Monday, October 16, 2017
People that have met me in the last few years may know that I am an Aggies fan through and through which sometimes seems a bit odd. I spent my freshman year of college there, and given how long it took me to graduate college, that was barely a drop in the bucket. Not to mention my GPA upon leaving USU was not the best. BUT, there was something about that year that dwarfs the rest of my college experience. Perhaps it was because it was my first time living on my own. Or perhaps because it was the first time I felt like no one was judging me or comparing me to who I was growing up.
Regardless of what it was, this place is home to me. One school year, not even a complete calendar year, that has altered the course of my life for the better.
The friends I made there changed the way I looked at myself. Shortly after I moved back, one of my best friends from high school mentioned that I was a lot more confident. I beamed because confidence is something I have always struggled with. I made friends that knew and appreciated me for me. They liked who I was, which made me want to be myself. They are the friends that I still talk to today, the friends that I value and treasure most in this life. I honestly don't know where I would be without them. The friends I have made since then all know that there is almost nothing I wouldn't do if any of my Logan friends needed help. I
And so, I walked that campus and drove around that city-my city-with newer friends that had only heard about my love for that place. I probably drove them crazy with stories and experiences around almost every corner. From the tabernacle to Old Main, I had a story for every place we drove by and walked in to. I still dream about that place and how much I really would love to return to live there. Sometimes a place just sticks with you. There has only ever been one other place to just stick with me, it's on the east coast, and one day I'll get there too. Because there's nothing better than feeling that wonderful
acceptance. Often, people don't understand why a place of such magnitude that seems so ordinary could hold so much meaning, but it's not about the place, usually. It's about the memories. Even if things change, as they always do. Even if the people that made that place what it is to you aren't there, it will still have an impact, it will still be Home.
Last weekend, I went home.
Monday, June 26, 2017
Any way, I often, especially lately, feel invisible. I have felt invisible to guys for years, especially the guys I have developed feelings for. It really sucks when you fall for someone who barely notices you exist. In some ways, it almost worse than if they just told you they didn't like you and to go away. It's one of those things that is devastating in the long run and, unfortunately, has taught me to keep my distance from people. I actually let few people into my life. I am close to some, but only a very select few have ever seen me cry, or seen me cry when I really had no reason why I was.
This post is getting a little too close for my liking, but I really felt like I needed to share. I don't know, maybe someone reading this also feels invisible, but doesn't know quite what to do about it. Being invisible has it's perks. There was once I just stopped texting my friends first, like, I decided I would not initiate a conversation just to see how long it took some people to notice. This was good for two reasons, 1. It helped me see who among my friends wanted me around. And 2, it helped me not be as clingy or as needy. I can be a needy person, or I feel like I can be. I initiate friendships too often and give of myself too freely at times. It's hard because I tend to be a giving person. I'd give you the shirt off my back if you needed it. And that can be a problem sometimes when you are invisible to people 90 percent of the time. I have a really bad habit of collecting people that just want things from me. I'm an amazing baker and a really good cook, so I have had friends want to hang out with me because of that. I am very giving of my time and energy and have had friends only hang out with me for that. Yet, when I struggle and when I actually need someone, I often find myself completely alone. Pert of it is that I don't really know how to reach out to people. There are times when I need help and I need a friend, but don't want to inconvenience anyone, especially if I feel like my feelings are irrational. I had a friend tell me yesterday that my irrational feelings were still valid feelings and that it was okay to feel them. We need this kind of friend in our lives because it really doesn't matter if we're crying over the end of a TV show, or if we're crying over someone completely ignoring our existence whether on purpose or not. All of those feelings came from somewhere. All of that emotion is valid.
Which brings me back to feeling invisible. I promise you, you're not invisible. Not to the people that really matter. And trust me, sometimes you feel like no one truly sees you and it sucks and it's hard. I get it. I have been there so many times I don't even try to keep track. But you're so strong. And you just haven't found the people that will truly see you. They're coming, I promise you that. Hold on to that hope. Hold on for just a little bit longer. I find myself saying that when things get really hard. Hard things make you stronger, and when things feel uncomprehensibly hard and you really don't want to be stronger, that's when the really awesome things start happening . So, please, just hang on a little bit longer, okay? Because you're amazing. And if you're thinking 'But Sooz, you don't even know me', that may be true, but I have felt invisible a lot and it always gets better. Sometimes it takes longer than you'd like, but it does get better, I promise you that.
And to finish up, here's a great music video that fits with the theme of this post!
Monday, May 22, 2017
My brother and his family came over today and I asked two of my nephews if they wanted to make cookies with me. They eagerly said yes and ran to the kitchen to help. I used to dislike cooking with kids because it always seems to take longer and be messier, but lately I really have grown to love it. The three year old, who thinks he is Batman - so that is what I will call him here, wanted to help dump the ingredients into the bowl and smell the cookie dough as it mixed in the mixer. It was adorable, and his nine year old brother was the same. They were eager to help and really wanted to taste the dough at each stage, which I did not permit because cookie dough doesn't taste good until it's done.
After I put a batch of cookies in the oven Batman wanted to watch them cook, so I went to help him down from the stool he was sitting on and he defiantly said "No! I can just jump off because I'm Batman!" and then proceeded to jump off the stool and run over to the oven to watch the cookie dough "melt".
It is these small little moments that remind me why I love being an aunt so much. It's the messes in the kitchen and the jumping and playing that makes each moment with them so precious. Before long they'll be all grown up and won't want to bake cookies with me anymore. They won't even want to come visit. And I'll wish I had enjoyed those moments more with them when I could. How quickly life passes us by! How quickly those moments slip through our fingers!
Thankfully, Batman is only three and will, hopefully, love making cookies with me for a long long time because he's such a fun kid to have help.
I have been working on a novella lately. It might become a novel, I don't know. I haven't decided yet. There's definitely enough material to make it a novel, but it's a fairy tale, so I kind of wanted to keep it shorter. But it has unlocked so much of LIGHTS background and history. And it's only expanding further and further. It's amazing!! I thought I'd give you a little taste of it, so here you go!
Little background, because this is literally the middle of a chapter that is not at the beginning...Ethne is Cinderella and Keegan is the prince, but Ethne doesn't know he's the prince because he's pretending to be a commoner and is working in a blacksmith shop. He is from a kingdom that can control fire (hence the blacksmith shop) and was the first person Ethne met when she found herself in Solais, which is the kingdom Ian (in LIGHTS) is from. Ethne is training to be a warrior, which she was destined to be because her mother was also a warrior. The warrior's belong to a group called The Order.
Sunday, April 16, 2017
And then one year it wasn't. One year I suddenly didn't care if I got a bag of candy, or if we had an Easter egg hunt in the back yard where all my nieces and nephews could go find them. All at once it actually meant something. It could have been the year and a half I spent as a missionary for my church. It could have been that I was reading my scriptures and happened upon the best Easter scriptures right around that time of year. I don't remember exactly when it happened, I just know now that it did happen.
Over the last year I have been broken in so many ways. My head, my heart, my soul, my strength have all been challenged, bruised and broken. And yet I have lived through it all. I have been strengthened by a force beyond my own. I have been lifted and healed by the grace of God. I have found solace in the words of the prophets. I have lived through it and come out stronger than I went in. And it has just solidified my love for my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.
A few years ago my church posted a video gearing up for Easter, and it still brings me to tears. I thought I'd share it.
Monday, April 3, 2017
A few months ago, my parents were asked to help with a different congregation a few miles away, so I attended alone. For the first time in a very long time, I attended all of my church meetings alone. And I felt the responsibility to sit on the family pew. Never mind it is a rather long pew for just one person to sit on, but I still felt it my duty to sit there and share it if anyone needed a place to sit through services.
A few times, I did not get there early enough and someone else did not know, apparently, that THAT was MY PEW. I honestly felt a little betrayed. How could they NOT know that we have always, ALWAYS sat there! As long as this church building has been standing! So, I was determined to get there earlier. And I did. And I sat on the family pew. Several people even commented on my dedication to sitting there without my family and I'd tell them, "32 years we've sat on this pew, and we'll sit here at least 32 more." I believed my own words at the time.
Because, you see, I am leaving that congregation. I'm moving to a new one a little further away. One that probably has that pew on the west side, second from the back, but I don't know if it will be the same. In fact, I know that it won't be. Change is in the air, you see, and whether I like it or not, nothing will ever be the same again.
I've had so many changes come this year, and it's been great, but it's also been hard. Sometimes I like knowing that at least one thing isn't going to change, even if that one thing is where I sit for church on Sunday. But we don't always get what we want. And it's time to let go and see where the wind takes me.
I've already seen so many amazing things happen in my life in the last 3 months, and I know there's still more to come. I'm excited and nervous and anxious, but mostly, I'm hopeful. Because sometimes change is a good thing. So, I said goodbye to my pew and am choosing to look forward to something new. I have hope for the first time in a long time. Good things are on the way, my friends. Good things are on the way.
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
It all started last Wednesday when I got to work and realized I was feeling a bit off. My shoulders were a little achy, I had a bit of a headache and that general feeling of my good health slipping through my fingers. I knew I was coming down with something, but I still felt great and went about my day, pretending that I didn't feel anything out of the ordinary. In fact, I felt perfectly fine until that night when I found myself laying on the floor watching TV shivering, and not from laying on the actually warm carpet. I got up, warmed up my corn bag, put it in the foot of my bed, and got ready for sleep. Three hours earlier than usual. But if sickness was coming, I was going to meet it head on and nip it in the bud. I don't have time for sickness and needed to minimize it as much as possible.
I ended up with three more blankets ony bed and shivering through the night. I could barely move when I woke up. I had that lovely stomach bug that had been going around. It only lasts a day, but it, what a day it is. And for the first time in, like, five years, I called in sick.
My coworker told me the next day that he knew I must have been practically dead to call in, it happens so rarely. So, I lounged about that day, mostly tried to recoup and think well thoughts. And I thought I had kicked it! Great! I went back to work on Friday and worked most of the day.
By the end, hiwever, I was exhausted and just felt fatigued and left a little early. I had dinner with my family and was determined to rest up the renainder of the evening so I could do all the things I needed to that weekend. Oh, how God laughs when we make plans.
I woke up feeling nauseated around 2 AM, and knew that something wasn't right. I spent a majority of that night on the floor of my tiny bathroom. My head was pounding and I could barely move. It must be that stomach bug, back for round 2.
My mom came to check on me, thinking it was just the flu, but I watched concern creep into her eyes as I sat, huddled on the edge of the bathtub peeking through my fingers because my head hurt so much. She offered me some Coke, thinking that if my stomach would calm, the headache would go away and we could get me rehydrated. It took her almost an hour to coax me out of the bathroom and onto the couch were I was instructed to sip both the Coke and a Gatorade in regular intervals. But I couldn't sip them. As soon as I did, they would come right back. I couldn't keep anything down, but was finally able to sleep, curled in a ball, for about four hours, which felt heavenly, until I woke up to the same excruciating pain I'd left before I slept. It wouldn't go away and I crawled my way back to my room, feeling rather sloth like. I couldn't stand because if I did, I'd lose my balance. So, slow crawling it was.
I couldn't watch any shows on my computer because the screen hurt my eyes. I hated the light being on, but I hated the feeling of loneliness even more in the cold dark basement.
So the light stayed on and my mom kept me company on the room next to mine. She worked on sewing projects and I would try to make her laugh. Because I like it when my mom is happy. But everytime she'd come by my door and see me lying there hurting so much, the worry would come back and she'd check her watch to see if I could take morepain killers or not.
Sunday came much like Saturday, with me on the side of the bathtub cradling my eyes because my head still hurt so much. I remember at some point during the night pleading with God to take the pain away. Or at the very least help me understand it. I am used to His answers and the need to wait for them, but I thought surely this time He would make an exception and I'd have an answer. It peace. Something. ANYTHING. But, my answer didn't come that night, in fact I'm pretty sure I'm still waiting for it. Those answers, the quiet pleadings of our hearts, you know the ones, that are every bit of our souls and every scrap of faith we've got left. We throw it all into that prayer of pleading and then sit. Hoping for an answer. For my part, there were more than a number of tears shed, and not just from the pain, though there were plenty to of those too.
There were the silent prayers I did not hear that I know where said on my behalf. The pleading for understanding and how to help this poor soul crying on her cold, dark bathroom floor. They don't go unanswered, you know. Not a tear is shed that isn't accounted for. But what would we learn if at the first sign of pain our loving white Knight came swooping in? How helpful would that really be for us? It would be nice, but we wouldn't learn.
And so, Sunday morning came and I had now gone three days without keeping any food or liquid down. I had counted those sixteen floor tiles over and over and over again from every angle. I knew each detail in the bathtub non slip decals. I was in the routine of walking in, placing my glasses on the edge of the sink so they wouldn't get dirty. I had become a pro at washing my hands from my knees so I wouldn't get nauseous again. And I even found a semi comfortable spot on the door to lay my head when I just couldn't move any further.
Have you ever watched a parent's heart break for their child? I'm pretty sure I did. My mom, who was fighting a cold herself, would check on me throughout the day. She came home from church and without even taking off her coat came down to check on me. And the worry deepend. She was anxious for me to make any small improvements, buy I didn't. I stayed consistently the same, if not a little worse.
The excruciating pain that I tried to minimalize and pretend to sleep through was not fooling anyone. There was no sleeping through it. There were boughts of exhaustion filled with the craziest dreams I've EVER had, which is saying something. And more of the same. That afternoon, I prayed another pleading prayer up to God begging for anything. ANYTHING that I could do or say that would take this pain away. And again, the heavens fell silent.
That night was darker than the others. I didn't see myself getting better. Normally there's some change, but not with this. I saw no hope. Now, I know what you're thinking, 'Really, Suz, that was what, like, two days?! Come on. Surely it couldn't have been THAT bad', and you're right, it wasn't a long duration to this point, but I had a sickness that was not going away and I was at a loss what to do.
My mom came to me at about 5 in the morning asking for my insurance information so she could find a doctor that would see me that morning. She was not going another day through this and I guided her to what she wanted and collapsed back onto my bed. By 9 she had the day off of work and an appointment for me at 11. I hadn't washed my hair in about 4 days at this point, maybe 5. My glasses were filthy and I literally grabbed whatever clothes were closest to me. It ended up being an old t-shirt and jeans with holes ripped in them. I could not have looked more homeless if I tried. But I just didn't care, the pain was the only thing on my mind.
We went back to the exam room and I sat there, head in my hands because it was so bright and my head hurt so much. The doctor came in and kind of looked over the scene. I'm sure he was wondering if I was completely there mentally. But after a few questions I could see the wheels start to turn in his head and he was trying to figure out the strange puzzle before him.
It was not the stomach bug I thought wouldn't leave me alone, but a really awesome migraine that wasn't letting go. I left with a prescription that would hopefully get me on my way to recovery.
This is where the lesson comes in. Pain sucks. It does. There's no way around it. There's nothing inherently good about it. But isn't it funny the things we learn through it? Some of the happiest people I've ever met have been through the most excruciating experiences. This experience was very small for me, really. But it made me stop and take a look at my life. Do I only pray when I need help? Do I pray only to be heard? My prayer wasn't answered your I wanted it to, but it was answered. I did find our what was happening to me, and even how to get rid of it.
This could be the start of a bigger lesson for me, though never know, but I am grateful that I know that my suffering is never in vain or without purpose. I am often reminded of my favorite scripture in Alma 7:11-13
"11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me."
Jesus Christ suffered for ALL of us, for EVERYTHING we'd experience. The good, bad, and ugly. And he did that so he could succor, or run to the aid of, us. How wonderful is that?! Someone that loves you, personally, that much. He is right there with us. Always. And forever
Friday, January 13, 2017
In other news, have you guys heard of a bullet journal? I'm intrigued by the concept and have thought about starting one. I have a hard enough time coming up with things to blog about....well, to find time to blog about. I come up with topics every day and most of them get filed away in the back of my mind and at first they hope that I'll pull the file out again later, but it really hasn't happened yet...one day, perhaps. But the joy of bullet journaling is that it is meant to be a quick thing that reminds you of your life, and who doesn't need that. We may not want to remember things, but we need to. They help us to remember the struggles in life. The wait before something great happens in your life. It's excruciating, but it's necessary. And I want to do better at remembering it!
I am also starting another project. Another! I was baking for the holidays, enjoying the very busy week I had had. Writing, job interviews and the like, and in the middle of Cinderella, you know, the one that came out in 2015 with Lilly James, so I'm in the middle when the princes comes running to save her in the forest and he doesn't tell her who she is and this whole fairy tale unfolded in my mind. But it wasn't the classic one I grew up with. There wasn't actual magic or a fairy godmother, per se. There was the basic details of Cinderella with a twist. It took place in Solais and is a story Ian grew up with. Then, my mind just started going at a million miles an hour with a whole series of fairy tales with a Solais twist. It's actually helping me expand the universe I started to create when I started writing LIGHTS. This is giving the whole world more depth and character. Cinderella will take place in both Solais and a neighboring kingdom that controls fire in the same manner that Solais controls light. Cool, no? It is. It is cool. And there's a masquerade and Cinderella can't stand the prince at first and he can't stand her and they fall for each other without realizing who the other is. It's brilliant. There's also ballet involved and just a wonderful wonderful story that I can not wait to tell you about!!
And then, while I was binge watching some Hallmark movies, because I am sha
melessly addicted to them, I was watching one and this guy keeps popping up in them and I found him intriguing and so I went to find all of the hallmark movies he's in. Because I have, like, all of them. I wish I was joking, but I'm not. And I watched, like, four hallmark movies that he's in. I'm pretty sure that I want him to be a prince in one of my stories. Because everything I write, I write as if it were going to be made into a movie. Often when I describe a character, I am describing an actual person that I would like to portray that character at some point. And I would LOVE to have both Andrew Walker (the guy from all the hallmark movies) and Blake Lively in one of my fairy tales. And Anna Kendrick. I could go on and on. But I'll leave you with this very rough beginning to Cinderella:
Like I said, ROUGH rough draft. But, It's a start. So, there's still some other exciting stuff happening, but I can't tell you about it just yet. So, in the mean time, listen to this song. It aptly sums up how I feel about life right now. It's called So Close and it's from Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness and he wrote it last year when he felt like all of these amazing things were just around the corner.