1. The highlight of the month was going to Arizona to visit Kristin, Jon, Theo, and Vivi. The weather was beautiful, and I missed seeing cactus, brown, and dirt. Vivi was blessed on Sunday, and Kristin gave the Relief Society lesson. I was secretly miffed, but not surprised, that Kristin's lesson was fantastic. Both of my sisters are good at everything. Theo was adorable, of course, and he liked dropping building blocks down my shirt. AND LOOK AT THESE PICTURES.
2. Valentine's Day was lovely—I crashed my parents' evening and ate their food. I tried to make it better by bringing my dad a chocolate muffin and buying flowers for my mom. But they needed a break (from me)...which is why they're on a cruise to Mexico. Right now. And I'm a little jealous, but I'm 23-years-old, and that's probably far too old to be crashing parents' vacations.
3. This month, I peed my pants during running. Twice. And as I write this, the thought occurs to me that this isn't suitable material for a public blog. But I kind of want to see if it's a shared problem to make myself feel better. When I suddenly think about the bathroom during a run, I can't stop thinking about it. I'm just glad that the compression shorts under my leggings effectively mask my shame. But there is a charming retirement community in Provo. Every time I go running on a Thursday morning, the same old man is walking his dog. He sees me and always yells, "Look at you!" It's hilarious, and then I run a little faster with my head held a little higher.
4. Happy Chinese New Year! I was particularly excited about the new year because it's the year of the dog, which is me. Dogs are supposed to be loyal, intelligent, hard-working, and responsible. They also have terrible communication skills, which might be true since I just described my bodily functions while exercising. But yesterday, I learned that Donald Trump was also born in the year of the dog, which snuffed out my soul. I told my sister, and she said that I was disowned from the family.
5. I'm discovering that bread is really hard to make, but I've been practicing. And failing. Remember when I charred the outside of my bread, but the inside was raw after 2.5 hours in the oven? My poor roommate, my parents, and the family chickens have had to taste my creations. But today's attempt was successful, as documented by this text message exchange.
6. I got accepted into Idaho State's Masters of Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, which is exciting. I had a meeting with the faculty in early February, and I felt flattered when they said that I should consider the PhD program. But when I left Pocatello, I felt lousy, like I can't see myself living here lousy. And that frustrated me because I had gone to the interview thinking this was the school for me. The back-up plan for my back-up plan exploded. (I'm on back-up plan #7 now. I counted).
When I got home, I felt low-key depressed and laid in bed. I prayed/complained/cried at the same time. This thing happens where when I pray/cry, I fall asleep. That happened, and I dreamed that Tina Turner performed "Better Be Good to Me" as a special music number in Church. And then, I distinctly remember waking up and finishing my prayer, Be good to me, Heavenly Father. Be good to me, which might have been profane.
But He has been good to me as I have considered other choices, and great ones too, for my life. I'm learning to feel okay with forks in the road. A professor at school reminded me about the sting and the blessing of agency—the idea that there isn't one choice that's obviously better than another.
I am learning that God can make many paths work and that He trusts me to make my own decisions. Making a successful decision is so much sweeter after taking the plunge, learning from mistakes, and developing step-by-step. And... someone should remind me of this if NNU rejects my application, which would officially exhaust my LAST back-up plan.