Sunday, April 6, 2014

In loving memory of Trevor John Hollingsworth

One of my best friends died in a car accident earlier this week.

I found out during work on Tuesday. I remember glancing at my phone quickly before teaching my 3 o'clock class and seeing numerous missed calls, and text messages from various people saying to call once I read the text. The urgency scared me, and I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to keep composure while teaching if I returned phone calls right then. It was a very good thing that I waited until my class ended at 5. The most recent text was from my dad and, unfortunately for him, he was the one who had to break the news to me. "Trevor Hollingsworth was killed in a car accident last night."

I understood the words, but I didn't comprehend them. People aren't supposed to die when they are 23. Are they sure he didn't make it? Is he in a coma? Maybe they jumped to conclusions? Surely he was still alive. He had to be alive. To make matters worse, the date was April 1st. And though I secretly thought, 'maybe this is an April Fools joke?' I knew that death isn't something worth joking about.

The next person I called back was Trevor's sister. She told me the funeral would be in Spokane, Washington that Saturday. She told me she understood if I wouldn't be able to attend. I ended the call and felt numb. Several tears had escaped my eyes, but it wasn't until I excused myself to the restroom that I started to sob. Til that point in my life, I'd only known of two people to have passed away -my great grandmother, and a former seminary teacher. I had no idea that the third person would be Trevor - who, if we took out my family, is one of the top 3 people I've been closest to in my entire life.

I was still scheduled to be at work for two more hours, but I couldn't keep my emotions under control. I told my manager the situation and left work early. Knowing myself, being alone would be the worst possible thing for me to do. As I got home, I called my cousin Sara and told her I was hurting and needed some company. I didn't want to sit and 'talk about it'. Talking about my feelings to people isn't something that has ever been easy for me to do. Mostly what I needed was emotional support, and a distraction. We went to Costa Vida and I was so grateful for her company. After that, I spent time with my friends Jennie and Jenna - who I've been friends with for a long time and grew up with. They knew Trevor as well, and I'm sure they could only imagine how tough the situation was for me.

Most people, I think, wouldn't have gone into work the next day. But if I don't keep busy, I fall into a depression and have a hard time getting out of it. I didn't really have the heart to teach on Wednesday or Thursday, but I recognized that I couldn't put everything in my life on pause. I'm sure I didn't appear to be myself because honestly I didn't really feel like myself. Someone very important to my life was suddenly gone and I was slowly trying to process that fact.

I flew out to Washington so I could attend the funeral on Saturday. I was fortunate enough to have my parents there with me. The moment we pulled into the church parking lot and I saw the hearse, I felt like someone had thrown a bag of heavy bricks at my chest. 'This is real,' I remember thinking. As my mom and I walked into the church, we were handed a program. There were a few tables set up that were filled with all things Trevor - his trumpet, sheet music, some harmonicas, a kazoo, a ukulele, a pile of hacky sacks, some beanie hats - one of which had alpacas on it (He served a mission in Peru and there were lots of alpacas there), his scripture set, a N64 controller, a high school sweatshirt, a picture of him running his marathon a month or so ago... Mom and I both started to cry. I can't remember when I stopped crying.

When I saw the casket, I kept thinking about how I knew that Trevor's physical body was in there, but that his spirit is still alive and with us. I missed him like crazy, especially as his sister reminded us of Trevor's wonderful qualities, but I really do believe there's life after this. And I know that Trevor is in good hands and is so happy! I think it's okay to be sad. But rather than focus on how sad we are that Trevor is gone, I think it's important to remember all of the good Trevor has brought to our lives. His cousin gave the eulogy and his friend Ethan read through a few of Trevor's journal entries at the service, and it just made me so grateful that I had the privilege of having Trevor be such a huge part of my life for as long as I did.

So now I want to take a minute and tell you more about this awesome guy. But we have to start by going waaay back to 2005.

I love the body language being expressed in this picture, because this is how our friendship started out. It was kind of awkward! We were freshmen in high school and I'd never really been friends with a guy before. At least, not to the level where I'd feel comfortable hanging out with a guy one on one. I thought he was dorky and goofy, but I couldn't judge - I was a dork too! 


I can't remember him asking for my number, but I gave it to him and almost instantly regretted it. He would call me ALL. THE. TIME. But I learned that as I started opening up, that he was actually a lot of fun to talk to. His sense of humor aligned with mine. He'd always have a comment for my stories. It never felt like we were trying to top each other's story - we would just get into conversations that would last hours because as good as we were at telling stories, we were good at listening to them as well. There was never such a thing as a short conversation with us though.

As our freshman year came to a close, and as Trevor and I developed a deeper friendship, we found out the unfortunate news that Trevor and his family would be moving to Washington. Ironically enough, my family was moving away from California that summer as well! So although it was too bad we weren't going to be living in the same state as each other, at least we both were beginning new adventures in new states at the same time. We would talk even more than we did the year before. As fun as it would be to exaggerate the fact we talked all night long, I promise that I am 100% serious when I say that there were nights that the only reason I'd hang up was because the sun was up and I needed to get ready for church. My dad was always telling me to hang up and go to bed...

Even though we didn't live close by each other anymore, we stayed in touch and planned to go to EFY the same week as each other the summer after sophomore year. It was fun being able to see him and spend some time with him.



As time progressed, so did our relationship. Our conversations were more than just fun stories, they were deep and meaningful. We shared secrets. Dreams. Hopes. Plans. Thoughts. Worries. Fears. We talked about everything. He was so great at giving me advice. I remember he'd always speak in the form of simple analogies - which always helped me to understand things so much better. I'm not a very eloquent speaker, nor am I very good at trying to express my feelings. But somehow he always knew what I was trying to convey. He was the most patient person I'd ever known. He was so thoughtful with his responses. He was so gentle and kind when he'd speak to me. He was extremely humble. He was loyal. He was forgiving. There were so many times that I was a pain in the butt - I'd whine or complain or cry or mope, and he'd always know just what to say to cheer me up. And all of those times when I'd close up and think it would just be easiest to push everyone away and shut everyone out, Trevor would be there to reassure me that there is nothing I could ever do to make him love me any less than he does. I could call him at 3 in the morning and he'd be willing to listen. I'd like to think that I was as great a friend to him as he was to me, but I really don't think that's possible...I think Trevor is the best friend somebody could hope for.

I remember one day we were talking on the phone and discussing the topic of, "I know we are best friends. But I think we're probably more than that." We decided we wanted to put a label on 'us'. The summer after junior year was so much fun. I moved back to California and Trevor and I got to spend more time together! I visited him in Washington for a week, and he visited me in California for a week. It was always a little bit weird the first day (we knew each other's voices so well...but interacting in person takes some adjustment), but we warmed up to each other quickly. It was so much fun being in a relationship with someone who knew me better than I knew myself. He'd asked my opinion on things, but already know my answer. He knew what activities I'd love and which ones I'd feel skeptical about. My favorite part about him was that he was so selfless. I don't know what I did to deserve his affection (I don't think I deserved it at all, actually), but that boy was always trying his hardest to do whatever he could to make me happy. My mom would remind me, later, that Trevor truly did adore me and put me on a pedestal. He treated me like a princess.







I loved that I felt comfortable being myself around him. I will be the first to admit I'm quirky and weird, but it was fun having someone who didn't make me feel embarrassed about it. Another thing that I treasured so much was Trevor honestly tried to be his best, and to help me be my best. I'd tell him my struggles and challenges and feel absolutely no judgement. And if I ever confessed something like, "I feel like I'm not very good at making scripture reading a priority. I should work on it", his response would be, "Okay, one sec. I'll grab my scriptures. Where should we read?"  Trevor has so many wonderful characteristics I admire and aspire to develop. He would always go out of his way for others.

And if there is any one person who I can deem as the epitome of a sincere and true friend, it's Trevor. As our senior year began (mind you, we were living in different states again), he finally got text messaging for his phone. Each morning I'd wake up to some sweet message like, "Good morning, beautiful! I hope you have the best day ever because you deserve it. I love you!" Or sometimes he'd write me a sweet little poem. He was always thinking about me and was so invested in our relationship. And even on the days when I wasn't very responsive, he'd remind me that he was there for me.

As senior year went on, our relationship changed a bit. I kind of panicked at the thought of locking myself into a future with someone having not dated anybody else. And so Trevor and I went back to being just friends. Eventually I started dating somebody else. But even though I'm sure it killed him emotionally, he was still willing to be there for me if ever I needed him ... no matter what the problem was.



When we finished high school, I went to BYU and he went to BYU-I. Our friendship wasn't nearly as strong or close as it had been before, but we still enjoyed talking every once in awhile. Like I said, we knew each other so well on such a deep level. Being friends was so natural and easy, it didn't matter how long it had been since our last conversation.


Trevor was called to serve an LDS mission in Peru. He paid me a surprise visit in Provo just before he was getting ready to leave though! We had a lot of fun together. I was so excited to see him. Our friendship picked up where we left off, and we had a blast together. I didn't necessarily tell him I'd "wait" for him, but I was very diligent with writing him throughout his mission. And as the end of his two year mission was nearing, we very seriously talked about a future together and plans for once he got back. To make a long story short, the Lord had other plans for me and Trevor in that regard, but our friendship is still something I hold dear to my heart.

Last summer (which was a year after he returned from his mission), he came out to visit me in Utah again. In all honesty, it had been awhile since we'd really talked - a lot had changed in our individual lives in that year, but it was still really good to see him and spend some time with him. I have no doubt in my mind that he helped shape me into the person I am today. I feel blessed and lucky to have Trevor in my life.

My heart has felt all different types of love for Trevor over the last nine years. He's the best friend I could have asked for and I'm so grateful that God allowed mine and Trevor's paths to cross our freshman year of high school. He has been one of the most important and influential people in my life and I am always going to have a place for that guy in my heart. He's touched my life for the better and I will never forget him.

I love you, friend.


Here are songs I've written about Trevor over the last few years, in case you're interested :)

http://www.reverbnation.com/kristybrizzee/song/13101447-jet-streams

http://www.reverbnation.com/kristybrizzee/song/9158943-never

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_d2WsjcIm0

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sometimes I have to tell myself to shut up

Is it just me, or sometimes do you feel like you need to tell yourself to shut up? haha

This happens to me. A lot.

Sometimes it happens when I'm telling a story to my students. I start to ramble and there's a voice in my head that says, 'Kristy. Stop talking.'

Sometimes it happens when I'm in a really good mood and just get home from work. I'll start talking to my roommates to the point where I'm just talking about nonsense. That voice in my head says, 'Okay. Just go upstairs now. Stop talking, Kristy!'

Sometimes it happens when I'm around people I don't know very well. I naturally tend to be more reserved or quiet, but the second someone asks me a question it's like I forget how to talk like a normal person. I can't remember normal English words. I start rambling about something that even I am bored by. As I keep going I feel my chest pound and that voice scream, 'Seriously, Kristy? SHUT UP! Stop talking. Right now. You're embarrassing yourself.'

Sometimes it happens when I'm talking to a cute boy. I don't want to say something stupid, but that results in me over-thinking things. I trip over my words. I ramble. I can feel myself digging my own grave. The voice in my head laughs, 'Really? Again? Just don't talk anymore. And please get us out of here.' 

It reminds me of the movie Mean Girls when Lindsay Lohan's character talks about word vomit - the words just come out even if you don't mean for them to. I feel like that happens to me all the time. Not 'word vomit' in the gossiping type sense (as it is referred to in Mean Girls), but 'word vomit' in the sense I can't keep my words in. I ramble. And as I'm telling myself things like, 'The conversation is over now. You really don't need to say anything else.'  I keep talking. Or typing...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Rapunzel is Frozen

Okay, so really that should say  'Rapunzel is IN Frozen'.

I was watching Frozen today after work (I watched it less than a week ago as well. Judge away!) and I was surprised to find Rapunzel make an appearance! It's while Anna is singing, 'For the First Time in Forever'. It's Coronation Day and the second the gates open, Anna pushes her way out through the crowd. And for a brief second you can see Rapunzel and Eugene (AKA Flynn Rider) in the crowd. Next time you watch Frozen, look out for it.

In other news, Utah is choosing to be not so frozen anymore. Today was beautiful. Then I stop and realize it's almost APRIL, so Utah better not be frozen anymore - we're officially in Spring Season now! Woohoo!! You know what that means? I can start running again! (haha I guess technically I could have been running for the past several months as well...I just enjoy running outside and very much dislike running in the cold. So, it's been quite the dilemma. No more excuses now!)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

I fell asleep at 8 AM

Let me tell you, life as an insomniac is not something one should envy.

FACT: Thursday night I did not sleep. It wasn't till 8 in the morning on Friday that my body agreed to giving me a few hours of sleep.

Sometimes my mind races and I can't slow it down. It worries about dumb things and obsesses over details that really don't even matter. I will give you the example of Thursday night.

As I lay in bed, I started to think about piano lessons. I remembered taking lessons from my mom's friend Kim for a very short period of time. I know Kim's family well; our families did a lot together. They've moved several times and my mind was picturing the house they lived in when I took piano lessons. My brain ran into a problem though - I could NOT figure out where in Folsom the house was located. I could picture the view from the front yard looking out, I could picture the neighborhood, I remembered there was an elementary school nearby and a park nearby. As I took a mental drive through the entire city of Folsom, I couldn't figure out where this place was. The location of that house really doesn't matter. But I couldn't stop thinking about it. I sent a text to my mom asking where Kim's old house was. She gave me a general area, but I still couldn't picture it. To settle my mind, I went to Google Maps and hit the satellite view. I probably spent, in total, 2 hours hung up on the issue of trying to figure out where that house was located.

Phase Two of my sleepless night: I was annoyed with my hair. It was disgusting and greasy and stringy. I was planning on getting my haircut that weekend, and so I tried imagining how I wanted it cut (nothing drastic - I just needed my bangs trimmed, mostly). I grabbed my phone and looked through dozens of pictures of different types of bangs. Then I read articles about the best hairstyles for thin hair.

Phase Three. I started feeling extremely insecure about my appearance. This happens occasionally. I think about all of my physical imperfections and things I wish I could change. I grabbed my phone again and tried to find articles about ways to dress a petite frame. I looked for articles about how to gain weight. And then I did this self-criticize thing. I have a BMI of 14.5 - which is considered to be dangerously underweight. I started wishing I looked different. I started worrying about the risk of infertility later on in my life.

Phase Four involved crying. By this point it was probably 4 in the morning. I was anxious about a blind date I was set up to go on Friday evening. I was mostly anxious because the date was planned to be at a location that I associate with Zachary. Zachary and I went to this location when our relationship was at its most serious point - I was the most in love with him and I was convinced that he was going to be my husband. My emotions entered the danger zone. I was dreading the date. I was dreading being reminded of memories and old feelings. Then, without warning I felt my eyes begin to tear as every fond memory of Zachary came flooding over me. I remembered all kinds of sappy moments we had. And then my mind pictured him holding me in his arms and the words, 'I love you' coming out of his mouth.

Phase Five - I lost it. I got up to go the bathroom. Then I went back to bed, annoyed that I couldn't fall asleep. And I was hurting because of Zachary. And the realization I'm still emotionally attached to him made me troubled and upset and feel weak.

Phase Six. I started thinking about my family and how much I missed them. Thinking of my family made me feel safe and happier. I thought about how wonderful the weather in California is. I pictured our pet kitties - Whitney and Maizy. But then I obsessed over stupid details again such as the color of the carpet, or the the color of the tile, or the number of steps on our staircase.

Phase Seven happened at 5:30 AM. I could hear construction going on and the day waking up. I started hearing cars. I sensed that the sun was just dying to come up. So began the battle of me trying to fight off the distractions of noise and light.

Like I said, I probably fell asleep at 8. I was too depressed to get out of bed. I was so exhausted that I felt physically ill. I didn't want to get up, so I allowed myself to lay there till noon. Most likely I wasn't asleep that whole time, but I will honestly say it was the worst night of sleep I've ever gotten in a long time.

In case you were wondering how I slept Friday night... I took a sleep aid and the combination of that, with the stress of the date over with, and with my body feeling sheer exhaustion, I slept well. I fell asleep fairly quickly and slept through the entire night. I got up at noon again, but waking up at noon fully rested is much better than waking up at noon feeling groggy and depressed.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

My sister and I make music videos

I am home for Spring Break and it is SOOO AWESOMEEE!!! It has been mid/high 70s all week and as much as I love those Utah mountains, I love seeing all the green around here. Nothing beats home. It's been a blast spending time with my family. Maizy (cat) sleeps with me at night and it warms my heart (figuratively and literally). I watch a movie every day on our TV since the screen makes me feel like I'm a movie theater. I play Super Smash and Rock Band whenever is convenient. I eat constantly. And my sister and I make music videos.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Leggings

I had a male friend post a comment on facebook today about women who wear leggings as pants. It was a very long status and I actually read the entire thing (for once! ha. If there's ever an option to click 'see more...' I rarely bother taking the time to read). The simple summary of his rant was this: 'If woman are going to complain about men "always staring" at their butt or checking them out when they wear leggings, then maybe they should stop wearing them as an alternative to pants.'

The quantity of comments was crazy. And I read them all. haha.

What stood out to me the most was how incredibly defensive one girl was. I think that everyone is definitely entitled to their opinion, but I could tell that my friend's post rubbed her the wrong way. She admitted that she wears leggings just about every day and it was pretty obvious that she took offense to his comment.

Rather than be a silent observer of the conversation, I thought I'd share some of my thoughts on here.

I will start off by sharing the mindset that I used to have and how it's progressed to what it is today. By no means is it my intention to attack other people or offend anyone; I simply am stating my opinion on the matter.

Take a journey with me back to the days of high school. I remember the end of my sophomore year I spent a lot of time with 3 of my friends (we'll call them Anna, Mike, and Jason). All three of these individuals were very into fashion and style and dressing well. Of course I cared about my appearance, but I never really was on board with trends. Everything I wore was just really simple and basic. One day we got on the topic of clothing and I said something along the lines of, "I need a style. What types of clothes would look good on me?" Mike, almost immediately, replied: "You should try wearing skinny jeans. They'd look really cute on you." Anna said, "You should wear dresses with leggings underneath." (Of course Anna would suggest this - that was the style she was into at the time).

To address Mike's comment, I have something very funny to admit. When I first saw skinny jeans appearing in stores, I thought they were absolutely hideous. I hated them so much. I remember this one time I was at Mervyns with my mom (moment of silence. Mervyns, may you rest in peace...). Anyway, we were looking through the juniors clothes and I remember telling my mom I thought skinny jeans were ugly and I didn't understand why people would wear them. So fast forward to my conversation with Mike, and you can imagine my hesitation in taking his advice.

Well the truth of the matter is that the first time I put on skinny jeans I realized they weren't that bad. My first pair of skinny jeans was from a store called Anchor Blue (now out of business...sad day!) I was with my mom when I tried them on and I asked her what she thought. Secretly I thought that they were actually pretty flattering on me, but I wasn't about to admit that. She said they looked nice on me, and so I bought them. My second pair of skinny jeans was from Hollister and I wore those jeans all the time. I'm sure that eventually I would have given skinny jeans a chance (especially because most jeans out there these days are skinny jeans), but I'm still grateful for Mike for giving me the push to try them.

Now onto Anna's comment. I did get into the trend of wearing dresses with leggings underneath, but I wasn't as confident about it as she was. I had so many issues in high school with my self esteem, that I really struggled with wearing clothes that were well fitted to my body. I felt extremely self conscious and I'll admit there were more days than I can count where I'd look at my reflection in the mirror and cry. I'm glad that I've gotten over that because it was definitely not healthy.

For the majority of the time after high school I'd only wear leggings underneath running shorts. My mom bought me a few pairs of leggings, but to be honest I ended up giving most of them to D.I. because I never wore them. I remember seeing girls wear leggings with a regular shirt and I'll admit I've had the thought, "Those are way too tight or revealing" cross my mind. The problem with leggings is after time and after a few washes, the material wears out. I think a lot of girls aren't aware just how see-through their leggings are. It can be pretty awkward and uncomfortable for the rest of us. It can also be pretty awkward when you run into issues like underwear lines or even worse - camel toe. Oh gosh. I'd die.

I started giving leggings a chance again though this past fall. Yeah, I admit, I own some crazy printed leggings (which I used to make fun of) from Charlotte Russe. I have black leggings from H&M and Head Over Heels. I think I was afraid of them because I envisioned myself appearing like every legging wardrobe malfunction I'd ever seen. But what happened was this: the leggings I'd try on didn't have to stretch out much to fit my legs. They covered my body more like a pair of fitted cotton pants would. My first thought was sheer horror - were my legs really that skinny? My second thought was, 'I think I've solved my problem of finding pants that fit.'

You see, a big reason I've been grateful for leggings is because I have such a hard time finding pants that fit me. People make comments all the time on how skinny I am (I've lost track of how many times I've heard people whisper about me, or ask my mom if I have an eating disorder, or have been asked up front if I'm anorexic). The point is, being super skinny isn't something to be envious about. It's really hurtful when people refer to me as a stick or a twig or say I'm too skinny. But aside from hurtful remarks, it is ridiculously difficult to find clothes that fit. I'm not especially tall, but I do have long legs. Pants that fit my waist generally aren't ever long enough for me. And as much as people make fun of size 0, the truth of the matter is that size 0 is a size. And the truth of the matter is that sometime size 0 is too big. That in itself is hurtful, because once you realize companies don't make clothes that fit your body type you start to think something is wrong with you. I know that size 00 gets made fun of even more than size 0, but to be honest size 00 is the only thing that fits me.

I still have issues with the idea of wearing leggings with a regular shirt, as if leggings are a complete substitute for pants. What I've started to do is wear leggings with long shirts, or short dresses, or loose shirts, or baggy sweatshirts. In fact, that's my go-to weekend look. (I'd probably wear it more often to work, but I don't feel it's professional enough.)

I have loved leggings because they've allowed me to dress in a different style that is cute and trendy. They've saved me the trouble of having to hunt relentlessly for jeans that fit. They've saved me from tears that always come after shopping for pants. So even though people may jump to conclusions and say leggings are immodest and inappropriate, I would just like to point out that everyone has a different body type and shape. Leggings fit people differently. I don't mean to come across with the attitude of, "I can wear them but other girls can't" because that simply isn't true. In my opinion, I see leggings as an option for any women to add to their wardrobe. I think the biggest factor a woman should consider when putting them on is to ask themselves how comfortable they feel with their body image and the message it could be sending. If they're honest with themselves and think, 'I might be getting attention from people I don't want attention from if I wear these', or if they think, 'I feel kind of self conscious, but maybe if I don't think about it it won't be a big deal.' then maybe that's the biggest indicator that they should choose something different to wear.

Personally, I love leggings and I'm going to keep wearing them. I think other women can make the decision on their own of whether or not to wear them. There will always be people that will complain and judge, but I'm choosing not to be that type of person.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

My friends are nerds

I decided a lot of my friends are nerds. But I love it!

You may or may not know that Pokemon is currently on Netflix. I personally don't have Netflix, but I openly admit that if I had it, I'd hop on the Pokemon watching bandwagon.

I say my friends are nerds because of how many have made reference to Pokemon on their facebook. Here are a few examples:

"The original Pokemon TV show is coming to Netflix this Saturday. Guess what I'll be doing all day? #childhoodrelived"

"Pokemon is on Netflix... LIFE COMPLETE!!!!!!!"

"Nothing against the guy but Ash sure makes poor decisions when it comes to battling. For example every time he comes up against a grass Pokemon he always uses Bulbasaur...YOU HAVE A FREAKING CHARMANDER YOU IDIOT!! It'll be a miracle if he ever becomes a Pokemon master."

"Pokemon is on Netflix??? Well there goes my grades..."

Now excuse me while I go and find a way to watch a few episodes myself. (My roommate has Netflix. YES!)