Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Band-aid

This week is quite like the process of ripping off a band-aid.

First, there is all the anxiety that builds up before the band-aid is actually ripped off.

Next, you brace yourself, and rip it off quick!

After that there is a sting and discomfort, but this is only temporary.

In the end, there may still be a scar, but it all heals up and life moves on.


I have never in my life lived away from my family for more than three weeks. And those times I wasn't even completely on my own. Molly was with me.
I have all of this anxiety building up. There's emotional exhaustion with all of this packing. Worrying about there being enough room in the Element for everything I need to bring. Making sure I have everything. Then packing away everything I'm not taking with me, and saying 'goodbye' temporarily to things that have been a part of my life since childhood. Not having everything in its place. In my room, there is a place for my clothes, my shoes, my jewelry, my books, my pictures, my art supplies, my music, everything. Now they are all in boxes scattered across my room. Labeled, of course, but they are not in their place. And then knowing that in just 54 hours, I will be saying 'goodbye' to my younger siblings and dogs, all of whom I love so much. It makes me very sad and anxious. I'm not looking forward to it. I just want it to be done. This is normal, and as mentioned above, similar to being anxious about pulling off the band-aid.

Come early Friday morning (5 am), we will be pulling out of the driveway to start the 1300 mile trek across the midwest and into the mountain valleys. Leaving my siblings, dogs, familiar beautiful home, and everything else I love about Dubuque is the band-aid being ripped off. Not fun.

The following days will sting, especially when my parents drive off an leave me in Rexburg. I can guarantee you I will be so homesick. I'm making plans on eating super healthy and getting things ready to do, like journal writing, cooking, and socializing so that I can have a distraction and don't become too physically sick from the emotional toll.

I imagine that by a month from now I will be feeling much better. I will still be homesick, scars will still be there. But life will be better, things will be progressing, and time will go by so fast.

I'm excited to be making this huge step towards the rest of my life. I feel like I'm literally walking through the doors into life. I spent the first several years sheltered in childhood. High school and the first two and 1/2 years of college have been spent in the "front yard" and maybe around the block of my childhood "shelter". But now I'm totally going away, expanding horizons, and starting fresh. It's so cool!

Just gotta get past the hard part, first.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Stewing

The past three to four weeks have been quite the roller coaster, now that I sit back and look at it all. There were finals to study for. A research essay and a twenty page paper to write. I was excited to be done at Clarke. My nervousness in getting everything ready for Idaho grew, along with anxieties about Idaho - the social part, emotional and physical comfort, being so far away from home. And for the majority of these past few weeks, I have been preparing myself to not see Nick again until April.

Through it all, I have survived.
But I keep finding myself in a frustrated mood.
I get angry at things too easily. I feel very impatient. I say rude things and feel those words are deserved, even though they are not. I feel mean.

So today I have been doing a lot of thinking. This is one thing about myself that I really like. I am nearly always thinking, and I usually think deep. I take in details very well, and I can also see the big picture very well at the same time. With this, I am able to "step out" of my body in a way, and look at my life, see what has happened, what is going on, assess my feelings and thoughts and discover why I feel the way I do.*

So, after much thinking, I have pinned the reason why I feel so frustrated.

As mentioned in my last post, I was bullied during that final.
The frustration that built up from that situation has not left. Those jerks made me feel silent. I do not like to be told that I can't do something, especially when I most certainly can. These jerks walked all over me, despite my resistance. They just shot me down and kept shooting. I refused to quit fighting the battle, but it was useless.
Nothing would have made me feel more satisfied than slapping each one of those faces. The physical exertion and transferring of pain would have felt right and good and justified.
But of course, I knew better than that, so I just cried to myself instead.

I never got my release. It has been stewing inside of me, even though I don't think about it every day. It is starting to boil over though, and it spills out into my thoughts and words towards other people who are both completely unaware of the situation and do not deserve that kind of treatment.

Now that I have figured this much out, I think I will be able to control it more. And since I leave in one week for Idaho, I will have some distractions to keep my attention moving forward instead of dwelling on the past.


Those are my thoughts! Thanks for taking time to read my mind.

*this is a large reason why I want to change my focus to music therapy - studying psychology is what I need to do.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Awful

I know this isn't a positive post. But in order for me to keep my sanity, I can't bottle it up. The words have to go somewhere. This is a safe somewhere. Only a handful of people know the URL and actually choose to read this stuff. So here goes.

Today has been absolutely depressingly awful. Last night I did not fall asleep until 3 AM. I haven't been falling asleep until 3 for the past week or so. I believe it is from anxiety about moving. I'm excited and happy to be going to Idaho, but there are a lot of anxieties still. Anyway. I had to wake up at 6 so be at work at 6:45. So 3 hours of sleep. Not so great.

I get to work and am locked out. I try the other doors, but they're locked, too. I run back to the doors, and there is another girl in there. I jiggle the door and she tells me "whoa, calm down, it's okay" and I said "I know, I just want to clock in, I'm already running late." I knocked on the doors again and saw someone to the left who could open the door. I said "oh there's someone over there", and the girl said in a pretty demeaning voice "aaaand this guy is right here, just settle down now, it's OKAY." Talking to me like I was freaking out, which I wasn't. I just don't want to be penalized for being late, and had to clock in 15 minutes earlier than this girl did. I told her, trying to relieve the bad air rising between us "bleh, I'm just not a morning person, haha" and she said, with a roll of her eyes "oh well."


T_T


Why. Just why. Why do people have to be rude. Why.


Work wasn't so bad. I didnt' have to work with her.

I went and got my haircut. I. LOVE. IT. It is super short. I don't have bangs anymore, it's all just short and spiky. I feel like a rock star with this hair. Pictures soon.

Took my Ed Psych Final. It went well. Don't know my grade, but I knew the stuff.

After this, I went to finish my Christmas shopping. Done.
Then I went to go play piano for some singers from Clarke at a nursing home performance thing. That was fine.
We all went out for pizza (payed for by our professor) after that. I guess I was just not in a very social mood. I would try and participate in conversation, but nothing I said was really paid attention to. The professor said "this is also kind of a good-bye party for Sarah!" (name changed - a student coming here on study abroad from another country). "She's leaving us and not coming back, so sad!" and everybody was saying "we'll miss you so much! I can't believe you're leaving!" etc.
Not wanting to seem like a whiny attention seeking brat, I just didn't mention that I too, am leaving Clarke.. for good. 
It's been like that for the past month. I've told people I'm leaving, and I'm just ignored. I might get an "aw!" but that is seriously it. I've received one hug. You know, I'm not exactly sad to be leaving Clarke, but some form of acknowledgement of my existence.... would be nice. To know that I've spent the last 2 1/2 years learning and growing with people who might care about me, that would be pretty nice. Oh well. Can't ask for too much in life.


Then came the astronomy final. (The Lab final - the written final is tomorrow.)
I love astronomy. It is so cool.
I hate my astronomy class. It is like being in 6th grade. Or at least what I imagine 6th grade must be like. I wouldn't exactly know. I was home schooled in 6th grade.
I am the youngest one in this class, and I'm 20. Everyone else is 21 and older. Everyone is a junior or a senior or a 5th year student. You would think at this point in college people would know how to behave themselves.
Every day in this class is like a party to these guys. Every other word that comes out of their mouths is the f bomb, all the joke about is sex, they're disruptive and get the class off topic, and just waste so much time in class, it's impossible to get things done. And our professor doesn't really know how to handle it. It drives me NUTS.

So tonight, I'm walking up the stairs to get to the planetarium where the final would be taking place tonight. One of the "leaders" of the group of guys (that take up basically the entire class) was behind me with some people and said loud enough for me to hear "she got a haircut." Somebody else said "and..? You're making a statement...?" And he said "well, she got a haircut.." and made eye contact with me, wanting me to say something back. I don't really know what. So I didn't say anything, since he wasn't talking to me to begin with. Then he and some people would say "she got a haircut" and then start muttering quietly to each other stuff I couldn't hear. I just shrugged it off. Or thought I did anyway. It was really really stupid.

So we get in and start the test. We were all going to be given five questions to answer, one at a time. I didn't like this. We had to answer a question in front of the entire class. If we get it wrong, we get the wrong answer on a final question IN FRONT OF THE ENTIRE CLASS.

As usual, the guys were getting really rowdy, this time to the point where people were trying to confuse the professor to make him think he had already asked them a certain amount of questions, or constantly trying to argue their answer so he would count it as right, even though it was wrong. Just wasting time. It's a FINAL. This is COLLEGE.
When people were answering questions, the guys were making stupid noises to try and raise the feeling of anxiety about getting the question right. If someone got it wrong, they would be allllll over it saying "this is the answer, see, it's here and here, how could you miss that???"
It was a mess.
So occasionally when it got really badly out of hand, I would say "dude, just shut up, let's keep moving with the final!" This of course, only led to the guys mocking my comment, saying "yeah SHUT UP" and it would just spiral downwards.
When I would be asked a question, I was trying to think and the guys were teasing/harassing me, continuing on with their stupid jokes and noises. I said "please hush" and "seriously, be quiet!" and the would be quiet until I answered, but once I answered, the mocking and laughing would continue, all the guys just repeating what I said to them.

I cried three times to myself during this test I was so sick of being made fun of this way. I was just glad it was dark in there so nobody could see.

The final thing that happened was the worst. People were really starting to lie, saying they had been asked four questions out of the five when really everyone had only been asked three. A few of us were trying to make the argument that yes, it was only three questions at that point. I spoke up a bit loudly and said "yeaaahhh, it is only three. Let's keep going." And this guy - who is in all of my music classes and happens to also be in this gen ed - said "whoa now, okay, there's no need to get angry here!!!" to which I said calmly "I'm not angry...." and when he said this, all the guys just went off the bat. "Duuuude she's gonna be yo a**" "Yeah dude, you should really SHUT UP hahaha" and stuff like that.


At this point, the professor turned the lights on and lectured the class about how he is really disappointed in all of us. We were being immature, and because of this he was stopping the exam right there and we were to prepare for an even harder written exam than originally promised tomorrow. The class went silent. He said "is this cool?" No response. While so many thoughts inside of me were screaming "This is not fair! You can't punish a whole class because of only some students' actions! Poor teaching skills! No no no!!", I said out loud "okay", calming my thoughts down, thinking "well, it's life. This will be over soon enough."

As we walked out of the planetarium and down the hall, I heard a few select phrases such as "that b****... all 'shut up'.....calm down...fault"

I don't know if they were talking about me.



The professor emailed us apologizing for "losing it" during the final, saying it was wrong of him to change the final last minute like that after we had been promised a week ago to study for something else. So we don't have the super hard final tomorrow. He said he understands that it's the end of the semester, everybody is moving out this week, people are just starting to go crazy, he should have been more understanding of that during the test.

While yes, it's a crazy time of year, I don't think the behavior in this class was acceptable period. I felt harassed and bullied tonight. I felt worthless in a crowd of people who couldn't care less about what I think.


I went and cried to my friend Sam, vented it all out, and we had a venting party for a couple of hours. I came home, and realized my laptop was missing. I had taken it with me in my car that morning so I could show pictures of hair styles to my stylist. I had a panic attack for about half an hour searching for it, bawled for about 10 minutes when it just wasn't anywhere.Then I thought "wait... I don't think I took it back to the car with me from the studio..." I checked the caller ID on the phone history and sure enough, the studio called this evening during the exam. I thought it had been stolen at either Wal Mart when I went Christmas shopping, or more likely, down town when I went out for pizza. I parked near an alley way full of people smoking cigarettes and pot. I couldn't remember if I locked my doors or not.

THANK HEAVENS. It's safely at the hair studio.

After a long and awful day, living off of 3 hours of sleep, having a potentially stolen lap top has just about killed me tonight.


And now this is all written down, so I can go to sleep tonight.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fast

It's time I write something a bit more positive than what I've been writing!

I just had my last week of classes at Clarke. It was long, boring, and did not feel particularly special. This semester sure has been long, yet at the same time it has gone by incredibly fast! The fastest semester I've had by far!
I have been so busy with school and with getting ready to go to Idaho. I can't believe I'm leaving in less than three weeks. I'm really excited! But I'm really nervous, too. And very anxious. There is going to be so much to do the first two weeks, I'm worried about not getting it all done and having problems rise up later. But I pray about it and I keep getting this very strong reassuring feeling that everything will be alright. The Lord is watching out for me.

I'm really excited to get to meet my room mates. Aside from siblings and Marissa, I've never really... worked out well with sharing a room with anybody, but I'm hoping that that's mostly because those were less-than-a-week room sharing experiences and that living together in an apartment is a lot different. Actually, I know it's different. I don't entirely know how, but I'm looking forward to it.

I have so much left to do still! It is finals week now, and I have plenty of studying to do for all of my finals. If I had to take them right now, I would not be ready. I don't like that. So I must work my butt off this weekend. It is all going by so so fast.

The only reason I am not looking forward to this week being done is because Nick is leaving. He is going home to Nova Scotia for Christmas break, and when he comes back in January, I will no longer be here. At least until April. Thank the Lord for skype and our texting plans. I am really going to miss him. :( And my friend Sam from Clarke. These two people are my best friends, and now we're all moving away for a while. Sam is transferring out of Clarke, too, which is great for her. But man I'm going to miss both of these people.
I just try not to think about it too much.
But I'm not worried about myself and Nick. Distance won't be a problem for our relationship. It's only temporary anyway. :)

I love the Lord, I love the knowledge I have, and I know everything will be okay.

God bless, thanks for reading.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Movies

Out of my entire Priest side of the family, one thing I ultimately do not have in common with anybody is my taste in movies.My family just watched Captain America. I thought it was really stupid and boring. Now we're watching Thor, and I keep rolling my eyes. The acting is awful, the plot is uninteresting, and the effects are cheap. So badly cheap.
I would love to see this with rifftrax.

Maybe I just need to be drugged up and put to sleep for a while. I seem to be in an incurable bad mood, along with a lot of pain.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Stress



It's that time of year again! I can't tell if I'm going crazy, if I'm super depressed, if I need a change in medication, or if I just have a never-ending list of things to do and I'm responding to this stress in a completely normal way!

The picture describes my life very well right now.
I don't want to talk to people, I don't want to be with people, I don't want to work with people. I am losing my temper a lot more easily lately. Only for a short time, but the fact that I'm losing it worries me a bit.

I am working my butt off trying to remain on top of things for both this semester and next semester. I have so much to do before this semester ends, and I have just as many things to do that are of equal importance to get ready for next semester in Idaho.

Let's see...

Two major papers to [start and] write. This is considerably less than last semester, so that is a plus!
An entire 3 movement atonal piece for full orchestra to analyze, rip apart, and explain.
Classes to attend, homework to get done, studying to do, tests to pass, find time to practice both piano and cello.
Find out how to get my money I have made through accompanying voice lessons.

Get my classes transferred from this semester to Idaho.
Get my loan money.
Get a new laptop.
Get my wisdom teeth out.
Figure out what I need to bring and what can stay at home.
Get all of my medical stuff transferred over to Idaho. (ugh!!)

Find time to spend with Nick before he goes home.

Enjoy the time I am home with my family.

So written out, it doesn't seem like nearly as much. This helps.

I went to Iowa City today to have my cello worked on. SO happy with how it plays now. But I hate being in Iowa City. I've been there more than I like and I can't get myself to associate Iowa City with anything other than the stinking hospital. Granted, it's a great hospital, but I am too familiar with the place and I don't enjoy being there and I hate that I still feel really sick and am in pain but there is not a thing they can do for me anymore because they have tried all they have and I'm just on a plateau with my health. I'm not sick enough for them to do the quick-fix (surgery). That's a really good thing. But I'm also not all better, and they've run out of resources. So... I guess as long as I don't get worse that is a good thing, but until then, I just take what I get.
The frustrating part is being in this much pain. It has always scared us in the past when I've been in a lot of pain, but they never find answers as to why I'm in pain. We switch my diet around, some things get better but the pain is still there. The pain gets so bad sometimes. I'm afraid of the pain being something other than the "norm", but not being able to tell until it's gotten really bad. But I guess that's the way I have to go.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sweetness

Our sweetest dog, Gus, is going to die very soon. It could be tonight, tomorrow, this weekend. He has cancer in his throat that extends down his chest into his shoulders, and now up into his face, causing his left eye to droop a bit. He has difficulty swallowing and breathing, causing him to choke and gag and vomit a few times a day. His shoulders are also getting very weak, making it harder for him to stay standing for very long, and the slightest bump makes him fall over.

Despite the sickness, Gus is still himself. He is the sweetest dog I have ever known. He never has any interest in competition; he just loves you and wants you to love him.
Though I am very sad about his condition, and I will be very sad when he dies, I'm going to take away many good memories with Gus, and I will learn from his life, as simple as it may have been.
Gus does not care who you are. He will love you. Even if you're terrified of dogs, he will sit down and watch you with his soft dark eyes, his tail gently wagging, paws neatly together, allowing space for the both of you. As soon as a hand comes near his head to pet him, he will push against the hand in response and turn his head to look at you. He loves everyone. Unless you are trying to hurt one of us, he will love you no matter what. And it is impossible to not love him back. Sweet, sweet Gus.

As simple as that is, that is something I will carry with me forever. Love everyone. Be kind to all those you meet. Even when you need to stand up and be defensive, don't worry too much about it. It will all be okay.


I love my dog Gus.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Future

This is such an exciting part of life, these years. I'm twenty years old and I have completed about a quarter of my life. Unless I have Grandma Priest genes, then I'm only a fifth of the way there! But boy if there is anything I could do, aside from being able to fly, I would wish to see the future. Five years ahead of now. I want to know where I'll be, what I will be doing, how life will be going! I just know that my twenties are going to be totally filled with some huge life steps. I just can't wait to figure it all out! I am excited to be living it. Yet so impatient, too! I want to know when I will graduate. What I will do and where I will go after graduation. Will I pursue my next degree in music therapy? And my masters in occupational therapy next? Will I get married and move away? Will I have kids? Any pets? Will all of my immediate family still be alive? Extended family? Will I have served a mission? Will I completely change directions and pursue something else in life? How will my health be? What kind of church callings will I have? What kind of jobs will I have? Will I teach? Will I run a business? Will I work part-time in a clinic or hospital? Will I be in a symphony orchestra?

I JUST decided that I am going to write all of these down and seal them in an envelope and keep the envelope with me for the next five years. In five years I will open it and answer the questions!

I think this will help release some of my impatience with the future!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Generation

I can't stand my generation sometimes.

When you're fresh out of college, you're not a genius with all of the solutions to all of the world's problems. You're barely beginning life and you're likely in debt.

Yeah, you know how to use big words like "industrialize" and "plutocracy" and were barely old enough to remember 9-11 and you can find Iraq on a map in less than 10 seconds. You've only known this - sorry, "understood" this, for what, a year? Maybe two?

Oh, and not only are you a thriving genius who is just blossoming to learn and teach and tell everyone how it is, but you are a trendy hipster supermodel, too! You know how to best aim a camera at yourself to capture the best possible angle of your eyes without making your cheeks look too chubby and while making your hair appear flawless. You have well over several hundred facebook friends, text updates to your twitter account at least twice a day and love the coffee shop scene. Oh, and if you're a guy, you [attempt to] rock the facial hair. You just rock all around.


Everything is just so easy and you have the answer to everything! Well duh, weren't we all silly geese for thinking differently than you!





Freakin' wall street protesters. So many things they say and do just piss me off. And I don't usually get that irritated by many political things. Not saying I am 100% against them, no, but their approach is wrong and unhealthy and irrational and will not achieve anything but 15 minutes/weeks of fame. I hope and pray and beg that people [who aren't in the protests due to their location] understand what kind of people are largely taking up the space of this protest.


I also hope those people get snowed on some more.
Okay I'm done being mean.
And I didn't really mean that last statement (the one about people being snowed on). Just enough to cover up the stench of feces and semen and other bodily fluids that have polluted those streets.



Oh my gosh. As excited as I am for my future, I am scared to death of what the future holds.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sense

So much has been figured out since my last post!
I know what classes to take. Classes are TAKEN CARE OF!
I have a pharmacy I will use. Still don't know how I will get my shot, but that is a problem to be solved later.
I have put down a deposit on an apartment complex! It is the same apartment I shared in the last post. In the next several weeks I will be assigned roommates and a room.
My anxiety about social pressure is resolved as well. I know that I make my choices, and I just have this feeling of reassurance that everything will be okay and that the Lord is watching out for me. He knows what I want, and I know He knows what I need, and I trust Him, and I am fortunate to have this feeling that, basically, what I want is exactly what I need.
It just makes sense! And I'm so happy! :)


In other news...

I can't wait to leave Clarke. I just can't wait. It's not a bad school, no, but I'm just sick of it. Dubuque is just getting to be too small. I need to get out and spread my wings.

Nick and I were an old couple at the Beytien's party. I walked in and scared Alyson to death - she thought I was really sick! Haha!
We're so ugly! Ha!!

I made my very first quilt. I made one when I was 9, but that was more just me helping my mom make it. I did everything with this. And I gave it to Nick. He had no idea I was making him something! :)



Monday, October 17, 2011

Scared

Time is running short for getting ready to go to Idaho. I am not ready. I am not ready in so many ways.

I still need to do SOMETHING about my classes - make sure all of the important ones are in, figure out what I need to do before I get there and what I need to bring with me and what I'll need to do when I get there when it comes to classes alone. SO much to do. D:

I need to find out how I'm going to get my medicine. And who will give me my shots. I seriously cannot give myself my humira shot. I did it myself once when I first started, and once this summer when my parents were in Utah for my grandpa's funeral and could not be here to give it to me themselves. The needle itself isn't bad, but the medicine that is injected - oh that stuff hurts.
I don't really want to have to make appointments with the school's health administration thingy whatever every two weeks just to have a shot. Don't want to walk all the way there and back just for a shot. It hurts my leg anyway, so I don't really want to walk at all. I just don't know what I'm going to do. And the fact that I don't know bothers me.

I need to get everything settled for an apartment!!! :O Looking more into it, I don't really have a lot of room to be picky, but I think I've found something I really like. The Birch Plaza apartments look like my kind of place. I just had a really good feeling when I found out where it was, saw what it has to offer, and just everything about it. Free laundry. Right across the street from campus and very close to where I will be most of the time. Sounds like the student atmosphere is one that I would enjoy. But I don't know for sure yet.

I am not mentally/emotionally ready to go to Idaho yet. Or maybe it's more... I'm not ready to leave home yet. I'm not ready to be so far away from my family. I'm not ready to turn my relationship with Nick into a long distance one. I definitely will, but the thought of leaving him and not knowing when I'll see him again just breaks my heart. He graduates in May, and I don't get back until mid July, at which point he will likely be back in Nova Scotia. I don't think distance will break our relationship at all, no, I'm not worried about that. We'll be fine. But right now, I get to see him at least once a week. Spend time with my friend. I won't have that time to be with him, hug him, hold his hand, go do whatever it is we want to do together, be there in person when we have our several-hours-long deep conversations about life and the gospel and just stories about ourselves and our families.
I'm not ready to let go of something that makes me so happy. Even if it's only temporary. I'm just not ready to go away.


:'(



And I'm stinkin scared to death of being put into a huge social world with lots of social pressures. I don't know what it is like at BYU-I. I don't know how the people are. I don't know how "mormon" it is - how "happy" you are kind of expected to be. How many people are going to be pressuring me to date and get married.

I'll say this now and I'll be sticking to it:
While I know the prophet says not to postpone marriage/family for education, I personally do NOT want to get married until I have GRADUATED. I don't want the distraction, and for me, being married would be a huge distraction.
I'm going to Idaho to get the education I need, not to get the husband I want. I could be wrong, but the image Idaho gives off with people getting married left and right and so YOUNG... it really does scare me. I know some people can do it just fine, but for me, that is not what I want, and I am afraid of having people trying to hook me up with guys and of making friends and then just losing them the day they get married and of people putting peer pressure out there and all that stuff.
I know it's my choice and everything, but the thing is, with my personality and such, I am always trying to please people. I HATE disappointing people. It makes me so anxious when I know I've done something and other people are genuinely not happy because of what I have or haven't done - even if they're just taking it way too personally, or if they have valid reasons to be unhappy. It bothers me so much, makes me so anxious and upset. I'm just so afraid of having to deal with that.



I just want to graduate!!!!! O_o

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Social

I feel like I learned a lot about myself tonight.
We had a YSA fireside with a potluck dinner before hand. Through the chit chat and being with people and such, I understand more about myself and how introverted I really am.
I try to be social at events like what we had tonight. I talk with people, am friendly, try to participate in conversation, be in a good mood. I think I'm having fun, but at the end of the night I do realize that I'm really making myself do these things, and that's not so much fun, because it's not 100% of myself, so I feel like it's fake. If it were up to me, I would appreciate the kind gesture of people wanting me there, but I would rather be with my family, by myself, with Nick, or with just one other person. Not a dozen or more. So while I appear to be social, it is really not so easy for me. And while I like company and good conversation, I have a hard time finding a place to fit in.
That's one of the biggest things.
I'm different. And I know it. Of course, everybody is different. But I just want to be myself. It isn't like I go out of my way to do things that are "weird" or socially unacceptable, no not at all. I just don't feel like "myself" is someone who fits in very well. Either my ways of thinking, sense of humor, interests, beliefs, values, or whatever, never seem to line up with any particular group of people and I'm just left there feeling incredibly out-of-place.
That is not enjoyable. It is more disappointing and not very satisfying.

This is a fear of mine for going to Idaho. I'm so afraid of being overwhelmed with social things and people telling me to go to things and then feeling obligated to go. I know I should go to somethings, but when I don't want to, I just hope and pray I'm not prodded to death about not showing up. Sometimes I just like to be left alone. And it is not because I'm depressed or anything, either. It is just the way I am.

Every single time I go out to some kind of social event, I make myself believe that this one will be different. Perhaps I'll actually fully enjoy myself, won't find myself being embarrassed or put-out or whatever, and I'll have a wonderful evening. And every time I'm wrong.


Disappointment and I don't sit very well together.


And one other note - I am so sick of politics on facebook. I'm sick of reading about those protesters on wall street and how they're all "hero's". It just makes me SICK. And it ticks me off! >:@

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Lately

There has been quite a lot going on in my life lately. Sort of.
It doesn't really appear to be that way too much, but boy there certainly is. Looks can be deceiving.

Where to begin!

I have officially decided to go to Idaho. In some ways, this was a very easy choice. In others, it has been a very hard choice to make. I know going to Idaho will be good for my education. It will be good for my experience. I will grow as a musician and as a person. all around this will be very very good for me. Living on my own, having an apartment with roommates, living without a car (!!!), living far away from home, and so much more. One of the hardest things about leaving Iowa for Idaho will be being far away from Nick. I don't know what will happen, but I feel at peace knowing the Lord knows what lies ahead for both of us, and I trust Him.
Another hard thing will be, well, leaving home. Rexburg is a little over 1300 miles away. Granted, I've been far away from home by myself plenty of times, but never to live for an extended period of time. I'm sure time will fly by, though. Heck, I'll probably going on 30 before I know it! :o
Also, money worries me. I will be pulling out student loans, and that's fine and all, but I want to be able to get myself out of debt as soon as possible. I want to be able to pay for as many things as possible on my own. Being financially stable is an extremely high priority in my life. I thank my dad for this attribute, as I'm pretty sure I gained this appreciation for having any money and being wary about spending it from him. So I am working as much as I can to earn and save money now. I won't be working while at school (at least for the first semester), so making sure I have enough money to eat, be clothed, have toilet paper, and all that fun stuff, is really important to me.

Next on the list of my life..

Crohn's. Stinking crohn's. It is definitely back. I don't like admitting this and I don't really know why, but I'm not eating nearly as much as I should. I can't. It hurts and I get sick every time I eat. I'm losing blood. More than I usually do. It worries me, but I try not to let it, so I ignore it. This isn't good, but I don't want to have to deal with it I guess. I don't want more tests, just to be told what I already know: it's a flare up, nothing major (meaning nothing life threatening), and there's not much we can do other than continue the treatment I'm already on, and maybe put me on a hundred pills a day again. Bleh. I'll just wait it out I think. Hope and pray it goes away. I'll be watching my weight, and I'm figuring if I get below 105ish lbs, I'll take myself in. (healthy average weight for me is 110-115) Or if I get to the point where I can't keep food down, or if I get fevers, or if the pain gets unbearable, then I'll go in. But for now I just don't want to deal with it. I don't have time.

And school. Ugh. Clarke is like high school. Popularity is everything. Everything meaning nothing I'm interested in, but it certainly limits my ability to be very social with people, since I am anything but popular (nor do I ever with to become so). Plus, popularity by the large majority of students at Clarke consists of sex jokes, sex, beer, and hipster attitude.
And I'm just a downer and a loser for not wanting to be a part of the "fun and popular" part of Clarke.

Okay. Whatever.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Emo

This post is going to be completely and entirely overly emotional and depressing and I just don't give a care about who has an offense or things down about me because of it. To anyone who will think that, just leave this page and keep your thoughts to yourself thank you very much.

So I didn't make the symphony. I am very sad. But I will get over it.
But for now I am very very very very very sad. I feel embarrassed. I feel stupid. I feel sick. I feel frustrated.

I feel embarrassed because I know everybody there at the symphony who were running the auditions. I feel like I made such a fool of myself. I am NOT proud of my performance, I am NOT happy with it, I hated it, I did so poorly on so many things, it was just awful.

I feel stupid because I thought I had a chance at making it. HA. Boy was I fooling myself. I also feel stupid in a musical sense - I am such an amateur. People tell me all the time "you are amazing!" "you are so talented!" "your playing is so beautiful!" Well if it's so good, then I should have done better tonight.
I know I'm young and inexperienced. I know I can play well. But tonight, quitting crossed my mind. I know I won't, I never could, but just the thought of pulling out my cello and playing any time soon just sounds disgusting to me. I am so ashamed over how I played.

And I am so frustrated. I feel like I wasted so many hours preparing for something I never had a chance at making. I don't even feel like I learned anything this time around. This is all so stupid.

And I am sick. My stomach is killing me. I have had diarrhea all week and I am dehydrated and am just having the most difficult time. I am dizzy and uncomfortable and always so very tired. I hate this. I hate this so much. I just want to scream.


And I just want everything to be okay. But things aren't okay. And I can't post why and things on the internet because it just isn't a good idea but I don't have any friends other than Nick who can listen and I don't know what to do. I'm so upset.

I'm sick of doing things and making choices because I feel like I have to please people. I'm sick of people trying to tell me what to do and then getting upset and frustrated if I go against what they're saying. I get it from BOTH SIDES.

I just want to be left alone, yet at the same time I need.... I don't know what I need.

I'm just sad. :C

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Rotten

I have come up with another analogy relating to how crohn's disease feels for me.
I like analogies and I think I can come up with some pretty good ones every now and then.

It feels like there is something rotten in your gut. Like you've eaten something old and bad and sticky and slimy and gross. And then it just sits there and radiates this feeling of just pure sick throughout your body. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it burns. Sometimes it causes nausea that lasts for days. It causes cramping and sudden urges to make you go to the bathroom. Takes your appetite and throws it away. Makes you tired and uncomfortable.

This is how I feel right now and how I have been feeling for about a month now.
It is not much fun.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Scuttle

I love living out in the country.
Being away from the city, away from traffic, away from busy noises.
Surrounded by green, woods, fresh air, and quiet.

We see quite a bit of wildlife out here as well. It is really fascinating to live this close to nature, yet still have the comfort of everything you would want in a home (plus heated floors in the winter time!!).

However, tonight I view nature from a slightly less appreciative point of view.



Long story short...

Those stinkin' mice are going to keep me up all night, and their death will surely await them tomorrow if they don't stop scuttling around inside the wall behind my head.

Filthy blasted vermin.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Angst

In case you haven't been completely bombarded with this news already, I will tell you that school has started once again.

*Woooowwww really? I had no idea!*

I have been dreading this all summer. It has only been two days and I am already working really really hard to be positive. And it is not easy at all

I hate being such a downer, but there are just so many things I cannot stand, and I feel like I'm surrounded by everything that irritates me at once.

Show-offs. Skimpy girls who flirt way too much and grab everybody's attention, especially the guys, and are fake nice to everybody else. Anybody who is just fake nice. People who are flat-out rude. Overly-ecstatic freshmen. Trendy advertising that has nothing to do with the product they're selling. Attempts at trendy advertising at school with SPELLING and GRAMMAR mistakes. Everybody is "so smart" (or so we all think). Peer pressure. Being young and having different expectations from everyone; my age and younger expect the cool, trendy, facebooking pretty girl. Older people expect immaturity, irrationality, self-centered-ness, egotistical snot. I am neither of these and I just want to escape it all.

I have never had, do not have, and will never have peppy school spirit. I find it to be lacking in dignity, and my dignity is a very special thing to me. Yet I am surrounded by it. School emails, people shouting at me to be super excited to be back at Clarke, peer pressure to join EVERYTHING and ANYTHING at Clarke and go to every social event and BE HAPPY.


I just want to be left alone. :(

And I really just strongly dislike the first day of classes. Teachers droning on and on and on and on and on and on and on about stuff we already know about, and then assigning a huge pile of homework without even having any kind of lesson to get us started. Especially after today's classes, I feel like I just wasted about $15 dollars of gas driving to and from school. Being a commuter student and driving a crappy truck, I'm not very pleased with how today went.
Granted, it's not their fault, it really is all just my take on things, but I am struggling to find a positive.

"You're back with your friends!"

Yeah, I get to see them at lunch. The rest of the time I'm with people who, if I ever say anything remotely negative, they oppose it. For example, say I say openly to my classmates whom I've had classes with for 4 solid semesters now something like "I am just not looking forward to this, I would rather just go home", they'll say "oh, well I'm super duper excited for this and I don't think you should go home at all, you should stick around and have fun!"
Oh okay! I'll just go put my party hat on and everything will be fine and snazzy. Yep! Just like that. It's that easy, really!


UGH. I'm not here to "have fun", I'm here to get a stinkin' education, and I don't know what you're on, but I'm just plain old human and I'm going to be grumpy some days.

Then today somebody told me I'm wasting everybody's time by being in Music Education since I don't actually plan on being a teacher. The fact that teaching is my fall-back option is "really sad", and I'll probably suck at my job since it's not my passion.
Well gee, that's good to know! You really just boosted my self-esteem to a whole new level and I feel great about myself! Thanks!



Today just stinks and I want to cry. :( :( :(

Friday, August 26, 2011

Funk

Boy those were a nice 7ish months of remission.
All good things must come to an end though, I suppose.
I can't seem to shake this funk I'm in. I'm happy, but I'm not at the same time. There's a battle, and it is effecting my emotions.
I am most definitely not ready for classes to start up. I'm not mentally there yet. And after my experiences from a certain class with a certain professor last semester, you can understand my lack of excitement here. I know I won't have to deal with her anymore, but I think it will take just a few weeks for me to feel okay about it, fully understanding that there isn't going to be an hour of hell three times a week in my life anymore.
Back to the flare up, I am trying really hard to just not be frustrated about it. But it's very hard. I hate being in this kind of pain. I don't want to lose any more weight. I worry about my lack of appetite, the fact that even once I start eating something, I stop after only a few bites because my stomach will decide it's done for the day. This results in me being exhausted too quickly and my blood sugar dropping all the time.
And the pain.
The stupid, stupid pain.
It is worse this time around. It comes in bigger stabs. I find myself doubled over more times a day than I ever have in previous flare ups.
It hits in my lower right quadrant, where the terminal ilium is. These pains shoot from my gut, towards the middle of my stomach, and also down to my hip and into my leg. I also get upper left stomach pain that stabs across the front of my stomach, all the way to the right, and into my chest. I just hurts. I don't know how to explain it. It's like... if you tense yourself up, like you're about to get really really angry and just scream and explode... that tension.. it's like some small marble is inside of me, all tensed up and exploding with fury, spreading its heated tension, scratching its nails and biting its nasty little teeth as hard as it can.

Then it goes away and the nausea returns.

It is not fun and I don't want to deal with it. I try not to think of it, but I think deep down, there's a battle of denial and acceptance. I know I'm sick, but I don't want to get any worse, so a part of me wants to keep living like nothing is wrong, and maybe that will make me all better if I just work at it. Then the other part of me tells me that's a dumb idea and I should really take care of myself and be concerned. But I don't want to be concerned, I just want to get on with my life!

And by the time I decide to just forget about it, the pain returns, I roll my eyes, and just keep moving.

I don't really know what to do, so I guess I'm just gonna keep living.
And maybe continuing in my good habits and looking on the bright side will get me out of this funk. Maybe.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Commitment

I was asked to speak at our Stake Conference this past weekend. For me, in Dubuque, Iowa, this meant I had to drive 80 miles to the stake center in Davenport, Iowa and have it video streamed back to Dubuque. I was excited and pleased to receive the phone call asking for me to speak. I enjoy speaking and sharing my thoughts, and I especially enjoy speaking in front of hundreds of people! (kind of rare, I know, most people hate public speaking) But there is something about doing research, pondering and praying, writing down my thoughts and ideas, and then sharing my knowledge and testimony to the congregation that really satisfies me. I enjoy teaching, especially adults. I love having all eyes on me, and making their listening to me worth their time.
Maybe I'm just weird or something.
I have copied the talk that I gave for anybody who would be interested in reading it. The topic was on commitment.


Hello! I will be sharing my knowledge and thoughts to you about commitment. My first thought on the word “commitment” when thinking about the church was “commitment to the Lord –that is a commandment!”
I thought about this all week and decided to begin by looking up the definition of commitment in the dictionary. I have an interest in learning words, origins and definitions, so this was not only helpful in getting me started and giving me ideas, but I had fun learning more about a topic that I didn’t realize had so much potential depth to it. There were a lot of varying definitions, but they all sum up to mean that you give of yourself in one way or another. Devote, ordain, perpetrate, engage, and give were all words related to “commit”. Now “commitment” is simply “commit”- and all there is to that binding word - put into action.
So we have a basic definition of what commitment means. But how is commitment a part of our lives?
I’ll give some examples of my own life and things that I have temporal commitments towards.
I have a chronic illness that has made my body susceptible to illnesses and intolerant towards many foods. In order to maintain a generally healthy life, I have to be committed to a healthy diet and exercise. Granted, we all should have a commitment towards healthy living, but over the past years mine has grown to be a lot more specific and demanding, creating bigger consequences if I do not devote myself to healthy habits. Being committed to this means I care about what I am doing.
I am also committed to my talents. I am a musician and desire to be successful in this field, so I am required to dedicate a lot of my time towards practicing and a lot of my money towards taking care of my cello, so that I can ensure that I can continue to grow and succeed. Because I have decided to be committed to this, I cannot just stop giving my time and money towards this and expect to have the same results in the end. If I just stopped all together, dropped everything for a couple of years and expected to come back and be able to do everything the same way as I used to be able to, I would just be kidding myself. My hands would not be as strong and the muscle memory would be lost. My cello would likely be warped or cracked from not having the delicate wood tended to. The strings would be worn and out of tune from not being played. Being committed to anything means you give your time.
My education is something that I hold to an extremely high standard in my life. I always want to learn. I am forever grateful for this life I have on earth and the time I have, and I want to spend as much of that time as possible learning. Temporally, spiritually, whatever there is to learn, I want to learn it. It excites me. I have a rough plan of what degrees I want to earn in order to have my ideal career, and if I end up having the right amount of time and money in this life, I will end up with two or three bachelor’s degrees, one or two master’s, and maybe a doctorate thrown in there as well. (Of course, this is all just a rough plan.) My temporal education is very important to me, as well as my spiritual education, which is why I am active in church, work hard on studying my scriptures at least once a day, attend institute and participate in discussions, and have doctrine related discussions with many of my friends. I have a love for learning, and I am committed to it. Being committed to something means you need to have some passion and desire.
Now, looking at my education plan and considering the costs of maintaining my health and music from a worldly point of view, there is lot of money that is going to be involved. I also hope to be married for time and all eternity to a worthy young man in the temple. Whether or not marriage happens for me, in the not-so-distant future, I will be taking a lot of expenses in on my own, such as my own insurance, paying rent or making a down payment on a house and living with mortgage, continuing my education, raising children, eating, driving, living, it is all going to cost money, and I have been working for the past few years saving up money so that when the day comes that I start taking bigger financial steps, I will be ready. I am committed to this, because I know it is wise for me to do this. Being committed means you are dedicated with reason.
These are all temporal things that I have a commitment towards. And the same way that I have commitments for these things, there are many spiritual things in life that I am committed to in order to ensure that I am keeping God’s commandments and becoming the best possible person I can be, as a witness of Christ, and a child of God.
There are many things in the church that we should be committed to, but I will touch on just a few of them today.
The Lord has given us many commandments. We are instructed to keep all of them. This is not always easy, especially in today’s world where laziness, stress, and too much worldly involvement can easily distract us from the straight and narrow path we need to be on.
One commandment that we should all be committed to obeying is tithing. In Doctrine and Covenants section 64, Joseph Smith is speaking through revelation from God in Kirtland, Ohio. He talks about repentance, tithing and pride, and how this is the day to repent, to give our tithing and not be prideful of our sins and possessions. The Lord tells Joseph in verse 23 that these days are days of sacrifice, and He specifically says that “he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming.” Later in the chapter it also says that “the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days.” Does this not sound like we need to be committed toward these commandments? Just as we are working hard to be financially stable and successful in life, we need to be dedicated to working hard to build up the land of Zion by repenting ourselves so that WE can be a worthy and righteous addition to those in Zion, and also give willingly of one tenth of our earnings so as to help build up temples and maintain all that needs finances in the church. Commitment here, just as in our temporal lives, requires hard work and dedication.
There are many other commandments we should be committed to, such as the word of wisdom, chastity, holding our callings, sustaining our families both temporally and spiritually. All of these are commanded of us.
As I mentioned earlier in my example of my cello, we must ALWAYS be working on keeping ourselves clean from sin and keeping the commandments. We cannot expect to be able to just give into the temptations of the world, have a “fun” life, as defined by the world, drinking, gambling, messing around with drugs just to “try them out”. Giving into our natural physical sexual desires, becoming morally unclean, and becoming an addict to the chemicals in our own brain that tell us to “get some more of that”, thus forming evil habits; this will surely destroy us. Yes, it is possible to repent, but it will put so much more work in front of you and it will slow your progress in doing the work of the Lord greatly. Your spirit, much like a cello, will warp if you ever cease to be committed to strengthening it. It will crack and be damaged. Parts that used to shine beautifully and create things pleasing unto the Lord will be worn, damaged, and unusable. However, it is reparable. Brothers and sisters, if you have lost the desire to be committed to the Lord and can sense that your spirit is damaged and dull; it is never too late to polish things up and start the repair work. Through Christ and the atonement, all cracks and dents will be gone, forever forgotten. It is work, yes, but even those who have always remained faithful and have rarely lost sight of the straight and narrow path have a lot of work still for them to do. We ALL have work to do. Through our commitment to the Lord, we can live with Him for all eternity.
I think now of some of the greatest examples of commitment the scriptures have given us. There is Alma, who prayed and worked earnestly, never ceasing, for his son to be brought into the light and turn his life around. His unfettering faith, determination, and commitment to the Lord allowed his prayers to be answered. And then in turn, his son Alma the Younger traveled far and wide, doing missionary work for the rest of his life. It was not easy work either – missionary work hardly ever is – but Alma had an incredibly difficult time teaching lands full of people who had never even heard of the gospel and believed Alma to be evil, thus casting him out. But Alma persisted; he was committed to the Lord and obeying the commandments he had been given, because he had a testimony that he knew this was true, and he had the desire, the want, the passion to share this knowledge with his fellow brothers and sisters in God. Along with Alma were many others, such as Lehi, who uprooted his family and took them to places that were unknown to them, but kept a sure commitment with the Lord. Abinidi, who stayed true to his testimony and to God through the flames of death. Moroni, who kept the gospel and priesthood alive as long as he lived, knowing he would be the last on this land for a very long time, yet holding strong to his faith anyway. These are astounding examples of commitment.
But the most perfect example of commitment that we have to learn from today is that of Jesus Christ. He had a perfect faith unlike any that we can have in this life. In the garden of Gethsemane, when He was bleeding from every pore, suffering more than we could ever possibly imagine or begin to understand, He trusted the Father. He went through all that He went through because the purpose of His life was to be fully committed to God. And we have this perfect, beautiful example to live up to. It is so important that we, as children of God, strive to be like our older brother. Care about what we are doing, give all of our time and efforts to becoming Christ like. Have a passion and desire to become like Christ and to strive to learn more every day about the Gospel and the Lord’s plan for us. Be dedicated. Like the prophets of old. Be strong. Be faithful, true, obedient, loving, hard working. This is commitment to the Lord God, and Jesus Christ, our beloved Savior.
I have a testimony that these things are true, I know this to be true from the bottom of my heart, and I say these things in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Again

Well, it was great while it lasted.
I don't think I'm in remission anymore.
Called in sick to Dairy Queen yesterday, tried to go to work at Kohl's last night and was sent home right away because of my condition. Went to Dairy Queen today and had to leave early. I could not stand upright, I was almost to the point of tears (which does not happen very often with me, I rarely cry from pain), and I had to have my younger sister come pick me up and drive me home because I am in no condition to be driving.

The pain has receded. It will come back if I get up and move around, so I am resigned to laying in bed all day.
I have opted out of going to the ER/walk-in clinic, because I know they won't be able to solve anything. Relieve the pain and nausea, maybe, but fix it? Probably not. I have an appointment with my specialist tomorrow.

I have been feeling a little out-of-it for about a month now, but I have just been hoping it would go away. On Saturday I really started feeling sick, it got worse on Sunday, then yesterday happened, and now I'm here today.

All I really want is to be healthy and work, be able to practice for this symphony audition coming up so that maybe I'll have an actual chance at making it, and not be sick during school for once in my grown-up life.

I hope and pray that whatever this is, it will be resolved quickly and I will be able to get on with my life.

I could use some prayers, if y'all don't mind too much.
Thanks.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Doomed

My family and I had a discussion on politics this evening, and can I just say that the world frightens me?

Yes, to my LDS friends, I have faith, I know what the church says, I know this is all supposed to happen, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to stroll through this absent minded, blissfully ignorant, keep living my life the way I live it and just hold on until the end. No. Because I know things are going to get bad, and they're going to get bad fast, and it will effect everyone. I am not exempt just because I have certain religious beliefs. It doesn't say anywhere that we will not be affected. It actually warns us that we will be affected, even the good and righteous (and let's face it, nobody's perfect), and I'm not going to go through this life just letting things happen and not doing anything about it.

I feel so torn on politics. I know if I voiced the way I really feel, I would be hounded. I know this, because it has happened before. It would be nice to believe that "oh, I'm in the adult world now, people are more mature here and won't be so nasty", but we all know I would just be kidding myself. Nope. It would be worse.
Yet I feel so strongly about what I believe, both religiously and politically, and it is one of the most frustrating things to watch people I care for and consider my friends to say such awful things about my beliefs.

I know I won't change people's minds, but it nearly brings me to tears of frustration and sorrow that so many people don't understand how awful they are being, saying the things they are saying!!!! So many people fight for "no hate" over so many things, yet the moment someone disagrees with something, all sorts of false judgments are made, names are shouted, anger rises. This is HATE, the EXACT THING they are "fighting" against. It makes me sick. It really really does.

Isaiah 5:20-23 pretty much sums up the way I feel right about now.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dilemma

My dad brought up something to me this morning on our way to church. We were discussing what I'll need to do this fall to get ready for Idaho, like getting enough clothing. Nicer clothing, since BYU-I has stricter dress standards than Clarke and I won't be able to just toss a hoodie on top of a sweater and jeans every day (which I have some slight problems with... I understand the whole respect thing, but as long as there's nothing ratty or torn with holes, I don't see why wearing a hoodie and jeans with thermals underneath would be such a problem...oh well).
My dad and I have a very similar way of discussing things. He has taught me to lay out all of the ideas and options on the table, even if there are some that we know will just be thrown away. It's good to know everything that you're dealing with when making decisions.
Today, my dad brought back the option that I thought I had already ruled out, and gave a reason as to why I should not rule it out yet. Not that I should pick it and change my mind entirely, but I shouldn't rule it out yet.

My biggest problem with Clarke, which is primarily the reason I am leaving Clarke, is that there is no orchestra for me to play in. There are a few other things about Clarke that I'm not too fond of, but that is the biggest.
I am auditioning for the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra in September. If I make it, I will need to be here for the whole season. If I make it, I could choose to stay at Clarke and not go to Idaho. There are a number of pros and cons to staying at Clarke.

Alternatively, I could just forget the whole thing and stick with moving to Idaho in January. There are just as many pros and cons with this plan, too.

So now it's just a matter of 1) waiting to see if I make the Symphony and 2) deciding with pros and cons outweigh the others. The second one is going to be a lot harder for me than a symphony orchestra audition.

To give you an idea of my pros and cons, I will list them below.

Pros of Staying in Dubuque
I'll be in a Symphony Orchestra, so not only will I be getting the experience and learning, but I will be paid for doing it.
I will get to spend another semester with Nick. :)
I still get free education
Free living
I will have a job

Cons of Staying
I won't get to live on my own
And there are still things about Clarke I don't like so much...

Pros of Going to Idaho
I will get to live on my own. (this is huge)
There is a bigger and better music program.
I will get to meet new people, make new friends.

Cons of Going
It's going to cost a lot of $, I'll be pulling student loans. I will be in debt, unlike how I am now.
I'll be far from Nick, who knows what will happen.
It's just as cold as Iowa, but it lasts longer.
No job.

Making choices on life, money, love and education all together are so hard!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Already

For the past month or so, I have had a number of people say to me "don't work too hard!"

I never know what to say to this because I already am working too hard. My hours have gone up and I'm working 45-50+ hours a week now with my two jobs, plus I'm preparing for a number of things on my cello including an audition and memorized performance. I also have my church calling to fulfill, school to prepare for, chores to do around the house, errands to run and people to see, organizing to do, finish painting my room, phone calls to make...


I'm working too hard!

How do you not work too hard when someone tells you to?

I always have this feeling of not wanting to disappoint people, not wanting to worry them, make them anxious, stressed, or anything. I want to please everybody. This is both a strength and a weakness, so much to the point that I feel like I'm letting people down by working to hard and then having a bunch of people tell me "well don't work too hard."

Does this make sense?
I'm not losing sleep over this, but it really does make me laugh to myself every time I'm told this.
And I'm fine, really I'm fine! I'm happy to be working hard. I feel like I'm making accomplishments. This is good.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

40+

This summer is just flying by, especially now that I have a second job at Kohl's. These days I am working over 40 hours a week, with the minimum being 42 and the maximum being 47. I am busy! And nearly always tired. And sore. And my bank account is as happy as can be. I need to earn enough money so I can actually live, as in be able to buy and eat groceries, buy necessities, have emergency money... and oh yeah, be able to pay for an apartment and schooling!!!

It is hard to believe there are only 5 more weeks of summer vacation. I am DEFINITELY not ready for school to start back up! It feels like summer barely started.

I just got off work a little under an hour ago, and I have work again in 9 hours. I must be off to bed!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Happy

I just am. :)

Summer is about half way over now, and the first half has most definitely not been easy.

I was hurt by and lost a best friend in a very ugly way.
My grandpa passed away.
I am working two jobs, a total of 40-45 hours a week, and one of my jobs is not the happiest place on earth.
I have had a number of anxiety-inducing events in the past several weeks, many of them involving someone yelling at me.
My gut is acting up again. It is likely just a mini-flare induced by the anxiety.

However, I am extremely happy. I am definitely going uphill in life, and am at a higher point than I think I've ever been. And I will continue to go higher and higher. I am just so happy! I have the spirit, a closer relationship with my immediate family than I have ever had before, I have some wonderful friends, great supports, and a life that is going somewhere. I have absolutely no idea where, when, how, or why, but I am confident and happy to get there!!


I have some slightly unrelated thoughts to share.

I have been trying not to think about what happened in Utah, but that is like trying not to think about, well, the blades stuck in your back lodging into your lungs and heart. The metaphor "being stabbed in the back" has a new perspective for me now... I was hurt more than I ever have been in my life by my closest friend (no longer). I keep thinking I am over it, because I seem to be moving on alright. It's not like I am having a mental breakdown or am seeking revenge or anything stupid. But then I hear about someone I know meeting up with their closest friend of years and years, and I can't tell if I resent it, or if I'm just still confused about why the whole thing happened. I think it's the latter. I'm just confused as to how people can stay friends for so long and not have the friendship eventually crash. I used to believe in friends like that, but now that I don't have any super close friends whom I've known forever... I guess I just wasn't ever expecting to receive this perspective on friendships and how they work (or don't work). I know I need to not dwell on it, and be happy. Be happy for my friends who have those friends-from-childhood-best-friends. Be happy for the friends I have now. Be happy that some of the friends I have now will be friends of mine for the rest of my life. It doesn't matter that we didn't know each other when we were in diapers. All that matters is the kind of person you become, and what you do in your life.
I think of Moroni. At one point in his life, he had not one single friend on earth. He was alone, hiding in a world of people who hated him and wanted him dead. I cannot imagine having to live a life like that. It must have been awful. And I admire his strength, courage, and spirit. I am blessed to have some friends, and to be on earth in this time where I am not alone. 

It all still stings, and I am still a little confused, but I am feeling better about the whole ordeal. I can say and type these things and feel good about it while I'm saying/writing/reading them, but it's taking a while for them to sink in and overpower the hurt.


Anyway. I have so many reasons to be happy, and I am! No matter what happens in life, there is always something to be happy for. I love life! :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Facebook

Oh facebook. Silly, silly facebook.

I am struggling to put into words all of the thoughts in my head about facebook.

Sorry, I meant I am struggling to put my thoughts into a small amount of words that make sense.

Facebook is potentially a really dangerous place, depending on how you decide to use it. And I'm not just talking about teenage girls (and some guys..) treating facebook like a diary.
There is a sense of anonymity when on facebook. People read what you have to "say", but you are not actually there in person telling the reader what you are thinking. Whether what you are thinking is a positive thought, a negative thought, confused, upset, etc, it is easier to feel a false sense of bravery putting these thoughts on a public place such as facebook, whereas, if one was speaking their mind in person, they might second guess their choice of words and ideas. Which is not always a bad thing. Sometimes, people really do need to speak up. But we all know that, while intentions may be good (or not.....), there are some things that should be left unsaid. Not because the rest of the world doesn't want to hear it, but because the rest of the world doesn't know you personally. They don't know you have this kind of background, that going on in your life, and they usually aren't going to care, unfortunately. To put thoughts out there, expecting everyone to understand, is dangerous. To the world, it will look unprofessional, depending on the tone given for certain thoughts.

I'm not saying you should never show emotion or be upset or anything on facebook, but it is wise to keep it to a limit. A strict limit. I see people who post something heated, super emotional, sarcastic, inappropriate, and/or mean/hurtful every other day.

What gets me most about this is when my own facebook friends, ones who are supposed to actually be very professional, mature, and respectful, end up doing these things on facebook.
I have recently lost professional trust with a colleague I have known for some time, not only because of the things this person has posted on facebook, but the response (or lack thereof) to my attempted communication with them. Having worked in person with this person, it saddens me to have to now choose to not trust this person professionally because their behavior on facebook, combined with their attitude towards me off of facebook. It is annoying. And I have to try not to take it too personally. I worry that my age, gender and religious/political status may be core reasons for this not-so-professional relationship, but I know that there is nothing I can do about those, and if that is the problem, then it is truly this person's problem and not mine.
Just stinks to deal with it anyway.

Along with this are just some of the mean things I see on facebook. No one person is going to agree with any other person on every single matter in life, be it political positions, life choices, or even picking chocolate or vanilla. The name calling and misconstrued judgments that go on and are blatantly put on facebook... I'm trying to find a nice way to say this... it is not pleasant. It is not friendly. It is not professional, good, kind, helpful, or good for your own reputation.

Also, so many times I see people get upset and defensive when confronted with these issues. (I don't go up and confront people about it, but I certainly have seen it.) And the only reason they get so upset and defensive is because they know they are guilty of it. Which is a huge pain to get into. I try to avoid unnecessary confrontation like the plague.

Just be aware and be careful what you are putting on facebook, please..

Monday, July 4, 2011

Back

First I will start off by saying Happy Independence Day! Happy 4th of July, Happy birthday America, God Bless America, ect. Definitely one of my favorite holidays. Patriotism for one's country is something I appreciate and admire, and though I don't necessarily walk around completely decked out in red white and blue, I do sit back and think about all that this country has been through, since the beginning of time, all that it has done for people all around the world, everything good and bad, and all of the blessings we have from living in this beautiful land. I love my country, I'm proud of our soldiers and our veterans (my dad being one of them, along with both grandpas, one who served in the air force, the other the army band), and though politics are messy and there is a lot of contention and controversy in the government, we are all united in this country together, and it is a true blessing to be here.

Now I will go onto something entirely different...
I have not been in quite so much physical pain for a very long time. Well, it feels like it, anyway. My last flare up was last fall, but that was nearly a year ago. However, I'm not having stomach pain, which is quite a relief! No, I'm having back pain. I can't walk without extreme discomfort. Forget about standing up from lying/sitting. I have mastered the art of masking pain in my face, because I don't like that attention, and when I was sick, before I started hiding it, people started to think I was faking it and trying to get attention, even though it was all real. So I'd say I do a pretty good job at hiding it and toughing it out, since, even though I'm better, I'm still in some sort of pain every day and nobody can ever tell.
Anyway. I can't keep a straight face with this back pain. And I can't do anything. I try to tough it out and do stuff, but I end up wincing and nearly falling over. I iced my back for 5 hours today, took plenty of pain meds, had my dad work on my back, and I am just so uncomfortable!! It's muscular, I can tell. It's been hurting for almost a week, but I just thought it was a minor ache that would go away on its own eventually. Didn't think it would get this bad. Moving my arms around when I'm standing hurts, and just simply existing hurts my back period. I cannot get comfortable at all. Fortunately I am off work at dairy queen for the week, but I do have to work at Kohl's twice this week. I am hoping and praying this goes away by Wednesday evening, because I can't even drive right now I'm so uncomfortable.
I dislike that I get severe pain like this. It doesn't make me feel special or anything, I always avoid talking about it because many people would think I exaggerate, and I don't like giving off a negative vibe. But goodness, I can't keep pain silent. Pain gets me tired and easily frustrated, and I find talking about it helps with the frustration. I know it could be worse, and I know I'm only feeling a tiny bit of what Christ felt.
It hurts and stinks right now, but I'll get better. :)  Hopefully in time for work on Wednesday.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Dresses

If there is one thing about my life that I truly love, it is being an older sister. I cannot imagine life without younger siblings. Without my younger siblings. I love them to no end, and I know they love me. I just love my family all around.
And the fun part about it is that, not only am I older, but I get to be an older sister. I get to talk with my two younger sisters about life and laugh about it all. Talk girl talk with them and be a role model for them. Help them through the tough times, be it a bully at school, a poor audition, losing a friend, or just simply having a lousy hormonal time, I know I am there for them to vent to and be there for honest support. Yet at the same time, I can be there and spend hours in the bathroom making crazy hair styles, giving advise on make-up, go out shopping and get nothing but have tons of fun trying on the highest heeled shoes, the ugliest looking shirts, or the most amazing dresses that we could never possibly afford. It is just such a wonderful part of life and I am so glad I have my sisters for all eternity. And my brother too, of course. :)

Tonight, after enjoying an evening of outdoor activities, socializing, and celebratory fireworks for independence day, Grace and her friend came home to have a slumber party together. We went through our old dress-up trunk. Most of the clothes and dresses in there are worn and torn. So I decided to pull out several of my formal dresses, brought them into my room, and let them try them on and do a photo shoot. It was so fun.

I just love being an older sister. :)




Saturday, June 25, 2011

Something

I have had an unsettling feeling in the pit of my stomach for the past few days. It's been growing, and I only just realized what the feeling is. Like something bad is going to happen. I don't know what, but I have a really bad feeling that something is going to happen. I sure hope I'm wrong and that it just passes and this all just ends up being some little minor dip into depression or something...but I can't shake it. Something doesn't feel right. Something is off kilter.

I'll keep you updated...

Dreams

Purely for entertainment, I have started another blog. It will be a dream journal, and I am sharing it for whoever wishes to read a daily story to enjoy. I tend to have vivid story-like dreams that are often entertaining and/or just plain weird. They are worth sharing, but if I don't keep a record of them, I eventually forget them.
So check it out and follow it!

http://peculiardreamsofmine.blogspot.com/

I will still post on this blog, of course. When there is something to share. :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Julie

This evening I had the privilege of carpooling the 100 miles to Iowa City to hear Elder Richard M. Nelson of the quorum of the twelve speak to the young single adults. It was a question and answer session, and it was so interesting!! I had a great time.

While there, a lady told me I resemble Julie Andrews with my face, smile, hair, and personality. I have never been told this before (and this certainly isn't good for my ego!), but I was really quite flattered and am trying to find the physical resemblance myself.
What do you think?



Thursday, June 16, 2011

Learning

This is a fairly lengthy post. Hence the "blah blah blah" in my blog title. I apologize for the length, but I appreciate the time taken to read what I have to say. I want to share this with my five blog followers, and I have been meaning to share this before it is too late to remember everything.
There is a lot that has happened in the last two weeks. Many good things, and a good share of not-so-good things, too.
A few weeks ago, I went out to Utah to visit a girl I have known forever. Our dads met in the Missionary Training Center, went on the same mission, and then were in the same military bases for a number of years. Our families have parallel lives, as do this girl and I. Originally, I was going to be a bridesmaid in her wedding while I was there. However, complications came up and the wedding has been postponed. I already had plane tickets though and we couldn't change them, so I flew out there to spend some time with her and her family. The week was fun! It was exactly how summer should be spent. Lots of time outside, playing games, jumping on the trampoline, roasting marshmallows and starbursts in a bonfire, watch a movie outside, sleep under the stars, go swimming, hiking, boating, etc. Lots of fun.
However, my final morning there, things turned completely upside down. I won't go into details since this is the internet, but I was hurt far worse than I think I have ever been hurt in my life. Never have I had somebody shout so many ugly things in my face at such a loud volume, in such a purposefully hurtful manner, and by somebody I considered to be one of my closest friends in the world. It was entirely unexpected, extremely inappropriate, hurtful, scary, and damaging. I regret some of the things I said back to her, and I feel awful that it all happened, but what hurts the most is that, by what I have heard from her father... she doesn't regret anything. She feels she was in the right. Telling me I am the most annoying and selfish person needed to happen, and I deserved it. I needed to be told I drive everyone crazy and nobody there likes me because I am so selfish and annoying. And I suck at being a friend.
I had to spend the rest of the day alone in airports and in airplanes, but I owe many thanks to my mom and Nick, both of whom talked to me and comforted for close to an hour each as I waited in the airport, having arrived 3 hours earlier than expected due to the argument. Thanks to their open ears and hearts, and to the scriptures I had in my carry on bag and the Lord's guidance, I have been able to stand back and look at this from the big picture point of view, and know that the things said to me are not true, I did nothing to deserve this, and I should not blame myself. The words do sting still, and I don't know how long they will sting for, and I am finding this whole experience to be a true test of my willingness to forgive. Of course I want to forgive all of this, but the matter of putting the hurt and resentment aside is proving to be a struggle for me.
The events that happened in the week following that awful day have proved to be a test of my spiritual and emotional strength.
The day after I came home, I had a very enjoyable day with Nick. We got up early and drove to Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, and spent the day at Noah's Ark Waterpark: America's Largest Waterpark.  It was a blast! Spending time together, riding water coasters and slides, spending the day in the sun (which does something to boost your mood and lessen depression or something). It was a great recovery after having had such a hard day. :)
That evening though, I got home and read in our local paper that the principal to the elementary school that my 9 year old brother attends had been arrested that morning (the day after school finished for the year). He has been charged with a federal account of having viewed child pornography, and the man also admitted to the authorities that he had placed a hidden camera in the boys bathroom at school. They mentioned an age group he focuses on, and my brother falls right in the smack dab center of that age group.
We explained this to my brother, and he doesn't quite get it we don't think. If he does, then he is not upset. We think he just doesn't quite understand it. Other boys in the neighborhood do though. They are upset. Nobody knows if their child was watched, if still shots were taken of their child, pictures taken and sent to other people...nobody knows. And I don't know if I want to know. All I know is I want this man locked up, and I pray he gets help. Because he needs it. It is so sad to see the things that Satan can do to people. The lives he can destroy, the people he can hurt, the resentment and contention he can stir up. I am so grateful to know the things I know. But I do pity this man for the choices he has made.

Following that load of news, we learned of my grandfather's illness. He became ill and was sent to the hospital. He ended up in the ICU with pneumonia. It eventually spread to his heart, and Thursday June 9th, 2011 in the afternoon, he died. Being so far away in Iowa, I was unable to be there when he died, or at the funeral. I hear the funeral was lovely though. For the last few years, my family and I have always half expected that every time we saw our grandparents would be the last time we would see them while here on earth. None of us in Iowa feel as though we left things unsaid, have any regrets, or really feel any true true loss. I will miss his heart warming smile, his "well hello there!" greetings every time we see him, his countless stories and advise and wisdom, but I do not feel I have lost anything. I (and my immediate family) feel at peace. We know without a doubt that this time on earth really is only but a short time and that before we know it, we will be reunited. He will be one of the very first smiling faces I see when I pass through the veil. I have no doubt about it. I look forward to it, actually. What a joyful reunion that will be!! I feel like I have faced a lot of death in the last 6 months, with my good friend Scott suddenly dying of cancer, my kitty who I loved dearly dying of cancer as well, and now my grandpa Priest (only three deaths, but it's more than I've faced my whole life!), but it has strengthened my testimony. I know Grandpa Priest worked hard on earth doing genealogy work, temple work, missionary service and so so so much more. Now, I know that he is working even harder and even more than he could on earth in his sick body. His spirit lives on, and is greeting those who have passed who he helped in his time on earth through temple work. He works with those who are lost and confused. He is a beacon of light to those spirits, and his memory and impressions left on earth will shine on forever as well as we, his children and grandchildren (and our children as we raise them in the gospel) live up to our Grandpa's example.

On top of it all, on Thursday morning, Nick left. I have mentioned him a few times here - Nick is my boyfriend (goodness I don't like that term, I feel like it is such an overly used term, used primarily by high school girls desperate for attention and affection), and I am very happy to know him and to have a friend like him. :) I am very blessed and very happy. I was sad to say goodbye the night before, but I know he will be back in just 10 more short weeks. Still, I miss him, but only temporarily. I look forward to spending a few more months with him and seeing where life takes us.

So, this past week my parents left to go to the funeral, which means I have been home alone while Oliver stays with Molly, and Sally and Grace are off at girls camp. Of course whenever parents are gone, bad and unavoidable things happen that are beyond our control. Two things have happened so far. First, Hoover (our labrador) got very sick...everywhere. And late at night, too, so I had to stay up cleaning. Then, there was an incident at the local grocery store. Long story short, I made two girls (african american... they unfortunately fit the stereotypical attitude of most sassy black girls) very very mad by taking a parking spot they wanted. They wouldn't leave from behind my car and were shouting and swearing at me with their windows rolled down. I couldn't hear everything, but by what little I could hear, I am a ****ing white *****, and they are going to beat my *** when they find me in the store. Going to hunt me down and beat me up. Statements like this were said multiple times. I fortunately had Hoover (the 90 lb pure muscle black labardor mentioned earlier) in the car with me, so I rolled down his window and let him stick his head outside, hoping they would back off. They didn't. Once the car next to me pulled out, they pulled into it, and I go out of the car and ran to the building. They were still shouting at me, and I couldn't resist, I responded "What on earth!!!! It's a parking spot! A piece of asphalt!! Get over it!!" People in the parking lot saw everything that was going on. One lady came with me inside and told me she wouldn't let them get to me and told me I should find a manager asap. I did, and I told him what was happening, and that I did not feel safe. At that moment, the two girl walked in the store. They spotted me, put their hands on their hips, pointed at me, eyes narrowed, and started to make their way towards me. The assistant manager told me he would tell them to leave. They didn't... they walked toward me, so I made my way towards aisles and got myself lost in them, hoping they wouldn't be able to see me. I ran into the lady who talked with me in the parking lot and she told me this is crazy and she's sorry it had to happen to me. I found my groceries, checked out, and left. Got to my car, no key scratches, dents, broken windows or anything like that. I got out of there. What an awful experience!


HOWEVER.... on the bright side, I have learned a lot in the last few weeks!!! About life, love, friendship, family, the gospel, and myself. These two weeks certainly have been a bit of a super-boost to my learning and life experience.... and while they're not always fun, I wouldn't trade these opportunities to learn for anything.