I'm Just Saying


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

Paper Airplanes

The package was a bit unexpected. Mostly because it was a Sunday. I was on my way home from my family’s house after Sunday dinner, which I haven’t gone to in a million years. When I was about five minutes away from home I got a call from my roommate Kaleigh and she asked me if I was expecting a package.

Of course, I was instantly racking my brain trying to figure out what I could’ve possibly ordered. I mean, I am expecting a letter from the Dean of Westminster Abbey but I figured he probably isn’t going to send me a package. Then Kaleigh said, “It’s got a Niall Horan CD taped to it.” I didn’t have to hear the rest of the sentence, “And boy handwriting,” before I knew exactly what it was and who it was from.

I got home exactly 27 seconds later, walked into my apartment, greeted Kaleigh and her boyfriend and remarked, “Hey! Thank you! I just need a few minutes to open all this up.” Then I walked to my room, closed the door, and set the package on my bed. I took the CD off first, smiling at Niall (and the handwriting on the box). Then I took a deep breath and opened the package.

I grinned at the necklace, holding it in my hands for a few moments. Thinking about the necklace and everything that’s gone on with that. Then I pulled the poster out and gasped. Out loud. Alone in my room. And said very loudly, “OMG he didn’t!!!” Then I laughed really hard and spent a moment thinking about Frank and how he was arrested for carrying on with a married woman. Ah. Those were the days.

And then, finally, I read the letter.

It made me laugh. (I KNEW you had a secret love for that joke. I KNEW IT.) But it was wonderful. Perfect, even. Exactly everything I could’ve needed or wanted. To my surprise, it didn’t make me cry. It was nice. So nice. I’ve spent the last 24 hours trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to say, and how I wanted to say it. And if I wanted to say anything at all. I know I already said thank you, but thank you. Thank you so much.

As far as the beginning of the letter goes, it was a little formal but not “ridiculously”. I was so happy to hear that things are going better. For forever and no matter what, I’ll always just want you to be happy. Really and truly happy. I know that you didn’t say, “Hey I’m crazy happy now,” but even if you aren’t I feel like you’re getting there. Reading that you feel like you again made my heart so full. If I’m being honest, though, I could feel that before I read it. I’ve always been able to feel when you’re you and when you’re not. Even through a letter or text. It sounds weird worded that way, but I know you know what I mean. You always have.

As much as I’ve always been able to know you like nobody else can, you’ve been able to know me. It’s the same intensity both ways. It’s just the way that it is with us. And yes, I completely agree, it still doesn’t feel like you’re gone. I don’t super understand it, but I’m glad, too.



I'm Just Saying

Sweet Creature

To The Person I Was On February 19, 2017,

Today is going to be one of the best days of your entire life. Today you’re going to learn a lot of things that don’t seem real. They are. You’re going to learn that dreams do come true. You’re going to learn that love is real. You’re going to learn that you’re worth it. You’re going to learn that you can look in somebody’s eyes and know you have found the home you have always dreamed of finding. You’re going to learn that Heavenly Father doesn’t lie. That He is constant and true. And He will not give you answers that will lead you to nowhere.

In the next seven weeks, you will experience happiness you never even knew existed. You will know the feeling of having found that one person who wants you for time and all eternity. My advice is very simple:

Don’t you dare look back. It’s going to be scary. And there will be so many unknowns. If you have a concern or a thought, please don’t hold it back. Share it. Try and work things out if they get hard. But jump. Okay? Don’t be scared. Beautiful, incredible, even sacred moments are about to occur in your life. And I want you to be truly present for all of them.

Heavenly Father has given you so many answers. And He will continue to do so. And I’m here to tell you now that a lot of them aren’t going to make any sense. But please follow them anyway. Please don’t give up.

Today you are going to learn that God has a plan. And that His plan will always come to pass. Today you are going to learn that what is meant to be will always always always find a way. And there will be plenty of times in the next two years, even today as I’m writing this, that you are going to think about this concept and spit at it. But I promise you that God is more powerful than anything you know. He is more powerful than any dark moment. More powerful than any earthly weakness or temptation. And His work is not frustrated. That’s not the way it works.

Today is going to be one of the best days of your life. I beg of you to please cherish every single second. And all the seconds to come. Jump. And don’t look back.

I love you.

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

Like We’re All Gonna Make It

There are a handful of memories in my life that I look back on as the best ones. I think you know what kind I’m talking about. They are the kind of memories that you look back on and the beauty almost hurts. There is a sort of golden sheen over the picture as you sunrelive it. Sometimes when we’re in the midst of these moments we understand it, and we think to ourselves, “I’m going to remember this forever. This moment is about to join the foundation of who I am.” And other times we don’t know that, we only have to discover it later.

These moments are happiness.

I’ve been really intrigued by the idea of happiness for a very long time. Mostly because I think that happiness means something different to all of us, but yet we are all scrambling to find it. Amidst the countless directions that life pulls all of us in, I believe that at the end of the day all of us are working towards a moment when we feel like we’ve “made it”.

“Making it” is an interesting phrase, but I think it is what we modern people say in place of happiness. We want to be financially stable, emotionally stable, stable in relationships, or just able to watch our favorite show every now and again and not feel ragingly guilty about wasting time. We are all working towards this moment when we’ll finally be there; when we’ll finally arrive at the sight of happiness. When we’ve “made it”.

Now before you jump to conclusions, please understand that I am not going to sit here and tell you any of the following cliches: Happiness is in the journey [and/or] Happiness is a choice. While I believe that these cliches hold truth and exist for a reason, I also just hate cliches. Just so much. So I’m not going to take that route on this happiness post. flowers

I think nobody has found the perfect formula for happiness because it doesn’t really exist. And I think it doesn’t exist because happiness is different for everybody. And there are different kinds of happiness. For example, I received several vinyl records for Christmas. My family knows me very well that way, and that gives me happiness. Each time I pull them out and listen to them, I feel that happiness all over again. My records make me happy. But that isn’t the kind of deep, long-lasting, “making it” type of happiness that we are all looking for. I think it’s a piece of happiness.

So what is happiness, really? Is it one big “I’ve finally made it” or is it just the little pieces of happiness all added up? Or both? Or something different altogether?

I think that the answer is very simple but also a little complicated: whatever happiness means to you is what it means. I wish that happiness wasn’t such an elusive thing. Are we really meant to just search for it for forever before finally realizing that the journey was the happy part? Or are we actually supposed to get there?

My personal belief is that we’re supposed to get there. We’re supposed to make it.

light and darkI think that happiness evolves over the course of a lifetime. And there are definitely going to be times in our lives that are anything but happy. And no matter what inspirational quote dares show its face in those times, sometimes life is just darkness. Sometimes you can’t choose happiness no matter how hard you try. But I think that in those times the important thing is to remember that it did exist once and that it can again. And in that way happiness is very closely linked with hope. And that is one of the ways in which it lasts.

It is interesting to me that happiness creates so many problems.

If I look at it from the spiritual perspective that I tend to apply to most things, it makes sense. I mean, why would Satan (or whatever you believe in as far as the kind of realm goes) want us to be happy? I personally believe that God wants us to be happy. He wants us to have joy. He thinks we deserve everything good. God thinks we deserve happiness.

So whatever happiness means to you, remember that. If you find yourself surrounded bybridge darkness, remember those golden moments and have hope that there will be more. If you are in a moment of happiness in your life, cherish it. Be grateful for it. Love every second. We’re all navigating our personal road, and that’s okay. But just remember that 100%, totally, completely, you belong in the light and not the dark. You deserve the gold moments.

Happy travels.


Just Writing

The Leaf

The Leaf

somewhere deep in the forest
a leaf grew on the high branches

one day she changed
to vibrant red and gold

she merely thought it was her time
the time she’d waited for

she didn’t know
she was about to die

in hues of majesty
she held onto her branch

overlooked the forest
and understood contentment

she watched her change
and was happy

she didn’t know
she was about to die

a wind came from the south
carrying black clouds

but she didn’t have strength
to hold on

it had been sapped
the colors had weakened her

she knew
she was about to die

somewhere deep in the forest
a leaf grew on high branches

one day the red and gold betrayed her
and she fell to the ground

and shattered on the forest floor
nothing to catch her

she hadn’t known
what it felt like to die

and there, upon the ground
the leaf stayed forever

ever slowly falling apart
blending into the brokenness

she watched the long life of others
saw their contentment

she watched as they knew
that they would never die