Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Emergency Doctor Appointment.

Earlier this month something crazy happened to me. I woke up with a strange pain in my side/back. I'm actually rather surprised I didn't blog about this fiasco earlier (okay, maybe I'm not so surprised. These last 2 weeks have been pretty off for me. You know that scene in Twilight where Bella is sitting on a chair and the camera spins around her as time is passing? These past 2 weeks have somewhat resembled that... Okay, no, I take that back. We'll just say I haven't been very motivated lately and have kind of been in a weird trance. Not depressed. Just a little down and discouraged.)

Let's get on with this story, shall we?

I woke up and got out of bed and had a really hard time breathing. The best way I can describe it is it felt like I was pinned up against a wall with a giant truck pushing into my chest. This didn't seem normal to me. When I yawned, sneezed, or took a deep breath it felt like some stabbed a pitch fork through my back, piercing my left lung. And twisting or bending even the slightest bit was excruciating. It is nearly impossible to find subs last minute at work though, so I still went. I was about 2 hours into work when I realized the whole not being able to breathe or turn thing was interfering with my ability to function well at work. I talked with my manager, found people to cover my remaining shifts, and then I called the doctor.

I don't go to the doctor very often. Sometimes I feel like it's a waste of time and money; which was the case in this situation. I came in for my appointment 2 hours after I called to schedule it. They made me do the standard procedural things. Made me stand on a scale (and raised an eyebrow to see how underweight I am. I raised an eyebrow too because I've been assuming I weigh 7 lbs more than what that scale told me.)  Asked me questions about current prescriptions I take. Took my blood pressure. Asked me questions about my physical health. Blah blah blah. I tried my best to explain the pain I felt, but the nurse lady had a very condescending vibe and I just felt stupid.

The doctor came in. Technically he was a Physicians Assistant and I almost immediately regretted setting up an appointment with him. If I were to summarize my appointment with him it would be this: He thought that I had rib dysfunction, but he didn't know for sure. I could do stretches to help and I should put some heat on the area that hurt.

I left feeling annoyed. He reinforced my dislike of going to the doctor. It was a waste of money in my opinion. Also, I felt sad that I couldn't go to work. I didn't feel sick and I had the energy to teach, I just couldn't twist (which I do all the time when teaching) and breathing was a problem too. When I got home I decided that I would make an appointment with a chiropractor, so I spent some time researching and finding someone that I could trust. I ended up going with a referral and he was great, so I'm going to put his name here to give him credit. His name is Ronny Andersen. He works in Lehi at Andersen Chiropractic.

I had 3 different sessions with him. And unlike that Physicians Assistant, he didn't make me feel stupid. He validated my feelings and confirmed that there really was an issue. I had a dislocated rib. Don't ask me how it happened because I have no clue. I just woke up with it. He told me that I probably twisted funny or something happened a few days before. The only thing I can think of was that 3 days before I was throwing a football around with James. But I don't remember doing anything rough or twisting funny. Just waking up with a dislocated rib doesn't make sense though. Unless someone beat me in my sleep, which is highly unlikely. Anyway, he popped my rib back in place and he did some therapy work on it and after the third session I was completely back to normal.

I have to be honest - I was really scared to go to the chiropractor that first time. I'd never been before and didn't know what to expect. There was some fear involved - afraid it would hurt or that I'd be worse than before. But I didn't hurt much at all (maybe because I built myself up to believe it was going to hurt really bad.) But the point is, I believe in going to the chiropractor now (at least to Ronny Andersen).

Overall, it was quite the experience. I don' recommend dislocating a rib. It's not a pleasant feeling.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Revisiting Poetry

Once upon a time I wrote this poem:

I've missed the writer side of me lately. It's not as if I was ever an incredibly amazing writer, or songwriter, or poet. However, I did put in a lot of thought, emotion, and energy into my literary work (ha! That sounds too formal.)

Here's my point: I want to be better.

I want to be better at blogging. Typing out my thoughts helps me to articulate and formulate what I'm thinking. When I'm sitting around with random, unorganized thoughts, I feel lost and groggy and frustrated.

I want to be better at songwriting (which is basically poetry to a tune). Music is my way of expressing myself. It's my way of accurately summarizing my feelings about a situation. It's a way to channel my emotions into something productive.

I'm tired of what I've been doing lately - just existing.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

I knew this day would come.

Today is my friend Trevor’s birthday. But no matter how many October 4ths pass, he will never turn older than 23. I wonder how he’d celebrate his day if he were here.

I had a dream about him last night. I tend to have very vivid dreams, and while I do remember the majority of them, sometimes I don’t feel they’re worth sharing. This one is different though. Sure, I could sit here and analyze the meaning of it, but mostly I just want to share it because talking about him helps me to hold on to him. He was too important to me to just let him go. When I think about him I start to play the song “Long Live” by Taylor Swift in my head. It’s not a well known song, but I really like it. The part that stands out the most in my mind is this:

Can you take a moment
Promise me this:
That you stand by me forever,
But if God forbid fate should step in
And force us into a goodbye,
If you have children some day
When they point to the pictures
Please tell them my name.
Tell them how the crowds went wild
Tell them how I hope they shine

Anyway, before I get to the dream I just want to say how much I miss him. Granted, I know that we weren’t as super close after his mission as we were before and during his mission, but some people just have a significant and deep impact on you. Just as there are some college buddies you stay in contact with most your life, Trevor is a childhood (can I call it that? We met when we were 14) friend that I feel similarly about. Sometimes I miss him so badly it literally hurts; I can’t breathe and I feel like someone has stabbed me in the heart. I don’t express this out loud because I know people don’t know how to respond to it other than saying, “I’m so sorry.” or giving me a hug. But to be honest, the only people I feel comforted by through the expression of a hug are my parents because they knew Trevor and his impact on me, and they loved him very much as well.

I like to express myself through music, and I have been trying to write a song about Trevor for months now. One day I will finish it. Sometimes I just settle with lyrics or with the piano when I write songs. Trevor doesn’t deserve for me to settle. I want the song to be genuine, and I want to make sure to accurately capture just how I feel.

In my dream, I knew Trevor had passed away. But I was walking down the street and I saw him. I ran up to him and gave him a hug and asked him how it was possible he was there in front of me. He seemed confused and asked me what I meant. I told him, “I saw them lay you in the ground. I don’t understand how you are here now.” He told me not to question it.

We didn’t really talk, and I was too fascinated by the fact he was there that I didn’t really mind the silence. He told me he wanted to show me something. We walked through a field with some trees, and I looked up to see we were at the bottom of a steep hill that had a road at the top. We walked a little further and he gestured for me to look closer. I saw a red car that had clearly fallen off the road and tumbled down the hill, hitting trees on the way. He showed me the dents on the car on the passenger’s side, and as I pressed my had against the dents, I saw a video clip in my head of that car sliding off the road, Trevor inside, it crashing through the trees, and his head smacking against the side of the car. I saw his dad in the driver’s seat crying and yelling Trevor’s name and trying to shake him awake. The image scared me and I looked over to Trevor and noticed some markings on the side of his face.

“Trevor. You died, didn’t you? I mean, I was at your funeral. How are you here now?” I asked him, now in tears.

“I just am,” he responded.

Somehow I magically ended up back in Provo and I ran up and down the streets telling everyone I knew that I had seen Trevor and he was alive. People called me crazy and told me it was impossible to see someone who had died. I shouted at them that I knew it was true. After awhile, people thought I was having a mental breakdown and told me I needed serious help. I ended up going home to my family. My dad tried to console me and told me I had every right to miss Trevor, but that he really was gone and there was nothing I could do to bring him back.

But Trevor showed up. My family started crying and gave him a hug and we didn’t understand how he was there, but we didn’t care. We were so happy to see him. My family told everyone that I wasn’t crazy, that Trevor really was back.

I didn’t get to spend any more time with Trevor because sadly, I woke up at that point in my dream. Though I forced myself back to sleep, I wasn’t able to pick up where that dream had left off.

Sometimes it is hard for me to accept that he’s gone. I’m not ready to allow reality to sink in, though it’s flooding me. I know he’s gone. I don’t want him to be, but he is. My heart is forever going to miss him. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

20 years

I'm in a weird stage of life.

20 years ago I was probably watching Barney on PBS, clutching onto my favorite blankie, and letting my mom braid my hair in lots of tiny braids so my hair would be curly the next day.

20 years from now I will probably be parenting a teenager or two, cleaning up my kitchen, and balancing the checkbook with my husband.

20 years ago I was reliant on someone.

20 years from now someone will be reliant on me.

I know that people always talk about wishing they were in their 20s again. To be honest, it is a pretty nice phase of life. I am completely independent. I can support myself financially. I have a good job that I enjoy very much. I have responsibilities, but not as many stressful ones as I'd have as a wife and mother. I still have energy. I'm not experiencing side effects of aging. I'm not tied down to anything quite yet. I have ample opportunities and roads ahead of me.

I guess that lately I've been thinking about what I want to do with my life. More specifically, what I want to do with my life while in this stage. There are so many possibilities.

Of course there is the obvious one that I've toyed with on and off for the past year - moving out of state and experiencing something totally new. Part of me is terrified to break away from familiarity, but at the same time that kind of change seems exciting and enticing. There is the option of going back to school. There is the option of working on a teaching certificate. There is the option of applying for Teach For America. There is the option of staying here and doing exactly what I'm doing. There is the option of serving a mission. There is the option of doing some sort of humanitarian project. There is the option of moving closer to home. There is the option of traveling. There is the option of developing a talent or giving more attention to a hobby. Point being, there are endless options.

However, the biggest problem I face is not knowing what I want. Does anybody ever know though? Does a career woman question her choice 10 years down the road and think, "I'm not sure this is for me. I want to do something else"? Does anyone feel 100% satisfied with a path they chose in their twenties? Don't people look back? Don't people have regrets? Don't people change their mind as they grow older? Maybe they don't. Maybe they are perfectly happy with their decisions made at an early age.

Sometimes I just wonder how long I will be in this stage of life. To give myself credit, I haven't stayed completely stagnant. I'm moved up in my job. I've grown and progressed. But there's something about staying in a college town when you're no longer a student. Something feels off. I feel like a little kid who hit a growth spurt without realizing it until I look down at my feet and realize my pants have turned into high-waters. Feeling as if it is apparent to everyone else it's time for me to move on and adjust to change.

Am I insecure? Maybe so.

I do love my job. The thing keeping me is that it's more than "just a job". It's doing something that I love and am pretty good at. It's doing something I could see myself doing and enjoying my whole life. I really do love teaching and helping students succeed. I think I'm insecure because a lot of people don't appreciate the value in that. They see the following facts: college grad, still living in Provo, working full time, not married, not going back to school. I'm insecure because people are judgmental. I'd say when talking to people about those facts I mentioned, 10% ask me about my job and what I do and why I love it. 90% ask me how the dating life is going and ask me when I'm getting married. It really bothers me. A lot.

Sometimes I wish I could go back 20 years where I didn't have to worry about anything except making sure my shoes were on the correct feet.

Sometimes I wish I could fast forward 20 years so that I'd be settled into my "grown up" stage of life and not have to worry about as many life changing decisions.

I know I should enjoy the current stage I'm in because I recognize it's a unique time, but sometimes (like today) I just don't want to deal with it.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

I miss my friend.

About a month and a half ago I went home to California for a visit. The morning I left to head back to Utah I was talking with my dad. I don't remember exactly, but somehow the conversation lead to my friend Trevor. My dad told me it was okay to miss him and that I probably wouldn't ever be able to completely fill the hole in my heart. He told me that when I settle down and get married that it's okay for me to express that I miss my friend. I don't have to pretend that my heart is over him. 

His birthday is coming up. October 4th. I remember being invited to his birthday party when I was 14. I think that's about the time when we were starting to become friends. I remember for his 16th birthday I made him a package with some fake money and a little toy Hotwheels car. I thought I was clever because when you're 16 you can start working and making money, and you're also old enough to start driving. We didn't really give each other gifts though. Mostly we'd just write cards or poems or draw pictures for each other or make CDs for eachother. Living miles apart (he in Washington and I in California) made the whole gift giving thing a bit of a challenge and rather pricey. I remember the year that we were boyfriend/girlfriend (still living apart). I went to Homecoming. With a different guy. I remembering feeling pretty bad about that, but he said it was okay and it would have been awkward to say no. 

I feel like my anxiety has increased over the last few months when I'm driving. Whether I'm the driver's seat or in the passenger's seat, it doesn't matter. I feel nervous and anxious and I can't help but wonder if my anxiety has peaked because he died in a car accident.

Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I called him. Or sent him a text message. Or messaged him on Facebook. It's hard to believe that he won't answer. I know he won't though, and I don't think my heart could handle reaching out to him and realizing he won't be there. Sometimes when I close my eyes I can still picture him perfectly. I can picture the sound of his voice. I can picture the way he sighs when something is on his mind and he's trying to decide if he should vocalize the thought. I picture him sitting at my kitchen table when he visited me last summer. I picture his laugh. I can picture him saying my name. I can picture the way our eyes would meet and he'd give a half smile and I'd know that even though we weren't romantically in love, we did genuinely love each other. He was my best friend.

I think that lately I've struggled with the term "best friend". To be honest, I'm not sure I have one. Yes, I have friends I talk to and open up to, but I don't have a best friend who knows me exactly. I think Zachary got pretty close, but nobody will know me the way that Trevor knew me. There are so many times that I lay in bed, tears forming for reasons I don't quite understand, and I find my heart yearning and longing for him. I really do miss him and I can't believe it has been almost 6 months since he passed away.

Part of me wonders if it will ever get easier. When I catch myself thinking about him a minute too long, I feel my heart break a little and I want to scream how unfair it is that he is gone. 23 is way too young to die. He wasn't supposed to leave. How is that even allowed? I wince when I think about how we never got to say goodbye. I try to remember the last conversation we had. I try to think of the last words I heard him say. I try to remember the last thing I said to him. The last time I saw him was last summer, July 2013. He was taking the greyhound back to wherever the heck he lived at the time (I couldn't keep up with him). It picked him up at a gas station near the Center Street exit in Provo. Every time I pass that gas station my heart aches a little. 

I'm not sure why he's been on my mind so much this past week, but he has been. And I guess what I'm trying to say is that I just really, really miss him. I'm not sure how to express that or what to do about it. But my heart is not healed, nor do I think it ever will be completely. I miss my friend. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

BYU Days

I have good news.

James moved back to Provo!

Part of me feels like I'll wake up one morning and realize that it was all a dream and that he's still back in Washington. But BYU started up on Tuesday and I'm starting to see large quantities of people wearing backpacks, so reality is slowly sinking in.

Typically I don't work Fridays, so today I thought it would be interesting to follow James to school. Not in a creepy-stalkerish way (though that could have been interesting), but more in a "day in the life of James" way. Here are the things I thought whilst back on BYU campus:

1. College students aren't scary.
I used to be very intimidated by college students. They seemed so old, so big, and so mature. Today I realized that they aren't very intimidating at all. I'm older than at least half of the students there, I'm sure. I might not be large in stature, but most of the college students don't feel big to me (perhaps I'm just used to them?). And as far as maturity goes, there are a lot of immature college students. They aren't immature in the same way high schoolers are immature (ehh...that's a debatable statement), but it's obvious that a lot of students have quite a bit of growing up to do still.

2. The beehives are freshmen.
I recognize that statement sounds odd. Let me elaborate. When I was a freshman at BYU, I remember seeing a couple of girls from my home ward that were on campus attending EFY. The fact they were at EFY meant they were at least 14 years old, and I remember being shocked they were old enough to be there (in my head they were still 12 years old. 12 year old girls were known as "beehives" in Young Womens. In case you've forgotten.) Now I didn't see any of those girls on campus today, but I do know for a fact that those girls live in Provo now and are starting their freshman year at BYU. It's blowing my mind how quickly time is going by!

3. I don't know how to take notes.
I sat in on two of James' classes. One was a physics class and I realized that the last time I took a physics class was my junior year of high school (let's that would have been 6 or 7 years ago). I remember liking physics a lot, but his class was a type of class that had a couple prerequisites (which I obviously have not taken). I didn't know what the professor was talking about. I tried to understand. I had intended to take notes - note the term 'intended'. I wrote a whole lot of nothing on account of it was all over my head. The second class was a stats class and almost bore me because of how easy it was. My major wasn't statistics, but I took a few stats classes and dealt with a lot of research papers throughout my major, so I was very familiar with statistics terms and concepts. I had planned on taking notes for that class too, but didn't feel the need because it all seemed to easy. My conclusion is this: I can't take notes if I find something to bee too easy or too hard. Is there such a things as something being a medium difficulty level? Does this mean I can only take notes if I partly understand something?

4. Holding hands on campus while wearing a backpack is a strange phenomenon.
This might be a silly point, but I'm going to address it because it was a thought that went through my head today. When I was a BYU student, I obviously had crushes on boys. Some of those crushes were mutual. None of those crushes lasted. There was one small period of time when I was at school though where I was willing to commit to being somebody's girlfriend. My point is this: the majority of my college student days I was a single woman. This meant I didn't hold hands with boys on campus. Being on campus wearing my backpack (which I did today so I could fit in) made me feel like I was back to my old self - the self that tried not to get trampled and who focused on getting to class on time. Holding hands with James on campus and being introduced to his friends as his girlfriend was weird. Not a bad weird. Just...foreign. It was mixing two different sides of myself. For some reason, in my head I can't be a student and in a serious, committed relationship with someone. Those are two separate stages of life. At least for me.

5. I could have lived in the math lab.
The summer after my freshman year I lived in the math lab. But then I changed my major and didn't have much reason to be in there anymore. James had a break between his classes and today he went to the math lab to work on homework. Remember, I was experiencing a day in the life of James, so I went to the math lab too. I looked around and had the thought, "What if I hadn't changed my major?" I would have been in the math lab a lot more. I will admit that sometimes I feel really insecure about my major when people asked what I studied. People either assume it is an easy major, a joke of a major, or they don't really know what to say so they just nod and say, "cool." 75% of the time they'll ask me what I want to do with it and then I feel all kinds of annoyed and flustered. Nobody likes that question. Apparently we can't think of anything else to say though, because we all ask it anyway.

In summary, being back on BYU campus posing as a student was odd. I can't believe I graduated almost two and a half years ago. Some aspects of it I miss, yes. But mostly I feel like I've accomplished that stage of life and I'm satisfied with the stage I'm in now - a working woman. (I almost used the term professional, but that feels too grown up to me.) To be honest, I'm ready to continue the stage of being a working woman outside of a college town...but that would mean James and I would be apart, and I quite enjoy his company, so I guess he makes staying here worth it.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Trip to the Evergreen State - Day 4

Sunday morning was pretty low key. Church wasn't until 1, so we had a few hours to relax. It had been awhile since I had the opportunity to play a family piano, and so I had brought some sheet music so I could play a little bit while I was there. I took Sunday morning as my opportunity. It felt nice to play, but their dog was barking throughout the second half of the song and I got scared. If you know me well enough, then you know I'm not a dog person and am actually a little bit afraid of dogs. Having a dog staring me down and barking scared me a bit and I remember thinking, "I'm sorry you hate my playing." Maybe she was singing along...but I'm convinced she just wasn't okay with me being there and playing their piano.

James's parents had church at 11, and so they left before we did. James and I took the dog for a walk around the neighborhood and I kept thinking about how much I was going to miss the state of Washington and how much I was going to miss being able to hold James's hand. You don't appreciate small things like that until you're forced to go without them. The walk didn't last too terribly long. We went back in the house and played a game on the Nintendo 64 (oh how I missed the N64). Unfortunately I was really, really bad at the game. But I don't think he judged me too much for it.haha Besides, he knows what I'm capable of when it comes to video games. He's seen me play Super Smash Bros, and let's be honest, that's the best video game ever anyway!

Next we went to the kitchen and made chocolate chip cookies. And can we all just pause and take a second to agree that cookie dough is way better than baked cookies? It was so tasty! So we made those, and then we had to finish getting ready for church. Church was in an actual church building, which is especially refreshing when you've been meeting for church in classrooms on BYU campus. I felt really awkward when we first got to church because James is the Executive Secretary and he got whisked away almost immediately after we walked in the building. I stood around awkwardly waiting for him. He had to schedule a bunch of appointments, so he spent a good chunk of Sacrament meeting doing that. Part of me was hoping we could be sitting closer, or be holding hands, or that he'd put his arm around me, but I recognized he was busy with his calling. I'm not that into PDA anyway and I know that it can be obnoxious to see other couples during church being too lovey-dovey. So I suppose it was for the best that he was busy; we didn't do anything that would make other people the least bit annoyed or jealous.

We only stayed for Sacrament meeting. We drove back to his house and came home to the smell of wonderful food that his parents had been preparing. There wasn't a ton of time before we needed to leave for the airport, so we ate, chatted for a little bit, and then printed off my boarding pass. The drive to the airport was about an hour and James and I talked about what some of our favorite parts of the trip were. As I'm reflecting back on the trip, I will tell you what my favorite things were: cuddling with him at the end of the day, hearing him give me a tour in an Australian accent, and I think if I had to only pick one more thing it would be hiking at Deception Pass. Although, I enjoyed just about every part of the trip. :)

Now I'm going to add for you some some James's thought. I asked him to tell me what he was nervous about in me coming, what he was most excited about, and what he learned about me while I was there. Here is his response:

"The thing I was most nervous about was how you were going to interact with my parents. I was hoping that everything was going to be well and it did. :) I was most excited about you being here physically, to be able to hold your hand and hold you! And something that I learned about you is that you can be more spontaneous and I liked that a lot. I hope that as we spend more time together we can be more spontaneous and open with each other. I also learned that you are a naturally good shot!"

There you go. Now James is famous!

When we got to the airport, he parked in the parking garage again and walked me inside. This is also something that nobody has ever done with/for me before. He even walked with me all the way to security! And while he didn't walk through the line, he walked beside it and it secretly melted my heart. I loved that he stayed close to me for as long as he possibly could.

The trip was better than I could have imagined. I had such a great time and I hated that I had to come back to Utah to real life. I'm ready for the fall to be here so that he and I will be living in the same city! Having the distance has been good for one thing though: it is allowing for us to get to know each other really well. Since we can't do anything except for talk to each other, I'm learning so much about him, and he is learning much about me. I really don't want to be annoying and mushy, but I will end by saying that I seriously feel so incredibly lucky and blessed. James treats me so well - better than I feel I deserve, actually. He is so sweet, and kind, and thoughtful, and considerate, and gentle, and polite, and aware, and courteous, and patient, and a million other things! I have never met a guy quite like him before and I just can't believe that I get to call him mine. I love him! :)