12.05.2016

in which i make a return

I say this every time, but... It's been a while. A good friend of mine encouraged me to get back into blogging a while ago, but I'm just now starting to feel motivated. Recent events have got me constantly pensive, and I crave somewhere to write things down, or at least express something! I don't know that they'll be of any help to anyone else, but the peace that I find in writing my jumble of thoughts down is something I don't find in many other activities. So! Let it be known. I'm back.

I'm still not totally sure what I want for this blog. My most recent posts (if you can call them recent!) have been 100% emotionally driven. I don't know that I always feel that passionately about sharing my thoughts. But... I'll figure it as time goes on I suppose!

As for today... I think I'll share a poem I heard today, that I really, really love. It's slam poetry, so I'll post a video of him performing it too because let's be real, slam poetry is a performance art!

RUDY FRANCISCO - LOVE POEM MEDLEY



I want you to bite my lip until I can no longer speak
And then suck my ex-girlfriend’s name out of my mouth just to make sure she never comes up in our conversations
I’m going to be honest, I’m not really a love poet
In fact, every time I try to write about love my hands cramp… just to show me how painful love can be
And sometimes my pencils break, just to prove to me that every now and then love takes a little more work than you planned
See I heard that love is blind so, I write all my poems in brail
And my poems are never actually finished because true love is endless
I always believed that real love is kind of like a super model before she’s air brushed;
It’s pure and imperfect, just the way that God intended
See I’m going to be honest, I’m not a love poet
But if I was to wake up tomorrow morning and decide that I really wanted to write about love I swear that my first poem…
It would be about you

About how I loved you the same way that I learned how to ride a bike: Scared
But reckless with no training wheels or elbow pads so my scars can tell the story of how I fell for you
You see, I’m not really a love poet
But if I was I’d write about how I see your face in every cloud and your reflection in every window
You see I’ve written like a million poems hoping that somehow maybe someway you’ll jump out of the page and be closer to me
Because if you were here, right now
I would massage your back until your skin sings songs that your lips don’t even know the words to

Until your heartbeat sounds like my last name and you smile like the pacific ocean
I want to drink the sunlight in your skin
If I was a love poet
I’d write about how you have the audacity to be beautiful
Even on days when everything around you is ugly
You see I’d write about your eyelashes and how they are like violin strings that play symphonies every time you blink

If I was a love poet
I’d write about how I melt in front of you like an ice sculpture
Every time I hear the vibration in your voice so whenever I see your name on the caller ID my heart
It plays hop scotch inside of my chest
Yo it climbs on to my ribs like monkey bars and I feel like a child all over again
I know this sounds strange but every now and then I pray that God somehow turns you back in to one of my ribs...
Just so that I would never have to spend an entire day without you

I swear, I’m not a love poet
But if I was to wake up tomorrow morning and decide that I really wanted to write about love
My first poem it would be about you
And after all of that she was like, so how do you feel about me?
And I said, put it like this:
I want to be your ex-boyfriend’s stunt man. I want to do everything that he never had the courage to do like… Trust you

I swear that when our lips touch I can taste the next sixty years of my life
And some days I want to swallow stacks of your pictures just so you can be a part of me for a little bit longer
If I could I would sample your smile and then I would let my heart beat
Do the bass line, we would create the greatest love song of all time
Whenever, we stand next to each other, love I was the only one made for you and you can be at last my Etta James
I’ll be oh child when you’re in pain or you could be candy coated drops of rain
Even though it never rains in Southern California
And together, we could be music

And when my friends ask if you’re my girlfriend
I’ll say no
She is my musician
And me… I’m her favorite song



It is so cheesy but man... The metaphors! The hopeless romantic in me cannot even take the goodness of this poem.

6.25.2015

a change of plans

I don't even know where to start. It's been a while and so much has happened. Basically the point of this post is to ramble about how my post-mission life has not gone at all the way I planned. Mostly for me, but also for other people. A lot because I hate over-sharing on Facebook or other social media, and this is my place for my thoughts. Also, writing brings me clarity. So. Now that I've justified it sufficiently.

(Disclaimer: All statements below are expressions of opinion based on the time period about which they are written. I've received a lot of spiritual clarity since many of these and now consider them to be blessings in disguise, so if I sound bitter, please rest assured that I am currently loving my life and all of its unexpectedness.)

Let's start in September with the first plan that changed. I had been writing an elder from my mission who was just this fantastic individual and things were looking pretty positive. I figured I'd come home, date him but also date other people to make sure it was right, and, if all went the way I wanted it to, we'd end up together. Then I got home... And was terrified of dating. And lost all romantic feeling for anyone. It was like it was all too much for my system. After careful deliberation I broke the news to my elder and just... Tried to move on. I figured maybe the feelings I'd had would come back, or that I'd feel them for someone else, but they never did, to my marriage-hungry RM dismay. As often as I'd told people I wasn't ready to get married, I really did want it badly.

I went back to school in January after a difficult three months spent living in my parents' family room. I was convinced that moving back to Logan would be perfect and that everything would go the way I wanted it to. I'd find a boyfriend, I'd pass all my classes, I'd spend my weeks with my friends, I'd still be close to my friends from before the mission... Basically, it'd all be about me. I'm not sure at what point between Schipol and the Salt Lake City Airport I forgot that life isn't about me, but I did, somehow, and that was the biggest struggle this last semester - turning out. Helping other people instead of myself. Putting others (and God!) first. As I got lost in myself, the semester whizzed past, and I found myself taking finals and finishing projects. No boyfriend, no true social life, and few close friends, basically all for lack of trying. For lack of putting God in the first place and reaching out to those outside of myself.

As far as academics went, I felt confident. My grades were good. I knew I would pass every class, because I had worked hard to complete my coursework, and studied for tests. The week before finals week, I took a levels exam for music therapy. In order to start practicum and continue my music therapy courses in the fall, I needed to pass. I practiced, but probably not as much as I should have, and did not feel that it went well. However, I had not truly considered that I might fail, and found myself severely humbled the next day as I opened the letter that told me I would not be joining my classmates as they moved on, but would be required to take the exam again at the end of the fall semester.

A few months earlier I had applied and interviewed to be an EFY counselor, which is essentially my dream summer job. I heard nothing for months, and then when I finally did hear back from them, the answer was a no. It was hard. I debated staying in Logan and finding a job, but eventually decided to come home instead, something I hadn't really counted on as I hoped to be a counselor all summer. I couldn't find a job for weeks. When I finally did, it was part-time at a less-than-wonderful wage, but I decided to take it and look for a second one. I was offered a couple of others but none would work with the schedule of the job I already had or with school when it started back up, so I turned them down.

In all scenarios, I adjusted. I made the necessary tweaks to my plans and I moved on and life was fine. But honestly I didn't have a clue where the Lord was taking me with it all... Until about two weeks ago. I received a phone call asking me to come in to interview for an internship that I'd applied for at least a month prior. To be honest, I didn't even really remember anything about it other than that I'd applied, but I agreed to come in. I was invited back for a second interview, and the next week I was offered the position. The weird part? It goes through December, so I'll be living at home for the semester, taking classes online.

The only thing that truly worried me after accepting the internship was that my housing contract starts in August and goes to next August. I still plan on living up there starting in January, so I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to find anyone who was looking for a place for only fall. Lo and behold, my dear friend Kaycie sat next to a girl at church who was interested, and now she's taking it.

It's incredible to be able to see how God fits everything together so perfectly. Everything that would have prevented me from looking into this job was neatly pushed out of the way. If I'd been at EFY I wouldn't have applied for more jobs. Had I passed levels, it would have been harder to decide to stay home for the semester. I felt that I needed to come home instead of stay in Logan... And I didn't take any of the jobs that would have been more difficult to get out of in order to take this internship. I was able to figure out my housing contract.

I am so grateful to be reminded that our Heavenly Father is not only aware of me, but His hand is in my life DAILY. I am excited to see what else He has in store for me, and hopefully to eventually see why it is that I needed to get this internship. Basically... Just remember that God loves you, and is watching over you! Don't worry about how you think your plan is going. Just listen to Him. :)

3.27.2015

a letter to meg johnson... in which i bear my soul

Meg,

My name is Kira, and I'm a student at Utah State (go Aggies!). I was fortunate enough to hear you speak this morning! I wanted to stay and talk to you but there was a crowd around you and I had to head to my next class, but I wanted to make sure that I contacted you anyway.

          This morning was rough. I had a hard time waking up so I pressed snooze and got as much out of that snooze as I could before forcing myself to roll out of bed. Once I got out of bed I realized that I was super sore from a workout I did yesterday, and I felt sick on top of that. I rushed out the door with very little food and was late to class. When I did get there, I had a hard time focusing. I had a presentation in my second class that I had to print something out for and it took a really long time, which stressed me out. I did well on my presentation but I got some intense constructive criticism from my professor and just felt... Heavy.

          By this time it was 11:35 and I was late to Religion in Life. I had a moment of "is it even worth going if I'm going to walk in late? I'll probably miss some of what the speaker says, too," but after some deliberation I decided that I really needed to go and get the pick me up that Religion in Life always seems to give to me.

          I biked as fast as I could, and on the way I thought about how worthless and small I've been feeling lately. I returned from my mission in September, and it's been a little bit rough finding the balance between pre-mission me and mission me to figure out who post-mission me really is... Satan keeps getting into my head and telling me that I'm no one's first choice, and that I don't have anything unique or even valuable to bring to the people who I am studying to work with (I'm a music therapy student). I get down on myself about not being diligent enough in my scripture study and prayers. About not sharing the gospel freely enough. I keep comparing myself to others and seeing how great they are at all the things I'm not so great at. I see all my friends getting engaged and married and having kids and graduating and moving on with life. And it hurts. Making time for a productive scripture study is much harder now than it was on my mission. School is hard. Being single is hard. Sharing the gospel without a name tag is hard.

via
         With all these thoughts racing through my head, I walked into the institute building just in time to hear the second half of the musical number. I found a seat next to a friend and pulled my notebook out, half-heartedly trying to prepare myself to be uplifted, but just feeling... Weak. Then you came up to the microphone and through you, the Spirit told me exactly what I needed to hear - That even if no one would choose me first... I am a daughter of a LOVING Heavenly Father, and the spirit sister of a LOVING Savior, and they love me FOREVER. That's not going to change, no matter how many people in my life come and go. If I allow Them to pilot my life by keeping Their commandments, they will take me to a place where I will be happier than I ever even dreamed of, and that makes everything along the way - turbulence and all - worth it.

         That was a really long story, but to sum it all up - thank you. I can honestly say that my life was changed today. Thank you for speaking with the Spirit. Thank you for being willing and excited to share your story. THANK YOU. It means the world to this semi-lost RM - just consider this message a long distance hug of thanks!

          Very sincerely,

                          Kira




AUTHOR'S NOTE/DISCLAIMER:
A few things have been changed from my original email to Meg, as there are still things I would not like to share with everyone. Please know that this is not a cry for help. This is me being real on my blog, and sharing how I've been feeling lately. It's pretty illogical because my life is really great. :) I'm doing okay, I promise. :) I'm even happy! It's just been a little rough lately.

If you take anything from this, just take that YOU are also a child of God, and He loves you unfathomable amounts, and that's really what matters most. He'll guide you if you let Him.

For more about the incredible, life-changing Meg Johnson, check out her blog right here.

2.04.2015

be here now

I can't even count the number of times that I have started a post and stopped because I forgot or ran out of time or something in the last few weeks... I guess that a lot of that is because the things that have been on my mind lately are pretty personal.

I'm a little bit all over the place recently - School is hard, but it's awesome. Friends are fantastic. Dating is... Dating. I've been struggling to have good, effective scripture study, and that really frustrates me.

Honestly, I feel like sometimes I am failing as a returned missionary. There's so much that I learned out in the mission field that I should be so much better at applying. And while a lot of that comes from Satan (see my last post on that here), there's definitely also truth in there.

In institute on Monday we started talking about how we are accountable for our time. I am extremely guilty of wasting time. I spend hours on social media sites and my cell phone. I put off studying my scriptures, studying for my classes, spending time with the people I love... It's really dumb. Especially because I know better. Preach My Gospel (essentially the missionary handbook, you can find it online here) encourages missionaries to use their time wisely. In fact, the apostles and church leaders who wrote Preach My Gospel considered it so important that they wrote an entire chapter on it (chapter 8!). So... I spent 18 months learning more about that, and trying my best to be better at using my time.

I am decidedly against making resolutions solely for that it's a new year, but I think it's about time that I do make some goals for this year. These goals are things I've thought long and hard about, not just things I thought up because oh look, it's 2015 and I should jump on the resolution bandwagon. I find that those things don't generally end up getting done. However I think it's super important to make heartfelt, serious goals! Goals help us to progress. Elder M. Russell Ballard once said:
“I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don’t set goals in our life and learn how to master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. When one learns to master the principles of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life.”
One of the many useful things I learned on my mission is that an unwritten goal is just a wish. So... I'm going to write my goals down. I won't write them all on here, but I would like to share one.

With this goal comes a story. About a month after coming home from my mission, I started attending my local Young Single Adult (YSA) ward (church unit) in Bountiful. The first week I was there a young man spoke (we don't have clergy that give sermons in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - members of the congregation take turns giving "talks") who was leaving on his mission that coming Wednesday. He encouraged us all to remember to live in the moment, and shared a story of his choir teacher at Westminster who always told his students to leave their other commitments and worries outside of his room, and to "be here now."




Those words penetrated my mind then, and continue to regularly do so again and again. They pop up in my head often - generally when I'm not focused on where I am or what I'm doing - and I am brought back to the present. Not past experiences or future plans, but here and now. I think that it's so important to reflect on experience, and it's definitely also important to make plans, but it's just as important to live and enjoy what's happening right NOW. I'm making a goal to do just that. To be thankful for the present. So if nothing else... I will strive to do that this year!

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