Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Of late...


I am Allee.
Writer.
Tweeter.
Dreamer.
Sleeper.
Hugger.
At 19 years and 364 days old, I became a fiancĂ©. 

There are stories to tell and stories to make, but for now I only have three words.

Bring it on. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Turning my cheek

"Do you ever feel you've become the worst version of yourself? That a Pandora's box of all the secret, hateful parts your arrogance, your spite your condescension has sprung open?" -You've Got Mail

I like to think I have a semi-reasonable personality.

I worked hard the past year to be temperate. To let the little things slide. To not let other people's stupid comments get to me.

And they don't. Well, at least until today.

Because today I sat by somebody I loathed, somebody that has earned every spiteful feeling I want to throw at them. Somebody that makes me feel like kicking puppies and punching holes in the wall. I felt like standing on my chair and screaming "Scuuummmm of the earthhhhh!", but instead I sat in that ugly brown chair, biting my cheek, trying to keep every mean thought to myself.

The ironic part is that this person didn't even hurt me.

It turns out that when I care about somebody more than I care about myself,  people can chuck stones and and scream profanities in MY face, and I'll  shirk it off without a second thought...but touch  somebody I care about and I'll go all Cruella De Ville on you.

It's not my right to be angry, I know. I've always held the theory that being angry doesn't do any good, it just makes for a miserable person.

I know about turning the other cheek, letting it go and not letting it be my problem.

Despite that, I'm going to have a really sore mouth the next few weeks from clamping it shut.

Kthxbye, I'm off to punch some stuffed animals.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Too...many...ellipsis

So hey. It's that one girl. Who apparently doesn't blog much. Because she runs around like a chicken with her head cut off.


It's hard to type without a head.


The first three weeks of school went something like this:
wakkkkeuuu...noeating...classclass...newspaper...class...workalittle...newspaper...class...noeating...study...eatacracker...sleepforaminutes....wakkkkeeuuu....


Observe carefully and you'll notice I never quite woke up in the first month of school. I usually just took naps from 2-7 am.


But alas, my life has calmed to the point that I can breath and write, pretty much the only two things needed for my survival. I say pretty much because eating and hugs are nice on occasion. No worries mom. I'm now sleeping 7 hours a night, eating too many chicken salad sandwiches and trying to make time for a run (keyword: trying).


I could ramble on and on about love and newspapers (if you're ever stuck in an airport for a 6 hour layover and you say to yourself , "I'd really like to hear about newspapers, and also about falling in love" than give me a call. I'm your woman), but really I just want to say three things I've learned this month:


1. Inspiration comes in jolts. Catch it while you have it. Catch it and WRITE it down, I should say.


Soooo... I'm in a social media class. (DISCLAIMER: For anybody who has been on my Facebook page and followed the links to my professional blog, I'm sorry. It's professionally boring. We have to post those links to get a grade. I mean...you can read about traditional views if you want, but I wouldn't want to. I promise, I'm not spamming your FB wall like Alan Ralsky for nothing). 


Jo Packham and Loralee Choate came to our class the other day as guest speakers. Jo is the editor of Where Woman Create AND Where Woman Cook and Loralee is more-or-less her social media person. 


While all of the boys in the class were on their Macbooks tweeting about how they'd rather be snowboarding, I was seriously captured. They sell magazines for $16! Each! I got the best business lesson of my life. EVERYTHING is sellable if you know your market. These woman are genius. And entertaining. Also, fashionable. I'm a little jealous. 


100% of the world has inspiring thoughts, but only 1% develop those thoughts. 


2. You know how I thought I could cook? I can't. 


Ok, ok. So I didn't cook all summer because I pretty much mooched off of apartment #2. After starting school I was like, "Ya! I'm going to cook food that does not taste like a moldy tennis shoe!". 


Seven attempts later, my boyfriend and/or roommates have cordially uninvited me to ever cook food for them again (Yeah...not really, but I'm sure the invite is in the mail). I ruined PASTA for goodness sake. 


3. I need to learn to small talk


If you've ever sat at a table with me and I'm staring intently at a fleck of dust in the air, I really do want to say something to you. Chances are I tried to think of something smart to say, but in the process realized I wasn't saying anything and then I forgot my name. By the time I remembered it, dinner was over and I realized you may have thought I was a mute. Or a dust scientist. 


Maybe everybody else in the world knows how to make conversation but me. I may be bound to awkwardness for all of my days. 


Or maybe I'm just Allee...


Or maybe it's the same thing...


Maybe I should be ok with me...


Totally random way to end a post: I miss this girl. A lot. And yes. That's Bear Lake at midnight. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

not-an-epiphany

They say it ain't over 'til the fat lady sings.
If that's true, a 450 pound woman just sang me an opera.

 I've always loved Esther. Every time I read her story, I learn something new about being.
A woman of faith.
A light to her people.
The preservation of what would become a small babe wrapped in a manger that would save the world.
Being the wife of King Ahasuerus would be no small feat. It layman's terms, she did what she needed to do. Seriously. I would not want to be married to a guy that "deposed" of his last wife. No way Jose.

That's a strong woman. A woman that let God mold her. She saw the bigger picture.

 I don't know exactly who I want to be. If I did, there would be little point to living. All I know is that there are hands in my life, creating and pushing and teaching me to be.

Being is harder than it sounds. It's easy to float along a river of ease, avoiding rapids and rocks. It's the easiest thing in the world to sit in the warmth of covers and sleep through life. It's easy to go to school everyday and sit like a deadbeat in classes, only to leave an hour later with nothing learned. It's easy to avoid feeling hard things.

I'm a mover. I'm not good at sitting in one place for long. Plus, as soon as I get comfortable I tend to get kicked in the butt. Or tasered. Just depends on the week.

 In my rushed life, I think I occasionally forget to sit still long enough to let my heart open. To belly laugh. To hug. To cry until I'm out of tears. It's in those moments that I see myself with real potential, not just a fleck of dust floating haphazardly waiting to land on Skippy the dog.

Basically, this overdrawn and nonsensical post means this:

I'm glad I can constantly be growing. And not like the mold sitting in that old tuna in the fridge. As my heart is tried, I feel myself going places that I never thought I could reach. Exponential growth, I think they call it.

I know you're probably sick of reading about my gratitude, because it doesn't make for the most exciting post. But seriously.
I have it all.
The world is in my hands.
[Insert evil laugh here]

Friday, September 9, 2011

Being, moving, creating.

I saw this posted on Jordan Hunt's blog today and it really got the wheels in my mind turning. 

I need some more goals...

and not just goals that involve eating tacos (I really like tacos, ok?)

I want to start a year long project. Something journalistic. Something revealing. Something that will push my limits.

Any ideas?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Headline goes here

I am exhausted.

and euphoric.

and all around really tired of not eating regular meals.

You'd think having a roommate who's a a dietetics major would help in my progress of becoming a healthy person. Then again, I don't know the benefits of having a super-fit-diet-conscious roommate if you only see her between the hours of 1:30-7:00 a.m. (This would be when she's sleeping and I'm not).

Yesterday my diet consisted of 2 packages of crackers, gummy snacks, chips, a couple tacos and some strange root juice. Oh, and no time in the Fieldhouse.

My mother may or may not be reading this and weeping for my soul right now.

There are 7493 things I could tell you about the first 10 days of school, mostly about woody plants and newspapers. But really, I just want to say this:

My life isn't perfect, but it's a work in progress. A giant construction site, if you will. Of late, I've felt hundreds of hands building me piece by piece, tearing down the old and creating something wonderful. There are times that I feel that I've lost control of my project. There are moments when I feel some little punks are trying to kick pieces of cement from my foundation.

But those moments are far and few between. Even though there is frustration and an occasional tear, I love that I'm being pushed. There is no other way to grow.

Thank you to the people who take the time to show me things in Indesign 28 times.
 To those who are teaching me to write.
 To those who buy me tacos in times of crisis.
To those who trust me with big things.
To those who listen to my pipe dreams.
To those see what I'm capable of, even when I can't.
To those who can make a hug so much more than a hug.

And most of all, to the contractor who guides the whole process along.

I am so blessed.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Friday, August 5, 2011

Helllooo summe...oh wait.

Um. Today I looked at my calendar and it was August 5th.

PEOPLE! DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS?  (No, it does not mean I have permission to type in caps lock).

Summer is over in three weeks. In case you don't know (and if you've talked to me in the past month, I'm sure you do) I love school. I can't wait for classes and papers and newspapers and spending late nights in the library not being able to breathe as I frantically run across campus....

But in the meantime...
it's time for another list. 

Thelastmonthofsummerlist
Go to the hot springs
Get a picture with an Idahoan
Eat tacos from at least 5 more places 
Go to a Bee's game
Make homemade pasta
Swim in Bear Lake after midnight
Pull an all nighter
Finish the Old Testament
Watch Anna and the King
Make a last awesome homemade meal with the soon to be missionaries
Go to Rupert
Watch a movie in a park 
Eat a food I've never tried
Read the AP style book
Tube in a river 



 Yeah. Who's in?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Funk

I was five years old when the gunshots started.
As I sat in the warmth of my grandmother's yellow patch quilt, my small body trembled. 
I imagined men with guns and eye patches, waiting just outside my window.
They would break in and yank me out of my ivory bunk bed.
Before my mind could ponder what they would do next, I slipped out of bed as quietly as possible, hardly letting my feet touch the cold floor, for fear they would hear me escape.
I tiptoed into my parents room, tears streaming down my small cheeks.

"Don't worry," they told me, stroking my hair. "It's Chinese New Year. Those sounds are just people lighting fireworks."

I was nine years old when my room turned into an ocean.
The warmth of my grandmother's yellow patch quilt disappeared.
The bed I was on was suddenly floating.
A figure was coming towards me.
With every second it got closer, and my skin grew more ice like.
My heart stopped as the face finally came into view.
There was Lord Voldemort, wand in hand.
As his slit-like mouth pronounced a curse on me, I let out a blood curdling scream.
Just then, my father appeared by my side.

"It was just a dream," he said, taking me into his arms. "Just a bad dream."

I was fifteen years old when I woke up convinced I was on my death bed.
 My entire body was drenched in sweat.
My insides ached so badly I didn't dare move.
All I could do was sit in the warmth of my grandmother's yellow patch quilt and utter prayer after prayer.
Mustering every ounce of strength in my body, I crawled slowly out of bed and up the stairs.
Waking my parents out of a deep sleep, I told them my stomach was going to explode.

"Darling," they said, probably trying not to laugh. "You just ate some bad food. Wait a few hours and everything will be fine."

I was nineteen when I thought my heart was breaking.
As I clutched at the worn threads of my grandmother's yellow patch quilt, my body, no longer small but still fragile, quivered.
My eyes were swollen and the beat of my heart that echoed in my ears seemed unsteady.
I could hear yelling outside my window.
Frantic screams of college voices.
I looked for somebody to tell me everything would work out fine.

But all I got was cold air, and the echo of my roommates watching reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I made it to the top of the world

Covered in clots of mud, bleeding, bruised and breathless I grabbed his hand as he helped pull me over the final wall of ice. As we stood side by side, it was almost as if we were looking at the rest of our lives. For five minutes we remained hand in hand, not saying much of anything, yet letting our silent prayers say everything. Like a leaky water balloon, I felt my heart start to use my tear ducts as an overflow. Heavenly Father had painted a picture with a viewing only for us. We were standing on the edge of the world. Everything below us- the trees, the buildings, the city- seemed to speak of the power of God. It was as if he was saying “This is yours. Go and do.”

Want to convince an atheist that God exists? Have them hike the Alexander Basin.

It’s no small miracle that I made it to the top. In case you don’t know, when it comes to physical things I can be a little bit of a baby. I’m no Pillsbury dough girl, but taking a hike with me is about the equivalent of playing a baseball game with Ernie Lombardi. Slow.

Two miles into the hike, the trail disappeared under a thick layer of snow. Beyond the snow was a giant hill…and more snow. Okay, okay. To use the word hill would be underestimating the monstrosity before us. It was a small mountain. If I can be completely honest, my first thought was this:

“That’s a nice sight. Glad I don’t have to climb it.”

Feel free to use your imagination to envision us on this mountain.  
There was no way in this life or the next that I was going to climb a mile up a giant ice covered hill without a trail. In his wisdom, Rhett knew that I wasn’t just going to tackle the hill all at once. He led me up the hill a little at a time, without me realizing that I was actually climbing the sheer side of a mountain. Every 20 yards of so I would pant and ask for a break. It took every ounce of personal stamina to claw my way, sometimes on my hands and knees, through the mud and snow. After a half mile of hill, I didn’t think my body would take another step. Sensing my frustration, Rhett offered me his wrist. I think he dragged me half way up the mountain. He must have had a better sense at what was at the top (as per usual) than I did.

If we had gone by my limited vision, I would have missed one of the most breathtaking moments of my life.

When I stand on my knees, bruised, broken and disheveled, Heavenly Father sends those stronger than me to drag me up mountains. More often than not it’s kicking and screaming (I'm working on it), but somehow I always make it. Someday when I lie at the feet of my Heavenly Father I’ll have a little dirt under my fingernails. I’ll be scratched, scarred and sweaty. Yet, I live for the moment when I finally reach that peak, when he can say, “Well done, my child,” and take me into his arms.

I am blessed.

(oh, and Rhett only lost his phone one time during our five hour escapade. Success.)

Monday, June 27, 2011

NO lions or tigers or bears. Just birds.

24. Got to Tony's Grove and roast hot dogs
25.Visit Willow Park Zoo
26.Mountain Bike

Photobucket 
 In case you don't know, I'm not very good with animals. Okay, that's the understatement of the world. I lose dogs, kill fish, and forget to feed frogs causing them to feed on each other.

Going to Willow Park Zoo was of those things that everybody in Logan seems to have done...multiple times.  As a testament to how truly dull Logan can be, I've had the following conversation at least 6 times in the past year. 

RandomgirlImayormaynotlivewith: I'm bored.

Me: I'm not (because really, when do I get bored?)

RandomgirlImayormaynotlivewith: Oh good, I'm glad you're bored too. Let's go to Willow Park Zoo!

*Cue happy music with bunnies hopping in the background.*

Me: Animals are scary. And also, I don't want to be sued if I accidentally kill a common crow. Or suck up baby sea horses with a vacuum. 

I got away with this until this week when Andie and Kinsey visited me. They said, "Hey let's go to the Willow Park Zoo!" and I realized that it was on my college bucket list. So...I sucked it up and went. The only words are can use to describe the trip? Logan-esque.

Photobucket
I think that possibly, turtles could be an animal that I could put up with. Not like, mind you. Put up with. They are nice and slow and they live a long time. Also I couldn't kill them accidentally (at least not easily).

So maybe when I have kids, and they ask for a puppy, we'll compromise with a turtle. Maybe. I won't get their hopes up.



Photobucket
For the record, "Willow Park Zoo" should be renamed "Willow Park Bird Sanctuary...(with a bobcat and a raccoon. And a snow cone shack)" because SERIOUSLY. I can look out my apartment door and see a common raven. And a robin. Or I can go to Willow Park and see them for $2. Huh.

The exhibits are in this order: birdbirdbirdbirdbirdbird, monkey!, birdbirdbirdbirdbird, elk, bird, duck, duck, duck, duck, bird. 

Except, I did really like the eagle. It made me feel patriotic.

Photobucket

One pet that I will allow my children to have? Pet rocks. So convenient. They don't poop, AND even though they don't quite have the sensitive nature of other pets you can customize them.

Photobucket

Okay...despite the look on Shaun's face the trip really was fun. I promise. 

(Also, I am aware post makes me sound like the worst future mother ever. I may have to budge at some point and allow my kids to have a puppy. As long as it doesn't turn into a dog.)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Bad pictures, good life.

This picture took an hour to take


This makes me miss classes





So many books. So much time.

Just...don't ask. Because I don't know.
When french fries go moldy. Art, I guess?
I tried to be a secretary for 3 days. Fail. And I used at least $300 worth of sticky notes
Stupid. Trivial. Pursuit.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I'm going to talk about newspapers again

5. Visit Old Ephraim's Grave
6. Get an SPJ award 
7. Obtain True Aggie Status


I'll be truthful. Even though I tried to make my college bucket list at least a little realistic I figured there were some things that probably wouldn't happen. For example, given my recent experience with bad buffets I may never get Midnight Pizza at the Junction. At least not without a Walmart store worth of Pepto Bismol on hand. Getting an SPJ award  was one of those things I figured COULD happen, if I decided to write something semi-decent in  the next 3 years. A.k.a if it wasn't snowing in Logan (bahahaha!), the Gilmore Girls were not distracting me, and I wasn't trying to do something silly like succeed in school. 


So, March rolled around and I got an about the email about the awards. I could only enter articles that I had written in 2010, which left me with about 15 articles that were so boring that I probably fell asleep writing them. Not being one to give up an opportunity however, I did enter an article I wrote in fall It was a story about a woman dealing with her autistic son. Oh yes. And how she wrote a book about it. Despite my mediocre writing, this woman had a very touching story and it was one of the best interviews I did all year.  


Pick up the remote and fast forward to June. I am both shocked and slightly perturbed to find my name on the finalists list. Seriously? What are these people thinking? Did somebody threaten to take away their AP stylebooks if  I wasn't a nominee? I quickly go from shocked to happy, because really. These are big people. Who I will someday work for. Hopefully.  


I didn't shell out $40 to go to the ceremony, partially because that's a two weeks worth of tortillas and black beans (pretty much what I'm living off of) and also because I had a hot date at the Brigham Young Park.  


When I log onto Facebook later, I have like a million (or three) messages congratulating me. I guess I took 1st in Division C Medical/Science reporting.


Hello? I am not a scientist. Or a doctor. That's why I'm getting a degree in print journalism a.k.a "a degree to nowhere". Plus, I like to write about people strumming guitars and feeding the homeless and sometimes puppies. Use the word blood and I WILL get dizzy.

Despite this, I am so grateful.All those wee hours of the morning with my Dr. Pepper in one hand and a pencil in the other really did pay off. Things like this convince me that maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to NOT work in a call center someday.   



Hey, I'm a winner. And also, The Statesman is a winner because we are took 2nd place overall for our division. I work with some seriously talented people. 


And now I'm thinking about pizza...

Friday, June 17, 2011

If only I had known these things when I had glasses and zits.

I used to laugh at my parental figures when they said things like:

"Someday, you'll understand."

"You'll know what I go through when you have kids of your own."

"Just wait until you're married, with a house, a dog you don't like, and a dozen children."

Rolling in stupidity, I would force my eyes into the back of my head and groan. Because apparently that's a knee jerk reaction at 15 years old. They would give me the look, you know the "we should lock this child in a room until she's 25", and I would walk away, enlarged ego and all.

Nearly 5 years later, I have come to a frightening conclusion.

I KNOW NOTHING.

and...

Even if I get married, have 19 children and 37 pets, I will still know NOTHING.

Because I am not my parents. They are soooooo much smarter than me. 

It's kind of a humbling thought. Seeing as though Mom day has passed, and Pop's day is Sunday, I've been thinking a lot about my these people who have put up with me for so long. They've taught me everything I know, and then some. So now, I'll share.


1. You really don't need to share.


Remember these? There was a cute little boy named Logan in my 1st grade class. He let me use his Mr. Sketch markers that smelled like rotting fruit. Pretty soon markers turned into spelling tests and spelling tests turned into water bottles. I don't remember my mother's face when I casually told her that I was drinking out of some other kid's water bottle, but I'm sure it looked about like THIS. There are a thousand worse things I could have done, but my family doesn't like germs. Nobody really LIKES germs, but we're slight germaphobes. I learned fast. When other girls would share hair brushes, fake blush, and gum I stayed far away. I still remember this mutual night when I was probably 13 years old. There were two girls sharing a sucker, and the germaphobe in me wanted to yank the sugar grown substance from between their teeth and send them to a dentist to get their  mouths sanitized. Nasty.

2. Tip. And when in doubt, tip more
"Most waiters and waitresses don't even make minimum wage," they would tell me over and over. I can't count the number of times I would see my father slip a large bill on the table as we were leaving. It's just something you do.

3. The cool kids will work at McDonald's someday.
Okay, not all of the cool kids are going to have careers in fast food. I'm sure some will be CEOs and world famous athletes too. But really...I had to learn really fast that there were only two opinions of me that mattered. God's and mine. Once I figured that out, the self-esteem thing was a breeze.

4.When hungry, eat your rice; when tired, close your eyes. Fools may laugh at me, but wise men will know what I mean.-Lin-Chi
Too much of anything makes that thing a lot less valuable. I try to be cautious with my time. It took me until college to realize how much "me" time I needed. In high school, if I ever honestly needed a day of school off I would ask my Mom. She always let me make the choice. I think that if she had put her foot down, there would have been a lot more sluffing. Or sleeping in my car. 


5. Go to bed before midnight
At school when my friends were discovering their ability to stay up all night, I was asleep. Not because I couldn't pull an all-nighter, but because I didn't want to. Not having a curfew in high school taught me a lot faster than having one. Not that I suggest that to most teenagers, but I was an odd ball. I realized that if you stayed out until 3:00 a.m., you could expect a really big headache when you had to get up at 7:00 for work. I admit, I slept through some momentous events this year. But...for the most part I wasn't tired. How many college students can say that?

6. Don't buy it.
That furby. The Hello Kitty handbag. That $35 Hollister shirt. Lunch hour at the Crazy Buffet. Before I buy anything, I have a nice little discussion with myself. I give it the test.

Will this item....

a) End up shoved in the back of the closet
b)Not look good on me, because really. Only 1% of people in the world have hips that small.
c)Require Pepto-Bismal

If you have picked a, b, or c, run away.

My parents are fountains of knowledge, Seriously.

Friday, June 10, 2011

sniffles

I am functionally ill person. In some ways, having a cold is worse than having the flu. If you have the flu, people stay a million miles away from you while you sit in front of the TV and watch reruns of Saved by the Bell. When you have a cold, people actually expect you to buck up and do something. Yesterday, after the longest eight hour shift of my life, I came home and passed out on my bed, not to be moved for two hours.

After waking up, I walked downstairs meaning to clean the tornado we call a kitchen/living room. It took me so much energy to get down the stairs that I had to sit down on the couch and rest for a few minutes. Okay...another hour. Needless to say, I didn't do any cleaning.

 By some miracle, I dragged myself to the temple. It was a definite refresher from a gross/tissue filled day. I got back from the temple, only to throw myself on the couch with a quart of orange juice. Three minutes later, Mitch knocked on my door. Besides my family, there are precisely three boys who have seen me at a 10 on the gross scale. Last night, I was a high 9.

Congratulations Mitch, congratulations. May the image be burned in your mind forever.

That's pretty much all I wanted to say.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I like my house. I like my hair. I like my haircuts. But I don't like call centers.

It is 12:52.
It is 12:52 and my stomach is growling.
It is 12:52 and my stomach is growling and I am at working (kind of)
It is 12:52 and my stomach is growling and I am at working (kind of) and remembering that I should really eat lunch more often.

For one week, I have been completely exhausted. Like fall on my face while walking, fall asleep during phone calls, can't carry on a coherent conversation exhausted. It has delayed my marathon training because all the sudden my soft bed seems wayyyyy more appealing than running to Smithfield. Every once in a while I go through stages where my body decides (without my permission) that it needs a new schedule. Here's to hoping that this is simply a stage. With an end in sight.

My parents don't love my decision to run 26 miles. Something to do with that little thing called atrial septal defect. I promised I would be careful. They said I should visit the cardiologist. Since that went so well last time...

My average week has become a giant blur of phone calls, press releases, and editing. I like it. I like my morning walks to work. I like that Logan smells really good in the morning. I like midnight food runs with Mitch and Derek. I like that the library is silent. You just don't get that during the school year.

I don't like call centers, but that's another story.

A finally visited the Statesman office a few days ago. I shouldn't say finally, because it's only been a month (even though it feels like a year). I sat at my computer where Chelsey had left me a great note leaving me custody of Rif-Raf, the stuffed giraffe.  I got a little scared sitting that empty, Mac-lined room. Well, not so much scared as intimidated. Yes, me. The girl who scares the living daylights out of the opposite sex. The girl who bites of way more than she can chew and then succeeds. Most of the time.

 I'm already ready for the school year to start. I miss my classes and homework and learning. I miss goofy, flirtations nights in the library. I miss late night roommate chats. Despite this, I think I'll need the next 2.5 months to completely digest where what direction my life is heading in. I feel under-qualified, unprepared, and slightly misplaced. I'd like to clarify, it's not a bad thing. I appreciate being thrown off balance. It keeps me on my feet, ironically. There's just a lingering fear that I'm going to fail and end up sitting at a call center, being hit on by random men the rest of my life.

A few weeks ago, I told my parents that I'm a 19 year-old with the mind of a 26 year-old and the heart of a 3 year-old.

Nobody knows how true this statement is. 

The next three years hold a world of potential. (Hopefully) I'll be a degree-holding adult. The possibility of  being married is suddenly...more real. I could be a returned missionary. I could a world traveler. I could be a master in the art of kickboxing (hahahahahahahaha. okay. not really).


The point of this overdrawn post is this: I can do really hard things. Even under-qualified as I am








 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Photoshoot

Today at work I got paid to play with a camera. I've been a wanna-be photographer since I was a little kid. I'm not even a novice, but I love the feeling of a camera in my hands. They're better in hi-res. Promise.

Two guys just chattin' via window. Love it.

Half way there



















Oh...and the song of my weekend.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

My heart squeals like a baby pig

Today I noticed a package on my table.

I ripped it open and found an Old Testament Student Manual and a bag of chocolate covered pretzels. In the cover of the manual was a note that said, "happy studying and munching!". I was so happy I wanted to cry. I squealed for two minutes.

Best mom ever? No doubt about it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

hello, call me awkward.

This is nine hours worth of call center doodles. Nine very long, boring hours. I have a hard time sitting still for twenty minutes, so you can imagine me sitting at a desk, calling 563 phone numbers.

Bad. Bad. Bad. Bad.

Sadly enough, these calls were the highlight of my day. About 1:00, big, buff manager (we shall call him Buffy) taps me on the shoulder.

"Hey, you need to go over to that table right there."

Enter: Random Drug Test

Without going into detail, I FAIL the drug test. Not because I'm on speed (come on guys, this is the girl who is scared to take Tylenol), but because I did it wrong. Poor nurse. I was the last one on the list so she had to watch me down way too much water in 15 minutes. We sat. And sat. And sat. She occasionally tried to make small talk, but what can you say to somebody you're testing for drugs?

After 45 minutes, we're all set to go when she clears her throat awkwardly.

"Because we have to do this twice, I'm required to watch you."

Enough said. My life is awkward.

In other news, I had the best weekend ever. Probably. I haven't experienced every weekend possible, so I guess I don't really know. If man first landed on the moon on a Saturday, I'm out of luck. But it was almost moon worthy. I...


  • Ate pie on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
  • Went to a Farewell and a Homecoming (Pie!)
  • Watch the Truman Show with a very confused mother. The Truman Show itself would have never made it on the list, but the confused mother pushed it over the top. 
  • Saw all of my girls. At the same time. In the same place. (This event hasn't occurred since...Spring Break)
  • Ran a good 5 miles 
  • Stayed up wayyyy to late talking to the siblings. 
  • Saw the kid who still manages to make me smile from 78 miles away. 
This list reminds me of how good I have it, even after a day like today. 

Also it reminds me of how hungry I am. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bottle it up

I love too many things today.

I love the sunshine that makes my nose a little too pink. I love gazing at picture perfect clouds on my little deck. I love the fact that I have a deck.

I love lazy Sundays, falling asleep on this huge, brown, burgundy couch listening to NPR.

I love that I opened my phone after church and had a missed call.

I love that I my calves ache from running 30 miles last week.

I love new. New people, new grass, new memories, new job.

I love that the songs that float to me from neighbor boy, who can really rock a six string.

I love the smell of books. They intice me.

For no particular reason, I love today. I wish I could put it in a mason jar and store it forever. That way, whenever I was feeling summer lust I could open it just a crack and get a whiff of sun and lotion that smalls like orange creamsicles. And fire works. And Smithfield right after it rains. And a thousand other things I wish I could put words to.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Blah, blah, blog.

I am officially 12 miles into my 400 mile goal. I have a blister the size of the state of Missouri, and every morning I feel like my legs are going to fall off, but hey. I'm running again. I've figured out the secret to life...if it gets too stressful (or UNstressful in my case), run away. Despite the implications, it works wonders.

You know that college bucket list that I made at the start of the year? I feel as if I should keep all you fine folks updated. I've been surprisingly successful in the past two months.

4. Become an editor at the Statesman 
9.Eat at Hamilton's 
14. Get glasses 
28.Get published somewhere besides the Statesman 
34. Kiss in the Rain 















I hate the glasses...but they became necessary. I'm blind, okay?

 I ate at Hamilton's for the JCOM banquet (swanky, swanky). The food was mediocre, but the people made up for it.

As of this afternoon I will officially be published by the Smithfield Sun (not so swanky).

Ah, Statesman. I jumped up and down for at least ten minutes after Catherine called me. Hello, assistant features editor. Sometimes when I think abut it, I still want to jump up and down. However, the people in the library might not consider this socially acceptable behavior.

And....a lady doesn't kiss and tell. ;)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

They call it summer

“I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart. I am. I am. I am.”
Sylvia Plath
(Poor Sylvia. An oven had to be a terrible way to die)

I'm taking a deep breath. The library is still and nearly empty. I hadn't been here since school ended nearly a week ago, so walking through those doors again was like getting a big warm hug. I didn't realize how much I would miss curling up in my corner with a textbook and a bag of crackers. When I tell people that I miss school, sometimes they think I'm odd. I love to learn. I always have. I like having deadlines to meet and places to be. I miss the people and the bustle. Most of all, I miss my classes. Alexandria was the Greek capital of Egypt founded by Alexander the Great. The bible dictionary says it was "an important center of commerce and learning; its library was the largest in the world.".

A temple worker told me that, and I've never forgotten it. It was the first time I thought my name was cool.

Yesterday, I got lost. You may ask how one gets lost in a lovely little town like Logan, but it's quite simple. Start running north and don't stop for an hour. My brain may have stopped, but those darn feet of mine just kept moving. When I finally stopped to catch my breath, I looked up at one of the most breathtaking sights that I've ever seen. Below me one side was the canyon. It had been raining for two days (bah!), but everything was green. On the other side of me, I could overlook the entire city.

My life is starting to settle into a pattern. I like patterns. I'll walk to work in the morning, occasionally grabbing a bagel along the way. I'll sit at a desk and write until the afternoon. I'll go home, eat a grilled cheese sandwich on a paper towel. I'll go on a run, or a swim (when the pool opens. Double bah!). I'll come home, shower, and go find somebody that will put up with me for a few hours. For a few seconds a day, I'll think about the people that I miss, but I won't dwell on it. I'll live in the moment and realize that it will only be a few months before I see them again. I'll watch the sun set. I'll bury my face in a book too much. Occasionally a tear might slip, but 99 percent of of the time, there will be a smile on my face.

Everyday, I'll wake up and say, "Live it up, Evensen. This is your time."

And that, it is.

2010 Logan Utah by David Densley.































Summer Goals:
Finish the Bible
Run, Bike, Swim, Hike 400 miles.
Practice being more assertive in all facets of life
Visit the temple weekly
Learn to love people more deeply.
Get to the point where instead of being like, "That was a spiritual experience," I can be like, "That was a human experience".
Read the ENTIRE AP Stylebook
Read 5 books from the classics list
Have too much fun

Saturday, April 30, 2011

grateful heartache

Above my bed lies a cork board. It's the culmination of hundreds of memories, all slapped together and shoved into a tiny space. 

There's the grotesquely distorted picture of me that Tisha drew. Under that there are at least 12 story assignments that I never bothered to take down. There are business cards, missionary pictures, and more than a few checklists that constantly remind me I have better things to do than blog. 

Peeling it back layer by layer, there's a picture of Alyssa and I. She was in Logan less than two hours ago, but I already miss her. There is a list of goals I made at the start of the semester that I can't look at now, because I'm sure I failed all of them. 

I feel nerves in my body are sore, like they've been stretched out and snapped back into place a few too many times over the past week, only to settle in a heap in the bottom of my stomach. Life is a funny thing. I got exactly what I prayed for, but it's only now, sitting on my unmade bed surrounded by my roommates suitcases that I tense with fear. For the first time in months I feel like crying out in frustration. 

Oh, the irony. I prayed that I would be able to find a job, and I found three, two for summer and one for fall. I prayed that I would know what to do during summer, even if that meant going back to Salt Lake. Here I am, on the phone trying to get an apartment for summer. I prayed that the boy would understand when I told him I was young, and that I needed to find myself a little. Not only did he understand, but he agreed, kissed me on the head and gave me flower. My heart almost burst in gratitude, because I realized no matter what happens, he'll be one of my best friends. 

I'm not sad or angry. I've always liked change because it forces me out my comfort zone. It lets me see myself from different perspectives. 

Yet, sitting in this tiny room that smells of must and body spray, the fear and the doubt seem to be crawling all over me. Suddenly, all of my choices seem irrational. I don't want to live away from my best friend. I want to see my family. I want to go back and teach swimming lessons. I want to have the surety of waking up at 6 AM and running on the canal while the sun rises, then picking up a newspaper in my driveway on the way inside and sitting by the French doors, eating grapefruit and letting the warm sunshine seep into me.  

I know I need to be here. I want to be here. It's the start of my own adventure. I just need to push forward, and realize that people have my back, even if they're living 100 miles away.

"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."


This is not usually my thing, but I saw it on another blog and realized that I can't possibly thank every person who has touched my life this year. I wish I could write a note to each one of them. There are far more people  who have changed me for the better than this. I could list out 1000. However, with pending finals I only had time for this list. In no particular order, here goes:
  • Carla and Shaun Evensen
  • Brayden Evensen
  • Hunter Evensen
  • Mattie Evensen
  • Savannah Evensen
  • Gram and Gramps Evensen
  • Tisha Santana
  • Andie-Pants Grant
  • Kinsey Wilson
  • Sarah Pugsley
  • Rhett Wilkinson
  • Mariah Noble
  • Jake Norr
  • Kasey VanDyke
  • Jen Millet 
  • Alyssa Littell
  • Shawnee Smith
  • Kellyn Neumann
  • Ben Wood
  • Amy Braithwaite
  • Jessica Beauchamp
  • Scott Daniels
  • Shaun Anderson
  • Katie Brammer
  • Anna Armas
  • Catherine Meidell 
  • Rachel Scott
  • Megan Bainum
  • Brenda Cooper
  • Tyrell Morris
  • Michael Dephillips 
  • Ricky Nope
  • Dan Smith
  • Chelsey Gensel 
  • Kisti Christensen
  • Stephen Thorup
  • Jeannie Tran
  • Korrine Ivory
  • Taylor Halversen
  • Cody Robbins
  • Stanford and Ann Hamilton
  • McCall Parrish
  • Tyson Mears
  • April Ashland
  • Brenna Allen
  • Courtnie Packer
  • Belen Moyano
  • Rob Jepson
  • Seth Edwards
  • Mitch Steed
  • Jason Bluemel
  • Seth Gardner
  • Elisabeth VanWagoner
  • Eric Walker
  • Laura Walker
  • Lincoln Rico
  • Amanda Mears
  • Morgan Powell
  • Tamra Lee
  • Tori Jensen
  • Kristen Gardner
  • Nate Hansen
  • Andrea and Terran Church
  • Lindsley Miller
  • Andy Lyman
  • Brad Mears
  • Carlos Murillo
  • Debbie Olson
  • Erika Norton
  • Nicholas Lauritzen
  • Nick Berlin
  • Becca Muniz
  • Solomon Gardner
  • Lisa Schwartz
  • Bishop May
  • Dustin Crawford
  • Diane and Ken Mears
  • Ryan Mears
  • Kristen Gardner
  • Jesus Christ


If you're on this list and you don't know why, there's a good reason. If you read this and say "Hey, this girl is a creep!", you're probably right. At least I'm a grateful creep.


    Wednesday, April 27, 2011

    We should get jerseys, 'cuz we make a good team....

     ...But yours would look better than mine because you're out of my league. That has nothing to do with what I'm about to write.

    In the past two weeks I've worn more pencil skirts, filled out more applications, and  been interviewed more than I have have been in my entire life.

    My ENTIRE life people. That's almost 20 years.

    Tomorrow is the day that decides if I stay in Logan over the summer. It's the day that will determine my position on the paper next year. It's the day when I'll know that all of the articles, meetings, interviews, schmoozing, councils, positions, blah blah blah, will pay off.

    It's a pretty big day. Wouldn't you say?

    I've had the time of my life the past few weeks. I haven't slept, but I'll take the advice of Steve Shelton (A.K.A coolest toy store owner ever. I got to interview him) :

    "I'll sleep when I'm dead."


    Three things:
    1. I really miss editing. I like writing. I love editing.
    2.I need a good outfit.
    3. I don't want to mess this up.

    PS. I know it's annoying to add this five hours later....but as of today, I never have to go to kick-boxing again.   Kick-boxing almost ruined my life at least 6 times. I'm still not sure how I passed...

    Tuesday, April 19, 2011

    I don't get many things right the first time (or the second...)

    I don't get nostalgic.

    Now is now, then is then.

    Buuuttttt.....I guess there's an exception to every rule.

    The JEA convention was in Anaheim this year. I only know because of Facebook. I just looked through 250 pictures of kids I don't even know. A creepy time waster? Yes. I couldn't drag myself away.

    "Holy hannah," I said to myself. "That's me. But not me."

    You see, Anaheim is where it all started. After a week in Anaheim, all of the other kids on the newspaper staff probably told their parents about Disneyland and the old drunk men on the bus. After a weekend of listening to reporters from NPR, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, I came home and told me parents I wanted to be a journalist. They probably let it slide. I'm famous for temporary bouts of insanity that have caused me to play the flute (fail), kick a soccer ball (trrripppp), sing (ouch), and attempt building diatonic chords (don't ask and I won't have to tell).

    Luckily for me (and my poor parents, who have had to pay for every lesson imaginable) it stuck.

    And now I'm sitting on a dorm bed with 2 deadlines. I couldn't be happier.



    2008 & The girls who let the annoying little twerp follow them around :)

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Today I learned about statistical comparisons and livers.

    So...

    Imagine me in a small auditorium surrounded by PHD candidates, scientists and pictures of human livers (The plural of liver is livers. I looked it up just for this post). As a discussion of metabolic disorders rages around me, I retreat to Words with Friends, feeling like quite the imbĂ©cil.

    I have just sat through an hour of torture that biologists call "Cellular Therapy in Mendelian Disorders". And by accident too...well, kind of. I was supposed to be working on an article on the new head of the Biology Department (turns out there isn't one. World +1, Allee 0) so I went to a seminar in which I THOUGHT they were announcing the big man. Nope, they only talked about Rat Livers. I was sitting in the back row, so I could have just left but it felt strangely inappropriate. And it probably would have gone like this:

    Allee gets up to sneak away halfway through the section on transplanting rat livers, trips over some people's feet, falls on her face, trips over the projector cord, causing the PowerPoint to black out.

    Speaker/Scientist/Really smart guy looks at her quizzically.

    "Oh, hey Mr...Doctor Guy," I say. "I need to go do something that will actually apply to my life. I wish you luck with your disorders...I mean, solving disorders."

    By now, the whole audience is looking at the girl on the floor, trying to figure out what planet she came from.
    She crawls through the door and decides she can never show her face in the science department again. Not that she does anyway.

    I decided to prevent this daydream from becoming a reality.
    For a very long hour I squirreled my face into my Ipod and pretended to be take notes.

    Even though it wasn't in my control I feel like I dropped the bomb on the article. Probably because I did.

    Needless to say, my brain is gone. Shot. Poof.

    Despite the amount of "terrible" potential this day had, I felt such an influx of kindness from the people around me that I couldn't help but smile.

    Thanks all you random (and not so random) people.

    I wish I could hug you.

    PS. Google is now sending me ads that say "Need a Liver?". I need to be more careful what I blog about.

    Tuesday, April 5, 2011

    graceless

    Dear World,

    First thing's first, I apologize for being such an awkward person. I'm sorry I get tongue tied when the cool kids talk to me. I can feel you cringe when my timing is terrible, or when I'm not sure where my hand is supposed to go. I know I'm a little clumsy. I know when there's a blanket of silence, I'm bound to break it with some goofy comment. I was born inelegant. Even though I try to hide that part of me, it generally shows up at convenient times like job interviews, dates, and parties.

    Despite this,World, thank you for a wonderful day. Thank you for sending me friends who can look beyond my gawky self, and a boy that can too (well...I guess time will tell). Thank you for shaping my life into something good this year. Thank you for giving me guts right in the moments I needed them most. Thank you for all of the people you've sent into my life. I just read a blog where a girl lists out the 100 people who have influenced her for good in the past year. Someday, if I have time I'll do that because I want all of these wonderful people to know who they are.

    Just thanks. For turning this really awkward girl into....something good. I'm not sure what it is yet.

    Love,

    Allee

    Tuesday, March 29, 2011

    The Rhetoric of Attraction

    The other day, in one of our many "love and things" talks, my roommate mentioned something that's been wandering in the back of my head for a few days.

    "Why do you always see girls dating down, but guys almost always dating up?"

    I don't want create some one-sided, man hating, dating stereotype, but isn't it true? I can't count the number of times a day I see a couple and wonder how that particular guy won over such a cute/attractive/all around catch of a girl. On the other hand, how often do you see an average girl with a model-esqe guy and think, "Wow, she caught herself a winner!" Not so much.

    Things change with age and marriage. Sometimes. Maybe it's the way we're built. Maybe it's the culture we live in. Maybe you think this all sounds like a load of bull. I think lots (but certainly not all) girls would agree with me in saying that while looks are important to us, we prefer a well groomed, normal smelling, kind n' generous, average looking male over a six pack with a face. But again, I can't speak for the entire female race. Sex in the City is proof of that.

    Females have their quirks. In English class today we had a discussion on the expectations that "Chick Flicks" set for guys. It was almost comical. Almost every male in the class expressed the opinion that when they watch chick flicks with girls, they feel some sort of responsibility to hold hands, cuddle with the girls, or in some cases, have a nice little make-out session even if they don't really want to, because they male lead of the movie is doing it. Now, there are 1001 flaws I can point out in this argument, starting with the making out comments, but I'll restrain. My favorite comment of the discussion?

    Tyson: "Girls always say they feel giddy inside when they watch chick flicks. I don't understand that, I've never felt that way about a romantic movie. But I get giddy when I watch Star Wars. Maybe it's the same thing."

    Another stereotype? Girls always see guys as the heart breakers. If a girl decides she doesn't want to date a particular guy due to lack of attraction, personality, yada yada yada, then she is simply moving on to greener pastures. If a guy does the same thing, he's suddenly the player, mister non commitment, or...a jerk. Sometimes that is the case, both ways. Yet, somehow I see girls breaking a lot more hearts than guys.

    Now you're saying..."Allee, what in the heck are you getting at?"

    Dating is hard. Avoiding falling in love with the idea of love is hard. Finding "a" somebody is hard.

    I'll probably fall really hard on my face at least a few more times before I find a somebody. In actuality, it will be many, many more times. I have a few years. I'm not looking for Clark Kent (although I wouldn't mind ;) Can't resist a man who can write).

    Maybe I don't know what I'm looking for, and maybe just maybe, that's okay. I'll know when I find it.

    Monday, March 28, 2011

    When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes.

    Through all of my music stages, the Celtic, the Indie Pop, the Jay Brannan, there are a few bands that I always come back to. I first heard Yellowcard eight years ago. I just bought their new CD. I love it as much as I did at 12 years old.

    Ryan Key's voice makes me feel like I'm in 8th grade again.

    Friday, March 25, 2011

    Today.

    7:00 AM: I didn't want to wake up today. When my alarm clock went off with that super-annoying octave jump I wanted to throw it against the wall. This semester, I've been a morning person. I like waking up before the sun and squeezing one more hour of work out of my day.

    Just not today. Possibly because I was up well past midnight trying to write about health care.

    10:30: Today, Katie sends me to hang a poster on the bottom floor of the TSC and to the bookstore to look for a trophy (?)  for the quiz bowl  The bookstore people look at me like I'm crazy. I stand awkwardly in the TSC, trying to hang a poster on a wire. I finally ask this guy for a chair, and walk up and down the hall trying to find the RIGHT wire, because it has to be between wire 8 and 12. The wires, however, are not in order. I stand awkwardly again on the chair, trying to hang it myself and realizing how stupid I look.

    12:00 PM It snowed today. Big, fat, wet, flakes that were just enough to make my shoes wet. I should have hated it. In case you didn't know, I'm not the biggest fan of snow. Or cold. I made an exception today. It was disgusting outside but it pleased me.


    4:00: I got an e-mail about the JCOM banquet today. At first, I was excited. I was supposed to go last year, but the super organized journalism department (har har. I love them, really. Just don't plan your schedules around them) never told me about it. The only reason I even knew I got a scholarship was an e-mail telling me I needed to send a thank-you note. 

    All the sudden I had a realization.

    Banquet=Date

    And then my life was awkward. I know journalism boys. I do. The only problem is that they're all seniors or dating somebody. I'm at a cross roads. I don't disagree with the girl-ask-guy scenario, but I've never liked it. Girls complain about guys not asking them out, but it has to be hard. I couldn't be a guy. 


    4:45 My R.A is right outside my door, explaining the intricacies of half-baths and bad carpet to some wide-eyed, slightly bewildered, 17-year olds. The A-day-ers have been everywhere, bringing with them an air of excitement, nervousness, and who knows what else. I never came to A-day. Seeing them made me kind of glad.

    5:10: Today, I'm on my way out the door to Salt Lake. Goodbye world. I'm off to the Festival of Colors.

    Wednesday, March 23, 2011

    Improve them shinin' moments

    "Improve the shining moments;
    Don’t let them pass you by.
    Work while the sun is radiant;
    Work, for the night draws nigh.
    We cannot bid the sunbeams
    To lengthen out their stay,
    Nor can we ask the shadow
    To ever stay away."


    Te hardest times in life are also the times where we can most deeply appreciate the simple joys of living. Today I found so much happiness in buying a book, in planning events, in finally finding the right angle on my article. In dancing like a crazy person, in the sun shining (finally), in getting a job interview. My heart is at bursting point. It's this combination of excitement and gratitude. 


    Absolutely. Unbeatable.   

    Tuesday, March 22, 2011

    Shoving myself into uncomfortable corners

    Excuse me for blogging too much, for only talking about newspapers, and for being me.

    Every once in a while (read: everyday) I get a little too cocky and life feeds me some humility cookies. Instead of tasting like raisins or chocolate chips, they taste like those cookies I made when I was 6, when I used 4 tablespoons of baking soda instead of teaspoons.

    Today I was feeling pretty good, with my hair step-braided and what not. Went to all of my classes, got a great interview with the director of the health center. Got on a bus to go to a news meeting.

    And then I ate some humble cookies. As the meeting started and stories were being passed out, I kept thinking about the accursed book story. I would almost take one, then my thought pattern would go like this:

    1. That story is too big for you
    2. You'll bomb it
    3. Remember that story going in tomorrow? It will sound like that
    4. Wait for a smaller one

    As you can probably imagine, this thought process is not very effective. In fact, I didn't get a story, and then I felt like dumb. I kvetched for a while, and then came to the conclusion that if I really want to do something, I should take it head on, rather than from the sidelines. The past couple weeks, I've been in wimp mode or something.
    Another humble cookie? Every time my phone buzzes, I hope for a half-second it's the person that I want it to be. And then it's twitter. Or the bus. Seriously, I text the bus more than other contact in my phone.

    So I'll sit and listen to Adele. And ponder how I'm going to be better. But not for too long, because as great as my mind is, it doesn't get me anywhere unless my feet move too.


    Monday, March 21, 2011

    Burst of Allee

    I've never seen myself as a spontaneous person. 
    I go to bed early. At the start of every week I make a giant list of things to be done. I think three years ahead of time, trying to plan how to get exactly what I want. Except for an occasional unplanned road trip to Las Vegas, I'm a fairly predictable, boring person. 

    Let me tell you how 5 seconds of yesterday changed the next six months of my life.

    Saturday at 1:00, I sit down to write my article. On average, a good article will take me anywhere from one to two hours. They tell me that news is easier than features, but I'm not selling my chickens yet. Five hours later, two lunches, and fifteen Facebook checks later I'm still sitting in front of my computer, 150 words short. I'm can't fluff this. I made a goal before I decided to start writing news. I was determined not to be the loser freshman who couldn't write. I especially didn't want to be the one that nobody would criticize, because they were too "fragile". But no matter how hard I try, I can't make it sound good. I can't finish it, because there is nothing else to say. All the sudden, I'm the loser freshman, and it kills me. I manage to get 650 words, but I can't press the share button. I want so much to be better than I am, to be eloquent and flowing and perfect.

    But I've failed. 

    Even if it was only for three hours, PoBev worked a miracle on my spirits. There was so much talent on that stage, so many brave people. It took me many years to accept that fact that I'm not born to perform, at least on the stage. I get just as much happiness out of strumming some guitar chords to myself as playing for others. It wasn't a terrible revelation. Somewhere in high school, I just realized it wasn't for me. If anything it pushed me into what I'm doing now. I'm good at being a behind the curtain person. 

    I woke up Sunday, and before I even took my head out of the warm spot it had made in my pillow, I realized that I had six weeks left. Six weeks of newspaper. Six weeks of teachers and classes. Six weeks of friends. I love my summers, I always have. But all of the sudden six weeks seemed like a dark blot. The thought living in Salt Lake for three months seemed almost suffocating. I had thought a little about it, seeing as I don't have a job to go back to, but in that moment I decided I was going to stay in Logan for the summer. I didn't know the how, the why, or the where, but all the sudden all of the pieces that I've been missing fit together. The hardest part was telling my wonderful, perfect mother. The only time I questioned my decision was when I heard the disappointment in her voice.  

    As I climbed out of bed and looked in the mirror, for the first time in a long time I didn't like what I saw. I didn't like the zits on my face or the way my hips drooped. I didn't like that my hair wouldn't sit right. My eyes were dull and my fingernails were a little too long. Even as a little girl, I promised myself that I would never be one of "those" girls. A girl that didn't like who she was. A girl that looked in the mirror and saw a stranger. Yet, here I was looking at myself, seeing a blank stare in my reflection.

    This is all sounding very mundane. I'm a happy person, I swear. This just happened to be an odd morning. I like myself again today, but something has stuck with me. I'm not who I want to be, and I'm not working hard enough to get there. Realizing that, I found another piece of my puzzle. This summer, I want to find me. I want to run in the mountains every day and read too many books. I want to work 60 hours a week until I feel like I've accomplished something worthwhile. I want to go tubing on a river in Idaho. I want to finish the Bible. I want to love people more. I want to write everyday. When I come back to school next fall, I want to have something I'm passionate about besides newspapers. It's silly enough when normal people ask me about my hobbies and the only thing that comes to mind is newspapers, but when somebody ON the newspaper staff asks you the same question, and you can't think of an answer, you know your in a rut. I must have other hobbies, I faintly remember them. I just haven't taken time to dig them up in a while. 
    The thought of staying here, not knowing anybody, brings me terrified peace. It doesn't make sense to me either. The part of me that is so scared to be alone is also the part of me that knows I can do it. 

    Now I'm off to find the last two pieces of my puzzle....a job and shelter. Wish me luck.

    For my entertainment...