Friday, January 30, 2015

The hills are alive

This is what it feels like when you drop a pointless, time-consuming class that doesn't even matter to your major or future life plans:

Best decision I've made all week.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Just a little war and peace

We've started reading War and Peace in my Tolstoy class.

We're only 115 pages in. There are 1337 pages.

I am so excited. It's one of those books that just dares you to try to read it. And we get to analyze it in my literature class.

Not to mention, I love Tolstoy. He is one of my favorite authors. The way he writes about life, love, and loss . . . he understands the human journey, and how life is made up of the prosaic.

And he makes the prosaic beautiful.

Also, I've been thinking about this quote from my Tolstoy professor all week:

"Mistakes are not fatal. They are often just missteps. But that doesn't mean that we are off course."

I love that.

And I'm looking forward to reading this epic.

All 1337 pages of it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Overheard at BYU, the Returned Missionary Edition

Just a couple of things I've noticed this Winter Semester at BYU:

--There are returned sister missionaries EVERYWHERE. The wave has returned, and they have all returned to Provo.

Not that this is a bad thing. I mean, I think it's great that there are more sisters serving missions. But it adds a different demographic to campus. And it means that there are conversations like this around campus on an hourly basis:

"Sister Clark! Wait, what's your first name?"
"Aubrey! What's yours?"  (I kid you not, I heard conversations like this about fifteen times yesterday.)

Students going up to devotional: "Where did you serve?"
"Atlanta. What about you?"
"Chile. This is my companion."

I have heard more conversations like this than ever before. And they're all coming from girls. Most of whom are younger than me when I left for a mission. Crazy.

Did I mention that I'm really glad that I never have to be a recently returned missionary ever again? Because I am. I'm really glad about. To everything there is a season, I know, but I'm at at a different season now, and I'm a-ok with that.

-Also, just FYI, NEVER go to the student gym until AFTER everyone has broken their New Year's Resolutions. Just don't do it.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Year in Review via Ingrid and Sara

. . . so, a disclaimer first. I'm really bad at doing year-in-reviews. Like, really bad. I think part of it is because I divide my life up into seasons/semesters, not years . . . so this might end up being more of a semester-in-review instead of a year-in-review. Happens. And I don't even want to really do an entire month-by-month year-in-review. That's way too much work for me and no one really cares. (Okay, okay, maybe three people care. If you're really interested, just give me a call. And if you want to see a good year-in-review, you should read Dave Barry's. Because his are always hilarious.)

But, I decided that I need to do a shout-out to two of my favorite singers who I've listened to incessantly this year: Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson. I love Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson, and it's kind of uncanny how well their songs match my life at exactly the right moments (especially in relation to the ups-and-downs of dating).

My love for all things Sara and Ingrid was only confirmed by Ingrid Michaelson's great new album in April, and I listened to it all summer. Soooo, the Summer of 2014 essentially became the Summer of Ingrid. Wahooooo.

Anyway. So, since I divide my life up into seasons/semesters and not years, here are the songs which I've both loved and related to this year.

Winter 2014:
Girls Chase Boys, Ingrid *
Everybody, Ingrid
Manhattan, Sara *
Between the Lines, Sara *

Spring/Summer 2014:
Over You, Ingrid
Be OK, Ingrid
Let the Rain, Sara *
Mountain and the Sea, Ingrid *
Breathe Again, Sara *
Hold My Heart, Sara *

Fall 2014:
Do It Now, Ingrid *
Afterlife, Ingrid
Are We There Yet, Ingrid *
Brave, Sara
Chasing the Sun, Sara *
Bright Lights and Cityscapes, Sara *
The Light, Sara *
Giving Up, Ingrid *

There you go. I realize that there are a lot of songs. I also realize that the majority of them are from Fall 2014--like I said, I'm better at remembering semester-by-semester, not the entire year. If you don't listen to all of them, the ones with asterisks are the most relevant. BUT all of these songs relate in some way or another. They document a growth-filled year where I learned so much about hope, expectation, disappointment, resilience, courage, and trust. I'm sure that 2015 will be similar, but in different ways.

If anything, I'm glad that these two brilliant ladies provide the perfect soundtrack for my life.


. . . because that's what New Year's is for, right?