Friday, January 17, 2014

2014

i wanna get my new year's resolutions written down:

1. read the Book of Mormon twice
2. run three 10k's
3. get into graduate school
4.  read 10 books
5.  travel somewhere i have never been

i'll stick to those five, though there could definitely be others.... i want 2014 to be the best year of my life. so far, it is off to a really amazing start. granted, picking up the pieces from 2013 can't all be done in one month. but i figured out what i want to do with my life.

the other day, i was frantically scrambling to get my application submitted to UW for fall semester. the deadline was approaching and i was sure i wasn't going to make it. meltdown! so i just stopped for a minute.
"what do you want?"
"i don't know..."
all of the sudden i was a drill sergeant
"WHAT DO YOU WANT OUT OF YOUR LIFE, PRIVATE?!"
"I WANT TO BE AN ARCHITECT, SIR!" yelled through sobs
"I CAN'T HEAR YOU!" spit spattered private hillary's face
"I WANT TO BE AN ARCHITECT, SIR!!"
"WHY?!" drill sergeant hillary was right in private hillary's face
"BECAUSE ARCHITECTURE IS MY PASSION, SIR!" private hillary started gaining her footing
"AND WHAT IS IT GOING TO TAKE TO GET THERE?!"a bead of sweat rolled down the sergeant's face
"well..."

and i went to my life planning mirror with my whiteboard marker. on the right hand side i wrote ARCHITECT. to the left of that i wrote "3 year degree- where?!" to the left of that i wrote "better GRE score, CAD training, better portfolio, letters of recommendation, $$$"

and there it was-- my flow chart of how to get from where i am now, to where i want to be.

and i FINALLY realized the one thing above everything was making me so frustrated. it was

1988

when i didn't get my application into UW for 2014, that meant that i wouldn't be able to start until 2015, which in turn meant that my graduation wouldn't be until 2018. i would be almost 30. why did i care so much about being 30 before i got my master's degree? why did that one little factor lead me to internal WWIII? what is my problem with aging???

i guess it comes down to something surprisingly upbeat. my life is awesome. yeah, it's had REALLLLLY crappy moments. yeah, i've done REALLLLY dumb stuff. but i am so happy to be me, to be where i am, to have the friends and family that i have. in the end, i am afraid of getting older because i am afraid of things not being as awesome as they are now! i regret a couple things, but i hope that they will help me be a good mother and teach my children to be better than i was.

so 1988 can stop haunting me because i choose to accept where i am. i choose to accept that i might be 29 or 30 before i get my master's degree. it's not a big deal! it only seems like it cuz i compare myself sometimes. you know, "ALL" my friends from high school are getting theirs and "ALL" my friends from byu are married and have 6 kids. WHO CARES?! i am me. my life is mine and it's fabulous.

today i am going: to salt lake 
today i woke up: after dreaming about a jacuzzi
today i ate: coco puffs and don't regret it at all
today i vacuumed: and admired the stripes in the carpet

february

i met february this january.
i'd lived with dark december so long
that i almost missed laughing april
not far behind february's outstretched hand.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Old Man an the Stilettos

this is a short story i wrote for my creative writing class and i wanted it permanently on the interweb

The outlines of the pumps in his sloppy messenger bag were clearly visible. Suzette followed her co-worker out of the shop and into the evening bustle of Rue Jean Rey. Smacking her gum unconsciously, she kept her distance, but made sure not to lose sight of the crown that peeked through on the top of Gautier's dark hair. 
There had to be some explanation for this! He wasn't married, had no daughters, no nieces old enough for those shoes, and it was unlikely that he had a girlfriend. They approached the kind of complex that Gautier looked like he belonged in, and sure enough he started up the stairs. Suzette stopped just before reaching the stoop of his building and pretended to tie her shoe. Seconds after he entered, she followed.
Pausing at the base of a staircase, she listened to hear the jingle of keys. She still heard his footsteps. Suzette raced up the stairs ever so quietly. As she stepped off the landing at the third floor, she saw Gautier inserting his keys into the lock. Thinking on her toes, Suzette grabbed the wad of gum from her mouth, and, timing it ever so perfectly, walked past Gautier as he opened the door, cramming the enormous ball into the strike plate. She continued down the hall causally.
She heard the door shut, and turned back around. She had to know what he was doing with those shoes! It was strange enough that he worked for Christian Louboutin, but to steal the shoes….? She peaked through the small window in the middle of the door to his apartment. He was not in sight. Did she dare? She pushed the door. The gum had done its trick; the door opened effortlessly.
Suzette was struck by the design of Gautier's apartment. What taste! The Le Corbusier furniture, the oriental rugs; it looked like a spread from a magazine. Gautier’s bag was placed neatly on the lower shelf of a narrow table in the entryway, but the purple satin stilettos were missing from it... Suzette heard Gautier flip on the TV in the kitchen, buying her plenty of time. Her natural curiosity overtook her and she poked her freckled face into the front closet. 
Suzette’s eyes nearly popped out of her head. Lining the floor of his closet, surrounded with fluorescent up lighting and in immaculate order, were over twenty pairs of the famous red-soled Louboutin heels. 
The sound of a chair scooting back from the table in the kitchen! Suzette jumped into the shoe closet and watched. Unless her ears deceived her, it sounded like a woman in heels was clomping toward her over the oak floor. As Gautier came around the corner, she saw the last thing she expected to see. The balding, pudgy, sweat-stained, greasy guy that she had worked with for years was walking around his flat in a pair of $700 shoes with his pants rolled up to admire them! 
Gautier belched as he went into his bedroom. Suzette waited for a moment to be sure that she could get out of the closet and leave without him noticing. As she began to leave however, she saw a photo album and a Polaroid camera on the top shelf. Quietly she pulled them down. The album was full of nothing but page after page of Gautier’s legs wearing each pair of these shoes. He had to have more of the shoes stored somewhere- there were so many pairs. Suzette recognized some of the shoes from years ago. 
She bent down, looking at the beautiful footwear. There was a bow askew on one of the shoes. Another was missing a buckle. As Suzette scavenged, she realized that all of the shoes had some sort of flaw, but none of these mistakes were accidents. Gautier must have purposely marred the shoes so that he could take the imperfect ones home! She nearly laughed out loud. 

Figuring there were no more questions to ask in this closet, Suzette stepped out cautiously. Without the noise of the TV, she was aware of how loud every sound was. As she turned to leave again, an idea struck her. She stepped into one of her favorite pairs of zebra-stripped heels. Pulling out the Polaroid, she snapped a picture of her legs, wincing at the deafening volume of the camera’s shutter. Gautier hadn’t seemed to notice. Suzette slipped the photo into the album, and she slipped out the door, laughing to herself. 

look at the stars

roll down the windows and look at the glass stars.
open your nostrils wide. inhale and
our perfume will condense inside.
down the rabbit hole, holding hands,
years of black mystery break the fall.

Friday, January 10, 2014

golden

just in time
(emerging from the earthen rubble,
repairing, mending, stitching, glittering,
ending despair with a single golden thread
most often called "love")
you thread your needle and close the wounds.

charity never faileth

i. am. BACK. 

my lovely and wonderful big sis, vanessa, told me a few weeks ago that she missed my blogs. the truth is i haven't written since i finished my mission because i haven't been happy since i finished my mission. (don't feel bad for me. don't worry about me. don't talk about me with your souse. don't ask if you can do anything to help.) but the truth is, i have missed writing. and i think it would be healthy for me to do more of it.

leaving the mission field was the second hardest thing that's ever happened to me. (the winner of worst experience of my life award happened 18 months later and will be discussed in detail shortly) i never understood why RM's were so weird until i went through it.

here's what happens when you finish your mission:


  • you are forced to leave a beautiful foreign country. 
  • you have to speak english. and you have to talk about something other than the gospel.
  • you leave people who have changed your life.
  • you have to plan your life. it's not done for you.
  • you think about yourself and what YOU want and what YOU want to become. 
  • you wonder what your life has even amounted to.
  • you have no clue who you are anymore because you lost yourself in the service. 
  • you miss desperately the one worthwhile activity you have ever participated in.
  • you spend 18 months figuring out how to be a missionary and once you do, it's taken away from you. like a lollipop from a kid. 


when i got back from my mission, i had no school to attend, no job to perform, no boyfriend to marry, my family moved, my city was no longer my city, i had gained 30 lbs, and i had no direction at all. just faint, ghosty dreams of becoming an architect.

when my parents needed another employee at their office, i took the job. i love my parents and i couldn't not help them when they have done everything for me. i enjoyed my job at the office immensely. i even considered dentistry for a while!

when i started dating karim against my better judgement everything started to badly. he brought a very negative light into my life, but i wanted to be fair and give him a chance. i tried to assume the good and doubt the bad. but the darkness he brought into my life spread slowly like a fog. until the time we decided to get married. i had a very good and very positive spiritual experience confirming that there was more for us. of course the feeling that there was more never said that it was marriage. i did everything i could to convince every person i know that he was good and he was the one for me. it worked for a while.

then i quit my job at the office and moved to italy and ireland to start our life together. his behavior was out of control unacceptable at this point. i was trying to figure out a way out, but i didn't want to give up on him. i knew there was something good inside. it was just buried really deep (still is! haha!)

when i came home and found out that he had been with another girl, most of me died. months and months i worked to convince everyone (including myself) that he was worth all of the sacrifices i was making, all the time and money i spent on him, all the love i had forced into fruition so that he could, for once in his life, feel loved and important. he threw it in the toilet, took a dump on it and flushed it all away. probably while laughing.

i still feel hurt, angry, betrayed and all the other bad things you can imagine. it's been since thanksgiving.

here's the part where i'm supposed to say BUT and then list all the wonderful things i've learned and how faith promoting this has been.

i hope you can handle the disappointment, dear reader!

i feel like what i have learned is that not all people are good, that not everyone is trustworthy. some people don't know how to treat others. some people can lie to your face while smiling. some people can weave webs with their friends and associates to keep you thinking that something is true. some people will go to great lengths to keep their dirty lives secret. and now, thanks to him, i suspect everyone of being capable of his same crimes. that's the worst part of the whole situation. that i got infected with his disease. 

ok now i can give you your big BUT. :)

this experience and others have lead to a lot of reflection on the life of Christ. how would Christ have handled this situation? what would Christ say to someone who cheated on Him then lied for four months? how would Christ treat someone who treated him the way they treated me?

the answer to all of these questions (and infinite others...) is that He would show them LOVE. Christ understands the hearts of these people. He gets why they treat others like garbage and what happened in their brains to them that made them mess up to heinously.

i have thought about kindness. like was i too nice? was i too generous? why did i let myself get taken advantage of? that's probably the number one question. then i realized this and i think it's true.

people get so mad about being "taken advantage of"but think about our Exemplar. how many times was He "taken advantage of?" how many people "screwed Him over"? how many people lied to Him, hated Him, mocked Him, beat Him, spat on Him, killed Him? it kinda makes everything seem less important. not any less painful, just less consequential.

so my conclusion is this: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SHOWING TOO MUCH LOVE. if someone takes advantage of you, it's their sin not yours. if someone doesn't treat you the way you want or deserve to be treated, it's their sin, not yours. our job is spread peace, love and charity the way Christ did. no ulterior motives, no "what's in for me?",  no fear that it will be rejected, no mind whether it makes us vulnerable and we get "taken advantage of". yes, it can be painful. yes, it can be sad. but in the end, my conscience is clear. my relationship with Heavenly Father is intact. i put my heart and soul into loving someone who i thought deserved it. if my accused crime is being too loving or trying to show the pure love of Christ with all my heart, might, mind, and strength, i plead guilty.

[in closing, i repeat the warning from before: don't feel bad for me. don't worry about me. don't talk about me with your souse. don't ask if you can do anything to help. someone upstairs got dis wigga's back.]

today i tried to: leave the house before sunset
today i congratulated: the guy on the treadmill next to me for finishing a 10 minute mile 
today i bought: the biggest container of ice cream that wal-mart sells
today i started: over