Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Waiting For Answers

Listening is an interesting talent that some people possess. In fact, I would go so far as to call it a gift. When we think about life and all the things that we are faced with and do, many of us don't take too much time to stop and listen. One of the many things that my father told me in the early part of my mission was that I needed to stop and listen. The ability to listen is the ability to be teachable. It is the ability to properly communicate and understand. At times I can be a bit of a rambler but when necessary I listen.

When people need someone to talk to I always feel like I will become like this Dr. Phil where they will want to lay out and begin to rattle off all the things in their soul to me. It happened to me in high school. It happened again on my mission. It happens now in college. People don't always need to be prompted to say what they feel. Sometimes they just need the space to express themselves. This in essence is how meditation and the arts work. Specks of inspiration come as a person takes the time to really think, organize, and follow their own thoughts but during the whole process they might not need to focus on how to make things connect or how things happen but just by letting the thought linger, it grows. The same is true with being able to listen. If you are willing to absorb everything that is being given to you, just focusing on what is coming in and letting the thoughts simmer a bit, instead of trying to figure out what the next step is, how to respond, give some sort of counterargument, then we are able to really understand one another.

I feel like when I can focus on people and on their needs and their emotions, I can connect with them. I can listen to them and then I am prompted in what I need to say to help them unload and express their desires, their fears, and all the different feelings of the heart. Sometimes all you can do is hold a loved one in your arms and by just being there, holding them steady, letting them speak from the heart, you are able to show exactly how much you love and respect them. Many people just need encouragement instead of being given direction. And if you think about it that is how most of us grow, by enduring and pushing through our mistakes. If we are willing to lean on others, we will eventually be able to stand on our own. And all we needed was someone to talk to.

I myself will go for a long walk. It may look like I am alone but really I am going on these excursions to seek counsel. I go and I just think about life, my goals, my dreams, my present, my future... and as I ponder on how the whole journey has been going, I try to be open to any ideas that come into my mind of ways I can improve. These thoughts are what help guide me on how to grow personally, with my relationship with others, with my relationship with God. And it is with God whom I am attempting to converse! I am trying to listen to the thoughts and feelings in my heart and my mind and if I am willing to take the time to not interrupt him, be completely forthcoming and honest about everything I am going through and what I am feeling, it is an emotional, mental, and spiritual dump that is revitalizing. Physically it makes me feel better. And all it took was making time for God. To speak with Him... and I mean with, not to Him. He wants to bless us. He wants us to be happy. And sometimes he asks us to do things that we don't know how to do or if we are even capable of accomplishing. I can say like many of the prophets that at times, "I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do." But that is His point... in making us learn to listen and to trust Him.

God will qualify us and work miracles in our lives and on our behalf. It is love that allows a person to truly hear and see another person's heart and soul. I guess I am writing this post because I have been thinking a lot about things in my future. I am looking for guidance and I can say that I don't know what to do. I have never been down this road before. But as long as I open my ears and my heart to the Spirit, I am sure I will receive the answers to my prayers.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Looking Ahead

Tatiana and I like to discuss our futures a lot. We enjoy talking about what we do each day too but I would rather talk about the times when we will be together instead of when we are apart. But as I have been trying to figure out how to make the next few months as easy on us as possible, I have been amazed about what we have been able to come up with together.

I had gotten an iPod for Christmas this last year and for some odd reason, the laptop that I have had for college has been acting up and won't let me put any music on that particular iPod. So for a while it just sat on my desk without any particular purpose for me to own it. Then I started going through and looking at what apps were available to me and now I have my scriptures and lesson manuals on it. I have the General Conference talks on it. I have a variety of ways that I can send messages or voicemails to Tatiana from it. I can send her pictures. I can even play different games with her. But if anything I can definitely say that it is a start. I am writing her emails every day. We are studying the Book of Mormon together. I am planning on sending her a letter every week. I am trying to think of any way I can to make sure that whatever distance is between us doesn't have to feel so far. I even made sure that when she left, she could have little pieces of me wherever she looked... jewelry, sweatshirts, photos, letters, stuffed animals, etc.

The kicker for me however is I am Skyping her weekly, if not daily, and we share a chocolate on our Sunday Skype dates. There are about 20 weeks left so we will share 20 more chocolates until we can finally be together again. The thing is that when I say "finally" I mean it just can't come soon enough. I am trying to focus on my classes and my studies. I am trying to get through the daily grind. Still, the only thing that brings any life into me is when I get a message from her, when I hear her voice, or some small reminder brings back a memory. I still am fasting and praying for her as we are still waiting for a response from BYU about whether or not she has been accepted as a transfer student. I still am fasting and praying for her as she is getting adjusted to being back home.

I guess the real update is that I feel like this is doable. Easy... hell, no. Doable... yes. So this is me accepting the fact that it is going to be a lot of late nights, long study sessions, and taking some time to carve out a nook in the library that I will call my own as I try to carry myself through these classes. My classes this semester as not crazily difficult... it is the combination of them that is insane. Taking anatomy and organic chemistry at the same time has been very hard. But to top it off with a couple of time-consuming mechanical engineering courses was probably not my best move. Still, I am trying to graduate with my BS next year so I can start applying for graduate school.

Things have changed in that aspect as well. I have thought for a long time that I would get my biomedical engineering degree at the University of Utah, continuing to return home to the east coast to work at my internship with NxStage Medical, and when it was all said and done, finish and return back home to settle down on the east coast. Well, my Aussie girl has changed a couple of those things for me. We want to see how far her dreams of animation can take her, starting with attending BYU. BYU is unique that it is one of the top three colleges worldwide for that major and is highly recruited by the big names in the industry. If she is recruited by one of them, then the likelihood of going east instead of west is beginning to dwindle. I want her to succeed. I want her to try for her dreams so I am going to support her in any way I can. And as I have thought about that, I have begun to develop different goals for myself. I have had thoughts of getting a MS or MBA from BYU. It means that along with working for NxStage Medical again this summer, I will be getting ready to fly over to Australia to visit Tatiana, studying to take the GRE and GMAT exams, and planning the rest of my life basically.

She has done so much for me and so much to me... all I can say is that it is great and I wouldn't have it any other way. I have been happier when I am with her, more confident, the Spirit is stronger in my life, and in the end she is woman that I want to spend the rest of my life with. I guess the only thing left to do is just count down the days until I get to see her again... I just pray that they come quickly.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Last Few Months

If I had could have flown with her to Australia... Well, I wouldn't deny that I didn't think about it. Seriously, the last couple of months were amazing. When I think about her, she is unlike any one I have ever met. She is special.

I don't know how many times I have tried to finish this post and describe what she means to me, our commonalities, our differences that I am attracted to, but the point is that after meeting her it was like there was no one else, I thought about her constantly, and every moment that we shared together she would make me smile. There was something about her that made me feel like I had always known her. And when I think about her now, I love all the memories that we made together and all the little things we have done. My life feels empty without her here beside me but I know that in the end, she had to go home. She had to go back... for legal reasons there was that visa thing... but she needed to spend some more time with her family, go back to uni, finish some more classes, and though it will be challenging for the both of us we will be together again. I have been praying for her for a long time... both because of the challenges we are both going to have to face when we are apart but really I have always been praying for her although I didn't know it.

I have always hoped that God would lead me to someone that I could fall in love with and that they would fall in love with me too. I was just hoping that I wasn't such a hard case that he would have to find her on the other side of the globe, but maybe I am not a hard case but just a special one. I know that some of my siblings and friends would definitely describe me as "special." But seriously looking back, the coincidences that had to line up so we would meet were too random to think that God really didn't have a hand in all of this. And I couldn't have painted God a better picture of who I dreamed of because I hadn't met here until now. She is talented, caring, passionate, loving, loyal, witty, competitive, in tune with the Spirit, and I find her attractive in every way. I fell in love and I fell in love hard. We did so many things together that we hadn't done before and each time I felt like we were growing together. The thing that shocked me the most is the feelings I felt because in the past I had thought I loved people with all my heart and maybe I had, but never before had I felt like our hearts had become one. I have finally met someone who loves me as much as I love them, almost as if my soul was tied to hers and that the very thought of her leaving would feel as if she would take my heart and soul with her. I have given her everything that I am and hope to become... all of my hopes, my dreams, she has all of me. And in return, she is helping me become a better person in so many ways.

This next chapter is going to be as my dad used to call it a "character-building experience." And in adolescent years my response to him announcing those experiences approaching would be, "Character sucks... especially when you are building it." What I am saying is that I am not excited for our separation but it will make us both stronger. We will have to rely on each other, trust in God, and most of all trust in the feelings and inspiration we have both received. So to any of my readers out there, please... please pray for us. She has applied to transfer to BYU and if she gets in then she can apply to the animation program which is one of the best in the world. She needs a lot of strength while she is back home and she will need the Spirit to aid her. I can use all the patience and portions of the Spirit as I can get as well. We will need to focus. We will need to reach out to each other. We will need each other. I need her. So please pray for us. She is my miracle... my angel... my everything.

PS - I promise I will try not to go this mushy in the future. It just has been tough with her gone and I really needed to pour out my emotions. Pray for us...