what Christmas means to me

yesterday on my art blog i posted a little sketchity sketch i did about what Christmas means to me (when i really think about it).

it was an interesting experience to look inside and remind myself what matters most. a few times, i was a little surprised about what came out of my hand.
among these things were:

the gift of self
stories by candlelight
pure wonder and excitement of children
new hearts
hope for the future 

so i hope your holiday has been lovely.
or whatever you needed it to be.
if not, that's okay.
because really, Christmas is always in season
so you always have the chance to feel its spirit.

what does Christmas mean to you?


two dollars

you know what's awesome?

the sudden wonder and excitement on a little kid's face when you decide to give him a gold dollar instead of the regular 25 cents to buy hot chocolate from his little stand on the side of the street. and the quiet gratitude and appreciation expressed when you give his older brother the same reward.


this year, i feel like i've been waaaaay less affected the commercialization of the holiday (though resulting in a total of zero gifts for close friends and family with the holiday right around the corner), but i also feel like i've participated less in the sacred and special moments as well.

probably because i've been preoccupied with post-graduation decisions and stress with freelance jobs here and there and preparing for a few more art shows (read: preparing=unnecessarily fretting about) as well as riding some emotional rollar coasters. and also being genuinely concerned and heavy-hearted about recent difficult situations in the lives of many people whom i deeply care about.

how do you let the Christmas spirit linger in you? as i write this, i realize that i had the same problem last year. but  then i found some joy.

earlier this month, my mom read me a Christmas story that made me want to do something similar to the opportunity i had last year -- which was one of the most miraculous and joy-felt experiences i've ever had. and what made that opportunity so great? i'm honestly thinking here....

making little kids happy.
working with other people who share the same desires and excitement to serve.
doing something for someone that they could not do for themselves.

all of this put so much joy into my heart. pure joy made out of love. all sorts of love can bring joy: complex, simple, courageous, romantic, platonic, charity-filled....love is love and it can come from and for anyone. and as we remember why the Savior came into the world in the first place, we feel hope. hope, joy, love.

so as Christmas quickly approaches, i'm going to be a little more mindful of the joy, hope and love in my life. i will focus on service and on my Savior. and when i can't figure out why i'm stuck in a rut, i'm going to do something that incorporates an aspect from that handy list up there.

join me, if you'd like. it's Christmas time!

Source: piccsy.com via Kristin on Pinterest


prone to wander

i was just reading this scripture and realized that my online scripture journal thing had a note attached to it from september 14, 2012.

i clicked on it and here's what it said:

we always put our trust somewhere. sometimes we trust in ourselves, and sometimes in others. some days we trust in failure or we trust that disappointment will be the best path. if we instead put our trust in God, he will transform it into support and we will feel his power sustaining us as we walk the long and hard roads.

well-played, past self. i needed that today.

specifically, i needed to believe that applies to not only me, but to all those around me who are struggling.



[starting mid-yesterday]

dear bfa paper: not to make everything else jealous, but you will be the best part about this post.

dear audiobook about the pythagorean theorem: it's been, uh, riveting. quality controlling you. but let's not stay up til 3 am anymore, mmm?

dear nosebleed: that was cute of you to stop by. you know. RIGHT when i was going to bed after saying goodnight to audiobook.

[this morning]

dear nosebleed: oh! hi again. thanks for greeting me this morning; you must've known i was probably gon' feel lonely. but maybe you could send, like, flowers or a cute boy to greet me in the future? so you can, you know, sleep in or take a day off or something.

dear headache: ah. i see you're with nosebleed.

(dear sleep: i thought we had a deal!)

dear only clean contact container: that little ski-jump in the sink and flipping in the air thingy was pretty talented. +10 points for landing directly into the toilet (i couldn'ta made you do that if i tried).

dear today: um, it's 9:36 and it's been great so far but is there maybe like a re-start button or something that i could hit? ya know. just for kicks.

dear audiobook: ......and so. we meet again.


dancing with a little girl heart

i've been perusing my blog's...*cough* 85 drafts. 

i was looking for the one with the words writtten below. i'm publishing it now because i danced a bit this morning (it had been a very long time since i'd done so), and i just accidentally perfectly classified this type of dancing. which is the title of this post. 

monday june 6, 2011. 11:31am -- 

i just realized something.

i spent 3.5 hours writing in my journal this morning because my head was about to explode, and so was my heart.

so after i used my journal as my pensieve, as i so often do, i was completely filled with emotions. tons of them. all mixed.

i put on a song that was stuck in my head yesterday. it was SO VERY appropriate for what i've been feeling and experiencing.

i danced to it.

and i danced HARD.

i realized something and commented to my mom -- i am a pretty alright dancer sometimes. sometimes = when i'm driven by emotion. she said, yeah, you won't let me watch you now, but when i used to watch you dance, you were always so expressive. it was wonderful.

then i realized: i have very little formal technique on which to base my dancing, so emotion is the only driving force behind the way i move my body. which is both empowering and limiting and either way, very honest: when the emotion is gone, so is the dancing.

it's thrilling, being driven and moved by pure emotion.
but also frustrating, to reach the end of your ability.


thanksgiving shortcuts

hey there.

may i defer to two thanksgiving posts instead of writing one at this moment?

this, (read this one to find information about an AMAZING exhibit that the utah people need to see in the next TWO DAYS, as well as some left-handed drawings)


this. (read the end to find out about the best service i've had the opportunity go participate in for some time! and to find a lovely photographer's work!)


oh -- to reward you for hanging around this blog, here's a picture of my adorable niece starting off her thanksgiving meal right.

hope your thanksgiving was wonderful!


who needs a throne of comfort anyway

first item of business: my show opening was a success. i was so grateful. eventually i will have pictures to share and stories to tell. and today is the last day that it will be up; i have to remove it tomorrow.

secondly, a poorly written but very sincere thought from about five minutes ago:

have you ever done something that took a lot out of you --a lot of emotionally vulnerability-- and to your hesitant relief, the results turned out just fine?

and so you went a little further along your path, treading lightly and playing it safe,
but then the smallest thing just pulls the rug out from under you?

and you feel like you toppled off of your great red cushy throne of comfort that you worked so desperately hard to climb up into. and now you're temporarily scared to do the tiniest of vulnerable things?

cuz that's how i'm feeling right now.
and i can't even put my finger on why, exactly.

it's not a big deal,
but i don't like the feeling.
it'll pass.
perhaps it is a temporary vulnerablilty hangover.

in the meantime, how do you get out of this?


sweat, blood, tears and my artist statement

i sent an email for a friend to edit my artist statement this morning. 

the subject line was the same as the title of this post and it started like this:
my eyes are bloodshot and puffy.
my lips are chapped, and along with my knuckles, they are bleeding. 
i have some massive bruises from sleeping on the hard studio floor. my head has a continual dull pounding and my body is aching. 
i'm gonna look like i've been beat up at my show.
or beat up by my show.
but i'm almost there.
and it's been worth it.
so here is my artist statement...
steph took this  (pink hair for halloween!)
and blah blah blah.

it has been worth it. every bit of it.

my reception is in an hour and we'll see how everyone else likes it. i hope it resonates with people and i hope they can derive some sort of hope or comfort in the understanding that they aren't alone in dealing with hard things. i hope it brings unity? or determination?

i hope lots of things.
but all i can do is make sure i've done the best i can.

and i am really proud of it.
i know i could probably do better,
but i did the best i could.

so yes. i'm really proud of what i have.

and you can come see for yourself if you'd like. :) here is the post about it with details.


a [lovely] day

yesterday wasn't nearly as productive as it needed to be.
i didn't compose like i'd planned.

so, i went to bed at 11:30pm (yes! yes i did!) and i woke up at 7:06 am this morning.
i read scriptures
and did some yoga.

then i made some goals for myself for this day,
and decided that it will be fantastic.

then i found this:

and i decided i am going to follow this advice--every bit of it--through my busy today, and i'm going to prove it to be true.


why can't we be friends

dear every printer on campus::
i see we are in a cold war.
but i WILL finish my project in spite of you.
*angry eyes*

dear muffins at L&T::
you taste funky and quite frankly i prefer the rolls.
but i'm sure you have a sweet spirit.

dear mountains::
you're beautiful and you're taunting me.
why can't we just be together?

dear sleep::
fare thee well.
we'll meet again after my opening reception.

dear BFA project::
it would really speed things up if you could start painting yourself.
you know, carry your half of the load. thanks.

dear BFA research paper::
ha! i didn't even see you there!
...probably because you aren't. yet.

dear fresh air::
you're, well, a breath of fresh air.
but i suppose i'm not telling you anything you didn't know.


freak out and throw stuff

i just decided.
i don't care what they say. 




a little bit of still

i'm painting late tonight.

in the midst of figuring out a technical problem, it donned on me that i should move my car closer to the building.

welcoming the reprieve, i grabbed my jacket and walked outside.
there, i was pleasantly surprised.

the night is much warmer than i'd predicted and though it's dark, it feels surprisingly friendly.

i got to my car and realized that i hadn't eaten dinner, so i drove to a near almost-healthy fast-ish food place.

costa vida it was. i was probably in there for fifteen minutes as a very kind worker helped me construct a very tasty salad. because of the hustle of the bowling alley next door as well as the buzz of the patrons, i'd forgotten about the night.

and so for the second time, i walked outside and felt like i walked into a brief vacuum of warm, welcoming silence.

brief, as in a few seconds.

but still, i was grateful for it.

after i drove back and parked (not as close as i'd previously intended), i decidedly jogged back to my building, though i was carrying my food. the wind had finally picked up, though it wasn't at all chilly. i reveled in this change of pace almost like a little kid, as i briskly crossed the short distance through the dark. the wind blew the leaves up around me and my footfalls felt light. i wished that i could run for real tonight, sans-food and sans-art project.

but all the same, i feel better and i think that the night breathed some life into me again.
at least, enough to make some awesome things happen tonight.


inspiration, anyone?

if you're looking for it, you should look here. :)

Come listen to living prophets
(click photo for the fb event)
saturday and sunday.
all sorts of awesome.
check it out here. 



i quite like this.

"I may sound old-fashioned, but I want to think all women should be treated like I want my wife, daughters, and granddaughters to be treated. I notice today that good manners—like standing up when a woman enters the room, helping a woman with her coat, letting her enter an elevator first, taking her arm to cross the street—are sometimes considered unnecessary or a throwback. These are habits I could never break, nor would I want to. I realize today a lot more women are taking care of themselves than in the past, but no woman is offended by politeness." —Frank Sinatra


weeks 3-6ish :: time

[first off, random thought: there's nothing like some good live jazz music to get a day going right.]

i haven't been as faithful in reporting my time management as i was. mainly because of two reasons: 1. i started stinking at time management and 2. blogging about it would result in comparatively wasting my time.

BUUuuuut---i've been doing better the last week and a half!

and this is why:

sometimes i intentionally left my phone at home while i worked on my project

conversely, i left my laptop in the studio a couple times when i went home. got in bed in the 11 o'clock hour once or twice! i realized that my computer distracts me much more than my phone.

accepting that each day is new and some days will be good and others not so much

setting guidelines and rules for myself

deciding on three words that will describe my day, and always coming back to those, mentally repeating them over and over. this honestly helps so much. i'm not a huge proponent of writing on oneself, but i wanted to put them where i'd constantly see them.

so for a few days this week, mine were:

it took a few days, but i OWNED this to-do list, with the help of these words
also, here's an interesting article on the creativity of the wandering mind 

...as well as what successful people do for the first hour of their work day.

let me know what you think! lastly, you can check here for sporadic updates on my actual bfa project. :]


ten years later and still

i ran into my old journals today.

thanks to a challenge from my dad, i have a pretty good record of my life written by my own hand from 6th grade til college.

i picked up a journal just now, and rifled through a few pages. as my eyes skimmed, some of the words caught and held their attention. i ended up reading a good amount of my entries from when i was fourteen. 

it was so interesting; most sounded so naive and frivolous, and then all the sudden, there would be a profound little heartache in the middle. quickly mentioned but very precise and painful, like a puncture wound. then the frivolities of my superficial interactions with boys and school projects and how much i hated math would consume the next few entries. but here and there were little pricks of what i remember to be my real sorrows from that age. some which still affect me.

now, don't get me wrong: i was blessed to have an amazing childhood and adolescence. amazing.
especially understanding now what it could have been, i'm so grateful for what it was.
it was more fulfilling and wonderful than a lot of people have the opportunity to experience, and i feel nothing but gratitude. i have no right to complain. 

but like anyone else, there have been some difficult things i had to cope with, and as i read, my heart kind of broke for my younger self.
some entires were difficult to read, for no apparent reason.
a few times, my eyes glassed over with a couple of tears that didn't fall. 

just now as i was reading, i had the urge to go back in time and explain to my younger self a few things. so naturally, i figured i should write a letter. fourteen-year-old me is still in me somewhere; i'm sure she still needs to hear them.

dear 14, 

i've been reading your recent journal and have a few tidbits for you. i've listed them below. 

okay first off don't worry--literally, all the guys you're worried about now are gonna be married by the time you're 24, and not to you. so you won't have to worry about them anyway. 

eventually, you'll stop writing things like l8r and gr8 and g2g...and your writing will be much more palatable.

it appears that you have discovered and are now trudging through the awkward realm of interpersonal relationships and social interaction, especially with the guys. bravo. just so you know, awkward will always hover, but you'll learn to manage yourself better just by wading through it and learning from your mistakes. this is actually really good for you to learn now rather than later, though sometimes it kind of bites. i know.

pay attention to how you're hurting now, because those pains are a precursor to pains that you'll have later in life. pains that are deeper than what you feel now, but surprisingly of the exact same thread. it's really good that you're learning how to deal with them healthily now, so that you can deal with them in a similar manner when you're older and they're harder, but parallel in the intensity of how they affect you now.

it's good that dad told you to write one thing you're grateful for at the end of every day, because if you notice, there's a pattern. in between your observations of boys' hairstyles and the happenings of school assemblies, are the things you are most thankful for. those are the concepts that really explain how you are getting through this hard and often unspoken undercurrent. you frequently write how grateful you are for prayer, seminary, church, mom, friends.... this shows what's really going on, more than your daily account of life as a freshman in high school. though both the routine of daily life and the underlying values work hand in hand. always remember that. 

to ease your mind, i wish you could know this stuff now, but you'll learn it eventually. and you won't learn as easily if you think you already know it. 

24 (and no, that is not old)

i feel like i'll probably be writing a similar letter to my 24-year old self when i'm 44.
i'll probably laugh at my writing quirks then, too. 
some things just don't change.



about halfway through today, i started to feel badly that it's september 11, and i hadn't thought too much about what happened 11 years ago in the midst of being busy. i started reflecting on it, and about all that has transpired since. i read joe's post, which provided a solemn new perspective.

ground zero on my last day in new york, 2010.
i thought about where i was when i found out the news of september 11. my 8th grade history class was in the library researching stuff for a project and of course i was in charge of drawing things, and doing so diligently. eventually i realized the majority of the class had sauntered out into the main area of the library, where i could see them through the windows of the room in which i was working. their eyes were glued to the tv. i strained to see what they were looking at, but it looked like some action movie. bombs blowing stuff up. being the stalwart student i was, i turned my focus back to my project and continued to work.

of course it wasn't an action movie. it was the news.


i just found my journal from that day. apparently it was a tuesday, and i wrote at 11:18pm. it started with "AMERICA GOT ATTACKED TODAY!" in all caps and ended with "I am so thankful for our safety!"

but that's not the part that made me think. out of my journal fell an envelope entitled, "to my future kids" in bubble letters and in it was a letter to them, explaining my feelings about what happened. i'm grateful for my history teacher mr. chilcoat for making us write those letters*. my favorite part: "i didn't want to get all spiritual on you here, but i'm going to anyway." it's kind of interesting to hear my thoughts from then. i was 13. but more so, i'm glad that i was asked to document something that has turned out to be so meaningful.


tonight, upon hearing some other truly tragic news that happened only a few hours ago, i realized that it is so important to live every day to its fullest. life can be so resilient, yet so fragile. reflection today has made me want to surrender any hard feelings and hug my family members and friends a little more tightly.


*i'm also grateful to chilcoat, because he told us that day, "you'll never forget where you were today when you heard of this attack." i honestly would have forgotten a detail such as that had he not made that note. also, according to my journal he taught us about heros the next day, which i felt was a really appropriate way of helping us to understand what was going on.


timpfest II: in preparation

[written saturday night, sept 1, after the close of the storytelling festival. sort of an expansion of this post.]

so, saturday.

here's the thing.
i'm really good a multi-tasking.
don't applaud me; if anything you should wag your pointer finger in a scolding manner.
(don't do that though, cuz i've already done it to myself).

i can fit a ridiculous number of things into my day and i'm good at it.
but in the last few years, i've decided that there's a better way of doing things.

mainly, i think this sums it up best:
Have you ever been in an airplane and experienced turbulence? The most common cause of turbulence is a sudden change in air movement causing the aircraft to pitch, yaw, and roll. While planes are built to withstand far greater turbulence than anything you would encounter on a regular flight, it still may be disconcerting to passengers. 
What do you suppose pilots do when they encounter turbulence? A student pilot may think that increasing speed is a good strategy because it will get them through the turbulence faster. But that may be the wrong thing to do. Professional pilots understand that there is an optimum turbulence penetration speed that will minimize the negative effects of turbulence. And most of the time that would mean to reduce your speed. The same principle applies also to speed bumps on a road. 
Therefore, it is good advice to slow down a little, steady the course, and focus on the essentials when experiencing adverse conditions.
yes, airplane pilot deiter f. uchtdorf explained it best in that talk.

but i wasn't thinking about that last night before i went to bed.
because i'd carefully plotted out my day with overlapping events and impossible gaps of time from which to race between them.

i knew that it wouldn't work; i just decided i'd figure it out in the morning.

well. the morning came sooner than expecting.
5am brought with it lightning, lighting up my entire room every couple of seconds, accompanied by almost instantaneous raging, angry, ferocious clapping thunder.

sort of unnerving. quite exiting.
and very non-conducive to sleep.

i decided that i could do neither of the things i was planning on doing before yoga in this weather. so, with four outfits (covering all bases for the day's possible events), a bottle of water, and my trusty sketchpad, i headed out, late for my 8:30 yoga class.

yoga turned out to be super helpful
as it made me work physically and mentally very hard for most the class,
so that i could really physically and mentally rest for the rest of it.

because when i stretch my schedule out too thin, i feel like i do a half-baked job at enjoying and/or doing well the things which i've planned for myself.

and so after yoga, i decided to scratch everything on my schedule except for the festival. i figured it'd be better to just enjoy this one event.

because i had sort of successfully cleared my mind,
i was much more able to make mental space for the stories to settle in.

and because there was room to grow,
those stories could have somewhere to blossom in my imagination or my heart or my thoughts or wherever my mind appropriately catalogued each of them.

which will be incredibly helpful for when i want to cultivate my thought garden,
or just pluck a few out here or there.


two months left and it will be amazing.

week two of intensively working on my project went great for the first three days. here's why:

-i've been turning my phone on silent during the days.
-i've been clocking in and out, logging my time and my breaks. (thanks to my brilliant dad for that tip)
-i've also been using the pomodoro technique, thanks to chris thornock's suggestion.
-i've been utilizing the swanky calendars i made and have written what i need to accomplish each day. then i have a prize for myself at the end. most of these prizes are small personal creative projects. for example, one of the prizes was making the typography for my photo for this post.

on thursday i hit kind of a funk, though. don't really know why. i worked anyway, but it wasn't as productive.

friday i was in a bigger funk; i just couldn't get myself to do much of anything. so i went to the timpanogos storytelling festival and figured at least that was a creative event where i could maybe stir up some creative juices for this coming week. turns out that it did, so much that i wrote about four posts on it. the rest of those will probably be up by the end of the week, if ya wanna glean some inspiration, too.

my prize for getting stuff done today is to read this article. you know, since i already treated myself to jamba and great harvest bread and running and yoga and guitar already today. :)

also....i'm sort of trying not to panic that it's suddenly september.

[these time posts regarding my bfa project and my new goal of mastering my time are all under this tag.]


timpfest I: slo-cooker

for years, i've wanted to attend this event.

mainly because i was completely enamored with the painting on the poster, 
which i found out in later years was painted by james christensen,

"tales beneath timp" by james c. christensen
who initially stemmed my first love of art in 6th grade (or younger?), 
i believe, 
but that's a different story. 

this story is from this past weekend. 


two of my friends were hired to record the timpanogos storytelling festival and make a professional-grade cd so that people could re-live the stories from the comfort of their living rooms.

as such, each friend was given an extra weekend pass to the festival. they offered one to me, which i gladly accepted.

i'd grown up close by but had never been to the event; i was excited that the opportunity was practically handed to me. we couldn't find anyone who could take the second ticket.

i figured i'd still go.
i'd heard a lot about the festival and expected a lot out of it, which is risky, because when expectations are set high,
they are given extra distance to fall.

well, this weekend happened to be super packed with various opportunities, including not one but three concerts i wanted to attend, my bfa project, and other personal goals that i was really determined to conquer.

thursday came.
i sort of got in a funk with my project.
tried to work on it;
did a meh- sortofa job.
kinda felt a funk comin' on like a bad cold.
that started to spiral down a tad, other things got caught in the...funk-web, for lack of better term, and pulled down with the rest of it.
so i gave up and went to the festival.

luckily, the thursday event was just an introduction to the storytellers, so they each performed a short set. pretty good. it was interesting how i could tell who i thought i'd resonate with more than others.

friday came.
definitely in a funk.
tried to work;
went to the festival.

and glad i did. there were a few speakers that just captivated me and i started to just let the stories come over me like waves. in fact, i was really glad i went alone, just so i could soak it up and do my thing without worrying about if whoever i was with was enjoying it (a tendency i often have).

some stories were light and airy and i didn't try to derive any other sort of meaning out of them. i laughed when i felt like it and i didn't when i didn't.

others had more to them. there were obvious morals and lessons.

yet other stories carried substance in layers, and so i could choose to peel back as many as i wanted to, and delve as deeply as i needed.

i think that last kind of story is often how stories happen in real life: we are given the onion and we choose how deep we're going to go.

...don't feel guilty for thinking of donkey's onion analogy in shrek. go ahead and quote that line in your head; i just did.

anyway, i quite enjoyed the freedom of going wherever i wanted to go, but with just enough pressure of making it worth my free ticket and my expensive time.

i figured i'd work half a day saturday so that i'd make up for time i didn't spend on my project on friday.  but it was going to be an impossibly busy day.

saturday came.
still in a funk.
tried to be productive;
did yoga,
gave up productivity,
went to the festival.

well, turns out that's all i really needed to do.
...more about that in an upcoming post.

but in short (or, main thought, i guess)---
inspiration is to be found everywhere.

i think i was secretly hoping, maybe expecting--that festival to
absolutely douse me with inspiration-kerosene
so that i could strike up a match of action
and toss it onto that inspiration
which would ignite a brilliant flame of creativity and direction,
so that i'd know how to carry out an overwhelming and daunting task of, say, a bfa final project.

but nope.
didn't do that.
it was like a slo-cooker.
ideas were tossed in here and there from different stories,
different personalities,
different perspectives,
different worlds--
and there they started to simmer.
in my thought-pot.

some stories sort of let me take off the lid of that pot
so that i could smell and almost see what was cooking,
and then i'd put the lid back on.

by the end of tonight,
boooooy did that stew start to smell good.

i sort of think that slo-cooking is a better way to go.
no one likes charred veggies anyway.


on time

sooo back to time management (this is sort of a follow-up from this post). ok first of all, if you're too lazy pressed for time to read this, at least skip to the bottom of the post and check out the gem i found!

anyway, here's how i divided up the six steps from that first post on my stickie notes:

[right click and open in a new tab if you can't read them]
read number six again. that's where you come in! so you'll probably hear all about my adventures in time management; i hope that's okay.

i made myself some ideas and have been setting some boundaries. week one went okay, but i can definitely do better.

here's a list i bookedmarked forever ago, but just found it again. it has some pretty great tips; whatcha think?

also. i realize that i'm heavily distracted by technology. i found some interesting articles the other day:

i really like this one on "cutting the digital lifeline and finding serenity".
this is on FOMO, or the "fear of missing out", from which i most definitely suffer.

so, food for thought.
last but definitely not least, i've started to use "stay focusd", which is a chrome add-on that limits your time on websites you choose, and then blocks it from you if you're on there for more than the allotted time. it's witty and it's great! i've been using it for facebook, mostly. *cough*...just don't cheat and open up firefox or something when you wanna spend more time on the blocked sites. *cough*

what do you do to manage your time? any tips? 



{written on monday, august 27}

today was weird: it was the first day of school.
but i didn't technically have to go to school.

here's the thing: i've been in school every year since kindergarten.
that's a lot of years.
i'm really good at going to school.
so it was my first NOT first day of school...ever.

i went to school on monday anyway,
just to get parking.

but i didn't have any classes at all.
just my project.

i took my laptop and my running shoes so i could go for a run later
and then i went to school just to work on my project.

...did i mention that i didn't go to any classes?

it was quite the bizarre feeling.


guitar chords and moral lessons

i've been working on my bfa project this morning. mainly gathering scraps of inspiration and making this pinboard, but in real life.

i was singing at the top of my lungs while doing so, just as kind of a peripheral happenstance. it was odd how clear and controlled my voice was; i think for some reason since no one was around and i was just super calm and content, cutting out bitty pieces of inspiration, i was able to really let go and just sing. almost like i used to.

after a while, i couldn't help but grab my guitar. for about twenty minutes, my guitar and i had a great time together. after, i gchatted this to jeff:
meanwhile, i just took a break to learn a new song on my guitar.
and i liked that. 
my fingers miss those steel strings, and i think i say that to myself every time i start to play again. 
funny how easily forgotten some very important things are.
he responded, 
it is funny. 
and kind of scary. 
be they guitar chords or moral lessons.
whelp, back to cutting up inspiration.



sowing and reaping and all that jazz

this past sunday in church, two of the talks were on talents. i thought that was kind of cool. they said good stuff; i paid attention, took notes on my feelings and kinda nodded in approval at the end.

i went to sunday school where the lesson, though not planned with the previous meeting, was also on talents. perhaps it was because the talks primed me, but something in that lesson really resonated with me right away. maybe because it was because sunday school is a smaller class where we can really talk about application of such concepts.

my friend katherine was teaching, and she asked some good questions that we discussed, and two really stuck out to me: what are my talents? ...like, really? i think we all sort of know our talents but until we vocalize them to ourselves, i think a lot of them can go unnoticed. after all, many of the most valuable talents are silent ones. and, what makes it hard to recognize and develop more talents? man, i had fun thinking about this one. there were some phenomenal answers and it really made me think. i won't share the answers here, so that you can come up with your own. you and i can discuss them some other time if you'd like. or you can leave a comment. or whatever.

katherine was teaching out of the gospel principles manual and in there, it lists six steps to developing new talents.

1. discover (pray to learn about our talents)
2. willing (to spend time and effort to develop the talent we seek)
3. faith (faith that God will help us and faith in ourselves)
4. skills (learn necessary skills. can take a class, ask a friend, read a book, etc)
5. practice ("the mastery of a talent must be earned")
6. share ("it is by using our talents that they grow." matt 25:29)

[those principles and direct quotes came from the gospel principles manual]

after we discussed this, she handed out stickie notes and had us all take at least six of them. on each stickie, we wrote these steps and then how we'd apply them in accordance with a talent that we want to learn.

one of my favorite things katherine said was, "our weaknesses can put us in a position to develop a new talent."

after debating for a while about all the talents i want to cultivate, i decided on one that would help the rest: time management. 

as you can tell from here and here, i really struggle with it. in fact, i'm pretty terrible. so i decided i'll let you know my thoughts and such and become accountable to whoever reads this.

i'm out of the the time i have allotted to myself to write. so, i'll continue this when i have more time. (look! i'm doing it! time management and stuff!) 

til then, do you actively seek talents? what are some you're trying to cultivate? i'm honestly curious because 1. i want to know that i'm not alone in talent-seeking and 2. i want to add talents to my talents-to-gain list. :) it's interesting to see what others are working on. 


mute comprehension

i have experienced some incredibly difficult types of pain over the last week.
pain that is deep, but comparatively muted in its intensity.

maybe i'll explain later and maybe not, but what i feel the need to communicate at this time is that amidst all of that,
i'm okay.

because, in the end, things work out.
and there are lots of ends and lots of beginnings.
and sometimes it's hard to know which are which.
which is also okay, because i think beginnings and endings are often the same thing:
stories continue.


growth inevitably takes pain.

it's amazing how i always seem to forget that sometimes, running away from the wave is more exhausting than just turning around and facing it.

if we let waves wash over us, sometimes they can cleanse.


and as cliche as it is, every day is a new day.

we can start becoming who we want to be right now.
there is no minimum requirement for any of our goals.

we can start improving anything from wherever we find it.


these thoughts are simple, but i was reminded of their importance today,
through yoga, running, journal writing, music and reading a heartfelt email.


brown tassel

there are reasons i haven't had a chance to post this yet, but i figure that i'd let you know that this happened last thursday and friday (august 10 and 11). well, kind of.

i still have my final art show to do, which is like, the biggest project i've ever had to create. no big deal. and i'm still kind of in the beginning phases and it's gonna go up in november (read: freak out).

but...i'm almost there. :)



ok. so i have approximately one bajillion posts (maybe 20?) that are in various forms of publication. some are almost there, some have been abandoned halfway, others need to be written. 

i don't really know where to start, so i'll use this one to break the ice and we'll see where it goes, shall we?

let's start with current events.

so...i'm back from italy. 
hey there!

i can't really sum up the experience i had there in one post, so i'll just leave that information with the promise of italy-inspired posts (and photos!) to come. 

since i've been back, i've finished editing two sets of photos that i shot for two different weddings, as well as completed a huge project at work. again, hopefully i'll get around to posting those in their respective places, and you'll hear about it.

oh, and i'm also kind of fake-graduating this coming friday. 

fake, because i still have to do my final art show before i can legitimately receive a diploma proving my 5-some years of university life. so that'll come in december. 

but i just picked up my cap and gown, so i guess it's sort of official? 


as i was walking to my car after picking up my cap and gown, i had a couple ideas go through my head.

i realized that i sort of have a paradoxical complex.

being a grown-up is hard for me.

here's the thing:

i latch on to intellectual concepts and ideas easily. i crave intellectual conversation and revel in stimulating new concepts and ideas. these ideas don't have to be about anything in particular; they could range from interpersonal relationships to intense gospel concepts to physiology/anatomy to psychology/sociology to the wave particle duality theory (ooooh, that was a good conversation...) and so on. those are some of my favorites, by the way.

i love solving life problems and teaching others and feeling comfortable in a stimulating conversation. over the past couple of years, i've become pretty analytical, which is a trait i don't think i've always had.

but as far as the practicality of "growing up" -- i realized that i'm going to have to actually work at that. for me, that's not going to come as naturally as i think it should, because if so, i think i'd already be better in that area than i am now. at least, it's not coming as naturally as the theoretical practice i just mentioned.

if i had the practicality of "growing up" down, i would not be typing this from a bedroom floor on which i have to make space. if i were "grown up" in some practical sense, i'd take better care of my car and i wouldn't have to fight to pay attention to the responsibilities i have with it. i would manage my time and i'd stop trying to prioritize everything at the same level. i'd stop attempting to skirt reality with my idealistic tendencies and i'd stop expecting people to act how i feel they should. financially, i'd probably have gained credit by now, and i'd probably keep better track of my money. i'd probably know more than a thing or two about cooking.

i'd probably be doing a lot of things differently.

and i'm realizing that to get these particular things, i'm going to have to go at them one at a time, purposefully and consciously.

now, to those of you who have all those things down: bravo.
and to those who are shaking their head in strict reprimand, i say, it is what it is. i'm just being honest.
and to those who are rapidly scrolling past this to click the "comment" button to reassure me that i'm just fine, i really appreciate you, but -- chill.

i feel like i am okay. i'm growing and progressing at my own rate. we all do. eventually i'll be able to understand and do lots more things, even if i think i should have "grown up" faster and in different ways than i have now. i also recognize that different parts of our lives are for different stages of growth. maybe some day i'll be able to manage a credit card and remember to get my car oil and lubed and figure out what i'm doing with my career, but maybe i'll lose some of the intellectual growth that i've become so accustomed to in the past year. it all ebbs and flows.

and the cool thing is, everything becomes a part of us. so hopefully i'll take that growth and those theories and apply it practically. it's a balancing act for sure, but we learn to juggle all sorts of priorities and thoughts and tasks and relationships.

so in some ways, i'll never grow up.
i hope i'll never stop being wide-eyed at things that really impress me. i hope i always love reading childrens' books, even if i don't have kids. i hope i never get too embarrassed to be goofy, when it's appropriate.

and in other ways, i desperately hope i'll grow up. in fact, the whole point is: i'll have to make it happen. things like being more organized, learning to cook, managing money, being more politically savvy, etc -- are things that i control. i also control my priorities and my time.

but it's gonna take some time.
speaking of which, i'm late for an appointment, so if you'll excuse me....

good thing i hear there's life after college.


greetings from venice

it was probably very unfair that i ask you all this advice for italy and then don't even say thank you or tell you about it! bottom line? 1. thank you. SO much! and 2. i got here. about a week ago, actually.

i have loved it! just wanted to stop by and check in. i doubt i'll get to blog any more while i'm here (maybe) but i'll definitely catch up (maybe i'll cheat and post-date stuff) when i get back to the states. til then, here's a photo from earlier tonight:
don't worry about it. i'm just chilling on a bridge in venice, thus proving i'm in italy.
silly, i know. anyway. thanks for being awesome, dear reader friend. now excuse me, while i run to sneak some food into our [totally amazing palace-looking venetian yet in the middle of the legitimate ghetto] hotel room.


va, pensiero

i just realized that i need to tell you something.

in a week from today, i'll be on a flight to rome!

i'm headed to meet my brother there and then we're headed for a two-week backpacking adventure through italy and france.

we're planning on going to rome, then up through tuscany to see those lovely towns, and then headed to the cinque terre (!!!!), then over to venice. from venice we'll head to paris and end up there.

this was a trip that we planned when i was 16, but we never did it. but now's the time. we're gonna make it happen.

i'm suuuuper excited, even though that's a lot to pack in to two weeks. i know that i can't see everything, but if you have advice for sights/experiences in those places, please leave a comment! or just europe advice in general. or advice on how to pack light?! orrr just life advice. whatever you'd like. i was so appreciative when i got all of your NY advice and i loved hearing everyone's experiences.

in one week.
seven days.
perhaps i should think about packing?


quiet place

i've mentioned before that i have had a bout with achilles tendinitis for the last few years.
now it seems that the rest of my body is following suit.
so, i decided to try a different route.
i've been seeing a muscle therapist for the last month.

it's interesting because he's takes more of a holistic approach.
he noted that:
i have tendinitis because one leg was shorter than the other,
so then my knee compensated,
then my right hip compensated,
then my back compensated.

so i've been treating the symptoms without treating the root of the problem.
i've been doing physical therapy, but without the muscles actually being in the right place in my body,
that's kind of like a band-aid rather than a cure.

the massage-esque treatment has been super painful, but i know it's worth it.
slowly, i feel my body becoming aligned again.

because our bodies are obviously affected with how we live our lives,
my muscle therapist asks me a lot about my personal life.
i don't tell him a ton of details, but he helps me understand how i deal with things
and in turn, how that affects my body.

did you know that the right side of your body is logic, and the left is emotional?
so i can tell where my stress is coming from based on which side of my body is more tense.

after both of the first two sessions, he asked me,
"are you a robot?"
"...no..?" i responded both times, both about like that.
"then don't walk like one!"

i've had to re-learn how to walk.
i've had to reset something i've been doing my whole life.

after the third session, he asked, "are you a train?"
i said it confidently this time, but with a hint of "?" apparent in my face.
shoot. i wasn't sure how to respond.
"because a train must remain on its track. you, on the other hand, can move right or left. when you go to europe, if you plan on staying for two days in an area, but then you decide to stay another day, do it! that's okay. you are can go wherever you want. trains cannot."

i knew he wasn't just talking about physically, now.
i started to see what he meant.

today, he told me,
"make sure you keep hold of the stress out in front of you. don't let it consume you. i know that sometimes you can't help it, and it just comes over you [his hands motioned like a wave was washing over his head], but try to take hold of it and keep it in front of you rather than letting it become a part of you." he motioned as if he were grasping someone by the shoulders and holding them about two feet in front of him.

my pulsating headache has been my constant companion today.
so i liked that idea.


the wave

i have listened to this probably five times in a row while writing in my journal tonight.

i'll probably listen to it again a few more times before i go to bed.


the second

[i'm sitting on my porch, enjoying the weather. it's 79 degrees,  with a slight breeze, 9:20pm. the freeway traffic is creating an interesting sound texture in the distance. closer is the low hum of neighbor voices, with intermittent higher pitches of children playing. even closer are birds. i wonder what they're doing out this late. probably what i'm doing -- enjoying the night as long as they can. here's a account of the last hour. i know it's long; read it if you'd like to vicariously experience a simple lovely night.]

i left fhe late tonight.

i had been talking with a small group of friends, and knew i had stuff to get done,
but wanted to feel their social presence for a little longer.

upon leaving the building, though, i realized that it was a beautiful night.
i said my goodbyes, got in my car and started to drive home.

it was nice to see neighborhood residents walking or jogging.
i was glad that others were actively appreciating this night's perfection.

as i rounded the corner to my street, i was facing the setting sun,
though i could only partially see it.

i couldn't let that go to waste. i kept driving.

i drove past my house, and out of my neighborhood.
i decided i needed to see the sunset tonight.

it was going fast, so i quickly ventured to the nearest road
that i'd be able to see its full beauty unobstructed.

i drove that road, turned and drove on another road which let me face the sunset directly. it was beautiful. the sun wasn't as bright as it usually is, so i could make out its exact circular shape.

it looked...warm. 
as in, pleasant and inviting.

so i drove closer to it.

the windows were down,
and i sang to my summer night driving music.

turned on another road, and another, and continued to watch it.
finally, i had gotten to the road where i would be able to watch it
without houses or trees disrupting it.

i could tell this drive wouldn't be as short a drive as i'd planned.

the sun was going down fast, and to my dismay,
it silently escaped behind the mountain
within seconds of me finally finding that road.

a part of me wished i'd have left fhe earlier.

my eyes were glued on the place where the sun once was;
it was almost as if it disappeared in the same spot it had been,
rather than moving lower out of my view.

and in its place, there was a warm orange glow,
a brightness which generated from the location i'd last seen the sun.

i don't know why it intrigued me so much;
it's like i almost thought that the more i watched it,
the more likely it would just appear again.

i found myself wanting to freeze this atmosphere 
and just bask in it for a while.
i realized the sun would obviously appear again,
but only it'd be tomorrow.
and i'd have to look for it in a different place in the sky.

still, i mourned for the moment that was fading so quickly,
though it wasn't entirely over.

so i just tried to focus on the moment
and soak it all in, as best i could.

when i usually drive along this road,
i only go to a certain point before stopping and turning around.

but tonight, i kept driving.
didn't really even think about it.

just kept going. 

singing to my music sometimes, and sometimes letting it sing to me.
i turned off onto an unfamiliar rural road
that led me closer to the remnants of the sunset, 
and kept driving. 

turned again.

into a neighborhood,
(and was a bit chagrined) 
but kept going.

turned again.

and then i realized that these roads were slightly familiar to me; 
i'd been here once before. 
fueled from the recognition, 
i drove with more confidence. 

it led out of the neighborhood,
another rural road, 
with a field on one side 
and not much on the other. 

i thought about stopping
so that i could concentrate fully on the last bits of color in the sky, 
but i had the feeling that the speed of the car
and the wind in my face
was helping to make this experience one that i needed. 

it was steadily getting darker, 
though i was still headed toward the direction of where the sun had been.

i started to feel a tad uneasy, 
but pushed that away and kept driving.
shortly after, i couldn't push the feeling away completely, 
but the road was too narrow to turn around.

decidedly, i looked for a place to turn.
when i found one, i pulled over and turned off my music, 
then turned my car around. 

i noticed that my car had been
fighting against me a little tonight; 
she's old and i push her too much sometimes. 
but she's patient with me, and will assist in my adventures as much as she can.

it had been too much for her tonight.
though i could only tell when i stopped to listen to her. 
so i turned around and drove back in silence, 
listening to my car 
and my thoughts
(which i had been so careful to drown out earlier). 

when i got back to the familiar neighborhood, i saw a friend drive by, 
which was completely random because
this was far away from my neighborhood. 
i had come to a stop sign when he drove past me, perpendicular to my direction. 
i turned left and ended up behind him. 
he didn't see me. 

we got onto a main road when he took off.
i had the urge to speed up to catch up to him.
i don't know why; it's not like i wanted to stop him and say hi or wave or anything. 
not tonight, at least.

then i felt the protests of my poor car,
so i slowed and really tried to listen to her. 
it was hard, but she drove better when i stopped trying to push past her limit. 
(i've always thought my car is a lady in gender). 

eventually we ended up at the same light
as my friend. then he turned, and i kept on straight.

eventually, i turned here
and there
and there

back to familiar places. 
into my neighborhood
and onto my driveway. 

which brings me here. 
on my porch. 

it's dark now, and
my back hurts from being slouched over my laptop.

truth be told, when i first drove past my house tonight,
i almost turned around again so i could grab my running shoes 
to enjoy the night. 

but i knew that my injuries couldn't handle that yet, 
so i drove. 
though it wasn't fast, 
i needed that speed.


in other news, i wore red lipstick today. 
and i am staring at a very large black cat across the street.


they move on tracks of never-ending light

[though it looks like one, this isn't a poem; it's just an unedited thought i scribbled out during a concert to the other night. i just preserved the format here that i wrote in my book, based on the book's physical constraints. the mental image i got was cooler than the words this time, but here they are anyway.]

adventures are challenging,
difficult and painful at times.
but worth it.
always worth it.

the whole point of exploring is
to uncover uncharted territories.
places that quite literally no one
has gone before.

which is honestly terrifying,
when you think about it.
because no one can know
what there is to be found.

but though there could be
tigers or snakes or monsters
or our biggest insecurities
waiting to stare us in the face,

no one will ever know their strength
until they face them.

[i've always said i love adventure--all sorts of it--but i'm not so sure if i ever really fully processed this aspect of it. out of default and experience, i've accepted it, but i don't know if i've ever really committed to accepting it willingly.]


everything's fine

if i had posted last night, it would have been a super emotionally-charged, potentially angsty post, for various reasons.

which is why i'm glad i'm posting today, because of this:

just happy.
it's the lunch i just ate. i got the tamales from this lovely lady and the lemonade (which was almost gone by the time i got home because it was tasty and i was thirsty) from three wee entrepreneurs on the side of the road.

the tamale lady was gracious as always and it makes me happy when i see other cars stop to buy from her as well. it's such a privilege to be involved in such a pleasant situation. a minute or so after i got back into my car, i saw the three kiddos with a legitimate lemonade stand. as a direct result of the tamale lady, i was already smiling, and they made it wider.

they were very polite and their lemonade stand was very organized. one complimented me with, "you're looking fantastic today!" as if we were old friends, and another made sure to bring her pet turtle to my window after i'd gotten into the car to say goodbye. pet turtles mustn't be neglected, you see.

needless to say, i'm substantially happier now that i have acquired lunch from these fine people.


twenty-four firsts

so a few months back, i turned 24. i [unofficially] decided to do 24 things i've never done before. i wanted it to be enjoyable and growth-promoting, rather than stressful, so i didn't pre-determine the list. instead, when faced with a choice, i just consciously made the decision based off of what i hadn't done before. so it pushed me out of my comfort zone, but wasn't as much pressure as a checklist.

here are my (favorite) "first" 24 things i'd never done before that i've done since my birthday:
  1. ate at stan's diner
  2. got an asymmetrical haircut
  3. made a fake band and sang some duets at an open mic night at a real concert venue (and completely bombed it)
  4. finally slept in the memorial room in the wilk
  5. watched the video of said concert from #3 (which took just as much courage as it did to perform in the first place, and way more humility)
  6. was interviewed for BYU TV
  7. sang a solo and duet at the next week's open mic (and rocked it...at least better than the first time)
  8. swam one whole lap freestyle without stopping (you have no idea: this is SO pathetic, but a big accomplishment considering how sick i was this semester. i had virtually no endurance)
  9. aced the last test i will ever take in the testing center (which was actually ridiculously easy, but i'll count it)
  10. lay on a nice spot of grass and watched the moody sky change, while bubbles (yes, bubbles) floated past, while listening to super cathartic music
  11. finally went to mountain west burrito (and ate an entire burrito in one sitting, thankyouverymuch)
  12. participated in the TOMS day without shoes event
  13. went to wal-mart at 2 am. and tried on boxes. yeah, you heard me.
  14. attended the holi festival of colors (and it hailed!)
  15. went to sushi at sakura
  16. 113 mph on a bullet bike (i was the passenger) :) (don't have a photo of the bike, so pictured below are the biking jackets, and also the beautiful lake that was found and admired, mid-ride. 'nuff to stop and stare for a while.)
  17. switched phone companies (after going back SIX times to my provider with problems with my new phone...hello, verizon! please be good to me....)
  18. got a 4.0 GPA. ...first time EVER since high school. this was my last semester, and my easiest, but i'm still really proud of it.
  19. created a successful SOLO art show!
  20. went on a self-date in my hometown. which is something i often did in NY, but i can't recall doing it here.
  21. went camping with a huge group of friends. until now, we've never really gotten a good-sized group together to camp.
  22. shot arrows with a bow!
  23. bought my very own dslr camera and lens (with help from dad as part of my i'll-eventually-graduate-college gift), as well as cs6
  24. applied for a u.s. passport.... :)
big things, little things, ALL THE THINGS! i really like doing this; i'm going to make it a habit. why not, right? below are some of the things. in relative order.

what have you recently done for the first time? or things you will do?!  


computer issues

i was suuuuper excited a couple of years ago when i got a new computer at work.
brand new shiny 27-inch imac.

nowadays, i still love it, and i'm excited to work when i see it,
but it's running slower. 

when i log on, it takes about 5 minutes to admit me onto my workspace
if it even lets me. 

today when this happened, i let out a sigh and my co-worker asked me what was wrong.
i told him that my computer was taking too long to start, and he said,
"what, you don't like it thinking?"

i responded, "it's fine if it thinks. but sometimes it thinks so much that it doesn't get anything done." 

and then i realized that i totally just described myself as of late. good thing my computer doesn't have a face, cuz it would have given me a look.

so i wondered why it's going so slowly.

there are a lot of programs on there and a whole buncha files.
there are duplicate versions of both programs and files that are unnecessary.
the rest of them need to be organized.
it needs to be re-imaged and given a fresh start,
for it to run at its optimum capacity.

don't mind me; i'm just getting reprimanded from inanimate objects again.
but the good news for me and my computer is that we know what's wrong; we can fix it.


instead, i sleep

breathe in.

breathe out.



and sing this to yourself.

sometimes, that's what you have to do, you know?


two birds

being a holiday, this morning i got to have breakfast and an nice chat with my mom in our kitchen.

at one point, i went into the other room to get something.
when i came back, my mom pointed out an interesting phenomenon she'd been observing through the glass sliding door in our backyard:

there were two little robins, both scavenging for worms.
their approach was different than what we'd seen before
(our backyard is a popular place for robins)
-- the female plucked around where she was, but stayed patiently around the same area.
the male would hop around and find a worm, eat a bite, then hope over to give the rest to the female.

this had happened twice during my brief time in the other room.
how sweet, we thought.

i wanted to see it happen, but didn't have my contacts, so all i could see were two blurry shapes hopping around.
so i hurried to the bathroom to put them in.

when i came back, the two birds were still there.
i was excited to see this occurrence, but to my slight dismay it didn't happen for a while.

my mom had told me that it was awesome, though, so we sat together and stared out the window, following the birds with our eyes.
eventually, the male was so far away from the female that we had to adjust our positions to keep both in sight. i started to wonder if it would happen again.

finally, he found something, flew over to the female, and gave it to her.

i smiled.
seeing it was better than hearing about it.
it wasn't a big deal, but it was nice.
worth making the effort to put my contact in and see clearly, and worth the waiting.


letters after work on a really long day.

dear car keys::
please stop staying inside of my locked car when i am outside of it.

dear technology::
for as much as i love you sometimes (cs6 installed at work, woooo!), i often hate you (cs6 hates me, boooooo).

dear camera::
PLEASE come before friday so we can play before i need to use you.

dear above sentence::
i don't always work that way in relationships. promise.

dear sunshine::
are you still outside? cuz it'd be nice to see you after wanting to punch my computer all day.

dear applications for official, urgent stuff::

dear fhe::
i hope you have some good, tasty foods waiting for me. cuz if not, well...let's just not go there. it could be dangerous.



i've been picking at this post for the last few weeks like a kid picks at his steamed green beans. you know. come back to 'em every once in a while, knowing that you can't be excused from the table (or get dessert) til they're gone. obviously i've been on a bit of a posting hiatus, so maybe i'll just publish this one and i can move on to more dessert-like posts (i've started about 6 posts that are in my drafts folder....). some posts are just like that, i guess. ironically, i'm currently in a pleasant mood, though that's not necessarily the tone of this post. so, it is what it is.

if contemplative moody instrumental music had lyrics, i'd probably base this post around them.

but they don't.



lots of things have been changing recently.
like, too quickly. or too abruptly. or too...[insert that feeling of a bad aftertaste in your mouth here].

but at the same time, lots of things have stayed the same.
like, annoyingly the same.
almost so "the same" as to make me wonder if i'm missing something obvious.

and other things have been so surprising
that i don't really know how to deal with them.

these three qualifications,
in almost equal amounts. to the point where i'm almost amused.

and it kind of just makes me want to escape into some grassy field somewhere and not worry about it all, but instead watch the sky change moods and listen to whatever my ears pick up.

and on the other hand, i wish i could go turbo at everything: just plow through it all victoriously and tirelessly with superhuman strength.

food is starting to be a task rather than a joy, and who needs sleep, right?

i can't watch the clouds forever, and i'm not a plow. besides, i like food and sleep. and so my quest for balance continues.

sorry for all the food analogies.
i haven't eaten today; i'll fix that soon.



[written at 9:20 this morning] 

it's been quite warm (we hit a record the other day for record high during this time of the year!) but early today the sun was shy and the clouds replaced its usual greeting. i noticed this as i rushed to my car after a busy morning, late for work. as i strapped my on seatbelt and pulled out into the street, i realized i felt a breeze. it was coming from the windows which were still cracked to ventilate yesterday's heat. though it wasn't warm this morning, it wasn't unnecessarily chilly, so i kept them that way as i sped on.

gloomy as the outside appeared, for me there was a different quality to it. a familiar atmospheric texture. i couldn't put my finger on it.

my mind was preoccupied with other thoughts, but it occasionally dipped back into a vague recognition of this somewhat recognizable ambiance as i drove.

unlike the normal overcast utah mornings, it wasn't cold, and i could feel water in the air though the rain hadn't made its way down yet.

it wasn't until i caught a scent as i rounded a slight bend in the road that i realized what it was. the faint smell was cigarette smoke, diluted by the smell of oncoming rain. that's when it donned on me:

new york.

of course. many of my memories from my internship two summers ago were fraught with this smell, feel, and surrounding environment. even the current road construction added to it. the only difference was that i was driving to work this time, rather than walking, and i was on the other side of the country.

i let my mind wander back to reminisce. the sporadic rain storms, walking to society, the crazy heat, the dynamics of various circumstances and relationships, the friends that i'd met there, so many fascinating strangers, the curiosity and wonder and awe that i tried to maintain throughout the entirety of my total eight weeks there.

i missed it.
all of it.
and i missed them.
and for a brief moment, i missed the me that was there.

but the other day, i penned it in black and white as i wrote to a friend:
she's still in me, somewhere.


in many aspects, i think i was a better person in new york.
the circumstances made it easier for me to function at my optimum capacity.

but, recently i heard a devotional by stanley g. ellis, who gave some solid advice about handling the "temporary stages of your life"...which can last a lot longer sometimes than we anticipate:

unpack your bags.
"be where we are. have an attitude as for years...be there, until you're not. the eternal attitude of a transient isn't good....[that] attitude....will rob you of much joy and satisfaction...and will cause the...community to lose the many contributions you could make."

that kind of hit me hard.
i'm not in new york now.
and i don't know when i'll return.

but -- what good did it do for me, if i only let that growth affect me while i'm there? or any place of growth, for that matter?

i need to apply that here. now. and i need to stop waiting for my future goals to be recognized to make me into the person i want to become. because chances are, as i focus on working harder to be that person now, i'll be a much better version of her later, and will be more prepared and ready when the rubber hits the road as those goals are actualized.

it's okay to miss times, places, circumstances, people, and discoveries that brought out the best in me. but i realized that it's almost like spitting in the faces of those people and places if i let whatever they made me into die simply because i don't want to make the effort to find and apply their effects within myself again.


well. that post didn't go where i thought it would go.
it was just going to say, "this morning felt gloomy but refreshing outside and i missed new york."
but i suppose i needed to remind myself of what i ended up writing.