Saturday, July 20, 2013

My number one rule

I have learned something about myself in the last couple years, and as a result I have made a rule that I firmly believe in following. If I don't, then, without exception, something bad happens. Here is my rule. Ehm: If I ever have an idea after midnight, it is a bad one.

So I don't do it. The end.

Friday, June 28, 2013

A Memory

I was sitting here doing homework when I suddenly remembered a day the lil guy and I had in DC. We were at the Metro station, waiting for our train, when I saw a soldier. Now, I was raised to thank soldiers, whenever possible, and I wanted to teach that to my lil guy as well. So we walked up, said, "excuse me," and then I looked down at my lil guy, and he looked up at me, a little confused. I knelt down next to him and said, "can you say, 'thank you'?" The soldier, seeing what was happening, knelt down as well, and smiled warmly at my lil guy, who did the sign for thank you. "You're welcome." he said, and reached out and clapped him on the shoulder. He stayed down there with us for about a minute, asking the basic questions like how old was my lil guy? was I his mom? his eyes are so blue.... Then his train came, and he stood up, saying, "well I have to leave now. Thank you." And the lil guy and I waved as he jogged away.

I wish I had a picture of this encounter. I think that if I were a soldier, I would be so grateful for little moments like that. Soldiers protect us, and little children are the ones who they work hardest for, I think.

Thank you, soldiers who serve honorably. God bless the USA.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The trick

The trick to getting through life happy is one that I believe I hold. Why do I believe this? Because I am happy. And other people always ask me how I am so happy all of the time. So I'm pretty much an expert on this subject, and I am about to give you the secret to my success. Ehm.

The key to being happy is to take responsibility for your emotions.

It is so simple. If you want to be happy, be. It's not any one else's responsibility to make you happy. It is also not any one else's responsibility to make you not happy. You are the only one in charge of your feelings. Once you wrap your head around that very simple, very true fact, you can be happy. Or sad. Or mad. Or whatever you want, whenever you want.

You're welcome.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Making life worth it

I don't know how it happened, but I somehow just watched an entire documentary about the 2004 tsunami in the Pacific. It was heartbreaking. I cried almost the whole time.

The documentary featured some survivors of the tsunami who told their stories and shared footage they had shot during the event. As the documentary went on you learned of the families of those being interviewed. One man had three children and a girlfriend. One couple had a young daughter named Isabelle. One man had a wife and two kids. One woman had her parents and her husband. They only interviewed one or two people from each family and it was always an adult, and so I knew for sure that the parents survived but I didn't know about the children until the end.

There was one family with three kids and a girlfriend. The night before the tsunami the son had a series of nightmares about the beach and he warned his family that something very bad was going to happen. The son and his sister Collie stayed home from the beach that day while the father, his girlfriend, and his other daughter went scuba diving. They said there were no fish at all anywhere they looked, and that it was like being sucked into a whirlpool. When they came up again, the hotels were all flattened. They said it looked like a nuclear holocaust had taken place while they were under the water.

They found their bungalow completely destroyed, and they dug around the rubble looking for the son and Collie for two or three days. Finally they got word that the son in a hospital, and the girlfriend went to stay with him while the dad and sister continued to look for Collie. There was a wall where people would post pictures of the dead, so you could know to keep looking or not. Good Morning America was filming the wall when the dad and sister came to look, so you see the moment when they find the picture of Collie dead. It was the most heart-wrenching thing I ever did see. I cannot even fathom the pain they felt and still feel for their loss.

Another couple lost their 5-year old daughter, Isabelle. The mom said she was holding her so tight, but the water ripped her from her arms. The dad searched and searched and searched for her while the mother lay in the hospital badly injured. When he finally found her body, he said he was asked several times- "is this your daughter? Is this your daughter? Are you sure?"

So why am I talking about this. Well, I think it's because I have always felt that it is extremely important to remember. I think of 9/11 every time I see 9:11 on a clock. I think of those poor children at that elementary school shooting basically every time I think of Christmas and my little sister.

I believe that remembering is only part of it though. One of the survivors said that he remembers seeing people die and wondering why he wasn't taken. He said he wanted to make his life worth it, for all those who didn't survive that day.

I have been thinking about my future a lot recently, and through a series of conversations and opportunities and occurrences I have decided that what I want, what I really, reeeaallly want to do with my life, is help others. The most rewarding things I have ever done have involved service. I am, without a doubt, the happiest I can be when I am not focused on myself.

I want to be apart of those humanitarian teams who go in and help when these tragedies strike. I want to be as brave as the men in the video who were grabbing people out of the water and got them afloat. The mother of sweet, sweet Isabelle said that in those days that they didn't know what had happened to their little girl she kept thinking things like, "oh well, she learned to swim yesterday and so she could be fine." or, "maybe someone helped her, found her and helped her." I wish so much that there had been someone around to help Isabelle, but there wasn't. In the future I hope that I can be at the right place and the right time to help someone in need.

So. It's like in that movie In Time. I love that movie. It is so thought-provoking. The rich man asks Will Salas what he would do if he had as much time as he did, and Will said, "I sure as hell wouldn't waste it." In his final message to Will before he dies, he writes "don't waste my time." And Will doesn't. Will spends his time saving others with the ultra-rich, ultra-awesome Sylvia. His and her lives become centered around giving time away to those who would use it for more than just partying and big houses.

I think that it is time for me to stop wasting time. I think 2012 was such a bust because the majority of the time I was very self-centered and spent my time in a selfish manner. It is really important that I help others because I have been blessed with so much.

So! This is my Christmas gift to myself- this higher awareness. I think it can be a really powerful tool to motivate me towards my best self. 2013 is going to be different and so much better because I will be actively pursuing all of my goals at once, because what they all boil down to- Africa, Continuing Promise, learning Arabic, a kick-a internship at the DoD, another internship at NIH, gaining understanding and helping others. This attitude is what will propel me to my goals and will make me a better person. My motto will no longer be WWFRD (What would Flo Rida do?), but rather it is always the best time to be better.

I will not waste my time.

Monday, October 15, 2012

My Hairs are Turning Red Part 2

I am wanting some really, reeeaally random things lately.

  1. A chocolate-covered banana. I literally have wanted one since I went to a concert with Kelly and Heather
  2. A lunch date with Sister N.
  3. To watch Arthur with Gina
  4. To dye my hairs this color-
(the redhead)

   5. To only use waterproof mascara
   6. To not wear eyeliner.
   7. To drink spinach shakes. All the time. Do you know how delicious those            things are??
   8. To listen to this song. Like all the time.

     9. To talk with Mady so much before she leaves for the mish
   10. To go to IKEA with Julie and say, "Ikeeeeya." the entire duration of our              trip.
   11. To go apartment hunting in DC.
   12. At the Kennedy-Warren.
   13. To live at the Kennedy-Warren.

   14. To figure out what the crap I am going to do about a certain thing.
   15. To drink apple juice.
   16. To hang out with the roomies ah de time.
   16. To watch Jersey Shore with Julie and take juice shots.
   16. To repeat 16 three times.
   16. Four times.
   17. To buy us a new shot glass!
   18. To go driving with Michelle and interpretive dance for her.
   19. To have a movie night with Julia and Seul just like old times.
   20. To drive my car.
   21. To see Kathryn and Rachel.
   22. To eat a pumpkin-walnut yumyum from my favorite lil bakery!

Sunday, September 30, 2012


I am taking Arabic this semester. Why?

I get this question a lot.

"Because I want to live in Africa and it is spoken in a lot of the northern African states."

This is usually followed by something like, "Why would you want to go there? You know our ambassador was just killed- where was that?"

"Libya." I say. "I'm not saying I want to go to Libya. I'd prefer not to, really."

Uhmm who knows?

I think what it gets down to is this- I love this country. I have always wanted to give back to America, because I feel so blessed to be born here. I love that I had a good public school education and that I have nice roads to drive my cute car on. I love that I can continue my education and that I am encouraged to. I love that I can practice my religion and my friends can practice theirs. I love that when I told my friend Gina that I was going to learn Arabic she told me within ten seconds of a friend of ours that speaks Arabic, and that that friend was so nice about helping me to learn and that she wasn't the only one. I love all the opportunities that are at my feet because I was born here at this time. I love all the people who made that possible.

I love so much about America, and I have always known that I wanted to do something for America. I considered all sorts of options, but none of them seemed like something I could do or would remotely even like doing. Then last year, I was talking to my sweet friend Rachel and she said, "You know, I want to learn Farsi. If you learn Farsi, you're set for life."

Farsi is one of the main languages in Afghanistan, Iran, Tajikistan, among other countries. If you know this language, that's like your golden ticket into a good, government job, which is what I want. I would like to note, however, that if there is one place in the world that I never wish to go to, it is Afghanistan. I think I would almost rather walk into a shark tank with a billion papercuts. Anyway.

Unfortunately, very few people know Farsi in the United States. That's why it's such a good thing to know. Merg. I learned more about this language in Intro to International Studies. When I came to class with my fact sheet, my professor paired me and the other girl who had written a brief on Farsi with the kids who did Arabic.

Now, Arabic and Farsi are not the same thing, but they are spoken in some of the same parts of the world, and the cast of people speaking either language is similar. So, when I heard that BYU-I was going to start offering Arabic, you can bet that I was all up on that.

With Arabic I can
  • Live in Africa
  • Live in DC
  • Communicate with more people
  • Participate in the CLS program
  • Go to BYU-Jerusalem

Did you know that in 2011 there were 440 million native Arabic-speaking people in the world? That's like, 1 in every 14 people. Did you know that standard Arabic is an official language in 26 countries?? That is the 3rd most after English and French. Think about that. More than Spanish, even (21 countries).

Arabic is tough for sure, but someone told me that it isn't harder than any other language, and I believe them. I can do this. I can learn Arabic. I want to, it's needed, this is how I can help my country. I think I've finally discovered how I can do all the things that I want to do.

I didn't know it two months ago, but it looks like Arabic is the ticket to my dreams :)

Friday, August 31, 2012

Julie is going off to college.

And this is how I feel....

Because I just love her is all. And she is my best friend.

But guess what? I'm not worried about her. She is big girl now, and she is going to be fine.

I love you, Julie! yap! <3 p="p">