Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happiness Is...

After I finished The Happiness Project last month, I decided to compile a list of my own happiness resolutions for the upcoming year and the rest of my life. In her book, Gretchen Rubin outlined how resolutions differ from goals, because we make and keep resolutions rather than the way we meet and discontinue goals. I really like the idea of a continual project, and so I'm planning to start my new happiness experiment on January 1, and keep it in effect for the rest of my life (I hope). Since the list is currently hanging on my wall in Logan, UT, and I'm lying on my bed in South Jordan, UT, I'll try to remember some of the things on there, as well as including some of the ones that need to be added.

Here are Emily's Happiness Resolutions:


Keep an active mind by reading at least one news article per day and one book per month.

Give three sincere compliments per day.

Look for the good in others. Don't gossip.


Love who I once was, who I am now, and who I'm becoming. Accept the past and shape the future. Most importantly, though: live in the present.


Try to see others' points of view.

Tune in to spirituality; understand what allows me to feel the spirit most strongly.

Keep an organized mind, heart, and home.


Act the way I want to feel.

And most importantly, be Emily. (These last two I stole from Gretchen. Yeah, we're on a first-name basis.)

I'm sure I'll think of more things to add in the coming months, and I hope that my outline will follow some of the same methods that I found in the book. I really like the monthly outlines that Gretchen uses, and I think I'll post a bit each month about my specific resolutions and projects for that particular month. Beginning in January, I plan to de-clutter my bedroom(s) and my mind, freeing up extra space and time for more fruitful projects. We'll see how it all pans out; I'm excited to start focusing on such a simple and profound concept, my happiness, and I hope that I can make a few other people happy in the process.

Wish me luck. It's all smiles from here on out. :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

'Tis the Season

Amidst the merriment and the yuletide carols being sung by a choir, I'm stuck in a place where there's not a whole lot of decked halls or roasting chestnuts.

That's it, folks. I'm in a Christmas slump.

I started listening to the music so early that it'd frighten even me to admit the actual date. I wrapped all my packages in brown paper, and then I tied them with strings; we all know that the two are necessary for inclusion into the "favorite things" category. I baked and tied, strung lights and cried during the First Presidency Christmas Devotional. Heck, I even drove in newly-fallen snow in order to see the lights strung up and down Main Street of Hyrum, UT, but something was missing.

I can't quite put my finger on it, but I think it relates to my last post. Santa's reindeer haven't flown outside my window in many many years, and I think I need to take a ride on the Polar Express in order to regain some of my Christmas momentum. More than something missing from my Christmas, I think that a little someone would surely help me to feel the anticipation and excitement that I currently lack. I'm excited for nieces and nephews, my friend's kids, and children of my own to remind me that this is the greatest time of year.

Until then, I'll be the big kid who can't quite make the silver bells ring like they should.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Little People

I am fully aware of the effect that things have on my life. I have a lot of stuff, and while I'm not a hoarder, I'll admit that my need to acquire can be a bit daunting at times. As I look at my Christmas list and my perfectly decorated apartment, though, I realize that it's not things that really matter at all. That quilt will look cute on the back of a couch, but it's really meant for blanket forts. The vacuum cleaner doesn't really serve a purpose if it isn't sucking up spilled cheerios or sandbox mud. These are the reasons I collect: I'm preparing my home for memories yet unmade. I'm prepping my life for great adventures and love that has been eternities in the making.

I love the littles. I spend 20 hours per week with children, and while that's nothing compared to full-time motherhood, those 20 hours are some of the best of my entire week. I love catching the rare smile of a boy with autism (yes, the same one who pulled my hair out and ripped my cardigan this morning). I love the magic that arrives the week (or month) before Christmas, in a classroom where 22 first graders can't contain their excitement for the real Santa Claus. It gets me every time, and I'm eager to meet their enthusiasm with a healthy dose of my own belief in Christmas magic. I feed off of their untainted views of life, and I leave the elementary school knowing that anything is possible.

They're the reason I do it. I get up in the morning so ready to face another day of screaming and crying, because in the middle of those difficult moments are the ones that shine like gold. The glances from littles looking for approval and love. The shy grins of people who didn't think they could do it until I told them that I believe. I wouldn't trade these priceless memories for all the things in the world, because without them, none of my stuff would have any meaning at all.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Perpetually Positive

All my life, I've struggled against my inborn tendency to focus on the negative aspects of my life. My parents have called me a pessimist, and I've clung to the ideology that I'm a realist, whatever that is.

Not anymore.

Even fighting against the huge stress headache that I've got going on right now, I can say quite simply that my life is wonderful. Life is hard, and I'm in a constant struggle to find out what I'm meant to do, but deep down I'm so so happy. I'm happy to sit on my couch on a Saturday morning and listen to the wind rage outside of my little apartment. I'm happy to get ready for the day, not knowing which ways the world will turn to surprise and confuse me. I'm happy to give room in my mind to the infinite possibilities of my life.

Yesterday, I planned a trip to New York. Later, I found out that said trip might not happen, and I was forced to readjust my thinking for a new set of plans. So, I think of Salt Lake - tiny town USA - and all the wonderful things that will happen there if I'm unable to make it to the Big Apple. I cherish unmade memories even more than ones that I've experienced, and tears well in my eyes when I think of all the beautiful things that will happen in my life.

Whether it's here or there, alone or with 8 million other people, I'll create a fantastic life where everything I've dreamed will happen.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pop-Out Plans

I'm rather adept at living in the moment. It took me years to perfect, but I can honestly say that a ticking clock and a night without phone calls is just fine by me. (Well, almost fine. I'd still rather be with others than by myself.) I can pull out a book, watch a movie, or blog the night away, without any feelings of failure for a socially unproductive night. Then, there are times when all I can do is plan my life away. My head gets lost in some imaginary world, one where it's absolutely necessary to meet incredible people, eat fantastic meals, and be dressed in the greatest couture this world has ever seen.

I've come to realize that my life is rather boring. I am hardly without something fun to do, but that doesn't mean that the average passerby would take any interest in what I'm doing with my life. Why the blog, then? Who am I to post my random observations for whoever wants to read them? At the moment, I've regressed back into that hyper-planning stage that comes about when I have nowhere and no one to better fill my time.

Yep. That's my night tonight. I've planned out all the combinations of outfits that I might wear for my four-day jaunt in the Big Apple next week. I've thought about all the extraordinary meals I'll share whilst I wine and dine my way up and down the length of Manhattan island. Most of all, I imagine that somewhere in the middle of a gigantic crowd, I'll spot some wonderful person who will feel the same metropolitan rhythms that I feel. We'll dance the night away, and I'll turn my four-day escapade into a lifelong adventure, fueled by a magic which is only felt in the city that encompasses all of my dreams.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Lapse in Vocal Capabilities

As some sort of wicked November tradition, my voice decides to get all crack-y and manly. When I tried to say good morning to my roommate today, nothing came out. I've had laryngitis a couple of times in my life, and both times have been within the past few years. Amidst the frustrating fact of not being able to speak, I actually love losing my voice. I love the strain and the pubescent squeaks that emit from my tired vocal chords. I love those first few times that a scream comes out as a whisper, and I love the way I'm forced to use other forms of communication to get my point across.

I don't know if this instance will turn out to be full-blown voicelessness, but I will accept it if it happens. Searching for new ways to express myself is one of my favorite hobbies, so it's only natural that I'd take this moment as an opportunity to grow. I'll make my actions speak louder than my words, just like they usually do.

Monday, November 8, 2010

November Leaves Me Oh So Cold

There's this thing that happens to me when the weather changes. I have an intrinsic desire to make my home warm and cozy, and so I start beautifying, baking, and burning candles, all in hopes of creating the warmth that all picturesque homes should have. I don't have a fireplace, but my two smoke-scented candles help to invoke the aroma of a log-burning stove in the middle of my little apartment.

I just checked the weather forecast for the next week, and where high temperatures in the 40s could get me down, I've managed to imagine all the fancy sweaters and colorful scarves I'll wear during the lengthy Logan winter. During the summer, I dream of bicycle baskets and picnic lunches, riding down the beaches of northern California and absorbing all of the rays of sunshine that my skin can possibly hold. When the seasons shift, my vision changes, and I begin seeing the world in a way such that knee-length stockings and fancy boots are all that I really need. I've managed to accessorize the world of my fantasy so that I appear to be the girl I dream of being.

So let the winter months come. With them I'll take my cocoa and my bright green coats. I'll hang lights in my window and eat soup three nights a week. I won't let the chill affect my ability to create a wonderful life for myself.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Listen Up

I am constantly amazed by the richness of my ordinary life. I feel the flux of good and bad, yet I'm able to find a constant source of goodness that helps me smile as I'm falling and asleep and awaken each morning with a hope for the day ahead. The last mile post of my all-too eventful evening came with a knock on my door around 11:45, just as I was preparing to get into bed. Although he may not ever know his perfect timing, this best friend of mine stood there as I unloaded my burdens onto his ever-willing shoulders.

I'm a talker. All of you readers should know that my words are seldom few, and I'm quite often found rambling about any number of meaningless subjects. Fewer of you know, however, just how important it is for me to release these things. Whether to a journal or to my best friend, through intense late-night porch conversations or over facebook chat, I'm always grateful for someone who is willing to listen to me. Furthermore, I strive to be that person who is willing to hear the story that my friends need to tell.

We all have something inside of us that we're just aching to release. Most often (at least for me) these things cannot be expressed in words, but it's a comfort to know that someone will wait while I struggle to express my intense string of emotions.

I end almost all of my conversations like I will end this post.

Thank you so much for listening to me.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I tell people that Thursdays are my favorite day of the week. This is true because of Fridays like tonight, where I am left without plans and choose to spend my evening watching a friend tie flies and psychoanalyzing the hoarders on Discovery channel. My reason for loving Thursdays is as follows: I can anticipate the weekend's greatness without the disappointment that none of my lofty plans will come to pass. Where I envisioned corn mazes and an official True Aggie moment, I got "Anne of Green Gables" and an 11:00 curfew. I hope this doesn't sound pessimistic, because I truly relish my weekends, even amidst their lack of excitement.

So tonight, I blog-stalked. My usual favorite left me with tears in my eyes, and I'm here with her resolution in mind. I want my soul to speak the beauty that it knows, something my clumsy frame and awkward sociality do not accurately portray. I'm a beautiful woman, with so much potential and an aching desire to tell the world how great I think it is.

Life fascinates me. There are many moments when I catch myself in a sort of out-of-body view of the world. Since I spend my days working with some children who are unable to control their speech, movements, or both, I am constantly amazed by my ability to think, move, and reason through my days. Human-ness is incredible, and I'm blessed to be able to appreciate both the world and my part in it.

That being said, there are times when I don't feel right. I get angst-y and restless and irritated by others' imperfections (while, at the same time, being fully aware of my many less-than-perfect traits). Call it hormones or premonition, but I'm in one of those slumps right now, unable to figure out just who is this girl named Emily. I'm feeling a bit lost, and I think a list might help re-establish who I really am.

I love to learn. There is nothing better than cracking open a new book or delving into a subject about which I was previously ignorant.

I am a domestic diva at heart. I'm set on creating a picture-perfect home, complete with my homemade delicacies, hand-knit afghans, and floors that shine like the top of the Chrysler Building.

I crave personal time. My love language is definitely quality time, and I am obsessed with measuring and allotting my time for the people whom I love the most. I appreciate one-on-one interactions much more than large group outings, even though I'm a more social person in large groups.

I over-think everything. It's a nasty habit and a constant setback, but I'm very aware of it.

I'm a little bit confused about who I am, but each day I give myself a blank slate with which to create a beautiful story. I am Emily, and I am em-powered by all the things that make me uniquely me.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Life of Writing

I shouldn't be doing this. There is a huge stack of files sitting next to me, and I should be thumbing through them instead of purging my mind of its many random observations. I can't focus on codes at a time like this, so in this moment I'm choosing to write.

I realized yesterday just how in sync my life is with those grandiose plans I made for myself. I've been given remarkable opportunities to serve, and I relish the ways my mind has expanded to see the need around me, equal to or even greater than the needs addressed by all those NPOs and "Give-a-year" foundations. I've found diversity in a place I originally thought was full of white privilege. I help students realize their potential, and in doing so, I've realized my own. Each day I find something or someone new to love, from crimson burning bushes to the lopsided crown of a birthday boy. I inhale the day with a deeper awareness of my own humanity, of the pulse in my chest and the incessant string of thoughts in my mind. Like a sponge, I absorb the world and secrete my own flavour of Emily-ness.

This. My writing. This is why it all makes sense.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Dawn Knows No Reprieve

I'm a girl of the night. I love sunsets and windows that reflect the last rays of glorious orange sunlight. I always feel an ache when I notice the shortening of summer days, but I relish the emergent early darkness with a different kind of love. Tonight as I left a class up on campus, I looked out across beautiful Cache Valley and stared at the brilliant hues of twilight. Something stirred inside me, and a smile lit up my face amidst the darkening skyline. Combined with the crisp fall air, I'm returning to that all-too-familiar wonderland where bustling city streets sweep me along and fabulous green outerwear colors my life. I recognize that none of it is real, but it gives me a smile, nonetheless. Even if I'm not in a fantastic big city, I'm able to capture those moments between campus and the parking garage as something grander than the life of a simpleton. I am definitely not simple.

As I give in to the persuasion of my comfortable bed (and as the after-effects of too much Dr. Pepper wear off), I'm taken away from the night that I love. Don't worry, the soft glow in my window just means that I'm wringing out every last ounce of goodness from my supersaturated day. I love life.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

An Itty Bitty Pity Party

Allow me to complain for just one post.

Most of the time I'm fairly forthcoming about my imperfections. I'll be the first to admit all of my major (and minor) flaws to a crowd, and I'm pretty quick to laugh at all of my quirks. I don't even have a most embarrassing moment, because I'm both easily embarrassed and easily assuaged from those feelings. I've pretty much learned to roll with life's punches, but that doesn't mean that there aren't things I'd like to change about my circumstances.

I'd like to get asked on dates.

I don't think any of my guy friends know just how flattering it would be for them to take me out, even once. I can spend hours with the opposite sex without them ever realizing that I'm interested in them, let alone that they could initiate some sort of reciprocal friendship (or the potential for a relationship...) without me demanding an engagement ring or some sort of long-term commitment.

When I see all of my other girlfriends getting asked on multiple dates by multiple guys, I often wonder where I'm lacking in the whole flirting/being attractive department. I am constantly trying to be the best version of myself that I can be, but that version doesn't include someone with a high-pitched phony laugh or a trendy hairstyle/wardrobe. The real Emily only knows how to love and care for people like they're already the most important people in the world. I don't know how to impress them to think the same about me, though. I don't mean to put myself on a pedestal, but I often wonder if my maternal caring- and nurturing-side is scaring off the boys from wanting to date me. After all, who wants to date their mom?

I don't think I'll really ever know the answer to these questions. Please don't think for a moment that I'm not happy with my life, though. I have the most incredibly caring and kind guy friends that a girl could ask for. Now, if only I could get a date, I'd be set.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Stuff

I fill my life with objects, people, and memories that are not permanent. I have weird ulterior motives that I don't even understand, and I'm not sure which is worse - admitting that I'm not perfect or admitting that I don't want to be perfect. Right now, my bookshelf is half-filled with the books I'm most proud to own and have read. The other half contains all the books that I want people to think I've read, or books that I aspire to read, if only I had the time. Sadly, though, any time anyone looks through my books, they only ask about the books that fall into the latter category, and I'm left to explain that "I've heard it's a good book, too..." I write a blog, partially for others, (because wouldn't we all like to think that people read our thoughts?) and partly because I enjoy my own writing. I love thinking about sharing this stuff with my posterity someday, even though I'm sure they'd be bored to tears if they heard one more story of me baking banana bread and laughing uncontrollably on a Monday night. Seriously, guys, my life is pretty boring. I use stuff to make me feel better about the fact that I'm still in Utah, without any prospect of moving or having some sort of grand adventure. Please dismiss the fact that my normalcy is unavoidable, and feel free to continue thinking I'm some sort of genius.

{Don't stare too hard or you'll notice all those aforementioned imperfections.}

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Drink Up

Tonight I sat in my apartment and pondered the meaning of life. Just kidding. I watched as my roommate wrapped a gift for her boyfriend in crumpled red paper, and I attempted to explain my current status as an ever-happy single girl. Please believe me when I say that I'm so happy. This isn't even something I have to convince myself to believe; I feel it each morning as I anticipate what funny phrases or absurd experiences I'll have. Today's highlights include:
  • Watching fifth-grade boys dance to Usher's "Caught Up." Absolutely hilarious.
  • Hearing a first-grader say, "I'm questioning: where did I come from? who made me?" and watching her classmates all respond, "God!" Out of the mouths of babes.
  • Going to my other job--the one with smart people--and having my boss tell me that I have a post-it note stuck to my butt. It gets better. The sticky note definitely said "Have some!" on it.
In the midst of the wrapping-paper conversation, I mentioned to Carissa that my relations with boys extend just as far as my supposed talents are concerned. In a one-week span, two of my really good guy friends proposed the idea of having me as the lead female vocals in their imaginary bands. Ha. I don't think I sing well enough to be backup, let alone the lead vocals in a "She & Him" cover band. Then, last night, Kade told me that we need to design our own television show for HGTV. Sure, wandering around Home Depot usually brings out the home decorator in all of us, but I don't find my taste in window coverings to be anything inspired. Whatever. Alas, at the moment I'm nobody's girlfriend, but I'm both a musician and a designer. Take that.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

One Trick Ahead of Disaster

Right now, my life definitely parallels that scene from Aladdin where he does all the fancy dodging and jumping in order to escape the guards. I'm not quite as nimble as I need to be, but I am using my fair share of ducking and sprinting in order to avoid all of the pressures around me. I'm running from adulthood. I'm fleeing the responsibilities and maturity that I should embrace. I've made it to "one jump ahead of the breadline," but it's just because I'm a split-second quicker than the others. While my parents continually warn me about the dangers of not settling down, I know that my air of restlessness is just one whiff in a world of clueless pre-adults. I read all about it online one day, and even though it's debatable and disproved by many of my more-responsible peers, I'm one of the statistics that makes this study believable. (Read more about it here.) I'm flipping through life - not entirely without a plan - maintaining my grip on reality only as far as tomorrow is concerned. Check back next week to make sure that those steadily-approaching duties don't have the best of me.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Doing That Thing I Do

Cities are my thing. I thrive amidst millions. I love the smells and the rush of air that comes from subway tunnels and skyscraper hallways. I feel alive as I hurry up and down the stairs that get me to the 'L.' Mostly, I love the way that cities – any city – can hold me in their grasp in just a few days. It doesn't take long for me to feel a part of the metropolis. I need one good map, a train ticket, and my ever-ready air of confidence to turn me from tourist to resident. Yesterday, a couple of people came up and asked me for directions. I don't know if they assumed I was a Chicagoan, or just a less-lost tourist than they, but it boosted my ego and reaffirmed that cities really are my thing.

We watched the Blue Angels perform at the Air and Water show yesterday afternoon. I trembled at the speed and daring feats of these awesome airplanes, and I relished my spot in the shade, overlooking Lake Michigan. We also walked up to Lincoln Park, even though we gave up finding the zoo in search of a more appetizing pizza adventure. Giordano's definitely didn't disappoint, and I took 3/4 of my awesome stuffed pizza home to enjoy over the next couple of days. The best part of my day was probably the 30 minutes I spent relaxing on Navy Pier, watching the sun set behind the magnificent skyline. I took lots of pictures and absorbed the moment as deeply as I possibly could. The architecture tour fascinated me; Chicago really is a city of a million different styles of incredible buildings. And while I can't say that it's my favorite city, or even that I'd really want to live here in the future, I'm so glad I had the opportunity to visit. I'm grateful for every chance I have to recognize my “things” – from Anthropologie cardigans to eclectic home décor, and most importantly cities – and understand a little more about this person named Emily.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Much-Appreciated Nap

For this upcoming week, I'm making one vow: I will nap more.

I have had only one decent-length nap in months, and with my absolutely necessary nocturnal activities, I've been averaging about six hours of sleep each night. I don't complain. In fact, I've even stopped yawning (unless it's past midnight or the conversation is lagging). I think my body is trying to tell me that I could survive 3:00 am feedings or 5:30 am alarm clocks. Let's hope that both of these possibilities are many years off, though. I might even be able to admit, albeit reluctantly, that this sleeplessness has increased my productivity and my overall happiness. Don't try this at home friends; I do not endorse any stimulants in replacement of my napping. Maybe the reason for my nap-less life is a direct result of all the great things that have happened to me over the past couple months. Who needs sleep when you can bake bread or give balloons to a child? What kind of nap could possibly take the place of an outdoor adventure or a conversation with a dear friend? Wow. It sounds like I've just made a pretty strong case against naps, which was definitely not my intent.

Yes. There will be naps this week. There will also be cookies, summer school, books, and lots of hugs. I think I can safely say that they will all be great.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Practically Perfect

I have managed to escape my blog for the past few weeks, knowing all along that I had much more to say than I would ever post publicly for the world to see. While I'm sure that all of my readers would love to catch a glimpse of my many journals, know that they're much more clichéd and boring than you'd probably enjoy. For all my cyber-stalkers, though, my life is one-of-a-kind, and I'll live each day striving to fulfill that supposed title.

Wait a minute. My life is one-of-a-kind. I'm Emily, and I'm so excited to be the best version of me that I can possibly be. Even with all of my many quirks, I've discovered that people like me best when I'm that real Emily, the one who spills and blunders and cries in sappy films. I'm (slowly) learning how impossible it is for me to please everyone, though. I can't be the everyone in the world's best friend, and as much as I'd like to have everyone like me, it's not a realistic goal. Knowing this makes me discouraged at times, and at other times, I feel empowered by my many imperfections and the ways that they allow me to connect to others. Nah, I'm not perfect, but I'm pretty darn good at being that way.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


My life has reached a new low. Judge if you must, but I'm fully willing to admit when I do something that might be considered "low-class" or "despicable." In this case, I'm sitting in the stairwell of a neighboring apartment complex, leaching off of their wireless internet connection. It has been over 24 hours since I last connected to the world outside my little circle of friends. I thought that I would have missed a lot - budding facebook romances, new pictures, an infinite array of status updates - and when I saw the "300+ New Updates" link on my facebook wall, I knew that I would finally feel that hole close as I stalked my way into various lives. What I didn't realize, however, is how inconsequential those mundane updates would be in the place of my own adventures.
No, I'm not gallivanting through Europe. I'm not even psyched about some upcoming concert or an unknown wedding. I'm just living a normal life, in a little town that can't decide which season to endorse. I walk through various puddles, escaping the arid climate of Utah for just a moment as I pretend that this green valley has a direct link to the Swiss Alps. I have incredible friends (have I ever mentioned them before?) and a life that I wouldn't trade for all the high-speed internet connections in the lower 48. I don't even need facebook to tell me that.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Little Catch-Up

Barring any tomato-based reference in my post title, I'm going to try to pedal through a month of adventures and back to my presently wonderful life.
With the end of school came a lot of added free time for my friends. While I still work an exhausting 19.5 hours per week, I found time in my hectic schedule for bike rides, late-night outings, and a few trips out of state. I had a wonderful weekend in Driggs, Idaho with a bunch of my very close friends. The following week I sardined myself into my friend's Mazda in order to drive with four other girlfriends to California. We hit up all the sights, and my favorite souvenir is definitely the great tan I brought back to overcast Logan.
I think that covers most of my life over the past 25 days. There are other things - great things, to be specific - that I'm still waiting to write about. I have got my future vaguely figured out, and I know that even if things don't go exactly according to my plans, I'll be able to wring every ounce of goodness out of the trials and blessings I have been given.

{Just a glimpse of the smothering happiness that occurs when I'm surrounded by children.}

Friday, May 7, 2010

Looking Back

I always write when I should be asleep. I think that purging my mind of its many random thoughts is a good way to induce sleep, although I hope that reading these posts isn't making any of you readers sleepy, too.

Tonight I spent another wonderful time with my many great friends. I am still adjusting to the fact that school is over (for the college students... not for me) and that everyone is leaving for the summer. I think that these adjustments always make me a little nostalgic, even if I anticipate the next phase of my life with great enthusiasm. I'm just grateful for the many people I've gotten to know over the past weeks and months. Without them, this tiny town wouldn't have nearly as much of my heart as it does right now. As it is, though, I'm settled, waiting for the next chapter of my life to fall into place. I'm just so glad that I have such incredible friends to help me through it all.

Today as I drove to work, I noticed my rearview mirror slanting to give me a skewed view of what was behind me. I quickly reached to straighten the mirror, positioning it so that I could see just the side of my eye as I glanced out the back window. From this new angle, I appreciated the span of my backwards glances, even if I didn't really need them all that often (roads in Logan aren't often congested enough to use a rearview mirror). I caught myself analyzing this small gesture, and I understood the beauty of a simple mirror a little better as I saw more clearly than I had before. I think that the mirror, my journal(s), and my friends all enable me to appreciate what is behind me while allowing me to maintain my focus on what's ahead. I learn so much from the past, but I'm also able to use that information to guide my future. I think it's a beautiful cycle and I'm excited for the added depth and perspective I'm getting from adjusting my life's mirror.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

All the Single Ladies

To All the Single Girls. And Yes, That Includes Me:

Each day I wake up and wonder what sorts of cultural and societal influences will bombard me, trying to make me feel like crap before I have a chance to put up my guard. Today is not one of those days, though, and I feel like I can take on anything, be it screaming children, obnoxious undergrads, or nauseating couples trying to flirt with one another. I think that while I'm feeling so empowered, I must share some of my wisdom with the world.

Please, please, please stop looking for guys everywhere. Yes, they are everywhere, but no, that does not mean that any one of them is your future "someone." Your appeals for the perfect guy are going unheard, and the sooner you realize he doesn't exist, the better off we will all be. If I've come to know anything in the past four months, it is that no guy is perfect, and neither am I.

Happiness does not lie in some unrequited love, contrary to all popular love songs (especially those by this girl). I respect anyone with a decent talent for writing lyrics, but those lyrics usually mean more to the writer than to anyone listening. Even if they do describe your life perfectly, know that it is probably a fluke, and that your life is no more a fairytale than mine or Sylvia Plath's. The sooner you know this, the more time you'll have to fully appreciate writing your own happy ending, not something cliche but something great.

Now here comes my snarky side. I'm sick to death of hearing 20-year-old (or 19... or 27, for that matter) children complain about not having someone to love. You know what I found? That someone to love stares back at me each time I look in the mirror. She's been there for 23 years, and she'll be there a whole lot longer than any fling. The sooner you get comfortable in your own skin, the more you'll appreciate how this world was not made for couples any more than it was made for creatures without opposable thumbs. God made all of it for all of His children, not just the ones with a ring on their left-hand finger. Loving myself has become the key to solving almost all of my problems; no matter what the beauty magazines or my Utah "culture" says about my divine worth, I know that I am better than a number on a scale, an age on a wedding video, or the number of carats in a diamond ring. I don't know how to make others believe that, too, but the sooner we realize that it doesn't take anyone but ourselves to make us happy, we'll all breathe a little easier.

There you have it. For once, this is a principle whose success I have definitely measured in my life. No amount of money or fame can bring me ultimate happiness. Not even a grand vacation can be the final marker of my worth in this world. It is the love I have for myself and the love I have for others that really truly matters, and I want all of you to know that, too.

The End.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Take a Look

Most of the time I can look at myself in the mirror without analyzing anything too much. Some of the time, I even manage to think, "I look decent," or "I look good," without too much forethought. However, there are times when I catch a glimpse of myself with a face like this and wonder how I was possibly blessed with such awesome talent for ugly faces.

{At this point I'm just grateful that I'm not missing any teeth.}

Actually, Amy Winehouse might have it worse than me; I've refused to post such heinousness on the interwebs, so as to spare my future children from the embarrassment of seeing my charmer plastered all over the google search for "ugly faces." I think that I'll really begin an ugly smiles club, though, right next to my mullet madness. The combination of awkward/hideous faces and scragly mullets can't really be beat. I'm sure this will be epic.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hypothetically Speaking

If I were invited to a Jesus Birthday Party, I just know I'd show up and make some sacrilegious comment or perhaps show a picture like this.

If I were to have a completely normal day, sans flooding toilets, spilled bubbles, and children screaming "cheese curds PLEASE!" I might not be able to sleep as well at night.

If I were the only person left in the whole world, I still think I'd find someone else to talk to.

If there were only one thing left in this life for me to do, I think loving would be that thing... and I'd strive to do it the best I could.

Friday, April 2, 2010



I'm a person who relishes when others get "theirs," you know, the comeuppance that every horrible person deserves after wronging me in some way. I sometimes think about retaliation, from tire-slashing to embarrassing photos, and I've been known to fantasize about how I would make someone pay for the ways in which they've hurt me. This doesn't often help me feel any better about the situation, but it gives me a little pleasure to know that I'm attempting to take another's fate in my hands. I feel vindicated by my vindictiveness, and I appreciate the times that I'm able to address my frustrations head on with a little bit of pre-meditated evil.

No worries, though. I would never actually do harm to another. The fun lies in my imagination.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I don't know why my brain does this to me. Sundays and Mondays are the hardest. Nights are usually difficult, too. I'm stressed about living, and I'm constantly concerned about the things over which I have little to no control. As my emotions rise to the surface, my mind collapses under the weight of my heart. My head - my sanity - is jeopardized by the strength and tenacity of my ever-growing need to love. I can't do it alone, and I refuse to go any further until I know where I stand.

My consolation tonight is the wind. The turbulence I hear outside my bedroom window is a direct correlation to the whirlwind in my head right now. I know that all of the fears I have are nothing compared to the peace and love I have felt. If only I could tie a kite string to my heart, letting myself get carried away with the gusts and gales of life. I'm ready to take flight.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


No. Not the song by John Lennon.

I watched Lars and the Real Girl again tonight, and I was impressed by how much my own imagination plays a part in my day-to-day interactions. I'm always struck by the part in the film where Lars reads a passage from Don Quixote to Bianca. Just like this master, Quixote, we all - in our own ways - enact fanciful situations into our normal lives. Forgive me if this post seems a lot like all of my other ones; this is just something I think about a lot, and it's always interesting for me to express these thoughts in the imaginary world of the internet. Here are a few of my Lars-esque moments as of late:

Planning perfect dates with a boy whom I'm still unsure likes me.
Imagining that I have enough money to buy things from anthropologie, like this.
Even better, thinking up the places I'd wear the aforementioned item, seeing as my life as a socialite is not very notable.
Thinking of all the fun places I'll walk, ride my bike, or explore once it warms up enough... and as soon as my foot heals.
Writing the book that I know is inside me, the one for which I have a title and nothing else written.
All the other stuff.

I am Lars. I'm a girl who imagines. I think too much, and I don't feel enough. I worry a lot, and I'm beginning to wonder if as soon as others believe in my fantasy I'll have to kill it off. Who knows, but I'm trying to mesh my own fantastic Bianca moments into something more real than a giant plastic doll. I guess I'd better get off the internet in order to figure it all out, though.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fear You Won't Fall

I never knew that such a perfect song existed, but it does. It came on my itunes today, and it was either the first time I'd heard it, or it was the first time I'd actually listened to the lyrics. I'm continually impressed with the perfect scenarios that seem to enhance my mundane existence into something extraordinary. This moment was one of those extraordinary ones; I sat hovered over my giant journal, writing about how my life is turning into something so much more than I ever imagined. Then, the song. I am astounded, still. I have listened to it at least 10 times in the past few hours, knowing that my feelings are exactly what Joshua Radin describes with his gentle voice. I want him (no, not Joshua Radin... another him) to express the sentiments in this song to me. I feel it. This is my song. For today, everything is good, but I'm still afraid of what I don't know. It is much harder to express this than it is to feel it, but I'm going to get better at doing both, so I can understand what's going on inside this crazy heart of mine. That's all.

{A picture of my giant journal, the best graduation present ever.}

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Last night as I read a chapter from my newest favorite book, I came across a line that describes my life uncannily well.
"We live each day as if it were merely a rehearsal for the next..."

Last year at this time, there was no where I would have rather been, and I was happy living each day to its fullest. Since then, graduation and the mundane working world leave me in search of something else, and I spend my days at Bridger Elementary planning for secret rendezvouses, hypothetical situations, and that all-too familiar imagined future. I rehearse each action as if I'm just trying to get through the motions of today in order for the performance of tomorrow. Just yesterday, I played with a child outside and wondered if I'd be good mother or not.

Why am I worried about these things? There is nothing in my life right now that points to me having children within the next five years, but I still treat these sweet kids as if my own were watching me from Heaven. While I believe that my future children really do wait and anticipate having me for a mom, worrying and wondering about them does not do me any good. I need to be content with the life I have, instead of acting as if it all came down to some sort of final performance. Each day is its own. We don't get do-overs, and we certainly don't get much heads-up about the scene and line changes in the future. I'm going to use this wisdom to stop acting and just be. I'm going to stop rehearsing and live.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Deliberate Decision

I'm vowing here and now to be the most normal girl I can be about this whole situation. I vow to let emotion carry my heart where it may, while allowing my head to keep me sane. I promise not to cry or rant, especially on the blog, even if I don't know what's going to happen next. I know that these commitments will help me to see the beauty of friendship, understanding, and companionship without becoming needy, dramatic, or fickle.

How does that sound?

Is it weird to wake up one day and finally appreciate the birds chirping outside my bedroom window? I love the silence of winter, but I love the returning songs of spring even more. I also love the way the sun actually shines, illuminating the snow-covered mountains surrounding Cache Valley. I don't think that these emotions are related solely to the change of the seasons, even though I'm so ready to be done with the longest winter months of my life. With all of the hopelessness I felt over the past few months, I know that the next adventures of my life are right on the horizon. I'm ready to see what's next, and I'm learning to appreciate the idea that things really can be better than I imagined them. It's all about perspective, I guess. I'm making the decision now to be better than I was yesterday - and better still tomorrow - because I know that the sun rises anew each day, and so can I.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Not So Good

It seems I'm always discovering something I'm not very good at doing, and while most of these shortcomings don't bother me, there are some things that I really wish I could do better.

1) Flirting. How to do it, how to not be awkward while doing it, and how to gauge whether or not someone else is flirting with me; these are all things way beyond my grasp.

2) Realizing that I can't change others. I think I'm relatively good at acknowledging the differences in those around me, but that doesn't stop the fact that I'd like to change little things to make people a little more suitable to my life, my tastes, or my goals.

3) Remembering the details. I used to be so good at this, but I think my memory is starting to fail me. I can't remember so many of the seemingly crucial moments in my life, and it makes me sad to know that I won't be able to replay these events.

4) All the other stuff, including spirituality, physicality, and intellect. I think that these can all be lumped together, though, because it's generally acknowledged that I'll never be as spiritual, athletic, or intelligent as I'd like to be. I'll just keep working toward it, though.

What things do you wish you were better at doing?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Let's All Do the Hop

Crutches aren't my friend. I don't relish the idea of hobbling through the (still) icy streets of Logan, but I'm ready to prove myself as I get back on my feet. After a quicky surgery on my foot this morning, I'm officially a one-footed wonder. (Note: I still have both feet, but only one is fully functioning. The other remains propped, iced, and casted in a lovely black boot.) It's amazing how my range of motion increases and decreases with my limited mobility. I find myself reaching farther and twisting awkwardly in order to avoid hopping. Maybe I'm just lazy, but I'm finding that the hop isn't my choice form of movement. I'll do anything to stay off the crutches; I've even resorted to asking my parents for help. What 23 year old does that? I thrive on the idea of independence (minus car insurance, gasoline, and a gallon of milk here or there), so hollering for a glass of water, pain medication, pillows, etc, is not really my idea of pampering. I feel pampered when I can shower and dress myself (which I'm still able to do, luckily). I feel independent in being able to drive my car without my mom freaking out about the clutch. It's only been 12 hours with the crutches and crippledom, but I'm really excited to rediscover my independence and all that comes along with it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

It's All a Facade

I know I come off as totally put together. Ha. What a joke. I'm beginning to see what a good actor I really am, especially if I've fooled you all into thinking that I know what I'm doing. I believe that RuPaul said it best when he described all of us as donning some sort of costume in order to make others believe something about us. Here's mine: a girl who wakes up at a decent hour in order to get a head start on the day. I take time to read, write, and expand my political viewpoints before embarking on the world to change some lives. In between moving experiences and grandiose adventures, I have time for baking, and I stay caught up on all important pop-cultural references (including Jersey Shore). I perform simple acts of service (most, anonymous), and I make sure that my family knows I love them with multiple phone calls to discuss the day's events. I am usually in bed by 10:30, although I make time for spiritual matters as a perfect end to my perfect day.


In truth, I don't have anything figured out, and all of the above descriptions are a lie (with a few exceptions... I let you figure them out). I don't know how to get a date, and I certainly don't know how to let a guy know I'm interested in him without coming off like a total freak. My talents do not lie in a flirtatious smile or a winning personality, but I think I'm pretty great, regardless. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I sometimes fall for my own act, which means I'm a better actor than even I think. My idea of perfection falls somewhere among the lies and the fact that I'm lying in my bed at 2:00 in the morning thinking up random things to post on a blog. I'm not anything more than these words, but I recognize that, and I'm willing to strive for something extra, just to prove that my life can really be as great as I make it out to be.

What does your costume look like?

Friday, January 29, 2010

A Post for Mr. Caulfield

As one of the first literary characters whom I grew to love, envy, even mourn for, I believe that this day would not be complete if I did not pay respect to my first crush, Holden Caulfield (in the realm of literature, that is). I believe that J.D. Salinger accomplished everything I wish to incorporate into my own writing. He gave readers the stream of consciousness narratives of young adults, perpetuating the everlasting youth of our country and our individual desires to feel something unique and apart from the whole. Holden Caulfield experienced life in a vacuum; he did things for himself, and he understood the politics of a world in which he could only change his own mind. I remember the summer when I read Catcher in the Rye. It was different than anything I'd ever read before, and yet it has stayed with me more than most novels I've read. From wandering through Central Park, to broken records saved for a sister, I know that Holden and all of Salinger's other creative characters make me the person I am.

Some great quotes from Mr. Caulfield himself:

"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth." --the opening lines of Catcher in the Rye

"Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody."

"I'm sick of just liking people. I wish to God I could meet somebody I could respect."

"I'm the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life."

"It's funny. All you have to do is say something nobody understands and they'll do practically anything you want them to."

"I hope to hell that when I do die somebody has the sense to just dump me in the river or something. Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetary. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you're dead? Nobody."

{Rest in Peace, Mr. Salinger}

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Through the Trumpeter's Tune

As I lie in my bed, letting Chris Botti serenade me to sleep, I let the soothing jazz create a memory within my mind. I love the way that music makes me nostalgic. I remember specific moments in my life with the songs that created the soundtrack to those summers, stormy nights, or train rides across the English countryside. In addition to these memories, music also has the ability to create an alternate reality for me. For instance, I know that somewhere in my future I will dance on hardwood floors with all the lights off and all the shades open (if you must know, this fantasy also takes place in a Manhattan high-rise apartment) to Michael Jackson's "Human Nature." My life's songs come in many tunes and lyrics. I find myself through unique instances of musical deja vu, and I know that I become more fully myself as I listen to the soundtrack of my life.

{Just a little snapshot of the beauty that is Chris Botti. As if his trumpeting weren't gorgeous enough.}

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Just a Little Pity Party

Instead of my obsessive compulsive alternating between facebook and gmail, I decided to be a little more productive and create a blog post. I really don't have anything new to say since... umm... my post three days ago, but I'll bore you nonetheless.

First, I must make a confession. I'm so sick of winter, I could spit. Except, then my spit would probably freeze, and I'd slip and fall on my butt. Two days ago I was in awe of the crystalized world of Logan, Utah, but today I'm not too happy about the shivering, slush, or haze. Granted, we had a few beautiful hours today between the snowstorm and dusk, but I'm really just ready for warm sunshine again. Anyway, the one thing I really can't change is the weather, so I must stop complaining.

The other little gripe I have to make goes along with the weather, but it's a lot more personal than the classic "coat or no coat?" conundrum. I'm ready to have a best friend again. I'm sick of planning things with my many different acquaintances, wondering if any of them really like me for more than a once a week taco outing or a Borders run. I hope this doesn't sound like a pity party, because for the most part, I am more than happy to be by myself. I have gotten used to the idea of planning and executing my own personal goals, but I'd still like to have that one friend who never fails me. I think the cold makes me a little bit more lonesome, especially when I see the other cuddling couples around me. I believe, though, that if I'm able to get through January and February without a broken heart or a broken leg (from slipping on the ice), I will be in tip-top shape. After twenty three years of insatiable independence, there is no way that I'm going to let myself get hung up on the mushy longings of so many dramatic girls. I'm much happier when I'm thinking of the ways that I will change my life, and, in due time, find the one person who will love me for who I am. Let us all resolve to be a little stronger, a little better, and a little warmer through these tough winter months.

{What I wouldn't give to be in the "Happiest Place on Earth," wearing sandals.}

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Such Is Life

The more I think about it, the more I have no clue what I'm doing. I can't seem to plan anymore, and the truth is, I don't want to plan. I'd like to let spontaneity rule the immediate future, but I'm afraid that this freedom will leave me alone and burnt out. I'm ready for something bigger than just a daily routine; I'm looking for a whirlwind, a storm, a fantasy. Give me a sheet of paper, let me write. I know what I want, but I don't know how to create it. I just need a life that feels like my own, not a lie that feels like a dream. I need one little push in order to soar. Please, someone, give me that boost.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

How Will I Measure This Year?

In keeping with my past two entries which focused on art and music, I'm stealing a well-known line from my favorite musical, Rent, to express my anticipation, anxiety, and awareness for the many unknown adventures that lie ahead of me. But first, let me measure the many events that happened over the past 525,600 minutes of my life.

Miles: I traveled over 10,000 miles (not counting what I clocked on my odometer) as I journeyed across America and Europe. I felt both the ties and loneliness that distance can create. I learned that even though I might be a few time zones away from my friends, we can be close in heart.

Sleepless Nights: I managed to complete college without any academic all-nighters. However, that does not discount the fact that I spent many evenings plowing through difficult books, writing impossible papers, or fretting about my future.

Births: I am in the stage of my life when many of my friends are starting their own families. While I have yet to be present for a live birth (I think I'll save that for a while, too), I am so excited for the growing stomachs and expanding hearts of my dear friends.

Deaths: I think this one rings a little truer to home than the births category. Fortunately, I did not lose anyone in my immediate or extended family (and I hope to continue that trend for many years to come), I experienced the loss of one of my ladies. Even though I got paid to work with her, I came to love her dearly over the three years that we spent together. Even more, I felt the tragic deaths of family friends and loved ones, and I hope that those people know how deeply I mourn for their losses. Also, RIP Michael, Farrah, Patrick, Bea, and all the other Hollywood people we lost in 2009.

Laughter: From great friends to inside jokes with myself, I think that I have learned how to laugh with greater abandon, and I have realized the wonderful blessing that humor is in the most difficult of times.

While I have fewer concrete plans at this point in my life than I think I ever have before, I'm excited to learn to depend on the Lord to plan my next set of adventures. I know that amidst all of the many trials I experienced in 2009, I would not have chosen any different route for the ultimate happiness I found. I pray that this new year holds even a minute portion of what my grand imagination dreams it does. I have quite a few minutes, hours, and days to figure it all out, though, and I'll keep you all posted on how that goes.