Friday, August 30, 2013

Who am I?

I have a problem when people say,
"I don't even know who I am."

it may feel that way.

But you really do know.

It's as easy to know
as knowing whether you like country music or not.

You've lived with yourself
for your whole life.
You know yourself.

You don't need to worry so much
about categorizing yourself
or defining yourself.

As a wise high school teacher once said,
"All you gotta do is live."

You're already you,
whether or not you think you know who that is.

I don't think there's some grand secret to discover,
unless it's that God loves you.

You can try and be
a better version of you,
but you should still try and be you--
the you that you are
when you're not thinking so hard
about not knowing who you are.

And if some days you like country music,
and some days you don't,
that's okay.

A little internal inconsistency
will not destroy
the framework of your identity.

Just be you,
and like it.

Because the you that you really are
is worthwhile.

Not because you're the center of the universe,
but because
to be human
is to be worthwhile.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.

I'm going to have twenty children
so my house is never empty.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

We shall overcome someday.

Fifty years ago
was the great year

In the beginning of the year,
George Wallace became governor of Alabama
and inauspiciously began his term,
"Segregation now,
segregation tomorrow,
and segregation forever!"

But in August,
fifty years ago today,
black and white met
in a hallowed place
presided over by a great man of freedom.

And Dr. King
told us about his dream.

He said,
"Segregation never
and no more!"

He said words
that made us think of our own dreams--

words that still enter our hearts
fifty years later
with all the power that language can hold,
brimming with as many gleaming ideals
as feeble man can aspire to.

I'm glad that
he didn't trade his ability to dream
for the drought of bitterness,
a mess of pottage
compared with the inestimable birthright
that was his as a son of Adam.

The human soul can endure
when it knows that it shall overcome.

"The most important verse
is the one they wrote down in Montgomery, Alabama.
They said,
'We are not afraid.'"

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Beauty for beauty's sake.

I believe in beauty,
and it's one of the themes
I like to write about.

I believe that beautiful things
give us glimpses of God.
And appreciating the beauty of things
makes you more of a person.

Like beauty in a landscape,
or in words,
or in a film.

But what about beauty in people?


Appreciating a person
just because that person is beautiful
doesn't seem to expand your soul.

It makes you shallow.

In everything else in this world,
I espouse
beauty for beauty's sake.

But in people,
it's so different.

You're not allowed to appreciate a person
just for being beautiful
because they didn't do anything to get it.
They were born that way.

But we would never look at a sunset and say,
"That sunset doesn't deserve my appreciation
because it didn't work to be beautiful."

I guess we should look at beauty in people
and appreciate humanity and the chance to live
instead of consuming it on our lusts.

Because really,
people are the most beautiful thing
on this earth!
They of all creations
should be pondered
and admired
and found beautiful.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Big Yellow Taxi.

Four years ago today
I moved into Heritage Halls
to begin college.

I unpacked my stuff,
met my new roommates,
ate lunch at the Creamery with Ashley,
remarked that some of the boys walking by
didn't look a day over 15.

Then, I was alone all afternoon,
and sad.
I read my scriptures,
and then I recall eating a rice cake for dinner.
(I hadn't been able to believe how much
groceries had cost at the store that day.)

And that's how I,
at eighteen,
started my grand adventure.

I drove past Heritage
on my way to work.

The building I lived in
has been torn down.

And in its place--

it's too perfect--


They paved paradise
and put up a parking lot.

I'll admit,
I cried as I drove by today.

I was so young
and I learned so much about love.

For a mad moment,
I thought I'd like to go back.
But then I realized
that would never do.

You can never go back.
You can only love your memories.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Introvert Weekend.

I can never quite decide
whether I'm an introvert
or an extrovert.

I've been pretty shy
around people I don't know well.

At the same time,
I love being around other people.

I feel like
life offers you enough alone time
as it is:
when you're in the bathroom,
when you walk from place to place.
you're alone with yourself in your head
all the time.
The rest of the time,
I'd like to be with others.

This weekend, however,
I completely introverted it.

I slept long,
and read books,
went places by myself.
Mostly, though,
I didn't leave my house
or talk to virtually anyone.

It was nice.
But it was enough.

I'm ready to reenter the land of the living.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Miss Pardee.

This is Amy.

And this is my favorite
picture of her.
And I love borrowing
that headband.

this girl put on her teacher pants,
walked into the second grade

She's not some student teacher.
She has her very own class.
For the whole year.
And today was just day one.

I know. 
I'm speechless too.

Whenever I think about doing that,
I get the hives.

I mean,
what do you teach them

How did any of us
make it through elementary school?

(To all my elementary school teachers:
Thank you.)

The thing is,
she's gonna make those kids
love second grade.

When you're around her,
she'll make ya laugh.
She'll make ya cry
(only in the good way).

She'll make ya learn stuff.
I used to take notes
when we would have our girl talks
because they were always so insightful.
True story.

Way to go, Miss Pardee!
You're a real woman.

Monday, August 19, 2013

I Heart the 70s.

I love the 50s.

I love the 60s.

I even had an epiphany about the 80s once.

But besides my obvious affinity for Richard Nixon,
I've neglected the 70s.

And I couldn't feel good about that.

So I recently took
into 70s music.

What I've learned:

1. Turns out You're So Vain 
is actually a good song.
Who'd've thought?

2. Probably my favorite song of all time
is from the 70s.
Go figure.

3. Sometimes, you have to accept the 70s,
no questions asked.
A song about anthropomorphic muskrats?
Sure, why not?


Friday, August 16, 2013

She is me.

Four years ago today,
I received my patriarchal blessing.

The person it describes
is a beautiful person:
kind and vibrant.

And she is me!

It is nice to see
how much more like her
I have become
in only a few years.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I Open at the Close.

I really like closure.

When I wake up tomorrow,
Allyson will be gone forever.

So I've been wanting to make every moment matter.

Last time at Panda Express.
Last trip to Provo Bakery.
Last episode of Project Runway.
Last twilit walk.

I've wanted to do all these things
with a lot of fanfare
and imbue meaning and wistfulness into them.
To pronounce in solemn and sonorous tones,
"That was our last twilit walk,"
and let the weight of that sink in
while we stand with our hands over our hearts,
looking out over the deep, still valley.

But you can't.

You just go on your walk
and let it happen.

The whole way there we talked,
but on the way back,
we were quiet.

And that was okay,
even though it was the last time.


Allyson leaving marks the end of summer.
And I always get nostalgic at the end of summer.

But in the oranges and deep blues of sunset,
wrapped around the trunk of every tree,
dappled on the leaves in the darkness,
was the promise:
Something is going to happen.

It was so sure and inexorable
that I was surprised
when I stuck my hand out
and couldn't feel it tangible
in the air in front of me.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Be careful in whom you share your confidence.

Today I ate at Panda Express with Allyson
since she's heading back east
in less than two days :(

My fortune said:
Be careful in whom
you share your confidence.

Immediately, I threw it down and said,
"Pshh! I never do that."
My next thought was,
"I want to blog about this."

Which just further proves my point.

Monday, August 12, 2013


I love
that love grows
from proximity.

I love that all it takes
to make people become dear to you
is living on the same block,
going to church together,
and passing each other
on the way to school.

So dear to you
that you like to look at their faces
when they aren't looking,
because the lines of the jaw
and the breadth of the cheek
emit the warm glow of love.

Look at a stranger's face,
and you'll find it's just not the same.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Things That Made Me Cry Today.

A picture of my friend and his wife
dressed up in pioneer clothes.

A story about a birthday gift
sparkling with real-life romance.

The pattern of the disco ball
swirling on the floor.

Friday, August 9, 2013

You don't get to meet Amys too often.

This is Amy.

I met her at work.
I don't know her that well,
but I do know
that she's always kind to people.
She lets you know
that you're a special person
to her.

She always tries her very best at things.
I can't imagine her quitting
or giving up.
If she did,
she would be sure
to learn a lesson from it
and do better next time.

It sure is something
to know a girl like her.
You don't get to meet Amys
too often.
So when you do,
you should take a moment to appreciate it.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

America the Beautiful.

"When they study our civilization
two thousand years from now,
there will only be three things
that Americans will be known for:

the Constitution,
and jazz music.

They're the three most beautiful things
Americans have ever created."
-Gerald Early

I have to agree.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Mona Lisa.

I really don't like Brad Paisley at all,
(to my roommate Ashley, I apologize)
but I recently heard this song.

I feel like the frame
that gets to hold the Mona Lisa
and I don't care
if that's all I ever do.

I found it interesting
that that's even a song.

When I go to art museums,
I often like the frames as much as,
if not more than,
the paintings themselves.

Let's be honest.

That's a beautiful frame.
Better looking,
I would submit,
than Lisa herself.

Monday, August 5, 2013

You'll Be in My Heart (Pop Version).

This is Katie.
We're sisters.

Today is her birthday.

The greatest tribute
that I can give to her life
is with my own life.

So much of me is because of her.
All the cool parts of me are, at least.

The music I like.
The movies I quote.
The sports I watch.
The food I order at restaurants.

Wherever I go,
people like me because of her.

Where would my fond memories of growing up be
without playing Barbies
long after she was too old for them,
"dejunking" our room
while we listened to Now 3,
playing duets,
and watching tennis tournaments
while eating Texas toast and soft pretzels?

I'm glad she's my monkey sister,
sistergirl honey child butternut squash,
white beaver,
graduate of loonbuggy school,

Friday, August 2, 2013

I want to meet the cow that made this.

I want to love life so much
that when I eat ice cream,
my first wish is to meet the cow that made it
so I can give her props.

How nice it would be
to be so easily touched
by the little things in life,
and to be so aware
of where thanks are due.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Waiting up.

When you decide to wait up
for your roommate to come home from her date,
you're in for the long haul.

So much drooling on the couch.

But it's worth it.

No girl should walk in,
from a nearly magical evening
and have to

There should be someone
drooling on the couch,
waiting to hear her dreamy sighs
and giggle with her
and watch the awe on her face
as she stares into space.

And it's nice to be that someone waiting,
who gets to take part in
the fresh excitement,
and not the tempered feelings
of the next morning.