Elysha's World

Elysha's World

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Where The Sidewalk Begins!

I’ve rewritten the beginning of this post 4 times in the last three minutes. I have so many thoughts that I want to express, but I want the point of this post to be that I believe that there are good people in the world around us. Sometimes really awful things happen to us and to those we love, and it’s important that we all work together to lift each other. Sometimes we’re the ones who need a lift, and at other times we’re the ones doing the lifting. There is a great quote that has helped me the past few years given by President Harold B. Lee:

“You cannot lift another soul until you are standing on higher ground than he is. You must be sure, if you would rescue the man, that you yourself are setting the example of what you would have him be. You cannot light a fire in another soul unless it is burning in your own soul.”

When I was going to school to receive my Associates Degree I had a large responsibility put upon my shoulders. I felt very young, inexperienced, and overwhelmed. Luckily I had some great friends who helped me, and lifted me up when I felt like my task was too impossible to fulfill. There were other people who I thought were my friends, who turned their backs on me and tried to turn others against me as well. This was a difficult lesson for me to learn, but I got through it. One way I got through it was by the above quote. I typed it up and put it on the wall in my room. I’d see it every night when I went to bed and it greeted me every morning. 

Another saying that I typed up and hung above my door said, “Approach each day with optimism.” A family friend had given me that advice, and I decided to take it to heart. I know that life has its ups and downs, but it’s a lot easier if you’re smiling. This same family friend and I had a conversation a few months before I started my second year of college. My older sister was leaving for her LDS mission, and I was so worried about my future and all the changes that were happening in my life.  He gave me some great advice that I’m 100% positive was inspiration from the Lord. 

He told me that I needed to exercise my faith by increasing the intensity of my personal prayers. Not necessarily from a regularity perspective, but from a intent perspective.  That instead of saying my regular, short, laying in bed as I fall asleep prayers, I should visit with my Heavenly Father about the inner most fears of my heart and let God comfort me. He told me that as I verbalize through prayer to my Heavenly Father my inner most fears, challenges, and trepidations, that I am employing my agency and my faith. That as I'd verbalize this faith and employment of agency I would be blessed and feel more peace in my life. 

It was a really sweet and comforting conversation and I took him up on the invitation. Up until that point in my life I’d never really told the Lord the things that had been bothering me. I did all the right things, had all the right friends, and never got into any trouble. I said normal prayers, but I didn’t trust the Lord with the things that I was really worried about. I didn’t trust him with my family problems, my fear in dating, or with the struggles I’d been having with my roommates. I thought I was strong enough to handle those things, and I didn’t want anyone, including the Lord, to know that I had weaknesses that even I was too terrified to think about, let alone to mention to him.  

I think by changing the habit of my personal prayers I eventually became stronger. I felt more full of faith and hope. I didn’t feel so alone and I had more peace in my life. I’m not exactly sure how that happened, but I’m glad it did.  Did praying fix all of the problems in my life? No, absolutely not. It did however give me the strength to go on fighting my battles, and a calming peace that would give me rest from the troubles that were constantly circulating around in my head.

This world is a scary and terrifying place. If you don’t believe me just turn on the news or talk to your neighbor. It seems like everyone is fighting a huge inner battle. Sometimes they’re not only inner battles, but they’re happening in their homes as well. Marriages fail, people die, and sometimes the whole world feels like it’s crumbling down around you. If you don’t feel this way right now, great! Just know that there are people fighting unbelievably hard things all around you, and if you get the opportunity reach out to those around you, and let them know that you’re there to lift them up. Sometimes it’s something small like a kind word or a hug. Sometimes they just need a friend to go with them to dinner, the movies, or to go for a walk.

 Everyone needs someone.

Now I know we can’t always be there for everyone. I’ve tried that, and it never works out that well. Sometimes we just need a little extra help, or know that someone is on our side, and that is enough. I know that I don’t know everything, but God does. Tell him your fears, pray for someone great to come into your life, be open to the new paths that he might lead you down. If you have a question, I know he’ll help you find the answer. When it feels like you’re all alone, remember you have at least one person on your side. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Mountains and My Hero

I was walking in between buildings today at work and the snow was lightly falling. I always stare at the mountains when I walk outside. I don’t know if it’s because they’re close, huge, and mesmerizing, or if it’s because I’m trying to avoid awkward eye contact with other people. When I looked at them today, they weren’t there. A thick fog/ snow cloud covered them and I couldn’t see anything. 

It was really weird. It was like I was just looking at a lot of sky. I’ve always lived where mountains are. Even in Taiwan I could find the mountains in the distance. I didn’t realize until today how much comfort I get out of having them surround me. I remember one morning while doing a service mission in Peru. I woke up and had no idea where we were, because we’d been on a train all night. I walked outside and once again there was fog everywhere! The sun came out and it started to clear. I looked to my right and this HUGE Mountain appeared out of nowhere. That same day we went to Machu Pichu and there was fog everywhere. It was so beautiful! I’m not a big fan of traveling, but they were great sights to see! 

Later at work we were talking about peaks and valleys. We were talking about the influx of teachers and student workers.  Once again it brought up the beautiful imagery. Most of my life I’ve lived around red hills/red rocks.  People sing songs about mountains and hills all the time. In this regard, I guess I’ll always be a little bit country. They’re just not the same when you live in a City and the mountains are far off in the distance. 

After my meeting at work I kept singing to myself the lyrics from the Next To Normal song “I Miss the Mountains.” The mother in this song is of course talking about emotional mountains. She’s talking about the highs and lows of life. It’s a moving song.

I wrote a song my freshmen year of college about a church activity where we went hiking to a really lame waterfall. There was this part where we had to climb up and down this rope and I was terrified! I was freaking out, and thought they might have to leave me there, because I couldn’t get down. Then these three guys in my ward lined up and helped all of the girls down. It made a huge impact on me. These guys helped me do something I couldn’t do myself. I don’t like to rely on other people, so I think this was a good lesson for me to learn. I don’t think those guys have any idea that they were even helping us that much and I don’t even remember their names. I don’t have a recording of me singing it, but I’ll leave the lyrics here for you.

My Hero

I was nervous, I was scared
No one noticed, no one cared
And when it was my turn to try
I stepped back, I didn’t dare
I was shaking, felt the heat
But you didn’t miss a beat
You helped me concur all I know
And you swept me off my feet

You helped me climb higher
Reach my every desire
And when I finally reached the peak
It felt like I was on fire
I couldn’t be stopped
Now that I’d reached the top
You helped me overcome what I’d begun
My hero

You didn’t laugh you didn’t judge
I ran away, you held no grudge
And when I came back to face my fears
You hadn’t moved, you hadn’t budged

You took my hand
Said, “I understand.”
I didn’t know where to put my feet
So you showed me where to land

(Repeat Chorus)
And when I couldn’t reach the end
You lifted me up again
And I knew that I could it
My friend

(Repeat Chorus)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Update: Blank Space

I’m kind of obsessed with the above song. I just came inside from rocking out to it in my car. My neighbor was probably wondering what I was doing…but I don’t care. Sometimes you just need to dance and sing at the top of your lungs alone in your car. 

Christmas and New Year’s was fun. It was really chill and laid back this year, and I personally really enjoyed it. I took way too many naps, ate way too much food, and just laughed and spent a lot of time with those that I love. 

Work is going great! I never thought I’d actually end up working in Human Resources, but here I am, and I’m loving it. It’s probably because I’m a little nosy and just like to know a little bit of everything that is going on. I feel a little like a detective cop with the job I’m doing right now, but policies are policies and I don’t write the rules, I just help other people enforce them.

Now for some fun facts about me:

I enjoy a TV dinner every once in a while. I think it might be because of a tradition that my cousins and I started, but nonetheless I still enjoy them.

I’m still in love with Thai food.

I don’t like sticky candy. By that I mean I don’t like candy coated in dye. I’m not a big Skittles, Runts, Sour Patch Kids, Sweedish Fish, or Sweet Tarts fan. Don’t like them at all. I’m not even tempted to put them into my mouth.

On the other hand, I really do enjoy chocolate. Surprise! 

Tillamock and Ben and Jerry’s are my favorite ice creams.

I really like pearls. They’re classy.

I like sending my best friends crazy correct stickers that I find online. 

I have a slight obsession with coats.

So far I’ve written a poem every day this year.

I like to do things in a certain way. I like to take my time.

I have a new found love of candles.

I’ve recently become confused when it comes to S and ‘S.

I love speech and debate.

I have probably too much jewelry.

My roommate got me the best Christmas present ever…AUSTENLAND! 

I wear a skirt to work every day.

I love Asian things.

I love reading/listening/watching CES devotionals and BYU devotionals.

I sometimes watch VHS movies in my room.

Also, I have over 10 pairs of boots.

My closet is half full of skirts and half full of cardigans.

I recently started watching the TV show SMASH. It’s a hit.

In other news we’ve started this new game at work called the Disney Princess Challenge. It started off with just one other girl and I, and has caught on in our office fairly quickly. We assign each other a Disney princess to dress up as, or a Disney person, and then we dress in accordance with the color code of that person and see what we come up with. It’s actually kind of fun. 

Yesterday we did a Peter Pan Themed day and we had Tinkerbell, Wendy, and I was Tiger Lilly. We had to be creative. There are some rules to this game. It has to be something that a missionary could wear while out in the mission field, and you can't have too many accessories. My earrings might have been a little too much, but they just tied the outfit together so perfectly!

 So here is a little sneak peak into something that I've recently written. Take it whatever way you want. I've been messing around with some new styles and patterns, but I always go back to my favorite style and rhythm.

Old friend
New friend
Same road
Some bend

Rounded corners
Bruises, bumps
Friendly faces
And some grumps

Dirt Roads
Friend Zone
Life sucks

Road less traveled
Busy streets
Cars jammed packed
And food to eat

Busy city
Quiet country
Seems our friendship’s
Kind of funky.
1/6/15 Elysha