Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'm a hobbit...I wander...I'm not lost...and I have short legs.

I have no idea where I am going. But I am not lost. I don't know what I want to do with my life. But it does not mean I don't have direction. I don't have a destination, but I enjoy where I am in the moment. I am happy.

I choose to be happy.

I am going to Germany in less that a month. For some reason I'm more scared to do this than I ever was to go to India. But I'm going. People keep asking me when they find out I'm scared, "Do you really have to go?" Of course I don't have to go. I don't have to do anything I don't want to. But I am going. I made a commitment, signed a contract. And Why the heck should I NOT do something simply because it frightens me?

"A life lived in Fear is a life half lived" -Strictly Ballroom-

I don't want to live a half lived life. I am not settling for mediocre. I want to live a life of excellence. And in the past few months I've learned what that entails. For one: Last night I was lying in bed, in anticipation of my last two finals I took this morning. I knew I would bomb them and it was in result of how uncommitted to my schooling I'd been this semester. I threw away my semester. I do this pretty much every semester. I will not commit to doing anymore schooling until I am willing to finish. I will not commit to do something I am not willing to see to the finish.
People keep asking why I'm going to Germany. Of course I tell them, I'm nannying, etc. But the truth is: I've always wanted to live in Germany. I just found a way. I look at my brother Russell, who I love and adore and love the life he has lead, studying in Italy, studying in New York, studying in California, being totally awesome. And I want those experiences, but I want them uniquely for me. I don't know what I want to do in a year when I get back from Germany, I have no clue. But that doesn't matter. I know where I'll be in a month. I know where I am now.

I recently read an old friend's blog and she had an entry about the things she's accomplished in the last 5 years. As I read her extraordinary and seemingly overachieving, but completely sincere resume of life experiences, I began to fill my heart sink. Maybe my life was completely mediocre. I could go on to explain how I comforted myself and the reasons I gave myself to make me feel better, but I came to this conclusion: who cares? You've always known you are completely the opposite kind of person she is, and all you need to worry about is fullfilling the things YOU want to do.
And I have
I've already knocked things off my 1o1 things to do before I die:
1-Volunteered in India
2-Seen a Broadway play in NYC
3-Seen the Taj Mahal
4-Sky Dive
5-Tandem biked on the beach
6-Eaten dinner on a beach
7-Gotten my own puppy
8-Performed in Ragtime
9-Played the Tambourine and sang in a band
10-Seen Sutton Foster Perform live
11-Learn Yoga
12-Ride a horse in a dress
13-Attend the Olympics

Sure I have a while to go, but I'm getting there, and it will be amazing how many I get knocked off living in Europe. I've learned that you just have to take one thing at a time, or two or three, and work until you knock them off your list.
I won't live my life in fear. I'm not going to stop myself from doing something because it seems looming or intimidating or scary. It's not fair to myself.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain

Aye...there's the rub.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The most wonderful time of year

I love Christmas. I do. I love everything about it, the snow, the smells, the smiles, the trees, the lights, and of course being with my family. So it breaks my heart whenever someone tells me they don't like Christmas or they hate Christmas or Christmas is the worse time of year or something along those lines.

I found myself this year starting to get the attitude of, Oooooh it's Christmas again. And I started to think, how can I make this Christmas season personal for me.
Christmas is supposed to be a time of year where everyone is happy. And it's not about you being happy. It's about making the world happy. About connecting with the humans around you. I believe Charles Dickens said it perfectly in his novel, "A Christmas Carol."

"There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say," returned the nephew. "Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round -- apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that -- as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!"

I think that we also need to realize that this is one time of year we have a responsibility to make others happy. Not because we are asked to, not because we have an obligation, but because that's what you DO. To make this year better, I have decided for the next month I am going to focus on two things: gratitude and service.
I am going to focus more on the things I'm grateful for, the things that have been given to me in my life, the things i have and do that make my life as wonderful as it is. The other thing I'm going to focus on is service. On how I can make life happier, even if for a moment. Someone asked me how you find opportunities for service, and I realized, it doesn't have to be a big act that changes someone's life. It could be a smile, or opening a door, or participating in sunday school class, etc. Service is just about being aware of those around you and what you can do to make their day a little brighter. It's about being aware of someone other than yourself. :)
So it is the most wonderful time of the year, as long as we focus on what this season is really about, not about ME ME ME. Because if one stops worrying about one's self, then one will really be happy.
The other day, my friend asked me about my favorite tradition at Christmas. I said, after the nativity, after the kids go to sleep, my brothers and sisters and I stay up and help Santa. And watching how excited and happy everyone is to give to others and surprise....this night is the reason I love Christmas. Because no one is concerned about themselves, they understand Santa and why it's important to believe. He's more than just a jolly rotund man in a red suit. Santa is so much more. And watching my brothers and sisters and in-laws Christmas Eve is a reminder of what Christmas is really about.
"for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset....and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us!"
--So Merry Christmas everyone, I hope you find a way to love and enjoy Christmas and have the most happy season in the world.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The light at the end of the tunnel?

So last night, not phyically or verbally, but emotionally I said goodbye to something. This something that has consumed every aspect of my life and I haven't been able to move on. And although the emotional goodbye last night didn't feel anything like I expected it to, I still did it. And I know it. I chose last night that after finishing filming, I didn't have much reason to stay attached to this person and have him in my life. And after a year of having that person be the most important person in your life, that's a hard choice to make, but when it becomes detremental and excruciating to you, you have to stop consuming the poison in order to get healthy again.
I think something that helped me come to this place was that in the past week or so, I found something in my life, a goal. And it made me so excited for the last couple of days. It was like finally seeing some light after being in the dark for so long. I see the end of that tunnel. I see something to walk towards instead of fumbling around in the dark hoping I don't get hurt. And although, at this moment, i feel a little down for the fact I did decide to say goodbye to this person, especially since after last night watching this person, I saw taht he has already moved on and found someone to fill the space in his life I occupied for so long. He is no longer my responsibility. I am my own responsibility.
So this morning I opened my scriptures and read 2 chapters. I haven't done that in longer than you can believe. I didn't have a spiritual revelation, I didn't have some huge experience. But I opened my scriptures, I did what I was supposed to be doing. I'm looking at jobs. I sewed an amazing costume. And I want to go home and do it some more!!!
The pain isn't gone yet. I don't know if the pain will be so much as gone, but that other things will be in my life so the pain isn't constantly there. And although I've been in the darkest place in my lfie, and I'm not out of it yet, I can see that light at the end of the tunnel, and although it's small, it's still bright, and I'm just going to walk towards it, no matter what stumbling it takes or what pain i have to go through to get there. I know it isn't going to get easy from here, but I have some direction.
I have so many things in my life that help me keep walking. They help me keep moving and although those things weren't really visible in the dark, I can see them again, and they are so inspiring, they're beautiful.
I have an amazing mother who loves and supports me no matter what I do. She loves me so much an gives me so much. So does my father. I have been doing so many costumes lately, and it makes me so happy. I love it. I love costumes and I love to design them. They make me so happy. And you know what? I'm good at it! I AM. And I need to stop selling myself short with my costuming skills and allow myself to grow in that area. There's my puppy, Coco. I love her so much, and cuddling her and playing with her and watching her sleep and chase tennis balls makes me so happy. It is euphoric to have a puppy that loves you so much. And she does.
I have so many people who inspire me, I have my best friend Kristi who is dedicated and loving and so concerned about her friends. She has goals and she goes after them, no matter how scared she may be. My niece Courtney is beautiful (that's the understatement of the year. Courtney is stunningly beautiful. I told my mom the other day it was a shame my sister Jacki didn't have more children, because her girls are beautiful.) She is talented in everything she does. She has the most beautiful spirit and glowing smile. She is kind and patient and full of love and service to those around her. Actually to everyone, not just those around her. I look at her (and all my neices and nephews) and I can't imagine having children, because I can't imagine loving anything more than I love these children. But Courtney embodies what I wish I could be so much.
Lastly is my brother Russell. I have told many people so many times that my brother russell is my favorite person in the whole wide world and I mean it. He lives in NYC and I miss him like crazy. And yet talking on the phone with him, getting emails from him, anything, makes me so happy. In my dark tunnel of a year, Russ has been one of those fleeting moments of light and warmth, like lighting a match, or using a temporary flashlight. No one in the world makes me laugh like Russell, and he is so wise and together, I just see him as one of the greatest people in my life. He's never sat and given me astounding words a wisdom or talked me through the past year, but he makes me happy to be around and he's light, and he listens when I need him to, and he is just the best brother anyone could ever have.
So there IS a light at the end of the tunnel. We just gotta keep looking till we find it. It doesn't make everything brighter, and it doesn't totally take away the darkness and the pain, but it atleast gives you a direction until you can get out of the darkness. And I'm on my way there.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

One Year Later....

Today It has been one year since I arrived in India. I think. And that's what it says in my journal, that I had no idea what day or time it was. spending a day and a half on airplanes will do that to you.

But i look back on the past year. I feel like INdia was a huge push in the direction I was supposed to go, and I have no idea what that was. I find myself in the same place i was before I decided to go to India, not knowing what to do with my life. Not knowing where to go or what to do. also, I find myself scared to try anything. India seemed so...not real, I think that's why it was easy to choose to do it. I think about going back now, and it scares me more than the first time I went.

This last year, I've dealt with some of the hardest things I've ever had to, (not all of it, but some of them) but I've also had some of the greatest experiences. And I look at the week I got home from India, and everything from then has been an avalanche of what I've had to come to deal with to this point. People I've met, things I've tried, choices I've made, Things people have told me, choices my friends have made. etc. They all have dominoed since I got back. My mom said to me, "Wow, I bet you wish you could go back and rewind and do this year over again, don't you?" but I have to be honest, while that would be very tempting and I could spare myself from A LOT of pain and stress and emotion and bla bla bla, i most certainly would NOT rewind and do over.

I don't know what good things are going to come out of this or what life long lessons I've learned in the past year, but I wouldn't give up the good moments just so I could give up the painful ones. And I had to have the painful ones to get the good ones.

Anyway, I've been home from India, And although I feel like I haven't gotten anywhere, I have had a lot of great things. I got to be in Ragtime, I got paid to Costume Design, My three best friends and I have even better relationships, but all three of those relationships had to go through some pain to get where they are. My sister lives closer to us and I get to see her on a regular basis. I got to go to NYC.

I truly am blessed through my tribulations. And they haven't stopped. I still get the tribulations, and I still feel stuck in my life and I have no idea where to go or what to do or if I should move to Provo or Chicago or California or if I should dye my hair red or if I should sale my car or get a new job. I just know that I wouldn't rewind the last year.

And India was amazing. That's definitely one thing I would never redo.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Everyone has a blog it seems like. So I jump on the bandwagon. Sometimes I feel blogs are dangerous. They're public journals. We feel it safe in our moments of desperation or emotion to write down our inner-most feelings, risking the chance that the people involved in our passion will not read this nor find offense. Yet, here I am, writing a blog. I'm sure I'll write down my passionate feelings, because we are all guilty of doing it. Meh. Anyway, I guess when I need to write something down, i'll do that. I don't expect this to be a journal where I give the boring details of my life. I feel a blog, especially if others are reading it, shouldn't be about boring lives. Unless something exciting is going on. Like trips. Or drama. Or bla bla bla. Yeah. Okay. I'm done writing already.