Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A True Miracle

This time one year ago Brant and I were in the middle of a two-week halt of all things wedding, at the wise suggestion of my mother, in hopes of figuring things out, or recovering, or something like that (the real reason is a little unclear, since it was later learned that we both had very differing ideas about the purpose of that 2 week hiatus). That led to the wedding being "postponed," and then finally canceled for good. There were many songs that related in one way or another to how I felt at the end of our relationship , but the one that will probably always be my "Brant Breakup Theme Song" is Better in Time by Leona Lewis.

Thought I couldn't live without you.
Its gonna hurt when it heals to.
All I know is it will all get better in time.

And it did.

Tonight I realized that Heavenly Father has mercifully worked a great and true miracle. He healed me. In less than a year. When I think about Brant, it doesn't hurt. In fact, I don't think about him much at all. I'm not haunted by countless unanswered questions and insecurities - and believe me I was left with plenty after what I thought was going to last forever came painfully crashing down. Heavenly Father mercifully, and quickly, taught me, gave me answers to my questions, and healed me. That is a true miracle.

The line "Its gonna hurt when it heals too" is still true. If I were to really think about it in depth and replay certain scenes in my head, I would feel it. But I actually find it very difficult to even do that. The memories are there, but its like there is a veil in my mind that makes them sort of fuzzy and hard to reach. The scars are real, but scars is all they are - a new part of me that will always be there as a reminder of past pain, but no longer bleeding, no longer painful.

I could go on and describe specific evidences of Heavenly Father's mercy and love in all of this, but I don't feel like this is the place for that. But trust me, there are plenty and they are real. Its hard for me to even comprehend how much He must love me to take care of me like He has.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Finished!

Finals are over! This crazy semester is over! I did it! I survived! And I think it turned out pretty good!

After a good scare with one of my classes involving a very misleading grading system, I feel confident that despite this being the heaviest load I've ever taken, I somehow managed to keep my GPA right up where I want it. Both semesters this year have ended with me in absolute awe at how the Lord has taken care of me and gotten me through it. I feel that my final grades really are miraculous. I don't know how I did it. I know that the Lord blesses those who put him first and serve him, but I've felt so many times this year like I haven't served him enough. But still he blesses me. I'm truly amazed.

My life this school year has been a roller coaster to say the least. In a matter of months - perhaps even weeks - I experienced some of the happiest moments and some of the most difficult of my life. I felt exhaustion of body, mind, and spirit like I didn't know was possible. I had the life sucked out of me and it took all my strength to painfully take it back. I can't even begin to measure the lessons I learned. Most of them I still haven't figured out how to fabricate into words, and many of them I don't think I've even realized yet. I found myself amazed at the love shown to me by my family and friends, and I learned what love isn't.
I felt that I became disconnected from those I serve for a time, but then, miraculously, I learned that I still made a difference. I finally got my very own paid-my-tithing-and-got-a-miracle story! I learned how to find the right road to make things happen in the performing arts world. I got to honor a lost friend and feel a special closeness to her from beyond the veil. I gained new confidence in myself in a lot of areas, but sadly lost it in other areas and I'm still trying to recover from that. The list could go on and on. I can't begin to describe the year its been. I'm relieved that its over, but more so I am amazed that Heavenly Father got me through it. I didn't do it myself. I couldn't have.

Up next: Two and a half weeks of full-time working and intense job searching, followed by an easy peasy five-week summer term, and then... heaven only knows (literally)!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Random Updates

First of all, aren't you proud of me? I'm blogging! I decided there's a lot going on in my life and I should jump on a quiet Sunday evening to fill in my faithful and deprived followers.

In three months I will be done with school. FOREVER! On July 2nd I will take my last final EVER! It brings joy to the very depths of my soul just to think of it. I'm already scheming all the ways I will fill up my time doing things I want to do, not things my professors want me to do. This current semester might kill me yet, but once I get through it the worst will definitely be over. All I'll have left is Yoga and Art History - both classes I'm very excited about. I'll take them both in the first five-week summer term, but I won't technically graduate until August 15th. I'm hoping to move away from College Station and find a job right after finishing classes in July and take a trip back to walk the stage in August.

On that note, I'm looking for a job. I'd be happy with anything in the performing arts, but would ideally like to be at an opera company in either the Artistic or Education departments. Ideal locations are anywhere in Texas, Virginia/DC area, or close to siblings, but I'll go wherever I get hired. I've applied for a couple positions, but I'm at a major disadvantage at this point because I can't start immediately. Also, its a hard time for the arts (and nonprofits in general, for that matter). People have less to give, and opera companies rely on gifts for around 70% of their budget. The company I interned with is on a hiring freeze or else I would have a very good chance of going to work there. I'm hoping and praying to have a job lined up as soon as I graduate. I feel very strongly that it is time for me to get out of College Station.

As far as the present, I am definitely in race-to-the-finish mode. My Senior Project culminates two weeks from tomorrow with the concert I'm organizing start to finish: "A Celebration of Mary Beth Farmer." Mary Beth was a close friend of mine and fellow Music major who was killed shortly after graduating last spring. The concert will feature performances by faculty and students of the department who have volunteered to participate (including me). The program has shaped up very nicely and I'm confident it will suit its purpose perfectly and be well attended. However, I have a lot of work left to do and the clock is ticking! On top of that, I have papers, projects,
reading, tests, and a somewhat absurd amount of church activities. Am I going to sleep in April? All signs point to not much.

On a high note, I get my Aggie Ring in 12 days! People who aren't familiar with the tradition might think its weird to be so excited about getting a college class ring, but anyone who knows anything about the Aggies knows that the Aggie ring is a big deal! Its a symbol of Aggie values and unites the Aggie family throughout the world throughout their lives. An unofficial tradition is to "earn your right" to wear the ring by "dunking" it in a pitcher of beer and chugging it until you catch the ring in your teeth. Of course I won't be chugging any beer, but we Mormon kids have our own little tradition of trying to come up with the most creative substitute. My roommate is getting her ring the same day as me, and we have decided we will dunk ours together in Martinelli's - sparkling apple for me, and sparkling grade for Heather. My mom is even coming to witness the festivities and stay for parents weekend and through to the concert. I'm so excited! Of course, that means I have to finish all my homework early because I won't be doing any that weekend!

I've started a container garden and I'm really enjoying it. So far I have rosemary, garlic chives, a banana pepper, and a tomatoe plant that technically belongs to my roommate. I also planted lavender although all sources I've consulted say it probably won't grow. I also got a venus fly trap for my kitchen. Spearmint grows wild in the lawn outside my apartment, so I plan on stealing a few sprigs to take with me when I leave. I'm trying
not to go too crazy since I'm moving soon, but its just so fun!

I could go on, but thats probably enough update for one post. Bed time.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

Both of my sisters dedicated blog posts to my mom today (its her birthday). I figured I should follow suit, but I don't have any cute kids to show off like they do. However, I know one thing mom always wants from me...

video

Seriously, I can't believe I'm posting this on the internet. I LOVE YOU MOM!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Facebook Game

I got roped into playing this game on facebook where you write 25 random things about yourself, then tag 25 of your friends, and they have to do the same thing. It seemed like a good thing to put on the blog too.

1. I'm very busy, and can't believe I'm actually spending time doing this right now. But someone asked me to, and then I started thinking about it, and then there was no going back. Once something gets into my head its better for me to just get it out of my head. Otherwise it will rattle around in there and drive me nuts.

2. I am a Texas Aggie through and through. You may think some of the traditions are dumb, but I think they're fun! Hullabaloo Caneck Caneck, Gig em! and WHOOP!!!,

3. I absolutely love opera and consider it the ultimate culminating art form. My favorite opera I've ever seen was Handel's Tamerlano at Washington National Opera. The music, singing, costumes, everything was absolutely beautiful. I had "standing room only" seats, so I had to stand in the back where the only way I could see the supertitles (translation) was by crouching over. By the end of the 3-hour opera I felt like I'd just been to an Aggie football game- completely worn out and tired from standing and bending for so long, but totally pumped up because IT WAS FREAKIN' AWESOME!

4. There's only one guy who's ever had enough of me to break my heart, and he's done it three times- the last after he had asked me to marry him. Trust me, he will NOT being doing it again.

5. I am completely addicted to Gilmore Girls, and feel that there is no other TV show that even compares to its greatness. One of my favorite things to do on Saturday morning is wake up and watch Gilmore Girls in my PJ's like its Saturday morning cartoons.

6. I've worked at a staffing service called Express Employment Professionals for waaaaaaay too long. Four and a half years if you add together the time before and after my mission. I really loved it for the first couple years, but now I feel like it is slowly crushing my soul. Can we say burn out?

7. I really really want to go work in the administrative offices for an opera company after I graduate in July. I don't really care what I actually do for them, I just love being in that environment and want the experience. However, what I really want my life's work to be is raising my children in my home. After they are all grown and moved away I'll go work in opera again. Unless by some chance I'm rich by then. In that case I would become an arts advocate and join the board of directors of some fabulous opera company and give them obscene amounts of money for the sake of the art.

8. I am the Relief Society President for my congregation at church. That means I am responsible for the spiritual and temporal welfare of all the women in my congregation. It is exhausting and difficult at times, and I often don't feel like I do a good enough job, but I love it. I love knowing everyone and having a perfectly good excuse to care about them and serve them, and I love seeing people's lives get better because of Jesus Christ.

9. Up until about two years ago, my dream in life was always to become a famous country singer, and I absolutely planned on doing it. Then one day at work one of my coworkers was talking about how sick her four-month-old baby was that she had just dropped off at the daycare. At that very moment I realized that it didn't matter what I had to give up- I NEVER wanted to have to put my children in a daycare. I would be the one to raise them and care for them. Thats when I decided I was not going to be a professional singer.

10. When I was 8 I started collecting little porcelain clown figurines. Today I have thirty something, including one Lladro that is absolutely beautiful. I'm really really freaked out by clowns in real life, so I promise all of mine are pretty and not scary.

11. Not a single aspect of my life has actually worked out the way I planned it would when I graduated high school. In fact, not a single significant plan that I've ever made for myself has actually happened the way I planned. Heavenly Father always has other, better things in mind for me. I don't even know why I make plans any more.

12. I don't know how many times I've been accused of being an exact clone of my mother. I think my mom's pretty amazing, so it doesn't bother me at all.

13. My dream car has always been a Dodge Ram truck with nice big tires and a lift. I guess I have little man syndrome or something.

14. My fingers naturally curl outward at the tips. A lot of people find it a little freaky.

15. Quesadillas are the crutch and staple of my diet.

16. I have pretty high standards when it comes to how I like to be asked out on a date. Don't even think about asking me out via text or facebook, and I'd recommend not beginning with, "So what are you doing on...?". You're just setting yourself up for rejection. I'm pretty busy, so I probably already have plans that day, but if I like you I'll change them.

17. I don't like olives, pickles, mustard, or pork. However, I absolutely abhor hot dogs and this Croatian dish called sarma that my grandma used to make.

18. I always thought my favorite color was green until a few years ago when I started realizing that maybe I like pink better. I've been in an identity crisis ever since.

19. I met Ruben Studdard last summer while I was working backstage at the Kennedy Center in DC. He mostly kept to himself, but he brought his old friend Alvin with him. Alvin and I became friends, and he talked Ruben into taking a picture with me. However, I look like a total dork in the picture because Alvin was making me laugh. He gave me his card and I felt special.

20. My most memorable concert experience is when I went to see Brooks & Dunn at Fair Park in Dallas with my mom when I was in fifth or sixth grade. It started raining about the time we pulled into the parking lot in our little Geo Metro. We decided to stay in the car until the rain passed, thinking it would just be a quick storm. Hours later we were still sitting there in the parking lot watching other cars float by. Luckily the storm caused some kind of technical difficulties with the concert, and they rescheduled it for a few weeks later.

21. Jacob is my favorite Book of Mormon prophet. I think I relate to him because we have a very similar manner of teaching the gospel. I especially love his sermon in 2 Nephi 9. You can just feel him getting more and more excited as he teaches about the Atonement, and he explains things so clearly and with so much love for the people he's speaking to.

22. The Celestial Room of the temple is my absolute favorite place in the whole wide world, and I'm not just saying that.

23. I have this thing about looking pretty for church on Sunday. It makes me feel happy. I love getting to wear a pretty dress and do my hair nice and not have to worry about it getting messed up, because I'm just going to be sitting in church! You might think I'm doing it for someone else, but I'm not. I often start thinking about what I'm going to wear to church the next day on Saturday night.

24. When I was little my siblings started calling my Toadie, after the littlest ogre on the cartoon Gummy Bears. You see, I was the littlest ogre in our clan. One of my sisters still calls me Toad on a regular basis.

25. My old mission companion Athena and I have been in a poking war on facebook for over a year. We poke each other back and forth often multiple times a day. Its completely pointless and insane, but we're both too stubborn to stop, so it will probably go on until one of us dies.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Doing just fine...

Songs that in some way describe how I've recently felt (ordered somewhat in priority):

One Step Closer - Wade Bowen

Leave the Pieces - the Wreckers (like... wow.)
Don't Make Me - Blake Shelton
White Horse - Taylor Swift
Better in Time - Leona Lewis
Hot N Cold - Katy Perry (the music video is really funny, pardon the one bad word at the beginning of the song)
Better off Wrong - Randy Rogers Band
Kerosene - Miranda Lambert (lines from this song actually used in recent conversation. Ignore the video though, I don't really like it.)
In The End -Lincoln Park
How Far - Martina McBride
Bleeding Love - Leona Lewis
If It Don't Come Easy - Tanya Tucker
I'm Not Loving Anymore - Kevin Fowler

Any others?

...Everyone knows I'm one of those people that can't hear a song without relating to it, right? :)

P.S. The story (see previous post) will be finished in my journal, but not for the public.