Monday, March 28, 2011

Eleven Years

It's past 12:30 in the morning, I have class in less than nine hours, I've been frantically doing homework (and still have 15 chapters to read for tomorrow's class-ha!), and with graduation three weeks away I'm seriously worried about passing my classes. It's the most nerve-wracking time of the year.

Yet, here I am typing away with my dogs snoozing nearby on the couch and Enya on the iPod. It's taken me eleven years to get to this point. Eleven years of blood, sweat and tears--oh so many tears! Eleven years of good professors, bad professors, and professors who forever altered my way of thinking, making me a better person.

Eleven years of driving my family crazy, ignoring them, neglecting them, abusing them. Eleven years of leaning on friends to get me through one more semester.

In the past eleven years I've lost loved ones, moved out of my parents' home twice and moved back in twice, been promoted at work, traveled to new places and returned to old ones, been reunited with long-lost friends and heard oh-so-many stories from new people.

It's never easy to admit that it's taken me eleven years to complete my bachelor's degree. But looking back tonight ... it's been one heck of a ride and there's nothing I'd do over.

Well, pretty much nothing ;)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Taking Responsibility

Today the winds outside howled furiously, but I’m relieved we didn’t get two feet of snow dumped on us. I have several friends in the path of the major storm, but so far everyone is doing well, for which I am very grateful.

In the midst of all these storms and winds I’ve been doing some soul searching. I’ll spare you all the details of my thought process, because frankly, it’s kind of convoluted—to the point of scary. However, I have come to a realization that just might change my life forever. Are you ready for it?

I am the only one responsible for my life and my choices.

Not quite what you were expecting? Me neither. I mean, I’ve heard this over and over again so many times in life, but somehow something actually clicked for me this time, and I kind of mean that literally. I felt the click inside my soul, I swear it.

I’ve been facing a challenge lately (forgive my vagueness) that has really thrown me for a loop. My reaction has been to blame others. “They’re doing it wrong and that makes me mad, so it’s their fault I’m mad.” But nope, it’s not. I choose the anger, the bad attitude, the criticism, etc. And if I’m the one choosing it, I’m the one who has to take responsibility for it.

Taking responsibility can be a bitter pill to swallow—not gonna lie. Looking at all the things I don’t like about my life and finally accepting that they’re my own doing scares the crap out of me. But I also feel … empowered. Neither my circumstances, nor my genes, nor the nasty lady on the freeway who cuts me off can define me. Only I can.

Today on my way into work I walked into a virtual wind tunnel. The buildings were all lined up just right to magnify the already powerful winds, and I was momentarily stopped in my tracks. I was blinded by my hair being whipped in my face, my bag was almost ripped out of my hands, and I couldn’t breathe unless I turned my back on the wind.

One guy who was also caught off guard by the wind simply made a mad dash down the hill. I waited for the gusts to die down a little then slowly made my way down. Two girls behind me stayed at the top of the hill hollering into the wind.

And that’s life, friends. There are lots of wind and lots of storms, and we have to decide how to navigate them, or just keep screaming into them. But either way it’s our choice.

As I leaned into the wind today, fighting to make my way down the hill, I realized something else.

In taking responsibility for my life I’ve gotten back something I thought I had lost a long time ago: my fighting spirit.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Small and Simple Things

I've decided that for this year I'm going to focus on the small and simple things, because I really suck at it right now and want to get better.

I'm a very impatient person--anyone who knows me in person can attest to this fact. I like to skip ahead to the good stuff: I read the end of books before the rest of the book, I speed on the freeway (and every road for that matter), and I suffer from grocery-shopping rage (like road rage, but with grocery carts). When I set goals for myself I get easily discouraged because I just want to skip to the part where I'm perfect at whatever I'm trying to fix. Shouldn't I be able to change overnight?

Well, I'm slowly realizing that the only way to really change my life is to take a step at a time--sometimes at a snail's pace. The scriptures teach that "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise" (Alma 37:6). I want my life to be great, so I guess that means I've got to start small and simple, and stop trying to take shortcuts. Shortcuts haven't cut it for me for too long, and for good or ill, the things that matter most in life hinge upon the small and simple.

Plus, small and simple sounds so much more manageable than big and mighty, doesn't it?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

It's one hour and twenty minutes into the New Year and I've got an irresistible urge to blog. I'm also watching the Food Network so I'm really hungry too ... or maybe it's just that I want to cook something.

As is fairly common, I'm thinking about what I want this year to be like, and what I want to accomplish. I hesitate to say I'm planning New Year's Resolutions because I tend to break most of those in a heartbeat. We'll just say that I'm taking stock of my life and thinking about the next few steps.

One of those steps is developing this blog, which needs a lot of work at this point. I want to write and share and create and learn and achieve this year, and I want this blog to reflect all of that. I've just got to figure out how to do it.

So here's to a great new year full of new adventures and fun and life and love. Now what's in the fridge?