About Me

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North Hollywood, California, United States
I am a fun, sometimes boring person. I am an outgoing, shy kind of girl. I'm pretty easy going when I am not being uptight. All in all, I am a walking, talking, contradiction.
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Friday, July 29, 2011

Come What May

Life is hard. It was never meant to be easy. It's full of humbling experiences that are meant to strengthen you and make you discover things about yourself and what you're made of. Life is not meant to be floated through, and it's not meant to just be survived. But if that's all you can do, then survive.

One thing I've learned about myself as of recently, is that when the going gets rough...I wimp out. I get angry, resentful and pessimistic. I fall into the classic “life isn't fair” syndrome and shut down. I then try to grab hold of anything that still makes sense to me and control those things the best I can since everything else seems dreadfully out of my control. Sometimes this leads to excessing cleaning, ritualistic behaivior, and stressing over imperfections big and small. All these things are very unhealthy and won't make me happy long term. Something that I am in the process of learning is that the only thing I should really be trying to control, is the way I react positively to the unfair situations that present themselves. This is much much easier said then done, but I know that it is the only way to get through rough times and come out on top.

A talk from General Conference October 2008 came to mind when I was really struggling with keeping myself positive while dealing with some recent unfavorable circumstances. It's by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin and is called “Come What May, and Love It.” This message has stayed with me and helped me in times of need and will continue to throughout my life I'm sure.

In the talk Elder Wirthlin says, “The way that we react to adversity can be a major factor in how happy and successful we can be in life.” This is so true. I know that on days that I allow my bad attitude to comsume me, nothing will go right. And I also know that on days that I stay strong and accept whatever happened and move on past it, good things can happen again.

The four points Elder Wirthlin makes to help us approach hard things with a good perspective are to learn to laugh, seek for the eternal, know the principle of compensation, and to trust in the Father and Son. The first being to learn to laugh to me, it so important. I feel that in our most desperate times, we are still in need of smiling and laughter. A great example of this is Jonny Kennedy. In the documentary called “The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off” Jonny was born with a rare skin disease which affects the connective tissues in the skin and cause extreme blisters even at the lightest touch. He lived in terrible pain his whole life and was always covered with sores and open wounds but radiated with the most amazing attitude. It struck me so hard listening to him talk about his lifelong struggles and still being able to maintain a smile and laugh and joke constantly. He died at the age of 36 but filled the years he had with happiness through acceptance and the medicine of laughter.

When seeking for the eternal, Elder Wirthlin said, “Learning to endure times of disappointment, suffering, and sorrow is part of our on-the-job training. These experiences, while often difficult to bear at the time, are precisely the kinds of experiences that stretch our understanding, build our character, and increase our compassion for others.” This principle is probably the hardest thing for me to accept but I know is true. Hardships and trials are guaranteed in this life and can be good for us and our growth. Since I all too quickly say things like “Why me?!” it is easy to forget the big picture and what positive things a hardhip can do for me. I even have a personal experience of this that I try to remember when I would rather sulk. When I was in 9th grade, my family and I moved out of state and started our lives over. I had an especially hard time adjusting to the move because I was insecure and scared of having no friends at my new school. Having gone through an experience where I had to step out of my comfort zone and learn how to meet to people and make new friends helped me be more outgoing and especially more empathetic toward others in similar situations. This has helped me learn that out of any hard situation, you can pull something away from it for your benefit and possibly the benefit of others. I've learned and am continuing to learn that when a tough situation is handled in the right way, it'll always make you a better person in the long run.

The principle of compensation is described by Elder Wirthlin in this quote : “The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude.” This was very hard for me to understand when I first read it. Many memories of difficult times in my life flooded back to me and I found myself asking in my head, “What good came from that?” I also thought about a few people I know who have dealt with unimaginable trials and have not always come out on top from them. I was discouraged at first when I thought these things and tried to understand how the Lord doesn't forget about us and our endurance through the hard times. I wasn't sure how we would ever get back the things we lost in the midst of darkness. But then I realized, I already knew and understood. I believe in life after death. It's so simple but it brings me back to how God knows all things and as long as we do our part to live this life the best we can, then we can return to Him to live forever in His presence. I must keep faith that even if we may not get the compensation completely in this life, we can receive it in the next life a hundredfold.

Trusting in the Father and the Son may seem pretty self explanitory. But it is not always that easy. I know that when I feel like I've hit rock bottom, it feels like nothing will ever be right again. But in time, things always have a way of working itself out. Even if whatever was broken doesn't ever completely get fixed, I always end up alright. Sometimes I can bounce back quickly, other times it may take years, but I know that whenever I decide to do everything that I can and then leave the rest to Him, I end up learning lessons I never woud've otherwise and I grow stronger as a result. Being able to rely on Heavenly Father helps me keep faith that all will be well in the end. Another quote from the talk goes, “He who descended below all things will come to our aid. He will comfort and uphold us. He will strengthen us in our weakness and fortify us in our distress. He will make weak things become strong.” This brings me hope and comfort that no matter what trial life gives me, with the help of the Father and the Son, I can have the strength the go on.

So life is hard. But it was never meant to be easy. All I can do is trust in the Lord and remember that life is but a moment in eternity and enduring times of pain may earn me happiness forever. And to always, always keep laughing.

One last quote from Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin:

If we approach adversities wisely, our hardest times can be times of greatest growth, which in turn can lead toward times of greatest happiness.”

Here is a link to the actual talk:

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

A couple of really great weekends

I know that I’ve been complaining non stop about all the hours I’ve been working and what little play I’ve had…but don’t worry, no negativity in this post! Because I finally got some play time :)

Fourth of July was great because it was on a Monday which means, no work. The funny thing is, I had no idea that I had the day off until Friday and the only reason why I found out was because I over heard a coworker saying to a customer over the phone that we wouldn’t be there on Monday. I TOTALLY would have shown up for work on Monday and found myself pretty alone. I know, Fourth of July is a national holiday so I should’ve known, but until now, I was so used to working in places like retail and restaurants that don’t close on holidays. So I figured without thinking or asking that we would have to work. Lovely surprise when I found out that we didn’t!

The Fourth of July weekend started out with me getting off work early on Saturday and Dave and I meeting up with his brother Pete and his wife Bekah and their cute one year old Dali at Riverton’s “Town Days” festival. We had great parking thanks to Dave’s creative (to others, annoying) idea to park his motorcycle in a position to hold a spot for a car in which we later parked in close to the entrance. I then convinced Dave to go on some rides with me by teasing him for being an old guy, and we both ended up queasy by the end of the night.  We later met up with Dave’s other brother Matt and his wife Julie and their three year old munchkin Izze and all watched fireworks in a great spot just a few feet away from the car. That meant that we got to enjoy the amazing fireworks display and also miss the crazy rush to leave the park. It was a very nice relaxing day spent with wonderful people and lots of flippy, spinny rides.

The actual day of Fourth of July started out with me not going to work. That was a pretty dang good start. Dave and I grabbed some lunch at JCW’s and then went to our friend John’s BBQ. I got the pleasure of watching Dave play corn hole shirtless with the boys in the sweltering heat. I played too and surprise, I sucked. John and Eric entertained us all by dressing up in some true American garb to celebrate “America Day” and show a little leg. I can honestly say that I have never had a dull moment around these guys.

While we waited for the sun to go down, Dave and I went shopping for some shorts since I had none. It’s so sad that I didn’t get to really feel the heat of summer until that day because my life as of right now is lived in a cubicle. So anyway, we went shopping and after driving all over and going in an out of many stores, we successfully found some non-bling (non True Religion dark wash jeans with thick white stitching and rhinestones all over the butt that everyone and their mom wears) cute Mormon-approved shorts that were on sale and put a smile on my face.  After that, we grabbed some delicious quesadillas at CafĂ© Rio and met up with Mikkal and Ashley at Thanksgiving Point.

Mikkal is Dave’s longtime friend and Ashley is his cute wife who have recently become one of our favorite couple friends. They are both laid back, hilarious, and always up to doing something fun. We’ve found those qualities hard to find in most married couples but we are glad to say that we have found at lease one of the remaining cool married couples left! Just kidding…sort of.  So we meet up at Thanksgiving Point and try to find a good spot to sit and watch the fireworks. Boys being boys and always wanting to explore and find a better place than being satisfied with just finding an open spot in a largely crowded area, had both Ashley and I chase after them into a near by corn field just budding with corn stalks to find a place closer to where the fireworks were being launched. We ended up being shooed away by a police officer but also was pointed in the direction of a less crowded, much closer spot to sit and watch the show. We ended up so close to the fireworks that they were being launched directly above our heads and we could even see some of the burning embers falling and touching the ground. It was an unforgettable night amongst many of the same exact Fourth of July nights throughout the years. The other thing that made this night memorable was of  course the lovely rain we received. Thanks Utah for making things interesting.

The weekend definitely wasn't long enough but was very successful because I got to really enjoy not having to work and getting the unexpected day off.

Unfortunately, I had gotten a taste of what fun was and I was NOT ready to go back to my normal 6 days, 60 hours a week life. So fortunately, the fun didn’t have to end. In a previous post, I said that I was going to get my first weekend off in six weeks. I was not going to waste the weekend so I made sure to fill it with some fun things to do.

Since I had Friday off at my second job, Dave and I met up with Mikkal and Ashley and drove up to beautiful Timpanogos Canyon and set up camp. We girls got to watch the boys be manly and chop wood and start the fire with flint and steel which was way interesting…but they did it and we are proud.

We also roasted hot dogs and told some scary stories and stayed up late and probably made too much noise for our neighbors but had a really good time. Thanks Mike and Ash for inviting us and pretending to like us weirdos!

To top off a great weekend, Saturday afternoon we drove back to Provo and met up with the other cool married couple friends of ours, Paul and Katherine and headed up to Farmington to spend the day at Lagoon. Before we went there, I had never been and I had heard mixed reviews about the amusement park. Some liked it, and others didn’t. I don’t believe I am a very harsh critic so in my opinion, it wasn’t bad at all. It had some great roller coasters and some fun carnival like rides and hardly any long lines. I mean, there were plenty of people there, but I think that the longest line we waited in was maybe 10 minutes. Us four ran around the park like little kids feeding off each other’s energy and eating as much sugar as we could get our grubby hands on. By the end of the day, my feet hurt but I was satisfied with the fun we had and the laughs that filled the day. However once again, Utah needed to remind us of how no day could be perfect and it rained again a few different times, but we didn’t let it dampen our time there.


So my hope is now that I have filled my fun canteen with enough fun that it’ll help me make it through the weeks until my next wonderful weekend off…

Friday, July 8, 2011

In Loving Memory

I wasn't sure if I was going to post this or not because it's hard to put these thoughts into words but I decided that I should.

On June 30th, my dear Ojiichan (grandfather in Japanese) passed away. His health had been declining for many years now, but his suffering is now over. I love him and will miss him so much. It is unfortunate that by living so far away from Okinawa, the visits have been scattered over the years, but I was very blessed to spend 3 weeks there in March to spend much needed time by his side.

When my mother and I first walked into his hospital room and he saw me for the first time in 5 years, he covered his eyes and wept. It must be very hard to have to watch your grandchildren grow up from afar, but I knew that at that moment, he was just overjoyed to have me there and so was I. The Japanese language for the most part has been lost to me. When my family moved here to the states when I was 8 years old, I made the switch to English and never looked back. Until recently. I am so sad that I didn't try harder to make it a bigger deal to hang on to and had experienced the result when I visited my family and had to use non verbal language or my mom the translate to communicate. While I was sitting next to Ojiichan, I wanted so badly to tell him how much I love him and care about him and missed him and wanted him to get better. But during our many hours, every day visits, I sat in silence next to him. He was very sick and hardly spoke to anyone anyway but I started to notice that the silence was really okay. He knew everything I wanted to say to him and I knew what he would say to me. Those hours of silence were peaceful and fullfilling just being there and sitting next to him.

My grandfather's life for the most part is a mystery to me. What I know are the things my mother has told me and even her knowledge is limited. He had experienced so much tragedy in his life that he didn't talk much about his past to anyone. Details are hard to come by but what I know is that throughout his time here on earth he had experienced the horrors of war, the hardships of extreme poverty, the loss of his first wife, the loss of three sons ranging from 2 years old to adult, having to take care of my ailing grandmother, experiencing his own sicknesses and much more. What I also know is that he was extremely hard working, completely dedicated to his family, generous with everything he had, and one of the kindest people I've ever known. I am proud to be his granddaughter. I will miss him dearly, but he has gone to be free from pain and to be with his boys in heaven.

I am so grateful for the time I was able to spend with him sitting next to him in the last few months of his life. I am so grateful for my knowledge of the gospel and the plan of salvation and for my belief without a shadow of doubt that I will see him again some day and he will be whole and healthy and we will be able to speak the words that we couldn't before.

Until then Ojiichan, God be with you til we meet again.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

At last...a break!

So, for the past month or so we have been fairly understaffed at my second job. A couple of night girls quit and left only two girls (I being one of these girls) to work weekdays and Saturdays. This became an issue for two reasons.

First reason: Overtime is not allowed with no exceptions which means that if one of us night girls became sick or had an emergancy, we could not have one of the full time day girls cover for us.

The second reason: Since at least two people are needed to work a shift to make sure that calls are answered and compliances are done, it left only one option for Chelsea and me. Work EVERY Saturday.

Now I was the one that decided to take on a second job so I feel silly complaining about working six days a week and I am actually very grateful to be able have both of my jobs, BUT never being able to sleep in (I go to church Sunday mornings so no sleeping in there either) or have a full day to myself has worn on me pretty bad. Poor Dave has been taking the brunt of it by having to experience my extreme moods swings from stress and only being able to spend time together for a couple of hours a day during the week. He's been so sweet and supportive since I've started working all these hours.

For a while now, I've been feeling more and more stretched and wondered how much more I could take of experiencing summer time behind walls and windows and always feeling tired and fatigued. At last my prayers have been answered! A new girl has been hired. This means that this weekend, I will have my first Saturday off in SIX weeks!!! And not only do I have Saturday off, but since they need to train the new girl, I also get Friday night off. I don't think I need to say that I am pretty dang excited but I will. I am pretty dang excited. And since there is absolutely no way that I am letting a perfectly good weekend go to waste, I have filled it with some fun things to do.

I will post all that soon :)