Sunday, January 24, 2016

A return.

Almost 3 years ago I wrote what is probably my most popular post. (see here)

At the time I was someone else entirely. A little lost, a little confused. A little unsure of what the heck to do next.
Would I go on a mission? Find someone to marry? Get my masters? Or even finish my undergrad?
Would I be lost forever? Would I continuously feel like I'm wandering?

I have always taken comfort in my favorites lines of my favorite hymn:

Prone to wander.
Lord, I feel it.
Prone to leave the God I love.
Here's my heart
Oh, take and seal it.
Seal it for Thy courts above.

I remember the day I wrote that post. I was humming the song over and over again. The lines repeated in my mind. A prayer of sorts. Oh Lord, I am so prone to leave you. But here's my heart, please take it and seal it to you. Don't let me go. Don't let me go.

Today I find myself in the same mindset, the same prayer echoing out to Him. The song is on repeat in my mind, my heart beating in rhythm with it.

But I am not the same as I was.

At the time I needed to be okay with not knowing.
I was unsure, and terrified of what that meant. And I just needed to breathe, and tell myself over and over again that it was okay to wander, and that no matter where I wandered, I would eventually end up in the right place. I needed to believe that it was okay that my testimony sometimes wavered. I needed to believe that it was okay that sometimes my faith lacked and sometimes I had no idea where I stood with Him.

Today I don't feel that.
My testimony no longer wavers like it used to. I don't have days where I think God must not be real. I do still struggle with my faith in timing, but it's no longer that I worry He won't take care of me but more that I worry that I won't take care of myself.

So here I am 3 years later singing the same lines, and they have an entirely different meaning.
I am so prone to wander, as we all are. But I can no longer wander aimlessly. I no longer believe that wandering will get me were I am supposed to be. There needs to be a path. A direction I am heading. And I need to know where I face.

We are so prone to wander. We are so prone to leave. It is our nature to second guess, to doubt, to be so, so scared of what is to come.
And that is okay. Really.
It is okay if you are still wandering right now, or if you wander around for years. If it takes you a while to figure out what the heck is going on, that's fine.
But eventually you need to stop and look at the direction you're facing and make sure it's where you want to end up. And if it's not, turn around and wander some more until you find the right one. But don't wander forever. Don't let your natural instincts take over and waste your life away. What we are prone to do is not always what we are meant to do.

I am prone to wander, and I am always finding myself wandering a little bit. But I know now where I am heading. And that is the best knowledge I have ever had.

Friday, September 5, 2014

"It's going to be okay."

"It's going to be okay." 

I know that. 
I know that tomorrow the sun will rise and I will wake up and I will go to work and I will feel things both good and bad in the moments before I sleep again and then it will repeat.
There will be hard days and there will be good days. There will be boys who make me cry myself to sleep and there will be boys who make me want to stay up all night talking. There will be moments of completely desperation and hopeful moments. Moments where my Savior makes his presence know. And moments when He will pull back a bit and let me feel it instead. 
And sometimes I cannot tell which moments are the more important ones to me. 
The moments when things feel perfect or the moments when I ache all over?
The moments when my Savior holds me or the moments when He asks me to just try to remember what that feels like instead? 

I know these moments are fleeting. 
Oh how I have been taught this year how fleeting every moment actually is. 
One day you are 15 and scared to kiss someone.
One day you are 21 and scared to look to see if there's a second little pink line. 
One day you are awake and alive and laughing. 
One day you are gone and you've left people in a pile of destruction behind. 
One day you are kissing while the sun does down behind you.
One day you are alone in your bedroom with the lights out, crying. 

And just like the other days, one day this will be gone. A memory. Maybe not even a significant enough moment to make the category of a memory. So much of your life will go un-noted. This feeling. This moment. This situation. This day. This might not even make the cut. One day, this may be gone. A feeling your mind won't cling to anymore. More important things will come up, take it's place. More important things will attach themselves to your soul and you will no longer have time to waste thinking about how you felt that one night when you could hardly breathe. 

And it will be okay. 
It's always going to be okay. 
Okay isn't some distant thing, far off in the horizon. 
Okay is found multiple times, in many different places. 
In the midst of the hardest day of your life, there will be tender mercies. 
There will be people who will bake you food so that you don't have to. There will be friends who buy you 30 pounds of chocolate that you don't need. There will be notes left on windshields as encouragement. There will be people who will call you beautiful. There will be life around you. There will be flowers blooming in weird places and clouds shaped like horses. There will be classes that get cancelled. There will be movement, and progress. 
Okay is found in those things. 
It will be okay. 
And it will be okay tomorrow. It will be okay tomorrow maybe 4 or 5 times. And then the next day maybe 3 times. And then the next day 8 times. 
It will be okay so many times one day that it might finally outweigh the not-okay again someday. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

An echo from another time, another place.

Sometimes (all the time) I think about what I will forget. 

I'm really bothered by the idea that I go throughout full days, living my life, and then weeks from now or maybe even just days, I won't remember 90% of what I did today. 
This action. Right here. My fingers on these keys and the way head itches and the way I'm looking at the room trying to think of what to type... I won't remember it. 
And I think about this all the time. 
I'm obsessed with what I will forget. 
I know on Tuesday I woke up, took a caffeine pill, went to spinning, came home, showered, and made a smoothie. But I don't remember if waking up was hard that day or what we did in spinning or what exactly was in that smoothie. I don't remember what it tasted like or if my muscles relaxed instantly in the shower or if I was relieved to be able to lay down finally after class. 
I remember my life in snap shots, as I think most of us do. And it bothers me. 

But then there are weeks like this last one. 
And days like today. 
Where I realize that it's sometimes better to not remember every detail. 

I hope that on my death bed I won't be bothered by the fact that I don't remember what I did on the 11th of May when I was 14, though that bothers me slightly now. 
But instead I hope I'll remember the important parts. 
I hope I will remember watching a close friend marry the love of her life
I hope I remember the first time I read Harry Potter and how much it made me want to write. 
And then the movie premiers I went to with my friends. 
The nights spent with a best friend in the Fred Myers parking lot. 
Winco runs at 3 in the morning. 
Singing (and sometimes talking to friends instead) in a choir. 
The time a friend brought me mini Saltines and general conference talks because my heart hurt.

I hope I remember that one time I bought 30 pounds of chocolate and watched Boy Meets World for 4 hours instead of doing homework so that a friend wouldn't be alone. 

I hope I remember that my 90% of my life was forgotten in a haze of the mundane. And I hope I finally come to terms with that and realize that it's okay.
I hope I accept that forgotten 90% as just a bunch of stepping stones to the next big memory. Things that don't actually matter all that much leading to the things I'll never be able to forget.

And I hope I remember that my life was beautiful. 
Because it is. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Some Writing.

I wanted to return to you. 
As I closed my eyes I pictured everything I could remember about you. Your hair. Your smile. The shirt you were wearing. The way you smelled. Your arms around me. Your laugh. 
I pictured everything until you were almost there. Just almost within reach… 
I wanted to grab your hand. I wanted to follow you into warmth of my mind. I wanted you to lead me through the narrow hallways and the too small rooms and the places with no light. I wanted to walk through the movie theaters full of my memories and I wanted you to close my eyes when it got to the bad parts. 
I wanted to watch you walk. I wanted to walk after you, a few steps behind. I wanted to let you wander on your own but then I wanted to find you later sitting in a stairwell with a friend, laughing and telling stories. I wanted to walk up and sit with you and say nothing. 
I wanted to think you were real. 
And then it got to the point where I couldn’t figure out how you’re not. I’m infinitely clever but I do not believe I could have created the way you smelled or the way your hair fell on your forehead. If I created you, then I would know your story; you wouldn’t be so fascinating. Your laugh wouldn’t have mesmerized me. You couldn't have said, touched, thought things that I never considered before. You’d be just another part of me that I already knew. 
So I wanted to follow you. 
I wanted to know who you were and how you got in to my mind. I needed to know what trapped you there, both because I wanted to let you free and because I needed to know how to reinforce it.
But mostly I wanted to return to you. 
To fall asleep and find you over and over again.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

you were supposed to keep the disease between you and me.

I have a memory of something that never happened.
Blood splattered on tile and someone, anyone, crying, kneeling in it.
Me, behind them, arms around the shoulders, shifting razors away slowly so that they won't notice.
Bandaging them up. Telling them it's going to be okay.
And I've had this memory for as long as I can remember.
And it's never happened.
Maybe I dreamed it once. Maybe I have heared one too many suicide threats that my mind built a memory out of the fear they brought.
Maybe I just need to save you.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


If even for a second someone starts talking about school this week I am first to jump up and list off all of the homework I have to do over this Thanksgiving break. Which is a lot. While working full time. While trying to fit in friends that are home for break. While dealing with car problems. While making time for family. It's extremely overwhelming.
Seriously. I've had no less than four panic attacks about it already. And have I even started the three papers I have to do this week? Of course not. Which means I have three papers to do within the next three days. Joy. 
I often get just so... overwhelmed. I get so hung up on all of these little things that I am stressing about and life just seems awful when I do that. 
But today... This Thanksgiving I am so extremely grateful that things end. 
I know that sounds weird. But it's the truth. 
I am SO grateful that in the next three weeks, after five papers, one workshop, one revision, four finals, and a lot of crying.... it will all be over. This extremely busy semester will just be done. 
I am so grateful that even though this year started off terrible and my dad broke his hip and then had to get his kidney removed because of cancer and it was SCARY... it ended. And my dad is fine and the surgeries are over and the fear is gone and everything is fine now that that's done. 
I am so grateful that after 17 days of self torture, I finished a book. 
I am so grateful that even though I got hit by a car and I didn't get my new car for a month because of repairs, the repairs are done. (mostly... just gotta take it in one more time!) 
I am so grateful today that all of the stresses, terribly classes, bad relationships, horrible heartbreaks, numbing fear, huge projects, periods of lost faith.... End. 
Today I'm full of gratitude. 
Today I know things are going to be okay. Because all bad things end eventually. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

20,000 words.

I'm 20,000 words in with my latest novel and as I reach the halfway mark I feel half empty. 
Not fully. Just almost half empty. Like all I have in me is words and I threw 20,000 of them at a blank screen and left them there, leaving their places empty inside of me.
I'm 20,000 words in with my latest novel and I feel like the most real parts of me have been hidden underneath those 20,000 words and now they're unearthed. 
Like all of that anxiety and self hatred and those dreams and hopes and plans and repressed memories and all that love was always there but buried underneath 20,000 words. Just waiting for me to find it. 
I'm 20,000 words in with my latest novel and I feel alone.
Like for the last year there have been voices in my head telling me a story and now I'm 30,000 words away from putting them completely on paper, giving them a home, and they won't be here anymore. 
I'm 20,000 words in with my latest novel and I have spent so much time already forming and creating and planning these people and this world and everything about them that I have forgotten who I am. I am 20,000 words closer to realizing that I've never known who I am without these made up people.
And I don't know how to handle the real world.