Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Blog of Thoughts


Just my thoughts for tonight.

How do you know who you are? There are a lot of things I say and do that I wonder afterward why I would do that. I also have been thinking a lot about what I want in life, what brings me happiness and how I can overcome the difficulties that plague me. I really don't know who Devin is. As much as I BS my way through life - I haven't quite come to understand what it is that I want to accomplish or how I will find happiness.

I tend to push people away because I fear that I will let them down. I began thinking tonight that this could possibly stem from the fact that I am not happy with who I am at the moment. I don't like my attitudes or behaviors. I'm a horrible friend, highly selfish and a lot bit rude. I hate people the moment I meet them, and it takes a while for me to accept people and call them my friend. These are all things I am working on overcoming, but they are a lot more difficult to recognize in the moment than you would think.

One of these days I'm going to understand who I am and what I want. In the meantime, I'll find joy in the process of becoming who one day I'll eventually be. What a great life right? We have so many opportunities to grow and change and so many experiences that help us in the process. There are so many people that come in and out of our lives and help shape us and I'm grateful for this opportunity to progress, even though it is sometimes a lot more painfully slow than I normally enjoy.

Also, if some of my blog posts don't make complete sense, it's probably because I am just writing to write, and not really writing for comprehension. Sometimes you just need to write your thoughts down.

Repeat

Yes, my last post was about Adele. Yes, I'm still obsessed. Yes, since downloading her CD at midnight last night I haven't stopped listening to it. Basically all I wanted to do was post this amazing song on my blog so that anyone that comes upon it can see what amazing talent there is in the music industry. Enjoy. :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Adele

Adele can speak to the deepest parts of me. Silly thing really. She may be the greatest artist of all time (in my eyes) and I'm appreciating her more and more every day.

Her new album "21" comes out on Tuesday, and of course I pre-ordered it nearly a month ago. I cannot wait to listen to it nonstop and annoy all my roommates with the same songs on repeat. They're used to it since I always do that with new songs. But this one I'm sure will get to them, since I'm still not tired of her CD that came out two years ago, I'm sure I wont get tired of this one anytime soon.

I love her voice and her lyrics. Recently I've come to appreciate these lyrics in particular:
Nothing compares,
No worries or cares,
Regrets and mistakes, they're memories made,
Who would have known how bittersweet this would taste?

I'm sure they seem like random lyrics - but in the context of the song they fit quite nicely. And it seems to me as if she knows exactly what is on my mind, and I LOVE singing along to her music. It puts me in the best mood. Needless to say, I'm counting down the days till my I-Tunes tells me my download is ready. :)

Cleanliness


Just last night I had the wonderful opportunity of cleaning the temple. I had never before been assigned to clean the temple and I feel like I learned so much about myself and cleaning through the process of cleaning the already immaculate temple.

Some may think it’s strange, but I always enjoy cleaning – and I think it’s for two reasons. The first reason is that I like it when things are clean because I feel like I can relax when things are clean. The second reason is that it gives me instant results. When you clean, immediately after you finish, things look better. There is an instant gratification. I was humbled by the purity of the temple, and how I was cleaning what was already nearly spotless. There wasn’t the same element as the rest of my cleaning. I wasn’t seeing my results. I wasn’t cleaning to have peace and relaxation (both of which are easy to find in the temple). Rather, I was cleaning for the Lord – to show him that I valued the purity of His house.

It was the perfect time for me to reflect on my life and see where things needed to be adjusted. I realized that I am keeping myself busy to distract myself, but I do not always fill my day with the best things. Over quoted in the church is the talk, Good, Better, Best, and I feel that because of its overuse, I tend to ignore the message. It has become white noise to me. But how often do I search after the best things? And if I did have more time, how would I fill it? I think my answer would not be better or best, but rather just good things that keep me busy.

Cleaning the temple helped me realize that I need to clean up my life too and sift through the business and find a way to focus on my spiritual health and purity. Like in the temple, I need to focus on the small details that may go overlooked by the untrained eye, and I need to clean those things to make my life as clean and pure as the temple is.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Happiness


Have you ever struggled in finding happiness? How is this overcome? I have been thinking about this a lot this past week and why I'm not happy with my current situation. This semester has been great. I've been having a good time, have great roommates, good classes, great positions on campus and at church, an amazing volleyball team. Really my life is going amazingly well. But just recently (the past week or so) I’ve been feeling as if I could be happier.

The devotional talk was great for me (although I didn’t want to hear what he had to say). He spoke about how the gospel is really the only way to find true happiness. I feel like I am the maker of my own destiny, and to think that I’m not in control of my own happiness (to a certain extent, although I have the choice whether or not to live the gospel) makes me a little frustrated.

I just feel like nobody really understands me at all this semester. I don’t feel like I can truly express myself with anyone. But part of that is the fact that I can’t really communicate my thoughts and feelings to myself. I think that is why I’m so unhappy. I can’t figure out what I am feeling/thinking – and therefore I cannot change it or improve it. Maybe there are others who feel this same way every once in a while, and I feel that I just needed to blog to get my feelings out so that I could move past this and on to grander emotions.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Please Melt Faster

The grass is peaking through the snow and I'm feeling so good about life. My only wish: that the snow would melt faster so I could roll around in it every day.

Friday, February 11, 2011

How Do You Know?

Last night I went and saw the movie How do you Know. It wasn’t the greatest movie, but it wasn’t terrible either. I for sure laughed, but doubt I would watch it again. But… I did find a quote that I loved, and it has been rolling around in the empty cavity inside my skull all night. The psychologist in the movie said, “You need to figure out what it is you want and learn how to ask for it.” At that point I lean over to the person I was with and say, “That’s really hard.” Then Reese Witherspoon echoes me with the exact same line. How are we supposed to know what we want? And even more difficult, once we know what we want, how do we learn how to ask for it?

I keep thinking that I know what I want in life – but every day it seems as if things change and evolve and leave me in the dark. How am I supposed to know what I want when I don’t even understand my life? I know I want to be happy, and I know that I want to see the world and help other people, but sometimes that terrifies me. What if I make a wrong decision and I’m miserable? What if I settle because I don’t think I can do better? Decision making is a seriously hard endeavor. I have so much respect for those who understand what they want in life and go for it. I used to think that I had this unique outlook on life – and that my way was so much more superior to that of my peers, but then I realized that I am completely inadequate in every way to even begin to judge their decisions and life choices. If they know what they want in life and search after that, then they are way ahead of me and I applaud them for their ability to make decisions.

In the meantime, I’m going to figure out what it is that makes me happy and what I truly want in life – and then I’m going to search after it and hopefully, God willing, I will obtain it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Story of the Semester

I was going through my i-pod and realized I had quite a few random pictures on there that maybe I should share with the world. They're not very exciting, but they tell a little about my semester.
This is Micah. She is my codirector in Service and really is a lifesaver. Our positions require a lot of work, and I am so blessed to be able to do it with her. We get along so well and I feel like we can do anything as directors. It has been a pleasure thus far in our service.

This picture is from our Service Activities retreat. These are some of the amazing people involved this semester. I have grown so much in my capacity to love others while in my position, but these people make it easy. They all work so hard to help others grow through Christlike service. Really and truly, BYU-Idaho has the best group of people on earth.

This is me from my first FHE of the semester. We drew names and decorated cookies in the likeness of one another. This was the cookies one of my "sisters" created for me. I really love it. Basically she got all the important features of my face all on one little cookie.

This is a picture from a super fun date of homemade pizza and golfing inside buildings on campus. Timber and I decided to make a stuffed crust pizza with the most amazing amounts of cheese and toppings. Needless to say, I loved every bit of it.

Emma, one of the RC 104 girls decorated Ben's birthday cake, and she did amazing. She had never done it before, but really did well using frosting to create Spiderman. I know what you're probably thinking, and yes, my 23-year-old roommate may have the largest Spiderman obsession in all of Rexburg.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my random photos and the little bit of insight into my semester. Notice how the only pictures outside are snow covered? Yeah, I'm in need of summer. Maybe soon I'll be finding it. We'll see...


Growing Up

I love to read Dilbert. It always manages to bring a smile to my face - even when the comic is ridiculous. My best friend has always gotten me a Dilbert calendar for Christmas each year (one that you tear off every day) but for some reason this year is different. I think it's because I'm growing up. I read about these workplace shenanigans and think, "This is going to be me one day. I'm going to have to work." Terrifying thought isn't it?

I don't know if everyone goes through this as they approach graduation, but I cannot imagine working for the rest of my life. I like to work, and I love being able to contribute to society, but I also like to have freedom - and a job seems like it requires a commitment, and then with a job comes responsibilities and bills and even more responsibility. Can't I just stay young forever and never worry about growing up? Or even better yet, can't I grow up and not have to worry about being an adult? I recently set the goal to live on 3 continents in the next 5 years. If I'm unable to accomplish that, then at least 3 countries, even if two of them are on the same land mass. I'm excited to graduate and have adventures, but I refuse to become an adult.

I've also been thinking a lot about going out and having adventures and how much I want somebody to come with me. This is not a sad story about being desperately single, because really I'm not ready for marriage in any aspect of my life - but I can't wait until I find that girl who wants to do all of those crazy things with me. A girl without worries, fears or obligations. That will be a good day - although possibly 10 years in the future. Maybe that'll finally make me feel like I'm an adult. But I highly doubt that.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Music, and then some...

I found this quote: "Without music life would be a mistake." -Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche.

I feel like he knows exactly who I am. I cannot live without music. For some reason it is engrained into ever fiber of my being. I cannot go a day without listening to some sort of tune. It seems a bit obsessive, but it really is a part of me. There is so much soothing that comes through music and hearing a familiar voice, or meaningful lyrics. Some people may not understand, but I feel as if there are so many emotions connected to music. It can bring you back to simpler times, excite you for the adventures that lie ahead or drag you down to the depths of misery. It can grab your soul and testify of truth, it can make you feel as if Satan himself is knocking on your door. It can make you fall in love or rip out your heart and throw it on the floor. Music really is a powerful element, and one that I can barely understand. But as of recently these have been a few of my favorite songs:

Adele, Make You Feel My Love
The Black Eyed Peas, Whenever
Brandi Carlile, Story
My Terrible Friend, When I Decide
The Tallest Man on Earth, The Gardener
Mumford & Sons, The Cave
She & Him, In The Sun
Joshua Radin, Everything'll Be Alright
Carla Bruni, Quequ'un M'a Dit

Is there a reason why music - especially such a variety of music is essential to life? I like to believe that it is connecting to us on a deeper level than anything else can. I may be wrong, and maybe not everyone feels the same connection to music that I do. But I firmly believe that music is a part of us, from conception to death (and hopefully after) we are affected by music and can use it to enrich our lives.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Free Rice


I have a new favorite website. It is Freerice.com. Basically all you do is get on and play some trivia games (mine is set to Spanish trivia at the moment) and for every question you get right, the website will donate 10 grains of rice to developing nations.

It sounds kind of cheesy, and really 10 grains of rice isn't a lot. But if you answer 100 questions, you donate 1000 grains of rice. And if everyone were doing the exact same thing, then there would be millions of grains of rice donated.
I know that this is a small thing that I'm doing. In fact, I'm not even exerting any effort on my part, but it's good to know that there are those out there that are actively working towards ending global poverty. It is my dream one day that I may be able to work for an organization that will help eliminate global poverty.
Recently I have also been contemplating my graduation and traveling abroad. I've found a program that does community outreach in Ecuador that works with the population effected by HIV/AIDS. I think this would be such a rewarding experience and would really help me figure out what I want to do for the rest of my life. I struggle with that a lot, especially since I just want to be happy, travel and help other people. Hopefully sometime within the next 6 months I can figure out what will make me happy. As for now, I'll continue answering my questions and donating rice. I'm up to 940 grains today - and it's barely begun!

Indo Board & Hawaii

What could better represent this post than a creeper guy with a mustache balancing on an Indo Board?
I'm going to Hawaii in April - so I got really super excited about crossing off number 25 of my life goals: Go surfing. As I was practically peeing my pants in anticipation, I remembered a balancing trainer that one of my neighbors had - so I looked it up online and decided I NEEDED one before going to Hawaii. So I bought an Indo Board. Can I just say that it is one of the greatest, most entertaining investments I have ever made? It is so much fun to play on, for me and the millions of guests that flock to our apartment to try it out.

I think it also helps me with my balance in the frigidly cold ice cube that is Rexburg. I literally had to jog to class yesterday, slipped on some ice, but was able to catch my balance. Coincidence? I think not. Hooray for Indo Board and their ingeniously designed balancing board. Thank you for the hours of entertainment.

Houston to Rexburg, and Then Some

So what has been going on in my life this past month? Craziness. I wish I would have more time to update my blog (good thing it wasn’t a new years resolution), but I doubt this semester will be a very good one for me.

Here are some highlights from the past month:

I left Houston. It was sad, and happy and all sorts of mixed emotions. I really made some amazing friends down there. I doubt I would ever live in Houston again, but I am really excited to be able to visit and see all my great friends.

Some of the great people I met:

My younger brother Colton flew down in December and we road tripped it back to Oregon. But of course we spent a few days soaking up the sun in the south before heading back up. We went to Galveston, a cowboy bar with my coworkers, we made pupusas and ate barbeque and Bluebell. All things that are Texas to me, I made sure he experienced them.

We drove through San Antonio and experienced the River Walk for the first time, stopped by the Alamo, drove through New Mexico, Arizona, California, spent time on the beach in the rain and we even won the lottery ($20). We drove through a tree, snuggled in bed with Marisa and oh so much more. Basically we had an amazing trip.


Christmas came and went, New Years happened as it does every year, and then another semester started. I cannot believe that I will be graduated in 6 months, but I am slowly preparing for that day. This semester I have the opportunity to work with BYU-Idaho Service Activities and the amazing people that plan and carry out the service projects on campus and in the community of Rexburg. It has been a lot of work, but it really has put me in a position to learn how to be a better leader, how to rely more on the spirit and has helped me grow and come to understand myself better. I am really loving my time with Service Activities.

I am also working with Sister Bergstrom, the dean of the College of Business and Communication on planning the Newel K. Whitney Summit that will happen toward the end of the semester. This is a whole new experience for me, and I am excited with all that we do. We will have 9 speakers come to campus and speak on topics ranging from communication to accounting to CIT. I am part of a 9 student group that will plan the summit and each of us will play host to a speaker. It is a great opportunity for me to learn as well as network with some top dogs in the communication field.

I am also keeping busy with my senior project doing grant writing for some non-profits. I’m listening to some great music like Pomplamoose, Adele, Mumford & Sons, Brandi Carlile, Brett Dennen and My Terrible Friend. Literally, music is so important to me – and these few artists have been so great to me in 2011. I’m also diving into my callings at church (Ward Mission Leader, Ward Temple Coordinator and member of the Ward Service Committee). It is going to be a great semester, I can feel it.

More will come of course. Just wait and see. J

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Miracles

Miracles do happen. Like this post. It is a miracle that I am actually posting on my blog. And it's only going to get better from here. I will be a better blogger in February. It wont be hard since January was a month of no blogging.

I decided to kick this off big time with few words and a video to describe my valentine thoughts. I love Valentine's Day - and Service Activities will be celebrating it through service! So, while you watch the video and think of lovey type things, also think about how you can serve this Valentine's Day. Serving with your heart of course. :) Enjoy!