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. :)