Hi, you folks!
So, uh, I don't know about you, but for me, the last few weeks have been one heck of a ride.
I applied for an internship with Church Magazines forty minutes past the deadline two Mondays ago and they, miraculously, still wanted to hear from me. The past week has been spent putting together a writing portfolio that both the New Era and Friend staff editors will review. I stayed up waaaay too late working on it, didn't even get friends to edit it. I'm basically flying by the seat of my pants and banking on the fact that I make little to no mistakes when I write. Arrogance? I call it quiet confidence. It was a tad bit painful to shell off the money for Express shipping Thursday, though, as it left me with about $15 to my name (quite literally). It wouldn't be so bad if my paycheck for the past two weeks wasn't barely enough to buy me dinner for two. I really just want to hit up the Rock Haus, but I'll have to break out the Cannondale and bike to school if I do because I won't have money for gasoline. So many first world problems happening right here. Oh my word. If I get one of these internships, though, and even if I don't, it will all be worth it.
You know what they say. Follow your dreams until you're broke and living in a box! Or something like that...
They contact me next Monday if they want to interview me. I'm pretty calm about it, surprisingly. My only concern is that I set my expectations really high, and at this point, I could very well soar into the sun and come crashing down in burning disappointment. I've literally begun planning how I'll spend my days in Salt Lake City and where I'll shop for groceries. *facepalm* Oh, well. The Lord leads us where He will and where we need to be. No matter what.
So that has consumed a good portion of my time. Otherwise, it's back to the same old daily grind. You know, turning in essays minutes before deadlines, missing class to do homework for another class, going to bed crying because the stress is too much, realizing that I might not graduate this semester because I might very well fail my classes. I'm kind of melodramatic when I'm stressed out, which basically means I've been melodramatic A LOT this week.
To make matters a little more muddy, I was reminded of year-old memories that I did not invite back. Once upon a time, I really liked a guy who kind of broke my heart and caused me a lot of emotional pain. The end. Short story, prolonged pain. That was awhile ago, but this week, it came back and stung on a deeply personal level and it just made all sorts of things hard to deal with. I don't really want to talk about it, but yeah. This is probably the first year I've genuinely dreaded Valentine's Day. For that reason. It made me feel sick inside.
But Friday was a day of miracles. I found a beautiful rose lying on my Institute desk with my name attached, no other name included. I had conversations that were so uplifting for me. Then I received chocolates from three different individuals who just felt to give me some. Then one of the guys on my committee opened up a duffle bag that he had filled with carnations and gave every girl in the room one. As I walked up the stairs and out of the building that day, I saw the same kind of carnation held in the hands of dozens of girls who maybe didn't have a "valentine." It was one of the sweetest things I have ever experienced and one of the endless ways in which my calling has saved and blessed me.
Right now those flowers are sitting in the Council Room in a vase that I fished out of a closet, and I really hope they don't die, because I might cry. Really, though. I left them in the dark up there and I'm sort of panicking.
Later on Friday, I thought I was going to work alone Valentine's night, but my boss had scheduled two girls to work, and it brightened my evening. And yesterday a friend in the Deli brought me a beautiful peach-colored rose after I had spent the whole day icing sugar cookies.
Oh, and my parents bought me a beautiful pink one.
I'm surrounded by flowers, guys, and they smell soooooo good. I keep shoving my nose right into them.
This week, after all of that trouble, I made some personal decisions and realizations.
1) I have nothing to lose, and should, therefore, go for what I want.
2) I am a woman, not a child, and I want my relationships to be mature and to matter because I deserve for them to matter.
3) Vulnerability has its own sort of strength, just like crazy courage.
There was this brief period when I paid attention to the Olympics. For once. Winter Olympics typically bore me to tears, unless it's duo figure skating. But I learned some really great lessons from really random events. A skier totally turfed it, but he got back up and he gave the cameras a huge grin. An American figure skater, seconds after beginning his routine, landed badly and crashed into the wall.
He laid there in obvious pain until I watched him mentally and physically choose to finish his performance. And he did. And it was nearly perfect.
I watched a boy who walked from door to door, asking for money to fund his dream of being an Olympian, take the silver in his event.
And I thought to myself, "Why not you, Ari? Why not?"
Sure, I may fail. I may not get the job I want or be rejected so many times I lose count or go to bed wondering why I don't seem to be progressing, but the progression comes when I keep pushing forward, when I get up off of the ice and brush the snow off of myself and smile and realize that I have another day and another day after that, that I'm living a plan that will not fail me because it was created by the Lord, and He never fails anyone. And one day, if I endure well and stay on the Lord's side, He'll have a podium for me to stand on. I may be a bronze-level Olympian in this thing called life, but I'll still have a place, and He will remember my name.
In general, this week was ridiculously painful and embarrassing. I messed up, I got hurt, and I wondered what Heavenly Father was thinking of me, what I could possibly be missing that I still haven't learned yet. In spite of those things, I feel a deep and renewed sense of purpose. I feel love.
As Kelly Clarkson once said (and I begrudgingly quote her, because I really hate her music), "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Stand a little taller."
I will, Kelly. I will.