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The Plan of... Happiness? Pt. 1: Consecrated Trials

The two biggest lies that we profess as truth:

1. If we pray, everything will be ok. 2. We will be happy if we do what we are supposed to do. I know I'm being pretty bold, and pretty frank, and not saying your typical Sunday School answers, but that's just how it is. I'm not saying that I don't believe in prayer, and I'm not saying that I don't believe in being obedient. On the contrary, actually. Those who really know me know that that is not the case. What I am saying, though, is something that we may not always want to hear. 
Life is not fun and dandy just because we do good things. In fact, most people who do good things and try their best tend to be the ones who struggle or are slammed with the hardest things. Now, surely, that is not always the case. There are many stories where people do what they need to and things go according to their plan, for lack of a better way of explaining it. And yes, in the end, everything will eventually turn out if we do what …

I'm feelin' good

It is times like these when I just need to remember to count my many blessings.

You know those times. Those days where your first class drags because the monotone speaker drones on and on and on about things that you can just look on a paper yourself. Those times where you forgot an important assignment, so you can't even be in class, because there is no point. Those times where you work most of your week, not being able to do homework until later, but then, being so exhausted, which already adds to the mental, and not to mention, physical exhaustion of just living.

There. That felt better. I needed to get that out.
I'm not perfect.
And I'm not great all the time.

I think that makes me secretly sad. I want to be great all the time. I want to feel the way that people view me to feel; spunky, lively, independent, adventurous, happy go-lucky. I want to be like my heroes. I want to always be smiling. I want to be positive.
But, more often than not, I'm just not.

I th…

Realization

December 25, 2013 was the last time I saw them.

It was via Skype, for which I am eternally grateful. I remember being so excited to talk to them and see their faces. Keegs hair was out of control long and curly. Liam looked not so little anymore.

They wanted to talk to me the most. They wanted to hear all about the mission. I told them all that I could. I showed them their sign names.

I talked to Mom and Dad next. I told them about my mission. I updated them on things that they asked about.

But, I didn't tell them too much.
Because I knew I'd see them just a few short months later.

"Man, I can't wait to serve a mission." Words spoken by Keegan Parrish.

I realized something today.
Unless you have served a mission, it is more difficult to listen to the missionary stories. Maybe not hard, but I've come to realize that the people who have served missions are the ones that really connect to your stories. They know what you've gone through. They understa…

Fish and Lambs

October is a lot like July.

Which is a shame, because October is my favorite month. It's so pretty.

We were sitting together, not saying anything for a while. I was too upset and depressed to talk. I had been crying a little. He asked, "What is going through your head?

My response surprised me.

Nothing you don't know. Just the normal stuff.

...

This is just normal me. The feelings I feel are becoming more and more "normal." The home that I live in is becoming my "normal" comfortable place of refuge. The thoughts that I fight everyday is just a "normal" everyday inner battle that I have within myself.

I want to defy this normal.

....... A couple of days ago, I felt impressed to read John 21. I thought that there was something that I was supposed to get out of it, that some scripture would pop right out at me. Maybe it would be a life changing phenomenon that I needed. But, nothing happened. It was strange. I've heard the story so many ti…

Through a Father's Eyes

I believe in fate.
I don't believe in coincidence.
I believe that when something sporadically comes into your head, you're meant to remember it, and ponder it. There is something that someone wants you to remember.

So, last night, when this memory came into my head at 3 in the morning, I knew it wasn't just a coincidence.
And when it was still there when I woke up at 8 in the morning, I knew there was something I was suppose to remember.
It's one that I hold dear and near to my heart, one that I've shared many times, and feel that I need to share again.
I very well possibly may have shared this before. But I hope to share something new. Something that can help someone out there, as it has helped me today.

...

June of 2009

I was 17. It was my last ward youth conference for my church.

We were at Scout Mountain, Camp Taylor. There were a lot of youth, and a few leaders. Whoever was in charge that day had planned an activity. The activity was suppose to be a repres…

Blessings on an Autumn Day

Some days are hard.

Some days, the tears keep coming and won't stop. It's a never ending gush. There are breaks, but they always come back to finish the job.
Some days, the body is achy. Muscles are sore from walking, spinning, working. They scream for rest. Yet even rest doesn't seem to cover it.
Some days, the road of nostalgia is long and tiring. But it's impossible to get off that road. Because if you get off that path, where will you go?
Some days, even just to smile takes all the effort that is required, let alone being happy. It would be so much easier to just be angry and sad and depressed.
Some days, "Why?" is always going through the mind.

...

Today was not a some day day.

Today, the weather was beautiful. Autumn is here. One day, it will be winter. An entire cycle of seasons will have run its course, and the year mark will come.

But, it's not here yet. So, be happy today.

Today, the leaves were brown and red and orange and yellow. They are be…

A Long Road

It started out as a normal day. Normal morning. I actually was going to be on time! Class one was normal. Class two was normal. Lunch was awesome! And I was happy.

Class three started.
She is so cute, with her girly dresses, and tights. She's always smiling, her hands always waving. She always has to have a pen in her hand.

As she is waving her left hand, pen zooming with it, something caught my eye. Her wedding ring. It's bigger. It stands out.

And once again, my mind instinctively takes a trip down memory lane.
Only, this memory was not one I was anticipating.

It's just like the movies. Once you start thinking, you can't stop. Once you're there, you're not where you were before. Once that door is cracked, it will swing wide open, and it's hard to turn around.

..................
I'm at the funeral again. Keegan's and Liam's casket were already closed. Tears had been welling in my eyes, and I had already pushed everyone out of my path and bo…

Sealings and Tears and Happiness

I went to Seattle this past weekend.
It's been years.
Last time I went, it was with them.
So many memories...

.............................  One of my best of friends got sealed to the love of her life. It was wonderful, being there, with her, and him, and with friends and family.

Two weeks ago, I went to my trainer's wedding sealing. They got married early in the morning. It was wonderful, being there, with her, and him, and with friends and family.

In three more weeks, I will go to my closest companion's wedding sealing. It will be wonderful, being there, with her, and him, and with friends and family.

While I'm there, in the sealing room, I tear up. Most people may think it's because I'm so happy for these guys. That is true! I am so ridiculously happy.
But, I also can't help but think...

My parents won't be there.
Will it still be wonderful, being there, with me, and him, and friends and family?
But not with them?

If I get sealed, they won't ph…

"That Girl"

Believing is just the first leap of faith to knowing.
Just let that sink in.

When I was on my mission, I became known as, what a lot of people called, "That Girl." I was "That Girl" who bore her testimony every fast Sunday since Primary days. I was "That Girl" who knew all the answers during the Primary lessons. I was "That Girl" who loved to go to Seminary, and, lo and behold, I knew all the answers there, too! I was "That Girl" who read her scriptures, and loved analyzing them, and knew all the stories, and understood doctrine. I was "That Girl" who gave a million and one devotionals, (all voluntary, by the way) and lessons, and whatnots. I was "That Girl" who never really questioned anything that was told to me.

I was "That Girl." That girl who never had a reason to question anything. I was "That Girl." That girl who never had any real trials. Oh ya, sure, there were those ridiculous moments …

Now, it is August

July was a tough month.

I'm not sure why that is. Maybe because it would have been the month that I would finish up my mission. The way that I planned to, that is.
Maybe it's because it would have been when I saw them all again. At the airports with their signs and smiles and hugs.
Maybe it would have been when I would come back to the life that I loved and left for a time, and I was would have been excited to be back.

I can't pinpoint exactly.
But, for whatever reason, July was hard.
Extremely hard.

And now, it's August.
And it's still hard.
Mainly because of how I was in July.
Angry. Depressed. Apathetic. Rude. Inconsiderate.
(I'm in that phase of grieving, I guess.)
I'll be the first to admit it. I've been a pain. I know I have. I've avoided people like the plague, for fear of hurting them or exploding at them, or just because I'm annoyed at them and don't want to deal with them. As for those that I do indeed let in, I just become an…

July 22, 2014

JULY 22, 2014 **EXPECTATION** Best friend and I will be up all night, excited, maybe crying. We will drive to the airport together. We will sleep on the plane. Maybe, if we were up the night before. Both our families will be there, together, with their balloons and "WELCOME HOME" signs. We will sign. Throw them off. When we can't stand it anymore, we will run to them. I will run to them. Hug them all. Probably Mom first. Mothers get first call. Then, the boys. Then, Dad. Say goodbye to best friend. Drive home. Tell them everything. ******************************* JULY 22, 2014 **REALITY** Wake up. Clean. Apply for classes. Appointment. Work. No hugs. No brothers. No Mom. No Dad. Drive around alone. ......


Sometimes, you just want to escape.

No, I'm not talking about going on a trip, or going to another state.

I'm talking about that confinement that you feel by just being you.
The realization that you are you and you won't ever be anyone else but you, and you have to live wi…

The Amazing Bell Collection

When I was really little, I had a bell collection.

It all started years ago, in a random little gift souvenir shop in West Yellowstone National Park. I felt the need and desire to buy SOMETHING. Something that would forever remind me of this, in my little 8 or 9 year old mind, best trip ever. I walked up and down the aisles, searching and observing.

And that's when I saw it.

It was big. It was white. It had paintings of buffalo and deer and an eagle. "West Yellowstone" was printed nicely in yellow. The glass was thick. And I could even hear the jingle when I rang it.
It was perfect in my eyes.

In my excitement, I ran up to show my Dad. He could see how excited I was, and suggested that I start a collection. Anywhere that I go in the world, I would buy a bell, as a token and memoir.

Pure genius!

And thus, my amazing bell collection began! Anywhere we went that was outside of Pocatello, Idaho, I would buy a bell. Big ones, little ones, tall ones, small ones. Ones that ran…

Pawns

"What are you up to these days?"

Living life. Figuring it out.

That's what I've started to say every time I'm asked.

But hey.
It's better than, "How are you?"

...........................................................................................................................................

"Asking 'why' can be a frustrating, and even dangerous, thing to do."
Wise words of a wise seminary teacher.

The walls have started growing. I can feel them being built around me.
I don't know why.
Maybe because I'm tired of the questions.
Maybe I'm tired of the answers.

There are days when I close up. It happens more often than not.
I don't think I mean to.
It just happens.

There are days when after I've held it in for so long, I blow up. And scare people away.
I don't think I mean to.
It just happens.

There are days where I will randomly cry for no reason at all. A song. A picture. A memory.
I don't think …

The Unseen Side of a Hero

Life is unfigureoutable.

So, why is it that I am still trying to figure it out?

.........................................................................................................................................................

They were so young.

I really miss Keegs and Lemur. A lot.
It's not that I love them more or less.
I think they were just the most shocking to me.
They still had a whole lot of living to do.

Sometimes, I feel really cheated. Which is probably not the best way to feel.
But I'm beginning to understand that it doesn't really matter if it's wrong or if it's right.
It's how I feel.
It just is what it is.

It was during that year that I was gone that they both began to really grow. When I left, they were just kids.
Well.
When they died, they were just kids...

......................................................................................................................................................

I went to my home ward at ch…

Test the Limits

I miss them.
Bottom line.

People don't tend to ask me how I am doing anymore. I think I'm past that point of being asked. But, I started picking up the habit of asking myself.

"Today, I feel ok."
"Ugh, I do NOT want to get out of bed."
"Today is SUCH a good day!! Can't get much better than this!"
"I hate my life."

It's becoming pretty normal to me now...

.........................................................................  "BATTER UP!" I really don't want to do this... "Come on, go bat! It's your turn!" "No, thank you, I don't play baseball." "We are all doing it! Come on!" I can't hit the ball I can't hit the ball I don't play please don't make me do this please don't they are all watching me I can't handle the attention I'll make a mistake I'll look like a fool I can't do this I really can't I hate the attention Don't watch me Don&#…

A Destroyed Glass, a Shattered Phone, and a Stretching Arm

Tonight, I smashed a martini glass from the dollar store.
It's kind of healing, smashing things.
But I didn't just throw it to the ground.
I stood on the little wall, stared at the concrete, and declared my reasoning.
"Freaking A, I want them back!!"

Chuck. Smash. No sound.
Or at least, I thought so.
But then I realized that I wasn't wearing my hearing aid.

"You had a lot of aggression in your throw. It was very loud."

I wish I could have heard it.
I stared at the destroyed glass.
It kind of felt good, seeing something broken.

Later on, the phone fell from my hand.
The screen shattered...

It's 11:30 at night. And I am tired.
But not sleepy tired. It's more than that.
It's exhaustion tired.
Tired of trying to be strong. Tired of trying to be ok. Tired of the constant bills and reminders. Tired of missing them. Tired the hole in my heart. Tired of feeling sorry for myself. Tired of thinking about the future. Tired of avoiding the future.

The Opportunity

3 months = 1/4 of a year = X amount of a lifetime.
Time is weird.

Why is it that when we want Time to go fast, he tends to slow down? Almost like he's saying, "Look, I can only do so much, and I can't please everyone!"
But then, when we want him to slow down, he overworks, overtime, much too fast? Yet, it's all the same. 24 hours. 1,440 minutes. 86,400 seconds everyday. It's a weird concept to me. Just plain weird.

On Memorial Day, Time hit me hard. He reminded me how much I need to do. And he forced my mind recall how much time I possibly have before I will see them again. And looking down at each of their designated spot in the ground, I could almost feel him say, "Life is shorter than you will ever realize."

Yesterday, Time hit me hard. I have an unknown amount of it.

He likes to tease me.

...

(It's no fun realizing that when you want to visit your family, you have to go to the cemetery...)

I realized that I was secretly angry. Angry that…