This is the part where I apologize because it's been awhile, guys, and I'm failing at blogging lately. I'm sorry. :) Thanks for sticking around anyway! Soon enough, you'll understand why I've been fairly distant.
Sometimes life is funny, isn't it? I mean, consider the following: not many people are aware of this, but I have been unemployed for about four months. After leaving Salt Lake City, I made some stupid decisions regarding two jobs and it's cost me. For about three of these past four months, it's been a struggle to put a smile on my face and tell people that I'm doing fine. The truth is that I haven't been fine. At all. I've felt very ingenuine, in fact, because when I've been asked, "How are you?" I've responded with the typical, meaningless, "Good." It's been a boldfaced lie more times than I can count.
The truth is that my situation now is not much different than it was four months ago when all the trouble began. I'm unemployed still, I'm not having much luck finding work still, and I'm questioning what the Lord wants me to do with my life. Still. But I've come to find something in the rubble and ruin of indecision and bad decisions that has caused me to believe that the Lord has me in mind: happiness.
I am happy. I'm broke and I'm jobless and I'm confused and my dating life is flat-lining and my social life is sometimes lackluster and I've spent a lot of sleepless nights panicking about loans and possibly going back to school and how I'm going to do all of that, but I'm so happy. Somehow I know that I'm right at the brink of something and that the Lord is leading me along. It's given me strength and confidence that I never knew I had in me.
So life lately has been mundane, but also exciting. I've spent a lot of time applying for jobs, but I've spent an immense amount of time just writing. I even have two or three blog posts stored away that I'm wanting to perfect a little more before publishing, and it's amazing that I've had time to write those.
The secret is mostly out, but I'm writing a book! It's exciting for, like, at least ten reasons, but I'll give you three: a) I've not had one single book idea really stick and motivate me like this one has, b) it's a book that does not have an equal existing on the market today, and c) my audience is a little younger than I'm used to, and it's a thrilling challenge for me. I'm not going to give you any more than that, but just know that if there isn't much content here, that would be why.
Another exciting happening is that I'm working with some good friends on a really cool new website. Once it officially premieres, I'm linking you to it, because you guys are going to love it. I'm already struggling to contain my giddiness over the whole thing, because it's the kind of site I've wanted to do myself or help with for a long time now. So stay tuned!
I've also been working on a fireside talk. That's been a neat experience. A local bishop asked me to speak about introversion, and I'm really excited to. Which is new for me. Also: I applied to be an EFY counselor and really, really want to be hired, which, again, is very new for me. I don't know where all of this exuberance for public speaking came from all of a sudden, but I'm way stoked.
Outside of my writing (which has really consumed my life as of late), I'm helping my younger sister prepare to get married in May. It's an odd experience for me, because I'm excited and also sad. She and I have had a lot of adventures in our lives together. It'll be weird to not see her all of the time or do things with her as often. I'm not sure I know how to handle it yet. I'm still trying to decide. Ha.
One of the most valuable things to happen in my life right now is that I've finally learned how to snowboard, and I'm actually doing pretty well, if I do say so myself. That sounds a little goofy, doesn't it? I mean, how is learning how to snowboard more important than everything else going on?
Well, I recognized a very important lesson the other day as I was skating across the tops of a slope. I realized that my mind was on the brink of panicking, but I also knew that if I panicked, I would fall. If I lost my faith in my board and the movement of my feet, I would crash hard. Somehow, I've been able to tell that panic to get out of my head, and it's made me a better boarder. I love it so much now, in fact, that I'm starting to get slope deprivation. It's like a drug, guys.
The real lesson here is that fear and negative thoughts, as powerful as they may be, are conquerable. Not only are they conquerable, but it is necessary for us to remove them from our minds if we want to succeed and move on from difficult trials. If I were to beat myself up about boarding and flood my head with thoughts of crashing, I would crash all of the time. Sometimes I do that with other things, though. I had a few weeks where I could not stop thinking about a recent experience that was very difficult for me. I'd be doing fine, and then something would trigger a memory, and I would plunge myself right into what ifs and whys and torment myself with them. I've come to realize that sometimes I feel obligated to think about things that make me unhappy--after all, if I don't think about it, it means I don't care, right? The truth is that I, and all of us, need to care first and foremost for ourselves. If we're thinking about something that makes us unhappy, we need to stop. If we're dwelling on things we cannot change, we need to stop dwelling. We aren't obligated to hold on to those things, and if we keep holding on to them, emotionally, we'll keep crashing. Too often, we wound ourselves over and over again over things we cannot change, and it's bad. It's so bad for us.
If there's one thing snowboarding has taught me, it's that faith helps you to move on. Fear and regret do not.
So I guess, as it's nearly 1 a.m. and I have no idea why I'm still awake right now, my closing words to you would be these: you can find happiness in hard circumstances. It's possible. It may not seem like it, but it is. Not only that, but quit beating yourself up over lost relationships or dumb decisions or things you cannot change. Emotionally give yourself a break and realize that you are more important than all of those things you worry about. Take care of you. Make sure you are surrounded by productive and uplifting thoughts. Then have faith that the Savior will carry you through your hard times. Because he does. He always does.
The secret to being happy in this life a lot of the time comes down to thinking happy thoughts. It's made all of the difference for me, and as an often pessimistic person, I can say that it will make a whole lot of difference for you. Just try.
Okay. Peace out, kids. I'm sleepin'.