Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas soup...

This afternoon, my sisters and I went to Olive Garden after seeing Ballet West's production of "The Nutcracker". On our way out, I saw a man in an old coat and jeans standing a few feet from the door. For some reason I couldn't help but look at him, and when our eyes met, he hurriedly turned away. His whole body read shame and cold and sorrow.

Without thinking, I ran to the door. I had no money, but I did have a bowl of hot, steaming soup; the untouched all-you-can-eat serving I was too full to even start. I called to the man, who didn't answer. I called again, "Sir! Here. This is for you."

The look on his face was one of utter amazement -- his eyes brightened, and the shame and sadness I had seen disappeared. As he took the soup, he cried "You've got to be kidding me! This is for me?" I told him again that yes, it was for him, and was happy to see him accept it.

Technically, I broke the law -- I don't have a permit to hand out food to someone who is homeless or panhandling. But when I saw that man's face, and saw how he could barely look at me, I absolutely couldn't walk away from him, not when I had something hot and delicious to share. Utah's laws didn't even cross my mind -- only a higher law, that of feeding the hungry and lifting those whose hands hang down, made sense to me. Seeing the change in the man's eyes, and watching as he cupped that simple bowl of soup in his hands -- wow. What I wouldn't give to be able to do that for someone every single day of my life. ‪#‎sharetheGift‬

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

be the change...

As Christmas approaches, I am even more aware of the injustices and pain that happen in the world. Today, my thoughts have turned to America, and to a story of love and sacrifice that changed one person's life forever. But as much as this story is inspiring, it has an incredibly dark side, one that I do not feel should be overlooked. And so, if you read on, please accept this as my offering to those who have little -- accept this as a plea to be the change that we need.

An angel and a hero -- Tara Starling, founder of SoulFood USA with military veteran, Kaylynn
This woman served her country, became a soldier. She fought to give us a place where we can reach our goals, raise our families, talk about anything we want -- she gave up everything to keep us safe. When she got home, she had nothing. She and her little boy have been living in a tent, in December, with belongings that fit into a closet-sized space. And yet, we have government representatives making hundreds of thousands of dollars, a president who goes on million dollar vacations using tax-payer money. This woman served her country and protected that government so that it can continue to exist -- only to come home to a tent for her and her son.

Not only that, but this group of devoted, compassionate individuals who banded together to help this single mother are required BY LAW to have a permit to help those less fortunate than themselves. Utah now requires that groups who help the homeless (especially those who provide food) have a permit. They are required by a government who rejects those men and women who give all, those men and women who sacrifice family -- birthdays, holidays, births, deaths, all of those precious moments -- who sacrifice safety, security, mental and emotional health -- rejects the men and women who keep safe the government which sends them away when they return.

More and more states are requiring these permits -- requiring that men and women who freely give of their money, time, and resources, with no thought for compensation or recognition, get permission to help those in need. It's suddenly against the law to help our fellow men, unless we get permission from governments that can't seem to help.

I'm not suggesting we become a socialist state. I'm not arguing for communism or big government. I'm pointing out that there is a major discrepancy: those who support the nation and risk it all are put on the streets, while a single man -- the president -- uses taxpayer dollars to go on million dollar vacations to Hawaii.

That isn't right.

Nor is it right that giving, nurturing people be required to have a legal document to aid the homeless with food or other material goods, like coats and clothing and bedding.

This is not the America I love. This is not the country I honor. This is a country that needs to change. This a country that is sick, that has forgotten its ideals, and that has turned its back on the aspirations which birthed it.

Do your duty in this country. Know not just who you are voting for, but what that person stands for, what he or she will do with the power that YOU give.

You decide what happens in this country. Be the change.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


I feel as though I have nothing to live for.

Nothing matters. Nothing I do is important. Nothing is the only thing I have left.

Living is the hardest part of each day.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday, August 10, 2014


The tears come in quiet moments.
When the night has fallen and the stars awake in the sky;
when the city goes to bed, and the clock creeps slowly on to midnight.

Finally alone -- and I cry.

I cry for the sorrow, the hatred.
The pain. For the hunger and sickness -- for the loss.
But mostly

I cry for the children.

Thursday, May 29, 2014


I can't explain my life to you. The pain. The fear. The constant exhaustion that never goes away.
Until it all becomes a sort of fog, where I'm choking, but I don't care.

You can't understand it. You can empathize -- and for your compassion, I am grateful.
But you can't understand.

I cannot tell you how grateful I am that you cannot.
Because to understand? You have to live this.

I pray you never live this way.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


i don't want to be a victim.
i don't want to be running scared,
walking through the world like there's a target on my back,
worried that someday, somewhere, someone is waiting.
waiting for the perfect moment -- to strike.

i don't want to be paranoid. i don't want to be afraid;
constantly re-living the past. always aware of an unknown -- unseen -- unnamed --

because that's how i've been living.
that's what i've become.
this is the world that i inhabit, that i understand, that i know appears irrational
-- but i also know to be horribly. nightmarishly.

living with depression and all that comes with it...

Things that go bump in the night go bump in the day;
the difference so little that time slips away
-- exhaustion.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

comic KAAAAAAHN...

No, I'm not actually a Trekkie, though I have been initiated into the fandom by several very persistent friends. It's going to be a long undertaking. They're quite dedicated.

Despite my lack of Trekkie-ness, you can count on my nerdy affiliations to other fandoms, like Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, the TV series Chuck, Harry Potter, among a myriad of fun things. Which is why I once again attended the Salt Lake Comic Con this April with one of my best friends.


Here we are, me and Linnea. We're two of the cutest little nerds you're ever gonna meet, if you're lucky. ;) This is the second time we've gone together, and we're all ready making plans for September.

Meeting Karen Gillan from the popular TV series Dr. Who, which I've never actually seen. Linnea was kind enough to let me be in her the photo. Can you tell that I'm super tired? We'd been in line for over two hours!

Meet the handsome, charming, devil-may-care and self-proclaimed "I'm a nerd just like you guys!" Karl Urban of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Return of the King. When I walked up to him, I exclaimed, "Wow! You're super tall!" He laughed and in his adorable Kiwi (New Zealand) accent, he said, "No worries!" He then put his arms around us and bent his knees a little bit. 

He is so TALL. 

But my favorite -- the man who I was so excited to meet that I almost cried -- Adam Baldwin, who plays John Casey in my favorite TV show, Chuck. Yes, I know that it's kind of silly that I about cried from happiness and excitement. It was really special for me, though. I even got a giant hug when I said hello to him. It was a literal dream come true.

We had such a good time together. I was lucky enough to go on Saturday with a few other friends. I got to see Adam Baldwin again and attend the panel where he answered questions. One of the guys I was with went up to ask a question and got Mr. Baldwin to do his John Casey growl just for me! Afterwards, we got to meet Patrick Stewart -- another step to making me a real Trekkie. They just don't give up!

Such a fun experience. I can't wait for September.

Monday, May 5, 2014

night time...

I spend little time outside. I realized this two days ago, when I was lying on the grass at the park and I was struck by the fact that the sky is blue. Running an average day's schedule through my head, it became clear that being outside isn't really a "thing" in my life. Which is very sad.

As I've thought about it more, I've also realized that I do get outside -- I just get outside during the night time. For some reason I'm a lot more comfortable outside when the sun has gone down. Perhaps it's the fact that it requires zero sunscreen (I burn like you wouldn't believe [no, really -- I get sunburned sitting at stoplights with the car windows rolled up]). Or maybe it's because it's dark and that means my eyes don't hurt, which means no headaches from bright sunlight.

Both contribute to why I prefer venturing out of doors at night. And -- this is just sad -- there are a lot fewer people out after dark. No one bothers me at midnight when I'm sitting out in the driveway looking at the stars, and no one wants to talk when I'm driving down the freeway at two in the morning with the windows down and the radio turned up loud.

I like the night. I like the quiet, and the coolness -- I have a rather startling number of sweaters, so the cold doesn't bother me too much. I like that the rest of the world is sleeping and that I'm not. Sometimes it's lonely. Sometimes it's very lonely, and a little scary. But I like to think that somewhere, there is someone else enjoying the night time, just like I am.

While all of this is fine and good, I really should get outside in the sunshine more often. I don't think the moon produces any vitamin D, and I might be less depressed if I get out of this vampire-like habit and, you know. Interact with day time lovers or something.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

more than survival...

"You're always so happy." "You are always smiling! How do you do that?" "It's impossible to not feel loved by you." "Dang -- you just have life figured out!" "I wish I was more like you."

I get comments like this a lot. I smile and nod and say thank you, then rush to encourage the speaker or point out their good qualities. I appreciate their words. I can tell (most of the time) that they're sincere. And I'm grateful for their kindness.

But -- I don't feel like I'm any of those things at all. I don't have life figured out. I know for a fact I'm not always happy, nor always smiling. People say they want to be more like me, yet I'm constantly wishing I was someone else.

I'm not "that girl." I don't have everything under control. I'm insecure and vain and shallow -- I worry about dumb, petty little things. My thoughts are often obsessive, focused on tiny issues that probably don't matter to anyone but me. I want things I can't have -- I do things I shouldn't do.

Honestly, I feel like I'm always the girl who is struggling with something. No matter what I do, something is going wrong that's outside of my control. Either that, or the internal struggles become so intense that I can barely function.

It's a miracle that I hauled myself out of bed this morning. Part of that was because I know need to work so I can pay for graduate school -- fear of massive debt or financial strain is a huge motivator for me. Part of it was because I knew I'd be more bored if I stayed in bed -- and I felt guilty for feeling bad.

I don't feel like I smile very much. I don't feel like I'm a very happy person. Often, I'm shocked that I have as many friends as I do, particularly after I was told that I'm "an incredibly negative person and no one really likes you, which is why you have no friends. People don't like you; they don't like to be around you." Comforting sentiments, let me tell you.

The happy compliments and this absolutely devastating remark swim through my head on an almost daily basis. I hear "people don't like you," and fight back "but she said I'm nice!" And it comes back, "Yes -- but you know it isn't true. Because people don't like you. You don't even like you. Even if everyone in the world liked you, you'd still be like this."

I have no reply.

Whether surrounded by friends or in the comfort of my small bedroom, it's dark. So often I find myself begging to just make it through the day, or even the next five minutes. I'll sit with my head bowed over my desk, willing the tears to go away; I'll lie curled on the floor of my room, physically trying to hold myself together until it passes.

Each time I make goals or attempt new things, I suddenly feel paralyzed. My motivation to progress and do something, anything, is overturned -- and then I'm in survival mode. Just wake up -- just roll over -- just walk out of the room -- just brush your teeth -- just make it back to your room -- just survive.

I don't want to simply survive life. I want to live life actively, passionately, maybe even a little aggressively, meaning not as someone who has things done to them. I want to be the one doing things.

i feel lost...

I never understood why people get so emotional about graduating. In the past, I've listened to coworkers, classmates, and friends express everything from anger to paralyzing fear about leaving the undergraduate realm. Honestly, I can't tell you how many times I've been the shoulder-to-cry-on or the assistant job seeker for people.

When I say I never understood, I mean that I never felt the way they did. People would say things, "I'm just not ready to leave," "I've got nowhere to go now," "I'm so scared that nothing is going to work out," and the like. Out loud, I was supportive, and I could both logically and empathetically see where they were coming from. It's a big step, leaving the campus and people that have become so familiar. Life once again becomes uncertain. On the other hand, I internally wondered why they weren't jumping up and down for joy at the chance for freedom -- for real adulthood -- for graduate school or job opportunities -- for bigger and better things -- CARPE DIEM!! Get me OUT of here!!

With my own graduation ceremony looming less than 72 hours away, I suddenly feel a rash of emotions and sentiments that previous students have expressed. While walking across campus today, I couldn't help but utter a noise of disgust and say, "I hate this place." Surveying the grounds and the pretty pink tulips, I thought, "Well, it's not so bad. But still -- I can't wait to be finished with all of this." Then, as I received my cap and gown, I trudged slowly across campus in tears, thinking, "They're kicking me out. All I did was what they asked, and now they're sending me away to who knows where doing who knows what with who knows who! How could they do this to me?!"

It's quite the rollercoaster. I don't recommend it.

Lately, I've been having nightmares. I mean, I usually do, but these are different. Often when I sleep, I dream of a void: me suspended in empty, crushing darkness. There is no up or down, no point with which to orient myself and determine where I am, or even who I am. Nothing is familiar, and I am alone. I've had these kinds of dreams before, but never with this intensity or such lingering effects.

Waking from these dreams leaves me in a fog of uncertainty. I go throughout the day as though still stuck in that dark, cold emptiness. I felt it again as I unwrapped my wrinkled, too long, navy blue graduation gown and untangled the gold tassle strands. Running my fingers through the tassle strands, it suddenly hit me -- the dreams and lingering feelings come from my feeling of placelessness. It exists so strongly in me that it manifests itself in my dreams. I truly feel lost, along with a decent amount of panic.

As I've thought more about this, I've concluded that this sort of anxiety speaks to feelings of displacement based on my changing position in the world. Though I do have places that are important to me, none of them are permanent. Everything in my life is transitory right now: graduation this week and finishing school in June; leaving the university I've grown to know well; acceptance to graduate programs that I'll never actually go to because they're online; leaving a student job and needing to find other employment; even my housing situation is in flux. My present places are quickly becoming my past places, and future places are presenting themselves -- though some are not really places; more like virtual experiences.

It's an unknown -- it's a feeling of anxiety that occurs even before losing an important place. Facing graduation, loss of employment, and an almost place-less form of virtual graduate schooling creates that anxiety in me.

Of course, changes like these aren't a bad thing. They're actually very good things; things I've worked for and looked forward to for a very, very long time. The emotional effects, though, are incredibly real. Being displaced from the undergraduate experience, employment, and people is a lot to handle all at once. It's kind of like when someone is forced into homelessness or made into an exile through war or foreclosure. I don't mean to minimize these events by comparing them to my current transition; losing a home or a familiar place because of such traumatic events is without a doubt much worse. I use that comparison because it's the only one that makes sense to me, that I can understand.

Graduating is turning me into a school-less (and somewhat reluctant) migrant student -- an exile from everything I have known for the last three years. While my exile is partially by choice, and the graduate program I've chosen to attend does provide a new place to go, I'm still being displaced. I have met the requirements for graduation, and my diploma becomes both a celebration and a pink slip.

I don't like change. I don't like losing the places and the people I have come to know and appreciate. However, I am human, and so my body must move. It must change and move and go new places, do new things. I of all people understand this now: after spending nearly a month in bed recovering from a surgical procedure, I've learned that staying in a room too long really can make a person go crazy. I wanted out! I wanted to move and change and go to other places. And I could not.

It was hugely frustrating.

None of us is meant to be stationary; movement of some sort is necessary. Still, the emotional distress that occurs from losing place is real. I'm feeling it in a big way now. I feel a mixed bag of loss, excitement, anger, sorrow, anxiety, betrayal, anticipation. These places have been critical in forming who I am and where I will go in the future. It's probably universal: places affect us and shape us. Perhaps the fact that places are key formative elements is what makes the displaced feeling distressing. We know we must move on from certain things, but letting go is difficult due to the ties to the place we grew and changed in.

For me, my feelings of loss over my current state and place are helping to spur me on to the next experience. I mourn the loss of familiarity and worry over the new places I must find, yet these familiar places help me realize that I can't stay. Current places have shaped what I do, who I am, and where I will go. My experience as an undergrad student, while coming to a seemingly abrupt and frightening end, has created that desire to move to a new place because of the experiences I've had in the place I now leave.

It's a strange, almost cyclical phenomenon: loss of place creating sadness and anxiety over the loss, while silmultaneously pushing us to find new places, which also creates uncertainty and grief. This constant shuffling of place is what makes us grow and change. Memories of old places shape our interactions with the new. Both types of places directly influence who we are, how we think, what we will become, and where we will go in the future.

Thinking about it in this way is helping to turn my feelings of terror (yes -- terror) about the coming changes into excitement. I won't lie. The fear is still very real, as is the deep loss I can't quite understand and never expected would occur. However, it's being tempered with curiosity and excitement for the experiences and places that lie ahead of me.

Though don't expect me to be all hopeful all of the time -- I'm desperately hanging on to any happy thoughts to keep myself from falling apart!

Monday, April 21, 2014


I've never been a super huge fan of hardcore exercise, but I've never been too keen on being a total couch potato. Walking and slow jogging, dancing, and weight lifting were great for me. Running, though? Nope!

When my health went south, so did exercise. The chronic pain and other medical problems made it really hard to find any sort of balance, and reluctant couch potato became a standard for a long time. I'd try and do the things I liked to do, but I'd end up in bed for days recovering. That is, until I found yoga. For almost a year, I was able to do yoga sessions at home every day. Then it all changed when the pain became so debilitating that I could barely walk. And so, as some know, I had surgery!

Because of the surgery and long recovery, I haven't been able to do much in the form of physical movement. For several weeks, the most I could do was take a shower before collapsing back into bed. Now that I've started feeling quite a bit better, I decided to try some type of exercise so that my muscles don't totally atrophy. That's more worrisome to me right now than weight gain, seeing as my jeans are actually quite a bit bigger on me than they were back in March.

I didn't want to hurt myself or push my body too hard, so I recently got back into yoga exercises (and by recently, I mean about two hours ago). Here are some things I forgot about this form I like so much:

1. I have not been nor shall I ever be as flexible as I am in my dreams -- because I do dream about being able to do incredible feats worthy of Elastigirl in the Pixar film The Incredibles.

2. Relaxing my neck is ridiculously difficult!

3. A yoga mat is probably a good investment, one which I should have made a long time ago but have never gotten around to doing.

4. Every time I finish a session, I'm suddenly exhausted and feel like I could sleep for hours. In fact, I'm reminded of how often I've fallen asleep at the end of a routine -- 'cause it happened today.

5. 40 minutes goes by incredibly fast when I'm not timing laps at the gym. I like this way better.

Now, if you'll excuse me. I'm going to go study for finals -- and by that I mean I'm going to take a nap, because I can barely keep my eyes open!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

changing our reactions...

Social media and other Internet functions are a great way for people to connect, express opinions, learn about the world, and gain new perspectives and experiences. I've always liked that about these sites.

Now, though, there is something that I really need to get off of my chest, because keeping it in is driving me bonkers.

The problem with all of these sites and resources is that often, the posts and ideas get turned into negatives. People constantly search for the hole in the argument, or the bad feeling that most likely came from behind the opinion. The tiniest hint of bad feeling or racist/sexist/bigoted/misguided/silly/whatever is latched onto, and the offended party then nails the original speaker for those obviously shallow, naive, and prejudiced statements.

Why does it always have to be a fight? Why can't things just be let alone?

For example. This whole explosion about moms who like to go all-out (or overboard, depending on your rhetoric) for holidays, birthdays, and the like -- who cares? There shouldn't be a reason to put moms or dads or whoever likes to party on the defensive because they like something and act on it. There shouldn't even be an attack!

OR. Selfies without make-up, commonly tagged as #nomakeupselfie. Okay, yes, to me it's a little weird that people broadcast the fact that they're not wearing make-up, particularly in a world where we're so self-conscious and worried about it. Maybe it's a little arrogant, or insecure. Maybe it's brave, or perhaps just normal. But. Who cares? It's just a choice, whether they're supporting cancer research or not. So, if someone feels a need or desire to tell people about it with a hashtag, who cares? Why is that all of a sudden a horrible, terrible, awful thing? Who cares?

Why do we care so much about what other people are doing that we feel this desperate need to write some mean-spirited or vengeful reply to tear down those who think and act differently? Why are we so caught up in the social media exploits of other people? I ask again, who cares? Is this really that important?

I know, I know. If someone reads this article and finds a hole in it, or thinks that I'm misguided, or believes I'm missing the point, I'm going to get blasted for it. Because this post is an opinion. It's my opinion about what I see as people getting so caught up in the way others are living their lives that they stop living their own. And I see it as incredibly damaging. Why argue things that don't really matter? Why take a side on an issue that really isn't that big of a deal?

I can see why though. Don't get me wrong -- after all, I'm taking the time to write about this, meaning that I feel passionately about it and it's bothering me. I'm sure that's where most of this stems from: our reactions to the actions and lives of others. And so what do I do? Go write a blog post about it. I'm being a hypocrite. I know it. I'm the first to say it, without fear or shame. I'm including myself in this, too. Just because I can use a computer doesn't make me the sole authority on this, or anything. I'm as imperfect as anyone else.

But seriously. Think about it. If we're constantly judging the lives and values of other people, what does that make us? Obviously, judgemental. Shallow. Prideful, even. Let's all just calm the heck down and remember that there are a lot of other things in life to worry about. Even better, there are a lot of other things in life to find joy in. So let's stop with the shaming, the belittling, the rejection, and the judgement. We need to change the way we react to things.

How, you ask? Well. For starters, ask if whatever it is actually matters. If it does, think before acting on the initial feeling. Basically, as I see it, it's simple. It's about real life -- what we have here and now, today and maybe tomorrow. It's bridling that emotional response and asking, will this matter in five minutes? In five months? In five years? Should I be caring about this? Or is this just distracting me from what's really important?

Let's just focus on what we have right now: this day, this moment, in which we -- not that person on your newsfeed or Twitter page -- are living.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

show me the money...

Well...since I don't really have any money, I can't. But I can show you these.

Pre-release showing, baby. Cannot wait. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

can I have his number?

I got a text message from an old high school buddy, in which he asked me if I was still dating someone. I told him no, which is true. After the courtesy that's-too-bad-I'm-sorry, he texted me again.

Because this guy is handsome, intelligent, and a good friend, I somehow anticipated that he was going to ask me out. But instead, he asked me if my ex's brother is dating anyone, to which I said no, because he isn't. And then...

He asked me for the brother's number.

I'm sure stranger things have happened.

Sunday, March 9, 2014


My semester has not gone as planned.

Granted, never has a semester ever gone exactly as I imagined it would go (which has usually been for the best). All of the surprises I've had so far have been completely off my radar. 

Like the fact that I missed an application deadline for the graduate school that I wanted to go to the most -- and then, when I asked, the admissions office said it would be fine to submit one late. Definitely not expecting to miss such an important due date, and never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined I'd be allowed to apply after said due date.

Or the fact that I'm once again in a complicated relationship friendship/strange state-of-being-with-another-person-who-you're-not-actually-with-relationship. And that's great. I actually really like the way things are right now (most of the time).

Or the fact that I'm that-person-who-is-stuck-with-an-apartment-contract. Still. After three months.

Or the fact that, hey! I'm having surgery this week! I all ready missed one week of school last week because I couldn't leave my house (I did get out of bed every morning and get dressed for school -- I never made it past the top of the stairs though, because my body wouldn't let me). After being dragged again to a doctor's office -- last month by a friend, this month by my parents -- the doctor and parents decided that surgery needs to happen and it needs to happen now.

Never mind the exams and papers I have to do. Because apparently those no longer matter. It's fine.

Or the fact that my coworkers are doing well enough at their jobs that I'm no longer needed so much. It's to the point where I'm going to learn how to properly process a collection, starting from the very beginning. I'm so excited. I've been so terrified that no one else would pick up on the job, because it truly is complicated and incredibly detailed. But they're getting it -- which means less stress for me.

My life (like everyone's) is a total mixed-bag. Lately I've been freaking out about everything: my grades and missing school, getting my homework done, this surgery, the pain in general, relationships, family stuff, money, you name it. I'm freaking out. At the same time, things aren't as bad as they could be. I'm really good at the game It Could Be Worse. I'm just hoping that things will be okay. I'm scared to death about surgery. And I'm scared to death about the aftermath (what if they don't find anything?!).

But, I can't control certain things. Like graduate school acceptance -- can't control that. So I'm trying not to worry about it. I'm trying to focus on the other things I can control. Like going to bed on time -- very important part of focus.

Monday, February 24, 2014

c'est la vie...

In the spirit of hell midterms week, I turned to my French roots and remembered the phrase, "C'est la vie." Yep -- that's life.

And then I played worked my other job for a little bit and came up with this:

Pretty good, oiu?

Yeah. I get paid to play with blocks and then write step-by-step guides for how to make the structures. It's definitely my favorite part of being an advertising blog writer...thing (I actually don't know what my job title is).

Pray that I don't die this week. As in I'm only slightly joking.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

feelin' 22...

Yup. The big double two -- and let me tell you, it was a good birthday MONTH in January, not just day. I finally got my dream party:

Birthday bowling...

in semi-formal attire!

My lovely ginger girls, Ann and Tatijanna

Friends! Kayla, Ben, Adam, Ben, and Chelsie

More friends! Jason, Tatijanna, Tony, A.J., and Ryan

Even MORE friends! Tyler, Bryan, Laura, Ben, and Jerry

This photo sums up our entire friendship

My Kayla girl -- here's to five years of friendship!

Our manly men -- Adam, Kevin (check out his tux!), Tanner, and Bryan

And because I wanted mashed potatoes, they took me to Chili's -- Ryan, Tony, Tatijanna, Ann, Adam, A.J., Bryan, and Tanner --
not pictured are Laura, Princess, and Jason

In short, it was an excellent birthday. I was so surprised to see that many people come and be all dressed up. It was so much fun. 

Oh, and I almost forgot. Here's the best part:

Birthday flash mob in a bowling alley -- what could be better? I'm super lucky.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

why I hate food...

Few things make me happier than cooking good food or going out somewhere nice to eat with friends. However, once I have to actually eat the food, I'm not so happy.

Food makes me feel sick.

No matter what it is, I end up feeling nauseous after I eat. Drinking juices and water isn't as bad, but food and heavier drinks (like milk) leave me queasy. I've tried cutting things out of my diet to see if there are allergies at work, and so far nothing has made a difference.

Perhaps it's the stress manifesting itself in a different form. Wouldn't surprise me.

Friday, January 17, 2014


If someone had told me that I'd be where I am right now, I would have laughed and asked if there was a drug problem I needed to know about so I could get the person some help.

Based on what I see in my life, I don't know what to think of myself. I don't know if I'm overly hopeful, or a work-a-holic, or just plain stupid. I do know that I'm overly anxious and that I sell myself short, to me and everyone else. Lucky for me, I have friends and family who help me when I'm having a rough day.

Despite worries and concerns, I'm pretty happy. Circumstances are strange and completely unexpected, but I'm doing well.

Life sure can throw you for a loop.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


I hate making mistakes.

It's so frustrating to be doing so well and then to have one bad day, and so much of the progress you made just gets zapped away because of a single error. After all of the fighting and struggling and changing, you find you really haven't changed. Because if you'd really changed, you wouldn't have messed up again.

I'm tired.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


That awkward moment when you realize that you invited 119 people to your birthday party.

I didn't even realize I had that many people to invite to a birthday party -- those are just the people that I really like and whose company I find enjoyable. I didn't even invite the "maybe" people, which I usually do. Just the "Yes, I want them to know they're invited" people.

Luckily most of them won't come, because that's kind of how these things go. I mean, can you imagine trying to pack 119 people in the same group into a bowling alley? A lot of people don't even like bowling.

Considering I'm highly introverted, I sure do have a lot of friends.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

back to school...

This is a whiny post.

Basically I really, really, really, really, really do not want to go back to school. I don't want to go to class. I don't want to sit in those ridiculous little desks. I don't want to take notes. I don't want to do homework. I don't want to have my life controlled by assignments and busy work. I don't want the anxiety and the stress.

Man, I'm pathetic. I don't want to go so much that I'm crying.

Don't get me wrong, I like to learn. I enjoy discovering new things and expanding my view of the world. What I don't like is the absolute utter exhaustion and anxiety that comes from the way our education system works. I don't like being a grade point average -- I don't like having my future rest on some stupid letters that stand for how well I did at something.

I'll get it done. I always do. I guess this last semester has kind of killed any love for college that I may have possessed. And I'll tell you a little secret -- with the exception of Economics 110, I got straight A's. I knew I wouldn't do super well in Econ, and I only needed a C -- I got a B- and was excited because it was way better than I thought I would do. What bothered me is this: this was absolutely the worst semester of my life, and I felt that I slacked off completely. I didn't feel that I deserved any of the A's that I got -- and I almost feel angry that my lack of effort was given straight A grades.

My half effort was rewarded as excellent. I procrastinated every assignment because the depression was so intense that I could barely function. I skimmed reading assignments and left classes feeling more confused than I was when I went in. I studied like crazy for exams, but never felt confident. I felt that everything I did was pointless and pathetic, and I expected that to be reflected in my GPA.

So what does that make those A's, anyway? Somewhat worthless, if I'm honest. Maybe I'm being ungrateful (actually, I know I'm being ungrateful), but I really do feel like those grades are total lies.

I was mediocre. My papers were excellent, and my professors want me to publish. But the work I put in? It wasn't excellent. It was rushed, last-minute, pathetic.

That's why I don't want to go back to school. I don't want to do the work, especially because I know that even when I don't do as good a job as I should, I'll get outstanding grades anyway. It's like lying.

What I should do is put in more effort and be proactive in my education. I, however, would rather watch Chuck on Netflix, go take photographs of beautiful things, write poetry and articles on things I'm interested in, spend time with the people I care about, sing and dance and play, learn the piano again, read real books, sleep when I can and for as long as I need, and work at a job that actually does something worthwhile (like the one I have).

I suppose this is why there is a thing called retirement. Although...that may quickly become a myth.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

so far, so good...

4 days into the new year and it's been good... bedroom is reorganized, with only a small-ish mountain of clothes to put back into the dresser... last full semester of college is scheduled and my graduation application has been submitted (yikes)...
...I've seen Saving Mr. Banks and had Chik-fil-A (if heaven were a sandwich)...
...I've been to an amazing art exhibit and had an incredibly delicious dinner at a fancy restaurant for which I was not allowed to pay (which is a lot easier for me to allow than it used to be)...
...the mystery of Sherlock's two year disappearance is still frustratingly unsolved, as Steven Moffat will not ever give an inch when it comes to satisfying fans' curiosity... articles are appearing online and I only have six left to finish by Monday...
...I've had good, long, honest late night talks with people I care about, and I've laughed and cried and felt alive...
...I've been hugged -- close and tight and long -- it's amazing what an honest hug will do.

A part of me still aches. That frustrates me. It frustrates me because despite all of the good things that I have, I feel desperately out of control. I feel frightened and alone and sad and helpless -- so full of feelings that I'm empty. I say that a lot, but it's the only way I can describe it.

I don't want to be like this. I don't want to feel so terrified and sad.

My wish for moments of happiness does come true, and frequently. All of the things that I've done and seen this week were happy moments; more than moments, some of them were hours. Hours of time where I could get out of the emptiness and really feel alive again, instead of being trapped in this seemingly endless state of feeling too much of nothing good.

Truly, I feel helpless. I feel so in need of help that I worry that I'm needy. I don't like needy people. I don't want to be a needy person. I want to be strong and independent and comfortable in my own skin. Right now (and for a long time) I've wanted out of my skin and into something...different. I've never been totally confident. Who is, right? But I've been better than I am now.

Hopefully, good things will keep happening. And they will -- they haven't stopped so far. What I really hope is that I'll be okay enough to see the good things, and not push them away because I'm too scared to do anything. I hope I don't do that.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

it's a new dawn, it's a new day...

I usually write a "looking back" post for the new year. But for the 2013 to 2014 transition, I'm not going to.

I'm looking forward.

It's been a good first day of the year. I've been reminded again of the good friends that I have, of the present opportunities, and the importance of family (even though I still struggle getting along with them). I've gained a greater appreciation for my home, and for the relationships I can fall back on when I get into trouble, whether through my own decisions or just because of circumstances.

Honestly, I face this new year with a lot of fear and anxiety. There is so much uncertainty in my heart, and my mind jumps at shadows that it is actually creating. I've learned that I can't just say "No more" or "I'm fine" and expect it all to go away; that I have to work through it and learn to manage it. And I'm starting to learn to say the words, "I need help." As sick and scared as it makes me feel before saying it, getting the words out provides relief. I've done it twice today and so far it's only strengthened friendships, instead of pushing people away.

For this year to be a good one, I have to make it be a good one. Again, I'm scared to sleeplessness (worse than the usual, mind you) about what the future may hold, and I can't figure out how to shake the past (yet). But it'll be okay.

Given how things have been for the past few weeks, I can say that right now, right here...

I'm feelin' good.