Tuesday, June 28, 2011

trading spaces

yesterday i moved. far far away.

okay, just up the stairs. 
i went up and down those blasted stairs {a thousand times? at least} to retrieve the shocking amount of "stuff" i have collected through my college years. 9 am to 5 pm. and then some. 

my apartment complex is remodeling-- so we ventured to the upper level to behold beautiful tile floors, warm honey walls, a deep silver sink, tan granite, and a matching backsplash. plus new plush green carpet and heavenly soft mattresses. 
moving rather took it out of us, but we had helpers-- frankie and carlos! 
they carried box after box happily, and always came back for more.  
the disaster of a million bins in the midst of our pretty new kitchen 
after noodles and a pit-stop at smiths, we made strawberry-mint milkshakes in our roasting apartment.

turns out:
the AC was broken. 
the dishwasher wouldn't open. 
the tv outlet didn't work. 
the bathroom doorknob came off
{for a split second i was worried ali would be locked in there forever}. 
and our couch's stuffing was coming out.
true story.
 ai carumba!

but our landlady has heard our woes and we are sitting comfortably in an air conditioned apartment, with just a few minor adjustments remaining.  thank heavens, because sleeping in 87 degrees felt like purgatory.

your happily ever after

happily ever after is not something found only in fairy tales...you are princesses, destined to become queens.  you own wondrous story has already begun. your once upon a time is now. -president dieter f. uchtdorf-

what wondrous words to live by! 
i rather love president uchtdorf and although i have read his talk "your happily ever after" numerous times, today it caught my eye and i just had to share. 

"sandwiched between [every heroine's] 'once upon a time' and 'happily ever after', they experience great adversity...how you react to adversity and temptation is a critical factor in whether or not you arrive at your own 'happily ever after'...in stories, as in life, adversity teaches us things we cannot learn otherwise.  adversity helps us develop a depth of character that comes in no other way...happily ever after comes only
 "through understanding who you are and what you must become". -president dieter f. uchtdorf- 

i am beginning to see what all this time was for-- the past 2 years, especially, but all the days that i have breathed in to this point. 
i am immeasurably grateful to believe the doctrines of a church which inspires such hope in the meaning and purpose of life, in my own abilities, and in the incomprehensible mission and ministry of my loving savior. 
i ask you kindly to spare a minute and watch the short video below. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

aces high

hindsight is a beautiful, beautiful thing. 

with all the cards strewn around you following the mayhem of life, the aces pop and you muse to yourself while adjusting your thick-framed glasses and puckering your red lips: "ahh, the 52-card pickup wasn't so bad-- it is now apparent why that 7 of clubs had to crunch that King of hearts, in order for the Ace and Queen of spades to land right side up while the 3 of diamonds eclipsed the whole rest of the deck" 
{or something to that effect}.

during the chaos of cards flying and pandemonium reigning, frisking your sense of stability and comfort zone, with exasperation you may wonder why the deck has exploded to destroy all sense of order and rhyme or reason. i certainly wonder such things, as i rather prefer being dealt my hand one card at a time.
but then one summer day, curled up with a pillow and lazily recounting the day's events and the people that filled it, you glimpse the silver lining of your situation or a person. with your finger on the trigger of thought, your mind cocks all associated events and conversations and suddenly the bullet of understanding penetrates every memory and question until you are left gasping at the kick that throws you backwards into the beauty of hindsight.

my time with a... friend... is quickly shifting into shadows. the dusk is settling on this strange but adventurous chapter in my life with a bright dawn up ahead. goodbye, with this friend, is imminent. i wave away the actual thought of saying goodbye {as i do not handle being left well} and remain with the consistent thoughts of our mutual influence upon the other-- all i have learned from him and him from i. i think of the things that can only remain unsaid in the distance between him and i, but which has somehow evolved to a stage of tangibility where words are bursting through the seams of our friendship.

hindsight is my favorite tool to count the bounty of blessings in my life-- if i never looked back on my wonderful life i might sadly overestimate my troubles and understate my joys. but with hindsight it seems that happiness pops, just like the aces in the pile of cards, and you realize you are holding a full house.

try as i might, i do not have the poker face of lady gaga. i am a happy person but i am an honest person. i do not mask my thoughts and i do not skip over the occasional sad day-- life is a wide spectrum of emotion, and my emotions run deep, too deep to paint over or chisel away.

we are dealt a little life every day, 
and it is what you do with your hand that counts.
i have found that more often than not i have a full house, and full house takes the cake. always.

"whether he likes it or not, a man's character is stripped bare at the poker table; if the other players read him better than he does, he has only himself to blame. unless he is both able and prepared to see himself as others do, flaws and all, he will be a loser in cards, as in life."-Anthony Holden

Thursday, June 23, 2011

pack up

his sweatshirt stopped smelling like him after a month. the big grey sleeves trailed me through tears and dreams until it all became too much. everything reminded me of him. i refused to subject myself to a certain intersection for 6 months. i would not listen to country music. and i certainly could no longer take the immediate reminders of our pictures and his sweatshirt.

and so, i stowed them away. near enough to be retrieved but distant enough i was not reminded daily.

i had not needed that sweatshirt for months and months. but on a dark and dreary evening in may it was my lifeline, to remember he was real, that there was something undeniable about an us, and that in two months time i would smell him again.

now, with less than a month until his blessed homecoming, that avoided intersection no longer phases me and the details of his face and smell have evaporated with the hot summer sun.
it is too strange to expound upon-- the notion that i will literally see him again.
 that he will be in my life, not just in my gmail inbox.

 i'm trippin' out on the surrealism of the whole thing. 

one thing is for certain-- having him home will be better than any old sweatshirt. 

i think these 29 days will brush into an instant-- one blink, and he will be home.
but then i blink, and blink again, and it seems as if all of eternity will pass before he touches down in america.

my concept of time is shot.
     i just need to keep telling myself: 
keep breathing.
erase all expectations. 
and above all, don't freak out.

which really, is much easier said than done.

and so i leave you with some happiness-- please watch and enjoy, and dance around the apartment in your underwear if you please!

"pack up your troubles get your old grin back, don't worry bout the calvary"

paper clip

oh, how i wish i had thailand pictures to share with you! but alas, my brother has the photos on his computer and it may take some time before i have ownership of them (as he is starting residency this week) so patience. it's a virtue or something. 

when i walked into work this morning, illuminated by the stars and the creeping dawn behind the mountains, my feet hit the pavement rhythmically-- with my left i thought "twenty" and with my right i exclaimed "nine". twenty-nine days. that is what separates me from huntman. 

the countdown is on like donkey kong. 

i gave the huntman a lot of thought during my time on the other side of the world. and wouldn't ya know it, they showed "the adjustment bureau" on the flight from bangkok to tokyo-- matt damon is my main man because he reminds me freakishly of huntman. that sealed the deal of all i had reminisced upon and tried to predict. 

i once had a sunday school teacher who was the cool dad in the ward {this tangent relates, just bear with me}. his lessons were supremely and consistently awesome. the little life lessons he squeezed between nephi and moses have stuck with me, one being: if you feel nervous just tell yourself you are excited. and if all else fails, have a paper clip handy to put nervousness into so all that remains is excitement. 

that being said, i am beyond excited for huntman to come home. i still have not mastered the nervousness, yet, but every morning as the realization looms that he is really coming home (in 29 days! hallelujah) a little block of icy fear melts into a warm and hopeful happiness. 
but...a paper clip might still be a good idea for when i finally finally see his handsome face :)  

when i think of that moment, my stomach flutters and my heart catches in my chest. 
the thing i am most *excited* for is that i have no idea what to expect. if i had a dollar for every time i thought of it, i could buy a deserted island where i would contemplate it some more. 

all i know is the song below (one republic "all this time") makes me immeasurably happy and calms my nerves. it is exactly how i feel, and how i hope and pray and cross-my-fingers that huntman feels.

*i found one with ron and hermione, in honor of the upcoming HP7 pt. 2. don't mind the weird voice-over. watch it because ron is adorable.  oh and who is re-reading and loving HP7? yes. this girl is a nerd. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

a dream

we crept into the heat by the lights of the city and the stars. we slipped away beneath the watch of the moon. it almost felt like a dream. surreal. full of adventure, terror, a dose of the mundane, and a surge of the eloquently indescribable.

to attempt to surmise my dream in thailand would not grant justice to the true splendor and fascination of the exotic.
and exotic it was.

in that foreign corner of the globe i had the adventure of a lifetime. and it changed me, more than i thought it could. although invisible to others i feel the change in me.

all those spare moments riding in a tuk-tuk, nibbling on a mango with the waves crashing behind my closed eyes, wandering the streets of bangkok and chiang mai and phuket under the smothering heat.. i thought. about everything.

and i discovered in those moments, surrounded by a million people, myself conversing with memories and future possibilities.  i had somehow stumbled onto a path i did not want to tread any longer, becoming a person for someone else. a person who was not me, at the core.

when i landed in america i put my mistakes behind me and reclaimed the shell of the girl i can become. the girl i am down deep who needs a little nurturing and time.  the girl who likes things simple but deep, adventurous but safe, and strong but vulnerable.

my dream in thailand was brilliant and difficult, stretching me and opening my eyes to a world i did not know existed. 
to say i enjoyed my time there would be an understatement. 
i missed home while i was there-- at one desperately sad moment i wanted to leave.  but now that i am safe in my familiar life i find i yearn for thailand. i yearn to fall back into that dream for a while longer.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

sawaidee ka!

sawaidee ka (hello) from thailand!

oh what an adventure it has been. 

monkeys, elephants, tigers, and pandas (oh my!). night bazaars. the spiciest food imaginable (so much so the outside of my lips burned). an assault of a million smells. bungy jumping. an unreal night life. bundles of wires on every street. sky trains. thai massages ($4-6 / hour). wats (temples) of exquisite gold and gems. dragon fruit and mangosteins. traffic that would blow any americans' mind. tuk-tuks. bartering. street food-- seseme balls, rodi, satay, and fried banana on a stick. silk. tropical rain forests and torrential rainstorms.

i'll fill in the gaps when i return.

right now, i'm off to the beach.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


strange, isn't it? how you can miss someone when they are right next to you. 

i once wept curled up with huntman because i missed him. or rather, i knew how much i would miss him. that missing has dulled day after day to now sit idly and peaceably on the back burner.
with his homecoming a skip and jump and 50 days away... 
i am afraid of missing him all over again. of crying when i finally see him, because of how much i missed him. 

today i missed someone before they even left. or rather, before i left. 
perhaps it is because i knew how long it would be until i saw him, or because i know he is not mine to miss... 
but when he said he would miss me i sighed deep inside and returned the sentiment, although i knew i already missed him. i had been missing him for too long to recall.

i hope to clear my head and heart of this man. oh, i really truly do. 
it is for the best-- that things haven't worked out the way he or i would have individually wanted them to-- but it doesn't make it any easier.

i know that when i come home things will be different. i will be different. 

and so tonight i said goodbye to him in more ways than one. 

but tomorrow i will say hello to the other side of the world. 

i'm leaving on a jet plane...

initially i was dreading the 18 hour flight to bangkok. the 9 hour flight to paris 4 years ago nearly made me insane, so double that time locked in an airplane? i figure i would be guaranteed a straight jacket.

but i am surprisingly looking forward to it.
i have an army of entertainment/activities:
2 seasons of friends
prince of persia (mmm jake)
airplane movies
the happiness project
the little bee
say you're one of them
sarah's key
the ensign and scriptorials. 

a memory foam travel pillow (yesss!)
plus my ipod and pink skull candy. 
i'll drown out those baby cries and snores with a little bon iver, ingrid, local natives, or good ol' michael jackson! 

but above all this, i  am mostly excited for time to sit. and think. and write. i'm indulging and buying myself a cute journal for thailand.

i feel like i need to get back to myself. back to the basics. i need space away from this provo life and all the distractions of technology (no phone, indeed) and the complexities of men and my job. 

i need to just be. and realize who i am, who i can be, and what has been holding me back all this time.

my brother, during his quest to convince me to take the leap and go to thailand with him, told me that thailand would do wonders for me-- not just the souvenirs and elephant riding, but the experience of being completely submerged in something so foreign and new. he told me it would change my life.

now perhaps it will, and perhaps it won't. but i pray that when i land in america two weeks from now, i will feel different and changed, that i will be myself through and through and be ready to face whatever comes my way, elephants included.