my comfort zone

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

C.S. Lewis
this quote struck a chord with me when i read it last night because it feels like exactly what i’ve been doing… locking my heart up safe, avoiding all entanglements… going to work, coming home, keeping to myself. and sure some days it’s all i want to do. some days it’s all i can do and harlow will never judge me… but it isn’t really how i want to spend my life. 
everyone talks about leaving their comfort zone. yuck. my comfort zone is pretty small: a few friends, the temple, my house with harlow…. that’s pretty much it. okay, so it’s really, really small. when i think about leaving my comfort zone i immediately think of forcing myself to do all the things i know i’d hate or doing things that i know would make me feel unsafe and i think “no thanks, i’ll stay right where i am.” 
maybe i should add that the old me never really thought much about a comfort zone. almost immediately after high school i moved to the uk by myself. i didn’t know one single soul on that side of the pond but it never made me consider passing up the opportunity. this me can barely go to church unless i know i’ll have someone to sit with. the old me would sing, and act and paint without too much self consciousness. now i get nervous if people look at me or single me out because i feel like they must be able to guess my horrible secret. 
i really liked this article on leaving your comfort zone. 
“To experience life isn’t always to face your fears and risk unpleasantries. It’s also about doing all those things you’re sure you’ll enjoy.”
that sounds more doable. 
i mean i know i’d enjoy going to the temple more so i just need to do it and stop worrying about my own self doubts. i know i’d enjoy making more friendships so maybe i’ll stop avoiding everyone’s eye contact and make an effort. i know i’d like to start doing more photography again so maybe i’ll stop labeling that as something i did “before” and go buy some film. 
i know these sound so basic that it’s laughable but… it is what it is and i’m going to start somewhere.
there are two things i know i need to work on: 
1. strengthening my faith. i feel like i’ve been holding steady but not growing and i know i need to make more of an effort. heaven knows i’ve certainly got the time. 
2. asking for help when i need it. there have been so many times, especially in the past few weeks, where i desperately wanted to call a friend and admit that something was wrong, or to crash on their couch because i was so anxious or to ask for a priesthood blessing… but i didn’t. and it just added to my anxiety/depression/frustration.
i’ve also made other goals of a more cross-off-the-list variety and maybe not as grand: finish my book for book club, call my mom, buy more pepper spray, order a ballet beautiful dvd, etc.
and now a question: how to you set goals? monthly? weekly? yearly? any tips for keeping focused and accomplishing them? do you participate in the 101 in 1,001 challenge? let me know. 
photo by jennie prince

most wanted

i just got back from a quick trip to utah to visit friends. the driving part wasn’t quick.. it was very, very long. just ask harlow. she’s currently passed out in the middle of the kitchen.

but on sunday after church i was hanging out with billie and brian and we were killing a little time before dinner with billie’s family and having some snacks and brian said something like he could just eat right now to which billie replied, “don’t give up what you want most for what you want now.”

i kept thinking about that all the way home. how often do i sacrifice what i want most for what i want right now?
but more importantly what do i want most?

i’ll have to take this list up with my journal but i’ll share a few that i thought about on the (long) drive home:

a husband
a family of my own
eternal life
good health
to be surrounded by good people
for my family to be well and happy

i don’t want to sacrifice anything on this list for anything in the world. not sacrificing takes courage, faith, and a lot of heart. thanks billie for always being a good friend and helping me to be a better person.

photo by nick burns

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happiness is…

.setting a goal
.chit chatting with friends about nothing in particular
.when harlow is feels like cuddling
.sleeping under lots of big, heavy blankets
.painting your nails red
.the smell of carnations


happiness is …

Going to France!

Harlow sleeping so soundly on my lap

The days are getting longer

but it’s still cool enough to wear scarves

Buying fresh flowers

Bright pink nail polish

New (to me) shoes from Stacey

Sleeping in for three days in a row

It’s my birthday Friday!

image via thespianmuse

happiness is

1. A little girl in my Primary class drawing me a picture and writing me that have “a pretty smile and a great ha ha” … and then explained that she didn’t know how to spell the word laugh.

2. Making progress.

3. Going to Utah next month. Can you say Cafe Rio? Oh, and friends. ♥

4. Talking to Tara on her 8th birthday.

5. Getting frozen yogurt with friends.

6. Finishing reading Les Miserables… so satisfying.

7. Finally being able to send picture messages from my iPhone.

8. Finding this bedding at Anthropologie for 83% off.

9. Finding a dry dog food that Harlow will eat. I’m so proud of her.

10. Going on a cleaning spree and having everything shiny and sweet-smelling.

11. Ordering more chocolate film in hopeful anticipation of my Holgaroid arriving.