Friday, December 28, 2012

Oh, Paris.

"That Paris exists and anyone could choose to live anywhere else in the world will always be a mystery to me."

That pretty much sums up the thoughts that went through my mind when I rode the train back to London from our two and a half day excursion to the city of lights and the home of croissants. Sometimes, all I can think about is how I felt in Shakespeare & Company with The Picture of Dorian Gray in my hand, or how I felt standing at the top of the Eiffel Tower with blisters on my heels, or how I felt in MuseĆ© de Orsay with wonder in my heart. Suddenly I knew how other people in the world felt when they walked those streets because I felt it too, an indescribable, powerful overtaking. Amazement, fascination, longing.

Tonight I watched my first Woody Allen film and I loved it. Midnight in Paris made me giggle and it made me frown and it made me think. It was one of those movies that I know will drift into my thoughts more than a few times in the next week or so, and those are my favorite kind of films to watch. The kind that stick with you.

"That's what the present is. It's a little unsatisfying because life is unsatisfying."

What hit me and what I think I related to most in this film was how much Gil wanted to live in a different time and place. I totally feel that. I've always thought that it would be so much better if I lived in the 20's or the 40's, or any time before the Vietnam War really. Never quite satisfied with my life. I don't really know why that is or how to stop it. All I know is that I focus so much on checkpoints: "I'll be happy when I go to college," I say. Well, I'm in college. "I'll be happy once I'm used to BYU." Hey, guess what -- I'm used to it. "I'll be happy when [fill in the blank]." The big takeaway, though, and what Gil finally realized is that he would never be happy unless he learned to be present. Not like the past, present, future kind of present, I mean mentally aware and accepting of the right now. Not wishing or waiting for something to happen, but immersing oneself in the current surroundings and situation. He realized this and then he walked down the Seine with a cute girl and it rained and it was all romantic and blahdy blah. So maybe once I finally accept and immerse myself in my life -- in the right now -- I will magically run into a handsome man whose conversation is enough to make me love him in less than two hours time. It's a thought anyway.

Also, this song. Oh, Paris...


Monday, December 24, 2012

Blue skies are calling

I wrote a couple paragraphs. They were about my fears. My fears about next semester. Nervousness for school to start. Anxieties about new roommates. I got it all out. And, well... it's gone now.

Because I realized that none of that is important -- not now, not ever. I know that I'm nervous for everything to change, but things have to change, and they will whether I'm prepared for them to or not. Life does not wait. I know that what's most important in my life right now is my ability to embrace whatever comes next. Both my happiness and my inner peace depend on my willingness to do that.

Right now, everything is in motion. I have many decisions that are just kind of floatin' around up there, waiting for me to give them more attention. I do not intend to try to make these decisions now or even relatively soon. I'm just waiting, and as antsy as that makes me, it's what I've decided to do. It's what I feel I am supposed to do. I have no definitive plans for the future, and as someone who always has her life planned out, that terrifies me. Truly. But, you know, I have to be okay with that. And I will be.

Found this on Pinterest a while back. Always applicable.

Everything will be fine. Life is good; God is good. And things will work out in the end -- probably sooner, actually. I have complete faith in that. Until then, I'll just keep going, keeping an eye out for my blue skies. They're on their way. Merry Christmas. :)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Let's be best friends

Note: I started this post six days ago and never finished because I have been so unable to make a decision. Choosing a number 5 was excruciatingly difficult. Don't ask me why. But finally, and without further ado, I present to you... this. It's been a long time coming.

Last Sunday afternoon Sadie and I watched The Princess Diaries, and it didn't take me too long to decide that Amelia Mignonette Thermopolis Renaldi is so original, unique, creative, and cool. She rock climbs, does yoga, paints, and hangs out with her mom in her spare time. She loves her 'Stang more than most people. She sets aside her pride to help out her grandmother, who she eventually grows to really love. She eats corndogs with mustard, not ketchup (girl knows what's up). Basically what I'm saying is that she is what everyone should aspire to be but she doesn't know it and she doesn't care. Sadie and I therefore concluded that we really, really want to be friends with Mia Thermopolis. But then I thought, you know, I bet Anne Hathaway is this cool in real life, which then sparked thoughts about other actors who are probably really funny and nice in real life, too. And so, after much consideration, I present to you a list of famous women that I really want to be my best friend.

#5: Taylor Swift.

My number one reason for picking her is that she just seems so. nice. From what I've gathered from the few interviews I've seen of her, she's genuine, kind, quirky, and fun. Good qualities for a best friend. Am I wrong? Additionally, I really appreciate the honesty that she puts into her music and the self confidence it takes to do that. I do have to admit that her newest album didn't seem as consistent to me in terms of her personality and honesty coming through -- I felt like a few of the songs were so over-produced and mainstream that I couldn't see the Taylor in them. However, there are still songs I relate to, and I appreciate her insight and her ability to express herself through music and words. It's something that I wish I were better at. Also, we could spend hours jamming, which is always a good thing. Oh she's just so cute. Love me some T-Swizzle.

#4: Anne Hathway.

I'm willing to bet that she is not far from the yoga-loving, rock-climbing, ketchup-hating person that she plays in one of her earlier films, as previously mentioned. Also, she was Cat Woman, which means she got to kiss Christian Bale, which means that if all else fails, we will have something to talk about. At length. Additionally, she can sing, she cut off all of her hair for a role, which is something I greatly admire, and she plays the most dedicated maternal role ever to be imagined up in the history of all-time ever.

#3: Mae Whitman

It took all of three minutes for this girl to beat out Anne/Mia/Selina/Fantine. I admit, this is probably a shallow reaction, but the second I saw that picture on her Twitter account, I was sold. Also, her background is a teacup pig wearing rainboots. So I guess I'm a little bit superficial, and I'm totally judging a book by its cover here, but she just seems like an awesome individual! Search her name on Pinterest and tell me she's not the cutest person in the world. After scrolling through pictures and descriptions, I have come to the conclusion that we would get along really well. I love that she is not your typical Hollywood star. She's not tall, she's not stick thin, she's not gorgeous. She's just normal. She's real. Also, she was in Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World, which earns her 100 points automatically, and she's in The Perks of Being A Wallflower, which I have yet to see, but again -- major points.

#2: Emma Stone

Hold the phone. She is doing The Bronwyn Face. I shouldn't need to say anything more for you to understand how awesome this girl is, but I will anyway. Just watch one of her many hilarious interviews -- she is just as funny, if not more so, in real life as she is in the roles she plays. You realize that the "character" she plays in Easy A is just herself, right? And let's not forget that in addition to being hilarious, quirky, and fun, she is also stellar in more serious parts (e.g. Skeeter in The Help). When she was a teenager she presented a Powerpoint to her parents to convince them to let her move to California to kick-start her acting career. And she's dating the cutest lil' Brit you'll ever lay eyes on.

#1: Zooey Deschanel.

I mean, was there ever any contest?

The thing is, I know she's exactly like the characters she plays in movies, TV shows, you name it. That's fine. I don't want to ber her friend because I think she's this incredibly diverse actor. I know she's just like Jess from New Girl, just with a little more common sense and self-awareness. I legitimately don't think she could be skanky if she tried, and that's the thing -- she doesn't try because she doesn't want to be. I respect that. Additionally, she's smart and insightful. The internet tells me that she once said this: "In an ideal world no one would talk before 10am. People would just hug because waking up is really hard." Doctrine, my friends. And her Twitter feed is hilarious. Plus, she's got an in with JGL, who, after Heath Ledger died (RIP, my love), moved to number one on my list of Men That I Would Marry Without A Second's Hesitation If They Asked Me. (There's only two people on that list now.) Side note: Once I had a dream that he was LDS and we were at a party. We were sitting in some basement with a pool table and a sink, and whilst we were sitting six inches apart on a red velvet couch, and he asked me on a date. It was awesome. But really, back to the subject at hand -- more than anything, I would love to spend days on end just sitting with these two, harmonizing with Zooey as Joe played his guitar and threw down the occasional beat(box).

So yes. Zooey, if you're ever in the area, I'd be happy to show you around our happy little valley. Or I'll just go wherever you wanna go, I mean you could probably fly us to Australia and we could romp around with some koalas. I bet you'd enjoy that. Because I would. And because we would be best friends.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pre-Finals Week Blues

One time I was sitting in a library, with Jennie at a desk not too far behind me, because it was the week before finals and that always means going to the library, when I realized that I wouldn't be going to bed for at least another four hours because I still had six pages to write; well, that one time is actually this time, meaning right now, and by that I mean I am so beyond screwed because, like I said, six pages you guys -- six freaking pages -- all of which will have to be proofread and edited and perfectified (and yes, I am completely aware that I just made up a word, but I bet you like it just much as I do) and then printed and stapled and finished, done, destroyed like the one ring that ruled them all in the fiery depths of Mount Doom, but hopefully I, unlike poor Mr. Baggins, will be able to keep my index finger, as I am incredibly fond of it (more so than I am of my other fingers even, seeing as it is the least crooked -- oh yes my fingers are terribly crooked, and I will attribute that to my incessant knuckle cracking) and I do not wish to be a nine-fingered woman, although I suppose there are worse things I could be...

Like this. This would be worse.

Anyway. How was that for a long sentence? Holleratcha.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

It's been a while

Hello, Blogging World. Yes, I know it's been a while. I'm sorry I've been so MIA lately. No, no, it's nothing you did--I've just had a lot going on. What's that you ask? Well, it's a long story... No, it's not really a long story. You're right. That's just what people say when they really don't want to elaborate. Okay, so I don't want to talk about it. Can we move on?

Anyway. I wanted to address some things that have been happening in my life lately, more for my sake than yours. My thoughts are not even remotely organized so I'm going to try the best I can, but it's going to be a bit sporadic. But hopefully not more-than-a-bit sporadic.

Um, I have at least half a dozen blog posts saved as drafts that I never got around to finishing or publishing (obviously); I should probably finish those. That's going to be my goal this upcoming week. Except for one draft that was never intended to be published, it was just kind of notes to myself while I was on the internet one night and I figured out something that I promise is only relevant to me and none of you and had to write it down. That's all. ...Where was I going with this? Oh yeah, there are a few things I wanted to address. Right? Right.

I have some rad news: I am going to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I'm working on my papers right now and I am thrilled. What an opportunity. But no, I don't have my call yet, and no, my papers aren't actually in yet. I wish they were! But something came up and they will take longer than expected. I didn't kill anyone, the BYU Health Center is just super booked so when I had to make a return appointment, they didn't have any openings until January. So they won't be in until January, at least. I promise I will let the world know the moment they are in and the moment I get my call and the moment I find out where I'm going. You can count on it. Let's all heed the old saying that goes, 'a watched cookie never burns*,' or something like that. Just... It'll happen when it happens.

...But this is the picture that the Twelve will see when they decide where in the world I am going to spend a year and a half of my life :D My hair is, sadly, no longer this vibrantly red. It's quite faded, more like auburn now. I miss it. And I'm going to miss it even more when I go back to my natural color for the mish, but hey, who wants to be worrying about her roots when she's trying to serve the Lord? Not this girl.

So yeah. Mission. So stoked. Anyway... Okay I swear there were at least five points that I wanted to make. I should've made an outline.

I'm going to stop right here with a solemn promise to blog more and to get all these drafts published. For realsies. I mean, I'm not going to publish them all in one day and completely overwhelm you (and more importantly, me) but I will get them done. Pinky swear.

Oh, and you all deserve to hear this. Just listen.

*For the record, I know the actual saying. You don't have to mourn my lack of cultural knowledge, I know it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Sam is the only reason I've seen Princess and the Frog.
Nobody wanted to play Full Contact.
We made lists, tanned, laughed, danced. A happy day.
It was Derek's birthday so we went on an adventure.
I stole her a chapstick so she stole me these sunglasses.
I lost the shorts I was wearing in this picture.
Katy Perry's "Firework" has never been so much fun.
We dried off in the men's restroom.
One mud fight and my clothes were never the same.
I'm heavier than I look, so that was impressive.
The judgment from the woman behind me is my favorite.
I was sadder than I look that day.
The manager of the caf asked us to shower next time.
We picked these from our courtyard. Yep.
Good friends. Mitra left us that day.
The most make up I wore all year.
Hawaiian sunsets. It's no wonder I was distracted.

Sometimes it hurts that I'm not still there.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Cloud Atlas

I wish I had the words.

I am so often scared that I have forgotten how to feel things. That I go through life and don't notice small things, beautiful things. That I can't remember how to relate to people or open up. Be honest. I feel that I don't have meaningful conversations and I fear that I am forgettable. What if I've forgotten how to relate to people? What if I don't know how to fall in love? I'm afraid that I am incapable of higher emotion. I can feel momentary elation. I can get scared. I can cry because I'm sad. In fact, I experience these things all the time. But what about joy. Empathy. Loyalty. Passion. Love. I don't know where my passion went. I don't know when it went. I just remember walking in the courtyard of the jfsb one day during winter semester and talking to my mom on the phone, tearing up because I'd realized that it was gone. I hadn't noticed it leave. I want to feel things strongly again. I want courage, peace, excitement, devotion, spirit. Happiness? Maybe. Some days I wonder... Most of all, I want to love with all my soul, love with a love that is more than love. I want to feel connected with the world around me. After all, "our lives are not our own." There is something so much greater than what I am. Some times, like tonight, I am reminded of that so strongly that I can't believe I ever forgot. But I do. I forget, and then grace is kind enough to remind me again. Then, I am hopeful. I have hope that I will one day be able to feel strongly and passionately; that I won't fear love, but embrace it; that I will see beauty in everything, and not be ashamed to cry; and that, after all this, I won't forget, but grow in my remembrance and passions. When that day comes, I will be able to express how I feel.

But I don't -- at least, not the right ones. So just listen to this. Listen, and feel.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I wrote a poem.

It's not a very good poem. I am by no means a good poet, but, by virtue of the fact that I just wrote a poem, I suppose I am one, albeit a lousy one. Anyway. I wrote this for my English class because I was told to and because I need to remind myself of my dreams every once in a while.
(I am making this seem like it's not a big deal to me because if it's not a big deal, then it doesn't matter if it's any good or not. I can just pretend I don't care. But I do care. I care a lot. Just for the record.)

Haven't any of you ever had a dream?

Okay. Without further ado:

To sleep long and deep, with dancing dreams that keep me calm
to sip cocoa by campfires, snuggled up with my boy
to wear flowers in my hair
run barefoot through a field
and twirl, sing, breathe
Not to change to fit others, or pretend I'm not scared,
or to realize after all this time I was wrong
but to finally feel like myself
and know it's because of you
and watch you smile.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

For reals this time

I feel stupid for blogging about this. First a post about hair, and now this?? Oh well. It needs to be done.

Things are about to get personal. Are you ready?

I'm uncomfortable with my body. I have low self confidence, getting dressed is the most frustrating five minutes of my day, and I never think I look good. Listen, I know I'm not fat. You don't need to insist that I'm not fat, because I know. But I'm over average, and I don't like that. I know I have infinite worth and I know I'm a daughter of God, so don't be concerned. I just don't feel awesome, and I should! I'm 20! I should be an irresistable freakin' babe. But instead, I find myself lazy, lethargic, and, well... squishy. I am squishy.

Health-wise, college has not been awesome to me. I gained 20 pounds my freshman year. When I came back home for the summer, I lost half of that. I hung out around at 150 pounds for the duration of my sophomore year, until I went to London and gained about 15 more pounds. Don't worry -- every Nutella-smothered biscuit and crepe I ate was delicious. I regret nothing. But I haven't lost any of that weight, and it's been almost four months since I got home. It is time to do something about it.

When I was a senior in high school, I dropped a lot of weight for prom. The truth of the matter is I had gotten my dress from a vintage store, and thus there was only one of it, and therefore only one size. And that one size happened to be too small. But I was absolutely in love with the dress, and it was only $60, which for a prom dress was a total steal. So I bought it anyway. I then cracked down and followed this hardcore diet that I would never recommend to anyone. I literally only ate a limited amount of fruits, nuts, eggs, and vegetables. In two weeks, during which I was very cranky, I lost ten pounds. But I looked HOT.

I don't want to be unhealthy this time around, but I do want to see if I can get back down to that weight, because I felt great. And I want to feel like that again. So, without further ado, a progress/goal/chart/picture thingy:

starting weight: 164 (10/3/2012)

goal weight 1: 160
goal weight 2: 155
goal weight 3: 150
goal weight 4: 145
goal weight 5: 140

ultimate goal weight: 135 lbs.

Feel free to offer all the words of encouragement that your brain can come up with. And by that I mean please, please, please help me stay motivated. I'm notorious for giving up. And I'm tired of starting over.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

70 Reasons to Smile

I made a goal to write down five things each day that I was grateful for/happy about that day. Here they are.

17 September
1. SouthEnd Market had cheap vanilla soymilk. I got some and it was delicious.
2. We watched a movie in my first class, which relaxed me after a stressful morning.
3. Brother Haws offered some beautiful insights. I got a lot out of sections 88 and 93 of the Doctrine and Covenants.
4. My roommates love me despite my many, many faults.
5. We had a delicious late night snack thanks to the collaboration of Taylor's and Sadie's foods.

18 September
6. I didn't have to go into work till 2:30, so I had time to finish my homework!
7. Anna and Becca let me borrow their clothes so I didn't have to go to class in my Tucanos uniform.
8. I had a good, long talk with Natalie.
9. I bought cinnamon graham crackers :)
10. I remembered how much I love the song Boogie Shoes by KC & The Sunshine Band, so I found it on Spotify and listened to it. A lot of times.

19 September
11. Sadie helped me with my project.
12. Becca let me borrow her bike.
13. Joe fixed our dryer!
14. I got to see 83, all of whom I have missed dearly.
15. Sadie and I went on a very nice bike ride.

20 September
16. Jennie shared her chips and salsa with me.
17. Spotify has all the Disney music. So naturally, I listened to all the Disney music.
18. My teacher told my class that our logo designs were good :)
19. It was cool enough to wear a sweater for a little bit.
20. Heavenly Father answered a prayer and I recognized it immediately.

21 September
21. Grant and I had a heart to heart.
22. I think I am getting better at my job!
23. Becca and co. visited me after work!
24. I stuck to my goal.
25. My motivation to stick to my goal never left.

22 September
26. Sadie got engaged!
27. My break was really relaxing.
28. I was reminded that is important to slow down.
29. I resolved to not let myself get stuck like last year.
30. Becca and I had a heart to heart :)

23 September
31. I got to go to the Brigham City temple dedication!
32. I took a great nap.
33. Heart to heart with Parker (a lot of heart-to-hearts lately).
34. I watched the trailer for and got really excited about Les Miserables.
35. I enjoyed our Relief Society presidency meeting, as always.

24 September
36. I slept in (on accident, but it was still great to get an extra hour and a half of snoozin').
37. I bought grapes.
38. I exchanged my shoes for ones that aren't broken, and boy are they cute.
39. I drank chocolate milk.
40. I got a good grade on my paper.

25 September
41. Mumford & Sons' new album came in the mail today.
42. Mumford & Sons' new album came in the mail today.
43. Mumford & Sons' new album came in the mail today.
44. Mumford & Sons' new album came in the mail today.
45. Mumford & Sons' new album came in the mail today.

26 September
46. I listened to Babel all day and fell in love with Mumford all over again.
47. I wore my mom's comfy sweater.
48. Jennie helped me think of things that I'm grateful for.
49. Rachel closed, so I got home 30 minutes earlier than I would have.
50. I found a free pattern for a hat I want to knit.

27 September
51. I saw Hawaii friends at Tucanos.
52. I got to talk to my mom, albeit it only for a few minutes.
53. I read me some Harry Potter.
54. I got to know some of the girls in my ward a little bit better.
55. I survived another day.

28 September
56. I talked to my dad on the phone for a little bit.
57. I saw Katie Belliston in the library.
58. I saw Hayley Rozsa at Tucanos.
59. I talked to Alex on the phone.
60. Will kept me company while I closed.

29 September
61. I didn't have to work, so I actually got some sleep!
62. I got to go to the Relief Society session of General Conference.
63. Alex and I went to Walmart.
64. I got strawberries and fruit snacks.
65. Mumford brought me some comfort. Comfort & Sons. Heh heh.

30 September
66. Church was so, so, SO wonderful.
67. I got to go to ward council. Which I love.
68. We had crepes with Relief Society!
69. Everyone helped clean up.
70. We got home taught :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A silly blog post about hair

I know I'm going to hate myself for this. I know it. I know it.

But GOSHDANGIT don't I just look so cute with bangs and short(ish) brown hair!
October 2011
It's long right now. I wish it were shorter. I finally grew out my bangs, what I've been trying to do for years -- but JK I want bangs again. I always want my hair to be what it is not. But I think that is true of me in all aspects of life. I want what I can't have.

What puzzles and bothers me even more than my brain's impeccable knack for desiring what I don't have, though, is my disturbing lack of effort to actually get what I want. Maybe it's because I know that once I get it, I'll want the opposite. Or maybe I'm just scared of trying because I wouldn't know what to do when I actually achieved something that I've always dreamed about. Maybe I'm afraid that no matter how hard I try, it won't work.

Whatever it is, I'm sick of it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Quality Alone Time

I realized something about myself.

It's something that I've probably known all along, intrinsically. But I was able to put it into words yesterday, which made me extremely conscious of it. Therefore, it feels like a revelation.

Alex and I were driving to Walmart. We were talking, as friends typically do when they're together. He asked me if I watched the game on Saturday.

"Look at my face," I said, drawing a circle around it in the air with my pointer finger. "Does it look like I watched the game?"

He laughed. "I don't know, you might have."

"Well, I didn't. I was at work when it started anyway. I would've watched it when I got home if I had been with people."

"I feel like you say that about everything..."

It's that qualifier: "if I had been with people." We proceeded to discuss how I never go out of my way to watch TV shows -- I only watch them when in the company of others. I don't seek out movies that I want to see -- I watch them when other people want to. There are so many things that I only do when I'm with friends who are doing those things. It's weird.

"So," Alex asked, "What do you do by yourself?"

I thought about it. And honestly? I couldn't come up with anything. "I think..." I said slowly, intrigued by the words that were about to come out of my mouth, "I think I'm just usually with people."

This was new to me. I mean, I've always known that I like to be around people, but I guess what I never thought about was the extent to which this enjoyment goes. I really do not prefer to be alone. It's not that I'm scared of being along or I feel uncomfortable by myself -- quite the contrary. I appreciate alone time. Going to see Jersey Boys by myself was arguably one of the best nights of my life. But I don't need as much quality alone time as most people do. Lots of people need hours every day to be by themselves or they'll go crazy; I could spend every waking hour of my day with someone I enjoyed being around and remain perfectly sane. I really, really just like to be around people. People that I like to be around, anyway. Heh. I like being around people that I like to be around. I also like to write sentences that are redundant and repetitive (see what I did there?).

Thinking about it, though, I do spend time alone... Yeah, I do. I take my alone time before I go to sleep. That's why I stay up fairly late -- I listen to music and think about things and take three times too long to finish homework because I "multitask" (read: peruse Pinterest and le facebook). Such is life.

In other news, I bought The Little Rascals yesterday. It was in the 5 dollar bin at Wally World. Who wants to watch it with me? Because heaven knows I'm not going to watch it by myself.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Goals I Can't Keep

I just looked at my blog and remembered that I said I was going to run every morning for ten straight days. Well, as you've probably guessed by the title of this post, that has been discontinued. I stopped after the second morning because my shins were hurting so bad that I couldn't run for more than 30 seconds at a time. I hate this fact about my body. My shins are so weak and they just ache! All the time! And it's the worst because I actually have the desire to run. For the first time in my life, I would like to become more of a runner. But my body won't let me.

What I'm trying to say is that I would like, for once in my life, to make some goals that I will be able to accomplish. I don't have a problem making goals; I always have loads of motivation at the start. But it always, always goes away or I make the goals too grand and impossible to reach and so I seldom ever FINISH anything! asedfghjkluyutfrdersdfxgcfhgvjbk. I'm so frustrated.

It's okay guys. Today has been rough. But things will get better. In the meantime, here are some goals for now until October 1st (I'm just gonna keep this short for now in hopes that I will stick it out to the end):

1. Write down 5 things I am grateful for every day.
2. Finish all weekend homework on Saturday so I don't have to wake up early on Monday morning to do it
3. Leave for class 5 minutes earlier than I should. I don't want to be late anymore.

Annnnd that's it, folks. Like I said, keepin' it simple. I feel a bit like I'm spread too thin, so it's time to backtrack and take smaller steps. I'll survive this semester if I take it one thing at a time...

This song makes me feel at peace. Give it a listen :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

So this is what it comes down to.

I shouldn't make decisions at 3:26 in the morning, but conversations with Jennie just lead to things like this.

I'm going to go running every morning every morning for the next 10 days. Well, I'll run as much as I can -- I guarantee that a lot of it will be walking. But here's the thing. I don't feel good about my body, and I want to. That's it. I know I'm a daughter of God and I know I have infinite worth and I am a beautiful snowflake blah blah blah but I also know that we're supposed to become the best people we can be, and for me that means getting a handle on myself. Controlling my bad habits and developing healthy ones. Right? Okay. So by all means, keep tabs on me. Make sure I do this. It's only ten freaking days. That's nothing. I've just got to do it for ten straight days because I know that a week is too short to make a noticeable difference and two weeks seems ominous... ;) So ten days. Just to see what can happen. And hopefully I will be motivated by the change. It doesn't even matter if anyone else notices. If I notice... Well, that's all I need.

So yeah. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

7.5 Weeks in Pictures

It's about time, I know.

On our first day in London together, we journeyed to St. Paul's.

We also took goofy pictures of us reading British newspapers.

On our first Sunday, I decided to walk home from church with a few people. To save time (and to see some beautiful things), we cut through Hyde Park. Despite the shortcut, it still took us about half an hour -- and I was wearing brand new heels. I spent the latter half of the walk clinging to Jared's arm for support while I wobbled along on swollen, blistering feet. Lesson learned.

Hyde Park might be my favorite place in London.

Just outside Shakespeare's house in Stratford upon Avon. A few of us spent too much time talking to a tour guide and finding out some dirty secrets about William and his family, like how Billy Sr. was involved in black market trade and Billy Jr. was basically a player. We then got in trouble for falling behind the group. Worth it.

We paid our respects to the most notable and influential playwright of all time. RIP, William Shakespeare. You are missed.

But we will pay homage to you by naming our rowboats after your characters.

I can't remember where I was when I took this photo, unfortunately. Pretty though.

Westminster Abbey was a lovely time.

See that there stone froggy that I'm holding? If I'm remembering correctly, the museum man told me that it was over 2,000 years old. Cool. But this is also the very same museum man that didn't know you had to look through the lens -- he just thought my viewfinder didn't work. British people amuse me.

We saw this poster in almost every tube station we set foot in, and the only reason we wanted to see it was because it has two of our favorite actors.

This was such a happy day! 221b Baker Street, baby. And take a gander at how good I look in that hat!

After visiting my favorite fictional detective's made-up place of residence, we took a stroll through Regent's Park. And took lots of pictures on this bench. Natalie is too cute.

I feel so artsy looking at the sun come through like that. Mm mmm.


Good. Just how I like.

This was in Paris. I think this girl belongs in a mini cooper, don't you? And a French one at that? Beautiful.

Midnight in Paris. (It might have only been 10pm... Might have been.)

Hands down my favorite place in all of France thus far.

If you could only see how many notes, just like this one, covered the walls of a nook inside the bookstore. One little shop has touched so many people's lives, and it continues to do so. I've left my mark, and hopefully people who visit there will see how it's changed me. Then they'll be inspired too, just as I was.

Ms. Austen is gone, but her flowers live on.

Stourhead Gardens. I'm going to have to say that I think that's a misnomer -- it should be called Stourhead Kingdom of Dreams or something. Garden connotes something small. This place was awe-inspiring.

How can I ever repay the experience that I had here?

Breaking news: I will eat fish! As long as it's deep fried, drenched in vinegar, and smothered in brown sauce. And served with chips. MMM.

Scotland. You are so lovely.

Overlooking Edinburgh.

These little gems were all over the side of the Scottish Parliament building. What a contrast to England's Houses of Parliament!

Of course I bought the hat, why wouldn't I buy the hat?

Fountain's Abbey. I could not have thought of a better way to spend my 20th birthday than to lie in that field forever.

I'm gonna go ahead and say that I'm probably just a happier person than everyone else. There is no other reason I would be making that face.

I did not get to spend enough Sundays with these people.

My dear Aunt Shirley and Uncle Graham. This blessed couple let me stay with them for 3 days, though they did much more than house me. They showed me the Welsh seaside, introduced me to my family, and told me all about the relatives that are no longer living. They accepted me immediately, though they'd only met me once before when I was nine years old. They offered me love and generosity and open hearts and minds.  I love them so much and will never forget the time that I spent with them, short as it was. Cried when I had to leave.

I spend my last morning in London sitting on a bench in Hyde Park, listening to Sigur Ros, and writing in my journal. And snapping photos of random passersby.

27 Palace Court. A weird but comforting home for a short, but blessed amount of time. Sigh.

I'm not sure I will ever be able to explain the kind of experience I had in the UK. I felt like a different person a lot of times -- my behavior was often out of the ordinary, for me, and it was startling. For a time, I didn't understand myself, and I thought I was trying to be someone else, which was intensely frustrating, as you can imagine. But I soon realized that I wasn't someone else -- I was just letting a different side dominate my actions, a side that doesn't often get the spotlight. I was more reserved and observant, which served me well in those two months. I was introspective and inquisitive. I analyzed other people's actions and motivations and learned so much about others and, more importantly, about myself. I can safely say that after spending seven and a half weeks in London, I understand myself and my emotions. At least, I understand a lot more than I did before. There are still many things that remain a mystery to me, and they probably always will. I don't know. What I do know is that I have changed and that I am (hopefully) a better person now. I am forever grateful for the time I spent there, and even more grateful that I am now back. Good things come to an end, and that's okay. In the words of Dr. Seuss, "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."

See? I'm smiling. :)