Sunday, August 31, 2008

Walking a Thin Line

Secret of Life #1. Healthy, and happy.
As the marathon approaches (October 4th is the dooms day...), and I look back at the (too) many miles I have pounded into the cement with my Aasics, I realized how beautifully my 'bum' knee has performed. After tearing my ACL twice (last ligament snappin': one year ago in August), and medically retiring from Boise State soccer, I was concerned as to how the joint would hold, but it was all for nought. If anything, it feels better than ever (at least since the second surgery); and I would credit that to the muscle bulking running so kindly distributes to my lower extremities. I have not even had to use the brace Dr. Klomp prescribed for me (Yes, an OBGYN prescribed me a knee brace- the perks of an MD as a family friend!). I will just have to save the black, large-and-in-charge knee stabilizer for skiing Come December, when I am wearing my latest purchase: 40% off a Scott Emerald ski jacket, black, and poofy. Sooo toasty.

And a second reason to be 'healthy, and happy,' remains with my stable mental state. My current nursing school clinical is the Psych rotation at a day center for those who are two steps away from hospitalization. My slight jitters and anxiety turned into a day spent coloring with crayons, eating frozen pizza, playing "two truths and a lie," and attending support group. It was such a unique and rewarding experience. My patient, whom I chose to evaluate at more length, was a paranoid schizophrenic; and without divulging too many details, the patient leads such a simple life (as she cannot drive due to heavy medications, immature judgment, and past automobile accidents while off meds) and finds such happiness in interactions with others, coloring (for hours on end!) and spending Saturdays going to the local KFC to play Bingo.

If she were walking on the street, she would be unidentifiable as someone who struggles with mental illness. In other words, she could be any one of us. Mental health walks such a fine line and we all can relate to overwhelming stress, anxiety, and how to deal with it. I never had an opportunity until last Wednesday to appreciate how rare it is that I have a head that sits on my shoulders and stays put (most of the time, anyway...).

Secret of Life #2. NEW MUSIC!
With a laptop that was incapacitated and out of commission for three and a half months, I was deprived of one of my true loves: Brand spankin' new tunes, particularly on my iPod. Previous to the summer months, I admit to being a hardcore constant-and-needy fresh music addict, as I would update my iPod at least once a week with new catchy jingles. After playing major catch up this week (as I have a rejuvenated Dell laptop up and running at my fingertips), I went for a run almost everyday, as the updated running mix is SO inspirational.

To Steve Jobs (or any other braniac behind iTunes): Please enjoy this month's mortgage payment; no worries, it's on me. You are so very welcome.

An ironically $0.99-per-song ripped off, yet happy customer in Boise

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Manic Monday

Secret of Life #1. A Little Dust on the Bottle.
And then trying to shake it off, or wipe it off, or blow it off, whichever method works for you. I find every time a new semester begins, day one is like a shock to the glass bubble summer (or winter) vacation created around my world as I knew it. So for me? I find just shattering the bottle completely is the way to go- no more glass, no more dust.

The first day back to school is always a killer. Endless information thrown at you all at once, the whole gamut of future assignments and millions of due dates placed upon your shoulders in one heaving motion; as if my professor says, "Here. Here is your mammoth size suitcase that was used on your summer beach vacation (or a salty lake..) which will now be filled with synthesized dead trees." Utter deflation. Even more so when I come home to find my room in a post tornado state- clothes, garbage bags of shoes, and boxes all awaiting their unpacking. And so it began, the 4+ hours of reorganizing of my life back in Boise, and back at school.

Secret of Life #2. Back at school.
I find so often the most important things in life are sometimes the hardest things to do. And my reasoning for such a hypothesis is this: Endeavors such as saying daily prayers, reading scriptures, helping dad wash the dishes, and educating the mind, are of the Lord- which in turn means the adversary is working overtime to thwart such righteous actions. And boy, was Heavenly Father's selfish son working his magic on me.

As I was departing Salt Lake to come home to Boise, I really was not looking forward to leaving my set life in the 801 (as we all know). However, and to my very pleasant surprise, I am enjoying myself very much. Enjoying the familiar sights and sounds in my hometown, enjoying waking up to the sound of my dad's voice fervently, but patiently, telling my brothers to get up for early morning seminary, and most of all, enjoying so much the Boise State campus. I am going to miss this when it's over. And I am so happy to be home. So perhaps this only reaffirms the idea that "home is where the heart is." And apparently my heart can be in many places simultaneously.

Secret of Life #3. No school.
Particularly when paired with a weekday(s). Tuesdays, Fridays? No school. Mmmmm hmmm. None. Enough said.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Literary and Musical Genius

Secret of Life #1. Stephenie Meyer.
Her literate artistry is incredible. A BYU English graduate, a wife, a mother, and a woman who wrote a book just to entertain, just to give as a gift to her sister… has now written a four-book series that is being compared to the likes of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. And it has sucked me in, along with the rest of the female population.

The latest (and last) read: Breaking Dawn. I am not yet finished with the fictional masterpiece, but sacrificed my couch potato Olympic-watching routine last night to do some pleasure reading; (especially before Monday rolls around when Stephenie Meyer’s name will become covered in dust and 1000-page hardcover textbooks will occupy my nightstand’s reading options).

With my eyelids growing very heavy and the chin’s usual perkiness sinking into my chest, I had to put the book down and get some shut-eye. Seven hours later (my bare minimum, by the way) I awake begrudgingly and remember not only do I not know the Volturi’s verdict in the Cullen’s conflict (because the necessity of sleep is so not understood), but it is also my last wakeful morning to go to work at St. Mark’s hospital. Disappointment, all around.

May be a less than hopeful morning, but tonight? Dinner with girlfriends and Grandma.. and DANCING. Everyone welcome. Studio 600, 10pm, and a guaranteed clan of four long-legged women. Who can pass that up?

Secret of Life #2. Jack Johnson.
After an hour and a half journey from Citris Grill in Salt Lake to the USANA Amphitheatre in West Jordan, we ran, literally, with blankets in tow to see the magic of the beach-tunes originality of Mr. Johnson. Relaxing on blankets, sipping on fruit smoothies, and star-gazing into the night sky, Jack was definitely not the center of my attention, but more like the perfect background music. The company with which I was graced to be sitting next to made for great conversation, laughter, and the epitome of my love for Salt Lake. In other words, the excuse of a Jack Johnson concert made for an expensive (and yet utterly fabulous) exchange between two people.

So what if newspaper reviews say the crowd was rude and didn’t pay attention to the main musician of the evening who could barely be heard from the outskirts of the concert-house? When Jack Johnson himself is not much of an entertainer, and simply a relaxing tunes recitalist, the crowd cannot be blamed for enjoying themselves in other ways. Strawberry banana blends and tall-dark-and-handsome dates are one way to do it; worked well for me.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Whoever said...

back to school shopping no longer applied after graduation from high school is operating under a severe falsehood, especially when living in Salt Lake City. Yes, it is true when my family first moved to Boise, my mother was shocked (and rightfully so) to learn a mall did not exist in the City of Trees. Boise has come a loooong way, and actually has come into it's own in the shopping department. However, there are a few favorites that are still absent in Boise and, of course, I had to make a quick stop here in SLC before going back to Boise. And school is right around the corner- I sure have come a long way from the days of leggings, baggy sweaters and sneakers.

J. Crew had to offer this fabulous khaki twill two-button blazer. On Sale (which is always a given for me), for $30. My thoughts: this fantastic jacket, with navy cotton sailor pants, paired with a white collared shirt, and accented with a beige cotton scarf hanging loose around my neck. What do ya think?

Next stop: Park City outlets on Saturday afternoon with girlfriends. GAP and Ralph Lauren get ready for LOTS of folding and re-folding.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Out of habit, I immediately typed in my usual, “Secret of Life #1,” to begin this post.

And then, typing came to a screeching halt. Nothing.

And so it remains. I have had a moment when my usual upbeat, positive attitude was completely overshadowed by the ever-looming and soon-approaching departure back to Boise for my last semester of school. As much as I look forward to spending my last few months of collegiate life at home and with my immediate family, I really don’t want to leave Salt Lake. In any shape or form. I have become a true Utahan, a loyal Salt Laker. Even my car’s license plates points to such a declaration.

August 23rd is the dreaded day (and also because I am due to run 19 miles to remain on schedule for my marathon training- yes, the 26.2 mile race is still adamantly on my October 4th schedule). Why does my stomach wretch at the mere thought of leaving this glorious place? Such gastric acrobatics stem from a plethora of reasons (and I mean PLETHORA), but the one topping the list: People. The quantity and quality of people I have met here (and already knew) is astounding, and THAT list cannot be topped with one individual.

I feel like I will be missing out on something huge when I leave. Like I will become lost in translation; forgotten and tossed aside. As if my efforts in associating with old and new friends will all be for naught. I feel like I am just getting started- enjoying my new life in the Beehive state and absolutely thriving.

I know this: Frequent (I repeat, f-r-e-q-u-e-n-t), trips will be made from Boise to Salt Lake. Sophia (my Kia Optima) will become very familiar with the boring terrain stretching between those 400 miles; and naturally so, as she will want to return home to her registered state. So it’s not like I am disappearing off the face of the earth for four months. I will be back, often, and will be seeing my Utah loved ones as much as my bank account can afford. I have to keep telling myself that, over and over. And I also want to let my few-and-far-between Utah readers know that- and that YOUR efforts in befriending me haven’t been all for naught (particularly as of late: Callie, Kat, Nick, Leigh, Amy, and Mark). We will be in close contact until my permanent presence can be manifested after Christmas.

So, for now, I will enjoy every day I have left of this summer vacation. Hence, what I can manage to keep in harmony with my posting habits is this…

Secret of Life #1. Live each day as if it’s your last. (Metaphorically speaking,
of course.)