Friday, December 4, 2009

Selfishness is never going to be worth the hardship we endure. Unselfishness gives us purpose and makes it all worthwhile. Rather than daring to hope that I'll get what I want, I can dare to hope that I'll give what others need.

Friday, November 27, 2009


I'm so stoked. But, as I pointed out to Natalie, I just started yet another long distance relationship: it should get here between the 3rd and the 8th of December.

Maybe the Lord is trying to teach me about delayed gratification...? ;)

EDIT: This is my 100th blog post! HUZZAH! If I remember right, I posted a dumb joke to commemorate my 50th blog post. Bwahahaha....

-What do you call a black airplane driver?
-I dunno, what?

-A pilot! What are you, racist?

Bah-dah CHING! Thank you, thank you...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

Kevin asked me yesterday, in a brief round of texting-truth-or-dare, what my biggest dream is.

"I don't know," I said. "I'm already getting most of them."

He laughed.

I insisted. "No, seriously! I'm going to Europe next summer. I'm graduating. This really great guy thinks it's awesome that he can make me smile without really trying."

Although my first thought was to worry that I'm running out of ambitions, but given the season, I'll take a more optimistic view. When did my life get so awesome that I started running out of things to hope for? And furthermore, how on earth did I miss that??

I've had a wonderful week or two, full of moments when I have realized just how good Heavenly Father is to me. The gospel of Jesus Christ is true. Joseph Smith was a prophet. The scriptures are the word of God. And Heavenly Father loves me.

I have always wanted to travel. Always. I just never thought I'd be cool enough to do it. That's all changing this summer. That's right, friends: my application to go on the British Literary Pilgrimage has been officially ACCEPTED. There's a lot of work ahead of me, like getting my passport, figuring out the academic part of my trip, and getting my student loans finalized. But STILL. I'M GOING.

God is good. The end.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Integrity and Humility in Résumés

In the name of “marketing ourselves” on our résumés, we are often tempted to present our strengths as greater than they are. We oversimplify the situation and ask “to market?” or “not to market?”, seeking an obvious answer that provides justification for inflating our abilities. But this internal sic et non disregards an essential quandary: will our guiding principle be integrity, or merely persuasiveness?

 When we overlook this question, it is not inevitably because we are morally corrupt people. In reality, we tend to ignore it because we are afraid—afraid that others will notice that our weaknesses exist, afraid that those weaknesses will be perceived as so great that our skills will be discounted. In short, we fear that who we really are is not enough to persuade an employer to hire us. The temptation to disguise and deceive proves most appealing when we do not trust others to witness our shortcomings with a merciful eye. We forget that others, like us, are weak, and assume that they exemplify every strength that we wish we had, except for one: the capacity to forgive.

However, C. S. Lewis suggests in The Screwtape Letters that we ought to give ourselves the same approbation we would give to others for comparable greatness. When we do so, we both recognize our own worth and also see how indispensably others have contributed to it. The opportunities that demonstrate we are valuable people are not of our creation; they are given to us by others. Our power only extends to our ability to collect the courage we need in order to receive the opportunities they offer. When we do so without resisting the forgiveness of others, or concealing our weaknesses, we discover that we are “magnified”. Our weaknesses do not fade into the background, but rather our potential employers can at last see us “up close”, swarming with strengths so potent that few (even ourselves) have ever observed anything like it. In light of these unforeseen abilities, there is essentially nothing to forgive.

Yes, a detailed, honest view of who we are is frightening to put forward. Unlike fiction, there is no safe place in writing résumés. There are no pseudonyms offering concealment, no images to symbolize lingering emotional aches. All we have is who we are, but on closer inspection, we finally find that this is enough. When we truly understand that we have the capacity to exceed expectations and not just meet them, we have the freedom to be honest regarding our shortcomings. In order to have the courage to be humble, we must first display our inherent power to achieve.

Plane pictures :)

This is the plane I rode on with my bishop's wife, Teri. (That's her in the picture, picking up one end of the plane. It was TINY!)

This is me on the plane. (Notice the big smile.)

And this is the view from the plane. (Now you see the reason for the big smile!)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"You want to be happy. There are more important things to do."

Isn't it interesting how the most confident, charming people you know are also the ones who most need reassurance?

In my Theories of Personality class, we just finished our unit on Carl Jung. What fascinated me most about Jung's theories is his concept of the Ego and the Shadow. The Ego is what we consciously recognize about ourselves -- often, how we define ourselves. The Shadow, on the other hand, is what we are, but only subconsciously. When traits are very strongly in the Ego, that usually means that the opposing trait is very strongly in the Shadow as well. People are made up of both Ego AND Shadow, and Jung theorized that when we stand between the two and make our choices, recognizing the pull of the other side, we are most psychologically healthy.

A brief example, just for understanding: A guy goes to a hockey game and in a dispute related to nothing more monumental than the game, kills another man. He never recognized the Shadow -- his ability to kill someone else -- and so the choice not to act on the Shadow impulse never came up until it was too late.

That said, the Shadow isn't necessarily bad. For example, a few of years ago, my Ego was a shy, reserved, quiet girl; my Shadow was a gregarious goofball. Somewhere along the way, the two have switched. On the inside, I AM a shy, hesitant person. I am! You'd never know that looking from the outside in, however, and I recognize that.

This leads me to the true point of this post...that perhaps the people whose company I crave, the people who are so clearly chatty and energetic, may also be the people who most need me to show them that I love them. In the same way that I am not so healthy, happy, and fulfilled as I may seem, perhaps my friends who seem to have it all figured out really don't.

This, then, is an invitation for me to take care of them, even when it doesn't seem like they're the ones who need to be taken care of. I'm best at pretending not to need help when I most want it; why would I assume that they're different?

It's also an invitation for me to think before I whine. I have lately wished that the men in my life were more consistent. Sometimes I feel like I'm riding a swing set, where "to" is when they are affectionate, attentive, and sweet, and "fro" is when I feel ignored, overlooked, and disconnected.

"I'm so mad at -----," I told Natalie recently. "He won't stop being nice to me!"

"How dare he!" Natalie quipped, trying not to roll her eyes. "Kick him in the shins!"

Of course I don't actually mind when men are nice to me. What bothers me in the inconsistency...that I enjoy the over-the-top niceness, but then I have to deal with being ignored. I'd much rather someone was moderately nice to me all the time.

But, as I also learned in my Personality class, there are more important things than being happy, such as (according to Adler) helping other people. I should probably stop worrying so much about how inconsistent other people are, and start taking a risk by being a consistent person for other people. The stress in our lives only exists when we consider it maybe I should consider other people, and not think much of my stress at all.

Food for thought.

Hearing: Jennifer, talking about monthly Girls Night! :)
Feeling: wondering if I can actually do what I've just blogged about actually

Monday, October 19, 2009

Honesty and Obstacles to Education: English 495 Senior Writing Seminar Assignment

Metaphor of the Day: Homework is like brushing your teeth. Kind of annoying, especially when you'd much rather go straight to bed...but let's face it. It's essential.


"Another reason people don’t use their real voice is that it means having feelings and memories they would rather not have. When you write in your real voice, it often brings tears or shaking – though laughter too. Using real voice may even mean finding you believe things you don’t wish to believe. For all these reasons, you need to write for no audience and to write for an audience that’s safe. And you need faith in yourself that you will gradually sort things out and that it doesn’t matter if it takes time." (Peter Elbow, "How to Get Power through Voice")

My understanding of this assignment was that we were to discover what our core obstacle was to getting an education, and discuss it with full honesty. I’ve struggled with this assignment. I know what my core obstacle is...I just don’t want to talk about it. So after missing several deadlines, I met with Brother Ward and frankly told him that he didn’t know what he was asking of me. I survive by compartmentalizing my emotions; I succeed academically by removing my heart. Honesty is a hard thing to commit to, regardless of the venue.

Palmer states, “The goal of a knowledge arising from love is the reunification and reconstruction of broken selves and worlds.” That would be really, really nice – and I think, or hope, that it’s true. As I have learned more about myself – through professional counseling; wise, genuine friends; and an aching, downtrodden reach toward my Savior – I have learned the power of honestly acknowledging shortcomings.

Sometimes these shortcomings are our fault – sometimes not. That is not the point. We must confess the deficiencies that make up so much of our characters, so that the Savior can change our characters. “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans. It is this: The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves you,” states Murray. As we have discussed in class, we must deeply understand the problem before the truth of the solution will become compelling.

I cried as I sat in Brother Ward’s office, while in the act of explaining that I intentionally muffle my emotions. On one hand, I did so because I was frustrated with my failure. But on the other hand, I cried because it felt so good to look the truth in the eye and confess that I was simply not up to the challenge. Individually, we don’t have to be up to the challenge of our own emotional disconnection, in our educations or otherwise. All we have to do, at least to get started, is to acknowledge that our disconnection exists, and ask for help.

Hearing: let's see how far we've come / let's see how far we've come
Feeling: a little overwhelmed, but OK

Friday, October 16, 2009


Metaphor of the Day: Dancing is like the rain. There's no being good at it --there's just loving it and letting it come.

Every now and then, I realize how much of my life I've already lived. I have had so many good things happen in my life. I LOVE college. But all of these moments...I'm not ever going to have them back. I'm never going to have Fall '08 (the Zion semester) ever again. I'll never have the experience of learning to lindy-hop again. Or my 21st birthday. Or Cindy's wedding.

Why on earth do we live our lives, unwilling to take risks? This is all we have! There is SO much to love...why would we ever waste our time on something we only liked, or someone who didn't love us in return?

So, here's a promise I make to myself for when I'm 45 and my children are just beginning to really live their lives: I will have lived my life too. Especially because I suspect (well, hope) that it's only going to get better from here.

Hearing: swing music. I love this stuff.
Feeling: weekendish

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Metaphor of the Day: Being honest when you don't want to is like wearing flip-flops in the snow. It seems fun for a minute, and maybe you even pretend it's more fun than it is. But, in the end, it's neither practical or comfortable.

I have been praying very carefully lately:

Father, please, if an opportunity comes, help me to act on it. And Father...if an opportunity never me to be OK with it.

Sometimes, I have a hard time being honest with God. Cognitively, I know how crazy that is -- He's God, He knows everything anyway! Feeling that is another matter, of course, but I'm trying.

Hearing: hairdryer
Feeling: a little rushed...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Plan B

Metaphor of the Day: Following the Lord's plan / timing is like getting your second choice of unlabeled chocolate, and then finding out it was your favorite after all.

I believe in finding happiness in plan B.

This is a very recent development. So many of my prayers are whiny because I'm not getting what I had in mind. But I'm starting to realize that the choice typically isn't "what I want" vs. "what I don't want"...the choice is often between being disappointed, and being happy with reality.

Example: last night, my crowd went to Acoustic Cafe, to be supportive of Natalie (who was one of the people in charge) and hear some fun music. Afterwards, I was faced with two options: go to ballroom dancing with Tim and Glen, or go to Snow Shack with Natalie and some of her friends, who I don't really know. I wanted to hang out with T&G, but not at ballroom. I wanted to go to Snow Shack, but not with people I didn't know.

In the end I went with Natalie (I like her better anyway ;) ) and had a fantastic time! Casey and his roommate Bryce were fun and talkative and didn't think it was weird that we wanted to chill at the park, and then wander around the student gallery of the art building. I love hanging out with men! They're so chill.

At any rate, I had a great time regardless of the fact that in a way, it wasn't what I wanted. This is a metaphor for my life, I think. I'd like to learn to roll with the punches a little better. :)

Hearing: Natalie and Snow Patrol
Feeling: sunshiny

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The End

Metaphor of the Day: Living your life one day at a time is like choosing to be executed by drowning in chocolate. You just gotta enjoy it while it lasts, man.

Summer Session is coming to a close. Although classes do not start until Thursday, roommates will begin to arrive on Monday. I couldn't be more excited to see Natalie and Chelsea and Rio and Jennifer, and get to know our new roommate (Callie?)...not to mention all of the fabulous neighbors that will be back in town. But at the same time, I wish summer would never end.

Seven weeks ago, I knew I desperately needed to rejuvenate. I intentionally didn't set any goals...I was going to play hard and love hard and take things one day at a time. (Yes, those sound a lot like goals, but they're so different from my typical stress-inducing ones that nonetheless, they are un-goals in my head.) I don't know how well I've done with any of that, but I do think I am ready to go back to school-life with a new perspective on this strange thing we call life.

Taking life moment-by-moment is still the way to go, especially because sometimes being sad and being happy are the same thing.

Classes are not what life is all about. It's about those moments when you know you're home.

Love is scary, and a lot of work, but if anything is worth feeling like a cold, lonely miner tapping away at the rock with a little pickax, looking for something to keep -- this is it.

Hearing: the dishwasher and the air conditioner. Profound, no?
A little lonesome, but mostly just enjoying the time to reflect

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Getting the Glow

Metaphor of the Day: Women are like sunflowers -- they reflect the brightness that they follow.


Lately, I've been considering the influence of women for good in the lives of those who surround them. I'm essentially receiving a scholarship based on my ability to be a good example. I taught Relief Society recently and we talked about, well, Relief Society. I've been doing a lot of thinking about what it is to love people for exactly who they are, weaknesses and all. The cover story of the most recent Ensign (September issue, actually) is a article from President Uchtdorf on -- get this -- The Influence of Righteous Women. Needless to say, it's been pretty constantly on my mind.

I think what really sealed the deal was an observation from a friend of mine. He basically said that a lot of girls are pretty, and nice, but with the really quality ones that he would actually date, there has to be something extra...something that has nothing to do with attraction and everything to do with how in tune she is with the Spirit. Christ's-image-in-her-countenance kind of thing.

At first, I thought this statement was simply to his credit -- that he's looking for a girl with that "something extra" that means she will be an excellent mother in Zion. But then I realized: his statement could also be to my discredit, if I don't measure up. He's far too sweet to criticize me, so I know he didn't mean it like that, but still, it made me wonder. Do I have that glow? Can people -- worthy priesthood holders included -- tell just by looking at me that I deeply love the Savior?

I suspect not. There's so much more I could be doing to bring the Spirit into my life. Once upon a time, I read my scriptures and wrote in my journal every single day. I worked really hard to build that habit, but where is it now? Things like that. My life is off-center, so to speak.

So, in an effort to recenter my life on the Savior, I spent some time today brainstorming what I can do to be better...

Study the scriptures
Pray always, with sincerity
Write in my journal, especially with gratitude
Go for a walk -- be outside -- find God in nature. (Very transcendentalist, I know.)
Sing / listen to excellent music
Serve! There's a thousand little ways to do it; I just need to be alert.
Keep my apartment clean. You'd be amazed how much it helps!
Exercise. Just something small every day -- enough that I can get to sleep at night!

Go to the temple
Prepare for Sundays by reading the lesson, etc.
Create something -- write or something. Just allow God to show me what it's like to be Him.

Ask Heavenly Father tough questions -- "what do I need to change?" etc. Ask for forgiveness.
Silence what I want because of a need to know what
He wants. Stop whining!

Here's the thing though. To quote the aforementioned article from President Uchtdorf, "I invite you to rise to the great potential within you. But don't reach beyond your capacity. Don't set your goals beyond your capacity to achieve. Don't feel guilty or dwell on thoughts of failure. ...Do the best you can, and the Lord will provide the rest."

In other words, I may know that my ideal day involves an hour of reading the scriptures and my ideal week involves going to the temple 3 or 4 times ... but I also know that it ain't gonna happen any time soon. With this in mind, I'm contemplating some realistic goals for "getting the glow". Some things are naturally going to be easier than others, and don't seem like such a stretch to picture in the normal course of my life.

There's only 18 days left of the 7 week break (I'm not used to calling it Summer Session yet.) I promised myself I would take this break one day at a time and I think I've done a pretty good job of that. But I also think I need to take that idea to the next level and bring Jesus Christ deeper into my life one day at a time -- instead of just sitting around thinking about it.

Hearing: really old EFY music. Like, '97.
Feeling: chastened, but determined

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Changes, Pt. 3: Single

Metaphor of the Day: "Hope" is the thing with feathers / That perches in the soul-- / And sings the tune without the words-- / And never stops--at all--
Emily Dickinson


This blog is a resource for how I can be happy in spite of the stressful things in my life. Looking over the things about which I've written, I realize that so much has changed.

Even in just the last 3 months, I've learned an incredible amount -- particularly about forming healthy attachments. Due to some hard childhood stuff, I spend a lot of my time "emotionally snacking" in relationships, because not asking for a lot is much, much safer. On the other hand, when I finally feel safe with someone, I tend to "emotionally gorge". It's exhausting in its intensity, and unhealthy. My homework assignment: find the middle ground. I need to realize, essentially, that people aren't automatically going to be completely unreliable, and therefore it's OK for me to take risks. And even if they are unreliable, that's OK, because I can be emotionally satiated, not starving.

Sometimes, being single is hard. It's easy to blame a lack of dates on my body type, or my introversion, or what-have-you. It's easy to want a boyfriend because he would be a convenient, reliable resource of love. I'm learning, however, that I have a lot of resources for love: all of my roommates, many of my neighbors, my family, a handful of awesome guys, etc etc. So not only can I be single, I can enjoy it, because I am emotionally satisfied and not clamoring at one person to fill those needs. It's fabulous to realize.

On the other hand, I have this internal debate going about whether or not it's OK to need people. I try really, really hard to be a strong person; I try not to "need" people, whether that effort is subconscious or otherwise. When it comes down to it, yes, people just need people:

God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs.
Spencer W. Kimball mean I have to rely on other people to help me, even though they may have no interest in doing so? What happens if I get used to them helping me, and then they stop? Where does that leave me? leaves me with a whole lot of other people who are willing and able to fill in the space. However, someday, aren't I supposed to learn how to love someone enough that they can't be replaced?

I took a close look at my soul the other day. Do I think I'm loveable? Do I really believe that someone is going to love me forever and ever, for just being me? The honest answer was -- no, I don't believe it. I think he'll leave before he gets a chance to see who I really am, deep down, flaws and all.

I hate thinking it's impossible to have that kind of love in my life. So I'm trying to do something about it. It feels a little like flailing around in the dark for a lightswitch that may or may not be there. Maybe the best I can do is a flashlight, or a candle. Whatever the case, I trust that the way will be made clear. Maybe it will be like being introverted -- it's something that never really goes away, but I found coping methods. Or maybe it will be like a sin, repented of, where I shed it like old skin and a new person is exposed, stronger, better, more like God.

I guess we'll just have to see?

Hearing: not a lot to lean on, I'm looking for a light to find my place in this world
Feeling: weary

Monday, August 3, 2009

Changes, Pt. 2: Measure of Beauty

Metaphor of the Day: Being around a beautiful girl is like having a pet boa constrictor: a bit dangerous, but it's fun, so who cares?


This blog was to be a searchable, categorized resource for how I can be happy in spite of the stressful things in my life. Looking over the things about which I've written, I realize that so much has changed.

Some things, though, don't change that much.

The Long and Short of It

I still feel most like myself when I look in the mirror and see short hair. For one thing, I just have the face for it. For another thing, I've had short hair ever since I started thinking of myself as an adult. When I cut it short for the first time, I had recently acquired my first full-time job and was in the process of fading out of the Young Women's program and into singles' ward. I left home for the first time not long after that, to come to school in Idaho. My college friends have no concept of what I look like with long hair.

In short (no pun intended), a pixie haircut has become a part of who I am over the last three years. But at the same time, I have become who I am over the last three years. I'm a little scared to grow it out again, in the same way I was a lot scared to cut it short. What if it's just not me? I don't really have an answer to that.

I Could Not Ask for More

Another thing that hasn't changed very much is my concept of my body shape. Let's face it: I am not a tiny person. And sometimes, that's hard. I look at myself in the mirror sometimes and have to close my eyes. The mirror we keep in the hallway of our apartment stretches you just enough to be flattering, without you really noticing that it's doing it. You just feel attractive. There are days that I hate that mirror. I feel pretty when I look in it, but we all know it's lying. So am I not pretty?

I don't say this to throw myself a pity party. Every day I have to firmly say, Sara, stop comparing yourself to them, yes, but that doesn't mean I don't feel pretty a lot of the time. I try to take good care of myself. I could do better, be better, look better. But it could be a lot worse, too. I'm very healthy, so I have a lot to be grateful for. I just have to remind myself of that a lot.

To See or Not to See? That is the Question.

In addition, I discovered a couple of years ago that I simply have Really. Big. Eyes. It's mostly the whites of them that are big, but whatever the case, it's earned me a long-standing comparison with lemurs. I don't find the comparison to a lower primate to be particularly flattering, but I do enjoy that other people notice that I have big eyes. It's part of the Disney Princess standard of beauty.

It annoyed me for a long time that I wear glasses. Sure, they frame my eyes, but since I'm nearsighted, they also make my eyes look smaller. Why on earth would I want that?! Plus, I have no concept of what I actually look like without glasses. I toy with the idea of contacts for about two months out of every year ("toy with" here meaning "tell everyone I know that I am DEFINITELY going to get them this year").

This year is no different in that regard, but in another way, something has changed. Firstly, Cindy was a doll and did a photo shoot with me here in town; a few of the pictures included me without glasses. I like these pictures -- mostly. Secondly, I've met two particular girls. One is in my relief society, another was in a class. They, too, have ridiculously large eyes, but neither of them wear glasses. Looking at them, and at myself in these pictures, I'm not sure that Huge Eyeballs are the way to go. It's a little weird to look at the thing that you rejected out of vanity, and wonder if they might actually contribute to your appearance. I'm over contacts -- ask me again in a year.

What (Not) To Wear

When I first arrived in college, my personal style was a disaster. I was tired of hiding, so believe me, I didn't! My typical attire involved messy short hair, bright mismatched layers, drawn-on Converses (and jeans), the works! Cindy was wonderfully patient with me and my fashion choices, and so I gradually got over it. Then I worked in a very professional job for a year, and for a long time just really enjoyed collared shirts, skirts, slacks, neutral colors, and high heels.

My current style is a combination of the two extremes. I currently favor skirts with Converses, collared shirts, bright colors, and slightly messy hair. However, I also acknowledge that my personal style is not so personal at all; it is very much affected by the tastes of whomever I happen to be hanging out with most. This annoys me, but 2 Christmases ago Cindy wrote an entire short story for me to remind me that the people around us are just as much a part of who we are as the choices we actively make. So I try to be OK with it, and try to keep figuring out what I like best.


On my bathroom wall, I have a picture of Jesus. As silly and incongruous as it sounds, I made a speech bubble for him, written in marker:

"You are always beautiful to me."

All this post really says is that I don't know how to be happy in regards to my physical appearance. However, Christ's love for me is never unsure, never changes. So this is what I keep coming back to, in the end.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Affirmation: I Did Something With My Week

I can just see it now.

"Sara! How was your week?"
"It was great!"
"Yeah? What did you do?"
"Ummmm. Nothing?"

In order to avoid this embarrassment, this is what I did this week, for my own reference as much as for anyone else's curiosity:

Sunday: Church. Particularly, I got to see how church is going to work for the summer session: our stake is split in half, and each half is consolidated into one ward. Next week (as in the 9th), I get to teach Relief Society to a bunch of people I don't know. I'm not really bothered by this. Well, maybe just a teeny tiny bit.

Monday: Way fun FHE @ Brother Marshall's house. Just a barbeque and chatting -- including everyone there sharing their most embarrassing moment. Mine? First Sunday of ever being away to college, I bore my testimony in a Southern accent even though I don't really have one because the guys would think it was cute. Barf.

Tuesday: Wedding shopping with Ann and her mom in IF. We spent like 8 hours there, but we got a TON of stuff done, including finding Ann's dress! She is SO beautiful in it! Even more so than she is ordinarily, which is saying something. :)

Wednesday: Fasting. I learned amazing things that I'm trying to put into my life. Optimistically speaking, you can expect a post about it later. Pessimistically speaking, I might as well tell you know it's about love -- both giving and receiving.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday: A little bit of everything...

  • Helped tie bows on Ann's wedding announcements which was kind of a pain, but Ann is worth it!
  • Read Book 1 & 2 of Paradise Lost, which is astoundingly good, but also disconcerting since Satan is cast as this really cool epic character who you want to like.
  • Also watched a couple of movies, one of which is this allegorical kid's movie narrated by Ringo Starr. Random, I know! Oh, and I figured out what was wrong with the VCR all by myself. that was pretty cool.
  • Katelyn saved my life by hanging out with me instead of letting me talk to the walls.
  • Cleaned my apartment, which is always easier to do when you're dead bored.
  • And, as usual, goofed around on facebook.

Sunday: Church, of course. I gave my blog a makeover, as you can see. Also, the carpet cleaners are coming, as previously mentioned, so I relocated my entire living room into my tiny kitchen. Cindy, thank you for letting me hang on to your little fridge. It's the only reason I'm going to be able to eat tomorrow, since the big one is totally blocked off now.

Oi Vey.

This WAS my living room. (Trash can for scale.) And this WAS my kitchen, until I moved everything all by myself. The carpet cleaners are coming...but I think I'd rather have dirty carpet.

Changes, Pt. 1: Introversion

Metaphor of the Day: Introversion is like having to ask the participants of the Running of the Bulls to take a number and form an orderly line.


The original purpose of this blog was to be a searchable, categorized resource for how I can be happy in spite of the stressful things in my life. Looking over the things about which I've written, I realize that so much has changed. For example, introversion was once a huge part of my self-definition. Now, it has all but faded into the background.

Two years ago, I rejoiced in knowing that God made me an introvert on purpose, no matter how hard that might be for me sometimes:

"O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken until thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue."
"Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?"

Now, I relate better to John Mayer:

My stupid mouth / got me in trouble; / I said too much again / to a date over dinner yesterday...

There are still days when I'm "peopled-out". It's still not easy for me to meet new people, or strike up a conversation with mere acquaintances. And there are people in my circle of friends with whom I will probably never deeply connect, because we are both more inclined to listen than to talk.

The biggest change, then, is that all of this bothers me so much less than it used to. I firmly believe that we can overcome weaknesses. This isn't to say that someday our weaknesses will -poof!- cease to exist. Rather, we can learn methods to get around them, so much so that our weaknesses just don't matter anymore.

If men come unto me, I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble, and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me, for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

You don't have to knock down a wall to get to the other side. You just need the Savior.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

1. I've been ward FHE coordinator for three semesters in a row, and I still don't feel like I'm very good at it. But, if this is where the Lord wants me, this is where I will stay. 

2. I prefer to drink out of plastic cups because I think water tastes funny out of a glass cup. Most people tell me that's backwards.

3. I enjoy purple Sweethearts (you know, the kind of candy they sell around Valentines) even though I don't like artificial grape flavor, and I don't really like Sweethearts in general. I'm full of contradictions. ;)

4. In my life, I have wanted to be an artist, a teacher, a ballerina, a singer, a doctor, a psychologist, a massage therapist, a writer, and a mom "when I grow up". 

5. I love having my toenails painted -- sparkly hot pink has become the signature color for them.

6. In my heart-of-hearts, I really, really want to travel. I want to see ALL OVER Europe, and visit South and Central America, and go to Jerusalem. Among other places. I'd love to be one of those people who goes on an AMAZING vacation every couple of years.

7. I crave intellectual conversation (about the gospel, relationships, books, psychology, etc., etc., etc.) like plants crave water in a drought. Especially about the gospel -- I love re-realizing how GOOD Heavenly Father is to me in His infinite kindness and intelligence. He's so much smarter than I am.

8. I love being funny, even if it means I don't always make sense to people. There are few things more delightful than a well-timed pun!

9. It's one of my goals to have childlike delight every day. Sunrises, sunsets, trees, snow, and thunderstorms leave me in awe -every- time.

10. I don't really enjoy watching TV, and I despise TV as background noise. I can handle about an hour once or MAYBE twice a week, and it has to meet some pretty grueling criteria -- well-written premise, fascinating characters, and intriguing plot, among other things. Oh, and amazing people to watch it with, of course.

11. If you were to tell me in high school that I would grow up to become the person I am now, I wouldn't believe you because it would have sounded too good to be true.

12. I have no concept of what I look like without my glasses. I've worn glasses since 5th grade, and my sight is bad enough that I can't really see myself in the mirror when I'm not wearing them. This is one of many reasons I would like to try contacts.

13. I think my eyes are my best feature, but after many years, I have gradually grown to love the parts of my appearance that I am most self-conscious about. This never ceases to delight me!

14. I miss having freckles on my face, but I love having them on my shoulders.

15. About a year and a half ago, I realized that I'm a sucker for guys who play guitar, speak Spanish, and look good with facial hair. Those are purely physical attraction kind of things, although there are reasons behind them. 

16. I love the cold. Negative temperatures are just a little bit silly, I admit (after all, who wants frozen nose hair?) but there's just something delightful about foggy breathing, invigorating chill, and the way the whole world gets quiet. Did I mention that I find childlike delight in these kinds of things?

17. I love to sing. Part of what I look for in the music I listen to is whether or not I can sing along to it. It's a real challenge for me to listen to music without singing with it, and it's pretty obvious if I have a song going through my head. I apologize ahead of time if I have just one line stuck. ;)

18. Heights make me really nervous. It's not so much the idea of falling that gets me as the idea of stepping out into all that nothing. The third floor of my apartment complex gets to be a little bit, and yet I love rollercoasters. 

19. I'm excited to be a mom. I had a hard time paying attention in devotional today because the girl sitting across the aisle had a *brand* *new* baby in her lap. A newborn baby is the cutest, tiniest little alien you will ever see. 

20. Even though I don't feel like I fit in with my family, I love them a TON.

21. I can't decide whether or not I like ninjas or pirates better. Ninjas are stealthy but pirates are hot AND literary. I'm convinced that Chuck Norris will reconcile the two forces.

22. I have friends that DEEPLY ANNOY ME, but I find them so fun to talk to that I remain friends with them anyway. This simultaneously amuses me and makes me feel like a terrible person. 

23. I'm very cautious about sharing the sad things in my life -- not because I mind sharing, but rather because I'm not seeking pity. Parts of my life have been really hard, and I want people to understand how I've become the person that I am, but I also want them to understand that I have a beautiful life.

24. I love to cook -- my roommates are constantly amazed by my ability to throw things together. However, as an sometimes lazy and often creative person, I lack the precision to easily follow recipes.

25. It's my goal in life to live fully, in love with life every day. I used to say "fine" when people asked me how I was doing; now I say "pretty much amazing!" and I've come to realize that it's true. I have come to see the value of stepping back and looking at the big picture. Even when the details are hard,my life as a whole is a stunning creation of a loving God.

26. I have a hard time expressing my opinion honestly when it's negative. I want to be seen as a positive person, and I don't want to start a conversation by disagreeing with another's opinion without knowing it. 

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Most of the time, I'm really OK with being an introvert. It's taken me a long time to be able to say that, but it's true. 

Every now and then, though, it really gets on my nerves.

I am an interesting, funny, intellectual, awesome person. (I'm not trying to be arrogant, just honest.) But when I am nervous and stressed and trying to be social, all of my brain cells leak out of my head and I revert back to being the shy, quiet, anxious girl I was 5 years ago. The obvious solution to this is to just quit being nervous, but just how do you go about doing that?

I've heard a lot of suggestions, but haven't quite managed to take many (if any) to heart. Maybe that's my problem. Maybe I ought to go out on a limb and just do what comes to mind and accept that things won't always be easy or come naturally.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

To Do

I've been promising myself I'll write a new blog post (which was almost combined to be "blost", whatever that is.) There's been a lot on my mind lately, but the things that have put a lot on my mind haven't left me a whole lot of energy.

Take the impromptu party I had on Sunday, for example. It quickly went from a little dinner of three to a toast to the New Year with nine. Five of the nine were guys. The grand total for the evening was 12 different people in my apartment, all of them to see me, at least in part. It was some intense business, but I went to bed wishing they could have stayed. 

I thought all last semester that I had just too many friends. This semester is shaping up to be much along the same lines, at least. But it's also different, too. I can't even tell you how many times I've prayed, Lord, what do you want me to do here? So when I started to feel like the Lord handed me a To Do list that said "Be social, but don't forget Me" on it, it was...interesting. I mean, it wasn't my idea to stay in Rexburg for the winter. I feel like I'm tempting fate a little bit to be so excited to be here, but then I'm supposed to find joy in obedience, right?

I don't know -- I don't feel like I'm being terribly coherant, but that's what the inside of my brain is like right now. Basically I'm excited to be here for the winter, excited for all the friends I have, but cautious and worn-out because I don't know what's going to happen and I'm going beyond my comfort zone. But it'll be okay.