Thursday, December 30, 2010

Today is the First Day of the Rest of your Life

Lately I've been overly preoccupied with things that once were and that might have been. It's been causing stress in my life, specifically for one relationship that is incredibly dear to me. I didn't like that these memories of feelings far past were still haunting me, but i just couldn't shake them. So I took them to my Lord and Savior. All I had to do was tell Him about it. A few hours later, this is what He showed me.

Many thanks to the blogger I follow myself, for posting this on a day I actually had time to watch the videos. And here's to my New Year's Resolution, to move on, forgive and forget, and above all, look not behind me.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Something for Cat

I tend to describe people by their connections. Not just with others, but how they themselves are connected to me. It makes for an odd conversation - Oh, that's Fred. He used to work with me but he grew up with Jimmy who is a really good friend of mine, even though I haven't really talked to him for almost a year.

This intro is not getting me where I want to go. Retry.

My senior year of high school I tried (fairly successfully) to convince myself that my anger at the world was not caused by what I was doing but what other people were. And since I'd be leaving for school two states away and would never ever be back, I found it useless to meet new people and make new friends. I took the thought that I really didn't need anymore friends and ran with it.

I ran pretty far.

I ran so far, that even now, my new friend-making skills are a little different. I don't network anymore, I don't try to get to know as many people as I can as deeply as I can in as little time possible. Within the last year and a half, If I've made a friend, they are far more likely to be near and dear to my heart, and stay that way. Probably because every single one of them have been able to help me out of the roughest rough patches of my life so far.

And oddly enough, they become near and dear to my heart very quickly. Point in case, there's the girl that lived the floor above me, and within a few months of actually meeting, I was talking to her about the depression I hardly mentioned to my own sister. Or the man this same friend introduced me to, two weeks after we met we were dating. Six months later, we still are. But this isn't about him.

It's about the girl I met at work two months ago. I thought she was mexican (she's not), and I couldn't remember her name (yesterday my boy proved he still can't). I'm not sure how we bonded. Maybe it was our shared confusion at the new job, maybe it was her telling me that she was to leave for her mission soon, the same day my sister returns from her own. That the mission was in the same state. That the bosses didn't know yet and I shouldn't say anything to anyone. That she'd give me a ride whenever I needed. That Dr. Who's blue phone booth were on her shoes. That we had not one but two pairs of matching shoes. That we didn't have to actually talk and it was still fine. Maybe really we saw each other in each other. But she's a better driver.

My sister returns home in three days. Which means Cat is leaving in three days. I don't know why we met when we did, or why it had to be so short. I suppose it's a blessing, because had it been longer, she'd be the third bestie in a year and a half to leave me for the same reason. So maybe this is a mercy. Either way, right now, I'm Feeling Good.

Amish ewe, Cait. amish ewe.

Friday, October 8, 2010


The morning after Scott talked to me again, I had woken heartsick. Not just the heavy heart kind, it was the sick through the entire body, especially around my heart. I could hardly eat, and I was supposed to go to work that day. Andy was there, like he always was. Somehow I was able to put on a passable grimace, laid my head on his chest, and endured until we got in the car to go to work. While in the car, I was still ill. My limbs ached, my stomach churned, my breaths were shallow and uncontrolled.

I sat next to him holding his hand in mine. I looked at it, and kept looking because the pain somehow disappeared every time I did. When he pulled his hand away to shift gears, the pain returned, but muted. His hand returned and the pain fled.

I tried not to tell Andy. I could only keep it bottled for a single day. As we sat tangled in each other's arms I whispered it in his ear, “I love you.”

That was only a few short weeks ago. His parting words were, “Good luck,” and, “I still love you.”

My only words were, “Thank you.”

In a way, I left because I loved another more. Not Scott, no. I loved another even before Scott. Deeper than I could ever love either of these wonderful men I've chosen. It has come time to choose again, and I wish to God that I will always choose Him over any other.

Andy, I know I just broke your heart, and I'm sorry for it.

Thank you.

For everything.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

the why not

"A writer never forgets the first time he accepted a few coins or a word of praise in exchange for a story. He will never forget the sweet poison of vanity in his blood and the belief that, if he succeeds in not letting anyone discover his lack of talent, the dream of literature will provide him with a roof over his head, a hot meal at the end of the day, and what he covets the most: his name printed on a miserable piece of paper that surely will outlive him. A write is condemned to remember that moment, because from then on he is doomed and his soul has a price."

The Angel's Game, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Girl Who Grinned at the Sky

I'd just finished a particularly frustrating session of one class, and was trudging along to my least favorite and most dreaded class. No end was in sight, and the wind whipped cruel cold inside my “good” winter coat. The bright sun mocked overhead, shining sarcastically down. I looked up to glare it down, unappreciative of how it mocked my colder loneliness.

The sun remained.

However, my attention was caught by something else. A brilliant azure accompanied the sun, and no cloud was in sight. The pure blue stood beside the sun, silent, yet almost apologetic. It seemed to say, “something will happen soon. And it's always, always for the better.”

Its silent words tugged a half smile across one of my cheeks.

I realized I was still walking, and refocused my gaze to what was in front of me. Instead of being distracted by my looming class, I saw a girl coming toward me, noticing the same thing that I just had. Except she was different. Her lips peeled back against her broad white teeth, and she grinned. At nothing, just the sheer color above us both. She also remembered she was walking, and she looked straight ahead. Our gazes met.

Her gigantic grin only grew.

It was contagious. Now not only half my face was affected. I no longer noticed the wind's chill. She introduced herself and asked if she'd met me before. I assumed it was because we were instantly joined by the bond of sky smiling, and told her no.

She had met me before, I find later. She wanted to date my next-door neighbor. I can't understand why he wasn't interested. Later she and I flew a kite in a park. I haven't seen her since.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I sat there twirling the perfect sunflower found on my seat. I swallowed hard against a hot, thick ball forming in my throat. I willed the tears not to burst through the dams of my eyelids. I wasn't sure I really wanted to be there, but I knew I really didn't want to talk, frustrated with circumstances, confused by previous words, blinded by prior mistakes,

He broke my shell of silence

"Can I hold you?"

He didn't just hold my body to his own, he reached out over the parking brake and held my shivering heart.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Life is Good

I've had a lot of time to think about what I'm going to be doing until school resumes in January. My first thoughts were to convenience - stay in Logan, work with people with disabilities, don't move, save money, keep friends and make new ones, quit Michaels ASAP. That didn't work.

My next thought was National Park work... somewhere that pays room and board. Work until late October, go home, play with new RM (my sister, she's been out a year now!), and resume the Logan apartment and job hunt.

I was sitting in Institute one morning, zoning out of announcements when one caught my attention. "Want to work in Yellowstone?..." I wrote down the hours of the institute's employment office I didn't know existed and resolved to go that week. Miracle #1. I was hoping that the institute may know of more jobs better suited for my standards - no Sunday work, close to church, friends to go with...

Anyway, a few days later found me flipping through a bunch of brochures in the employment office, picking out the occasional national park job, summer camp, internship for a foundation that works with people with disabilities... Wait.

I went home, hopped online, and looked up the foundation. I found that they ran a summer camp and they did things year round too. They were currently accepting applications. I fiddled around with the application, filled it out , and got stuck on references, as usual. I'd gotten the BYU Psychology Professor from the homeward, the mother of an autistic girl that loves me, and ... the third? I wanted to use my special needs institute teacher, but, she's one of those people that has to run and do everything all at once. For a week I kept going to class early trying to catch her (i couldn't after class - i had a class WAAAAaaaaaayyyyyyy across campus.) Finally, i was determined to get it over with and be late if i had to.

I showed up ever earlier than usual, but she was running late. She scurries in frantically setting up her lesson. I conceded to being late after all. She looked at me, said Hello, and moved on. Suddenly, she said, "Amy, i have something for you! did you know that you can graduate from Institute this semester?" "uh, no" "come over to my office, I have a paper for you." Okay. Miracle #2.

No, I wasn't eligible for graduation after all, but that paper came at the exact right moment. Sister Parker was not only willing to be a reference, but she was also familiar with the camp and foundation :)

Anyway, I filled in the blank spots and sent it in. Just as I was walking away from the post office, I realized I hadn't even enclosed a resume :(

The next week was spring break. I was driving about with a friend when I got a phone call. IT WAS THEM!!! we scheduled an interview for later that week. Miracle #3. Had they called the next week, I'd have to borrow a car (Ehh... nerve wracking) or bum a ride (yeah right, during the day during the week, who's going to be going to SLC then?) But since the interview was DURING spring break, trip with mom. Oooohhhh yeeeeaaaahhhh.

Wednesday they called back wanting to postpone the appointment. I consented to later that day instead of the next week. That morning rolled around and I was getting ready to go. A bunch of silly things kept going wrong. Like no eyeliner because I thought i hadn't packed it (i had, i found when I went home and unpacked) Or my new shirt suddenly being a constricting one size too small. or nearly spilling lunch we'd just picked up all over my resume I actually remembered to bring. Stress.

They showed me around the camp while they were waiting for the interviewer to show up, we interviewed, and the waiting game was on. 1.5 - 2 weeks.

During the waiting game the ward mission leader came over to teach a lesson in my ethiopian nonmember roommate's general vicinity (she excused herself halfway through) and we talked about miracles. He challenged us to pray for a miracle daily.
The 2 weeks came and went without a peep.

Finally, I decided to ask for a miracle. Just a phone call either way, whether or not I actually got the job.
That night ~ 5 pm I got one. (Miracle #4)
Unfortunately I was working so i didn't answer it. I called back as requested the next morning and received the news. I HAD gotten the job!

I'll be in Salt Lake, not too far from home OR Logan, i work Sunday night to Friday afternoon, the job provides room and board (which really means that my entire paycheck goes straight into my pocket), I won't be living at home, and BEST of all, I'll be working with people with disabilities of all ages and with disabilities of all types. Helllloooo career exploration.

Only downsides:
A: not terribly awesome pay. but that doesn't matter, because room and board is included.
B: I have to work over memorial day weekend. My extended family always gets together and has a huge remembrance day : we decorate graves of family members in five different cemeteries in the high Uintah mountains. We get about 8 generations back, to the first generation pioneers. My grandmother and her sister come out and join their siblings in the festivities, and we exchange old stories about the ancestors. And then there's a huge potluck at one of the uncle's houses. It is awesome. And I'll have to miss it. But, Carolyn (my missionary sister) will too, and maybe i'll get to see grandma and her spitfire sister the day before or something.
C: There is another huge family reunion in New York this summer. I will most likely miss this. Maybe Carolyn and I will have to take a nationwide jaunt to visit family we both haven't seen for two years. I might have enough skymiles to pull it off, after last summer's trip to Romania...
D: I have to find another job at the end of August.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

That Which...

That which I could expound upon for pages and pages but won't because this week is another gray hair week and by the time I actually have time to pay attention and write, all my ideas will be buried under new ones. (and some brief ideas that would have included a deep and compelling story, but won't.)

The girl who grinned at the sky. (and how she made my day and that she wants the boy next door. therefore we could have been best friends, if I'd ever see her again. pity.)

the dichotomy of digital and real personalities. (everybody's different in text than in person. Those that fail to realize this needs reality to slap them in the face.)

hyperbole of Kathryn (baby sister and her ... eccentricities)

my failure of saying no (car boy. See "the dichotomy"... he's reality's number 1 offender)

you know you're good friends when (see, i've already lost this idea. fill in your own)

postage this year (spent a lot. Will spend more tomorrow. i don't know how much total, but could find out. later.)

cars. (see "you know you're good"...)

How life is supposed to happen and how it won't. (see the intro to this post)

what i want (HAH! as if.)

the census (have been waiting ten years to touch one. anticlimactic.)

delicious sounds of sauce ('nuff said.)

memory lane -spinny park - white willow - paul's house (no comment)

i'm only one person with two arms and 10 toes! (aren't you?)

Why is a raven like a writing desk? (three words: Edgar Allen Poe.)

Walk to campus via the quad (I'm going to miss school next semester)

synesthesia (apparently people with this condition have screwed up perceptions of the five senses. they can see tastes, etc.)

violets (favorite. smell and taste. yup. they're edible. try them in your next salad.

poppies (in flander's fields the poppies grow beneath the crosses row by row...)

ducks (held one the other day after falling down the stairs. Go team.)

bruises and welts (see "ducks")

the gym window (maybe i'll get a picture of it tomorrow. tis purdy. and in a strange place for life and art and beautiful things.)

missing out on thunder (April thunderstorm that snowed. A girl was too plugged in to notice. she missed out)

We'll see if I ever get around to this list. Will keep you posted. Maybe. And now! Back to studying for last midterm of the semester.

Friday, March 12, 2010


studying on the floor in front of my open door in the newfound sun.

sending a surprise package to my sister.

sunning myself on the roof of the roommates car while she borrows my shoes and library card to check out the entire movie collection.

failing at eating the heart of an artichoke because I couldn't get past the hair.

trying to fend off a cold.


going to three different pharmacies in search of sudafed.


running into the best friend's boyfriend buying the best friend food to make up for a fight.

running into said bf's bf while playing -arco -olo in the last store whose pharmacy was closed.

being glad the sun is finally out and the weather is finally warm.

watching it snow again.

crying because the frigid wind is so strong it blasts the moisture out of the eyes and onto the cheeks.

failing at fending off the cold after all.

kicking the trash out of the dreaded presentation.

cooking Sunday dinner for ten.

sleeping while sitting up on the couch three nights in a row because of the cold I failed at fending off.

meeting a girl who grinned at the sky.

grinning at everyone else because she was grinning at the sky.

teaching boy from upstairs to cook fried rice.

talking about dating with two olderish single men for an hour.

cooking super-hot mexi rice and stuffed peppers.

being accosted on facebook about me not being myself.

hearing that the rice was too spicy.

being accosted via text that i was upset and worrisome.

sneaking food into a movie theater with a dear friend.

feeding super-hot mexi rice to a real man.

realizing the real man knew the grinning girl.

being accosted on facebook for dating advice about a different girl i never really knew.

eating an entire bag of peanut butter m&ms between midnight snack and breakfast.

going on a date with a guy i never really knew but with whom I wouldn't mind seconds.

kicking all my roommates out of the apartment.

bumming a ride home from a girl i still don't really know.

sitting in the apartment alone.

wondering if the sister ever got her package.

being glad the sun is back just in time for spring break.

wishing something would happen around here.

retracting that wish.

wondering how the trashcan got that full in my absence from my bed.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Billy Jim and the Absence of Hermeneutics of Given Names

My senior year of high school I was walking down the halls of the rival across town and came across a poster with a little quote on it. I laughed, pointed it out to a friend, they laughed, and we continued on.

Somehow that quote has always stuck with me. Maybe because of its strange failure to say what it tries to say, or maybe because I couldn't help but recognize the power in the haphazard words.

The quote?

Act as if what you do makes a difference.
~William James

Now, don't you see what I'm saying? It carries a connotation that what you do WON”T matter. Ever.

For quite some time I'd felt that way – that nothing matters in the end. That everything will work out the way it's supposed to, regardless of your role in it all.

This week, a good friend posted almost the same quote. Almost. She included a two-word tag line that I'd never seen before. Her inclusion? “It Does.”

Now it says, “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”

I'm not saying that anything I do has made a difference in other people's lives, maybe it has but sometimes I just don't want to know. But I know that whenever I try to make a difference in someone's life, the difference has been made in mine.

Earlier this week i was reminded of this by an unwitting friend. He'd alluded to a painful Monday, I offered some solace. Instead of turning his day around, he turned my entire week. All we did was share a cup of hot cocoa and some words of empathy and encouragement. But afterward I was reminded that there is hope in my life as I expressed hope in his. That things aren't as bad as they seem now. That I don't have to be caught up in myself.

This wasn't the first time either. I went to Romania to hold babies that needed love. I wanted to make their lives better if only in a small way. While doing so I held a one year old girl whose functionality was as advanced as a newborn's. She couldn't even control her eyes. As i sang to her, trying to soothe her fussing, she'd only respond to the primary songs of my own childhood. I sang one line: I am a child of God, his promises are sure. Celestial glory shall be mine, if I can but endure. As the phrase ended, her eyes flipped up, gazing into mine. Peacefulness spread through my chest and tears sprang to my own eyes. She knew.

Because of this one little girl and my two weeks of holding her close, I've taken classes I'd never have thought about before, I've chosen a major I'd never considered, and I have direction in my life.
I'd not have all of this if it weren't for my trying to make someone's life better. Someone's life was bettered. Mine.

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.