Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Everybody's Got Something

Well kids, obviously I am avoiding work like the plague! So like it or not here comes another post. It has seemed after the excitement of Christmas was over the full weight of my nasty pressed on my heart. I became very lonely, even though I was surrounded by amazing people, and I was extremely sensitive to what I lack.  When I really think about it I want to just slap myself and say "snap out of it!" but that is hard sometimes. Often times I feel like the villain in Thor sucking up the dark matter with a giant syringe. I wish that I had one of those giant syringes that could suck the dark matter that is threatening to crush my heart!

I was talking to one of my favorite people the other day who really wants to have a baby, but is struggling to have that blessing. She said something like "It's always on my mind." I often feel like that! I beat myself all the time for skewing my focus on what I don't have, but have always wanted. It's a complex feeling, and I really don't know how to deal. The amazing thing is that I am slowly learning how to change my thinking.

This concept of suffering has really caused me to look inside, and outside myself.  I am now convinced that almost everyone is suffering in some way, big or small. It has been very therapeutic for me lately to try to guess what people are suffering with based on what little I know about them. It is one of my favorite games because it enables me to put thinks into perspective.

Honestly, so many people hide their nasty so well it makes me wonder sometimes. How amazing would it be if we could judge people not solely on their action, but on their motivations as well. We are all just trying to do the best we can with what we've got, and most of the time we see very little of what other people got.

Now, I have no idea what direction I'm going with this post. I guess I'm just feeling a little lonely and needed to vent a little to pull my head out of my heart...that's lame. So, I guess on this Holiday of parties and kissing (none of which I will be participating) I am going to make a resolution to stop focusing on what I lack, and just being there for others! I am extremely blessed, and have been even more blessed recently. The end!

Keyes Family Christmas "-isms"

I have the best family in the entire world. You would think that as we all get older that Christmas around the house would get a little quieter...nope! I'm pretty sure that things just get louder and more crazy! So this is a post dedicated to the amazing "ism" of my family's Christmas....

1. Each year we go look at the lights in Spanish Fork, but we don't just look. We SCREAM our own personal commentary. I'm sure all of of Spanish Fork luuuvs it! "USA...USA... U...S...AAAAAA"

2. I don't think I have danced any harder in my life, than Christmas morning at my parent's house. Grandma is a fantastic audience as we shuffled, dubstepped, head banged, and of course... Adam Sandler Haunakah sing-along.

3. Opening presents is always a riot! I get really excited about giving gifts. It is SO fun for me! I am kinda known to insist that everyone be silent, and I sit right in front of the person who I'm giving the gift to. Gifts in my family are not always your typical "ah, I drew there name, lets wonder wal-mart until something works kinda gifts." Very often the gifts that are given are extremely thoughtful and personalized. It is amazing to watch the extreme love that is wrapped up into these monetary items. There were quite a few tears this year. I think I was the biggest baby of the group, there may be a future post about this.

4. My family are just a bunch of big kids! Me and my little brother (18) played with his crash remote control cars in the kitchen, I attempted to beat my mom's high score on fruit ninja, all the while eating coookie crisps and pickles!

5. We always end up watching a movie Christmas day. This year it was Despicable Me2, but no family movie is complete without my two cuddle buddies, sister one, and sister two. The other night they stayed up until 1:30 laying on my stomach, all the while the brothers were downstairs yelling at the xbox (which still refuses to make Sarah a sandwich...ruude!)

Ah! There are so many more things I could list, but no one would want to read them all. It seems like this Christmas I have been exposed to many people who are very alone on this family holiday. It has made me even more grateful for the incredible place of love and support that I have in these 8 people. I love them all! They have all taught me so much, and I really strive to be like them when I grow up. I know that The Lord has blessed me to have these sweet angels to help guide me through this life. Sorry kids, again I'm the most blessed one!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

"Don't let them in, Don't let them see..."

So remember how I am a child at heart? Well I saw the movie "Frozen" last night and giggled through the entire thing!

There were many things things that touched my heart about this movie, but one in particular has been on my mind a lot. At one point in the movie one of the main characters is push to a point where she completely free's herself. She has lived her life up to this point shut up, hiding her true self, not allowing any one into her life. Then...BAM... she is free! I LOVE this moment! Her body language changes, she  holds her head high, and is truely empowered.

She goes on to sing an incredible song entitled "Let It Go." I have been thinking a lot about this concept of letting go, and it has always seemed so difficult.  Unfortunately there are a few things that I wish I could let go of, but it always seems easier said than done.

I have been pondering a lot about one aspect of letting go, and a combination of this movie, and a chat with a dear friend has opened my eyes to it's importance. I'm now convinced that the biggest thing holding us back from letting go is expectations. Think about all the expectations that are in your world. Expectations you put on yourself, expectations you have of others... expectations you have for your future. Now, while some of these expectations push us to be our best selves, most of the time they leave us feeling inadequate, or disappointed.

Consider living a life free of expectations for a moment. Instead of living constantly striving to live up to the expectations, and being disappointed when others don't live up to yours, live your life the very best you can at all times. If you are only striving to be your best self, than anything you are is enough cause it's your best. You are not overly concerned with what other's may expect you to be (or what you expect you to be.) The only thing you you are focused on, is living the best way you know how.

If you also live convinced that others are doing the same then the actions of others are always understood, even if they aren't what we may naturally expect. Then when someone does do something that kind, compassionate, of selfless you can see it with in all it's glory. You can celebrate, and find so much joy in the actions of others because it is not anticipated.

This is not an easy thing to achieve, and I plan to spend a lifetime working on it as part of my journey to become who I know The Lord wants me to be, but I'm so excited to work on it. I think that one of the most important things is to be aware of it. I am so grateful for the great joy that I find in these little nuggets of principle. I know that The Lord is helping me become more aware of who I need to be, and doable steps to get these. I am no where near where I need to be, but I've been so blessed in my journey.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

How would you like your eggs?

Well kids, I'm not so sure my purpose this week. I have so many thoughts running through my head, but no clear direction. So, welcome to a mess of the vomit that is my brain right now (sorry for the graphic visual.)

First off, to follow up from last post I was watching Runaway Bride, hence the title, with my sweet mom this week and once again was so baffled by how much me and Maggie Carpenter have in common. At one point in the movie she talks about how when she was walking towards her many groom's she was walking towards someone who had fallen in love with someone who had lived to meet their expectations, but had no idea who she really was. Sometimes I feel like that. Much of my self definition comes from my ablitly to be exactly what I believe people need me to be. This brings me so much joy, but it also brings me deep sorrow when I feel like I have failed. I have really struggled to figure out how I can set a more healthy expectation of myself. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

The only thing that I have concluded it that I need to rely on the power and strength of my Savior. I know he loves me and wants me to be happy. I also know that when I rely on Him he will bestow me with power. I have also concluded that the only thing I can really control is my attitude. If I live a joyful life, then hopefully I will be in a position where I can be there for those I love, and where they feel comfortable relying on me. I don’t think my journey is anywhere close to over on this one, but I am so grateful to have little bites of progress as I strive to find the best me!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Who are you?

Who are you?
What/who defines you?

When you really stop to think about these questions, you may find yourself in a very frightening place. The more I look inside myself the more I realize that the true answers to these questions are fuzzy and convoluted.  Think past the what you are expected to say, think past what you want others to perceive of you, and really truly look inside yourself.

When you really do this you may get lost inside the abyss of the unknown. When you are faced with this emptiness you are given a choice, spiral downward, or fight to climb to find yourself.

The first step to finding yourself is finding your purpose. I'm convinced that there is never any absolutes, but stepping stones on your personal journey. That being said to find your purpose ask yourself these questions:

what drives you right now? 
What makes you want to be a better person?
When are you the most happy?

Recently I found my purpose for my right now, it was no easy task to discover my current driving force, but it has made me happier that I know I would have been without it. At times it has been hard to remember this drive. I have had to make up silly games to ensure that I don't let myself betray my purpose.  It is amazing how easily Satan can swallow you up in despair and grief if you don't have something to hold onto.

Now, please don't feel that this realization is a cure all for sadness. Even now, I find myself heartbroken for my own personal failures. I am so weak, and my weaknesses always tend to hurt those I care about most. I am, once again, climbing out of my destructive pit. The joy is I have a rope, that is my current purpose, to help me reach the top of my personal pit to help my find the top. I hope and pray that someday I will truly know who I am, and what I can accomplish, but for now I will feel grateful for the opportunity to have a small purpose where I can turn, and know... I CAN ACCOMPLISH THAT!

I hope and pray that this message finds someone who is in need. I realize that there is maybe on, or two of my family members who reads this blog occasionally, but my hope is that it will bring relief to someone...someday. When that day comes, please please don't dispair. If I can help you I would love to! Email me and I will be there for you. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

"Buy some furniture, and give the cat a name."

Last night I was watching the movie "Breakfast and Tiffany's" I love this movie (minus the a few semi-nasty parts) because it tells the story of a lost person who finds herself. Totally my cup of tea! In one scene of the movie she is talking about how the only time that she is truly happy is when she is at Tiffany's. She is constantly searching for a place, or situation that makes her continually feel that same elated joy that she feels surrounded by overpriced diamonds. She says when she find that place,

"I'll buy some furniture, and give the cat a name."

The whole principle is that she will allow herself to be satisfied and content only when she accomplishes this lofty dream. This is a mind set that I have found myself in for many years, and am still constantly trying to find a balance between hoping for the future, and being content with the present. 

Pres. Uchtorf of The LDS church describes this principle perfectly in his talk entitled "Forget-me-not"

"So many people today are waiting for their own golden ticket—the ticket that they believe holds the key to the happiness they have always dreamed about....There is nothing wrong with righteous yearnings...The problem comes when we put our happiness on hold as we wait for some future event—our golden ticket—to appear."

So my dear friends I am striving to "be happy now" as Pres. Uchdorf recommends. I do not promise to be frustrated by my seemingly stagnate state, but I'm going to do my best. So don't you fret Holly Golightly, I bought some furniture, but I DO NOT want a cat. I am so grateful to be having these little nuggets of self-discovery. Man, I'm so blessed!!!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Lesson from Stargirl


Have you ever been so thoroughly inspired by something that it has changed you? That is how I feel about the book “Stargirl” by Jerry Spinelli. I read it to my class every year, and have probably read it 5ish times outside of teaching. Each time I read it I learn more about who I want to become. This book is so dear to my heart, please understand that it is not longer a children's book to me.  I would like to take this opportunity to share just a few lessons I have learned from this cherished book:

Lesson #1: Live the life that makes you happy
“In a moment she was out the door bounding across the desert. She skipped and whirled and catrwheeled among the prickly natives.” Pg. 149
Stargirl does not let the perceptions of others taint the joy she finds in life. I am inspired by her ability to throw the opinions of others to the wind and just live. The life she lives is so pure! Of course negativity affects her, but she doesn’t let it linger. She truly lives. I want to have the ability to live like her. To throw my shoes off, dance in the rain, skip through the parking lot, just enjoy the life I live.
Stargirl has a “happy wagon.” She put pebbles into the wagon when she is happy, and takes them out when she is sad. She is a real person, she does get sad, but amidst the sadness she still lives in a way that brings her the most joy.  Fundamentally I feel this is how living the Gospel of Christ effects my life. Yes, I do have moments, months, years of sadness, but if I’m living The Gospel there is an underlying amount of happy that can never be stifled.  

Lesson #2: Live outside yourself
“He was in pain… I didn’t think, I just did.” ~Stargirl

All throughout this book Stargirl lives to serve other people. She is constantly looking for people she can serve.  She consistently finds joy in the happiness of others. Never does she stop to consider how her service will benefit herself, or what others will think. She sincerely wants others to feel loved. This perception is the foundation of her being. She becomes a cheerleader and cheers for both teams because deep down seeing other’s joy and success should always be celebrated. What if we all had a perspective like Stargirl, more than a perspective, what if we had the courage to act? To see the little moments where we could smile a little more, send an encouraging word, drop off a cheerful gift, help a stranger, just be more aware of each other. Just as Stargirl says, we are all on the same team, so let’s have the courage to show a little support. We are all just trying to do the best we can with what we’ve got.

Lesson # 3: Take the time to see enchantment
“She faced the mountains, bathed in the sun syrup, her face as peaceful as I’ve ever seen a face… Clearly she had erased herself. She was gone. She was serenity.”Pg. 92

In the book Stargirl leads Leo into the middle of the desert to an area she calls her “enchanted place.” She then sits on the ground, clears her mind, and just breathes.  I am a stressor by trade.  My mind is constantly racing with my current to do list, surroundings, etc. It takes a lot of hard work for me to find peace. When I take the time to allow enchantment into my world and allow the peace that comes from utter stillness it is empowering!

Lesson # 4: Recognize the small joys of life
“ She was the Johnny Appleseed of loose change…
“Do you realize how much you must throw away in a year?”
“Did you ever see a kid’s face when he finds a penny on the sidewalk?” Pg. 117

            I will never look at change on the sidewalk the same ever again. There is a sense of serenity when we can find joy in the simplicity of life. So often I feel that the big, overpowering things that are out of our control, things that clutter our lives come in with such force that the only thing we can do to combat the insanity is find the small joys that constantly surround us at every turn. In the book there is one part where Stargirl tells Leo about headlines she would make up if she were in charge, no tales of drama or turmoil, she would report about an old man nodding off reading a newspaper on a park bench, a beautiful flower, ants carrying a large crum across the sidewalk. How wonderful to create the habit of appreciating the small and simple.  The Lord created this amazing planet for us, no other reason. I am often amazed at its beauty, and I try to see it as a testament of how much I am loved by My Lord. I am often equally amazed at how easily this style of thinking can be overthrown by the business of life.

            I wish that I could read this book to all of you. It has truly changed my life! I am so very far from who I want to be, and in turn, so far from the person My Lord need me to be but I know that one of the ways I can get a little closer is through living the lesson I have learned from Stargirl Caraway. I am so blessed to have her (yes, I know she isn’t real) influence in my life.

“ I think that everyone in a while someone comes along who is a little more primitive than the rest of us, a little closer to our beginnings, a little more in touch with the stuff we’re made of.” Pg. 171


Saturday, August 24, 2013

I Want a Break from Me!

*Disclaimer: I wrote this post two weeks ago when I was in a very rotten place. I think I'm going to post again, but felt that for some reason this post was ment to be out in the universe. Sorry it's so negative.

Have you ever felt so frustrated with yourself you do anything possible not to spent time with you? That is my current predicament. Recently my weakness has been fully exposed. Unfortunately I am plagued with thoughts and feelings that create road blocks on my path and halt any movement. This leaves me empty and alone because these road blocks are so real, as much as I want them gone I don't see  a clear path to make this happen. Though the truly unfortunate thing is that I have effected others with my inability, and endangered their happiness. That brings me back to my original statement, I am done playing with me. I don't like me right now and it hurts. I am so annoyed with the person I am inside this happy facade that I can hardly endure any silence or calm moment in my life. This sounds silly, but I don't feel like I am the only one in this pit.

Now sadly I don't have some happy ending, or uplifting conclusion to my current heartbreak. Bottom line life hurts sometimes. I am happy to report that I did do something that I hope will allow me to let a little positive leak into my self-perception. I sat down and wrote a list of qualities that define "who I want to be..." then I wrote a list of goals that will hopefully enable me to get there. There is nothing grandious on my list, just general traits that I wish I had. These ambitions seem very far from my reach, but they are things that I could possibly fake until they become apart of me.  I have enjoyed the momentary solice when I somehow drag myself out of this self-deprecating pit and feel some sense that in a brief moment I was that person. It enables me to feel a little self-confidence when to be honest I am not happy with myself.

I'm so sorry if the 3 people that read this are in someway down trodden because of this post, but I feel that it is very important for us to realize that others fall too.  Now hopefully I will someday feel that this extremely flawed person can reach a point where she can live with herself, but today is not that day. Today I feel blessed to have a concrete concept of who I want to be. I hope and pray that as I move forward trying to become this person that I can bless the lives of others around me, and find true happiness that eludes me at this moment.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


I'm having a sad/bugged moment. Things just don't feel happy in my world right now, but I'm sure they'll get better. Sometimes I feel like doing my best just isnt enough for those who are around me. I really try not to let it get to me, but...it does. It does, and it hurts. 

There are SO many things that make me feel this way. They seem to press on me from every angle. I am no where near where I should be, and everyone seems to be passing me by. I say should because I have a very hard time figuring where I truely want to be. 

I am so incredibly blessed. There are so many people that love that accept me for who I am. They know my faults, petty needs, and cowerdice, but love me anyways. Why? I have no Idea! I know that I frusterate some through my weaknesses, and I am so sorry that I am less then what they need me to be. I require so much patience.  I try to focus on the wonderful facts, but it seems fake when the negative presses down so consistantly.  My heart feels constricted, and I can't seem to break free. 

Above everything else I am blessed. So though at this particular moment I am doing my best to be my best, going out of my way to find things that lift, trying to serve those I've failed, the happy face is on in full swing. I'm a firm believer that if you can fake it, then maybe some of the fake will slowely become real. If you are percieved at happy then people are more willing to let you serve them, serving usually brings true happiness. At the end of the day, you may still be broken, but at least you were able to spread a little joy through the mess. Maybe someday soon I will be able to say that I am truely happy, but today is not that day. Today the fact is that I will do my best to make tomorrow better than today, and I continue to be blessed to have this calming perspective.