Monday, May 24, 2010

Recognizing Tender Mercies

So between the overcast weather and just feeling really out of place, I was feeling really down the other day. I have been living back in Kamas for about a month and I just feel really weird being back home. It has been nice to spend some quality time with my family and with my best friends but it has just been hard because I have moved on from the whole high school stage of life and I have felt like I have been sucked back into that stage a bit with picking up a few shifts at the pool and just being around town and seeing people from high school. Anyway, I have just been really anxious to move to California and I honestly didn't know if I was going to make it till the 31st to move. I have really been looking forward to moving and just getting back into the swing of being busy instead of having all the time in the world to be a loser and sit around and do nothing all day everyday but all at the same time I'm scared to go somewhere where I have no friends and not being able to be with my own friends everyday. So I was really emotional and just feeling like I needed to get away and have a fresh start. So as soon as I got home from tending my sisters kids all day I checked my facebook (as I do way too much) and I saw that I had a message in my inbox. So I checked it and it was from an old friend from soccer and it was one of the nicest, most sincere messages that I have ever received. It seriously what I needed right at that moment and it brought on more tears, some happy, but I was still a bit down.

Anyway, so I decided to go for a run, as I like to do, especially when I am feeling stressed, and it made me feel so much better. At the beginning of my run I was still pretty emotional and down. As I ran down the road I saw a herd of Elk and they were all staring at me. Then they began to run out in the field so it was kind of like they were running along with me. They all came to a fence and jumped it no problem accept the last one. It struggled to get over and fell a couple of times but just kept trying to get over so that it could catch up with the rest of the group. So watching this elk struggle got me thinking that we all struggle in life. We are all fighting in this life and sometimes are easier than others but just like this elk, I'm struggling at this particular time in life. I knew that if it kept trying to get over the fence then eventually it would, and it was the same for me, if I just keep trying to get through life and hold on, that it would all be okay. So as I continued my run the elk were out of sight for awhile and I was just thinking about life and how we are here to be tested and as I am still trying to figure out where I fit in in life right now that as long as I stay close to the lord that everything will work itself out. Anyway, lots of thinking and telling myself that it's okay and that I will figure this all out sooner or later. So as I continued my run I just started noticing all the beautiful things around me. It literally took my breath away just realizing how lucky I am to have grown up in such a beautiful place. I was so distracted by all the beauty surrounding me that I decided I should probably head back home because I had been running for a long time and getting further and further away from home and I didn't know if it was going to start raining again. All of the sudden the sun came out and I honestly couldn't have been more happy than I was at that moment because I realized that I am so blessed to be in the place I was at that very minute. I am so thankful for the tender mercies I have in my life and for the lord helping me see those tender mercies in my own life especially when I am having a hard time in my life. Starting this blog and calling it "Looking at the brighter side of life" really has helped me be more optimistic and to look for the better things in what I am experiencing. It has been an amazing opportunity to write about my feelings and impressions about life. I am so blessed to have the life I have and to have grown up in such a beautiful place. There is so much out there for us to learn and experience and just trying to find the better in all of our trials and experiences makes life much more enjoyable and happier. I am so thankful for all of my experiences I have had in life and I can't wait to have many more tough, and exciting ones. Can't wait to add my California experience into my memories. Life is good. Live it up!

Peace, Laugh, and Love

Miss Merilee Goates :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Blessing of Friendship

For those of you who know me, I have had a hard time with girls growing up. From the age of a 5th grader to my senior year, I had a hard time with most girls and most of my best friends were all guys because they were nicer and our friendships just seemed so much more simple. I have always had a pretty easy-going personality that just likes to be happy and bring happiness to others and have always made an effort to be nice to those around me. I'm not saying I am perfect by any means, I just mean that I have always tried to make a conscience effort to be a good friend to those that surrounded me. Sometimes I've been successful and other times not so much but I'm trying harder and harder everyday. I think a hard thing to realize and remember is that we are all human and we make mistakes. More often than not we tend to hurt others not even realizing it and we get hurt without the person hurting us even realizing it. We have to be so careful about the ways we communicate our feelings with others, whether it's talking face-to-face, texting, emailing, or talking on the phone, we have to be SO careful! In today's world talking face-to-face has been lost and it's becoming more and more difficult for people to even carry on a conversation in manner that even makes sense. I am a texter and emailer, yes, but I realize the importance of face-to-face communication and prefer it very much so over the other options. I am big on confertation and think that it is a very important thing... anyway, We have all been accused, and have accused others for hurting someone one way or or another which is why we need to watch the ways we are communicating these feelings to one another. I have had my fair share of intentional and unintentionally hurting others due to my level of maturity and other reasons. I would like to share with you my story, and why it's important to surround yourself with friends that are uplifting and are just plain and simply good friends.
For years I had a friend that was emotionally abusive to me whether she knew it or not. For way too many years I just brushed it off because I don't think I realized how badly it really was emotionally damaging me at the time but after so long I began to feel that pain. It seemed like everyone could see it but me for a really long time. My family, my classmates, my other friends, my friends parents, and many others would ask me why I put up with it but I always would just say because she's my friend. I guess I felt like it was my responsibility to be her friend through thick and thin because that's what friends in a normal functioning relationship do for one another. The only problem with all this is that she wasn't willing to be this kind of friend in return and it was really hard not having someone that I could count on being there for me at all times because that is what a true friends do for each other. Friends are supposed to be there for you to laugh with and cry with. You should be able to be yourself in front of your friends and I felt like I couldn't even be myself without being criticized or made fun of. Friends aren't supposed to make fun of you and criticize you, they are supposed to build you up and make you feel good about yourself, and I really struggled not feeling like I could even be myself. When you are trying to making a friendship or relationship with someone, if you will, you both have to be making an effort instead just one side. It was extremely hard not feeling like I had that other half working to make our friendship work. After years of hurt, being worn down, and just done with everything I had gone through by this point, I decided the time had come to stand up for myself even though it was going to be hard, so I did. I spent a lot of time praying and asking for help that I might have enough emotional strength to do this and I asked for help that I might know what to say. One of the scariest parts of me getting out of this was that I was afraid I wouldn't have any friends anymore. Somehow I came up with this illusion that I was going to be completely alone and that I wouldn't have any friends, which ended up being the complete opposite. When I stood up for myself I was terrified, but sure enough I had some really awesome friends to lean on just like I asked for.
This was a trial that I had to face and am still facing. There have been many that don't understand why this has been such a hard thing for me to get over but it has been. Having a friendship that lasted as long as ours did an then just cutting it off like cold turkey was hard. I felt so relieved when I finally stood up for myself but it has been really hard to move on. I have been so hurt and all I'm waiting for is a simple apology but I just need to realize that I'm probably never going to get that. On one of my previous posts I stated a quote and it was this, “Waste not fresh tears over old griefs” - Euripides. I have wasted many tears on this affair that was so unnecessary but I have been hurt. Sometimes it's hard to move on and forgive for something that you don't necessarily want to forgive. Today in church I was praying during the sacrament and I just decided that I need to start asking the lord to soften my heart and to forgive and forget because it still tears me down. It's not necessarily that I want to be best friends again but I don't like the feeling I get of someone hating me and the feeling of resentment I get every time I see her.
Anyway, I have been very blessed with much better friends. The best friends my junior and senior year of high school are friends I should've been closer with much earlier on in life. I just try to remember that even though we didn't become closer earlier that it's okay and that we have many years to come in our friendships and relationships and we were meant to become close that this certain time of life for a reason. I am so lucky to have them. They have truly carried me the last few years and I truly don't know where I would be without them. I would like to just take a minute and recognize them:
Kate has been amazing. Kate and I describe each other as we "complete each other." If there is anyone in this life that understands me more than Kate I don't know who it would be (with the exception of my heavenly father.) Although Kate is a year younger than me, I want to be like her when I grow up. I am so excited to announce we are going be roommates in the fall which is greater than anything I could possibly want in my life. She is beautiful inside and out and I appreciate her.
Tiff has always been a good listener. In return she always keeps everything light and makes you feel good about what you are going through and usually makes you smile in the end. She is amazing in teaching me by example that if you want something bad enough you just have to work for it. She has always been a hard worker and it really pays off. She is an amazing Ballerina and I know it is because of the time she has put into that passion of hers. Tiff doesn't care what others think of her and I really look up to her for that. I hope someday I can do the same and not care what others think and just do what I want to do because it's what I want.
There have been many others but I could go on and on but I just wanted to acknowledge my best friends. One thing that I have appreciated about the friendships we have together it would be our meaningful conversations. The three of us don't have the type of teenage girl relationship that we sit around and gossip about other people and have negative conversations, we talk about things that actually matter in life and things that will also benefit our lives. That has been a huge difference of our relationship and the relationship I have had with a lot of other girlfriends in life. These girls have truly been the answers to my prayers and I don't know what I would've done without them.
Also, when I went away to college I was fearing the roommate situation. I was going to be experiencing a lot of new things all at once and I was so excited but I was nervous. One of the scariest things I was about to face was whether or not I would get along with my roommates. I spent the entire summer praying and praying that I would get roommates that I could actually handle to be around. As soon as we got our apartment assignments I jumped on the computer to check them out on facebook (how pathetic is that, that in this generation that we can get to know someone really well on the internet... PATHETIC!) Anyway, isn't it interesting the first impression we have of someone before we even meet them... Well my impressions were COMPLETELY off but they weren't bad impressions. When we first met I feel like we liked eachother but little did I know they would become some of the greatest friends I have ever had. We got off on a bit of a rough start but as soon as we got used to living with eachother and making our different personalities work we all grew inseparable. Many people would ask us if we were all best friends and came down together, when the reality was... none of us knew eachother. We all got really lucky and I can't thank my heavenly father enough for giving me the roommate I had, and will have again next fall and spring, for they are some of my best friends in the whole wide world!
Lastly, Going through all this it made me grow much closer to my family. Being home alone for 2 years while my brother was off to college and on his mission my relationship with my parents grew much, much stronger. I learned to love my family much more. I also realized that I am going to be with my family forever and so I better start like them because forever is a long time. I think through this trial I have grown much closer to all my siblings and learned the value of not only friendships but how important it is to love your family. I am so thankful for my family and all they have done for me thus far in life.
All in all, I have been very blessed in my life with friends old and new and even though this has been a tough trial, I have learned a lot from it and I am thankful! I'm so lucky to have the friends I have and the family that I have. I am so thankful for being so blessed and wish I could go on longer but I think it's about time to wrap this up. But this all goes back to the purpose of my blog, even in an hard time that I have gone through, there is always a brighter side. Look to the bright things in life because if we dwell on all the ugly, dark things, we won't be happy and we won't be able to progress in life. I love you all and I am thankful for all you people I am so lucky to have in my life!!

With Much Love,

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Significance of Time

Yesterday as I was waiting to go and babysit for my cousin Lindsey, I realized how much time is in a day. I had a few things to do but not enough to make me feel like I got a ton accomplished. I felt like I had all the time in the world to do whatever I wanted and I did do some really productive things, then again I feel like I wasted a lot of time. It made me reflect on how much time I waste everyday. There are things in our lives that are time wasters and we spend so much time worrying about those "time wasters" that don't even matter. Some time wasters in my life, sleeping, face booking, arguing with someone, surfing the web, checking my email, checking my face book 7 more times before I get off the computer, and there is a variety of many more. I have decided that I am going to make a conscience effort to try and use my time more wisely and try and accomplish all I would like to get done and more. It never hurts to serve someone if you don't know what else to do.
K I'm going to be honest, I don't know if the first half of that made sense but it's okay because the next part should be a little better... (it's late okay?)

Also, another interesting look at time and how quickly it comes and goes. This week I made a goal to visit each of my grandparents and I did it! I had lovely visits with each of them and realized that I have such unique relationships with all my grandparents and I am thankful for them all. Talking with my grandpa about my Grandma Helen and realizing how much he misses her was absolutely heartbreaking! If there is one thing that is going to suck the worst about getting old, it would be being alone for sure. It has been 10 years now since my grandma died and my grandpa is looking forward to being with her again soon. As he was telling me about their love story while he was in the war and about how they would write love letters to each other quite often, but it wasn't too bad because there was always a response. Then he said how it has been hard the last 10 years because he feels like he has been writing love letters to her but she never responds. I'm sure there are times my grandpa can feel my grandma's love because I feel it every time I go to their house. When my grandma died she was in her late 70's and had had been fighting cancer for awhile, so it was apparent her time was soon. We were all still heartbroken but it was bound to happen. About a year ago the Kamas Valley lost 3 young parents. Teresa Adlard, Dan Howells, and Jeremy Kunz. This was a really hard time for the Valley because no one knew why all of these perfectly healthy 30-40 yr. olds had to pass away, all so unexpectedly. They were all fine health wise and passed in two different accidents and then in sleep. Sometimes in life we don't understand why certain things happen, they just do. I have found that when I look at the bigger picture it helps me understand that sometimes everything that happens in life doesn't always make sense, but we need to remember that our Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us and he can see the bigger picture. Look to him and ask for help to be able to look at the bigger picture and it helps in times of distress and grief. I am thankful for my trials and the lessons I learn from them. Life isn't cut out to be a cake walk, we are all supposed to be challenged, we are here to be tested so we can return to the presence of god.
Well that's all for now...

Love you all!

Friday, May 14, 2010

"Waste not fresh tears over old griefs." -Euripides

As I'm trying to create my blog I've been looking at a whole bunch of cool quotes and stumbled upon this one, "Waste not fresh tears over old griefs." -Euripides. I find myself doing this a lot. Now, I wouldn't consider myself a grudge holder, but if I am truly hurt by something it's hard for me to get over. I have been dealing with something that hurt me awhile back and people just keep telling me to get over it but it has been a lot harder than people know. I have realized that life is too short to live in the past and to worry about things in the past. There are too many great things in life to be worried about something that happened awhile ago. Sometimes all we are waiting for is a simple apology but quite frankly sometimes we need to realize that we are never going to get it. I am trying really hard to get over this and I challenge all of you to let go of those hurtful things in the past and enjoy present life.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

First Post Thoughts

Well it's official, I have a blog. I'm still trying to get into the swing of this whole blog thing but I can't wait. So my intention of having this blog is to express my feelings about growing up and what I'm doing to try and figure out this life. I have just recently finished my first year of college attending Southern Utah University and am loving life. Going to college has been a very interesting experience. Already I have learned so much about myself, the type of man I want to marry, and just about life. I still have so much to learn and am learning so much everyday but I am loving the journey and look forward to every exciting new experience that comes in my way. My latest crazy, spontaneous but great opportunity is moving to California for the summer months to live with my amazing sister Melanie and working. There was a crazy amount of thought, studying the scriptures, fasting, and praying that has gone into this decision and I know that it is the right thing for me to do in life at this time, and let's be honest, who doesn't just want to drop everything and go spend the summer in California? Also realizing that I'll never know when the next time will be for me just to drop everything and move to Cali. So I feel extremely blessed to be able to do this and I can't wait to share all my amazing experiences with you all.
Well, My best friend Kate is graduating in a few weeks and my oldest niece Tessi is getting married, hence why I haven't moved to California yet and why I have put it off a bit. It has been good being back in the good ol' Kamas, but I'm definitely looking forward to going out to the Cali-forn-I-A to spend the summer with my awesome sister, her great husband Phil and their cute kids. The summer will be great but I am also looking forward to the fall. I am proud to announce that Kate will be joining me and now "our" awesome roommates for the school year of 2010-2011. It will be a great time and we have lots in store for our time together as roommates.
Well, that's about it for now but much, much more to come!!!! Keep smiling!

Mer Bear! :)