", and then told me to keep thinking.

Who am I, friends? Because honestly, I'm not sure who I am. Or maybe I know, but I'm too afraid to write it down or say it out loud. Once written down or spoken aloud, it becomes a responsibility. I don't know if I can live up to the expectations. I worry that there is so much to lose.

Perhaps it doesn't make any sense, and maybe putting it off isn't the proper way to go about it. Right now though, trying to come up with a definition of who I am is giving me a headache. Not to mention I think I'm allergic to the idea...if you get my meaning.