Thursday, December 31, 2009

Life is like Pre-school

In Pre-school,
You have choices – dinosaurs or blocks? Sand or dolls?
There are necessary things – learning to clean up your mess, waiting in line, not hitting your neighbor…
Bad things happen – the mean boy cuts in front of you in said line, you get laughed at for spilling your juice…
And you feel as if it is all of the upmost importance.

In life, it is very much the same.

You are presented with choices, there are some necessary things to accomplish, and things don’t always go as we want them to… and we get so caught up in the things that we think are important.

But really, is any of it more important than that which we dealt with at the age of 4, in the long run?

As far as eternity goes, it’ll be like looking back on pre-school… what we did wasn’t nearly as important as it felt at the time, and we can barely remember the major “issues” with which we dealt… And the choices that seemed so important (well if I choose dinosaurs, then Michael-Recycle will play with me, but I’ll get dirty, and I won’t get to play with dolls today) don’t matter so much when it’s all said and done (well should I go to this school, or choose this career? Should I live in this country working with this company?)…

What matters is what we get out of our experience.
Am I ready to begin school?
Am I ready for the progression that comes after this life?

Wise turtle, this one is.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I thought I told ya, I'm a star...

It’s really easy to get caught up in our own lives. There are SO many important things to focus on, it’s hard to keep everything in balance and accomplish everything that we want to. It’s also easy to get frustrated with others when they’re just as caught up in THEIR own lives – as we watch them take advantage of us, when they don’t appreciate us, when we sacrifice for them and it goes unnoticed…

When I find myself feeling this way, I realize that I need to lose myself even more. Nothing I do needs validation from others – as long as I know that I’m living my life to the best of my ability and God knows I’m doing all I can, that’s what matters. If I’m feeling sorry for myself, I need to dedicate more of my life to serving others.

Because, really, that’s what it’s all about, right?

On another note, it's nice to be excited about the future, not just scared and slightly stressed. Life is beautiful :)

The world is obsessed with swine flu.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

To be, or not to be...

First off, I’m terrible at blogging. And B… my life is awesome.

Quick recap. Had a rockin summer, flew home, drove back, camped a little, rope-swing-ed a little, rafted a little, played a lot, made tons of friends, gathered a little focus in my life.

Doing what’s right + living a healthy life = happiness, peace, satisfaction, and contentment.

Balance. Not something I’m so good at. I do/feel things in phases. If I like a song, I’m addicted and listen to it on repeat till everyone around me hates my guts. If I’m motivated to do my homework, I’ll do a week’s worth at a time. If I’m motivated to be more physically healthy, I go off the deep end…. For a little while. None of it is usually sustained. If I’m in the mood to do something, I go at it full force, till my drive runs out.

This manner of living doesn’t really get one anywhere, except a few random, sweet accomplishments.

What I need to work on striving for is dedication and consistency.


I actually wrote that a few weeks ago. My computer (you go, baby computer) autosaved it, and I found it today. For once, I’ve actually been pretty good about following through with this goal! The few things I’ve been wanting to work on (school, work, service, fun, progression with my Okla-homie, talking to my fam, and sleep, to name a few) have made marked progress – and my life feels so much more fulfilling because of it.

Okla-homie and I had a pretty good discussion whilst hiking the other day about what motivates us. I like setting goals and achieving them. Being able to check something off a list brings me great satisfaction. Lately, however, I’ve started being more motivated by the kind of person I want to BE, rather than the things I want to DO. If I want to be more spiritual, I read my scriptures, have a better attitude, participate in more service, etc. If I want to be more adventurous, I go camping, I go skydiving, I let random men throw me over a ravine, whatever. Life is too complex to plan exactly… so if I can focus on BEING a certain way, it allows me to be more flexible… and I think I like that kind of progress as a person better anyway.

Life is beautiful.

Friday, October 9, 2009

I'll update later, for now... Take It Easy :)

I’m one of those people who thrives off of living at a million mph. I like the stress of deadlines, being busy, being involved, being efficient, and feeling accomplished and well-rounded. Sometimes though, living like that makes me miss out on the little stuff that can make life so beautiful.

I’ve been trying to slow down lately, and savor life’s tender moments. Building forts. Taking naps with my Okla-homie. Playing tennis. Going camping. Having good conversations. Cooking. Playing with Legos. Reading. Doing the things that never quite seem to make it to the priority list, but make life seem much more simple and fulfilling.

Guess what? It’s working :)

This is going to start happening very, very soon...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Billie Jean is not my lover....

Oh life. Live it, love it.

I am a list person. I have so many lists… on my phone, computer, brightly-colored-post-it notes, in my brain… things to accomplish throughout the day, things to buy, things of note, things to read, things to remember, things to achieve in my lifetime… all in hopes of giving myself some direction and trying to avoid forgetting something important.

I want to be a do-er. I think that’s part of why I make lists. If I have a physical set of mini-goals, I always have something to DO, rather than waste my time with sleeping or movies (which are easy to default to).

Having so much free time this summer (I’m not doing classes, just working) and living in a different kind of apartment complex (moving from the Colony to King Henry) have helped me learn a lot of lessons. So I’ll make a list :).

-ALL people are God’s children. Even the stupid ones.
-If I want to make something of my life, it’s up to me.
-I DO want to make something of my life.
-A testimony isn’t a given and shouldn’t be taken for granted.
-I don’t want to be the kind of person who is a burden to others.
-I have a testimony of the honor code and BYU’s standards.
-Going to all of your church meetings actually matters.
-Participating in those meetings matters too.
-Life is what you make of it.
-There are many levels of happiness, and the most desirous involves high standards, expecting a lot of yourself, working hard, sacrifice, and putting the Lord first.

And of course I learn new lessons every day. Isn’t life grand? :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Why I love going home

-Over-grown beauty.
-Hip-hop and R&B on the radio.
-“God bless you.”
-Dancing in public.
-People picking me up.
-Friendly strangers striking up a conversation.
-Simplicity – folks don’t try to complicate life.
-Open space.
-Farmers chatting on the side of the road.
-Real football.
-The horizon.
-Thunder storms.
-Southern hospitality.
-The music scene isn’t a year and a half behind.
-Minimal traffic.
-No grid system – everyone just knows where things are.
-The obvious – my family and friends and pets and familiar stomping-ground.

There’s something to be said for going home and having nice chats with those individuals who had the greatest impact on my upbringing. I know I say this often, but my parents are smart. I have no idea how I’m supposed to be responsible for preparing children to face the world someday. How on earth did my parents give me the kind of knowledge, discernment, awareness, and desire to make good choices that allow me to survive this crazy life? How am I supposed to guide and foster healthy growth so my future children can be good citizens, have common sense, want to do what’s right, make something of their lives without too much trauma in the process, have a good perspective and decision-making skills, and everything else? I see so so so so many people that just don’t GET it, how am I supposed to help my not-yet-existent children avoid that? I know I am extremely far from perfect, but I feel like my parents did a great job of instilling good values, giving me a spine, teaching me how to take care of myself and be responsible, making sure I know how to THINK, and so many other things that are so difficult to teach...

I know, these imaginary children will be their own people with agency and brains and desires and personalities and all of that… there’s the whole nature and nurture theories and the fate of another is never entirely up to me…

But still. Parenting is intense.

Thanks, mom and dad, for not letting me turn out as a screw-up.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Loosen up baby

Today, My Beloved Roommate and I leave on a road trip... for OK and TX.

That's normal, we're cool, guys.

My spiel of the day - be a duck. Let life slide off your feathers. Don't let little/big problems break your stride. Bad things happen, perhaps often, but what counts is how we handle those tough times.

Keep smiling, and know that you're strong enough to handle whatever is thrown your way, there's a lot to be said for endurance.

More evidence that I'm a nerd.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


First, an update. Survived finals, survived moving, survived training and re-certification for lifeguarding at Seven Peaks, loved the visit from my mom, loved Wicked, loved learning that I can survive hard times, loved rediscovering my independence, loved getting my life back on the right track.

Overall, a good month, I’d say.

I’ve never been the kind to lose focus. I’ve always been very into self-discipline, goal setting and achieving, doing what’s right, and trying to improve myself and those around me. I think maybe I got complacent. Excelling and being a good person became almost second nature, I forgot how to try, how to put forth effort. I guess I subconsciously figured I was set, that nothing could break my stride.

Of course, that’s when temptation and struggles and life get in the way.

This life is a never-ending challenge (that can result in never-ending happiness, if we rise to said challenge) and we can never let our guard down. There is no save-point or get-out-of-trials-free card, there is only progression or regression.

Although going through times like this obviously has negative side-effects, I think it’s alerted me to how aware I truly need to be. I can make difficult choices and I can come out of tribulation on top, but I need to remember that it requires constant effort and deviation from the path of least resistance.

one day, I'll get over posting lame pictures that make me laugh. today is not that day.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Keep on keepin' on

That pretty much sums it up.

Finals week = lame and stressful. But we can and must endure this, and in the end... it's the end.

So chin up, study hard, drink lots of Diet Dr. Pepper, say your prayers, and we'll survive this next week. Good luck to us all!

sometimes, I make posts just for the pictures

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Be All You Can Be

Today, the sixteenth of April in the year of 2009, it snowed. A lot. And I realized that Utah is not making any progress. Rather than moving on from winter and into spring and the summer my heart has been yearning for, this state in which I reside is choosing to remain in a condition of frigid blizzard lame-ness.

Maybe Utah is reflecting my life.

Let’s see. Over the last two semesters, what have I accomplished?.... hmm. Well, I completed 2 semesters of school. Several of those classes I am going to re-take, because my grades were only mediocre. What else? I’ve been in and out of a few relationships, nothing new. I changed my major. I work a lot. Other than that? My spiritual life, my physical health, my social life, my relationship with my family, my general life direction… No marked progress. And I know I’m the one holding the rope that leads me down the path of my own demise.

I am the definition of stupid. One who repeats the same actions and expects different results.

Progress doesn’t just happen. It requires action, and positive action at that. Not only must you desire a change, but your actions must reflect that desire. You have to MAKE change happen. Or else a year goes by, and the steps you’ve taken down the path of progress are comparable to that of the black widow that my friend TJ pulled all the legs off of when we were little.

I don’t want to be an icky spider. So maybe I’ll find the motivation to make some progress with my life.

I like this picture because I'm a nerd.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Your love makes you jealous? I don't think so..

“Jealousy is a disease, love is a healthy condition. The immature mind often mistakes one for the other, or assumes that the greater the love, the greater the jealousy -- in fact, they're almost incompatible; one emotion hardly leaves room for the other. Both at once can produce unbearable turmoil...”
-Robert Heinlein

I couldn't agree more. 'Nuff said.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Fast Sunday

Today I had the opportunity to go to a Deaf slash Spanish ward. And since it’s the first Sunday of the month, that means Fast and Testimony meeting. Amazing. Not that I always completely understood what was going on (my Spanish is very limited. And my ASL is far from perfect). But talk about moving.

First off, what a great way to reaffirm that the Gospel is universal, true, and beautiful. No matter the language barriers, the Spirit was felt by everyone. Even when you can’t understand what someone is saying (or signing), you can recognize the conviction in their face. You can see the passion burning in their eyes.

What an amazing cause this is, this Gospel that unites people of all races, languages, and cultures into one group of believers… believers that are motivated to live better lives and to share this happiness with each other.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Like pretty girls need cowboys, I need you here tonight

Ok, ok, I know every person has gone through this. Especially in Mormon culture, I think. So here’s my little spiel.

As far as dating and marriage, where is the line between having expectations that are too high and settling?

We've been told since childhood that we are precious children of God that deserve the absolute best. And I believe that. (But I think the world’s definition of “best” has severely complicated and damaged that idea.) We shouldn’t have to settle for less than we deserve. Conversely, if our expectations are unrealistic, they will never be met and we are setting ourselves up for unhappiness.

So what to do? If we shack up with the first person that we have a little compatibility with, we may never know what greater happiness is out there. But if we hold out for perfection, we will most likely never find it.

In the past, whenever I would get serious with a guy, I would start to evaluate him. Of course, being human beings, I would always find imperfections and flaws. So then I would become stuck between 1) can I do better? Or 2) is this the best there is?

No one wants to miss out on someone amazing because they are holding out for something “better” that doesn’t actually exist. But no one wants to regret their decision and realize that there really was something “better” out there.

I guess the answer just has to be – when that decision comes, you make sure you feel really good about it and then stick to it, never looking back.

But still, it’s a fine line to walk.

Live Accordingly

“Live like you believe.” “Fake it till you make it.” “Smile and grit your teeth.”

We’ve all heard them, and they all essentially mean the same thing. Even when you don’t necessarily have confidence in your decision or a strong desire to act a certain way, you force yourself, for the time being, to go along anyway.

Is this a good or bad thing?

If you don’t fully agree with what you’re doing, does it undermine the action? Or is it a good tool to get you where you need to be?

I tend to lean towards the act of living without full conviction sometimes. Even if I don’t care about my grades, it’s still a good idea to do well in school. Even if I’m not sure I’m going to buy a certain new car or whatever, it’s smarter to save my money towards it.

Maybe I like it because it’s safer. If I decide not to buy that car, I may have gone without a few things during the saving process, but now I have a little extra money and no harm done. But if I decide to buy the car last minute and I hadn’t been saving towards it, then I may not have enough money… and stress and debt may accompany my purchase. If I’m prepared and change my mind, there are far less negative consequences than if I hadn’t been prepared at all.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

smart words from a smart man

"Persecution is the tool of Satan to harass, hinder, and destroy, if possible, the cause of righteousness. The spiritually weak, the lukewarm disciples, those who have not given themselves wholly to the Cause of Christ are purged form the Church by persecution....

"Conversely, tolerance is of God and abounds in the hearts of those who love the truth and believe in the true doctrine of agency. 'We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.' (Eleventh Article of Faith.)

"Persecution says: 'I have no sure testimony of my own religion, and so I must destroy this other faith, lest it turn out to be true and thus overcome my own sect.'

"Tolerance replies: 'I have the truth and know that truth will prevail. Why should I contend against others and their views? Such true principles as they possess shall prevail and all else will vanish away in due course, for truth only is eternal.'"

-Elder Bruce R. McConkie

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Comment on Obedience

I posted this as a comment on someone else's blog about obedience.

When I went home for Christmas, we had a pretty heated debate about obedience in sunday school (with all of the old army men, country folk, and ex-Baptist preachers). Some people were of the opinion that it is better to obey half-heartedly than not to obey at all. Others thought that begrudging obedience counts for nothing. Overall, there was a lot of interesting discussion that I got a lot out of.

Our actions are a) reflections of our thoughts/fruits of our beliefs and/or b) practice for what we want our thoughts/beliefs to be.

Say there is a service project. Ideally, we should want to go out of the goodness of our hearts in order to serve our fellow men. More likely, we go because we WANT to be the kind of person who serves from the heart, even if we’re not necessarily there yet. Or, we go to see our friends, be social, show off how righteous we are, etc. Or, we go because we are forced/feel some sense of duty, and hate it the entire time. Or, we don’t go at all.

I think, in this situation, going to the service project only does you any good if you are in the first two categories. Going either reflected that you have a good heart or is your way of trying to better your heart. Otherwise, you don’t get anything positive out of it.

If we are to be judged on our hearts, and not our actions, then our actions are pretty pointless if we don’t believe in what we’re doing. If we don’t love our fellow man, all the service in the world isn’t going to make up for that. If we use our actions as practice for becoming better people, then of course it is better to be obedient even if we aren’t necessarily in the mental state that we think we should be in. But if we aren’t attempting to make progess… then our actions are fairly pointless.

That’s what I got out of the discussion, anyways. And a lot of it rang really true to me.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Everything is gonna be alright, be strong, believe

Life is beautiful. But life is hard.

Everyone goes through hard times. Everyone has moments when they feel hopeless and miserable. Everyone experiences pain.

The amazing part is that we never have to suffer alone.

In Alma 7:11-12 and Isaiah 53:4 we are told that Christ suffered, not only for our sins, but for our sicknesses, afflictions, griefs, sorrows… every pain we experience. No trial is too small for the attention and comfort He offers. No tribulation is too trivial and no situation is too simple.

Sometimes, it is difficult to see the future through any lens but that of our pain. We have been encouraged by General Authorities to have hope. We have so much to look forward to and there is so much comfort in knowing that success and happiness will come from aligning our will with the Lord’s.

So smile. You are loved. No matter how hard your situation is, there is always hope. Remember that Christ DOES know what you’re going through. It hurt Him too. So let Him help you.

Let Him heal you.

Monday, January 5, 2009

We've got to give a little love...

Tolerance. It makes all the difference.

It doesn’t matter what area – religious, social, political, favorite flavor of gummy bear, whatever – but just because I think it, doesn’t necessarily make it right. Even if I AM right, respecting the opinions of others is crucial (except in football. or if the person is closed-minded).

“Who am I to judge another When I walk imperfectly?” (Lord, I Would Follow Thee,” Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, no. 220) Who am I to say, “This person is worthy of my presence, but this person is someone I should avoid,” and feel justified in that decision? Christ associated with publicans and sinners, am I greater than He?

Of course not.

Few things frustrate me more than a person who refuses to see beyond their own mindset. Someone who passes judgment concerning the imperfections of others and deems them unworthy of association. “I’ve been told to avoid befriending unrighteous people because they’ll lead me into temptation.” What a pitiful excuse. If you’re going to avoid sin, good luck making friends. We all sin. That’s a fact. Who gets to decide which sins make a person “unworthy”? Not you. Not me. Also, if being around an imperfect person is going to make your testimony or strength waver, you obviously weren’t too strong in the first place. If you know who you are and what you stand for, the actions of others aren’t going to affect that. You don’t have to become like them. You don’t even have to like them. But you do have to show some Christ-like humility and realize that you are no better than they are.

I know I’m guilty of being judgmental at times. So I’m going to let my frustration with intolerance motivate me to be more accepting.

If Christ deems someone worthy of His time and love, that person is definitely worthy of ours.

And He loves everyone.