I think it starts around the time you become incredibly self-aware. All you see is you and your problems and you also think you can see how everyone else can see you.

And with that self-awareness comes your awareness of everyone else around you. You compare and barter with yourself deciding what pieces of other people you want to pick up and what pieces you want to leave behind.

Eventually, you get to an age where you start saying things to yourself, mostly in your head, but sometimes out loud about how "you would do it."

It may not seem like you're planning, but you are. You subconsciously start to plan your life. How you'll "do" college, how you'll "do" relationships and friendships. You make mental notes of things you will definitely buy when "that time" comes. How you'll decorate or build when you have "your home." Everyone does this, for a certain amount of time in their lives. I'm sure some people do it until the day they die.

But when your plans are rejected by something you don't control or can't adjust, your mind starts to shift.

All of those times you would have automatically said to yourself "When I..." and filled in the blank with your subconscious plans, instead of filling in the blank you stop yourself. Because what you thought would never be your reality, is currently your reality. The possibility doors close one at a time and as those doors close the light that once lit your perceived future progressively dims.


Strawberry Days

Maybe it's because strawberries are our favorite fruit. Maybe it's because you can't beat that mountain view. And maybe it's because it's on our "where we fell in love" list. Or maybe we're too lazy to find a new rodeo.
Whatever it is, we haven't missed Strawberry days since we've been together and now we'll be missing it for the next three years. But I'm sure there are other rodeos out there that we will grow to love--maybe. Here's to our last Rodeo, in Utah at least.


Smoothie Pants

This is a story I tell my students in order to encourage them and make them feel better about all of the terrible things that happen to you when you're a teenager. And all the terrible things that still happen to you when you're an adult, despite your efforts to prevent them.

And it goes like this.

Generally on a school morning, I zombie myself to the bathroom to get ready while Tyler hits snooze several times. Then as I dress by the light of my phone flashlight, Tyler zombies out of bed and goes upstairs to make my breakfast and lunch. I know what you're thinking--that is so sweet of him. And the worst of me, because how lazy am I that I can't make my own meals? The answer is v lazy. It is v sweet of him, but it's also because if he didn't I would legitimately waste away slowly and be shriveled into nothing by graduation.

Generally, lunch is one of three: oatmeal, PB&J, granola bar.
Breakfast is also one of three: toast, cereal, smoothie.

On this particular morning, Tyler made me PB&J for lunch and a smoothie for breakfast. He was especially tired so I sent him back to bed with a kiss and a spank.

I sat at the table drinking my smoothie. I suddenly remembered that I had forgotten to grab chapstick (it's a necessity and an addiction). I promptly stood up from the table and as I sidestepped out of the bench my pants caught the tablecloth and began to rip it from it's resting place on the table. I foresaw the disaster with my psychic-like abilities and froze in just enough time so that the smoothie glass didn't move.

"That was close, self," I told myself as I made a mental note not to do that again.


Student Sense

Maybe students have something of a sixth sense.

I had recently sent in my resignation and was feeling pretty sad about it. I love the students part of my job. Anything that has to do with them is what I enjoy. Mostly. Sometimes I hate that they ignore me, or don't turn in assignments, or don't come to cla--okay, that's enough. They are what makes my job worthwhile and enjoyable.

That is why I was feeling sad about leaving. I thought of all the students that I had cared about for so long and all the ones I would miss in the coming years by not being here teaching, and it made me sad.

Now, to their sixth sense. I think they can sense when I'm feeling sad, even from far away. Within a week of handing in my resignation the following went down:

One former student emailed me from across the world and reminded me that I did do something good last year and I had made a small difference in their life.

Another former senior randomly came to visit me after school one day. To say hi and catch up. Awwwww. My heart.

And then I ran into a few of my former seniors at the grocery store (mostly embarrassing) and we hugged and chatted about life recently and the haps.

And then two more seniors came to see me after school one day. At this point I stopped wondering and called Dateline to pitch my student-phenomena theory and the episode they could do on it. They did not return my call.

You see. They must know. They could sense that I didn't want to go and that I felt sad and they came to my rescue! Even though they didn't know they were rescuing me. They reminded me that I had been doing good things the last few years. It wasn't a waste and it was worth all the crap that came with it.

So to those of you who came to my sadness rescue in person and email and spirit, thank you. Thank you for reminding me that it was worth it. You made the last years worth it.


Karate Kick your Face off

And that's pretty much all this post is about.
I have serious RBF. See below:
Also, rat-tail. 

This was a selfie. Obviously I hate the mirror. 

Taking engagement photos. Blurry, but it's still clear what my face is saying.

This was a cheerful day, I promise.

Okay, maybe not. Too many to be a fluke.

Until you see me laugh, this is what you'll most likely get from me. And you probably just think I hate you. And not just you, but everything about you. Clothes, face, voice, personality. Because that's what my face says. And it says it hard.

But what lies underneath that cold, unforgiving exterior is a really funny, fun, laughter-filled, mostly cheerful person. The person that loves to laugh, and laugh loudly, is who I feel like most of the time. Even when I look like I'm about to karate kick someone's face off, I'm usually thinking of something that made me laugh recently, or plotting how to make everyone else laugh. 

Which leads me to believe that if you've never laughed with me, then you don't know me. All you know is that I am quiet (plotting jokes in my head), disinterested (trying to remember what was so funny the other day that made me {almost} pee my pants), and cold (people make me uncomfortable, okay?). 

But as you can see, parenthetically, I'm actually just trying to find a way to make you laugh and not sweat so much because I'm slightly uncomfortable. 

You may now officially change your mind about who you think I am. I am funny! I am nice! I love to laugh!  Here is some proof:

See! Laughing!


Chasing Geese!

That seems really sad that this post was just to make you think I'm not a stone cold Bey-oncĂ©, but I guess that's all it is. Cool. 


O, Winter

O, Winter! 
You are a beast that I cannot tame. 
Your seething, icy jaws 
threaten my joy
But your beauty seduces
even the warmest heart.
I wish for the pause 
of your wretched wrath. 
I wait for a bloom or a clear, dry path.

This is a poem I wrote so that I didn't have to just post this pretty picture I took of Winter a few weeks ago. 


To The BYU Admissions Office

Unabridged and unedited since the day I submitted it. Here is the essay I wrote to convince people that I deserved to be at BYU.

Although I have learned much throughout my fourteen years of formal schooling, some of the most valuable knowledge that I carry with me I have learned through failure.  In high school I failed time after time academically and spiritually.  I tried to fight back using the wrong tools and further failed.  When I arrived at BYU-Idaho, by my standards, I failed in the classes I attended.  I failed to maintain a strong relationship with my family.  I came home for a semester and failed financially at saving enough money for the next year at school.  This pattern continued for about another year. I was surprisingly accepted to attend the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies in August of 2007 and would attend in January of this year and I made a decision.  I decided I would go there and be successful. I promised I would figure out why I was supposed to be there and I would take something more from there than just a few small souvenirs.  I didn't quite know how to prepare for this semester abroad; I wasn't sure what to study and what to read so I didn't do much.  In February, I was sitting in a classroom in Jerusalem and I realized that I had not kept my promise.  I hadn't figured it out, why I was there and what I needed to do.  I had failed, again. So I changed my focus to love.  I made everything I did revolve around love.  Love for my friends, my teachers, that country, those people, the gospel, my Savior and my Heavenly Father.  Everything immediately became harder, but because my motivation was love I knew that I wouldn't fail.  And I didn't.  I learned that if I was driven by a desire to serve others through the love of Christ, I could not fail.  That is why I'm applying to transfer again.  I am motivated, not by money or praise but by love.  I love the school, I love the career I'm pursuing and I am ready for the challenge. I know that if I'm given the opportunity to attend this school I will not fail.

I had forgotten how powerfully I felt at the time that I wanted to be at BYU. That is probably in my Top 5 of things I have fought relentlessly for in my life, until I got them.


Why No One Tells the Truth About Anything

A conversation a while ago sparked another viscernifestation of mine. This one is brilliant. The discussion started talking about an incident that occurs often in my life and I'm sure in the lives of many other people: you have a discussion with someone, they ask you a question either simple or complicated, and you lie. You deemphasize, downplay, and flat out lie when you answer.
I started wondering why people do that. I thought about myself and the questions I answer with lies. Questions like:
How are you liking teaching?
How do you like where you're living?
How are you?
And lies like this: 
Oh, it's great. 
It's a good place. 
Good, how are you?
Okay, sometimes those are the truth, but a lot of the time they are not. As I was talking through this with some people close to me, I wanted to figure out why we tell those lies. Why did I start answering questions like that? Where was that habit rooted? 

I realized that most recently it came from the reactions I would get from people as I was giving honest answers to those questions. 

I told the truth and then started noticing a pattern in the reactions I was getting from people. They were surprised (read: uncomfortably shocked) that I didn't LOVE teaching and that I wasn't raving about how prepared I felt and how easy it came to me. Every time I said something other than "GREAT!" about where I lived or how I was, those I was talking to become visibly uncomfortable. Often pining to change the subject. 

I suppose subconsciously I decided that people didn't want to hear how teaching was really going. Or what I actually felt like that day. I don't know what they wanted but they didn't want to be uncomfortable so I started changing my answers to the short ones seen above. 

And it worked! No one was ever uncomfortable again! Kidding. But people stopped giving me that look that says, "pleasestoptalkingpleasestoptalkingpleasestoptalking."

You know the look. 
Instead they nodded politely, as if pleased with how content we both were lying to each other. So here is some not lying for you.

Sometimes I really don't like my job and I really don't want to go to work. 
Sometimes I get frustrated with my house and that it doesn't have what I think I need. 
And sometimes I'm sad/mad/irate/frustrated/annoyed. 

But so is everyone else, and so are you, and you should just stop making that uncomfortable face and say something nice to people who tell you the truth. 

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