Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I AM DETERMINED

I was the laurel president in my ward as a stalwart young woman at the age of 16. I adored all my leaders and all my beautiful friends who made my teenage years a complete dream. From my young women group, I always had friends, I never got bullied, had multiple "second moms", and never had to worry about anything except what I was going to wear the next day. It was magical.



I sat in those lessons about eternal marriage with dreamy eyes and wrote down my list of traits I wanted for my future husband with complete bliss. I never really got past that point. I never gave a mere thought to what would happen if that didn't happen. (Give me a break, I was 16.) 

Over the last year, I've definitely been giving my career it's own office in my mind. But today, it hit me:
I'm 21. I'm graduating from college. And I am not getting married.

BUT GOSH DANG IT, I AM NOT LETTING THAT STOP ME FROM BEING THE MOST SUCCESSFUL WOMAN I CAN BE. 

I am done being the girl who pines over getting married and I'm done being the girl who puts dating before her schooling.

I am determined. I am ready to get somewhere in life. To own a house and a puppy and live the single life dream in Boston or New York or Maryland.

Will I get a master's degree? You bet I will.

Then will I get my doctorate? Absolutely. (There's totally a program to get your PhD in Social Media. I looked it up.)

Will I be the social media manager at Coca-Cola? Why not?

Will I do fashion advertising for Nordstorm? Oh yeah!

Can I run my own business and make a plug for social entrepreneurship? Heck yes!

So watch out world because I'm ready.

Monday, August 4, 2014

What I've Learned from Unrequited Love

First...read this quote by Taylor Swift (because even though her dancing is weird, she's actually pretty eloquent):

"I think we grow up thinking that the only love that counts as true love is the kind that lasts forever or is fully realized. When you have a broken heart, the first thing a stranger will ask is 'how long were you two together?' As if your pain can be determined by how long you were with someone. Or if you were with them at all. I don't think that's how it works. I think unrequited love is just as valid as any other kind. It's just as crushing and just as thrilling. No matter what happens in this situation, I want you to remember that what you are doing is selfless and beautiful and kind. You are loving someone purely because you love them, not because you'll ever think you'll have your affections reciprocated. You are admiring something for its beauty, without needing to own it. Feel good about being the kind of person who loves selflessly. I think someday you'll find someone who loves you in that exact same way."

Second...this hit me so freaking hard because that's how I feel. Often times I believe I will never find somebody who I can love as much as I love that boy who wore an "I love Mormon Girls" shirt when he asked me to dance in eighth grade.

But the likelihood of anything happening is slim to none. And surprisingly, I'm totally okay with it.

I believe that because I've liked him for so long that it's a privilege more than anything else. I like him merely because he's an amazing person, not because he will love me back. It's an unrequited love that's been such a big part of me, but has taught me so many important lessons: like how important it is to be kind of everyone. And how essential it is to be so deeply good that no temptation can break your character.

That even when a 17 year old girl has a giant crush on you and you know she does, that you smile at her in the hall anyway. Because that's just the kind of person you should be. I admire him. That boy is incredibly inspirational to me and I will never forget how kindness seemed to ooze out of every part of him.

I want to believe I will end up with him, but I'm smart enough to understand that, that is not how life works.

And maybe I'm kind of crazy for liking this particular boy for so long and maybe it's even crazier for me to be posting this, but I just know that Heavenly Father knew I needed his example in my life to show me what a man should really be like.

And while he hasn't even given me a second thought, it doesn't really matter. All that matters is that I learn from him, that I take the lessons I couldn't have learned any other way and move on. I've got the world in my hands.

What have you learned from unrequited love?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Success: Because it's all I can think about.

I graduate next spring.

That's really, really, really soon and I unfortunately have been frightened of it. Which means all I've been thinking about is one question: HOW AM I GOING TO BE SUCCESSFUL?

Which then leads to a more potent question: WHAT IS SUCCESS?

I often think of success as being the social media manager for Coca-Cola or doing PR for Disney. But these kinds of jobs are few and far between. They're not unattainable, mind you. Just extremely difficult to attain. 

But then I think of my mom. She is a working woman and has been my whole life. She has taught everything from 3rd grade to kindergarten for over 20 years. She's not the kind of teacher who gets the most requests or who changes every child who comes to her classroom. 

BUT

She's the kind of teacher who works her butt off so she can be the best teacher she can.
She's the kind of teacher who stays later than all the other teachers because she cares so much about what she's doing.
She's the kind of teacher who rallies for good education in politics and is a part of the Idaho Education Association.
She's the kind of teacher who gets involved.

Does the president of the United States know who she is? No.
Do the political leaders of Idaho know who is she? Not likely.
Does she make a difference in the community that she serves in? Absolutely. 

IS THAT SUCCESS?

Let's take my dad too.
He worked at a consulting firm in Logan for years and then had a career change and we moved to Sugar City, Idaho so he could teach psychology at BYU-Idaho.

He's not the kind of professor who gets rallying reviews from every student he teaches or who feeds the souls of everyone who comes into his class so they absolutely LOVE psychology.

He's the kind of professor who uses his wisdom to avoid some pretty sticky situations.
He's the kind of professor who works extensively with mental health in Madison School District because he believes it's important to erase the stigma mental illness has brought to many students.
He's the kind of professor who knows the answer to every question students ask him because he studies and studies and is always reading and absorbing more knowledge.

Does the president of BYU-Idaho know who my dad is? No.
Does the superintendent of Madison School District know who he is? Maybe.
Does he affect the psychology department at BYU-Idaho and strive to make it the best department it can be? Absolutely.

IS THAT SUCCESS?

It seems that I have to make that decision for myself. Except it's hard to feel like (at age 21), I can make a difference somewhere. That I can achieve the success I believe I want.

So while I still think being the social media manager of Coca-Cola would be an extremely successful career, is it possible to be successful without that? Do I need the validation of many other people to feel successful? Or does success come from within? How can success bring me happiness? Or does it?

Man, talk about a mid-life crisis.

What do you think? What makes someone successful?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Dear Boys: Trippy

Dear Sharpie,
I miss you.
I really really do.
Sadly,
Elisabeth

Dear You,
This is happening...
Just not like I expected it to.
Hmmmm,
Elisabeth

Dear Hercules,
Well aren't you just freakin adorable.
General authority status, I'd say.
Love,
Elisabeth 

Dear Chinese,
You look like Zac Efron, but better 
because you're Mormon & play hockey.
Lovingly,
Elisabeth

Dear Rider,
You give me every reason to believe
I should like you. 
But I don't know if I do. 
Confusingly,
Elisabeth

Monday, June 23, 2014

To my Dad, my Papa Bear, and my Main Champ

Thank you. 



Thank you for telling me I'm "beautiful just the way I am" when I complain about my weight.
Thanks for silently protecting me.
For telling me your opinion, even when I don't want to hear it.

Gracias for listening when you can't understand me because I'm crying so hard. 

Merci for giving me the biggest hug when I came home from girl scout camp that first time and I was so homesick I couldn't stand it.

Thanks for telling me I looked stunning in my emerald green dress for Junior Miss.



Grazie for showing me how to look for the good in people. For showing me that life all ends up okay in the end, even if it's really crappy.

Thank you, Dad, for believing in me. For pushing me to get better grades. For taking me out to lunch before I leave to go back to college. For giving me money. For helping me choose books to read and movies to watch. For purchasing an iPhone for me because you know how much I love social media.



Danke for giving me priesthood blessings and for explaining principles of the gospel. Thank you for solving problems and telling me how brains work #psychologyprofessor. 

Thank you for guiding me, protecting me, calming me, teaching me, and most importantly...loving me. 
Loving me even when I screw up. Loving me when I haven't gotten enough sleep...(I still remember the morning when you told me to go back to bed after I had only said one word to you. Whoops...I'm grouchy when I'm tired.)

Thank you for your patience. For showing me how to handle difficult situations with grace and understanding. Even if it means typing a really nasty e-mail to whoever you're mad at, but then deleting it and sending the nicest e-mail you can muster.

Thanks for being the guy that makes our family laugh. It doesn't happen often, but when it does...it makes the entire room explode with laughter.

Thanks for smiling and rolling your eyes at my stupid jokes and silly stories.
I wouldn't be the person I am today without your support and love.
You're the best of the best and the greatest champ around.
I love you, Daddy-o!

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