Thursday, May 28, 2015

Life As A College Graduate

I'm not going to do the thing that everyone does.
I'm not going to give you a list of things that is different in my life since I graduated college.
I'm not going to do that for a couple of reasons, but mostly because nothing is different.
It just feels like it's the end of spring semester and somehow I made it through my finals again, not knowing how or when or why I decided to take such challenging classes.
The only real difference was putting on a fancy cap and gown with a nice little addition of white fringe and a cute little satin-y green stole around my neck.
And instead of leaving UVU on my last day ready to enjoy the summer just like every other year, I sat through a boring ceremony celebrating all of my "academic achievements," or so they called them, where wonderful awards were given out to people that I have never before seen - which honestly had me questioning if I should even be graduating.
Then there were amazing people giving phenomenal speeches and reciting unbelievable poems with incredibly insightful themes and alarmingly large words that I had to really think about to understand (like that last sentence).
It was quite the afternoon activity and by the end of it all I could think about was not that I had finished something that I had dedicated the last four years of my life to, but how unthinkably STARVING I was.

See me? I'm the one with the hair. 

But, I had this realization a few days prior to the whole ordeal: I am going to be a college graduate in two days, I will be 22 in one month, and I will be attending a One Direction concert where I will undoubtedly be screaming louder than the thousands of 13 year-olds around me. That is not to say that I am ashamed of the choice I have made to attend, but thats a little shaming, right? Yeahhh... you're right. It's not. I don't know why I even thought about that to begin with.
And so I'm not going to sit here and go on and on about all the things in my life that have changed because, like I said, nothing has.
HOWEVER... the lives of those around me have and I started to let that get me down. Like, guys, people are having babies and getting married. Let me tell you what... my BFF Kasee is getting married in a month and that is weird for me.
And then, I was talking to my family about how weird I felt about all these people around me being happy in their full-time jobs with benefits, and the marriage thing, and the baby thing, and the general moving on with life thing, and how great and "fun" they all think it is. And my brother-in-law says: "See, marriage is great. And having a baby is very rewarding. But I always thought that single life was 'fun'. It's freedom." And I was like "WHOA"
I'm pretty sure that the single life is the best life. Knowing that I am living a life untethered by school, a significant other, or another HUMAN LIFE is just so nice and relaxing and liberating. That is not to say that married/motherhood life isn't great because I'm sure it is. I just don't know it. It's so foreign to me.
Being single presents me with so many opportunities, guys.
I get to spend all the money I want - like $200 on shoes more than once a month.... don't judge what you do not understand
I get to go to Vegas and experience the world of clubbing and alcohol - Let me tell you what, I know the world. I am a cultured woman (don't worry I didn't drink).
I get to go to one million concerts alone or with whomever I dang well please
I get to stay up as late as I want OR go to bed as early as I want
I get to go on spontaneous road trips and sing until my throat hurts and laugh until my tummy aches
I get to do all of the best things that I love
I get to travel the world and go to museums and hang out with my cat and my mom and all the other "pathetic" things. ITS WHATEVS.
I won't lie to you, I am going to miss UVU so so so much. I love it there and it's going to be the strangest transition not going back to school in the fall... but I love not having to deal with a paper hanging over my head ever again. And I love being able to sleep in. And I love doing all the things that I love doing.
Hey. Trust me, I know what I'm talking about. I'm a college graduate.

Friday, October 17, 2014

If you MUST know

I've just been doing so many things lately:
  • Park city is just as quaint and charming as it always is. 

  • Getting my hair done is the best
    The salon I go to seriously pampers me. I love them all. Plus it helps that the amazing girlie that does my hair is the BEST. It always turns out better than I expect it to!
  • I love weddings and everything to do with them.
    Love is the best. Still waiting for someone to realize how amazing I am and fall in love with me so I can have grilled cheeses and donuts at my wedding too. 

  • I've already read way too many books for only being in school for like 1.5 months.
    8 to be exact. "East of Eden," "The Sleepwalkers," "The Awakening," "Testament of Youth," "Winesburg Ohio," "Poetry of the First World War," "The Sound and the Fury," and "All Quiet on the Western Front." It's dumb. They're all amazing but... it's dumb.
  • I love having candy dumped on me while "Pour Some Sugar on Me" is being sung by all those surrounding me!

  • Tegan and Sara are amazing in concert and I love them with all my heart and KATY PERRY HONESTLY IS A GODDESS PERFECT ANGEL QUEEN PRINCESS.
    I mean look at these photos I (and others) have captured. 

  • I almost got abducted by homeless people.
    Basically, we got stuck on 5th west in Salt Lake at 1:00 in the morning. That should tell you enough. It's a big story for me and I'm surprised I don't tell it better.
  • Typing on a typewriter is soothing.
    I especially love it when I'm listening to some Ella on my record player and my little kitty is sitting nearby (P.S. I had just finished a note-y note so no paper in the typewriter... that's embarrassing).

  • On that same note: The best sound in the world is the scratch of needle meeting vinyl before a song starts. Try it some time. You will, no doubt, agree.
  • My only friend is music, lately.
    Some stellar people have given me great suggestions as to what to listen to, so keep them coming because I have literally LOVED all of them thus far. 
  • This semester has literally just been marathons of reading and taking notes with an occasional bowl of ice cream thrown in here & there to keep me sane. I spend all of my time at UVU now. It's amazing.

  • My BFF turned 21 this last weekend and I love her with all my heart.
    To celebrate, we went to a pub in SLC and ordered some traditional pub food (except she didn't) which consisted of Fish n Chips and Bangers and Mash. Both were FAB so check out Piper Down if you're over 21 and are in the Salt Lake area. It's delicious. (Birthday Girl in second photo). 

  • I'm starting to get a complex because there are literally 3 people who ever talk to me: the two people in the above photos and mama Kerri. That's upsetting. I'm starting to think I stole the title of Undesirable No. 1 right out from under Mr. Harry Potter.
Well there you have it, folks.
That's my life. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

the perks of being gloomy

One of my favorite things is to ask people the following question:
Have you ever been so incredibly and perfectly happy that you almost feel sad?
Most times, I get puzzled looks followed quickly by looks of deep concentration and usually they agree. 
Let me explain my reasoning before I lose you all. 
The sadness and melancholia is due to the fact that I know that I will never be that happy again (or it will just be a WHILE before I feel such bliss again), and that there is just not enough time to soak it all up. There is not enough time for it to consume me and there is certainly not enough time for me to appreciate it. 
Like I said, these days are few and far between and sneak up on you almost out of nowhere. But, my oh my, are they wonderful. 
I enjoy these types of days so immensely and I wait for them so impatiently that I didn't even think about switching that question around. 
Have you ever been so incredibly and perfectly sad that you almost feel happy?
Cue the puzzled looks. 
I know it sounds crazy. I'm sure some of you are still trying to figure out the first one. 
I can honestly tell you that I had never thought about it... until today. 
Bear with me, here, as I dive into my thoughts and feelings of the last few days. 
Recently, I have been feeling detached and - if we're being honest - a little invisible. Not in the extreme depression sense, just a little out of the loop. And shockingly, it's been refreshing. I've kept to myself and really just explored who I really am. But after a while it started feeling frustrating and hopeless. All I want is to figure myself out and get my life together, ya know? Growing up is hard work. 
But today... OH TODAY. 
I woke up and felt right. You catching my drift? 
For the first time in days I felt my whole world shifting back into place. And not in a place I really recognized, but I knew was good. Like a new place that is so happy and is so perfect. 
Guys I know how crazy this sounds. Stay with me for a little longer. 
I just felt at peace. And there's no question that there has been some serious help from my Heavenly Father, because DUH. I tell you what, there was a lot of help from Him in various forms: scriptures, family, friends (I have the best friends and family), neighbors, ward members, the list goes on and on. And I am so incredibly thankful for Him and all he does for me. I can't even put into words how undeniably thankful I am to Him for today. 
With that said, today was a day I have been needing for some time now. 
So, yes. I have been so incredibly and perfectly sad that I felt happy! 
And now that I'm reflecting on it, I realize that "sad" is the wrong word. "Gloomy" will do much better. 
Preface: I run the risk of sounding like an extreme hippie but who cares. 
I got up and immediately started reading a book I have had my eyes on for some time now. Good time to get your pen and paper out to jot down this title. Honestly, it will change your whole life. 
"The Diving Bell and The Butterfly" 
Without ruining the entire thing, I will tell you that the editor of French Elle wrote the most poignant and beautifully tragic memoir about losing control of his entire life, quite literally. 
It was EXACTLY what I needed. It was the perspective I have been looking for. While Jean-Dominique Bauby's circumstances are extreme, I realized in reading this book that I have taken for granted a lot life's simple pleasures. So as I continued to live out my day I celebrated the simple things.
I opened my window and allowed the aroma of the rain-drenched trees to flow inside my stuffy room. I dusted off my forgotten record player and found some vinyl in which the artist poetically composed something that reached inside me and perfectly expressed what I'd been feeling. I remembered my lowest moment and discovered how far I have truly come. I let myself feel helpless and afraid and then allowed myself to recognize just how content I really am.  
I had the most splendidly gloomy day filled with all of my favorite things (besides donuts). 
Now as I sit here, on my gloriously comfy bed, listening to Paul McCartney singing my most favorite song of all time ("Hey Jude") behind the scratchy sound of needle meeting vinyl, I am secretly hoping for you all to experience one of these days. Because it is the most therapeutic and phenomenal experience. 
Read that book and listen to the "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" soundtrack (that's the one that I was listening to earlier). Or do whatever you need to do to enjoy the little things. 
You'll thank me later. 
Now I am off to write some letters and look at some pictures.
Love love. 


P.S. I'm pretty sure the hippies were on the right track. Peace and love. LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Donuts = Happiness

My life motto:
But, recently I found out that I need to "lay off the gluten."
I went to the the Dr., diagnosed myself with cancer before the he even came into the exam room, and had some blood sucked out of my body - which they apparently tested for a gluten allergy (and other things I guess). You should know that I am not partial to gluten intolerances. I hate that it's such a fad lately. Like... you can't just decide you don't want gluten anymore. I don't understand how people can just do that.
That has got to be the craziest thing I have ever heard of. Who in their right mind would be okay with no longer eating donuts, dinner rolls, donuts, croissants, donuts, cake, or donuts?
Here's the thing, I know that people seriously have a problem with the gluten. 
But I have never had an issue with gluten. Meaning, my body has never had an issue. So what the heck?! Why, all of the sudden, does my tummy hate me for eating things with flour in them?
So as the Dr. is discussing how that is what it probably is, I'm like: "Ok wow, listen Dr. I respect you. You are a doctor and whatnot. But, here's the thing. I CAN'T have a gluten intolerance because... donuts." He just looked at me and said "no more donuts." Cue the saddest girl in the world.
So here's what I've been doing since the very grim diagnosis (or the chance of being diagnosed with gluten intolerance). I have been researching foods with gluten in them and foods without. 
I have come across MANY lists. Lists that tell me you can't have: wheat, barley, rye, etc. You can have: rice, quinoa, veggies, etc. 
So I'm convinced that the MayoClinic and various other websites are out to get me. 
They have got to be. They have got to be making my life hard. Second guessing myself. 
Honestly, the question I have been asking myself for the past 48 hours: is giving up donuts worth it? I mean would I rather eat a donut and have the pain or should I just give them up and not ever have to deal with a painful tummy? THE QUESTION OF THE CENTURY, FOLKS.
So here's the thing. I haven't been able to find snacks that are delicious.
So if any of you have any suggestions, I'm completely open to them. 
Also, let's all pray that I seriously don't have a gluten intolerance and that this doesn't go on for much longer cause I'm already losing my mind.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hey UT! You're pretty cool!

These past few weeks have been truly unbelievable.
I've experienced so much of my own state and I can't believe I was missing out on it before.
It actually kind of makes me bugged that I've been just wasting away my time doing NOTHING when Utah has SO MUCH TO OFFER.
Moral: Get out and do things, guys. It's worth it.
Here's just a couple things I've been up to lately.
  1. Le Spiral Jettay (which is really just The Spiral Jetty).
    I tell you what... Robert Smithson... that amazing son-of-a-gun. Did he know how to create environmental art or what? I was in awe the entire time I was there. It was magnificent.

  2. Wedding!
    I had the opportunity to photograph the best wedding on earth (see previous post). It was so much fun and the pics turned out WAY better than I thought they would (because I'm honestly not that great). BTW I'm a picture-putter-upper-repeater. I don't care. You won't see anymore until the happy couple does.

  3.  21.
    I mean, whatchu know about that sideways drivers license life? Guys, it's unbelievably bizarre that that license is now horizontal. Plus taking a new, less brace-facey, picture was a definite perk. Except for the fact that the picture turned out almost as tragic as my sad 16th birthday pic was. Oh man.. I left that DMV extremely defeated. Like, "WHAT DID I JUST DO?!" It didn't reeeeaaaallyyy help that Ross' (my extremely infuriating car) AC was fighting with me that fateful day. I was yucky, sweaty, red-faced, and annoyed. DMV workers are mean, and the letter that I received told me to bring 1 million forms of I.D., my credit card, my social security card, a vile of my blood, a phoenix's tail feather, 6 letters of recommendation, a human being who will personally tell them I deserve a license renewal (FaceTime will suffice as well), and one of my cat's hairs. In reality, all I needed was my current license and MAYBE two other things, I think. Honestly, those letters are scary and make you think you're selling your soul to the government, but like it's the easiest thing ever.   
  4. SLC PEPPER. Such a fun mural. Takes me back to my days in London (haha like it was decades ago or something). I bought this very record there (SGT. Peppers) and have listened to it way too many times. I was thrilled to find this mural and of course taking a picture in front of it was a NO BRAINER.

  5. Concerts.
    I have been able to attend a couple concerts this summer and they have been glorious. The first was American Authors, The Script, and One Republic. Although we missed the entire first act, the show was a smashing success. There were, however, a few minor setbacks. Ok one major setback. I threw my back out. Yes, I know. The questions: "HOW?" and "ARE YOU KIDDING?" have got to be running through your heads right now. The answers? "I don't know" and "No. I am most certainly not kidding." This story is my best material right now. So if you run into me around town make sure to ask about it... it will blow your mind.
    The second concert was my best thing. Kiss and Def Leppard. As most of you know Def Leppard is my childhood. I grew up listening to them and I am convinced I am their biggest fan (besides mama Kerri of course). I am always worried when we go to their concert that it will be their last.. but then Joe always calms my troubled heart by saying the best 6 words I will ever hear. "THERE WILL BE A NEXT TIME." Those words are music to my ears and starts the saving for the front row seats which will inevitably be hundreds of dollars.

  6. Compliance Invasion.
    SOOOO IN A GOOD WAY, FRIENDS. The inbound ladies have come to the compliance office. It's so fun. They are so cute. I feel like an oldie though cause they are seriously 18 and stoked for life. I'm like "should I tell them growing up is terrible? Should I tell them to savor every precious morsel of living at home and not worrying about paying bills/being an adult?" And I'm only 21, friends! Wow. But seriously, they're so fun. They all better stick around cause my work friends keep leaving me. Except one of them told me I was intimidating today and so now I think I should smile more and be nice to people. But my relationship with humans is so love/hate. How I feel about them changes with every passing moment (except for the ones I like, obviously). 
  7. Clubbing.
    That one was just meant to draw your attention. I don't go clubbing. Mostly because ew, but partly because I am the OLDEST OF MY FRIENDS. It's terrible. So when Kasee turned 21 I was like "ooo ooo let's go to the club! Or the pub! Either one will do." The excitement of sitting at the bar is totally gone since I was able to do that last year at all the pubs in Europe (legal age is 18). But I seriously don't even do that. No drinking the alcohol over here. That's lame. Plus I hear it's nasty even though some of those fruity drinks look yummy. NOPE. Anyway to celebrate miss Kasee's 21 years of life we ventured to the city, pretended it was Paris, and found a pretty little book mural. A security guard claimed "no photos" but I have seen A LOT. So "WHATEVER, GUY!" I took some anyway. He can't take those away from me. Then we went to the best little diner. Blue Plate Diner. If you haven't been, go. They have the BEST burgers and from what I heard, the BLTA is phenomenal and the grilled cheese is a HOMERUN.

That's all for now, folks. I'll keep you posted on the extremely interesting aspects of my life... If anything remotely interesting should happen, seriously, you'll all be the first to know!