Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Sentimental Word Vomit

There's this road I like driving down at night mostly because at the starting point of the loop, it smells like pine trees and dirt. It reminds me of going to the mountains near where I grew up in California. Just up the road there are horse pastures, and when the wind is blowing the right direction, the pine trees and dirt scent mingles with a faint horse pasture scent. It reminds me of home. Especially during the summer evenings when the sun is going down the farmers have usually been watering their hay and alfalfa pastures and I love the scent of water, sun warmed pastures, pine trees, and dirt.

I'm a sentimental person, obviously. I like driving this loop with the windows down and radio off while I think about life and make plans. Sometimes, I drive this loop just to smell the pine trees and dirt. I love when there isn't much of a moon out and it's a clear night when I drive this mountain road. When I'm closing the loop and making my way home - or sometimes going another round on the loop - there's spot near a farmer's pasture where it's almost completely dark, except for a lone faint street light, there's a clearing between mountain peaks where you can see a million stars. I always slow down during this stretch of road and look at the stars. If there were a safe place for me to park and not trespass on private property, I would totally sit in the middle of the hay pasture and stare at the stars and take in the faint scent of pine trees and dirt and hay.

Places like this makes me want to stay in Utah. Which is something I thought I'd never, NEVER thought I'd say. Ugh...I just need to marry a man who doesn't mind a little hard work and will let me decide where we live.

In other news...

School is coming up pretty quickly. In order for me to get any financial assistance, I have to take a full course load of at least 14 credits. I also need to work full time or close to full time. I can feel myself getting stressed out - which is why I went on my favorite mountain drive in the first place. I'm not so worried about money after school starts, but between now and January, what do I do? I've applied for jobs. I actually have a good chance of getting a full time job at one of the hospitals here in Ogden, but I don't know how I'll do with full time school and full time employment. Just the thought of it makes me ridiculously tired. I don't know. I don't know (that's my life slogan right now.). I guess I'll be testing my faith in myself and my motivation to finish what I've started.

Anyway, I'll be going back to my pine tree and dirt scented happy place in my dreams tonight and try to not worry so much.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

I'm One of Those People

I don't usually publicly announce my religious affiliation on social media - or in real life - very often. I won't deny that I am LDS - or Mormon if I'm asked what church I go to or what religion I subscribe to. I'm one of those Mormon's who quietly live their religion. I may be Mormon, but I don't believe that every LGBTQ+ individual has a one way ticket to hell. There are people I love who are identify as something other than straight. I love them because they are my family, my people. I don't love them more or less because they are gay, lesbian, queer, or whatever. What they identify as doesn't matter to me. I also believe that medical marijuana is helpful in a lot of cases. Seizures. Cancer. Crohns. Glaucoma. Autism. Anyone with an end-stage, incurable, going to die anyway disease. Does that make me a bad Mormon? I don't think so. There are definitely people who are Mormon who are very strict and by the book in their observance of our shared faith. Sometimes they are the ones who scream the loudest and sometimes that's all the world can hear and assume that Mormons are all like that. We aren't. I'm not. 

Anyway, I wanted to preface this announcement with that little tidbit. I never thought in a million years that I would be going to a Church run/affiliated university, but I am. I got accepted to BYU-Idaho this last week to be an online student. I'm not crazy enough to move to Rexburg, Idaho. I'd never survive the winters there. I'll be going into Public Health with an emphasis in health education and promotion. I'm not on the teaching track. After I'm done at BYU-I, I might get a masters in Public Health at George Washington University. Most careers in public health require a masters to move up the ladder. So here is to the next couple years of my life! 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Supermarket Flowers

Ed Sheeran wrote the song about his grandmother who passed away while making his newest album. July is a hard month for me. My mom died July 4th. My dad got remarried a year later towards the end of July. Well, I guess the whole month isn't hard, but those two life changing events happened in July.

Anyway, every time I listen to this song, I think of my mom. It makes me a little sad. Mostly because she's gone and all the memories I have of my mom are fading. There are tiny snippets of moments I shared with my mom that I hope will never fade. I probably should write them down in my journal...

I look at the relationships my friends have with their mothers and I wonder what my relationship would be like with my mom if cancer didn't take her. If I wonder too much or too long, it hurts a little bit because I know it'll never come to fruition. I thank God, though, that my relationship with my mom ever existed at all and will continue after this life ends.

And one of these days I'll write a not so down in the dumps post.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Dear Mom,

It has been 18 years since you left this earth for a life without pain. A life without the hazy cloud of pain killers. A life where you are healthy. A life where cancer doesn't exist. I'm not going to lie; the past week has been hard. I've had a hard time trying to keep my emotions in check while at work. I had an assignment for my English class where we had to choose a personal experience that changed my life. You are part of my story and I cried at the memories that I had neatly stored away.

I have these walls up to protect me from being hurt. There have been precious few people who have seen the walls completely down. I was ill equipped for life after you. Instead of asking for help, I built walls. Sometimes I wish I was more of a wear-your-emotions-on-your-sleeve kind of person, the kind of person who was a little less reserved. I don't wear my annoyance or are-you-kidding-me faces ever. You could always tell what I was feeling even though I was hard to read sometimes. But I am grateful that you didn't push me to be extroverted that way. You let me be me.

You were my safe place, my safe haven. I could always, always count on you. I lost trust in people for a long time because they weren't as invested as you were.

I wish I could remember the sound of your voice. I wish I could remember a lot of things about you. There are random little memories that pop up and it surprises me how much I still miss you. If I let myself sit still long enough, I can almost hear you, but it is always just out of reach.

Mom, I wish you were here. I wish so many things to be different, but I know that I am who I am because you aren't here. I've learned to have more compassion for people and believe in their humanity because you believed in me. I learned that sometimes going without a comfort item isn't the end of the world because you taught me through the example of your childhood. I learned that family is everything. They are everything.

I love you.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Where Did The Time Go??

I had made a goal back in August to journal/blog more. Then school started. I took 5 credits and my classes were online so I thought I'd have ample time to devote to things that are important to me. Like leaving behind a written history of my time here on earth. Nope. Didn't happen. School completely and almost entirely consumed my time. For three and half months, I didn't really do anything. I mean, I did go to two baseball games with my friend Janae. I may have gone to a few movies with her, too. But really, since September, nearly all my time was spent on this damn laptop doing homework. There was SO much reading. I've been to college. I've had homework. Somehow, though, this was more than I've ever experienced in my college career. I'm happy that I get a break though and I'm looking forward to next semester, but I really hope that there isn't nearly as much reading. 

Anyhow, I'm in Lincoln, Nebraska sitting in a hotel room while my family sleeps. I should really be in bed 'cause heaven knows my nieces and nephew will wake me up before I'm ready. My brother is graduating with his PhD on Friday. I can't remember what it's in, but he is officially a Doctor. Thank goodness he isn't insufferable because I don't know if I'd be able to call him Dr. Hanamaikai for the rest of my life. 

Oh, and just so you know, Wyoming is a boring drive. So. Boring. 

Monday, August 1, 2016


I've been listening to Gretchen Rubin's podcast for the better part of the year. There was a little break mostly because my commute to work was cut down from an hour to 10 minutes. I swear I got more done during my waking hours when I was solely dependent on public transit than I do now with a vehicle at my disposal. I wonder why that is. Actually, I know why it is: I'm lazy and my job leaves me utterly drained - emotionally and physically - at the end of the day that the only thing that I want to do when I get home is get my socks and shoes off and not think.


Gretchen has written a book called "The Happiness Project". She took stock of her life and came to the conclusion that while she was happy with her life, she wasn't happy in the sense that she wasn't making conscience choices to do things that brought her happiness. She was simply floating through life making choices just because they were routine or they were kind of already halfway made for her.

I can't remember if she came up with her manifesto before or after she started her Happiness Project, but I liked it so much that I'm going to share it with you. What am I talking about? It's a manifesto; of course she came up with it before her Project. To have a manifesto is to have a specific aim towards a goal; a mission. Anyhow, here's her Happiness Project Manifesto:

  • To be happy, you need to consider feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right, in an atmosphere of growth. 
  • One of the best ways to make yourself happy, is to make other people happy; one of the best ways to make other people happy, is to be happy yourself. 
  • The days are long, but the years are short.
  • You're not happy unless you think you're happy. 
  • Your body matters
  • Happiness is other people.
  • Think about yourself so you can forget yourself. 
  • "It is to easy to be heavy; hard to be light." G.K. Chesterton
  • What's fun for other people, may not be fun for you, and vice versa. 
  • Best is good, better is best.
  • Outer order contributes to inner calm. *I can completely vouch for this. When my anxiety is high, it helps to have things clean. Something as simple as doing the dishes and smelling the soap eases the chaos.*
  • Happiness comes not from having more, not from having less, but from wanting what you have. 
  • You can choose what you do, but you can't choose what you like to do.
  • "There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy." Robert Louis Stevenson
  • You manage what you measure.
  • Loving actions inspire loving feelings. 
  • The opposite of great truth is also true. 
I'm writing about happiness because I think it's something that I struggle with all the time. I am an obliger; my thinking is “I do what I have to do. I don’t want to let others down, but I may let myself down.” Outer expectations are easy for me meet, but when it comes to making myself happy, the motivation to keep making conscience choices/decisions is hard. I think that putting this on the internet will put a permanent reminder somewhere I look often during the week. 

Anyway, I have something in the works for myself. I'm going back to school next month through BYU-Idaho. It'll be one of the online programs seeing as there is no way in hell that I'd ever move to Rexburg, Idaho. No offence to anyone who has the desire to live there. I am not cut out for 7 months of perpetually windy winters or an all uphill campus. I'm also going to work on my version of a happiness project for myself. 

Stay tuned. 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Dear Mom

It has been 17 years since you've been gone. I think about you all the time. Especially when things are still and my mind has time to wander. I wonder what would be different if you were alive. I can't imagine anything really being the same if you were here to influence my decisions. Maybe I'd be a little more extroverted. Maybe I wouldn't crave alone time as much as I do.

I am glad, though, that I like the quiet. I like the quiet because it gives me time to think about you. It gives me time to dream, time to think if I'm capable of achieving those dreams. Those dreams are often influenced by the thoughts I have of you. How much you'd love my happy place nestled in the mountains. How much you'd be happy that I finally know what I want to do with my life. My passion to help people, to help educate them about living a healthier life comes from you. I am me because of you.

Maybe it wouldn't have taken me so long to figure things out if you were here. Maybe I wouldn't have taken so long to decide what to do with my life. Maybe I wouldn't have taken the long way 'round. There are so many different outcomes to life that would have been different if you were here. But if there is anything that I've learned in life it's that we have a choice in how things turn out.

I do know that you were the best mother for me. I firmly believe that. Even though life as I know it would be different if you were still here, I believe that you gave me what you could to either sink or swim. For the the majority of my adult life, I've felt like I've been sinking because you left me at such a crucial time in my life. A point where you would have taught me how to balance a checkbook, how to apply to schools, how to figure out what I want to do with my life, how to be an adult. I've had to figure things out on my own, for the most part, and it has been hard. It's taken me a long time to trust myself to know where to go, what to do.

In the end though, I am me because of you.