Saturday, December 31, 2011

Partying It Up New Year's Eve!

I don't know what any of the rest of you did New Year's Eve but I can tell you this, my night was as my sister would have said it... pretty bomb-diggity. I got to spend time with my parents. My sisters partied the night away... away from us so there was less drama. We listened to the party going on at Times Square as we waited for the ball to drop and we played games and drank Martinelli's Sparkling Cider. That is right... Mormons party rock!

But seriously, we had a lot of fun. We laughed and enjoyed a good night. Dad got a little action when he thought it was midnight so he may have been a little eager beaver in kissing his sweetie but that is my parents for you. And yes they did so with crazy 2012 glasses on. Earlier in the night we played a game I bought called Munchkin. And it is just plain hilarious! Even the rules are fun to read! But even though my dad one the first game, I ended up winning the second game after a drastic comeback. It was a hard fight to the bitter end but I came off victorious. It is slightly complicated so I don't know how much fun my mom had but I think my dad at least had fun. Who can't laugh when they are fighting Wannabe Vampires and Shrieking Geeks when they armed with a Horny Helmet, Boots of Butt Kicking and their Potion of Halitosis?

Also I decided to start a couple of books before I fly back to Provo on Tuesday... The Hunger Games (no one tell me how it goes because I think I already have had enough of them spoiled by my sisters) but first I am going to finish The Alchemist. So far it has been really good and I think everyone can get something out of reading it. It speaks to everyone differently and to each person differently through out there lives. It has many life lessons that it teaches through the experiences and attitudes of the interacting characters. It really is fascinating. It is almost like a a modern version of the Canterbury Tales.

In my own defense, I promise I am normal... But this may just prove that it might take one special girl to help me out with number five of my eight New Year's Resolutions for 2012.

Getting Ready for the End of the World

So I figure that when it comes to New Year's Resolutions and the fact that according to the Mayans and popular opinion the world ends this next year, my goals better be pretty lofty! Go big or go home! Know what I mean?


Remembering that these are goals will be a little large and I have a whole year to accomplish them (keep that little tidbit in context of the goals...) I want by the end of 2013 to have done the following:

1. By the end of this upcoming Winter Semester, I want to still be eligible for a scholarship. As a mechanical engineering major that means I still need to be up around a 3.55 GPA. I want to take either the GRE or the ME Exam next year.

2. Also when it comes to education, I need to apply for graduation next year! I didn't think I would be saying that any time soon since I feel like I am still in the middle of all my classes. But I also need to figure out when I am going to start checking out colleges for graduate school so I can get a Master's degree in Biomedical Engineering. So far, I think I will be applying for the University of Utah, UCLA, Ohio State, etc. So yes, my first choice of colleges to transfer to from BYU to is going to be U of U. I will pause for a moment to await the befuddlement and confusion.

3. The other thing I need to figure out is if I can set up an internship for this upcoming summer. I am still looking for a good place to go but to be honest, if I did just go back to my last summer internship I know my supervisors and coworkers well enough that if I wanted time off I could ask for it while still getting good work experience.

4. Most people would ask why in the world I would be asking for time off... well, let me tell you. My family travels a lot and they are going on a cruise without me during the Spring Break this year. BYU doesn't have a Spring Break and on top of that I also have never been on a cruise! So this summer I may want to take two weeks off and go visit friends. So I want to do a little traveling!

5. I also am going to be turning 24 this next year and kinda like my roommate Ryan, it would nice not to become as it is called in LDS pop culture, a menace to society. If the situation right and it happens that I am dating the right girl, I would want to be engaged or married this next year (If you can't figure this one out... this would be the lofty goal.). I don't know if it will happen but I will try to be patient and see what happens. So I guess a more realistic goal is that I want to be dating someone seriously this next year and if this happens, then it will be a great blessing in my life.

6. Be able to manage my time a lot better. There is going to be a lot of things taking up my time next semester and I need to stay on top of things so I get the most out of my day and I don't end up wasting my own time. I had to quit my job as a research assistant that I had last semester because this next semester looks like it will be very difficult. Between classes, dating, and just taking care of business at my apartment and in my ward, I may be pretty tired which is just an easy prediction that I am planning on making now.

7. Along with managing my time better, I want to manage my health better. Apparently my doctors want me to do a couple of things. As a diabetic I should have only half of the food that I eat at any meal be carbs. Well I can tell you right now that never happens. So I need to fix that for sure. Then I need to test more, even when I am on vacation. And finally, I want to make time for daily exercise. Whether that consists of push ups and sit ups at night or a run, if my 50 year old dad can do it... then I can do it.

8. This next year I am planning on taking a Doctrine & Covenants class but I want to also read the Book of Mormon this year. So whether I start now or I create a reading program for myself over the summer. I want to finish the Doctrine & Covenants and the Book of Mormon this year. Maybe if I try a little harder with this goal, then maybe God will help me out a little more with goal #5! We can always hope, right?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Choosing for Ourselves

Tonight's post is going to be a lot of abstract thoughts I have been having lately, mostly about perspective. I am always a thinker and a dreamer so I typically have a variety of thoughts running through my head at all times, which can be odd. I am told that most men can't think about more than one thing at a time which is probably true, so what I just need to do is focus on directing my thoughts so I can choose where I want them to go. Anyways that could become a post of its own in its own due time but right now I want to talk about our choices.

I was watching a few videos tonight before I went to sleep and some of them put my own personal beliefs in a poor light. The thing was that the people who professed to know so much about my beliefs really didn't know much about them at all. And though I wanted to comment and take a stand and a side, I realized that people can choose what they want to believe. If they wanted to really know they would ask and go to the source. And the best way to do that is to go to those who have those certain beliefs, find out from them what they believe and then go to God ask if it is true. What better way of going to the source then that. So if people want to mock, belittle, or try and destroy the faith of others, they can try because that is their choice. But it was amazing how many of these people did not believe in anything themselves... nothing at all. What a cold and dark way to exist not believing in love or light... Because faith in God brings both. People can choose to love themselves but that isn't truly love at all. Love is not selfish like that. I can't really say that I understand it myself because at times I have been childish and thought that I could go from one heart to another, like a boy with a toy who would play with one and then move on and expect that he could play with it again whenever he returned. That kind of love is selfish and insincere. I don't want to be like that ever again and so I thank God that we can repent and through that process change. Christ never loved like that. If people truly knew the Savior and understood His mission, I think we would begin to act a little differently.

And by acting differently I mean we would make our own decisions, choices, be our own person. Many times I have thought to compare myself to my parents, my grandparents, my namesake. The thing is that we make our own legacies. I am not my dad. I am not my mom. Not that they are bad people but the fact is that I am my own person and I choose my own life. I chose what I wished to believe in, who and how to love, and in the end I will write my own story. I just hope that by the time I am through, it will be worth reading. But I guess what I saying is that you are not defined by who you are, where you come from, or even the people you surround yourself with... you make your own choices. We choose for ourselves. We can create for ourselves our own life just as people can choose to either accept us or reject us. But in the end, the beauty of the whole thing is that no matter what happens in life, you have a choice. You can choose whether you see the rainbows through the rain. You can choose to smile. You can choose to stand and fight for what is right or take the easier path. But in the end it was always you who chose and no one else. It will be and always was you. You got to choose.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Unexpected Reunion

This Christmas season has been a real blessing. I have been able to spend a lot of time with family and with my siblings, our family getting bigger, relatives coming home from abroad, and others moving away, there is a lot of changes happening. Because of all this it has been amazing to be able to spend quality time with my family this last week and should be the same next week too. Family is where home really is. It isn't a place but the people that make the place feel like love because the love is real. So anyways, this week I can't really say that I feel like I have done a whole lot. I mostly help my mom out, sleep a fair bit, and then spend my afternoons and evenings with the rest of my family.

However, one of our traditions around Christmas time is baking poppy-seed bread with an orange glaze and then delivering them to our family and friends along with caroling to them. If for nothing else I travel back home to New Hampshire every Christmas for that bread (just kidding... kind of). But seriously, it is delicious! One of the families we decided to deliver to, we met through wrestling in high school. I wasn't the biggest kid on the team but I had spunk. I would practice with their son Alex a lot and we became friends. They aren't LDS like we are but they are an amazing family with strong values and relationships. Since I love them a lot, we decided to bake them one too. When I drove over and knocked on their door, they were surprised to see me and invited me right in. After hugs and handshakes from everyone, we began to catch up, swap stories, and the time just flew. It wasn't until I got a call from my dad that I realized how much time actually had passed, excused myself, they thanked me for the gift, and I was on my way. But it was so nice to catch up. To be able to see familiar faces and see how happy they were.

When I think about my relationships, I want them to be like that... an unexpected reunion. I think I will know when I found the woman I want to really get to know when it feels for both of us that when we first meet that it was like meeting an old friend. I feel like if I met someone like that I would be willing and would want to hold onto them forever. In the end, I know that I have always wanted two things in life: I want to be the best future husband and father as I could be and I want to marry my best friend. And if I had to guess what she would be like... She would be as crazy as me and we would be crazy about each other. We would make each other laugh, she would be witty and sarcastic, but if she truly was like me, she would be a dreamer. And I would do anything to help us live our dreams together... I don't do so well with distance but I am trying.

Not that I want distance between me and the ones I love, but distance can be a good measure of the trust and strength of a relationship. The thing about distance is it either does one of two things: the flame of a relationship reacts only one of two ways to the breeze of distance. If the flame is too small it is extinguished. But if the flame is large enough the air will give the fire strength and it will grow. And if I throw another analogy into the mix, I can't let my fears get to me. Sometimes I am afraid that people won't accept me so I hold so tightly that they can't breathe and so they push away. It is like holding a bird; you need to hold on only tightly enough that it can't fly away and it will feel safe. Still, I think that is the feeling I want it to feel like, as strange as it sounds, an unexpected reunion.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Stay Strong

I don't know what it is but when it comes to talking about my religion, I don't hesitate. There was a friend I made a while back who is a recent convert to the Church. She isn't from the States so she has an especially tough time and I think I understand a little bit. I have visited her country before the wards were a bit sparse and the members were either totally gun-ho and maybe a little over the top or you never saw them because they never came. I didn't know exactly what to tell her but I was able to talk her through a few things and help her see that the happiest she has ever been was when she was going to Church.

Making any major life decisions like that come with a honeymoon stage... marriage, college, conversion, moving out on your own, etc. There is period of time when the feelings are all still new, there may be some attention you receive as people help you through the adjustment period, etc. But then there comes the period of time when that all has worn off and you have to stand by yourself and face you decision and continue to move down the path. Don't get me wrong: The joy hasn't gone away but the attention and newness has. If it really was your choice all along, this is the time that will be tested. In her case, it was almost more than she could bear. Her home life was not always the type that you would have thought would have been standard of a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but that was the beauty of conversion. People change and we can continue to change and improve. This was the miracle of having the Spirit in her life. I won't share all any more of her story because she is still living it and it is her story to share, not mine. I was just an instrument along her path that was there to help her stay strong. Not to endure... but to endure well.

If you ever have found yourself at a point where you begin to doubt yourself or think you should turn back, take a moment to see where your choice is leading you. Who are you becoming? Where will you be when you finally have achieved your goal? If these are things you believe you need to do, things that will make you a better person, help you find fulfillment, purpose, joy and happiness in your life and by accomplishing whatever it is bless the lives of the people and strangers that surround you... make sure your path is straight, steady your course, and then push on through. Because if it is a good decision then there most likely will be some opposition so you will have to push on through. And even when you feel like you are alone, just know that you are never alone. There are people all over the world that fight similar struggles. And in this season, remember there was one Man who faced your struggles, your temptations, fought your fight, and He will never leave you if you will but let Him into your life. Christ is Our Savior. Let Him play His role. Let Him in and He will make you strong. He will help you rise to the occasion. It is up to us to stay strong.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Friend Effect

I am sure this will be surprising to all of you in the fact that this post is not to give a discourse on some unsuccessful dating experience. Actually this is exactly what the title says it is about. What exactly is the effect that friends have on us? I was having a discussion with one of my amazing friends whose opinion I respect very highly about the subject and I started to think about it.

No matter who your friends are they always have some sort of an affect on you. Maybe they are the type of people who lift you up. They are always there to give you a kind word when you need it. They are the type of person who naturally is always happy so being around them just has that rubbing-off effect. Sometimes they aren't always the best influence and you are the lifting influence. Maybe if you aren't careful their bad habits begin to wear you down. Your standards begin to fall a bit more each time you are together. Sometimes however you can even learn from these experiences! You learn to be more accepting and less-judgmental. You gain a different perspective of a certain situation in life. But overall, I think we are always looking for someone that is a positive influence on us. Life is tough enough that to have the support of your friends is something that I think we all rely on.

What are you doing to improve? How are you affecting the people you surround yourself with? Are you the positive influence or have you become a negative one? I began a bit of self-discovery or self-reflection. Recently, I have been trying to focus on my studies as much as I can. Finals week was last week and it was full of books, hours spent in the library, and taking worthwhile breaks with my friends. But if I look even further back, I am trying to improve. I know where many of my weaknesses are and I have been trying to spend more time building them up. Whether that means I take extra time on my knees in prayer, a little more time on my toes on the athletic court or field, or maybe just testing my blood sugar a bit more often, no matter what it was I am on the right road. Mentally and emotionally I am doing better as well. I date a lot. My dad and mom can attest to the fact as they typically are in the front row seats of the highlights and failures of my social life. I have this ability to bounce back from heartache or rejection, to whatever degree it occurred, that allows me to move on and keep trying. I want to be the kind of guy that can take bad news on the cheek and reply with a compliment or a smile. Why? Because in the word's of Dan Burns, "It is better than the alternative." The point is that recently I have been able to be in my "Happy Place." Emotionally, I have been able to be me. Mentally, I have been able to keep control of my thoughts. Spiritually, I am continuing to improve and I like the way it is looking.

I think this is all happening because I have been able to balance my responsibilities with taking time to love and serve my friends. I have a good ward right now that I have friends who are supportive and strong. I feel like I can really lean on them when I need to and vice versa. My roommates are solid. And the women that I have been spending my time with make me want to be my best self. In the past I have relied heavily on my family to be my support and my strength. I don't think I have let that go at all but I think I have found that kind of support out at school as well. When I really listen to others and look for ways to improve my life and the lives of those around me, I feel like I can really make a difference.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Botched It...

I don't know exactly what the outcome of my latest actions will be so I guess I will just have to wait and see but I know how I want it to be. I probably spent a good 4-6 hours studying today for my very last final exam. Then I had miscommunications all over the place. I wanted to take the test today so I could be done and getting ready to move out. Instead, I studied a ton and didn't get a whole lot out of it because this last test is going to be my toughest one this semester and it also covers a lot of material I don't understand. Anyways, so the time I have allotted out to take the test gets interrupted by having to wait at my apartment so I can be there to get the presents my family wants me to bring with me back to New Hampshire. Well they never show up and I go and run some errands instead. On top of that, I had planned to go meet a friend up in Salt Lake to take a break from studying and go see the Christmas lights they had all set up but at the last moment another friend called me because she was in need. She wanted help getting ready for her last final that I already took, but the time and the place got screwy there as well. Long and short of that was that I was able to help her out and still make it to Salt Lake in time. I had planned to meet my friend at 10:00 in Salt Lake but her phone died so we never actually met up. But if I look on the bright side, I was able to study today, see the Christmas lights up on Temple Square, and tomorrow I will be done with finals and I will be packing up to get ready to go home for Christmas! Still, the whole thing is kind of a bummer because I really wanted to see this girl and the fact that we had talked about it before and I was supposed to be her ride home! So the long and short of it is, I hope she made it home safe and sound. I feel really bad about it.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Conversation Backfires

I had a little self-reflection lately where I realized how fickle I am with my emotions. And maybe it is not just me. I had to explain to a friend what was going on with this man who continually wanted to date her. He sounded like he was sincere so I didn't assume that he was not. But I also determined he was a romantic from all of her experiences and stories. The part of him that stopped him from acting on any of his professed feelings was his own sense of reality.

I have always tried to treat women I date as a princess, as my queen. I listen, serve, do my best to focus on her needs, her wants, and her feelings. However, I also recognized that at the end no matter what the circumstances, I don't let any feelings I have die. They lie in wait behind the walls I put up for whatever reason. The trust in a relationship may be broken, distance and reality of the difficulty that it represents awakens within me, or the world takes up our time so time together becomes few and far between. The feelings inside demand attention and romance but the walls around them call for caution because of any realistic sense for the situation. I guess the philosophers were never so far off when they said that Man would always be His greatest enemy. We are the ones that stop ourselves. We too easily give into our own fears.


Why do I fear? I fear because of all people involved! These are not stones we walk on as we build relationships. We are building a foundation of memories and emotions but it has been my personal history where as I have built the foundation before we begin to get to know other people. I have laid a long foundation to just overcome my own shy personality that when rejection may come, we are forced to go back the way we came, by walking on top of these memories and emotions, the walls and chambers of our own hearts. We fear because we care so much so soon. Maybe the reason I am able to remain good friends after these breakups is because I try not to turn around but continue to move forward. At the point of misdirection where I must pick another course, I stand fast. I wait. And when the moment is right, I build anew towards a new direction and a new hope for love given and love gained. If there is no risk in a relationship then what really is the worth of the blessings that we hope to gain? You have to put yourself out there if you hope for anything serious.

It is this same fight between the romantic and emotional Man and the realistic Man which is the problem. Because any guy can see what is wrong in another man's relationship. Why? Because we aren't emotionally or romantically involved in it. We can now see why he isn't making her happy. We can now know what he needs to fix. But if we were that guy, we could come up with no real sound advice or direction for ourselves. We would come up with something that would blossom from our romantic side and then the realistic shoulder angel would tell us, "Come off it. That will never work." And we will have no idea which guy to listen to. The type of man that a woman needs to watch out for is the one that doesn't have both angels. Having both at times is like living your worst nightmare as the confused male. But the guy who doesn't have both sides to balance him out is either crazy or just a straight up jerk.

So as I sat there and listened to my friend's problems in her relationship with this friend of her's. At first I just felt like he was just such an idiot. And then I realized... wow. I am that same kind of idiot. And the funny thing is, everyone will tell us that we didn't do anything wrong when we ask them for their opinion. I don't know why that is. Probably because we couldn't get the story told as unbiasedly as humanly possible. But for whatever reason, I think why those relationships don't pan out into something more is just this simple fact: People don't truly love each other unless they have seen and accepted each other at both their best times and at their worst. If you do something stupid and she loves you, she loves you even in all your stupidity. Men prepare to always be wrong. And women, prepare to always be ready to say, "Stupid is with me." And everybody can hope that it gets better and easier with age.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Something About Children


I don't know what it is and I am sure I never will but when you hold a little baby you can't help but smile. Children have this feeling about them of purity, innocence, love, fragility. They have this ability to live in the world with a naivete about how close they really are to the edge. They are so small but so full of life. It is like they have a much larger spirit about them that gives them all that energy which will fade as it fits to grow into each child.

This weekend I got to spend some time with my family and some of my extended family. My brother was there and recently his wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Kelsey Collette. I saw her after she was born but this was the first time I ever got to hold her. As I took my little niece in my arms, she felt so small, precious, priceless. Even when her little body shook as she cried or how peaceful she became as I rocked her to sleep, I can not describe the feelings I felt or thoughts that crossed through my mind. It was a feeling of joy, love, wonder, and amazement at such a beautiful creation. To be able to tuck her little body against my chest as I held her with her head in my hand and rubbing her forehead until she fell asleep, I just began to think about what my future family could be like. I thought about her sister, Shaylynn, and all the personality that she has grown into. I thought about the covenants my brother and his wife made to create a family where the Spirit could teach and help foster their children and help them to grow. I almost cried. I wanted to know all the things she knew, see the heaven where she had just fallen from, to feel the peace and innocence of youth. I don't know what it was but there is just something about the sacred Spirit that protects and guides our children.

P.S. She has such a fun little personality. She made a funny face and I tried to make one too... keyword: "tried." Too cute.

Timing is Ridiculous...

I can't think of a year when I haven't met a fantastic girl at the very end of the semester and just pray and hope she is still there when I get back. Don't get me wrong... I know plenty of amazing women already in my life but it always seems that there is something that acts like a monkey wrench. Whether it is poor timing, like in this case, stuck in the friend zone, or just neither of us took the initiative to act. There is always something.

Back to the matter at hand... The odd thing is that even though I date plenty, this is the first time in a long time where I was asking a complete stranger for her phone number. I don't know why I was so nervous and why I kept asking questions afterwards but I just hope it wasn't fake and that I hear back from her. Is that weird that guys and girls alike get nervous when it comes to messages? I can't think of one of my friends who wasn't nervous when they had to wait for a response from someone they were genuinely interested in. It isn't like whatever happens is going to kill us or ruin us for life, but there is something about the waiting and the anticipation that just causes you to continually have that small part of your brain that is assigned to cell phones, open and waiting to hear the ring or vibration of their answer. I don't mean the type of nervousness that makes you sweat but the type that you just can't get rid of, the one right below the surface. You might look like you are continuing on with your day as normal but you are really right on the edge of your seat just waiting for the call to come in. I don't think it was because she was exceptionally pretty (she wasn't... she was stunningly beautiful and modest), the fact that she was well traveled, cultured, but down to earth. It wasn't that she seemed genuine in the fact that she continued to ask questions between periods of silent studying. It was more like that it seemed effortless and it just felt like it fit.

I don't know why I feel like I need this blog to express myself. Maybe it is because I think too much or maybe because I am just that pathetic (sarcasm here... sarcasm). Really I am a pretty good guy, a gentleman of sorts. I buy flowers for my friends when they are having a rough day, listen to a story of broken and lonely hearts, but on the flip side of that coin, I am unpredictable and spontaneous. I remember a last year there was a Family Home Evening activity I went to and there were notices passed out to surprise a girl for her birthday. None of the men who got a notice knew her so that made the whole plan that much better. There was one guy for every year old she was and while she was teaching at her elementary school, they would come in and give her a birthday wish one at a time every few minutes. I was the last guy on the list and some of the guys sang to her, danced, brought her a rose, etc. I however wanted to really surprise her so I snuck into the room, squatted down and joined the rest of the kids in the classroom activity. There were kids in a line and they would walk up to the front of the room and gave her some sort of object. I decided to get in the back of the line and crept up to the front, making faces at the other kids who noticed to keep my presence as a secret. By the time I got to the front, she looked up, took a small double take out of surprise, and then I gave her the rose, whispered "Happy Birthday" loud enough for all the kids to hear and then kissed her softly on the cheek. She immediately turned bright red and hid her face in her hands while I stepped back and covered my mouth in a surprised but teasing way. The kids all ooohed and aahhed and laughed and before I left I looked back to see her smiling at me as I was closing the door. I flashed a smile and gave her a wink and walked out feeling like a thousand bucks.

The point I am trying to make is that all of my friends are getting married and engaged and there I am just trying to be a friend and make people happy. I don't know why I thought of that story as I was walking to classes today. Maybe it was the fact that yesterday my cousin asked when was the last time I kissed someone was and I had to admit that it had been over a year. I just hope it is like learning how to ride a bike, but the point was that I have been changing and trying to be patient, trying to be sincere, and trying to just be myself. I just don't know why I can't meet people in better circumstances: Random strangers with not enough time to make a serious impression, friends with no intentions of being anything else, or the invisible secret admirer. All I know is that the only way to see if things are really going to change at all is to wait and see what happens. But it wouldn't matter if I had all the patience in the world, it still doesn't change the fact that the timing is ridiculous and I don't know if these butterflies will ever leave.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving Break

So far I am not entirely convinced that California is the greatest place on earth. It is nice but I am glad I have a week to still get used to it. Everyone I have met so far are all really nice and inviting but I just have to get used to the rest of the culture. You know how everywhere you go just has a certain feel to it? I don't know what it is but something about California would just need a lot of getting used to for me. It just wouldn't be a place where I feel like I could live there. It is definitely a place where I could visit and stuff but so far it just isn't my style. I can't really put it into words. People have their own tastes and things they enjoy and I am going to be hundred percent honest that I like everybody... my roommate, his girlfriend, his family, their family, friends, etc. It isn't that it is just something else but I can't put my finger on it. Maybe it is just the looming finals that I can't get out of my mind, the papers I have yet to write for my English class, my Instrumentation class, etc. We will see if things change by the time the week is over. I hope they do because it would be nice to intern in California or go to graduate school here... things are all still up in the air.

Sunday was good as always! Classes went well and I was able to help out a bit in one of the classes I was in. There was a convert in our Priesthood class who is really gun-ho but he needed a little instruction. I didn't have a reference for everything I believe but I do have a testimony and I know that I try to live by example and I know that the missionaries have been a good example for him. We were talking about Signs of the Second Coming and somehow that became a lesson about making sure we have a strong testimony because of the parable of the Ten Virgins and Christ being the bridegroom. The Ten Virgins represent the members of the Church of Christ. Oil can't represent having a testimony of the Savior because they are all looking forward to His Coming. Oil is how valiant we are in our testimonies. We all strive to have a temple recommend and try to attend the temple. But how many of us come worthy and prepared with questions? We do our best to live the commandments, but do we understand why we have them in the first place? God gives us this life to help us develop and become what we are in the first place, His children. Commandments are a way for God to teach us to realize our divine potential by giving us the habits that will perfect us. Any correction that we receive is really the Lord allowing us the time we need to change and grow. There is a lot I hoped to portray to this excited youngster in the gospel but I hope by testifying by the Spirit, I may have been guided in my words and that he felt and understood what I was trying to say. Hopefully I was a good instrument in the Lord's hands. Anyways, back to the vacation I am trying to enjoy... wish me luck in trying to get done everything I need to so I can really relax!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Future Blessings

I don't know how many of you when you get off a high you suddenly find yourself in some sort of a low feeling? In any case, I found myself wondering when I would finally get a certain blessing I have been fighting for. And in your case, this might be some sort of desire or want, something you hoped to overcome and you have been struggling with for some time, or just anything you may have been wondering... when will it ever be my turn?

These may not directly questions about whoa is me... why me... you get the idea. But indirectly that is exactly what they are. I try to be happy for the people around me because they are my friends and I care about them. And I am sincere when I tell them congratulations on some sort of accomplishment or blessing that has happened in their lives. But then my mind wanders to... wait, what about me? When is it going to be my turn? When in reality if I was truly patient, my mindset should be more like... that is going to be me too some day. Blessings are never truly out of our reach. Some may not be meant for us and they would in some way be more of a burden than a blessing. Other times we aren't ready. We haven't progressed to where we need to be and are not yet ready to move on because we haven't learned everything that we needed to learn. But in the end, we don't need to fret. Any good desire can be ours in time.

The future really isn't so far away because every moment is new and every choice can lead us to where we want to go. We just need to steady our course and continue faithfully until our chosen time has arrived and then those blessings can become ours. Patience truly is the key.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Spiritual Booster

I had a pretty long day yesterday with work, school, and homework. It just seemed like it was this never-ending string of busy-ness. Then at the end of the day, I got to go home and listen to music videos as I folded my laundry. Everyone has those moments where they go on a long Youtube purge. Mine mostly consist of movies or music videos, but it just so happened that I had finished some Doctrine & Covenants homework so I naturally began to gravitate from dance music to Christian alternative. The apex happened when I ran back into Tenth Avenue North. They have this new music video out that is really good. If you get a chance follow the link and I am sure you will be happy that you did... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwtcwQwgdsA

Anyways, I felt like I should post this on Facebook and I felt really good that I did. It is funny though because I had this amazing Elder's Quorum President Freshman year here at BYU and he has always been an outstanding guy. Anyways, he happened to have posted a Mormon Message off of Youtube as well. I felt slightly one-upped as I watched it and the Spirit poured out. It was an amazing spiritual experience. It was like feeling a warm rain wash over you and fill you up with such peace and love that you can't stop the tearing from coming and a smile bloom across your face. I probably spent the next 15 minutes just watching Mormon Messages. If you have ever wondered how God sees us and how much He loves us, watch this video about the Atonement of Jesus Christ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coef8G5ax6E&feature=relmfu

I found my Patriarchial Blessing and read it. After all of these things, I truly felt God's love for me and I had a renewed desire to do what was right. I prayed with sincerity in gratitude for that experience. It was exactly what I needed to get my week started off right and in order. I feel like I can understand in some small way that God truly loves me and has a plan for me. If I am willing and have a sincere desire, He will not only help me become a better person but He will freely forgive and forget my past mistakes. There is real power in the Atonement and in the power of prayer. I have to try harder to remember three things: Who I really am, what God has entrusted me with through the covenants I have made, and how Christ has made all this possible.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Non-Aggressive Versus Aggressive Behavior

One of the biggest problems I had in high school sports was I wasn't aggressive enough. I was competitive but I never really wanted to hurt someone. The only time I really would get physical enough was when I had my buttons pushed or if someone was playing dirty. So I am not running cross-country or wrestling here at college but apparently in intramurals, there are a few kids who still are pursuing their high school dreams of professional sports. They just are way too into it and so they throw a couple cheap shots when they are down.

We are in the playoffs for intramural soccer and it is single elimination. We took a little time as a team to hit our peak but we couldn't have planned it better. Last game, we had a lot more control over the ball, great ball movement, solid passes, people stayed in their positions, and we just played as a team. I ended up personally with an assist for a goal and two goals myself. In the end, we won 4-2. It was just a solid game and both team played well, we just happened to be a little bit better that day. Today was a slightly different story.

Today I was not the next Ronaldinho by any means. In fact, I didn't score at all. My roommate however had a solid give-and-go which set him up with a great goal. We won in the end 3-1 because of Ryan's goal and two other goals that were crosses that went off the defense and into the back of the net. Still, a win is a win and we took it with a smile on our faces. The reason for the post though is the first game was just a solid game and everyone played fair.

This last game however, as the opposing team started to fall apart, poor passes, struggled to trap the ball, a few of the players began to play overly aggressively. They started shoving and pushing off, stiff arming, cussing, and just gave me a hundred of different reasons to give them a real reason to complain. One player in particular was a real jerk and I wish I could have had an opportunity to play closer to him but he went out to send in a corner. I saw one of his teammates who was also getting overly aggressive call for the ball and start into the box. I am not a huge guy but I grew up playing basketball and all sorts of sports with my older brother... 5 inches taller than me, 60 to 80 pounds bigger than me. Needless to say, I had to learn how to lower my center of gravity and really hold my weight and my own. So this kid sends the ball in, his teammate cuts into the box towards the goal and I just lower my weight and I step into him and just level him. The ball goes off of him and goes out of bounds so we get the ball back. To say they were upset might be a small understatement. I'm sorry but they deserved it plus it was a solid hit. After that, I just didn't let up and was more aggressive. I didn't mean to hurt anyone but I did send a kid limping off the field because he was trying to dribble through me and I wouldn't let him.

I am grateful for my mission. When I came home, my family said the biggest thing they saw as a change was my personality. I was less competitive after playing games and I wouldn't get upset when I wasn't playing well. Still, every once in a while my past behavior comes out and rears its ugly head. Good thing I am big enough to actually back up my scrappy behavior.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Life Is Good

I feel like this week was really long. I have been having a pretty brutal semester this year with every class having either huge projects or multiple papers that needed to be written. In the last little bit, I was able to get all of the research and data collected for some of the projects and papers as well as finishing the rest. The reason it felt so long wasn't the fact that I was productive and on top of things, which feels really good. The reason it felt so long is because on top of that I had an awesome week visiting with my family, dating, spending time with my roommates, etc. It was a long week because honestly, I feel exhausted and just want to die I am so tired. Ha.

But seriously, it was awesome. My dad, who is basically a bigger version of me, came into town for business and to visit the family. I got to spend a couple of days with him and it was well needed. I don't know why but I have always had this incredibly strong sense of trust with my parents so I can tell them anything and even though I wasn't able to dump everything, I was able to get a lot of things out in the open that I wanted to and I was able to get his opinion on it
too which helped. Plus, whenever he comes we always seem to have a blast and it is a given that we will end up laughing. On top of that, I was able to catch up with some of my good friends who
I haven't seen in a long time... one of the friends was from my mission and the other was someone I met as soon as I got home from my mission around two years ago... and it just felt right. Then last night, my roommate Ryan and I had a double date with his girlfriend and a girl I know from one of my classes and we just had a blast. We made dinner for the girls, watched the LSU v. Alabama football game, played some games, and watched a movie. So after having a very long date, I was completely tired and fell asleep on the couch as soon as I got home after dropping off my date. But it was fun. This whole weekend was fun! Laughed, was competitive, played games, relaxed, was productive, we won our soccer game... it was just a good week.

Now I just need to settle back in and refocus so I will do well on my upcoming exams and hopefully finish up and start (ugh...) a couple more papers. Either way, it was a needed break and was exactly what I needed in each and every way. Grades really aren't that important, the learning process is. Being in a relationship really isn't that important, the friendships and the growing that occurs while developing them is. I guess what I am trying to say is no matter what ups and downs happen week in and week out, the important thing is that we learn and grow while we make our way to our intended destinations, but we enjoy the journey along the way.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ever Have You Ever...

Have you ever had those moments where you had so much more to say? These are the times when you finally get the chance to say how you really feel and for whatever reason you don't take advantage of it. The reasons could be endless... a past fling, fear of the future, a friendship you don't want to ruin, timing is poor, too much all at once, and so many more thousands of reasons. For whatever reason you decide to hold your peace, but inside that is anything but what you are feeling. Your whole body is pushing you to divulge this secret crush, this passion, or idea. But the only thing you seem to do is bite your tongue. I have these moments happen all the time! I swear if there were any three gifts I consistently pray for it is: better timing, tact, and confidence.

The real reason I started this blog 2 years and 126 posts ago was as a way to say those very things that I didn't say. It wasn't that I was afraid to say them because when the timing has been right, I have. The problem is that I begin to feel them so much earlier than anybody else. I try to see good in people and by that I mean that as I learn to accept the bad, hoping we are all striving to improve, and I look for the good. It is easy to point out the bad but try to list off all the good attributes someone has and if you take the time to really get to know a person, for a reason that is without reason, the list of bad qualities will begin to diminish as you learn their story. No person in my opinion is born bad. Everyone has a story and as we learn our own pasts and let healing begin, we are able to bury our skeletons and we are able to write our own adventures in life. So as I meet people and discover all these strong, powerful, and amazing individuals it makes me want to be a better person. It gives me hope for my future, strength to push on and try harder every time I fall. People are not just strangers in your path that pass you as you walk on by. Each one has a story to be told, a purpose in life, dreams and goals, and a whole lot of love. I only am trying to unlock others' potential by giving them a chance to share and express their true selves.

The issue comes again from when I meet a special kind of woman and I begin to listen, watch, and slowly see the potential that she has. Women are amazing in the fact that they are extremely passionate. They are naturally emotionally-driven individuals but this only increases the passion that they have for their innermost desires. I have met women who are passionate about their majors and their careers, their testimonies and their families, the people around them and the relationships they are in, and others that are passionate about life and the activities they do and places they can see. Every woman is attractive in their own way but to see them in their element is a new kind of beauty all together. Is there a type of woman I am specifically attracted to? I don't know if there is "a type" but I do always seem to hear a familiar sigh from my family when I tell them about this beautiful red head or brunette that I met somewhere. Still, I always seem to find myself saying this one is the exception. And I think that is because everyone has a gift personal to them; something only they can offer. I have friends who pretend that they are not emotionally-driven but when she (I am going to pick one even though they are all the same in this aspect) starts to date a man that she is seriously interested in, her thoughts, as logical as they are, seem to come up with only emotional reasons why Mr. Charming is so wonderful. So my point in all this is simply I needed a place to express myself. For all the thoughts and feelings I have, only a fraction of them actually come out between my lips in the form of conversation or a compliment. And because the things I say come from my heart, they carry a sincerity and a feeling of honesty that can surprise people.

Strolling in the Moonlight is a place where I let others choose to go. It is where they will walk through my thoughts and see the light I give to my own intentions and desires. I may not always give every little detail but it is enough that you can feel and get to know the kind of person I am. Do not pretend that this will give you as a reader enough information to say that you really know me. This is not what any good writer will do, but they give you enough information that hopefully you will understand and connect with the message that they are trying to share. So if this the first time you have stumbled upon my thoughts, do not begin to suppose that you will know me but by the time you are through, I hope you will understand. Because in the end, I never pretend that I am alone in my opinions and experiences. We all live here together in this wonderful place so I hope that we can share it together. We are never alone.

Monday, October 31, 2011

My Every Day Life

I realized that overall I have a pretty amazing life. I am healthy, smart, and driven. I get up daily to walk to my college classes. I get done with my assignments, my projects, and typically stay on top of deadlines. I may fail a test or two but who doesn't when it comes to Mechanical Engineering? I am active in my ward but at times, I can feel inadequate in my calling. I do fine with teaching my lessons for Gospel Principles... this week I taught about the Atonement using the donut-push-up object lesson. But I never feel like I am really being the best ward mission leader, probably because I compare my efforts to those from the mission. I make my mistakes but I try every day to do my best as I struggle to be a little bit better. I haven't given up on my pursuit of a relationship. I have women that I date and I find every so often someone that I am really interested in but have yet to meet one where we are mutually and equally invested both physically and emotionally. As one of my married friends says, I am just one step closer to find the one. I have good roommates and good friends and I find small ways here and there to fill my time: sports, exercise, movies, music, TV, and the regular Halo Firefight with Ryan. College is a such a ride but I am getting tired of the roller coaster and I feel like I have started to numb myself to the effects. I think I am ready for a change of scenario to mix up things on this stage called Life.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I'm Not That Bad...

Today I was sitting in one of my engineering classes and we were discussing a test we had just gotten back. I admit even getting the average score was tough. I walked out of the testing center and it was the first test I had legitimately straight-up failed in a long time. I didn't know how to exactly take that. After hearing what other people were getting though, I became less worried because I was expecting a curve.

The reason I am writing this post however is not to say how crappy I did on the test because honestly, half of the students did better than me and the other half did worse. I am writing because I was surprised about the response of the class to the teacher. They were ripping him apart! It was like they had never done poorly on anything before and it was sad to watch. The answers were hard to pick out because he wanted the best answer, not just a right answer. This brought a lot of emotion to the entire class and as they attacked our professor, he slowly got more and more frustrated but he held his cool. Eventually, I felt like I had to stand up for him and tell my classmates to stop complaining and whining about a grade. They were moaning about a grade... that was about to be adjusted! I personally didn't do that well but the point is that life is not fair. I studied 10 hours and failed but in the long run, that is okay. You learn more from your mistakes than you do your successes. Relax. It is really not that big of deal.

Sometimes we just need to take a little time to remember the proper perspective. Sometimes we need to realize that it isn't that important to be right all the time. Sometimes we just need to relax and remember who we are. Sometimes we just need to stop for a moment, breathe, and then sit still. My emotions may get away from me sometimes but I am glad I was able to show my true character today.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween


I am typically all for any holiday, especially the ones where you are rewarded for doing nothing with chocolate. But I have one problem with Halloween... and it is kinda a big one. I don't like the costume. I don't like the dressing up. Most people have been wearing a mask all year and this is the day where it is socially acceptable. Not a fan. Stupid reason I know... but it is a personal thing. I'm all for decorations, corn mazes, parties and other get-togethers, but not the costumes.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Chances Are...



Chances are that I like you more than you like me. Chances are this is more than just a possibility. Chances are that I am going to have to say it first. Chances are that you might not say it at all. Chances are that I am going to end up broken and shattered on the floor. Chances are you are heading for the door. Chances are that my chance has come and gone. But out of all the chances, all I need is one. Let's take the chance you and I...

Don't let your fears stop you from making the best decision you will make in a long time. Don't hesitate, over-think, over-analyze, etc. You can always make a list a mile long of reasons why things shouldn't work out. But you only need one reason why it could and that is each other.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Eternal Struggle

The biggest thing that keeps me up at night, takes away my sleep and my happiness, is in the end this battle I have inside myself. It makes me second guess my choices, my motives, and my emotions. There isn't one thing that goes untouched. The problem is not the fact that I am always fighting within myself between selfish and selfless motives, love and lust, and a variety of other things. The problem is that I already know for which of these options I would want to submit to but the pain comes from the fact that at times I find myself choosing the alternative. In every way we can justify or judge the things that we do and most of the time we are toughest on ourselves. This struggle is more painful because even if we do find some happiness it is short-lived as we wander back into the dark. You have to pick one or the other because you can't have both.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Utah YSA Wards

In the church, there is a system that we have because we are so focused on families where we have congregations completely made up of young single adults (YSA Wards). The system is perfectly structured for one simple purpose... make people date and help them get married. I swear that the church promotes the bunny effect sometimes where if you put enough rabbits in the same area the population will just boom. So I guess I hate to say it but really the concept is great but I have always not been great at working with the system.

People are attracted to certain styles I have figured out. Girls are not always considered attractive by who they are but how they present themselves, what they wear, what their style is, etc. I honestly might find one girl super attractive but after getting to know her be completely turned off, and the exact opposite also holds true. I might not immediately notice someone because I wasn't attracted or like their style but once I get to know them I can realize how well we would have hit it off if I wasn't so distracted by other things. And though I would love to outline what exactly is my style... Besides the fact that it would be cheating for a girl to know that, I can't really pin it down exactly.

This all is interrelated because I signed up for of all things speed dating in my YSA Ward. I guess what I am getting at is because I have figured out that there are more things to someone than the presentation, I am just praying that other people have too. Typically I can leave a good first impression but this week had been super long and I just wasn't ready to go out tonight. The one person I was most excited to get to know I feel like I made the worst first impression of the night. It was one of those that if I get to see the video of my life, I would be sitting there giving commentary and ask myself why I said and did what I did. Seriously, I just wish things would come together just once. Still, I am going to ask her out for another date, bet on the fact that she sees past first impressions, and hope for the best.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Positive Perspectives

I have been spending a lot of time making friends this semester. I wish I could say the same about my studies, my work, and my calling. I feel like I can never completely catch up with any of those, but when it comes to making new friendships, I think I have been doing well. My roommates are both really chill guys. Ben is from Utah and recently got engaged this weekend to his wonderful fiance, Fatima. My other roommate, Ryan, is an awesome guy with a fantastic girlfriend. They are good for each other. Ryan and I have been able to do a lot of things together and I feel like we have gotten to know one another really well. I wish the best for them both.

The rest of my ward is about the same. I have met plenty of people who all have touched me in different ways. I guess I could go through them all one by one but I can leave it at that. I think this a good start considering that I am still learning to live with and love myself. This may be a lifelong pursuit but I am trying to be as patient as I can. I work hard, love long, and try to be the best example I can be, but I realize there is always more that I can do. I know there is more that I want to do with my life but more importantly, I am trying to do what I am supposed to right now. Enjoy the life that is around you, even the rain and that darkened puddle along the way. I hope that I can recognize and take advantage of all the blessings in my life as they come along.

I guess what I am trying to say is that things can be tough. Things can happen that upset our most carefully made plans. We can be frustrated at times. But in the end, realize that we will make it through and we will be able to pick ourselves up and move on. My week has been everything far from a bed of roses, unless you are accounting for the thorns. I must have needed to learn a few things. Patience is being willing to accept God's timing for us by using the time that He has given us. Be grateful for the blessings you have, learn to love the ones around you, and be patiently obedient. God loves you and He will turn all our experiences for our good if we trust Him as we follow the counsel that He gives us. Let us be sincere in all that we do and be happy. All we need to live in this world is to realize that it will be difficult but that we can take it head on with a smile and positive perspective.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

All About Following Your Impressions and Timing

This post is in complete response to my religion class which had an impact on me today... Go figure, huh? We were talking about impressions and how God will sometimes tell you to do something or tell you not to or maybe just allow you to make your own decision and will just get back to you later. I believe all of that so the part that was interesting to me was the professor's application of the principle.

He began by talking about his dating life in college. There was a girl he had dated in high school from his small hometown in southern Utah and when they had both graduated and came to BYU, there is no escaping someone in a small Utah town but in Provo he gave into his fear. He was afraid of where things were going and even though he hadn't spoken to her in over two months he had continued praying about whether or not she was girl he was supposed to marry. Eventually he felt like he should do what he felt he should have done all along and give her call. She wasn't there because she had gone home for the weekend, so delightfully he left a message to have her call him back. It would have been to stressful and nerve-racking to actually talk to her. In any case, his dad calls and lets him know the news; she is engaged. So the next week he hears back from her and she asks what he was calling for. He tells her he was just calling to congratulate her on her engagement. For the next six years of his single life, a specific scripture continually came to mind, "Behold, it was expedient when you commenced; but you feared, and the time is past, and it is not expedient now." (Doctrine and Covenants 9:11)

In time, the blessing of marriage didn't escape him completely. Once he turned 29 years old, he was no longer single and eventually married his wonderful wife. He did learn his lesson. The other interesting thing was that again even in the celestial room of the temple as he was about to get sealed, he became afraid. He was about to make a covenant that had eternal implications. He wasn't praying about a major or where to live, things he could change, he was praying about who to be married to for time and all eternity. The consequences of this choice would forever change his life and the lives of others. As the pressure continued to build, his fiance noting his emotions, well long story short, he never got the impression to go for it and followed his gut and the feelings he had before and got married. It wasn't until afterwards that he knew he made the right choice.

The lessons he had learned from all these things were that he couldn't let fear keep him from making the right decision. If he felt like he needed to do something, he should follow the impression (as long as it made sense and was according to his standards and principles, of course). Impressions are given for us to act on them, in the time that they were given. If he had followed the impression to date his high school sweetheart things could have played out very differently but the time had passed he no longer could do what he originally felt prompted to do. Don't date someone's fiance. Don't date someone's wife. Write that down if you need to... But lastly, he pointed out something truly significant. Not only did he remember the impressions and feelings he had when dating his own wife, but in the end, marrying her was his decision. It wasn't the Lord's decision. He couldn't blame God if it didn't work out. He chose her out of everyone else in the world to be his eternal companion and she chose him. God let him know that his choice was the right one, but allowed him to make it his choice. I just felt that it was truly significant, at least for me.

Learning to recognize promptings, following your feelings, and remembering the Lord in your life will help us all find the blessings and joy and happiness that God has always been wanting and intending for us to enjoy. The Gift of the Holy Ghost is so very crucial in achieving our temporal and also divine potential and in our becoming even as He is. Simply put,when the Spirit speaks... Just do it.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Patience... Ugh!

Sometimes I wonder if life truly needs to be as hard as it is or am I just subconsciously making things more difficult for myself than they need to be. Either way, I hope that when it is all said and done I will appreciate what I learned from it all. I pray that I might learn patience, remember who I am and my covenants, and in the end, someone will appreciate the character I have become because all these experiences are sure making me into quite the character. The biggest thing I am grateful for at the moment is the fact that at the end of the day, I have faith that tomorrow will come and it has the chance of being better than the one it followed. A new page is a new start.

"But there is suffering in life, and there are defeats. No one can avoid them. But it's better to lose some of the battles in the struggles for your dreams than to be defeated without ever knowing what you're fighting for." (Paulo Coelho)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Music Is My Life

There is one thing when a music artist writes a sensational song but it is a totally different ballgame when they then match that with an astoundingly creative music video. I was doing my laundry this morning and between some really well fought out college football games I was perusing VH1 and these are just a few of some outstanding artists that got my immediate approval.

4. Gavin DeGraw - "Not Over You"


3. One Republic - "Good Life"


2. Lady Antebellum - "Just A Kiss"


1. Coldplay - "Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall"

Tonight Tonight Remix

"Work It All Out"
(To the tune of Tonight Tonight by Hot Chelle Rae)

Never knew how to tell you no
Always doing what you said so
But the thing that really blew my mind
Is I still think of you all of the time

La la la, whatever, la la la, it doesn't matter
La la la, oh well, la la la

Where did you go? No blame
But it never has been quite just the same
If I need change - I'd change the time and do it over again
Whenever I see her face it, takes me from this place yet
And I need some change, she's it, again

We got into a fight last night
Don't remember who was wrong or right
Now it's all said and done
Still wish you didn't feel like you had to run


La la la, whatever, la la la, it doesn't matter
La la la, oh well, la la la

Where did you go? No blame
But it never has been quite just the same
If I need change - I'd change the time and do it over again
Whenever I see her face it, takes me from this place yet
And I need some change, she's it, again

You got me feeling like
Woah, come on, ohh, it doesn't matter
Woah, everybody now, ohh

Don't stop talkin', let's keep this goin'
I'll be there for you, won't let you fall down
It's my story be who I want to
We can get crazy work it all out

Don't stop talkin', let's keep this goin'
I'll be there for you, won't let you fall down
It's my story be who I want to
We can get crazy work it all out

It's you and me and we're getting bit loud
And it's me and you and we're drawing a crowd
But they can watch if they want to because I will love you

Everbody
Woah, come on, ohh, all you animals,
Woah, let me hear you now, ohh

Where did you go? No blame
But it never has been quite just the same
If I need change - I'd change the time and do it over again
Whenever I see her face it, takes me from this place yet
I will need some change, she's it, again
And I need some change, she's it, again
Yeah it's all right, all right, tonight, tonight

Just singing like
Woah, come on, ohh, all you party people
Woah, all you singletons, ohh, even the white kids

Don't stop talkin', let's keep this goin'
I'll be there for you, won't let you fall down
It's my story be who I want to
We can get crazy work it all out

Don't stop talkin', let's keep this goin'
I'll be there for you, won't let you fall down
It's my story be who I want to
We can get crazy work it all out

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Patiently Smiling and Loving Life

I don't know what it is but I love talking to complete strangers like we are long time friends. This week is the beginning of the Fall semester and being a senior I have a lot of friends in all of my classes and some of the professors have gone from the "weeding-you-out-and-trying-to-grind-all-confidence-you-have-in-your-choice-in-majors" type to the class clowns. I don't think I have had this many professors that I have really enjoyed at the same time while being completely petrified of the subject matter and the syllabi that they are giving us. Here is a great example...

I was in class yesterday and the teacher was trying to just test us on basic material that was supposed to be foundational to the class. At first I figured that I was doing well until we started going over the answers and defending our positions. I honestly batted a thousand! I was completely and utterly wrong on so many things but at the same time, the professor just explained them as simply as he could and kept on going. Lecture was the same way. I don't think I had so thoroughly enjoyed being so utterly confused. It was fantastic! But at the same time, I think I may be in serious trouble this semester.

And surprisingly enough, this all ties back into the idea of talking to perfect strangers. You know the time where you are in a computer lab or at the printer and you hear someone make that sigh that you personally avoid. The sigh of desperation and exhaustion that means something to the effect, "there is not one more thing that I could possibly think that could go wrong but really do I honestly care anymore?" Well of course my curiosity got the better of me and we began talking and asking what was the matter. She was frustrated that again she couldn't get the notes and textbook she needed to finish her homework that she needed done for her psychology class. I wished her luck, told her that she would figure it out, and it wouldn't be that big of a deal soon. Well, she turned the conversation back to me asking what classes I was taking and I struggled to name off all the technical names. She started to smile and laugh a little. "I'm sorry but that just sounds so boring..." I was caught so off guard by her smile and brutal honesty but it just made me laugh. It did sound pretty boring in comparison to becoming a psychologist and owning your own firm, comfy office with a view, and if your clients have to cancel, you always have that cushy couch to take a cat nap on. By the time our conversation was finished she left and I just wanted to sarcastically thank her for telling me how stupid of a choice I had made and how I should rethink my life but all in good humor. It just amazes me how just having a positive attitude and outlook on things, being able to laugh about the small stuff, and being able to work through the big things, life can't get you down. There is so much we don't know that we shouldn't let those things escape us but we should push through and conquer them. Live life, ya know?

There are too many people caught up in little things that they never see the world around them. I can't begin to count the amount of people who have their heads down in their cell phones, stuck on their news feeds in Facebook, whatever... One girl practically walked into me because of a conversation she was having through texts. She apologized as we both smiled and she tried to explain it real fast. I just wanted to shake her out of it! I wanted to reach down and kiss her softly and tell her, "That text can't possibly be that important. Live a little." But I knew that a smile, a soft laugh and a shake of the head would have to do. Seriously people, wake up. Live a little. Love a lot more.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Knowing Your Audience

I had a conversation with another friend and it was surprising how simple she made it for me to understand why I struggled this summer in my writing. It has always been such a relief to me but ever since I closed it off to the public I didn't know how to express myself. Beforehand I knew anyone could read it and for my own good, I had people who truly cared about me tell me I should fix that because of how private some of my thoughts may seem. Well the problem with that is after making the change to privatize, I no longer knew who would read it. I had a select group that I had invited to read it but I didn't know how each of them would respond. I never really got feedback from anyone in particular (again with a few exceptions which I am grateful for) so to narrow my audience and get the same results was not upsetting but confusing. I didn't know who I was writing to. If I wrote to the public I had a voice. If I wrote to one person then I could express myself to them privately. But to this new audience it was like having a private discussion with someone while allowing others eavesdrop. It just felt like a very odd and uncomfortable conversation for me. So for my own sanity, I am going to undo what I did and make this open to the public again. For those of you that do not know me, this is typically the deeper side of an easy-going and fun-loving individual. Don't judge a book by its cover or even a couple chapters, read the whole thing. If people read this, they won't know me or understand me, but they will be on their way to beginning to.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Moments of Reflection

I know I haven't really writing all too much as of late and honestly, it has been killing me. I will definitely say that I haven't just been sitting around doing nothing this summer. I have been working my tail off to be quite honest. I was able to do some fun things here and there with a bit of planning... spent time out at Cape Cod in Massachusetts, saw an outdoor production of the Wizard of Oz on the coast, had a lobster dinner, had a bunch of family outings, watched a bunch of movies on my unwritten movie list, made and remade acquaintances of both new and old friends. I realized that honestly I am not that patient even though at times I think I can be. I recognize that out of a lot of weaknesses there are a couple I should really try hard to change. These are things like not being a party person, never really working out, and believing that I am not really worthy or able to do a variety of different things and by doing that I sell myself short in a lot of ways.

There have been a few really good conversations though that have also been reflective but in a more positive way. I thought about my relationships that I have had and do have with my friends and I realized that though I have made many solid friendships at college, my strongest friends I made back at home. You don't pick your family but you love your family and as those relationships grow you would do anything for them. If I had to pick someone who wasn't already my brother to be one of my brothers that person would either be Jared Crain or Caleb Earnshaw. I know I typically don't use names but these two men would do anything for me and vice versa. They are the kind of men that I wouldn't think twice of asking them to be groomsmen or to bail each other out in a pinch. They are like brothers to me because not only have we all been through different things but by learning from our experiences, we can each relate to one another and have an understanding of the effort and strength it takes us to become better men, to overcome and recover from our weaknesses and past mistakes. We all have supported each other in our low times and celebrated each others highs as well.

And that would be a good description of my summer actually: filled with highs and lows. I prefer to deliver bad news first because it makes me feel that the good news is that much better but really neither one was an extreme case. Only a couple of weeks after purchasing my first car, I was commuting from work and got a driving ticket which would haunt me all summer. Eventually it got taken care of and the charges were lessened and I got to keep my license but nevertheless it was not fun to say the least. Then the good news happened here at the end of the summer. I was commuting every day to my work as an intern for a biomedical device company in Lawrence, MA. On my last day, my group of coworkers in the Research & Development Department decided to take me to lunch. It was a lot of fun and afterwards we all exchanged contact information and all of them had kind words to say. Apparently I might be cut out for this kind of job after all. But the nicest thing that was said was by the VP in our division. He was a family friend who I always had been curious about his work and had asked him lots of questions until I was old enough and experienced enough that I thought I could ask him to see if he could get me an internship with his company. The compliment he left me with this summer was the best of all. I thanked him for giving me the shot and before I could say more he stopped me to tell me he was grateful. I asked why and he said, "Thank you for making me look good." He said a few more things about hiring friends and some take advantage and others worked hard but it was that simple phrase that stuck out the most. Thank you for making me look good. This compliment was coming from a VP, developer, and head engineer in a top 5 ranked best pre-IPO medical companies to invest in according to Forbes magazines. Honestly, he just being my family friend and old scoutmaster and it would have had the same effect on me. It was a good summer and an invaluable experience.

When I think long term however, there are a lot of paths I could take and there are a lot of variables that would change my direction. For instance, I loved my internship this summer and the company itself is definitely cutting edge and going places in the industry. However a piece of advice that I got from my adviser was that I needed to see more corporate companies. All the ones that I have worked for so far are successful start-ups. I need to work for companies that have multiple locations throughout the United States. I need to work for companies like Pratt & Whitney, Boeing, or BAE Systems. I luckily actually have a job with one of them when I get back to school but it would be best if I did a full on summer internship to get a better look at the feel of a corporate company. I am going to go through my contacts and try a couple of companies but again that is still too near-sighted of a perspective. The kind of perspective I am talking about is more on the idea that in three to five years I should have my undergrad under my belt from BYU (1.5 to 2 years). If I am single still I might want to forgo an internship post graduation and secure residency in Utah so I can transfer to the University of Utah for grad school in biomedical engineering. If I am married, then it would be best to move out and start looking for a good company that I could put my roots into whether that is a new company or back to one where I have worked before. So far I am on route with my goal to graduate without any debt which would be fantastic so I want to keep that going of course.

I have plenty of other goals as well. I figure that I need to be more patient when it comes to dating. I should keep my friendships solid with my married friends, rekindle a couple of those and maybe they will have friends they could set me up with or extra food in their pantries, who knows? Then again, I also want to start working out. I never have really started and I think if I got serious about it then not only could I get healthier but I hope it would make me more attractive as well. I really don't know where it would go. So in the end, I really don't think my goals have changed much at all... keep on top of my health physically, socially, and spiritually, while keeping up my grades and education so I can get the best job possible. Now if only there was something more. I don't know how to explain it. Maybe it is the fact that there is always more that you can see yourself improving on and so it feels like you are always incomplete or hopefully when I meet that special someone then at least some of that feeling will go away.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Everything Has a Price

"Love is Hard"
by James Morrison

I see lovers in the streets
Walking without a care
They wear it out loud
Like there's something in the air
Oh well, I don't care

They're treading lightly
No - they don't sink in
There's no tracks to follow
They don't care where they're going

And if they're lucky, yeah
They'll, they'll get to see
And if they're really, really lucky
They'll get to feel

And it kicks so hard, it breaks your bones
Cuts so deep, it hits your soul
Tears your skin, and makes your blood flow
It's better that you know that love is hard

Love takes hostages
And gives them pain
Gives someone the power
To hurt you again and again
Oh, but they don't care

Oh and if they're lucky, yeah
They'll, they'll get to see
And if they're really, really lucky
They'll, they'll get to feel

And if they're, they're truly blessed
Then they'll get to believe
And if you're damned
You'll never let yourself be deceived

And it kicks so hard, it breaks your bones
Cuts so deep, it hits your soul
Tears your skin, and makes your blood flow
It's better that we know that love is hard

And it kicks so hard, it breaks your bones
Cuts so deep, it hits your soul
Tears your skin, and makes your blood flow
It's better that we know

And it kicks so hard, it breaks your bones
Cuts so deep, it hits your soul
Tears your skin, and makes your blood flow
It's better that we know that love is hard
Love is hard, love is hard
If it was easy it wouldn't mean nothing, no

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My Life at Home

I figured out that the grass always looks greener on the other side. I have been home for the summer and though things have been good... no rent, lots of family time, bought a car, working and making money, not having to worry about food or laundry, I still am wishing to be back in Utah. For most people that makes a lot of sense but for me it kinda bothers me. I don't like Utah or really living there. My social life and my education are both there in Utah but I love the east coast so much more. The friends here my age are just as busy as I am but all of our schedules fail to match almost as much as the time difference from my home here to my friends back in Provo. I have to confess that the hardest part is at times I let my heart get away with my head. I always have romantic notions of what could be or what could have been so nothing changes too fast. One of these days maybe I will meet the person I am looking for but in the meantime I have to wait. I have found that I can keep whatever notions I may have at bay by focusing on other things such as my scripture study, my family, and just trying to keep my friendships alive. I just feel so conflicted in what I know I should do and what I want to do that I realize this is how it feels to grow up. There are moments where there is just no fulfillment and I feel empty, monotonous in all that I do. I just choose to put on a smile and work hard so that I can learn to love the work but saying so would feel like lying. I do it to hide the loneliness. The worst part is that all I have to do is believe that things will get better and have faith. And that is the part, I fear that though I am reading and trying to pray, I don't know how much faith I really have. I don't know if he can truly heal me. And by this I mean, how can I learn to love someone else and truly be happy if I can't even do that when I am by myself? How can I learn to be happy being me? How can I feel complete when I know that my other half is somewhere out there?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Death

So out of all the things I could do on a beautiful summer day, my parents and I happen to head to a funeral. I am not a big crier so I wasn't too keen on going but we did and I did. The man who had died was my friend and adviser in our priest's quorum growing up. He had Parkinson's disease so it was a long hard battle but he died probably a week ago so we gave our condolences to the family and stayed for the service after the wake, which not trying to be irreverent but I never understood why they call it that because if he indeed did wake up we would probably just kill him because of the shock it would cause. Maybe it's just me.

The reason I am writing about this is because it really came to a head today as I was in the pew listening to stories about his life. He was a Renaissance Man of sorts. He had multiple degrees, intelligent, a lover, a fighter, a free spirit, a world traveler, a father and husband, a Son of God. His children talked about their relationships with him and the relationship he had with their mother. His last moments in life where not spent thinking about affect that his leaving would have on his life, but hers. He loved her from the moment they met to the day he died. He loved their kids in that same way too. They were all his favorites. The big thing that really hit home is that he died peacefully. After such a long and painful fight with that debilitating disease, he died peacefully.

No matter if you die suddenly or over a long period of time, we all die and the passing is peaceful. You leave here to go back to live with God and you will be brought back to the happiest time in your life, which for me so far was when I was closest to God which was when I was on my mission. I really did feel very peaceful on my mission. I had no worries, no stress, and all I had to do was live and share and teach others about how to develop the most important relationship I have in my life which is with my Savior, Jesus Christ. I don't know how to explain the feelings and thoughts I had as I sat there and pondered my relationship I had with this man and how he helped me along and prepared me spiritually for my life. All I know is it felt good. It felt great. Not just to be able to let out some pent up emotions and tears but the Spirit in the meeting. It just is so reassuring that as one of the speakers said in the service that death is not really a punctuation mark. It isn't a period, a question mark, or even an exclamation point. It is a comma. This life is neither the beginning nor the end of life but only a small portion of the overall journey. Thank God for His love and mercy in giving us the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Conflicted

I think it is amazing that there is always a price to be paid, a sacrifice for happiness. Take our emotions for example. The companion and the contradiction to pain, suffering, war, loneliness, and forgotten loves are pleasure, happiness, peace, love, and fond memories. There is literally nothing in the middle. "Let me ask you something. Why are you alive? You exist to continue your existence. What's the point? To feel. 'Cause you've never done it, you can never know it. But it's as vital as breath. And without it, without love, without anger, without sorrow, breath is just a clock... ticking." The interesting thing about it is that an event can cause such a variety of emotions based on our perspective and the situation itself. Death of a loved one versus the death of a tyrant. Life and love are connected and intertwined on every level. Every situation is different and it is the perspective we take that helps us choose how we respond. The feelings that come as you love a stranger are a different kind of love than when you love your best friend, but it is love still the same.

The point I am trying to stress is that we can't always choose our circumstance but we have control over our emotions. We choose to feel. We choose the heartache and the love. It is ours to have and ours to choose. "The first thing you learn about emotion is that it has its price. A complete paradox. But without restraint, without control, emotion is chaos. The difference is being that when we want to feel, we can." Maybe that is why it is called falling in love. You lose all control and your emotions run away with you. You can't stop thinking about them day and night. You do things out of the norm. You have that bounce in your step and smile in your face. It takes control and when it finally settles... well, I hope that you find yourself waking up to see her beautiful face asleep in your arms. And as you sleep the day away, you close your eyes only hoping that she follows you back into your dreams. It is something that you can only hope you will never wake from or if you do that you can find it again just as fast. You are like choosing whether to stay inside with a warm blanket and a movie or to just go out and drive until you leave the city behind so you can see the stars. There is no wrong answer but still I am so conflicted, as I sit here waiting with my phone in hand trying to figure out what is the next step. There are so many questions that I want you to answer but I will leave them unsaid. Unsaid until I can't hold it in any longer and I burst and say everything that is in my heart. Why does restraint feel like being in reverse when it is just supposed to help me keep this all under control? I guess this is what it is meant by Hard Goodbyes...

"The clock strikes one
And you're still running in circles in my mind
And it's the best things have ever been
The best things have ever been

"The clock strikes two
And I'm still falling for you
And with every tick of the tock that's on the clock
I'm longing for you

"So I'll curse the ceiling
'Cause it's the only thing that's keeping me from lying under the stars
And I'll curse the distance between you and me
'Cause if it weren't for it you'd be here in my arms

"I wish that you were here to guide
My weary head to rest
Because every word I sing without you
Is a waste of my breath
Hold me up don't let me down
Just stay with me tonight
Whisper in my ear I love you
So sweet dreams sleep tight

"And I head for the door but you stop me short
Because it's getting harder to say goodbye
Lean in where our lips can meet
And please don't let me go
Just hold me here with you tonight

"And you count the beats
Of my rapidly beating heart
And I feel so alive
Wrapped up here in your arms
And you count the breaths
As I drift off to sleep
And I feel so in love
Knowing you have fallen in love with me
Knowing you have fallen in love with me
Knowing you have fallen in love with me

"So I'll curse the ceiling
'Cause it's the only thing that's keeping me from lying under the stars
And I'll curse the distance between you and me
'Cause if it weren't for it you'd be here in my arms"