Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hard Times

Ok, now that I've reviewed last year, I think it would make sense now to jump in to the events that have occurred so far this year. To be honest (and why wouldn't I be honest in my own blog?) it has been a tough couple of weeks for me. For the first couple of days of the year I was still spending Christmas break at home with my family. We had a fun New Year's Day, and decided to go see Avatar as a family. The theater was crazy and many of the shows were sold out, but we managed to get tickets to a showing, and my sister Lauren and I stood in a huge line to get into the theater. This was my second time seeing the movie and it just solidified my opinion that this is the greatest movie of 2009. My family seemed to all like it as well.

After the fun at home, I had to return back to BYU for my final semester as an Undergraduate! I was excited to get the semester started and work on several goals that I had set for myself (aka New Year's Resolutions). Unfortunately, when I got back to Utah, my girlfriend called and broke up with me. I don't want to dwell on this too much, but it was a difficult thing for me to deal with. I have a tendency to blame myself for everything that goes wrong in my life so I had a hard time accepting that I wasn't the one at fault and that it was truly the reason she gave- that she isn't ready for a relationship at this time. There are two main things that are getting me through this tough break up. One is the hope that maybe someday I can start dating her again once she is ready to be in a relationship. The other is my friendship with Kevin.

Kevin has really been there for me at this time and I am so grateful for his kindness and friendship. He has taken a lot of time out of his busy schedule to hang out with me and get my mind off dwelling on the break up and the potential things I did to cause it. We have had many fun experiences in the past couple weeks. First of all, we went and saw Sherlock Holmes and it was really good! It was a great, fun movie that was a fun puzzle to figure out. A highlight for me of the past couple weeks was when Kevin and I went to Salt Lake to eat at The Roof restaurant and see the Joseph Smith movie. This had been a goal of ours for quite some time but it seemed that something always interfered with our plan. Well, I think we finally broke the curse by doing another thing that we always talk about- playing the Lost board game.

The food at The Roof was incredible and the Joseph Smith movie was even more incredible- it really showed me the huge sacrifice that Joseph Smith made to help bring about the great church we have today. Another fun thing that Kevin and I did was go to the IMAX theater at Jordan Commons on Monday to see Avatar. Yes, this was the third time I saw the movie, and I was still just as impressed seeing it a third time. It was the first time Kevin had ever been to the IMAX theater, so it was a fun experience, and I think he might have liked the movie.

I just can't express how lucky I am to have such a great friend who can help me through difficult times. Besides the fun we've been having, I did start school and it seems like it is going to be a good semester. I have only three classes. One of them is a fun class- Music Appreciation. I love music and I wanted a more laid back class for my last semester so I could focus on my two harder classes. My other class is a Psychology class called Personality. The teacher is Dr. Slife, who I had last semester, and he is an incredible teacher. He manages to make these really complex psychological concepts easy to understand.

The final "class" is actually doing research in Psychology for a professor here at BYU. I had a lot of difficulty finding a research opportunity, which scared me because I need it to graduate. I signed up to work with a certain teacher, but he e-mailed me and said that he isn't doing research this semester. I signed up with a different teacher who e-mailed me the same thing. In desperation, I got an e-mail from the psychology department about a research opportunity, so I jumped at the chance and ended up getting on a research team with this group and I'm excited about it. It will take some time this semester, but it should be fun.

Besides that there isn't much more to say for now. I am setting a lot of goals right now because I need things to work on to get my mind off the sad things I'm dealing with, and I need to improve in many areas. I'm hoping that I can lift my spirits this semester and become a better person at the end of it by working on several goals. I feel more hopeful this week than I have the previous two weeks, so that is encouraging to me and I'm hoping this positivity will remain with me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

2009 In Review

I feel bad that I stopped updating this blog these past few months. The reasons are a combination of just being too busy, being discouraged by the fact that not many people read this blog, and that my life is just not that interesting. However, I feel writing in this blog is important because it gives me an opportunity to document the significant events of my life and reflect on what has happened. I feel that before I can start regularly updating my blog again, I need to have closure about what occurred last year. So, I'm going to use this blog entry to recap my 2009, which I consider to be one of the best years of my life.

Starting from the beginning, which I'll admit is a little hazy, I had a great winter semester and the best part of it was being able to be roommates with my best friend, Kevin. Now, of course, it wasn't all wonderful- we had a mutual roommate that we both got annoyed with frequently, we had issues with cleaning checks, and I feel I let Kevin down a few times throughout the semester, which makes me sad. But, we really did have many great moments watching movies and shows, making interesting meals and desserts, and having fun experiences in the ward. The semester itself contained some difficult classes, but also some fun ones including my creative writing class with Brandon Sanderson which taught me how to have a more regular routine of writing my book and taught me how to take constructive criticism. It also caused me to be slightly discouraged about the possibility of a writing career, but I did discover that I really love to write.

The other great class I had during winter semester was Church History with Brother Fluhman. I love Brother Fluhman because he is able to be extremely funny and spiritual at the same time, making for an extremely entertaining and meaningful class. Many of my most spiritual experiences of the year occurred in this class and I'm grateful for his dedication as a teacher. I feel I finished the semester strong even though I felt discouraged throughout the semester. During Spring and Summer I decided to stay in Utah and continue taking classes and working so that I could keep busy and get ahead in school. I think this was one of my best decisions, even though it was sad that I wasn't able to be with my family throughout the spring and summer as I usually am able to do.

Ironically, though, I probably visited home more times than I ever had in previous years, I just didn't generally stay at home for very long when I visited. During Spring I had maybe my most awesome set of roommates I've ever had in college and I had a lot of fun and enjoyed my two Psychology classes. During Summer I didn't enjoy my roommates quite as much, and it was a tougher situation for me because I worked full-time and didn't have any classes. But, I still made the most of it. One significant part of the summer to me was becoming friends with Erin. I went to the 4th of July Stadium of Fire with her and would come over to her house and watch So You Think You Can Dance. It was a fun time and nice to have two really strong friends to spend time with during the summer when I felt kind of alone due to not really connecting with my roommates. At the end of the summer, I went home to see a concert with my Dad called Prog Nation that featured Dream Theater. I went to California for concerts two other times during the year with Kevin to see Rewiring Genesis and CalProg. All of those concerts were fantastic and are highlights of my year. Another musical highlight of the year was the reunion of my favorite band, Transatlantic, and them coming out with one of my new favorite albums- The Whirlwind.

The fall semester last year, to be honest, was mostly about Erin. We dated during the last four months of the year and had some great experiences. Memorable to me was our trip to Disneyland. The three of us, me, Kevin and Erin, spent the weekend at my house in California and on the Saturday of that weekend went to Disneyland and had a fantastic time- it was perhaps the best time I've ever had at Disneyland. The next day we just stayed at my house and played games and had fun visiting with each other. It was great. Before I left for Christmas break, another memorable experience was taking Erin to dinner and to see Avatar and then exchanging gifts. It was a great way to end the semester and was a magical night to me. After that, I went home for Christmas break and was grateful to feel the love my family has for each other.

All in all, 2009 was an incredible year with plenty of memories that I will cherish forever. I was happy to share many of those memories with my two best friends and with my family. I realized throughout the year, and especially at the end, that life is a wonderful thing not to be taken for granted and that I am a good person despite when I tell myself otherwise. I am excited by the prospect of starting this new year and I have some exciting goals that I hope will make 2010 even better.