Here I sit in the golden hours of afternoon, trying to avoid studying for my dysphagia quiz tomorrow by spilling somewhat cohesive thoughts out to you.
Oh, this poor neglected blog.
Graduate school has not been kind to my journaling through this outlet.
I've said it before, but the Seattle sky is bluer and cloud-free more often than people imagine.
Our neighbor's garden lining our "driveway" is teeming with peonies and irises in bloom.
I read The Fault in Our Stars last week, or rather listened to it while I studied and worked on clinic reports and school assignments. Although I don't feel like it was life-altering, it's safe to say it's been consuming my thoughts for the past week. It is an astounding story of love. The kind we should all wait for...the one where you both are in it come what may (come what may and love it, one hundred and ten percent, infinite times over) and you never feel like you have to question how the other person is feeling. Something so intense and yet so quiet, so real. Something I've yet to find, but I know it will come as I continue to refine myself. Upon finishing the book, I bought the soundtrack and thought of my friend, Kylee, and her love of music and The Fault in Our Stars. It's odd to think about becoming her friend through blogging a few years ago. I still remember when she first wrote about this book and it struck me she's now almost been on her mission for a year. It's amazing how greatly we can influence others through our writing; I also feel as though both friendships and time (during the current phase of twenty-somethings) fluctuate so much...it seems like everything passes by slowly and in the blink of the eye simultaneously.
Between contemplating The Fault in Our Stars and friendships and time and love, it's made me realize even more that whatever you want your forever to be, create it. In my mind, the first and foremost forevers to create are forever relationships (marriage and family), a lasting impact you have through your career, goals, & dreams, and forever faith and testimony. You must create these things. They do not appear without a creative process of shaping and molding and reshaping and remolding your life. That's the main goal of our existence--creating your forever and being in a state of constant, consistent, creative growth for that "forever".
"...Remember that you are spirit [sons and] daughters of the most creative Being in the universe. Isn’t it remarkable to think that your very spirits are fashioned by an endlessly creative and eternally compassionate God? Think about it—your spirit body is a masterpiece, created with a beauty, function, and capacity beyond imagination.
But to what end were we created? We were created with the express purpose and potential of experiencing a fulness of joy. Our birthright—and the purpose of our great voyage on this earth—is to seek and experience eternal happiness. One of the ways we find this is by creating things.
...The more you trust and rely upon the Spirit, the greater your capacity to create. That is your opportunity in this life and your destiny in the life to come. Sisters [and brothers], trust and rely on the Spirit. As you take the normal opportunities of your daily life and create something of beauty and helpfulness, you improve not only the world around you but also the world within you."
-President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Happiness, Your Heritage", October 2008 (wrote some thoughts about this talk here)
I'm nearing the end of my third quarter of graduate school. A year ago, I was still making plans to move up here and working and wondering about so many things. It's amazing to think how much growth has taken place in the last year, how many lessons I've learned, how everything in life has changed aside from my faith in the Gospel and the constant love and support from my family.
When I graduated last year and told people of my plans, many people would say, "I hope you're going to be okay with the rain." or "I could NOT live in a place where it rains so much."
I would smile and say, "I don't think I'd be moving there if I couldn't handle it."
I know you're all thinking, "Here comes a rain metaphor."
When it rains, it pours. Or so they say.
I've felt that way on one level or another this quarter.
about this whole experience.
But especially some recent events, inside and outside of school, have been particularly challenging.
It seems like one thing after another.
However, I feel it's helped me bloom and grow in other ways I couldn't have in any other way. I hope I can be always blooming. And be [in] all ways blooming.
How grateful I am for a loving Heavenly Father who knows where I need to be and I'm grateful He knows how much I can handle. I can attest to the fact that no matter how far I've been pushed to the edge (mentally, emotionally, spiritually), I've been able to handle it. I'm surviving some days and finding something to enjoy every single day here, because I'm relying on my Heavenly Father and Savior.
If I could go back and whisper reassurance to myself a year ago, I'd say, "You truly don't know right now how much you're going to need Seattle, how much you're going to love Seattle."
I received a letter from my senior year AP English teacher (honestly, my favorite teacher from high school) last week. It was an assignment she had us do during our last week of school--write a letter to yourself in five years, write about your dreams and expectations, write about what you've learned and important advice.
My oh my, has it been five years ago since I graduated?
It was sobering to read that letter. Sobering in a humbling sort of sense--to know I have been able to follow the Lord's directions for my life plan rather than my own. Though nothing was wrong with where seventeen year old Catherine saw life headed in five years, I am grateful I have been guided by a loving, omniscient Heavenly Father. His ways are greater than mine and He has made my life infinitely richer.
Thank you, dear Father in Heaven, for guiding me in my creation of a forever.