Tuesday, December 8, 2015

christopher james.

 Life is a realization that the universe doesn't owe you anything.

Recently the anniversary of a dear friends passing got me thinking. Though it has been years since he and I were seeing each other regularly and since we had been really close, who and how I am as a person is still deeply affected by him and the relationship we had.

He was the first man I ever fell in love with. He brought joy, he brought an abundance of laughter, he brought happiness to all those around him. He brought me countless adventures with good friends, he taught me important lessons about all aspects of life, he brought me to my beautiful best friend Jacque. I will be forever grateful for all he has done for me and those who knew him. He was an amazing man who changed me and the direction of my life for the better. 

Spending time with my family about 7 years ago (left, right middle) 
and the last time we saw each other in person August of 2014 (right top and bottom)

My life forever changed when he became a part of it in so many ways and there is not a day that goes by that I do not think about the implications of this. Though I don't have this same type of relationship with everyone I have encountered, it is still true that each person I have ever interacted with has changed me in some way, however large or small. 

I believe I am a product of my experiences
and those experiences include being influenced and interacting 
with countless and specific individuals. 

This post is also prompted by the fact I am finishing up my last semester of my undergrad and my last few weeks of living in Utah. I have been here, on and off, since August 2011. Yikes, that seems so long ago. My wonderful husband and I have the amazing opportunity to live in Nashville, TN for his new job that we are both so excited for. We will be leaving December 21st to drive across country to spend Christmas with family in North Carolina (another reason we are so ecstatic) and then sometime in January finalize our move to Tennessee.We are scared (mostly me), we are impatient to get started (mostly him), and we are beyond grateful for what we have ahead of us.

I have met so many wonderful people in the amount of time I have been here, I do not have enough space (let's be real, or the memory) to name them all. Even as I write this I am overwhelmed with the number of individuals who have made a difference in my life, and this is not necessarily just from my experience in college but throughout my entire life. So I want you to know that you've made a difference for me--and maybe you aren't even reading this. And maybe you don't even realize this is about you. Maybe you don't think you meant that much to me. But I hope you are reading this. I hope you are reading this and know exactly what I am talking about and that I am talking about 


And maybe we haven't spoken in ages. Maybe it's been months, or even years since we have seen each other. Maybe we left each other on poor terms or maybe we just slowly went our separate ways. But that doesn't change the fact that you have made a difference in my life. You have forever changed who I am and how I conduct myself. You have brightened my day and strengthened my testimony. You have been my family when they were not close enough to be. You have influenced me in ways you do not even realize and have inspired me to be a better person.You have helped me through college, through finals, through heartache, through blessings, through earth-shattering paradigm shifts, and through freaking Physical Science 100. You have shaped me and not only helped me grow, but you have made me grow. You have potentially pissed me off, but more than likely you have made me laugh. You listened to me when I needed it, or when I was just being annoying, and you validated me. Or called me out for being annoying, which has also been appreciated. On the most minuscule of chances, you have seen me cry and lent me your shoulder. You have invited me on adventures and pushed me to try new things. You have engaged with me and changed my perspective. You have shared a part of yourself and allowed me to do the same. You have been an example to me in numerous ways and you have been noticed, and not only that, but appreciated.

Even though I am leaving BYU and Utah, moving on with my life, and potentially never seeing you again, I will not go a single day without thinking about you. And maybe it is not your face or your name that I think of, but it will be the influence you have had in my life, however significant, or otherwise, it was.

 An iconic Utah picture, simply for the fact it is the Provo LDS temple.

In the most recent Avengers movie (yeah, this is happening right now) a character says of human beings that we somehow see chaos and order as opposites, even though that isn't necessarily the case. That bothered me for such a long time. This just a few weeks ago I was at a symposium put on by the English department at BYU and heard a presentation given on the idea that as we age, we tend to have this expectation to be less creative and instead be more logical; in other words, we exchange our imagination for reason. Along this same vein, a talk was given in my ward recently and in it I was challenged to become a person who looks at both blessings and trials, and doesn't see the difference.

The idea that chaos, trials, and imagination are opposites of order, blessings, and reason has become quite ridiculous to me. I am at a point in my life where I'm truly not quite seeing the difference.

Yes, being reasonable can get things done (like all of the packing I need to get done in the next week and a half that I haven't started yet), but the imagination is what drives us to innovate. Yes, this move across country will be chaotic, but it's all part of a bigger, better, and more important plan. Yes, this new home will be a trial for so many reasons, but the door it is opening is already looking to be more of a blessing than I could have ever imagined.

The point of this seemingly endless rant is, I'll miss you. I'll think of you and I will remember you. I want you to know in all that you have done for me in my life

you have been a blessing. 

Maybe you've been a trial at times, too, but right now and hopefully for the rest of my life, I'm not quite seeing the difference.

There ya go.