Firsts & Lasts

This is my last semester of college. Whaaaat?

I’m already overwhelmed with work, assignments, and EMOTIONS. It feels incredibly strange to be *gasp* almost a real adult. But I’m cool with it. Actually, I am psyched for the future. Right now, it’s wide open and I’ve never been more excited (or terrified) in my life.

As I’m completing my degree, I can’t help but reflect on my first year here. The fact that I have 3 brand spankin’ new freshmen as roommates contributes to that. A lot has changed and a lot has stayed the same.

I’m still obsessed with weird music. I’ve learned to make better fashion choices. My BROWS, oh my gosh. Thankful for all the make-up tutorials that have gotten me to where I am today.

I’ve met many people who’ve changed my life. Some became my friends, others…not so much. I’ve visited new places, tried new things, and learned a LOT.

I advanced spiritually in almost every way. I’ve learned to love harder. I grew into myself. I still love church. I still love my Heavenly Father. But, now, I see His hand in my life. I feel His presence when I’m in distressed. God is real guys.

These days, I eat more and exercise less. I’m learning not to take life too seriously.

I still dream the same dreams. I yearn to travel to far off places. I want to learn new skills. I can’t wait to fall in love and start a family.

I learned my mind needs extra attention. I have a mental illness and that’s okay.

I completed shifted career paths, and I’m so glad. I still love everything artistic, but now, I can actually design myself. I started painting. I started writing. I learned that I AM creative and I CAN contribute.

I discovered I CAN do hard things.

In 5 years, I’ve become more than I ever imagined I could become. I wonder what these next 5 years will bring…

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Autumn Blossoms

I read the news today, oh boy
About a lucky man who made the grade
And though the news was rather sad
Well I just had to laugh

I saw the photograph
He blew his mind out in a car
He didn’t notice that the lights had changed
A crowd of people stood and stared
They’d seen his face before
Nobody was really sure
If he was from the House of Lords

I’ve had many moments of quite reflection over the past few days. I’ve found peace in my solitude which is a rarity as of late.

I am back from Boston where I was visiting my family. My time at home usually rejuvenates me and this trip was no exception. I always feel a bittersweet sensation leaving my love ones to journey back west. I convince myself that I should be there with them.

However, my heart wins every battle. I feel drawn to this place. For whatever reason, I cannot grow at home. I’ve tried to settle there but it feels unnatural. I wish I could explain it. However, I must follow my intuition, despite the confusion and contradiction I often feel leaving a place I love so deeply.

I know it is impossible to make everyone happy. I wish I could, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned this year it’s to guard my heart. Be particular. Be protective. BUT, be open to possibility. It’s endless.

I am beginning (again). This is my start. I am happy to be back at square one. There is so much to look forward to and it feels good to be in a place of acceptance.

The harder I love, the more I fight off the darkness that exists so prevalently in this world. It starts with me. Although my plan is not always in my control, it is beautiful nonetheless. I make the most of the cards I’ve been dealt. However, I am ready to play the game with joy rather than fear. Isn’t that what games are for anyway?

No more fear.

No more fear.

No more fear.

I’ve decided on this mantra for my new leaf. I always seem to blossom in the Fall. It doesn’t make much sense, but then again, neither do I. Autumn, please be good.

 

 

 

Hung Up

My golden year welcomed me with a strong punch in the gut. I lost my job. I lost one of my best friends. I felt my internal compass spin out of control. 

Suddenly, I questioned EVERYTHING. Who can I trust? Am I deserving of a good job? Of happiness? Of good friends? I wondered what my parents would think. Would they be disappointed? Would they think less of me? I realized I had no money coming in. How would I pay to live this summer? Or my last semester of college? How would I survive this Fall? I wondered where my life was going. Would I ever be happy? Am I enough? Am I on the right path? Am I pretty/skinny/smart/kind/whatever enough to make it? Thoughts of graduation loomed. Where would I go? What kind of jobs should I look into? Would I have to move back in with my parents? Then, of course, the consistent question. Who would I end up with? Where is he? How do I find him? If I move back home, am I giving up my chance?

Over and over, these questions would roll through my mind at turbulent speeds. Most nights, I tossed and turned, desperate for sleep and answers. The sleep eventually came but the answers didn’t. Really, do they ever?

Although my 23rd year began with a serious rude awakening, I’ve learned a lot in this short (long) month.

  • When the going gets tough, I get going. I spent a few hours wallowing, but the night I lost my job, I jumped on Linkedin and started applying. I finished out the week at work. I remained professional despite the unprofessional circumstances.
  • I can take care of myself. Truthfully, I get attached to people. However, when this event occurred, I had to stand on my own. Although I had a wonderful support system, it was up to me to keep my head held high, show up, and be okay. That’s not to say I didn’t breakdown (I am human) but I ate, I slept, I reflected, and I prayed. I did my very best to avoid old, self sabotaging habits and I did alright.
  • It’s okay not to have it all figured out. Hi, this is LIFE. You are treated unfairly. Best friends break your heart. You have no money and you need to live off of cereal. It’s just reality. I’m 23 and I’m not sure what’s next. That’s OKAY. As my Mum says, ‘Em, you are doing better than you think you are.’ 

Despite the bumpy beginning, I still think this year is going to be great. I have one major goal in mind that’ll make the next eleven months valuable.

My goal is to live truthfully with real intent. 

I’ve always believed in living my truth. To be unapologetically myself, warts and all. I’ve lost sight of that recently. I live in an environment that stresses perfection. It’s overwhelming and it is excessively unhealthy.

This week I am flying across the country to visit my family and get back to my roots. I’ve been looking forward to this trip for the past month and it’s finally here! When I am home, I plan on reflecting on what really matters. Family. Love. Truth. Light.

Here’s to the second month of my 23rd year. And here’s to making my golden year truly golden! Life certainly isn’t a piece of (birthday) cake, but it might just be a giant peanut butter, ice cream sundae (with jimmies!) at Friendly’s. Massachusetts, I am coming for you!

I’m O K A Y

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If I’m being totally honest, life has been a suckfest lately. It’s been one thing after another and I can’t seem to catch a break. I haven’t written in a while because I haven’t had the energy or mental capacity. I’ve been sad. I’ve been angry. I’ve been (worst of all) numb and the only thing I can say to whomever asks is, ‘I’m okay.’

In general I guess I am. I am okay. But I am also really not. I like to think I am in the growth zone, but lately I don’t feel like I’m doing much growing.

I feel like I’m on a lake glazed over with ice and I took a hard fall. I struggle to get up; I keep slipping and sliding. I try to rise and I get pushed down by the ones I trusted. I love this lake. I love to skate. But, no matter how hard I try to get back to where I was, I struggle and fall again. I am frustrated and exhausted.


My future is setting in and I’ve had several realizations lately. As abrupt and unexpected as those realizations were, I see now that they were necessary in divulging the truth and opening my eyes to my current reality. Growing pains do not hinder me, rather, they motivate me to work harder and to be better.

It seems like at the end of every summer, I have a bit of a sad spell. My chest feels heavy. My mind is foggy. I feel disconnected from everything.

It may only be July, but depression has reared her ugly head once again.

Through my recent experiences, I’ve been left to reflect on life’s frequently asked questions; Who am I? What do I believe in? What do I stand for?

This year, I’ve been going through the motions. I’ve been attempting to put off my encroaching post-grad future for as long as my stubborn head could overpower the daunting and inevitable fact.


Now, as I sit here amongst my possessions, piled high in boxes, gingerly sipping my appropriately selected ginger tea, I see that the time has come. The time to face whatever it is that’s ahead for me.

I predict a series of transitions are coming my way in the next few months. I don’t have to break open a fortune cookie or read my horoscope to know that change is in the air. I feel heavy with ambiguity and anticipation.

Through this period of dramatic change one thing’s for sure:

I’ll never compromise my integrity.

Recently, I’ve had experiences that left me questioning my values. I hit rock bottom and was left to wonder, am I doing what is right? The truth is, I may not be the most intelligent, the most attractive, or have the most money, but there is not doubt in my mind that I will succeed in life as long as I stick to my values; remaining honest and true.


I’m a New Englander to the core. I tell the truth. Even when it hurts. When I see an injustice, I open my mouth. I step in and I step up. It’s scary sometimes, but it’s what’s right.

I believe in being honest. In this regard, I am bold, open-minded and resilient. I do not compromise my integrity, even in times of extreme difficulty.

I have the best intentions. I love people. For me, the ultimate goal is to be happy. I haven’t got the hang of it yet but I know the way to get there. It’s charity. It is taking care of others. It is taking care of myself. It’s living a life filled with hard work and true love.

Obstacles have been placed in my path, preventing me from my ultimate goal (hello mental illness). But, I am committed to bettering myself. I’ve got a LONG way to go. I’ll start where I am, and I know the Lord will meet me here and walk with me every step of the way.

I am glad to know what I know, and to have become seasoned by experience. I am a woman of substance and character. There isn’t a soul that can take that away from me.

As I press on into the mysterious future ahead, I feel confident knowing that I know who I am and what I stand for. I feel strong when others would have me feel weak. I feel beautiful and brilliant. I know, that no matter what obstacles I face, I will be safe because I have the Lord on my side and an incredible system of pure love, trust and support.

Thanks for tuning into ‘Emma’s Weekly Rant.’ More next week, I’m sure.

F A T

I’m going to be completely honest: I think I’m fat. I have always felt fat. I’ve done almost everything to avoid this feeling, but no matter what I do, or how much time has passed, I sincerely believe I am fat.

Fat shouldn’t be the problem it’s made out to be. But, let’s face it, we live in a society that shames us if we don’t fit the mold. We think we need to look a certain way and if we don’t…we don’t deserve to go out with friends, fall in love, get that promotion, hit the beach, or FEEL GOOD ABOUT OURSELVES. Who decided this? Why do we believe it? Why do I, Emma, the intelligent, body-positive feminist still feel like no one is ever going to love me because of my body?

I don’t have an answer for these questions. If I did, I wouldn’t feel this way.

My body is beautiful. It is a gift from God. I often tell myself these things in my attempts to reconcile this broken relationship. But to no avail. I still feel fat and fat is still a negative word. To be clear, I have never looked at someone and associated them as fat in a negative way. I save this unfair discrimination solely for myself. I am not proud of that.

I just turned 23 and I can’t believe I am still fighting with my body so furiously. I used to starve myself. I used to force myself to vomit. I used to workout for hours until I could hardly function. I binged…a lot. Now, I am careful. But occasionally, I still slip into these habits.

It’s not glamorous. It’s not romantic. It is real life and it is mental illness. In reality, I am a very healthy woman. In my head, I am huge and lack all appeal, sex and otherwise.

It sucks.

If you struggle with this mentality, or something similar, I want you to know you are not alone. I may not have it all together yet, but I have learned to cope with body dysmorphia. When we discuss the things that break our heart, we learn, we grow and we help others.

 

 

I Was Feelin’ 22

My birthday is still on my mind. Apparently I’m very narcissistic this week.

I can’t believe another year has come and gone. I started thinking, “Man, what did I even DO this year?” According to a plethora of excessive pictures, I actually did a lot in my 22nd year.

Do you feel like taking a quick trip down memory lane with me? Yes? Okay good, let’s go!

Here’s a picture of my birthday party, 363 days ago. The blonde highlights are gone (thank goodness) but the BFFs are still by my side (thank goodness).

My sweet Noel and I striking a pose called, ‘Are you taking my picture?’ This was last summer. I can hardly believe how big she’s gotten since then.

A very important day in my life. I chose to go through the temple. In my church, this is a significant milestone. I will never forget this day, and I am grateful to the people in my life that worked to get here with me on this day.

I love my job. I genuinely love working with creative, passionate, people who are thirsty for more knowledge and understanding of the world around them. This year, I stretched my limits. I got out of my comfort zone and got creative. I am still beginning, but I truly love the frustrating, beautiful process of discovering my capability. I lead, I organize, and I LEARN. Every. Single. Day.

This picture is from last Fall at the career fair. We hosted a booth and had the raddest time.

I voted for the first time this year! It was such a cool experience to play a hand, no matter how small, in the future of this country. Also, I was obsessed with Hamilton at this point so, lots of references to the play were made on this day.

I met one of my LDS heroes, Al Fox Carraway, in the Fall. We waited in line for 2 hours, but it was WORTH it! If you haven’t read “More Than The Tattooed Mormon,” go read it!The Fall was one of the best semesters I’ve had at BYU-I hands down. These incredible girls made me feel so loved and so understood. I’ll never forget them. Speaking of friends, here’s a bunch of random pictures taken throughout the year with the most incredible friends a girl could ever ask for! I know these people were put into my life for a reason.

FB_IMG_1497915786524I can’t forget my family! I got to go home for a bit recently and visit. It was so nice to catch up and get back to my roots. I am Boston Strong and Boston Proud. Weddings, graduations, and I’m still kickin’ it. Me, bitter? Never. I am so proud and so happy for all of these lovely ladies… This year, I got a promotion at work. I got to travel to Portland, Seattle, Boston, and Arizona. I was happy. I was sad. I got an Idaho driver’s license (ick)! I pushed myself. I recognized I am worthy of love. I forgot that I am worthy of love. I started latin dancing. I watched too much TV. I learned the power of vulnerability. I cried…a lot. I felt my Savior’s love. I fought for what I believe in. I got rejected. I learned. I listened to thousands of hours of music. It was a good year.

I’m nervous to turn 23, but if it’s anything like 22, I’ve got nothing to worry about. Shoutout to my pals who made this year wonderful. I can’t wait to see what 23 has in store for little ol’ me.

Baby, You’re Golden!

This week marks my golden birthday. I’m turning 23 on the 23rd.

Normally, I love my birthday. This year though, something feels different.

My 22nd year was pretty great. I made wonderful friends, took trips to new places, had incredible spiritual experiences and opened my heart to new possibilities.

However, at the close of this chapter, I felt myself reverting back into a place I do not want to be.

I’m sad, I’m insecure, I’m fearful and I am DOUBTING myself and my potential.

I know life’s about to get good because boy does it suck right now. That is how it works, right?

When I get like this, I have a bit of a routine. I wallow for a while…okay, sometimes a long while. Then, I get my ish together. I make changes. I attack the problem head on. I figure it out.

It’s funny. You think you’ve reached a point when your demons can no longer get to you but I’m learning that those suckers don’t quit. You know what though… neither do I.

I’m on the brink of major change. MAJOR. I know that is why my demons are working overtime to drag me down.

23 is my golden birthday. My golden AGE. I am ready for a fresh start. A clean slate. Yes, I know it doesn’t really work like that.

This next year is going to be filled with hardships just like the last. The difference is, I am not going to let the hard times overpower me. I will not let fear consume my power. I am woman, hear me roar!

The choice is mine to make. I feel helpless, but I AM in control. You are too. We can’t let our circumstances determine our destiny. We make the rules. We call the shots. Life might not be particularly glamorous right now, but when you choose to see the good and work your ass off, the glamour comes naturally.

So here’s to the start of my birthday week! A time of reflection and major change. And I am talking major change (I’m thinking of ditching the screens for a while, ah!) Wish this girl luck!

 

 

W A R T S

This life is complicated. It’s messy. It doesn’t make sense. No matter how many times you’re told that it is okay to be imperfect, you’ll still feel like you’ve fallen short.

And you know what? That’s real life. Stop beating yourself up.

I’ve been in my apartment for 4 days. I’ve numbed myself with countless hours of Law and Order: SVU. I’ve sat in the tub taking ridiculously long showers. I’ve desperately tried to pick myself up, even when I don’t know why I’m down.

I’m tired all day, but I can’t sleep at night. My head is buzzing. My body is useless.

If you were to look into my world, my snow globe, you wouldn’t see a big problem. If I tried to justify my behavior, I’d fail. But here’s the thing, I don’t need to justify anything.

I have clinical depression and anxiety. I don’t have the answers.

I do however, have an incredible support system. Today, I was blessed with multiple angels. For that, I am grateful.

As I strive to find my charisma, please have patience with me. My journey isn’t easy, but it’s mine and I’ll take it. Warts and all.

Stop Playing It Small

it is our light not our darkness that most frightens us

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other

people won’t feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of
God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.”

I cannot tell you how strongly my soul resonates with this quote. For the last little while, I have been trying to fit myself into a box. I am concerned with the opinion of others. I recognize that I am a being with infinite potential, but that scares me. I often don’t feel worthy or ‘good’ enough for the things that I want.

The truth is, I am completely worthy and you are too. Success is met when we push through our personal barriers and rise to our incredible potential.

It takes courage, but it’s much better than remaining stagnant.

Today, as you begin another week, remember who you are. Live up to your potential. Share your dreams. Above all, do not fear the infinite potential that lives inside of you.

Happy Sunday!

20 Random Facts

  1. I’ve watched Almost Famous twice this week.
  2. I have an irrational fear of horses.
  3. I’m a space nerd.
  4. I like my chocolate 80% dark.
  5. Lilacs are my favorite flower.
  6. Gilmore Girls is my therapy of choice.
  7. I wish I wasn’t so afraid.
  8. I’m listening to jazz and thinking about my Dad right now.
  9. Someday, I’ll grow a garden.
  10. I’m trying to ‘date myself’ these days.
  11. My birthday is in 2 weeks.
  12. My high school english teacher made me feel ‘smart’ for the first time in my life.
  13. I cannot wait to get a dog.
  14. I share a room with a tidy person. I am the complete opposite.
  15. My love language is ‘quality time.’
  16. I take my eyebrows very seriously.
  17. I paint when I’m stressed. I paint a lot.
  18. I still like to believe fairies are real.
  19. Sometimes I go star gazing by myself.
  20. You can find me with a cup of tea and a candle lit all year long.