I'm Just Saying

Today is August

Every time I sit down to blog, a small part of me feels like a very wise all-knowing being sitting here having experienced all of these things in life. And now I get to sit here and write about all of it and bless your lives.

Like I said, it is only a small part of me that feels this way.

Then I am hit with the reality that I tend to blog about the same things over and over again. But when you really think about it, I think that’s a lot of what life is. Routines tend to fall into place and we sometimes have to do things over and over again. I don’t think it’s so much about learning the same lesson over and over again as it is about applying what we already know to each new situation.

At the beginning of this year, I wrote several blog posts about the things I thought were going to happen, and how I felt about the year in general. This year has been so many good things. I wrote about how I wanted to apply one word to my life this year:

Clean.

I wrote about how I wanted to emulate that word because I felt it. And I wrote about how it was going to impact my life this year. And because I wrote about that, I feel the need to update all of you periodically throughout the year.

I have honestly never been this successful in the realm of New Year’s Resolutions. To be fair, applying this word/concept to my life wasn’t necessarily a resolution, but it is the closest I’ll ever get. I chose this word because it is how I felt at the beginning of the year. I felt clean and fresh from everything that I had experienced beforehand. It was a new beginning in a way that the new year should always be.

It was interesting because it wasn’t like I had forgotten everything from before that I even really felt different from before, but I just felt as though this year would be different. I felt that pieces would fall into place that had been hovering over the board for some time. I felt that happiness would bloom in unexpected places. I felt that my path would be both solid and exciting.

So today, halfway through August, I just want to revisit all of these ideas.

And I still feel clean. There have been hard times. There have been moments when I was very scared. No doubt those aren’t over, that’s just kind of how life works. But there has been an insane amount of hope and light as well. I have found strength beyond my own to help me understand what to pursue and what to leave behind.

I have learned a great deal about life in general. And I’ve learned even more about love. I write about life and love A LOT, so I know that many of you are already aware of my many and various opinions on both subjects. But the one thing I want to focus on tonight is how love and life are both very evolving forces.

There are many things about them that stay the same, but even more things about them that change. And I think that the trick to being successful in both is understanding that, and being able to apply the things that stay the same to the things that change. Being able to understand that even though things change or have their own timeline, what is real and true and good never changes.

I'm Just Saying

Summary

I have had a few different ideas for a blog post over the last several days. A few of them would have required a lot of courage. Actually, most of them would have. I’m actually a little bit disappointed in myself because for a long time I’ve wanted to write a post about mental health. I was going to do it for Mental Health Awareness month, but guess what? That’s in May.

Not that I’m going to wait a year, that would be ridiculous. But it also isn’t a topic I just want to write on for the sake of it. I need to do it correctly and so for that reason, it’ll have to wait a bit longer.

There has been a lot happening in my life recently. Like. A lot.

I can sum all of these things up into two words: exciting and scary. If I’m being completely honest, I think that most of life is like that. Or maybe it should be if we’re living it correctly. I feel as though I am at a bit of a crossroads in my life. Simply because I feel that there is a lot coming up, and my life will probably change very drastically by the end of this year.

Most of you know that I’ve been accepted into the graduate program at King’s College London. I’m so excited! I start in September, and I just applied for housing this last week. (Which I actually should I have done much sooner, but that’s a different story for a different time.) The whole grad school experience thus far has been really amazing, and so, so much different than I thought it would be.

Especially after visiting the campus last month and getting to tour it, I really feel as though it is where I need to be. I feel like all of the things I have left to work out will fall into place and it’s going to be beautiful.

However, there is a “but”.

I am actually a little scared to write this down because even though it’s something I feel very strongly about, it will be different to have it written down and published. “Out there” if you will. Because there is always a chance I could be wrong. Anyway. Let’s carry on: I know that it is where I am supposed to be. I know that. But I also feel, very, very strongly, that something is supposed to happen before that.

I suppose we’ll see.

I feel like I blog about life a lot. Like. A LOT. And I think that most of the time I pretty much end up saying the same thing in a variety of ways. I have had a lot of interesting experiences this week at my apartment. A few of my roommates have been going through some hard things, and it has honestly been such a great opportunity to be able to be there for them.

This last semester of my undergrad has been one of the best I’ve ever had in college. I have great friends and so many other blessings. It has been so wonderful to see how Heavenly Father has blessed me. I can see so many things in my life coming together, and other things beginning to grow.

It is one of the times in my life when I am in this wonderful situation to be very happy and content with where I am at because there are so many lovely things. But to also be very happy and excited about the things that are developing and could come.

I’m hopeful.

 

I'm Just Saying

flying, flying, flying

I have been having this really weird form of writer’s block lately. It’s not really writer’s block, actually, but I can’t think of another way to describe it. I have had my blog on my mind so, so much. And I keep having this feeling that I need to write. And even more than that, I have come up with several different ideas for things I want to blog about.

And then I get here, write a few paragraphs, and know that I absolutely can’t post it.

This has happened to me every night for the past three or four nights. So, the conclusion that I’ve come to is that there is something specific that I am supposed to be saying to somebody in particular. And I figured that when I was supposed to know what that was I’d be able to blog again successfully.

So here we are. Maybe tonight’s the night.

The last week has been absolutely crazy at my apartment. I’m not kidding, and really not even exaggerating. Some things have happened to my roommates and other people I’m close to that have been insane. And to be honest, for a few days it was really overwhelming and I could only deal with it one moment at a time.

There are two concepts that have hit me very hard during this time: courage and love.

I have seen love overcome incredibly insurmountable odds in the last days. I think that we all at least want to believe that love can do that. But honestly, it can sometimes be hard to believe. But I’ve seen it up close and personal the last few days. Love does overcome things. Big mistakes, big hurt. Heartbreak. Things you never thought you could fix. Real love does fix it. It does overcome it. It has been amazing to watch.

For love to work like that, it takes courage.

So much of life takes courage. Real courage. True, true courage. One thing I’ve witnessed a lot through this is that things look different from moment to moment, day to day. On Saturday morning I spoke to a heartbroken roommate who only saw one option moving forward. And at the beginning of that conversation, I thought she was perhaps correct. But things changed rapidly. Because of love and courage. And tonight things are so, so different than we would’ve ever thought. Because of love and courage.

Life takes courage.

It takes courage to do the things that you know will bring you true joy and lasting happiness. And sometimes those things are very, very hard. And they seem so different from what you think you want at the moment. But true joy and lasting happiness are worth more than temporary contentment.

I think that can be a hard concept to wrap our heads around. A bigger perspective is something we don’t often have in 2019, let alone an eternal one. But love and courage in their real sense help us have that perspective and help us to make the decisions that we know are right. They help us through those moments when we think we can’t overcome things that have happened so that we can continue fighting for what is right in our lives.

I'm Just Saying

If You Leave The Light On

It has been about a week since I’ve blogged, and I have a lot on my mind tonight. Surprise, surprise. If I’m being honest, that actually happens to me a lot. I get on my blog pretty much every day, just to check and see how everything is and to peak at the blogs I follow. And sometimes I look at my blog and think, “All is well. I am pleased.” And then I continue on with my day. And after doing this for a few days, I’ll suddenly come on my blog and it’s as if my brain explodes with all these thoughts, feelings, and ideas that I absolutely have to get out and it’s as if the creator in me screams, “How have you been waiting around with all of this in your brain for eternity?! Write something, you fool!”

So here I am, writing something.

Like I said, I have a lot on my mind tonight. And if I’m being honest not a lot of it is positive. I have been having a great 2019. That is no lie. Wonderful, amazing things have happened to me so far this year and it’s only February. And there are so many more incredible things to come. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t had my off days. It does mean, however, that when I do have my off days I get frustrated. I just say to myself, “Um, self. What the devil? You’re actually doing super great so … get it together.”

Today is not, in fact, an off day. But I have had a few in the last week or so. And they haven’t been bad days. Just off days. Days when negativity comes seeping into my head and I can’t figure out why it just won’t leave me alone. Days when the people closest to me have felt like they were falling apart and I had to help hold them together. Those kinds of days.

I think it was last November, I was having a really, really, really bad day. I felt so alone and lost. I couldn’t figure out what to do with everything that was happening in my life. I was trying to hold everything together. So late one night I got in my car – wearing the classiest outfit I’ve ever put together mind you: Christmas pj’s, a sweater, socks, and flats. Class, class, class. – and I just started driving. I went to a very peaceful spot and called one of my good friends. She helped a lot. And then I started driving again. And I drove and drove and drove. All around my town and to my old town and around my old high school. And the entire time I listened to “Home” by One Direction on repeat. And somehow that helped.

Truthfully, every single time I am having a hard moment, no matter where on the scale of hard moments that it falls, I always come back to the same conclusion: trust God. He has a plan. Everything is going to be okay.

Several weeks later I went and spoke to one of my very trusted spiritual advisors and told him some of the things that were going on in my life. I had some pretty heavy issues I needed to discuss with him, and I was scared. But it was an incredible meeting. And I wish I could say that he said all of these wonderful, groundbreaking things and introduced all this truth I’d never thought of before, but he didn’t. In fact, he let me tell him some very hard things from my past, and a few things in my present, he let me shed a few tears, and then he said, “Did you know that Heavenly Father is in charge?”

And for whatever reason, it hit me right in the heart. And I couldn’t stop smiling.

I just started beaming from ear to ear. I couldn’t have stopped smiling if I’d tried. It is something that I have always known. It is something that I take for granted, actually. But for whatever reason, the truth of that sunk deep into my soul at that moment and it was exactly what I needed. He continued on telling me about how everybody’s life story is different and rarely does life ever go the way that we think it will. But God is God. His truth is unchanging. He cannot lie. He will not tell you something that isn’t true. He will not lead you down a wrong path.

A few days ago, my little sister Josie, who is one of my best friends on this earth (pretty sure I’ve blogged about that a million times), sent me a Youtube link. She does this often: sends me videos and pictures and all the things. And since I have this habit of not actually viewing them they are usually accompanied by a passive-aggressive, “Please watch this.” Well, the link she sent me the other day was accompanied by:

“Please listen to this song. I freaking love it. It might make you cry.”

I couldn’t decide if I was happy that she knew me this well or frustrated that she knew me and my life this well, but I did indeed listen to the song and it was beautiful. It did not, in fact, make me cry, but I responded, “I am not crying. But I feel like she spied on me.” You know those songs?

Anyway, it was very sweet. And I promise that there was definitely a point in telling you all of these very random and seemingly unrelated stories. But at this precise moment, I can’t remember what it was. But they do relate, and they are all very important to me. And they show that we aren’t alone, ever. And they show that life takes twists and turns but that what’s meant to be will always find a way.

Because God is always in charge.

I'm Just Saying

If You’re Reading This At 4 A.M…

I have almost written this post probably 20 times in the last year. Every single time I have obviously not, for various reasons. I just want to tell all of you a few things that I’ve learned. And a few things I believe. And a few things I’m holding on to. And a few things I am still trying to figure out. 

I have learned that human beings are infinitely complex. And that we have the capacity for so much. Whether that be good or evil. I have learned that the older you get the more gray areas emerge. Nothing is black and white. I have learned that life is messy. And that no matter where you go or who you meet, everybody as problems. And everybody has baggage. I have learned that the worst pain in the world isn’t physical. I have learned what it is to be connected with other people. To feel what they feel. To know they are in pain that you cannot heal. 

I have learned what it is to love. To love with every fiber that makes you who you are, and every infinite thing that makes up the spaces inside you. And I have learned what it is to fear that even that isn’t enough to heal the broken pieces. 

I have learned what it is to give second chances and to be given second chances. I have learned what it is to be so broken inside that you look in the mirror and can’t believe you are still put together. I have learned what it is to be so whole that you feel as though you couldn’t possibly contain all of the joy and rightness that is bursting through your heart. 

I believe in God. I believe that He speaks to us. And I believe that He always keeps His promises. And that He doesn’t lie. And that sometimes He asks us to be patient. Sometimes He asks us to wait. And sometimes that is hard. But He is always, always there making the same promises over and over again. Reminding you of the things He’s told you before. Reminding you that you aren’t alone. Reminding you that He is in charge. Reminding you that all things are possible. Reminding you that true joy and peace comes from Him and Him alone. 

I believe that life is different for everybody. And no story is exactly the same. But also we are all intricately connected. And it is absolutely vital that you find the path that God wants for you and stick to it, no matter what voices pull you in other directions. No matter what the world throws at you. That’s where true joy is. That’s where true peace is. 

I believe in love. That it will conquer everything if you let it. 

I’m holding on to answers whispered to me by the wind. And answers thrown in my face like a billboard. And answers spoken to me as if there was an actual person saying the words in my ear. I’m holding on to hope. I’m holding on to dreams. I’m holding on to love. Because it turns out that this love is stronger than every broken moment I’ve ever had. And it refuses to go away. It refuses to break. Maybe that’s the point of love. 

I’m trying to figure out how love really works. And how to use it to help fix the dark days. I’m trying to figure out if I really can use love like a weapon, or if it really is just a matter of feeling it and pouring it out of my heart. If it is the latter, I am more than capable of that.

I had a therapist teach me a visualization exercise once. You imagine somebody standing before you. The person in your life that you love most, or that you are having a hard time with, or the person who you want to express your love to the most. And you imagine the color pink, which represents love, pouring from your heart into theirs. And you let it flow freely, and you allow them to receive it freely. And if you do it correctly, you can actually feel a connection with that person as if they are standing right in front of you actually receiving all that love. 

And if you’re reading this at 4 a.m., please know that you’ve been that other person a million times. 

I'm Just Saying

Religion, Macklemore, & Wine

Today I did something completely insane.

I scrolled all the way to the end of my blog. All the way to the very first post. Published on November 12, 2013, and titled “Fear No More” this post was about how it’s okay to love Shakespeare. To embrace the wonderful things he gave us and not shy away from his work, even in this day and age.

shakespeare loveWhy did I do this, you may ask?

Because I have been thinking about this blog incessantly lately. If I posted for the very first time in November of 2013, that means that we hit our five year anniversary this year.

What?

And I’ll be the very first to say it: this blog has been through SO many ups and downs. One of the great things about reaching my very first post, which took a lot longer than I’ll here record, is that I got to see how I’ve evolved in my writing in the last four and a half years. I got to see the things that I used to blog about. The things that used to excite me.

I used to be a very exuberant writer.

The number of exclamation marks. The language. Oh, glory. What a ride we’ve been through to develop the writing style that I know pose on this blog of mine. If you think it’s a little crazy now, scroll back a few years. I dare you.

My blog has been struggling recently.

I won’t deny that. In fact, I’ll be even more honest and admit that my blog has been dead for about a year now. I have blogging friends that I haven’t heard from in a million years. Do you suppose they’re still alive? hello neon

The reasons behind the death of the vitality of my blog are probably many and various, and to be honest I’m not sure if this post is the correct way to go about fixing it. I’ve admitted before how dead this blog has been for a while, and none of that seemed to do much.

Not that I’m complaining.

I love blogging and I always have. My blog has often been a great place for me to go to in order to create and express myself. It’s been invaluable to me for so many reasons.

When I first started blogging, one thing that I loved to do was write posts about specific things about myself. I’d tell people fun facts about me, or overall just try to be funny, in order to attract more followers and feel a little bit more validated.

So I thought I’d do that again today. Just for old time’s sake.

  1. I love God. I love Him so much. It’s not enough to say that my religion is important to me. It’s everything to me. It influences most of my decisions, if not all. My relationship with God is central to my life. I’d be completely lost without it. I love it that I know He is always there. That He loves me unconditionally and knows me perfectly. There is no greater comfort than that. I know that He has a plan for my life. And when I am following Him and doing the things I know I need to be doing to very best of my abilities, there is such a safety and comfort to life. God is so good. He is so, so good.
  2. I am a huge Macklemore fan. I am. Most people would never, ever guess that about geminime in a million years. But Macklemore is one of my most favorite people who has ever lived on this planet. I not only love his music, but I think he’s a great person. If you don’t follow him on Instagram, you should. It’s a treat. I love Macklemore.
  3. I love wine. I have never had wine. In fact, I’ve never drunk at all. No joke. Not a lie. 100% honesty. For religious reasons, I have never drank and I never will. It’s a belief that I hold very close to me, no matter how ridiculous it might sound to the outside world. But all of that being said, you will have a very hard time finding anybody in this world who loves wine more than me. I’m absolutely fascinated by it. If it were in any way possible, I’d be a key figure in the wine industry. I’m fairly certain it’s impossible to do that and also keep my religious standards, so that will have to remain a dream. But I think wine is totally amazing and incredible. I study it whenever I can. I have books about wine that I’ve read a million times. I study every wine menu I ever come in contact with. I love wine. I think it’s beautiful.
I'm Just Saying

No Control

Becoming a part of the One Direction fandom is a little bit like I imagine falling down a mountain would be. You get a little bit too close to the edge just to peek at the view, and before you know it you are plummeting into a place from which there is no escape. The only difference, I think, is that once you get to the point of no return there’s absolutely nothing you regret.

Actual footage of me entering the 1D fandom

You’re broken a lot, there are a lot of feelings, and you may even be dead in some ways. But you do not regret it. In fact, you’d do it all again.

I have been a serious blogger for four years now. Some of the biggest pride in my blog comes from my very well thought out and deeply emotional posts. I’ve spilled my soul to all of you a lot of times.

Imagine my shock then, when I found myself pulled rather roughly in the One Direction world last summer, and with that was pulled into a world stereotypically labeled as that of fifteen-year-old girls.  And it is not only the fact that I was pulled into the fandom, it is the fact that I am more than happy to be here now.

I regret nothing.

Here’s the deal: I’m 22 years old. And One Direction is currently on hiatus.

midnight memoriesSo there are a few problems with me joining the One Direction family when I did. Namely, I have to make my way through their whole library of songs as well as enjoy their solo music as it comes out. That is a lot of phases to navigate through all at once, people. Another problem is that I feel like such a proud mom…even though I’m basically the same age as all of them. I’m not sure why that is, but that is the way it is. The final problem is that I find myself missing One Direction so much. Very much, even though I wasn’t around when they were making music together.

You can think or say anything you want about One Direction, obviously, though I respectfully submit that if you don’t like them you didn’t have to read this far. One thing that I would like to say about One Direction, or maybe just about music in general, is that they helped me in a time when very little else could. Call it what you want, but the boys helped me through some very, very dark times. I think that is the true beauty of the music we love, or whatever it might be. The power these important things have to help us through the dark times. explain why

It obviously isn’t a secret that I love One Direction, I have blogged about them before. But I guess that the difference in this post is that I just wanted to highlight the beauty of loving something. The One Direction fandom is huge and extensive, and there are moments when I find myself simultaneously terrified of the lengths my fandom will go to to get information about the boys or proud of the lengths we will go to to protect them. But in the end, there is a very real, if sometimes strange, connection that binds us all together as One Direction fans.

I think one of the greatest things about being human is that we have the opportunity to find things like this that we love: music, movies, sports, art, or whatever it is. Whatever it is that brings you this joy or helps you through the dark moments. It could be one thing or many things, but whatever it is it’s beautiful.