grateful heartache

Above my bed lies a cork board. It’s the culmination of hundreds of memories, all slapped together and shoved into a tiny space. 
There’s the grotesquely distorted picture of me that Tisha drew. Under that there are at least 12 story assignments that I never bothered to take down. There are business cards, missionary pictures, and more than a few checklists that constantly remind me I have better things to do than blog. 
Peeling it back layer by layer, there’s a picture of Alyssa and I. She was in Logan less than two hours ago, but I already miss her. There is a list of goals I made at the start of the semester that I can’t look at now, because I’m sure I failed all of them. 
I feel nerves in my body are sore, like they’ve been stretched out and snapped back into place a few too many times over the past week, only to settle in a heap in the bottom of my stomach. Life is a funny thing. I got exactly what I prayed for, but it’s only now, sitting on my unmade bed surrounded by my roommates suitcases that I tense with fear. For the first time in months I feel like crying out in frustration. 
Oh, the irony. I prayed that I would be able to find a job, and I found three, two for summer and one for fall. I prayed that I would know what to do during summer, even if that meant going back to Salt Lake. Here I am, on the phone trying to get an apartment for summer. I prayed that the boy would understand when I told him I was young, and that I needed to find myself a little. Not only did he understand, but he agreed, kissed me on the head and gave me flower. My heart almost burst in gratitude, because I realized no matter what happens, he’ll be one of my best friends. 
I’m not sad or angry. I’ve always liked change because it forces me out my comfort zone. It lets me see myself from different perspectives. 
Yet, sitting in this tiny room that smells of must and body spray, the fear and the doubt seem to be crawling all over me. Suddenly, all of my choices seem irrational. I don’t want to live away from my best friend. I want to see my family. I want to go back and teach swimming lessons. I want to have the surety of waking up at 6 AM and running on the canal while the sun rises, then picking up a newspaper in my driveway on the way inside and sitting by the French doors, eating grapefruit and letting the warm sunshine seep into me.  
I know I need to be here. I want to be here. It’s the start of my own adventure. I just need to push forward, and realize that people have my back, even if they’re living 100 miles away.

“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”


This is not usually my thing, but I saw it on another blog and realized that I can’t possibly thank every person who has touched my life this year. I wish I could write a note to each one of them. There are far more people  who have changed me for the better than this. I could list out 1000. However, with pending finals I only had time for this list. In no particular order, here goes:

  • Carla and Shaun Evensen
  • Brayden Evensen
  • Hunter Evensen
  • Mattie Evensen
  • Savannah Evensen
  • Gram and Gramps Evensen
  • Tisha Santana
  • Andie-Pants Grant
  • Kinsey Wilson
  • Sarah Pugsley
  • Rhett Wilkinson
  • Mariah Noble
  • Jake Norr
  • Kasey VanDyke
  • Jen Millet 
  • Alyssa Littell
  • Shawnee Smith
  • Kellyn Neumann
  • Ben Wood
  • Amy Braithwaite
  • Jessica Beauchamp
  • Scott Daniels
  • Shaun Anderson
  • Katie Brammer
  • Anna Armas
  • Catherine Meidell 
  • Rachel Scott
  • Megan Bainum
  • Brenda Cooper
  • Tyrell Morris
  • Michael Dephillips 
  • Ricky Nope
  • Dan Smith
  • Chelsey Gensel 
  • Kisti Christensen
  • Stephen Thorup
  • Jeannie Tran
  • Korrine Ivory
  • Taylor Halversen
  • Cody Robbins
  • Stanford and Ann Hamilton
  • McCall Parrish
  • Tyson Mears
  • April Ashland
  • Brenna Allen
  • Courtnie Packer
  • Belen Moyano
  • Rob Jepson
  • Seth Edwards
  • Mitch Steed
  • Jason Bluemel
  • Seth Gardner
  • Elisabeth VanWagoner
  • Eric Walker
  • Laura Walker
  • Lincoln Rico
  • Amanda Mears
  • Morgan Powell
  • Tamra Lee
  • Tori Jensen
  • Kristen Gardner
  • Nate Hansen
  • Andrea and Terran Church
  • Lindsley Miller
  • Andy Lyman
  • Brad Mears
  • Carlos Murillo
  • Debbie Olson
  • Erika Norton
  • Nicholas Lauritzen
  • Nick Berlin
  • Becca Muniz
  • Solomon Gardner
  • Lisa Schwartz
  • Bishop May
  • Dustin Crawford
  • Diane and Ken Mears
  • Ryan Mears
  • Kristen Gardner
  • Jesus Christ

If you’re on this list and you don’t know why, there’s a good reason. If you read this and say “Hey, this girl is a creep!”, you’re probably right. At least I’m a grateful creep.

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