Monday, September 23, 2013

The (Shipped) Gold Standard

Tomorrow is the celebration of one month of living in Salt Lake City. One month of being a student at the University of Utah. One month of living in a house. One month of hellish adventures and exasperating frustrations. One month of memorable adventures and exciting happiness. One month of gaining experience.

And I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there, I'll tell you how I learned about life in just 30 short days.

1. Life hates any plan that you design for yourself and will happily and enthusiastically destroy any part of it that it doesn't like 

If you had told me a year ago that in 2013, I would be attending my rival university, living in downtown Salt Lake with someone I barely knew, and be trying to figure out a relationship with a missionary, I would have laughed myself  into a coma. And then woke up and punched you in the face. I seriously can't tell you how polar opposite my life was last year. I was attending BYU, dating a guy I had been with for two years, living in a comfortable little dorm room with freshman as naive and terrified as I was, and expecting life to stay that way for a few years. But as we all witness and experience, everything can change in a matter of seconds. Roadblocks pop up, people disappear, new people appear, your lens of the world around you changes, and pretty soon you're taking a much different path then you anticipated. Life has been sweet and gentle enough (cough) to inform me that I'm an idiot and that I'm in much less control then I want to be. But that's part of your learning process. Learning flexibility, patience, and endurance. Learning how to cope, how to work independently, how to manage challenges that might arise. Learning who is important and what the big picture is. Learning how to be a functional individual in a world where rationality and common decency are quite rare. Learning how to be YOU and accepting that YOU have a place in the universe. I hope I get something right about the path I plan for myself but I'm glad to be learning.

Another thing I've learned about life is that there is no wrong plan, there is simply good, better, and best. It wasn't wrong of me to go to BYU even if I'm not there now. It wasn't wrong of me not to serve a mission, even if it's what was expected of me. There are no wrong paths because they are all paths of learning. They are all paths of shaping your character and they are all paths that lead to a better you in the future. Even though life forces you to backtrack, stumble, question, hesitate, and wander, there are no wrong answers to where you choose to go.

2. Setting goals goes a long way 

As I've just said above, life has a tendency to shove your plans back in your face. But I've found that setting goals has been a good way to fight back against that opposition. Or maybe just make me feel better about it. Ok, maybe it's just so that I feel more accomplished. BUT, it helps :) It's pretty hard to progress if you don't have an idea of where you want to progress to. Make goals for your education, make goals for aspects of your character you want to change, make goals for your physical and social well-being. Or maybe all three. Never settle for travelling along on a plateau, always try to climb to new heights.

3. Life is not meant to be lived in comfort zones 

In just this month alone, I've had more unique and new experiences then I ever did in the last year. I've been to three concerts, several dance parties, sat in the home section at a football game cheering on the rival team, used public transportation to get pretty much everywhere, shopped in a Walmart with a parking garage, attempted to go to a frat party ;), lived in a house with girls several years older than me, and the list goes on and on. And this year is turning out to be an AMAZING one! Honestly, I've been so much happier doing the unexpected and just taking life by the horns. Life isn't meant to be watched from the sidelines, it's meant to be played. Take opportunities that you wouldn't have taken otherwise. And if opportunities aren't coming, seek them out yourself.

4. Things are never the way they appear

A month ago, I was beyond excited to be moving into cute little house in the Avenues in Salt Lake. Like constant singing, random dancing, big cheesy smile excited. But it only two weeks for Andrea and I to realize that our castle in the city was more like a prison in hell. The kitchen faucet broke and  currently sprays water all over the kitchen when you turn it on. Box Elder bugs crawled in from every crack in the wall and I would have to vacuum dozens of them up every other night in the bedroom. During the first big rainstorm, the ceiling in the living room leaked and soaked the couch. The bathroom sink is clogged most of the time and the toilet takes about 5 minutes to recover after you flush it. Half the outlets in the house stopped working. The utilities company was kind enough to inform us that there is a major water leak in the house somewhere, most likely in the vacant room. My landlord goes out of his way to make sure he ignores us when we call to complain. My other roommate steals my food and dishes, walks around the house wearing next to nothing, leaves a mess wherever she goes, sends me a text to tell me something when I'm in the same room as her, and is the most uncooperative person I've ever had the misfortune to meet. When I moved in a month ago, I never would have guessed that in a matter of days Andrea and I would be apartment hunting and be ready to move out after less than 3 weeks of living there. Yet here we are. Always hope for the best and expect the worst. Life has a tendency to surprise you in the most unwelcome and inconvenient ways but sometimes it can be a welcome surprise. Either way, be optimistically cautious.  

5. Things don't happen when you sit and wish, they happen through action.

My whole entire experience in Salt Lake so far can be summed up by the word action. Moving in, starting school, realizing I was in trouble where I was living, job hunting, apartment hunting, signing new contracts, finding replacements, testing my patience, fighting with the landlord, setting myself to have my heart broken, trying to have some fun amongst the craziness. ACTION. And believe me, life wouldn't get done without all that action. Sitting and hoping my first week didn't work at all. Even though there have been plenty of times where I've screwed up this month with everything going on, the only thing I regret are the times that I stood by without trying to fix my situation. If you want something to change, YOU have to do it. Fate isn't going to do it for you anymore, other people won't do it for you, the only person that can make you progress in life is you. And believe me, you are more capable of making change then you could ever expect. Everyone is.

Now that you've pondered my sage advice or delusional ramblings (whichever, neither answers are wrong!), please enjoy this delightful music video.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


This week, my inspiration is music. These past few weeks have been ridiculous with signing a new lease, getting ready to move, putting my current apartment on KSL, meeting possible replacements that have exceeded even my own wildest expectations, dealing with my psycho roommate who was placed on this earth merely to test all boundaries of my patience and sanity, finding and obtaining a new job, and attempting to reconcile with life. Here are some of my saviors this week... What's listed is the album title and my favorite song from the album is the video. Enjoy and no hating! ;) BTW, this isn't in any particular order

1. Franz Ferdinand~Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions (Pretty much anything by Franz Ferdinand will change your life)

2. Kanye West~808s and Heartbreak

3. Kaskade~Atmosphere (Outstanding Album)

4. Arctic Monkeys~AM (if you like the Black Keys, you'll love this album)

5. The Black Keys~Brothers (El Camino is also a fantasic album)

6. Empire of the Sun~Walking on a Dream (Best album in the history of forever and always)

7. Panic! At the Disco~Vices and Virtues (Miss Jackson isn't on this album but it's my favorite song)

8. The Neighbourhood~I'm Sorry

9. Macklemore~The Heist (My mancrush and not-so-secret lover ;) Also listen to the V.S. EP and the original version of Otherside. Original version is incredible.)
10. Coldplay~Mylo Xyloto

11. Deadmau5~4X4=12 (Honestly it was tied with For Lack of A Better Name album so you should just listen to both!)

12. Florence and the Machine~Ceremonials (Lung Album is also phenomenal) 

13. Lana Del Ray~Born To Die

14. Krewella~Play Hard EP

15. The Killers~Hot Fuss

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Time to Pretend

"Pick you up, let you down, when I wanna go to a place I can hide. You know me, I had plans but they just disappeared to the back of my mind. Oh can it be, the voices calling me they get lost and out of time. I should've seen a glow but everybody knows that a broken heart is blind."

"I'm on the pursuit of happiness and I know everything that shine ain't always gonna be gold. I'll be fine once I get it, yeah, I'll be good."

"I keep on running, keep on running and nothing helps. I can't get away from you."

"But there is really nothing, nothing we can do. Love must be forgotten. Life can always start up anew. "

"When you're tired of racing and you found you never left the start. Come on baby, don’t let it break your heart.. When you're tired of aiming your arrows, still you never hit the mark."

If you know who sings all of the lyrics I used in the beginning of the post without cheating, we can be best friends for life.

As you can probably guess, the sitting, waiting, and wishing is over. Now here's to sitting, waiting, and wishing that some kind of hope is on the horizon.

I'm a single lady. My hands are up. I haven't put on my black leotard and hooker heels to dance around the white room in. My hands are shakily staying up. I hope soon that I'll be prancing around the universe with no cares in the world again. I hope I embrace that I will only have to worry about myself and frankly there's no one that does a better job of that than me. I hope that in spending some quality time alone that the only person that I need to learn to trust in is myself and that no one is in charge of my happiness besides me. I hope I can appreciate that my future is MINE and that's one thing no force in the universe can take that from me.

My inspirations for the week: Empire of the Sun because they are gods of the music world, Catherine because she's a huge example to me and is willing to share in the pain of this time of life, Josh because he let me make fun of him yesterday about his hilarious nightmares about life, Ansel because he listens to Black Eyed Peas and wants to take selfies with me, Alex because he can make me laugh, and my parents that seem like the only people in the world that still are behind me.

Life will be ok someday guys. Life is going to be ok....

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Feel Good Inc.

Well it's the end of my first week out of the BYU danger zone. And guess what lovelies?


Simply divine. I absolutely love it at the U. The students body is so diverse, there really is a place for everybody here. Even for somebody like me that doesn't really fit in anywhere.

To try to help you understand my situation, we will explore one of my favorite movies of all time: Mean Girls. One of the reasons I left BYU is that I didn't fit in there at all. I was like Cady Heron on her first day of school, just your old-fashioned outcast eating my lunch in the bathroom stall (figuratively... or maybe literally... but probably figuratively ;) ). Going to the U is like being part of the PLASTICS for me. I love the diversity. I love the laidback personality. I love that the students come from all sides of life. I love living in Salt Lake. I love my adorable neighborhood that reminds me of Seattle. In essence, I'm in love with my new life.

Granted, my first week here hasn't been all dandelions and sunshine. In the craziness girls moving in and out, my internet service was cancelled, forcing me to camp at the library for most of the day to be able to do anything. I have no friends where I live. One of my roommates is driving me absolutely bonkers with her immaturity. The cooling system in my apartment is outdated and the temperature inside usually hovers in the 80s. Everyone I know lives at least 40 minutes away from me. The Box Elder bugs in the neighborhood are driving me to insanity and filling my life with terror. I was sent to 3 different wards today for church just in time for them to tell me that the ward I meet in had already finished their meetings hours ago.

But darlings, I am blessed.

 I am so grateful for the opportunity to live up in Salt Lake and to go to school at the U. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I actually belong somewhere. I feel like I'm heading in a positive, forward direction instead of just wandering. I feel like I'm progressing. Every person who I've crossed paths with is respectful, selfless, and unconditionally kind. Without their help, I would still be hopelessly wandering the school, hopelessly riding the bus without a clue where I'm at, hopelessly being trampled at the school dance when the drunkards at the campus party decided to mosh, and hopelessly trying to use the school's grading system.

I really want to shout out to my absolutely incredible boyfriend. He has been a huge support in the process of finding and moving into this apartment and I'm richly blessed. It amazes me how someone can be such a positive influence in my life, even when living so far away. Even though he won't be able to read this, he still deserves all the recognition I can give him. :) I'm a very fortunate person.

Guys, I'm blessed. Need I say more? :)