25 Thoughts

There is a hockey writer in Canada, Elliotte Friedman. Every week during the hockey season, he writes a blog post called, “31 Thoughts”, wherein he writes one thought about every single NHL team for the week. This could be about how the team is performing, what they could improve, whatever about the team.

Well. I’m turning 26 today. And as I’ve thought about year 25, I thought it might be fun to do a “30 Thoughts” about myself, and what I’ve learned, need to improve on, or realized in the past year.

  1. Buying a car? Surprisingly easy.
  2. Applying to go back to school? Surprisingly easy.
  3. Realizing having your life “figured out” is actually kind of a myth–at any age.
  4. But wait. That’s okay. Completely okay.
  5. “It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.” -Vince Lombardi
  6. I’m probably doing better than I think I am.
  7. Being kind to yourself is paramount over anything else.
  8. Heartbreak and heartache will happen. It’s best to just embrace it and move on. That doesn’t mean it’s easy. 
  9. If you’re not happy, speak up. To the right people. Chances are, they don’t know you aren’t happy, and will do everything in their power to help out.
  10. I can do hard things.
  11. The people you meet at race tracks are some of the nicest people. You will become fast friends with them. They will share everything with you, their life story, their snacks, their binoculars, their time. This is because they are happy. Race fans that actually go to race tracks are the most passionate about the sport. If you find yourself at a race track, you are one of those stupidly happy, grinning from ear to ear people. Embrace it.
  12. Take more pictures, but don’t be excessive about it.
  13. Don’t Instagram all of them.
  14. Tell the people in your life you love them. Those who know will be happy to hear it, those who don’t know will be happy you told them.
  15. Don’t be afraid to cut people out of your life. If someone isn’t supporting you or being a friend, if someone is a drag on your well-being, then cut them out. It is okay to reevaluate those with whom you spend your time. Actually, it is more than okay, that is recommended.
  16. Traveling is a lot of fun. Do that more often.
  17. Stand your ground, even if it is hard.
  18. After taking inventory of the people in your life, and clearing house, as it were, take inventory of the physical things you have, and pare those down, too.
  19. Be kind to everyone. My dad once told me, “You have to be nice to everyone’s face, but you don’t have to like them.” Yeah, what my dad said.
  20. Say no to bad dates who try to ask you out again. It’s not worth having two bad date stories.
  21. It is not your responsibility how others perceive you. It is your responsibility to be kind to them, and to treat them the way you would want to be treated.
  22. Heavenly Father and Christ will never give up on you. Not even for a minute.
  23. If you fail at something one day, and have to do it again then next, you don’t have to start at the very beginning, you can start where you are.
  24. Over the past few months at work, I have had a lot of people tell me how much they like me, and how integral I am to not only their team(s) but the company in general. While this was nice validation, I started to wonder how it happened. And then I realized, it is because I am kind, hard working, and reliable. I am smart, and therefore people like having me around. It’s a good feeling, and one I hope to carry to every workplace I am placed into.
  25. Life will suck sometimes; trials will happen. It will not be easy. But, in the end, it will be worth it. Or at least I hope so. Maybe that’s what year 26 will be for.

It’s weird to me that I’m turning 26. 25 I could see, but somehow, making it past the halfway through my 20’s is so very odd to me. I think it is because this means I am no longer a young woman or even a child. I have now crossed the threshold into full fledged adulthood.

And that is too weird. Well, can’t knock it ’til I try it.

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Nets

I’m taking an institute class this semester. It is called “Jesus Christ and the Everlasting Gospel”. A few weeks ago, I don’t really remember what we were talking about, but the subject of nets came up. Now, nets are typically referred to in the scriptures as fishing nets. But, my teacher reviewed a different concept of nets, with help from Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin.

Elder Wirthlin says:

“Nets are generally defined as devices for capturing something. In a more narrow but more important sense, we might define a net as anything that entices or prevents us from following the call of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.

Nets in this context can be our work, our hobbies, our pleasures, and, above all else, our temptations and sins. In short, a net can be anything that pulls us away from our relationship with our Heavenly Father or from His restored Church.” (“Follow Me“, April 2002 General Conference)

As we discussed this, one thing stood out. Our work can be a net. Something that can ensnare us and drag use away from our Heavenly Father and Christ. And then something came to me, something I never thought I would get an answer to.

I’ve had a few experiences where I have had to decline jobs. Both times have been when I thought I was ready to move on from my current circumstance, ready for something new. And yet, I felt it wasn’t the right thing for me to do at the time. I felt I couldn’t take the job, but I never knew why. I had to find the faith to say, “Okay, I am not going to take this job, but I don’t know why.” Because I didn’t, until that night in institute.

I realized that both of those jobs that I could have taken would have dragged me away from the Gospel. I don’t know if it would have been that extreme, but it certainly felt that way when I thought about it. And, when I thought about it, I realized that no job is worth my relationship with my Savior or with Heavenly Father. I’ll keep those, and just wait for the next job.

I didn’t ever really expect to get a resolution to either of those jobs. I just knew that I couldn’t take them, so I didn’t. But now that I know, it seems to obvious, and a little scary that I was in that position in the first place.

What did Robert Frost say? “I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” Yep. That’s the one. Well…what he said. It has made all the difference.

I can do hard things 

I did a hard thing this week. I declined a job offer. It was something I wanted, something I had been working toward, but when it came down to it, I decided that it wouldn’t make sense in the long run of my career to take a job that I probably would have been burnt out at sooner rather than later.

So I said, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

I did it, and didn’t really think much of it, but the fact that I now again have to work hard to achieve that change in my life hit me and sort of discouraged me. As I went to push send on the decline email, I said to myself inside my head, “I can do hard things.” That gave me the courage to push send and move on.

I can do hard things. This is something I have been trying to teach myself so I can act when I am in moments of discomfort or moments of hardship. I can do hard things, because I can. Be it ride a scary roller coaster, go to a job interview, start working on a work project, making a decision.

Really anything that I have to do, but don’t really want to, I think, “I can do hard things,” and then I do the thing.

I’m not sure how this started, but I know it started small. I was probably going to do something I perceived as scary, and I wanted to give myself a little confidence boost.

I have used this, as mentioned before, when I have ridden scary roller coasters, when I stepped up to the softball plate, when I went down a water slide, when I walked into a job interview, when I played my violin in church a few months ago. The list goes on and on.

This little mantra isn’t really just to give me confidence, it is also to give me the courage or the comfort to do something I am a little wary of. Because, I know I can do most things, if I put my mind to it, but in the moment, it is more difficult to convince myself of that. It’s more than just a moment of courage. It’s also a reminder of the hard things I have done in the past. When I rode that water slide, I said quietly to myself, “I can do hard things,” but in my head, I thought, “I can because I have before and I will again.” This is just a step to those bigger, more hard things that I can and will do.

I can do hard things because they help me grow as a person. I don’t want to be stagnant, and I’ve often been told that if you aren’t progressing, you are regressing. I don’t want to go where I’ve already been with regards to my growth as an adult. That just seems backwards. If inevitably doing something difficult or uncomfortable will help me take a step forward, as opposed to a step back, then so be it. I don’t mind a moment of discomfort. Oh I totally will still be uncomfortable, but I will still do hard things not for the sake of doing them (at least, not all the time), but also for the sake of my own progression.

So the next time you see me do something brave, be it big or small, or even if it isn’t something brave, but something I might be uncomfortable with, you will know that in my head, or maybe whispered to myself, I have said, “I can do hard things.”

Because I can, and I will. Just watch. 

#MaryTakesTheBurg

Ok, so remember a while ago when I talked about travelling this way, that way, and the other? No? Oh, well I do. And about 3 months ago, I did more travelling in one week than I think I ever have.

How much is that? Well, in a span of 48 hours, I was in 4 different airports across the country.

Let’s remember it together, okay?

This was in the middle of March. For the first part of the week, I had the opportunity to go to Seattle for work. It was me, and two coworkers. I had a lot of fun. We arrived in Seattle on Monday evening, worked on Tuesday, then left Wednesday morning.

Wednesday afternoon, I arrived back in Salt Lake City, only to leave again that evening. Where was I going? TO PITTSBURGH, OF COURSE! I was finally making the cross country trek to see not only the city of Pittsburgh (and home of my beloved Penguins), but also my BFF Jess, who else? Continue reading

Definitions

*Disclaimer on this one. Please stick with it all the way to the end. It gets better, I promise.*

Frustrated. I feel…frustrated.

What defines me? What makes me, well, me? When people talk about me, as in, they mention they know me or some other capacity (not dwelling on people talking about me, I promise. Because that doesn’t matter), what do they say? What lasting impression do I leave?

Kind, good baker, smart, good listener, determined, organized, respectful. Single. Continue reading

Some days are prouder than others

I was at home last week. I always love going home and I’ve come to count on being at home over Memorial Day weekend. It is always a nice way to recharge, and I get to spend time with my family.

This past week, I went home for a different reason, besides the usual recharge and getting to spend time with my family. This past week, my younger brother graduated from high school.  Continue reading