Saturday, February 28, 2015

You know how everyone asks if you feel different on your birthday? Do you feel one year older? One year wiser? 

Usually the answer is no, I don't feel any different.

Sure, I'm excited. It's my birthday! Party! A new year to do fun stuff.

But this year?

I feel old.

Like I feel it in my bones, in my heart. I actually feel a difference. I don't know if it's because I have three kids under two, a husband, a home and a mini van when most 25 year olds in this day and age are, well...not doing that. Or maybe it's because on the hill from 20-30, I'm now sitting right on top of it. I'm no longer going towards the top, towards the middle, I've reached it! And it's only downhill from here.

Not downhill in the sense that life is going to suck...no, not at all. It's just when I imagine my 20-30 hill I see going up the hill from 20-24, sitting on the top at 25, then going down the other side 26-30...downhill. I guess you could invert it, and go downhill from 20-24, sit in a valley at 25, and go uphill 26-30...Anyways...

My new years resolution is to read this book called "Simple Abundance: A Day Book for Comfort and Joy", and everyday you read a page and it tells you how to change the way you see life so that you can be happy. For example, most of us know that being grateful is the way to go if your goal is to be happy, but how do you become grateful? It's not a church book, but every day I read it I can think of quite a few scriptures to go with the concept it's teaching.

One of the days recently talked about reminiscing on the past. The past can be particularly painful, but it's a friend who bears a peace offering. Your past is a mosaic, all these little pieces coming together to create who you are. So I thought I'd share and write down some of the things in my past that "haunt" me quite often, and try to come to terms with them.

One of my earliest memories is one year at Christmas...I might have been 4 or 5...but I remember I hated the outfit my mom had put me in and I whined and complained about it, and I have photographic proof of my stubbornness. Unfortunately, that stubbornness seems to stick. If I where to go back in time I would tell myself to suck it up, that it would make my mom happy if I would smile. I love my mom, and want to make her happy. If I couldn't reason with myself, I would maybe ask my mom if there wasn't something we could do to make the situation more acceptable to my irrational 4 year old self.

In elementary school I wanted to be a class president (school president?), but I had no idea what I was doing or how to do it. I had this great idea, to have a school water balloon fight...and I stupidly told the class (school?) my idea, and of course I got elected. What sixth grader doesn't want a water balloon fight? I tried once to talk to the principle about getting it set up, but nothing came of it. I was frequently reminded of my promise and how I had "lied". I have a very clear memory of my parents telling someone how I had lied to become class president. I didn't mean to lie, but that's what it turned into. One thing I learned from that experience is to keep my mouth shut if you don't know how to do something. 

I remember being really shy about my talents, like singing. I love to sing. But because I wasn't the greatest, and there is always someone more confident and better than you, I didn't really do much of it. I regret that. If I could go back I would tell myself to sing loud and proud, do what you love. It doesn't matter that there are people better than you, that shouldn't stop you from doing what you love. Be confident in yourself.

I remember loving going to Grandma and Grandpa's house, and Nana and Papa's. I loved those sleepovers and spending time with them. 

I remember my "phase". I was angry with the hypocrisy and the two faced lies that I saw in the people in my life. I tried to dress "punk", or "emo", the fact that I don't know how to even classify my phase proves how terrible I was at rebelling. I wore lots of eyeliner because I thought that's what made me pretty. I got bangs, and had black bands on my braces. Honestly I'm glad there aren't too many pictures of me then, gosh it was hideous. I remember people asking my parents if I was alright, and that they were embarrassed. I remember giving a really awkward testimony and forgetting to say "in the name of Jesus Christ Amen", and my dad made fun of me. I remember getting grounded and all my makeup taken away and getting out of my phase. If I could go back and talk to myself, I'd tell myself that no one is perfect. Sure, everyone is a hypocrite sometimes, everyone lies sometimes, and if they don't apologize if they hurt you so what? Don't let their mistakes affect your happiness. Life is to short to waste it on feelings of anger and hatred. I would also tell myself not to be in denial, there is no way that how I was presenting myself was attractive. 

Even up until now I've had a hard time figuring out a hairstyle and how to do my makeup to enhance and bring out my natural beauty. It's not until now really that I think I've got the hang of it. If I could go back in time I'd tell myself to be patient. You'll get the hang of it, and those that really matter will love you no matter what. Your future husband, for example, saw how beautiful you were even though you had those awful bangs at the time when he first saw you.

I remember making really good friends, that I still love and admire to this day.

I remember high school. To sum it up? Awkward. I was just awkward. Trying to figure out who you are is hard. Again, if I could go back I'd tell myself to be patient...you'll figure it out someday soon, in fact you're figuring it out now, every day is a new piece in the mosaic that is your life. And don't give a damn about what anyone else thinks or says about you, because haters gonna hate

I remember family, and all the times that they've stood up for me because they're my family. 

I remember girls camp and not getting along with some girls, and again being awkward. Sometimes people just aren't going to like you and you're not going to like them, and that's okay.

I remember being really hurt by a friend who googled "mormons" online and told me the next day about all these terrible things that she read. I told her that they weren't true, and how hurt I was that she wouldn't just ask me (someone who knew about my religion considering I tried my best to live it) and instead went to the internet. There is a lot of crap on the internet.

I remember not finishing things, or doing things "half ass"...I don't like doing that. I'm not sure if I ever didn't like it or not, I just did it. I definitely try not to do that anymore. I do my best to finish things, and do them to the best of my ability giving it my all...not half.

A lot of the things that I remember are embarrassing, which I think is sad. I think the only thing I can say is that the reason they were embarrassing is because I didn't know how to love myself, to be confident in who I am, to be comfortable in my own skin...I was embarrassed because of these, or because I was trying to be something I wasn't.

I think it's time to let go of the embarrassing and sad memories (and there are a lot, a lot more that I didn't share). Not let them go as in forget them, but just accept the peace offering that they offer. I learned to be confident, comfortable, and myself, something that a lot of people can't say. Of course it's not a one and done kind of thing; everyday is a new day to be.


I think I can finally say that I loved every 25 years. I think I can finally accept the mistakes that I've made. If I ever get the chance to apologize for some of them I believe that I can and will sincerely say "I'm sorry for what I did and how it affected you. Please forgive me, I know better now".  And it wasn't all sad and embarrassing, especially the last 6 years, with Robbie. Those have been the best by far. He completes me. And who would have that that having a family of my own would bring such joy to my life? And to my parents and grandparents?


Thank you for the sad times.
Thank you for the angry times.
Thank you for the embarrassing times.
Thank you for the troubled and trying times.
Thank you for the stressful times.
Thanking for the times that pushed me to be better.
Thank you for the good times.
Thank you for the very good times.
Thank you for the happy times.
Thank you for the peaceful times.
Thank you for your simple beauty.
Thank you for your seasons and consistency.
I could keep going...
Above all thank you for my Savior Jesus Christ. I know I wouldn't be able to accept the past without His healing power, His forgiveness, His divine help and watchfulness as I grow and try to become better. And a loving Heavenly Father. I know that I am loved, and that I do not stand alone, and that this life has purpose.

Thank you for 25 wonderful years.

I look forward to every single day, and can't wait to see what this year will hold for me.

Life is so good