Sunday, September 30, 2012

trying so hard...

Two of my least favorite feelings are
  1. the feeling of being let down
  2. the feeling that I'll never measure up
I'm trying hard not to feel either of those things.

Not an easy thing when it's 12:30am (so late, I know) and you're aware of how alone (as in physical relation to someone else) you are.

Friday, September 28, 2012

glad that's over...

Well, I either kicked that exam in the face or that exam kicked me in the face. Not really sure which. All I know is that I wrote from the second I got the test to the second my professor held out his hand for me to stop writing -- I literally wrote straight through for 60 minutes. The last minute was so stressful! I had so much more that I wanted to say, and my hand was cramping up, and my handwriting was dreadful.

Not to mention that my professor was standing right in front of my desk while I was finishing up my last essay...awkward.

so frustrated...

I have an exam tomorrow morning (and you know how much I stress about exams).

Honestly, I don't know how I'm going to remember all of this material. Right now, I can't seem to take in any more. All of the words on the study guide are just that -- words. They don't mean anything now! Nothing I read is sticking.

How can I write essays on things I barely understand?

"Specifics matter. I know BS when I see don't do it," said the professor.

And he's serious. According to previous students, his tests are "ridiculous," "a bear," "the reason I hated that class so much."

Let's just say I'm in tears -- I hate exams. I never feel prepared, and this time I was unable to study as much as I wanted to (life happens -- it happens a lot lately). The caffeine isn't helping me concentrate or stay awake. The headaches are back in full force. STRESSED. OUT.

Prayer. Coke Zero. Celtic Pandora station. Aleve. Pages and pages and pages of notes. Google Doc.

All questions on exam require an essay answer. 12 possible questions (none of which were detailed when we discussed the exam in class). 5 questions given. 4 questions to answer. 1 hour in which to answer all 4 questions.

Screw it.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


We are shadow people.

Shadows cast by dusty suns of history,
spreading dark across the cobbled streets
that link we to them.

Shadow people slipping through petal-less gardens,
purple symphony of damp blue springs
creeping from then to now.

Our whispers dress the sky, soaring up
with the voices of faceless and ageless

We are shadows of the past,
mixing the old and the new. Creating worlds
of thought and innovation -- innovation rooted in time.

We are shadows of the past. Dreams of what has been.
And what will be.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

there'll be joy...

Oh heavens.

                     Oh. Heavens.



Now that I'm doing oh heavening, how about I tell you a little bit about that.

Last night (Tuesday) was the first time in longer than I can remember that I have experienced true tears of joy. As in being so overcome with happiness and gratitude that I could not contain the emotions. I was absolutely overwhelmed with something I can only describe as real, honest to goodness joy.

Perhaps this is what cloud nine is. People usually describe cloud nine as being in love -- this is so much better than that. This is the confirmation that I am loved and important to God, and that He is absolutely interested in my life. That He is putting things in place to make me the best person I can possibly be. That He recognizes me for what I am trying to do. That He knows me.

God is great.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

once upon another time...

People say that there are those who come into your life for a reason -- usually to teach you something -- and then they leave. Their sole purpose is to give you perspective and insight into your life, to help you become better by showing you ways to change.

That's a nice thought. It's a real nice one. But thinking about it and experiencing it are nowhere near similar.

Being on the left behind end of this phenomenon sucks (yes, I just said sucks). Watching the person who meant so much to me just disappear from my life, at no (tangible) fault of my own, just circumstances and personal changes, really sucks. Going from best friends to barely speaking, pushed aside and forgotten, hurts. Feeling abandoned, betrayed, stabbed in the back, because that person knows me -- knows me for me. And once said that we'd be friends no matter what.

"I'll always be there for you."

Well. Where are you now? Not here. Not even there.

When did that happen? Almost overnight, it seems. Best friends one day, near strangers the next. Because that's how it feels when I'm with you now. Like I'm with a complete stranger. Like I'm a stranger to myself. 

What happened to us?

There's another saying, the saying that "people should be allowed to change." That's great when it applies to me. I don't like applying it to someone else, when their change leaves me feeling alone and confused, wondering if I said too much or not enough. If I should have been different, or better. 

How could I have been different or better, though, when with you, I could be nothing but myself? 

Once upon another time, I was important. It was a different kind of important than the every day, "each person is important" sort of way. It was different because I was important to you. I'm still important. I still matter. But not being important to you, especially when you still mean so much to me, is absolutely heart breaking. 

Lucky for me, you never made me happy. I was happy on my own, and I was happier with you next to me, but I didn't need you. My heart aches with missing you, yes. However, I can be, and am, happy on my own.

I didn't need you as a friend. I wanted you as a friend. It's because I loved you -- love doesn't need. Love wants. I wanted to love you, because you were my best friend. Maybe you still are my best friend -- maybe I still love you. I probably do. It makes sense, because what's happening to us is painful, and if I didn't love you, it wouldn't hurt so much.

You taught me about happiness -- you taught me how not to need. You taught me to want, and to hold onto those things that I want. You taught me that it isn't about "fitting" together. It's about "rolling." We rolled, you know. Or at least, I rolled with you.

There's more than that, though. Whether you meant to or not, you taught me that love lets go. Because I've never loved anyone like I loved you -- and love is about the other person. I learned that even more as your friend -- the more you told me, and the closer we got, and the more I shared with you -- nothing you did or said could push me away. Until now. 

Even now, though...I can't explain it. I care more about you than I do about how hurt I feel by what you're doing. Not talking to me, not answering, not being the friend anymore -- despite it all, I care about you. Which is so frustrating, because I can't let myself react in the ways I desperately wish I could. That's why I can't be as angry as I want to be. That's why I can't scream and throw tantrums and shout to the world that I hate you. Because I don't hate you. As much as I want to be immature and childish, I can't be.

Do you know how hard it is to be the one who is left behind? To be the one who is expected to wait, to be patient, to always be there when you change your mind again? Do you know what it's like to be shut out by your best friend, the person you trusted with secrets and fears and dreams you'd never shared with anyone on earth before?

Strangely, I'm not destroyed. As much as I loved you and invested in our friendship, and as much as it hurts, I'm beyond functioning. I'm happy. I'm as normal as I ever get (with the exception of minor emotional breakdowns due to a number of factors).

I don't understand how I can be so hurt and so at peace simultaneously. Perhaps it's because I don't really need you. I just wanted you in my life. 

But, when do we ever get everything that we want? 

Perhaps once upon another time.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


ZombieDay, more like.

First thing that I learned: liquid latex is cold and smells funny, and when it dries it pulls your skin tight and makes it difficult to move normally. I was given a wicked looking burn on my neck, and the range of motion in my neck was cut down by about a third! But it looked cool. It actually freaked some people out when it was fresh -- they said it looked like I'd actually been burned.

Beautiful, isn't it? Kirsten, the artist who did my make-up, was very thorough
(and no, she did not use a 2 x 4 to give me that bruise. Just paint, brushes, and sponges).

Second thing that I learned: wearing shredded, stained clothes and being covered in dirt and fake blood, bruises, burns, stab wounds, bullet holes, and other various injuries really brings people together. Barriers broken, people. So funny that friendships were started by people comparing their wounds and making up stories as to how they got them. Because when everyone looks like crap, it's really easy to fit in!

(side thing that I learned: it is much less awkward to have your clothes ripped apart by a woman than it is to have them shredded by a man -- that was weird)

Third thing that I learned: acting like a zombie takes more energy than a person might think, because pretending not to have control of your body takes a lot of control (I'm a bit sore today, actually -- kinda out of shape much?). Otherwise, you'll trip and face plant in the gravel. And then you'd actually be bruised and dirty and bloody. Funnily enough, I never tripped while being a zombie. Walking normally, yeah, I tripped a couple of times. Weird.

Got this during a narrow escape -- you should see how the other guy looks.

Fourth thing that I learned (or, in this case, was reinforced): filming for a movie is boring. I already knew that, but as I've never been part of a project like this, I didn't realize how boring it truly is. Take after take of doing the exact same thing, each take split up by the crew having to re-position cameras, light adjusters and filters, set pieces -- the other extras that had arrived at 7am and I took it upon ourselves to shout "BACK TO ONE!!!" before the camera crew could do so. It happened so often that we just began to expect it. Hearing "THAT'S A WRAP" on a take was the best moment ever. SHADE! And WATER! Not to mention we could sit down and talk to each other before we were called back to set again.

Fifth thing that I learned: no matter where I go, people I have never met before will tell me their life stories and ask me for advice. And random little children will come sit by me and talk to me about everything (one little zombie child brought a plate of Doritos over to the wall I was sitting against and plopped herself down next to me, then proceeded to tell me all about her school, her zombie costume that she wears at home for a dress-up, how she is "five now. I used to be four, but I'm not anymore," and that she wants a curly slide in her back yard, not a straight one), even though I don't even know their names.

I'm actually kind of surprised that the children on set weren't scared by the way us zombie grown-ups looked. When I was a child, I probably would have been terrified. Then again, Lassie Come Home gave me nightmares, so. Yeah.

Sixth thing that I learned: holding a baby is the best thing in the world. It's the only place that I feel really safe and peaceful. I spent several minutes holding Parker's baby niece, and I didn't want to give her back. She's such a precious little thing -- and for a little while, all was right in my world.

Seventh thing that I learned: don't wait until you're desperate to call someone for help. Just do it (thank you to friends who picked up -- you know who you are).

Remarkably, this all came off pretty easily. Two or three gentle washes with shampoo and presto! Gone.

Eighth thing that I learned: don't tug on the latex (yeah, don't do it) when trying to get it off. Just roll it off and it won't hurt as much (blah).

My zombie time has come to a close. There were good bits and bad bits, and I never quite got used to seeing people walking around with oozing cuts and gashes. But it was overall pretty fun and very different.

You're next.

Wrap it up and send it to a baby on Christmas, folks! This sequence of production is DONE!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

gotta catch 'em all...

Or not.

Seriously. I am so behind in all of my studies, my housework, my relationships with family and friends, everything. I cannot seem to catch up. By no means have I been procrastinating -- and I am being 100% sincere when I say that (are you shocked?). Every day during my breaks at school I work on my readings and my assignments, and I do the same when I get home. I do little chores as much as I can. Without fail, though, I end up stopping in the middle.

Why, you ask?

Because my head begins to hurt so much that I can't do anything but lie down in bed with the lights off and a pillow over my head to shut out any sounds. When I don't stop, and I push myself, weird stuff happens. Like being unable to form coherent sentences and words slurring together. Like blurry vision and stationary objects beginning to move in wavy, distorted lines. Like throwing up. Like losing my orientation in the universe and falling to the ground (that's embarrassing).

I am so behind. In everything. Particularly school. Reading is the hardest (which is what I have the most of). And work? Wow. The students I tutor must think I'm a total idiot. I honestly cannot get my thoughts across to them at all. They probably wonder why I was even hired.

I'm trying to do all of the right things -- sleeping as much as I can, eating well, doing some sort of physical movement, drinking water, taking the medications (though I wonder if the medications are part of the headache/nausea problem, a side effect that is making an already occurring irritant worse) -- I can't think of anything else to try. If this is just going to be part of my life now, then I need to learn how to deal with it. I don't know how, though, and the research I've been doing keeps bringing me to dead ends. Pain killers seem to have no impact. Besides, I'm not too keen on the idea of taking Ibuprofen or Aleve multiple times every single day. Not okay.

The most frustrating thing isn't the pain. It's the fact that I feel so helpless. I don't have time to be incapacitated so often! I'm in college, for crying out loud. No one is going to make exceptions for me on an exam or in grading my paper because I didn't do a good job due to a sudden headache. I have to do well. 

I have to take care of myself. I can't ask anyone to do it for me. Sure, asking for help on occasion is fine, but I need to be independent. I can't ask someone to always be helping me out. That isn't fair. 

Prayer. Need to do more of that.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

the Hub...

I spend a lot of time in my kitchen. Yes, I do the obvious things, like cook. This kitchen will forever be in my memory as "the place where I taught myself to make good food." So far even my mistakes have been successful -- like the sweet and tangy meatball sauce I made in the crock pot? Waaaaaay too much chili sauce, but it turned out quite well.

I clean a lot, too. Some friends say I clean so much that it's nigh unto an obsession. You know what, though? I like it clean. After all, since I do spend a lot of time cooking, I want to have a clean place to work. I also am haunted by the memory from when I worked on a custodial team at a middle school, and we were allowed to borrow a bacteria counter thing-a-ma-jig from an inspector. Our toilet seats had less bacteria on them than the school cafeteria tabletops. Oh. My. SICK.

Did I ever tell you that I dance in my kitchen? YouTube and Pandora are my friends. So is Justin Bieber. He hangs out with me a lot. Gives me tips on my moves. Actually, he doesn't, and I'm glad he can't see me dance because he'd probably laugh. I mean, once upon a time I was dancing in my bedroom when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, and I stopped because I was embarrassed for myself. No mirrors in the kitchen!

Talking on the phone happens a lot here, too. I'm not generally one to sit in normal places, like on a chair or the couch or in bed, while on the phone. I find myself huddled in corners, perched on the banister, sprawled on the bar over the sink, seated on the closed toilet while fixing my nails, under the table -- my favorite place is the subtle nook-ish spot by the dishwasher. Or leaning against the fridge. Don't ask my why all of those places are appealing. It's weird. I know.

Studying, writing, and stalking keeping up with friends through the Internet are frequent occurrences, too (do you ever have words that you just cannot seem to spell correctly ever? occurrences -- took me three times to get it right. rhythm is the other one I can never seem to get right). Facebook, Pinterest, gMail, name it. Except Twitter. Boring. They don't even have a like button.

There are a lot of good talks in my kitchen. Lots of hilarious jokes, stories about people's lives, insights into personalities, confessions, ideas, advice. Shared experiences, usually between myself and one other person. Sometimes we share food, too, but the sharing of laughter, experiences, and trust are even better.

I talk to myself, too. What? Why are you looking me like that's weird? Because if you know me, you also know that I talk to myself. And you also know that I'm weird. But it's cool! We talked about talking to ourselves in my Anthropology language class. It's healthy. Unless, you know. You're actually crazy. I have a lot of good conversations with myself. Working out problems I can't solve silently, walking myself through recipes, making myself laugh (I'm funny). Singing, too. Singing happens here.

Tears fall here, too. Sometimes there's a reason for them. Other times they just fall.

Mary Wixom said that the "kitchen is the hub of the home." It's the heart of the bustle and commotion of life. It's where people meet after their busy days -- coming in from their spokes on the family wheel and settling in the center, the Hub. It's where we talk and share our experiences. It's where we slow down for a little while, taking a few moments to notice that we're not just getting things done and running around crazy. We're living.

Monday, September 17, 2012


I've been thinking a lot about timing lately. Timing as in when things happen in my life. There are certain things  that I want to have happen (some of them right now, if I'm honest). I want to go to Washington, D.C. on an internship. I want to serve a full-time mission for the LDS church. I want to go to graduate school. I want to find a guy who makes me laugh and isn't afraid to take a chance with me. I want to marry that guy. I want a beautiful wedding. I want a little white house with a red door, a pretty yard, and a happy kitchen. I want the sound of children's laughter in the air and pattering feet across the floor. I want to hold hands with my best friend and sit together on the porch watching a sunset.

I want my life to be centered around Christ and the gospel. That's what I try to do. Some people I have met in the recent past have criticized me for this, saying that I'm not really faithful because I only live well in order to reap the rewards of a good life. "You're only doing it for the blessings," some say. 

Well, in some ways, yes. I know that if I give my best effort to live as the Lord has asked and commanded me to that He will bless me. After all, God cannot break His promises if I keep mine, as he said in the Doctrine and Covenants 82:10, "I the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." But I also do it because I want to live that way. I want to show the Lord that I love Him, and that I desire to be the best I can be for Him. The blessings are just a benefit. 

Not only that, but those blessings don't always come when I want them to come. All of those things that I listed above? So far, none of them have happened, nor will they be happening in the near future (that was reconfirmed tonight). I'll be honest when I say that it is sometimes maddening. I get so frustrated at times, wondering what I'm doing wrong or if there's just something wrong with me as a person. 

This has been on my mind a lot lately, sitting in the back of my head in a box that I'm afraid to open for fear of seeming ungrateful or impatient. Finally I've opened the box and examined the way I've been feeling and how I've been thinking. What I saw hurt! I felt let down and alone and forgotten, wondering what I'd done to fall so short of my dreams. Like going on a mission -- not right now. And dating -- that still never happens. I continually pray to the Lord to help me prepare to be a good missionary so I'm ready when I can go. I ask Him to help me be open to dating, but it never happens. All that ever happens are frightening or stupid experiences which leave me scratching my head wondering what I did to mess up this time.

I finally went to the Lord in prayer and I asked Him, How can I do the right things and be who you want me to be if you won't let me? If you won't make it possible? I'm doing the best that I can, but nothing is working out. You tell me to be patient. You tell me to wait. Am I doing something wrong? I'm trying to be good and be patient, like You've asked. Am I even going in the right direction? I felt like Nephi, when he cried out to God and said "Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquites" (2 Nephi 4:17). What have I been doing wrong?

With this on my mind, I was absolutely stunned at the answers I began to receive. Sunday's meeting had the same underlying theme, that of waiting on the Lord's timetable. It was repeated over and over again in different ways and by different people, that while the desires of our hearts may be correct, the time may  not be right. Elder Dallin H. Oaks, one of the apostles, said that it is just as important to do the right thing at the right time as it is to do the right thing at all. It is imperative to do the right thing at the right time. The choice may not be wrong, and the desire may be righteous, but the timing of the choices and desires may be off. Elder Oaks emphasized the importance of having faith in the Lord no matter what we are faced with, saying that "faith in the Lord Jesus Christ prepares us to face life's experiences," and that "faith will give us peace and knowledge of God's constancy in our lives. We will not need to plan even the important events in our lives at times, for He will guide us and direct us until those events fall into place, according to our faith."

It's like the scripture in the Bible, the one that says to "trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6). Yes, I don't understand why things aren't happening, and why I receive the "be patient" answer. I want to serve now! I want to do what I've been told is good and right and true now! But what I want and what the Lord knows is best aren't matching up. Heavenly Father's timing is not my timing. His timetable is different than mine. He knows that I'm frustrated sometimes, and He knows that my frustration stems from a desire to do as He has asked. However, as Elder Oaks reminded, the timing is just as important as the righteousness of a desire. For me, the time has not been right. The Lord still has things for me to do at the place I am right now, and knows that there are things I still need to change and learn before I can take new steps in my life.

For now, I focus on the things I can control: my pursuit of an education, my relationships with my family and friends, and my commitment to the gospel and the Savior. What I must do is be the best person I can be, being faithful and diligent in what I have been set to do, and in the desires that at this present time can be realized. It is my job to rely on His guidance, and to trust the revelation and direction that He gives me. I have to trust Him, and commit my way "unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass" (Psalms 37:5). Because if I do as He asks to the best of my ability, He will take care of me. He will make sure that my desires are realized, if I trust Him and align my will to His.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Friday, September 14, 2012

side job...

...there are few things better than... 

...hearing little voices yell, "She's here! She's here!" when you walk in the door
...being almost thrown off-balance by a hug from Cade as he flings his arms around your knees
...seeing Corrine model her new pajamas (called her "Minnies" in honor of the character on the fabric) after her dad tells you that Corrine has been waiting all day to show you
...receiving a big kiss on one cheek from a laughing little boy and on the other from a grinning little girl
...listening to Cade sing all of the words to the Mickey Mouse Club House theme song as he dances around the front room
...having arms thrown around your neck as a little person whispers "I love you" in your ear
...carrying a sleeping princess up the stairs to bed
...snuggling with a three-year-old in a big, cushy chair and falling asleep to Octonauts in front of the TV
...being asked to stay by Cade when mom and dad came home
...hugs and tiny voiced "good nights!"

How did I get so lucky to be asked to be a babysitter? 

And may I just say...I would rather cuddle with a three-year-old boy than with a grown-up boy any day. No offense, guys. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Sometimes she (the she being me) pretends that she is this care free, enthusiastic, happy-go-lucky girl who laughs at every tease and joke made at her expense that she hears. Even if to her, it's actually not funny. Even if it hurts her feelings. Even if it gets inside her head and eats away at her for days after.

Like how when she went out with some friends and ordered a good sized meal because she's finally been hungry, and ate it all, and was still hungry, one of her friends was surprised and jokingly remarked "You are such a pig!" And so she laughed and brushed off the comment, turning it into a bigger joke. When in reality, it was as though the words had slapped her in the face.

The sting has worsened rather than lessened -- I'm already self-conscious about eating in general, and when I actually can eat, I often feel guilty for it after. I usually avoid eating in front of people, and even if there are people in my home I make sure my portions are itty bitty in comparison to others, just in case. It's getting better, with some people. I keep working on it.

The person didn't mean it in an unkind way. It was really just a joke -- after all, most of my friends never see me eat anything, ever. So to see this (for me) abnormal behavior, it makes sense that someone would say something, merely from surprise.

But that doesn't mean that it didn't hurt, and doesn't hurt.

Gotta be tough.

I'll get over it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

apology, explanation, and update...

dear World,

First, an apology. I apologize for the last few days of downer posts. Summer time was rough, and autumn time has not yet lessened in the frequency of hard days. Bad news has been common, and progress has been slow.

Second, an explanation to the above apology. See, I write about these things here because it makes processing the information easier for me. Once I write everything down and send it off into the void, I can revisit the problems as a more or less objective reader. Sometimes I pretend that I didn't write the post -- sometimes I sit back and take apart the grammar and the sentence structure, as I would in the writing center. And then I read it again, this time focusing less on the words themselves, but more on possible solutions that might come to mind.

Third, an update. I again have something that I need to write about.

Dark-thirty of this morning found me up and ready in my kitchen awaiting my friend who would drive me to the specialist's office. I set up an appointment two and a half weeks ago, and this morning brought the scheduled time with it. Saying that I was nervous is an understatement. However, I was not quite scared to death, as I was fully alive and thinking about all of the "what ifs" in my mind.

I shouldn't have been so nervous. Everything went well. Every person I talked to, from the receptionist to the nurse practitioner to the phlebotomist, was kind and helpful. Rather than telling me that I was doing something wrong and causing me to feel guilty for my lack of knowledge about my body, they each helped me feel comfortable and relaxed. Their focus was on giving me information that I can use and walking me through all of the possible solutions and outcomes. Yes, medications were prescribed, and yes, lab work was required, but it wasn't as frightening as it has been in the past.

The appointment went well. I, however, don't feel well at all. The number of tests the nurse practitioner wants to run necessitated quite a bit of blood -- I ate before and after blood was drawn, but I'm still a bit shaky. There's also the fact that the results might show some serious problems, ranging from a bit serious to serious enough that I don't want to think about it.

And so I try not to think about it. But it's hard. It's hard not to be worried. It's hard not to be scared. Everything is going to work out just fine, I'm sure. I'm still scared, though.

It doesn't help that I've been having a hard time eating anything again lately. Almost every time I make or purchase a meal, I dump it, give it away, or put it back. I can't seem to eat anything. It's not that I'm not hungry -- I just don't want to eat anything. Every once in awhile, I can't eat. Food sounds so great, but if I actually try to eat it, I feel like throwing up (or do throw up). The headaches occur more frequently as well. Most likely it's due to the lack of appetite -- not only do tummies complain when they're empty, but heads want to be sure you're aware as well.

It's probably stressed related. I don't do well with change -- things keep changing quickly and adapting is hard for me. And now, more changes will be taking place. I won't mention them all here -- there are many. There are medications to be taken on a set schedule, particular foods and drinks needing to be on hand at all times, and the nurse practitioner kindly but firmly informed me that while my school is important, homework will need to take a back seat to getting sleep. She's not worried about my physical activity, but she is concerned about the amount of sleep I get. Let me just say, she's not the only one!

Everything will be okay. It really will. For now I need to force myself to eat dinner, finish some homework, and go to bed. Besides, I have something to look forward to tomorrow night!

And so, dear World, things are okay. Life really is good -- it's better if there's a way to express the inner most thoughts and feelings. At least it is for me.

your Friend,

Sunday, September 9, 2012

weighing the options...

Three days of talking through pros and cons has left me feeling drained and doubtful. Phone calls in the late (or early) hours of the morning. Visits after work and school. Talking, and not talking -- talking it out, and processing it in silence. Being there when needed as often as possible. Being there to help in whatever way I can.

Lists, mental and handwritten, of information fill my mind and the garbage can. Words of comfort and counsel cross my lips in an optimistic tone, alleviating some of the worry for a little while and encouraging whatever action is eventually taken.

Can I tell you a secret?

I don't feel particularly optimistic. In truth, I feel empty. Empty and lost and unsure and tired.

So many tears. So much worry. 

It's useless to ask why, but I ask anyway. 

Why do these things happen? 
Why do people choose to hurt others? 
Why are people cruel and senseless and irresponsible?
Why are people seemingly so incapable of accepting the fact that what they do effects others, and that the consequences of their stupidity and viciousness leave indescribable amounts of pain in their wake?


More importantly, what do we do now? No path will be easy. No journey will be short. No direction will be free from pain. Mentally, emotionally, physically -- maybe even spiritually. Nothing about this is, or ever will be, easy.

And another question: not just what should we do now. What do I do now? Two days until a decision must be made. Two days. But then after that, it's not a mere two days. It's every single day for the rest of our lives.

This sounds so dramatic and childish to me -- but it will be every day. That's why being a part of the decision making is so hard. That's why being asked to help is so frightening. The consequences will be life changing. The healing process will be long.

I don't know why I feel so alone right now. I'm not the one who has to make the decision. I'm not the one experiencing all of this. All I've been asked to do is help, listen, offer my thoughts, and run the occasional errand. I just need to be there.

So why do I feel so alone? Let down? Afraid? 

Tell me how you would answer this question: "How can you be sure that you're doing the right thing when what you feel is right goes against everything you've ever known?"

I'm running out of things to say. And we're running out of time.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

August top 10...

  1. He'll Find a Way -- Dallyn Bayles
  2. One More Night -- Maroon 5
  3. City -- Sara Bareilles
  4. Sad -- Maroon 5
  5. Live to Rise -- Soundgarden
  6. Taking Chances -- Glee cover
  7. If I Saved My Heart for You -- Carrie Underwood
  8. Little Wonders -- Rob Thomas
  9. Catch Fire -- Joel Aldrich
  10. Feelings Show -- Colbie Caillat

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

in my language...

People have different ways of feeling loved and appreciated. My mom feels loved when someone listens to her. My dad feels loved when someone spends time with him. One of my friends responds well to physical affection. Another friend likes doing activities. While those are not the only ways that they feel loved, those are the primary things that help them know they are cared for. There are a lot of ways that I know people care, but the main thing for me is tokens of affection. Receiving a small gift or a note or a person doing something nice for me is the easiest way for me to recognize that someone cares. Tokens can be anything, really. They can be a note, or a call record that I can look at on a future day, or a leaf from a walk with a friend, or anything really.

Today has seen an outpouring of love in a language that I respond well to. It actually started last night. It's meant so much to me, and I'm so very grateful for the people who took the time to show me that they're aware of me.

  1. A letter from Jordan
  2. A voice message from Brianna that I saved on my phone
  3. Chocolates and lotion from my landlord's little boy because he wanted to say thank you to me for taking care of his dog
  4. A text message from Sierra that I was able to save and read again later
  5. A CD of LDC music from Ann
  6. Dad stopping by my house while I was at work and getting some cleaning done for me before my landlords arrived
  7. A loaf of bread left on my porch with a pretty ribbon that had a special message for me -- I don't know who it's from, but I'm grateful to them
  8. A note on my Facebook page from Alyssa
Even though it's been a hard day, I've felt loved. I have all of these little reminders that I can hold and look at and experience again. So to my friends and family, thank you.

Monday, September 3, 2012

because I checked the mail box...

I remembered to check the mail tonight for the first time in almost a week. I was expecting the usual, either an empty box or a bunch of items that would find a resting place in the bottom of the recycle bin.

Not so. Sitting on top of the expected pile of bills, magazines, and coupon books was a small envelope, a bit tattered and worn, with familiar handwriting scrawled across the front. Immediately, I recognized the script and had to restrain myself from ripping the envelope open to display the contents right then and there. I hope the neighbors weren't alarmed by the little victory dance and sudden outburst of tears that was displayed in front of the post boxes. There was nothing amiss. There was just a sudden rush of gratitude that I haven't been forgotten, a rush of gratitude and reassurance that was multiplied exponentially when I read the card tucked into the envelope.

"God definitely has a plan for each one of us, and sometimes things happen that we don't expect. But He loves us and everything He does is for our ultimate benefit."

All of the words meant so much, because each one was penned specifically for me (by a person who is very busy being a zone leader and teaching and being awesome). They were written in reference to my dad being diagnosed with cancer earlier this summer, but they apply to everything that has been going on lately: to my dad's illness, financial worries, friends' struggles, my sudden difficulty with health, school, work, relationships.

I'm so grateful for this reminder that things will be okay, and for the reminder that time and distance cannot separate true friendship.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


I feel more and more that every time I turn around, something painful has happened for my family or my friends, and in some cases, myself.

Like how my sister, Meghan, was cast as the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella, though she's a senior and quite possibly the best performer (next to my sister Amanda) in the high school drama department. And that it was Amanda, who is a junior, who was cast as Cinderella. Meghan is heartbroken about it, but trying so hard to be supportive and congratulatory of Amanda. And Amanda is heartbroken about it because she knows how much this hurts Meghan, and because so many of Meghan and Amanda's friends are painting Amanda as the one at fault. Meghan is receiving support on all sides, while Amanda is being left completely alone. Everyone is sad for Meghan, and no one is happy for Amanda. Amanda didn't even want to try out for the show, and Cinderella was the last part she ever considered for herself.

Like how Hannah, who has already had a horrific summer, received word last night that her grandfather, whom she was closer to than either of her parents, passed away two weeks ago. No one bothered to tell her until now. And during the same conversation, she was also informed that one of her best friends was killed earlier this week by the best friend's boyfriend. Yes, the boyfriend is going to prison for life, but how does that make anything about it better? How could anyone do something like that? I don't even know what to say to Hannah about it. It's too horrible to comprehend.

Like how I had to walk out of a lecture on Friday because the professor informed us that we would be viewing clips from an R-rated film to demonstrate points of the discussion. Some readers may think that is no big deal, and normal for a university lecture, but BYU is a private LDS school. It is run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and so those who teach there and attend classes are expected to uphold and live by the principles of the LDS church. The standards of my church include not viewing anything that is not "virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy" (Article of Faith 1:13). We have been asked (and commanded) not to participate in highly violent media, regardless of the message that the media holds. And so I left a class at a university where I expected to be safe from needing to stand up for what I believe, got no notes for that day's lecture, and possibly offended the person who controls my grade. The faculty of BYU have let me down once again, and it is very frustrating. It was embarrassing and uncomfortable, and I stood alone in my choice, despite the standards and beliefs that a majority of the students share.

Like how no matter what I do, my health continues to decline. Last night I was hit with another headache, one so bad I could barely move. Thank goodness for Parker -- he was able to get me home and in bed. All day it's been difficult to do anything other than sleep or move slowly. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I eat regularly and well. I sleep when I can. I don't live a particularly sedentary life style, as I'm always moving around when I'm not in class or working. Parker thinks it's from stress. There's a high probability that he's right.

And as crazy as it's all been, I'm still aware that life is good. Bad things happen. Hard things happen. People do horrible things. People make dumb mistakes. But things are still good. There are good things, and good people. People like my sisters, who are doing their absolute best to not let this come between them and are showing everyone else what true sisterhood is. People like Hannah, who despite all of the opposition thrown against her is taking the necessary steps, regardless of how scary or painful they are, to heal and move forward. People like Parker, who goes out of his way to make sure I get home safely and comes over the next morning to make sure that I'm okay. People like my parents, and my other friends. Good people still exist.