The Knowledge of Four

Ok, so this isn’t a real update… but I gave in and filled out another one of those surveys that my friends were sending around… so here are my responses:

The Knowledge of Four

Four jobs you have had in your life:
1. Babysitter
2. Teaching Assistant (computer programming)
3. Web Master
4. Accountant

Four movies you could watch over and over:
1. The Testaments (even though it makes me cry every time)
2. The Italian Job
3. Cheaper by the Dozen
4. Anything Disney

Four places you have lived:
1. Fairport, NY
2. Thousand Oaks, CA
3. Helaman Halls (dorms at BYU)
4. Provo, UT

Four TV shows you love to watch:
1. Gilmore Girls
2. What Not to Wear
3. umm…
4. Wow, I am such a girl, those are really the only TV shows I watch ever.

Four places you have been on vacation:
1. Australia
2. Japan
3. Mexico
4. Brazil (although… I don’t know how much of a “vacation” YA tour is. It’s a fun trip… but I come home wasted, aren’t vacations supposed to be relaxing?)

Four websites I visit daily:
1. Facebook
2. LiveJournal
3. BYU
4. GMail

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Enchiladas
2. Brownies
3. Avacados
4. Lasagna

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. France
2. Fairport, NY
3. Brazil
4. Home with my family
(although, I have decided that I am definitely the happiest I have ever been since I started school at BYU, so… other than the fact that I really would like to be with my family, and I definitely want to go to France some day… I think the place that I would rather be… is here)

Hair and regrets

“Your hair! Your beautiful hair!” “Oh, Jo, how could you? Your one beauty.”

“I took a last look at my hair while the man got his things, and that was the end of it. I never snivel over trifles like that. I will confess, though, I felt queer when I saw the dear old hair laid out on the table, and felt only the short rough ends of my head. It almost seemed as if I’d an arm or leg off.”

Jo lay motionless, and her sister fancied that she was asleep, till a stifled sob made her exclaim, as she touched a wet cheek…

“My…My hair!” burst out poor Jo, trying vainly to smother her emotion in the pillow.

“I’m not sorry,” protested Jo, with a choke. “… It’s only the vain part of me that goes and cries in this silly way. Don’t tell anyone, it’s all over now. I thought you were asleep, so I just made a little private moan for my one beauty.”

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – Chapter 15

In case anyone is wondering what this quote is in here for just know that it pretty much describes how I’m feeling currently. Yesterday I went in to Paul Mitchell hair school and had my roommate cut my hair. I was apprehensive about doing so but Kirstin has been saying that she needs people to come in and have her cut their hair so she can have the experience and get her hours in and all of that. I hadn’t had my hair cut since August and it was getting to be too long to really deal with. So, I agreed that I would come in. I definitely picked a bad day to go in since my hair had been getting on my nerves during the week because it was so darn long (my hair has been the longest it’s been in my entire life) and I really just wanted to get some of the length taken off. So, when I went in we started discussing length and she at first suggested below my shoulder blades. I told her to maybe go a little shorter (since it does take me about 8 months to go in and get my hair cut) and we agreed that we’d go about halfway between the bottom of my shoulder blades and my shoulders. Still really long, but not as long as it’s been. So, she started cutting… and cutting… and cutting. Then when she finished cutting it we started to go for the layers. I hadn’t yet realized how short it had gotten and so we cut the layers. When all was said and done all of my hair was above shoulder length (she says she had to keep evening it out so that it would be straight… apparently for like 2 inches!) and the short layer is about chin length. Now my hair is only just long enough to go in a ponytail. I know I shouldn’t be really upset about this, but I am. I HATE MY HAIR SHORT! I took soo long to finally get it to a length that I really liked and now it’s gone. I literally called up my mom last night and cried to her on the phone for half an hour. She keeps saying I should go to a professional salon and have them fix it… but the hair cut itself is really just fine. Kirstin did a really good job on the actual cutting… it’s just so short. Unfortunately, there’s not really anything I can do about it now. Just wait a few months while it grows back in. But maybe it’s good. Maybe like Jo, the character in Little Women (which, p.s., was one of my favorite books growing up), I needed to do it so that I could get my vanity in check. I don’t know. It’s not that big of a deal. In a couple of days I’m sure I’ll get used to it and be over it. In several months (ok, maybe a lot of months… I don’t know, I don’t think I’ve had my hair this short since I was 15- and I look at those pictures and cringe) it will grow back. It’s just hair. I just wish I could press rewind, go back 48 hours and decide to go to a professional salon and just get my hair cut right. But it’s too late now, no use living in regrets.

Speaking of regrets, I had an interesting conversation with my mom last night. She was saying that last night was one of very few breakdowns I have had in my life which have ended with me crying. Which was almost true. I hadn’t realized that me and my mom had never really discussed the emotional hell I went through a little over a year ago. I guess last night I told her for the first time how I spent nearly an entire semester crying myself to sleep every single night. Somehow I thought she already knew that, but I guess not. It sparked an interesting conversation. The events leading up to that semester came from a lot of choices that I had made. Some choices good, some bad, and I got into some situations that I simply wasn’t ready for. At the time, they were things that my mom didn’t approve of but that I felt very strongly about. We finally had to agree to disagree and just not discuss it. So finally a year and a half later it’s all far enough in the past that we could talk about it. My mom asked me if I were to go back if I would do things differently. It’s something I’ve considered a lot so I didn’t have to think long about my answer. It was “absolutely not.” Which perplexed my mom, as much as it does most people. See, I don’t believe having regrets. By that I mean like life long regrets, not like regrets of cutting your hair too short which will last a few days. Of course, I have to qualify that. If I were to go back, and knowing then what I know now, there’s no way I would do the same things over again. That would be nonsensical. But that’s just the thing, I didn’t know then what I know now. From that experience I think I learned more about myself, and relationships, and life then I could have ever learned any other way. Yeah, the experience was, as I said, an emotional hell. But I wouldn’t trade the things I learned for anything.

It’s like it says in the scriptures “where much is given much is required”. I think that works in reverse, where much is required of us, much is given to us. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without those experiences, and I treasure them. I know that sounds weird to treasure them, but it was a time where I grew a lot and changed and learned. Yeah, growing up hurts, but we don’t need to fear pain. It’s part of life. It’s part of making us who we need to be so that we can return back to our Father in Heaven. “…For if they never should have bitter they could not know the sweet—” (D&C 29:39). I can’t imagine regretting something that I worked so hard for.

I think it’s part of the real beauty of the Atonement is that I don’t have to live my life with regrets. If I make mistakes, and I learn from them then I can repent. I don’t have to go through those experiences again because I learned the lesson so I don’t do the same thing again, but I am not eternally stuck out of the presence of Heavenly Father. I can still return to Him, if I continue on trying my very best. What an amazing blessing!

Sorry for those of you who don’t believe the same as I do, this was as much written for me as for anyone else (as is I suppose the majority of my blog), it’s just been something that has really had me thinking lately.

I have more that I want to write, and more space that I’m sure I will fill up in the next little while with some things that I have been kicking around in my head and really need to get out on paper (or my blog) so that I can sorta finish thinking through them. But for now, it’s 2am and I really need to get some sleep. Good night! 🙂

Sufferings..

While I was on tour I completed The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. If you haven’t read it I HIGHLY recommend it. It was such an amazing book. It’s about a woman in Holland who was part of the anti-Nazi resistance during World War II. There’s a ton more to it than that but the part I wanted to talk about is what I gained from reading about her experience in the concentration camp. I decided that I hate watching people suffer, or knowing that they are suffering. I know that seems like a pretty obvious statement, but apparently not everyone agrees. As I was reading about the cruelty the Nazi soldiers inflicted on their prisoners it just made me ill. I couldn’t imagine one human being treating another like that. It made me think about the Jews as they sentenced Christ to be killed. Whenever I think about that I just can’t understand how anyone could be so filled with hatred as to kill the Son of God. I know they may not have believed that, but really, I just I can’t fathom it. I have a hard time killing spiders even though I absolutely despise them. They’re living creatures and I don’t like taking away life, it just gives me the creeps. I know that from a moral standpoint it doesn’t matter that I make Taylor kill the spiders for me, but I just cannot do it myself. It also made me think of how much our Father in Heaven must love us. I mean, I look at how much I can’t stand watching other people suffer, and the people that I see suffer aren’t in a fraction of what the prisoners of the Holocaust suffered and their total combined suffering is only a small portion of all of the sufferings and sins of the entire world. I can’t even begin to fathom the suffering he went through. But not only did he do it, but his Father who loves Him more than we will ever understand, sat by and watched, allowing it to happen that we might be saved. What deep love our Father has for us to allow His perfect Son to die for the rest of us imperfect human beings. Anyways, I don’t know how coherent that was (it is almost 2am and I’m soo dead) but it was just some thoughts that I needed to share before my brain exploded.

Sierra Vista, Arizona

Well, here we are at Sierra Vista on the 6th day of Young Ambassador tour. I have to say that out of the 8 YA tours I’ve been on this has definitely been my favorite. I have loved every second I’ve been able to spend with the tech crew which has made it infinitely enjoyable. I think I can honestly say that I have some of my best friends on the crew with me this year which just makes it so much better. Really, I just don’t want to have to go home and face the real world. I’m not even close to ready for that. I don’t have my homework caught up and… I don’t know, I like tour a lot and I’m definitely ok with staying here. The weather has been amazing and it’ll be hard to go back to the snow. But it will be good. I am looking forward to being back home with everyone, I’m just not ready for it yet.

So, my host family last night was a trip. Wonderful people but a trip. We were in Tucson, AZ at the University of Arizona. It was a great venue but I’m straying from what I wanted to talk about. At the end of the night we were told that the tech crew girls (me, Lexie Auman and Debbie Allen) would be rooming together again. In years past when I would hear that I’d kinda be disappointed. However, I was totally stoked. I LOVE rooming with these girls. We have definitely become friends. So we got all of our luggage and headed out to meet our host mom. She was a younger woman with one little girl named Spring with her and was apparently pregnant. I felt bad because I thought we were probably keeping her little girl up past her bedtime since she was so young. When we got out of the theater she told us that she was parked a ways away and would go get the car then come and pick us up. While we were sitting there Lexie realized that she had accidentally picked up Keith’s bag instead of her own so she and Debbie ran back in to exchange bags. (It’s a good thing we realized this then or it could have produced a very awkward situation this morning) After they had been gone for a couple of minutes my mom called me to let me know that one of my really good friends is unofficially engaged! I’ve always thought that was a really funny thing to say, but basically they’ve set the date but she doesn’t have the ring… so it’s not official… whatever. Anyways, the girls came back and we loaded everything into the van. I was excited because we don’t generally get to stay with families with younger children because it can be kinda difficult for them to take on a bunch of college students for the night. Lexie was also really excited because she’s been wanting to stay somewhere with younger kids for a while and has been jealous of anyone who has gotten to do so. So we were driving home and we were playing with the little girl. We found out that she was 2 years old and her name was Spring. She was the cutest thing on the planet. I think babies are so much funner when they can talk and play a little bit than when they’re just newborn and just kinda sit there and be little. Just a personal opinion. Anyways, we also found out that Vicki had another child- a little boy named Tiger who was 4 years old. Super exciting! So, we drove home. It took a LONG time to get there but we did finally get there. Sure enough, when we walked in the door this little bundle of energy named Tiger started running around. I was surprised to see that both of their kids were awake since it was probably past 11pm at that point and most children are asleep at that time. So we took our stuff upstairs and they showed us our three options for places to sleep- the baby’s room, the guest room and on a blow up matress in their upstairs living room. Debbie decided to take the bed in the baby’s room and since Lexie and I couldn’t decide just yet we decided to pow-wow in Debbie’s room. Of course, when we went in so did the two little kids. They were running around and jumping on the beds. So we definitely got to play with them. However, it was getting kinda late and we were pretty tired. Debbie went out of the room and called her husband to tell him goodnight. After awhile she came in and basically passed out on the bed- still in her blacks. Luckily the kids took a hint and Lexie and I took them out into the hall to play some more. And they were definitely still up for playing some more. We ran around with them for probably another 30 minutes before they went downstairs to have dinner. As soon as they left Lexie and I went into our room and collapsed on our beds. Running tech for the Young Ambassadors is pretty intense so we come home tired anyways, but after a long day and then playing with kids we were wiped out. Lexie fell asleep on top of the covers still in her blacks. Although I had been planning on showering that night it just wasn’t going to happen so I changed into my PJs and hopped into bed as well. The kids on the other hand went downstairs and were fed dinner! Dinner! At past midnight! I’ll admit that sometimes I live on that kind of a schedule… but I’m in college… and I’m not 4 years old. The next morning the parents were telling us how the kids had been up late… gee I wonder why! In the morning we were running a bit behind schedule so we were hoping to just go and meet the tech van ASAP. But, that was not going to be the case. We came downstairs to breakfast and tried to get going. When we got in the van Sister Westerfield said that we were going to have to stop by the grocery store to pick up drinks for our lunches. Swell. We were already about half an hour late… and she’s insisting that we stop by the grocery store. We did finally get to the tech van about 45 minutes late, and it was actually ok because we went sight-seeing and had far more time than we needed in Tombstone. I’m sure part of us being late was our fault. But honestly! I just don’t understand some people.