In Five Years Time

If I could go back in time to 5 years ago, I would tell myself to not be afraid to move to Oregon. I would also tell myself to prepare for a roller coaster of life changing events, most of which will be very difficult, but that I would end up back in Utah where the love of my life had been waiting for me the whole time.

Just last month Dan and I were on our way to the Color Festival in Spanish Fork with my best friend Stacey. As Stacey and I were reminiscing on our last Color Festival trip just 5 years prior, Dan realized that he was at that very same one. We had been in the exact same place at the exact same time without ever meeting. Who knew that 5 years later we would be in love and attending the very same event. We were both at completely different places in our lives and needed go through some extremely difficult life changing events before we would be ready to meet at fall in love.

A few days prior to this moment I heard the song 5 Years Time by Noah and the Whale. I kept feeling like this song had significant meaning but couldn’t quite figure it out. It wasn’t until this moment in time that some of the song lyrics returned to my mind:

Oh well, in five years time we could be walking round a zoo
With the sun shining down over me and you
And there’ll be love in the bodies of the elephants too
And I’ll put my hand over your eyes but you’ll peek through

Five years ago, about this time I had just been presented an opportunity to move and work in Oregon. I remember attending the Color Festival with Stacey and my sister Tori, while the decision of whether or not to move to Oregon had been weighing on my mind. Something told me that I needed to go, never knowing that it would take 5 whole years for everything to come full circle and make complete sense.

On April 12th, with the help of Stacey and Tori, Dan lead to me the Delicate Arch in Moab and asked me to marry him. It was so easy to say yes. I’ve been engaged before and never felt the peace of mind that I feel with Dan. I never knew that it could be so easy to say yes and not second guess my answer.

The next verse of this song never had more meaning to me than it did in this moment:

Oh well, I look at you and say it’s the happiest that I’ve ever been
And I’ll say I no longer feel I have to be James Dean
And she’d say, yeah well, I feel pretty a happy too
And I’m always pretty happy when I’m just kicking back with you 

And it’ll be love, love, love all through our bodies
And love, love, love all through our minds
And it’ll be love, love, love all over her face
And love, love, love all over mine

I’ve just been thinking about how much can change in five years and how life is full of surprises. Sometimes you just need to trust your intuition even if it takes years for everything to come full circle to reveal all of the answers to your millions of questions.

As difficult as life can be, it can also be so much greater than you could ever imagine it to be. If you can hang on to hope through the dark times, I promise that life will be greater than what you hope for. Just as Jonah and the Whale say, in five years time it might just prove you wrong.

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Better In Time

veri-ivanova-17904-unsplashPhoto by Veri Ivanova on Unsplash

Life has been a little hectic but in a good way. I’ve had several new projects that I’ve been working on, which is why I have been MIA from this blog. However I think everything is more manageable now, so expect more blog posts.

I’ve been thinking a lot about time lately, and how fast everything can change. Sometimes its a not a good thing, but a lot of times its a great thing. A lot of good changes have been happening lately. I’ve recently started up my beauty channel, which is continuing to grow and become more successful. However, just 2-3 years ago I was in a completely different place in my life. This year definitely feels like my year.

I lost my dad to Pancreatic Cancer around this same time back in 2015. I thought that 2015-2016 was a pretty tough year, but I would have to say that 2016-2017 was the hardest year that I think I’ve ever had. That was the year that I spent in Texas and in that time my cousin, who had always been like a little brother to me chose to end his life. Loosing Dad was hard, but I think that watching my cousin struggle so much with mental illness, and then loosing him was even harder. That was August of 2016. That next April my fiance at the time broke off our engagement in an email, as if our relationship had never meant anything at all. That was the cherry on top of a tough year.

I’ve just been thinking about everything that I’ve had to go through in the past few years and how much better things have gotten. The other day as I was thinking about all of this and Better In Time by Leona Lewis began to play. I couldn’t help but feel like it was inspired. The entire song spoke to me with a double meaning of grief and heartbreak.

The very first verse is what caught my attention:

It’s been the longest winter without you
I didn’t know where to turn to
See somehow I can’t forget you
After all that we’ve been through

I’m also a huge How I Met Your Mother fan and I also thought of the episode where Ted and Zoey breakup because neither one was happy in the relationship and Ted says “Sometimes things need to fall apart in order to make room for better things.” In regards to my previous engagement, that statement could not have been more true.

In regards to loss and grief, however, it’s a little bit different. There are so many different reasons that we are given experiences like these. Those reasons become more apparent over time. Loss and grief isn’t something that you ever “get over” like a breakup. It’s ongoing but with time you become stronger and life also leads you in new directions and the pain becomes less overwhelming. Recognizing how the experiences have helped you grow and develop though, makes it so much easier. You will never stop missing loved ones that you’ve lost, but with time it gets easier to manage and with so much happening and changing in life it becomes easier to get distracted and not think about it as much. When you become focused on good things happening in your life, it becomes easier to move forward and to heal.

I was thinking about the healing process as I was listening to Leona’s beautiful voice and the next part of the song that struck a chord was this:

Thought I couldn’t live without you
It’s going to hurt when it heals too
Oh yeah (It’ll all get better in time)
Even though I really love you
I’m gonna smile because I deserve too
Oh (It’ll all get better in time)

These words could not have been more true for my experience. I have definitely healed so much with the passage of time and I have experienced so many great things that have made the hardships that I’ve been through more worth it.

Just this last summer, I was in Utah for my little brother’s wedding and had an overwhelming feeling to move back to Utah. At the time it didn’t make sense why. I loved living in Oregon and I never thought in a million years that I would ever have a desire to move back to Utah. It’s amazing how fast things can change. I acted on that feeling and that same week that I moved back I met and became good friends with a pretty amazing guy, who I now call my boyfriend. I’ve never met anyone as loving and selfless, who sacrifices as much time and energy as he does  just to help me to make my career dreams happen.

If I had not made the hasty decision to move back to Utah, then, as cheesy and cliche as this sounds, I wouldn’t have fallen in love with my best friend and been as happy and motivated about life as what I am now. I feel like a need a disclaimer for this statement haha I was happy and motivated on my own but even more so with someone so loving and supportive by my side.

If you are currently experiencing hardship and trials, whether it be grief, heartbreak, or mental illness. No matter what you’re currently struggling with, you aren’t alone and things will get better with time. Keep looking forward and make an effort to focus a little more on anything good happening, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. The more focus you give something good, the bigger it will become and the easier life will be.

Just remember Leona’s inspiring words, that “it will all get better in time.”

Never Alone

liane-metzler-30296-unsplashPhoto by Liane Metzler on Unsplash

This past month has been a challenging one. Lately it seems like I’ve been hit with obstacle after obstacle. Negative energy has just been working extra hard to find it’s way into my life. Fortunately though, I haven’t allowed it to prevail. However, that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t tried. I’ve had to relearn the importance of surrounding yourself with people and friends that add to your life and not detract from it. However sometimes things need to happen in order to point you in a better direction.

Well with everything going on I’ve been trying to figure out my ultimate purpose and the direction I’m moving in. Sometimes it’s hard not to feel like I am on my own with my challenges. I know that it’s the furthest thing from the truth, but let’s be honest. Sometimes we all feel like we’re fighting our demons alone. In the moments that I was feeling defeated Never Alone by Jim Brickman and Lady Antebellum popped up on my playlist. Twice in the same week actually. I knew that it wasn’t a coincidence. Literally every word spoke to me and I could feel God’s love encompass me and I could feel Dad talking right in my ear speaking every lyric of the song to me.

Although the last two verses were what had the most meaning to me:

Never alone
Never alone
I’ll be in every beat of your heart
When you face the unknown
Wherever you fly
This isn’t goodbye
My love will follow you, stay with you
Baby, you’re never alone

I have to be honest
As much as I wanted
I’m not gonna promise that cold winds won’t blow
So when hard times have found you
And your fears surround you
Wrap my love around you
You’re never alone

I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes it feels like you’ve been neglected in your time of need, but I am also a firm believer in God’s love and guardian angels. I truly believe that loved ones that have passed on our still looking out for us and doing their best to point us in the right direction. I think sometimes it is easy to miss those messages of love and hope when we aren’t paying attention or when we are so focused on the problems at hand.

My boyfriend and I had a discussion the other day about faith, hope, and receiving answers. We’ve all had doubts, felt lost, and felt like we were alone in our time of need when we had prayed or reached out for some kind of answer. One thing that I have noticed is that when we are so focused on our fear and feelings of hopelessness it’s easy to close our hearts and minds off to the possible answers and guidance that we could receive from the other side.

God works in mysterious ways and everyone receives guidance in a different way. There is no right or wrong way to receive an answer. The important thing is that you are open to the messages that are being sent to you. In my experience it is never when or how you would expect it, but if you allow yourself to be open to the possibilities and recognize the good things around you, then it will be so much easier to receive more clarity.

I know that if I wasn’t always looking for the rainbow in the stormy weather, then of course I wouldn’t find it. Sometimes it is much easier said than done, but in my experience life is so much easier and much more enjoyable when I’m more focused on the good things going on. When I am doing this, the bad things seem much less significant. I also know that our loved ones on the other side are always looking out for us and continuously sending us messages of hope. We just need to be willing to listen. And ALWAYS remember that you are NEVER alone.

What a Wonderful World

dinu-lazar-737031-unsplashPhoto by Dinu Lazar on Unsplash

Happy New year! I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and was able to spend time with your loved ones. This has been a very special time of the year for our family. It has been very bitter sweet, but special nonetheless.

This year we said goodbye to another loved one. My uncle Cal, who had always been like a father to me, lost his fight to Pancreatic Cancer the day after Christmas. Our family is no stranger to loss, but we have definitely been blessed with peace and comfort in knowing that everything will be okay.

He was a great man and well loved by everyone who knew him and he will be missed dearly, but it was honestly such a blessing that he lived as long as he did with that type of cancer. My own father only lasted a month with it. Most people diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer don’t make it past the sixth month mark, but Cal was such a miraculous person in every way, and fought it for a whole year. I can’t help but think, what an incredible blessing that we had as much time with him as we did.

With all of this going on with my family, Louis Armstrong has really reminded me how beautiful life truly is and “what a wonderful world” it is, despite all of the hardships. I remember my uncle really loving this song. It is also the one that he thought that we should share a father and daughter dance to when I was engaged. When I finally do get married this will be a special song in his honor.

Anyway, What a Wonderful World has been popping up a lot lately and I can’t help but feel like it’s a reminder to focus on the great and wonderful things happening. Tragic things happen, it’s inevitable, But when we can recognize the blessings around us and focus on those, then life feels so much more manageable and our loads so much lighter.

I have such a strong love and appreciation for this song and Louis has such an incredible voice. I have to say that my favorite part of this song as of recently are these 2 verses:

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They’re really saying I love you
One thing that my uncle always taught me was to live life to the fullest, always treat people with kindness, and to always count your blessings.
Another thing that I will always love and admire about him was his loyalty to his family and his desire to put his wife first in everything. There are many things that he has taught me through example, but the biggest thing is faith and hope in the midst of adversity. He is a big part of who I have become today.
If we can keep our minds focused on the good and beauty that surrounds us and maintain faith and hope in what is yet to come, then I can promise you from personal experience that our loads will become lighter and life will be so much happier and easier. All I can say is despite of all of the trials that my family has been faced with, is What a wonderful world.

Time After Time

andrik-langfield-426760-unsplashPhoto by Andrik Langfield on Unsplash

This week has been a very reflective one for me. It’s had it’s challenges but all in all things have been pretty good. Time has been the theme of the week. I’ve been thinking a lot about the past. I’m definitely not stuck in the past but I’ve been thinking a lot about it. The good times, the bad times, and how everything has changed for the better and how some things have remained the same.

Well it’s interesting when something is on your mind how it plays out in your life. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this a time or two before, but I am a big believer in signs and following them. They appear to different people in different ways and often seem unclear, but I can promise you that the more you pay attention to those signs when they initially speak to you, the clearer they will become. Sometimes it takes a little bit of time for everything to become clear and make complete sense.

Anyway, time has been on my mind a lot lately and so I’ve just tried to pay a little more attention to different signs that I’m getting in regards to my life. I’ve also been thinking a lot about my dad, my time with him, how he’s still with me and how he’s guiding me now. Well I watched two different movies about time this week. Each with two different people. The first one was Interstellar. A good friend of mine mentioned that they had never seen it and had been wanting to watch it.

Disclaimer, if you haven’t seen the movie I’m about to spoil it for you. The whole movie is obviously about time, but it has always hit pretty close to home for me with the whole concept of a father watching his daughter from the other side sending her messages and giving her direction. To make it more significant and interesting, the last time I watched this movie was for the first time around this time 3 years ago. It was about to be the first Christmas without Dad. It just felt like time was circling back around but with a few changes.

The next movie I watched was with one of my all time best friends. We watched About Time. Again, if you haven’t seen this movie I’m about to spoil it for you. The basis of the movie is about a guy that has inherited an ability to travel back to any moment in time that he himself has experienced. This is an ability that he shares with his dad and uses it this ability to fall in love with the girl of his dreams. Anyway, aside from the concept of time, this movie also has special meaning to me since he also loses his father to cancer and is able to travel back in time for a bit to talk to his dad and receive his guidance and advice after he has passed. And again I watched this movie for the first time around this same time last year. It has just felt like as much as time moves forward it also circles back around. To make this event even more meaningful I watched this movie again with the same best friend who was the first person I called right after losing my dad. Obviously we shared a good cry during this movie. It was a little bitter sweet.

With everything that has been happening, the song that kept coming to my mind was Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper. There wasn’t one specific verse that spoke to me more than another because the entire song, word for word, had very significant meaning.

Lying in my bed I hear the clock tick
And think of you
Caught up in circles
Confusion is nothing new
Flashback, warm nights
Almost left behind
Suitcases of memories
Time after
Sometimes you picture me
I’m walking too far ahead
You’re calling to me, I can’t hear
What you’ve said
Then you say, go slow
I fall behind
The second hand unwinds
If you’re lost you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you, I will be waiting
Time after time
If you’re lost you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you, I will be waiting
Time after time
After my picture fades and darkness has
Turned to gray
Watching through windows
You’re wondering if I’m okay
Secrets stolen from deep inside
The drum beats out of time
If you’re lost you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you, I will be waiting
Time after time
You said go slow
I fall behind
The second hand unwinds
If you’re lost you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you, I’ll be waiting
Time after time
If you’re lost you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you, I’ll be waiting
Time after time
Time after time
Time after time
Time after time
Time after time
Time after time
Time after time
Time after
Time

The whole song felt like a conversation with Dad about me being lost and confused but how he is always there leading and guiding me. Even when nothing is clear to me and I feel like I’m falling out of sync and everything just feels like chaos, he is there waiting for me to catch up and be ready to follow his lead.

I am a firm believer in loved ones that have passed on being our angels, who are always guiding us and trying to send us messages. Sometimes it’s hard to understand and their signs can be easy to miss. But I can promise that if you take a moment to step back and tune out the noise and chaos around that it will be easier to tune in and recognize those special messages that are meant just for you. Life will seem so much easier and full of hope if you can recognize the simplest things that can carry so much meaning. Love is all around you and time is a special thing. Timing is EVERYTHING.

It’s Always Darkest Before the Dawn

kazuend-32601-unsplashPhoto by kazuend on Unsplash

I won’t lie, this past week has been pretty tough for me. It’s been a series of unfortunate events. Last Sunday my sister and I got in a car accident coming out of the church parking lot because it had been snowing. We slid and then the girl behind us slid into us. It was just a snowy mess. Fortunately, the girl that crashed into us offered to pay for the damage because she had a friend that worked on cars.

Then, after some time looking for places to live, my sister and I thought we had finally found a place and thought for sure that we would have it. But sadly, it fell through. We were both pretty disappointed and a little frustrated. It really seemed like the perfect place for us.

Something that my sister said in our moment of disappointment and discouragement was that she couldn’t help but feel like there was a reason that we didn’t get that place that we initially wanted so badly and seemed so perfect. She felt like another door would be opened to something better.

The hardest part of this week for me though, was learning that a good friend of mine had lost a long battle of addiction and had passed away. Everything suddenly felt so much worse. I’m no stranger to loss or grief, but no matter who or what the situation, it’s never easy and it’s ALWAYS heartbreaking. I couldn’t help but feel like I should’ve been a better friend some how or reached out to him more.

My mom was a lot of comfort with this loss and helping me to understand why things happen in this life. She helped me to understand it and to make more sense of it from a more spiritual perspective. I believe that my friend is getting the help that he needs on the other side and I believe that he is in a better place.

The whole week just seemed like it was disappointing event after disappointing event. I’m not emphasizing any of this to complain, only to make a point of how sometimes things so much worse in the moment because it’s hard to understand the good that it may be leading to.

Well earlier today I was playing around on Instagram and came across a quote about how God always comes through in just the nick of time and how it is always darkest before the dawn. When I read this, Florence and the Machine’s Shake it Out instantly played in my head, so of course I had to listen to it.

Considering my week, this part really spoke to me:

I tried to dance with the devil on your back
And given half the chance would I take any of it back
It’s a final mess but it’s left me so empty
It’s always darkest before the dawn

I started feeling that despite this series of unfortunate events, I needed to have a positive attitude about everything happening and to seek better understanding of everything going on. Otherwise I would be carrying too much negative weight around and would have a harder time seeing that dawn in all of it’s glory if I was too focused on the disappointment occurring in the moment.

That’s why this next part of the song  seemed to carry such significant meaning as well.

Shake it out, shake it out
Shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
Shake it out, shake it out
Shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh whoa

Sometimes you just gotta shake out those devils weighing you down in order to see the dawn when it finally comes. Well going back to what my sister said about not getting that place that we really wanted, we looked at another place the other day and liked it even more. Well we just found out that we got it and we’re so excited! My best friend’s brother also informed me that he sent my resume to the social media department of his health and wellness company that specializes in promoting a life of joy and happiness and that I should expect a call. So it looks like I might have an opportunity doing what I love spending my time on anyway, which is inspiring people to choose a life of happiness and joy.

Sometimes we are presented with circumstances that are heartbreaking and disappointing in the moment, but later we are lead to even better opportunities and gain a better understanding of our experiences. The reasoning becomes more apparent over time. In my experience, life seems to be really hard right before it gets really good. Sometimes you just need to ride it out and shake all of those devils out that are keeping you from dancing. Like the saying goes,  it’s always darkest before the dawn.

Seasons of Love

kevin-delvecchio-273275-unsplash (1)Photo by Kevin Delvecchio on Unsplash

 

I know this post is a little later than usual for a Monday post, but I thought it better late than not at all. Well with it being the holiday season and having just celebrated Thanksgiving, life, love, friends and family have been on my mind a lot.

This time of year was always Dad’s favorite. Especially with his love for cooking. Because of this I’ve obviously been thinking a lot about fond memories that I’ve had with my family in holidays past. I know that there is a lot of animosity and debate over when it is ok to begin listening to Christmas music haha but Dad ALWAYS started it early so I am partial to it.  This past week I had a discussion with a coworker about listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving was over. I shared with him my childhood memories with my Dad eager to be in the Christmas spirit.

But rest assured, this post was not inspired by a Christmas song. It is actually inspired by Seasons of Love from the musical Rent. This song popped up on my Spotify playlist this morning and it fell in line with everything that I’d been thinking about. Like how short life is and how important close friends and family are and how you never know how much time you really have here or with anyone. I’m not saying anything of this to freak anyone out, just to emphasize how important life is and the people in it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how fast time moves and how fast people and circumstances change. My family for example. My niece, who just 4 years ago was a cute little 9 year old is now a teenager who can wear my clothes. And both of my brothers are happily married and soon to be happily married. One of which has added 2 more children to the family within the last 4 years. That’s why the very first part of Seasons of Love touched me on a very deep level.

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

Time seems like it has moved so fast and life has changed so much in the past few years. There have been some pretty hard times, but also some pretty great times. We have additional family members and I have made some pretty amazing friends. I am a firm believer that you are lead to different people for a reason. I think that as important as family is, good friends are also essential.

It’s time now to sing out
Tho’ the story never ends
Let’s celebrate
Remember a year in the life of friends

I got to spend Thanksgiving with not only my family, but also with a couple of my best friends. I got to spend the morning with one best friend watching How I Met Your Mother (our favorite past time), and finished the evening off with another doing some early Black Friday shopping. In the spirit of Thanksgiving and the holiday season, I just want to express my gratitude for all of the important people in my life. All of my good friends and especially my family. I would not be the person I have become without all of you.

The people that you love and care about and the moments with them are what life is all about. So As the song goes measure your life in love. 

 

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