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?