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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Boy Crazy

You guys. I was...so...awkward in high school. Not like the socially reclusive or quiet kind of awkward...you know, like the pretty but shy girl who wears glasses in the movies and then gets transformed into the Prom Queen and falls in love with the cool, recently-remediated bad boy? No, no..I was not that kind of awkward.

I was awkward on the other end of the spectrum. Liiiiike the loud...slightly obnoxious (haha let's be kind to Calee right now, ok??)...in-your-face kind of awkward. Cheerleader (I'm not saying all cheerleaders are obnoxious, calm down), ASB, honors classes, weirdly Mormon and obsessed with boys.

I thank heaven daily that social media wasn't around when I was 13-19, because, YOU GUYS, it would.have.been.B-A-D. You know people who post cryptic, overly emotional post-break up Facebook statuses? I would have been the QUEEN of those...and my reign would have been gloriously uncomfortable and awful.

you're welcome for sharing this fantastic photo of my no-eyebrow, greasy middle-part, long-hair-with-no-layers self.
sophomore year. 
please don't kill me, ashley.

I was a very nice, loud person. A person with a lot of feelings about a lot of things and very little ability to keep any of it to myself. I'd cry in English class (haha oh man - a story for a different time), I'd tell hysterical stories LOUDLY to my entire seminary class every. single. day at 5:45 AM (I don't know how they didn't murder me. probably because they were just too tired...it was so early). Were ANY of my stories truly hysterical? I'm not sure. I remember being very pleased with myself everyday. So, we're going to go with it. WAIT is this sounding like me as an adult?! Hahahahaaaaawaaaaaa :sob:sob:

Why am I telling you about high school? When it was the WORST? Because I know that there are a fair number of you in high school right now. And it's nice to know that you're not alone in your awkwardness, right?

I can only imagine how devastatingly impossible it must be to ever feel like you're enough in high school these days. Instagram?! Pinterest?! PHOTOSHOP?! Oh my heavens...I struggled with a major inferiority complex with just my big sister - who wore headgear at night and drove a hideous gold car (nothing but love, Nikki!). No one contoured. Everyone's eyebrows were HIDEOUS. It was fine. I mean, Britney Spears was a tricky one to navigate...I was NEVER going to get out of the house wearing a school girl outfit with knee-high socks -  how could I compete with HER for Derek Simper's heart?! PS Derek, if you ever read this - I was obsessed with you from like 4th grade until we graduated. If you asked me out right now I'd totally go for it. So. What are you doing this weekend..?... I digress.

A part of why my HS experience was so weird, I think, lies wrapped up in a gospel truth. A truth that I  didn't understand fully - and that ended up causing me a lot of pain and heartache.

Some people will talk about girls who are 'boy crazy'. You know what I mean when I say that, right? A girl who's entire self esteem depends on a boy liking her? Who can never seem to go too long without a boyfriend? Who is majorly devastated if/when any relationship fails to live up to the 'happily ever after' hype? That was me. Only, I didn't see it that way. I saw it as me becoming who I was meant to be.

Let me explain:

I grew up listening to lesson after lesson in Sunday school (and sacrament, and Young Women's, at mutual and FHE...) talk about the importance of family. My purpose as a daughter of God (yeah, this is oversimplified, maybe - but it's what I understood in high school) was to get married and have kids. I was meant to be a Mom. I listened to women share their testimonies on the beauty of marriage, how having kids was the most incredible thing ever, how they knew that God wanted them to have families and - even though their husbands weren't perfect - they knew their husbands were the perfect match for them.

It seemed pretty straightforward to me that in order to really achieve my highest potential as a person in this life, I would need to fall in love and get married. I don't think I've ever heard a talk, to this day, where a woman said, "I recognize that God has a different plan for me in this life - outside of having a family." We don't talk about it in those terms. I *HAVE* heard ,"God hasn't blessed me with children or a husband in this life, and I've had to make peace with that." but that's a completely different thing. My entire worth and future depended on a nice, returned-missionary falling in love with me and making me his wife and mother to his children. Had you asked me back then, I would have probably told you that I wanted to go to college and that I had hobbies and dreams outside of having a family, too, (which was true) - but ultimately, on the most basic level, I wanted to be a super-Mormon-wife and mom. I wanted to live the dream. Be what God wanted me to be. Every other decision and plan was just a blip on the roadmap toward marriage and a family - every situation outside of that marital bliss was just buying time until I was able to achieve it.

The issue with hearing and internalizing all of those messages over the years (for me, at least) was that it translated into this weird obsession with love - specifically, a BOY falling in love with me...and not just ANY boy...but THE boy. My eternal companion. :enter sighing and lights streaming from the heaven and angels singing sweetly from the dewy heavens: Being attractive and desirable to as big a pool as possible, therefore, was important - so I could be sure to attract the right boy. The sad news for you, high school Calee, is that your standards and concept of what the "right" boy was pretty naive...

Oh my goodness this post isn't at all what I thought it was going to be. I set off to share an embarrassing story or two about my HS experience...but it turned into some real self-realization haha.

The important stuff I've learned SINCE high school about this: God cares about ME more than He cares about me falling in love and having a family. Just me. Me and what I am and who I'm becoming as a human being. Me as a person who is learning every day. I've learned that there isn't a sure-fire path that leads to happiness for every person. Everyone has their own path, their own timing. God knows and loves each one of us - married, unmarried, with kids, without kids. Whatever your familial circumstances look like, God loves you. And THAT love...HIS love...is the only love I'll ever truly need. His love is the love that I'll never have to fight for, I'll never have to worry about losing. My worth is based in what God sees when He looks at my heart, not what some other imperfect human being sees when they look at my face or my waist size or my bust size or make-up/clothes. Every blessing (marriage, financial gain, other dreams being realized) will come as I focus on my everyday walk with the Savior - people will come into my life that I'm supposed to meet, experiences I'm meant to have will happen.


Whew. I should probably edit this before I post it, but you know what? I'm just going to leave it raw and real and let you do what you will with it. So there you go. My thoughts for the day. Maybe I'll come back to it and talk about why my vision of men was so naive, or how I shifted my perspective away from specifically marriage-focused, to God-focused. We'll see.

Until then.

xo.


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

An Update of Sorts

WORLD. I AM ALIIIIIVE.

You know what I've discovered? (other than the HOT IRON HOLSTER and holy crap it's changed my bathroom's life - and, no, no one is paying me to say that haha) What I've discovered is that I really like Instagram. I like Instagram because I can snap a cute picture on my phone, add a humorous/silly/thoughtful few lines of text, post it to my IG and - within a few minutes - I have likes and comments and validation (go ahead and judge! social media validation might be pretty pathetic, but it's a real thing and it helps me sometimes when I'm having a bad day, ok?!) and the entire process takes me less than two minutes. I feel connected to all of you, and I feel good about it. 

Blogging is a little more difficult. It requires more thought...more planning. All of the additional space for words and thoughts equates to a deeper level of honesty for me. Looking around the blogging-world I recognize that honesty isn't necessarily something that ALL bloggers feel motivated by (have you read THIS article yet? it's been posted and re-posted all over my facebook feed lately...I haven't decided 100% how I feel about it yet, but he makes some interesting points!)

"So, what's the problem?" you might ask. "Is being honest difficult for you, Calee..?"

The answer isn't that simple - but, if I were to get right down to it, I guess I would say: yes.

I want to be honest, believe me. I'm one of those people who was born (gifted or cursed depending on the situation haha) with the tendency to wear my heart on my sleeve, to share my opinions and feelings openly. It seems, though, that being really - totally and completely - honest isn't always acceptable. Being brutally honest can garner feedback about how I need to work on being more positive as a person (don't worry, I've kicked all of those people in the kneecaps), feedback about being careful to not air my dirty laundry for the world to see/hear/be shocked by, feedback about having more faith.

The reason I'm telling you all of this, is because I'm going to start opening back up and being here more often - even though that level of honesty feels a bit scary and daunting lately. The last few years have taught me a lot of things (my marital issues, my sick baby, my divorce, etc)...one of the hardest lessons for me to un-learn has been the need to be quiet. To keep my mouth shut and suck it up emotionally and just be quiet. Have any of you wondered why I complained so loudly all over my social media about V being so sick..? Other than the fact that her first year and a half was nothing short of hellish, torturous and nightmarish - I was experiencing other incredibly difficult things that didn't have a voice. I didn't feel like I could say those things, I didn't feel like they were safe to share. Anyways.

There is healing in honesty. There is healing in not being quiet. Don't worry, all of you worriers out there, haha. I'm not going to start spilling my guts about all of my deep darkness (OR WILL I??). I'm just going to stop being stopped by the fear of judgement and chastisement. 

So here I am. Hey. Hi. Hello. It's been a while. Good to see you again. ::virtual high five::

I'm going to try to share weekly here - with videos of my favorite Christian songs and thoughts on life and motherhood and being single and dating and how it's all scary and wonderful and crazy and awesome and weird and hard. 

Thanks for caring - and even if you don't, thanks for reading all the way down to this last line.

xo.

Monday, June 20, 2016

The truth about today

The truth about today...and about all of the days I've experienced recently, actually...is that I wish I weren't living them at all. Not to say that I wish I weren't physically here - but that being emotionally and mentally so distant from where I want to be makes me long for an extended vacation. 
Extended like for the rest of my life. 
That's a thing, right?
Hawaii, anyone..? 

Maybe it's actually that I'm NOT truly living my days - I'm just getting through them. Have you ever felt like that? Like you're scraping yourself out of bed in the morning and dragging yourself through them and frump-ing (not a verb, but you know what I mean) into bed at the end of them? Just to repeat the process again and again?? How do you even break that cycle??

A friend emailed me the other day and told me I seem so happy on all of my social media, and that she's happy for me to be so happy. That same day, another person in my life told me that I'm the most dramatic, negative person ever and that everyone hates my social media (??) <--this doesn="" font="" like="" me="" much.="" obviously.="" particularly="" person="" t="" very=""> It struck me as interesting that I had two people comment on that with such different perceptions in the same day. My conclusion was that they were each looking at my social media through the lens of their own experience, and that's how they were coming to such different conclusions about me/my life.

I wish it were easier to apply lessons like that to myself right now. I wish I could just look at situations in my life and say,"Well, self, this isn't ideal; however, it could be way worse! Look on the bright side!" without wanting to punch my optimistic self in the face. Or, "Hey, self, you get to choose the way you view your life! Why not count your blessings instead of eating an entire two-tiered box of Godiva chocolate by yourself?" <--this font="" happened.="" have="" may="" nbsp="" not="" or="">
You know what I mean?

The great, fantastic, absolutely wonderful news about little pockets of rainclouds in life is this: they pass. They always do. They're not fun, they don't come with a calendar for you to count down to sunshine, they aren't my favorite - but they pass. I'm doing my best to get enough sleep, not poison myself with chocolate-overload, etc....and sometimes that's all you can do.

I guess the point of this post is just to throw it out into the universe that I'm having a rough time, and I hope that if you're having a rough time, too, that you know that you're not alone. We're both just hanging out in the rain, waiting for the storm to pass. There are things to be learned in every season of life, and with every challenge there's an opportunity to grow. 

(Don't ask me what we're supposed to be learning right now, because honestly - I don't freakin know.)
(Try me after the storm passes.)

Good luck, my fellow storm-friends. At least we're not in this alone.

xo.





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