Monday, July 11, 2016

Change your hair, change your life

Sometimes, when you need to make big, difficult changes in your life, you just have to start with your hair color and then work your way up from there.

I wrote this in my journal about a year and a half ago and this is a sentence that I will stand by until I die (or dye... get it, because hair dye..). I did this very thing back in December of 2014. I was unhappy in my life and I knew I needed to quit my job and move and change pretty much everything and I was intimidated by it, so I was procrastinating making the changes. So I dyed my hair for the first time in my life. It's something so simple and silly, but I did it and that seemed to be the catalyst for change. Within a month, I had quit my job and moved out Provo and made the changes that I knew that I needed to and that I knew would make me happier.

Now I'm not saying that you have to dye your hair when you feel like something needs to change in your life, but what I am saying is that if you are not happy, you have the power to change that. Change one small thing and see how you feel. It's empowering and it will help you work up towards big changes that you may need to make.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Thoughts on America

I realize I have not blogged in ages, and I probably won't start blogging a ton after this either, but I had thoughts running through my head that needed an outlet. And my thoughts today are too long to fit into a 140-character tweet, which is what I usually do, so I have turned to the blog.

Today is the fourth of July. Independence Day for the United States of America. One of my favorite days of the year.
I love celebrating the 4th of July. My family always goes to the parade in the morning and it is a huge, fun, loud ordeal. And then we swim and play and eat to our hearts content. And then we watch fireworks. Fireworks are one of the best parts about the summertime. Overall, this is simply one of the best holidays with the best traditions.

But here's the thing: America is struggling. Maybe in my maturity I'm just more aware of the world than I ever have been in the past, but I feel like this nation, especially lately, is in constant contention with it's self and with the rest of the world. Specifically the contention within ourselves is the part that is overwhelming and disheartening to me. It seems to be eating us up from the inside. People are always arguing; not just having civil disagreements, which I think is a very healthy thing for all societies, but fights and name calling and an unwillingness to even listen to an opinion different than one's own. Sometimes these disagreements even turn to violence and that is unspeakably terrible.
It's really discouraging and heartbreaking to hear about such occurrences within this place that is supposed to be so happy and so free. I hadn't even realized it until today, but recently I've developed a somewhat negative attitude toward this country that I love so much. So often all we hear about is the bad, and I was beginning to believe it to be 100% true. While I do recognize that this country is not perfect and we have some major things we need to work on, today reminded me that this is still America. We are still so blessed to be in a country with all of the freedoms and rights that we have.

The majority of the youth that I work with are extremely underprivileged. They come from poverty situations, broken homes, and very rough neighborhoods. In my work, I focus so often on how unfairly society has treated them and how they were born into a situation where they never had a chance to succeed. I read articles and talk to my fellow professionals about how these youth are so underprivileged and lacking so much by way of materials, experiences, and finances. It's quite discouraging to realize that statistics say that it is incredibly unlikely for most of these kids to overcome the circumstances that they were born into. Most studies say that these youth will follow their parent's histories of violence, crime, lack of education, and poverty.

I could go on and on about the links between poverty, education and delinquency, however today I realized that this is no the only perspective. This negative, static view of the future of these youths is not the only way of viewing their potential. Today I was reminded of hope and potential for the future of all of the youth of this nation.

We live in a country where it is completely possible for a kid to be born in the worst of circumstances and to eventually become anything they could ever dream of. Yes, this is difficult, and yes, this takes time, perhaps even a lifetime, but the bottom line is that it is possible. The youth of this country have the potential to change their lives and change the world. We live in a country where our destinies are not predetermined and we have control over who we become and how successful we will be. Yes, this country is still struggling and still has hatred, fear, and misunderstanding of so many minority and underprivileged groups. But people are advocating for change and understanding, because that's something we can do in this country! We are allowed to have a voice and we are allowed to try to change the things we don't like. We are not perfect and we have lots to work on, but isn't that exactly how America should be? This is a place of constant change and adaptation, and that is a good thing. And this is a place where our children have very bright, hopeful futures, and that is what America is all about. I'm not giving up on America and the future it holds for our youth, and I hope no one else is either.

Friday, June 19, 2015

I dabble

I used to think that I obsessed over outrageous things more than anyone. But then once I dated a boy who would dive into hobbies and get COMPLETELY obsessed, and he made me realize that maybe I don't get fully invested and obsessed, I just dabble in a ton of different unique hobbies and interests.

But then I reconsidered a second time, and why the heck can't I do both?? I dabble in so many random interests, but I also get so passionately obsessed with each and everyone of them. When I decide I like something, I jump on and and truly LOVE it. I often move on and gather new, weird passions, but I never loose the many loves that I've had in the past.

Here is a list of some things that I have dabbled in and passionately love and will geek out about if you bring them up to me (this list is probably not comprehensive):

  • Harry Potter
  • watching and playing volleyball nonstop
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
  • finding and sitting on good benches
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Doctor Who
  • college football
  • social theory of poverty and delinquency
  • playing board games
  • Star Wars
  • Super Smash Brothers
  • watching parades
  • Weezer
  • reading fantasy books
  • hiking
  • collecting Pez dispensers
  • watching the playoffs of any sport
  • Arthur
  • lemonberry slush with nerds from Sonic
  • twitter
  • BeyoncĂ©
  • quoting Disney movies
  • anything Olympic related
  • So You Think You Can Dance
  • chips and salsa
  • dance parties


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

That time I was unemployed

I took a crazy, terrifying leap of faith at the end of January and quit my job without the slightest inkling of where I would work next. It felt right to leave my job, however hard and tear-filled it was, and I just had to go and trust that the Lord would take care of me. I wasn't completely unemployed - I did odd jobs here and there and they were awesome - but I couldn't find a full time job for almost 3 months and it was hard.


A few things I learned while being unemployed:

If you apply enough time, you can get very good at ANYTHING
I taught myself to crochet this past December, but once I didn't have a job, I dove in head first and went crochet crazy. I watched countless YouTube videos and bought skein after skein of yarn. I made scarves galore, hats, a single mitten (I didn't love it do I didn't make the second), and attempted a crochet beard/hat combo.

I will never get sick of doing puzzles
You stick me in front of a TV and turn on the never ending stream of shows on Netflix, and I could do puzzle after puzzle and still ask for more. I prefer 1000 piece puzzles to 2000 piecers - just for future reference if anyone ever desires to get me a gift.

Living in you parent's basement after you graduate college is awesome, but only if it's for a limited amount of time
When I first moved in with my parents, it was only going to be for a couple weeks - a month tops, but I ended up staying for 3 months, because I couldn't find a job. It was fantastic to live with my parents and my brothers again, and to get to know the youngest brothers better because they were so young when I moved out and they didn't really remember living with me. Family is so important. However, it is also so important to move on in life and be independent and living in my parent's basement was not the answer.

Through trials (like not getting a job) there are still HUGE blessings
Early on in my unemployed state I realized that I had an amazing and rare opportunity in front of me: I had nothing to spend my time on except to focus on bettering myself. I decided that this was the perfect chance to form habits that had always been hard for me to form because I felt I didn't have the time. I made it a priority to take care of myself both spiritually and physically. I won't lie, I didn't do very well with the whole working out a being healthy thing, but I did go running a few more times than usual. But I did take the time to not just read but really study my scriptures daily, make sure daily prayers and conversation with my Heavenly Father were a priority, and attending the temple once a week. This is honestly the only thing that kept me sane.


I'm pretty sure I say this in almost every blog post, but life is crazy and unpredictable. I never know what's going to happen next and I am so grateful for all of my experiences, no matter how outrageous and dumb they feel in the moment. I started a job in mid-April that is the perfect job for me, and I'm so pleased that I didn't find anything else before this job came along. There are always hidden blessings, and sometimes you don't see them until later, but God knows and that' what is most important.

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