Friday, August 29, 2008

School Stories 11 - Misc

Just a few random things from the past few days, that I thought were worth sharing.

Yesterday in English, we had to bring an item so that everyone could think critically about it. For example, the guy who likes beer brought a beer bottle, and we thought critically: why are beer bottles shaped the way they are? Why is the label the way that it is? Is the beer different because it's imported? Why is the beer different because it's imported? Etc, etc. Some people forgot to bring items for us to analyze. Other people "brought" things like their cellphone or a pen. (I took a fortune cookie. What does that say about society?) My favorite item though...

"I brought in a ceramic mushroom." (Rannndom.) "I used to work in a ceramic mushroom factory." (Whaaaat....?) The class laughed. "Old ladies go nuts for these things." Awesome.

And then for my other class, we had to read "just a few poems" ( = over 50 pages). My favorite parts from that were:

- From the description of Tennyson,
"Tall, ruggedly handsome, and with a faraway look in his eyes that was actually due to myopia, Tennyson fit everyone's idea of how a poet should look."

(p. 1231, The Longman Anthology of British Literature, Volume 2B, The Victorian Age.)

I just really love the part about how he had a faraway look in his eyes, and that made him look like a poet, but that it was actually because he couldn't see. And that they wrote about it in the anthology. Good job.

- "Swans can live as many as 50 years."
(from a footnote for Tithonus, p.1246)

Huh. Who knew?

And then, this morning in my US Government class, the professor posted this:

Short Answer

A liberal is a guy who believes in school busing, but he does not believe there should be prayers in school.
A conservative believes in school prayer but no school busing.
A moderate believes children should pray on the bus on the way to school.

Based on class discussions, it seems like there are far, far more liberals in my class than conservatives. (Even though I'm at a Utah university.) It makes me want to start a College Republicans club (there's College Democrats one) and join the NRA. No problem. It was just like this in California.

I'm also thinking of starting a Knitting Club, since it doesn't seem like there is one. There is a nine page listing of clubs, and there are no College Republicans OR Knitting clubs. Next week is our big thing where all of the clubs set up booths and try to get you to join, so I suspect I'll have more to say after that.

In other news, I finally have a house in Salt Lake. And I think I'm getting sick. And I read Twilight. (Which I thought I would read never in a million years, but actually ended up liking. Go figure.) My favorite thing about Twilight (aside from Edward, of course) was all of the foreshadowing. Awesome. Annnd, I'm actually at the library right now because I had to pick up the second one. Which my school library has ONE copy of, and it was in. Which is probably because all of the other University of Utah students are reading real books. Whatever.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

How to Study the Scriptures

This is a handout that we got in my Institute class yesterday. (It's Brother Brown's New Testament class at the U of U Institute of Religion.) His favorite ones have the numbers in bold. He said "If something else works for you, keep doing it and add it to the list. If it works, it's good."


1. Pray and ask for specific spiritual guidance.

2. Listen and be sensitive to spiritual promptings.

3. Limit the scripture block to just a few verses and don't be afraid to go slowly.

4. Have a good attitude. Approach the scripture block as if there was a special message from the Lord just for you and then study and ponder to find it.

5. Use the new LDS version of the scriptures and the study helps. [Note for readers who are not LDS: we use the King James Version of the Bible; we just have footnotes and a topical guide and index, etc.]

6. RSVP - Especially visualize. Let the words paint pictures and images in your mind. [ RSVP = Read, Study, Visualize, and Ponder]

7. Focus on: Words - look them up and read all definitions for context.
Phrases - ponder and try to understand meanings.
Lists - look for and number the lists you find.

8. Ask questions and study to find answers (who, what, how, why, when, and where).

9. Focus on principles and doctrines; if/then relationships.

10. Look for symbols and ponder the characteristics of the symbols used.

11. Thus/therefore relationships; connecting words.

12. Look for Christ in everything you read.

13. Use other scripture sources and the teachings of the living prophets to clarify.

14. Try to study at the same time and in the same place each day. Develop a habit of scripture study.

15. Look for themes and story lines. Note protagonists and antagonists and watch for comparisons.

16. Put yourself in the scripture and ask questions like: How would I feel? What would I do? etc.

17. Read out loud occasionally and write down what you discover.

18. Share what you discover. Mark and annotate your scriptures.

19. Study cultural applications.

20. Ponder and meditate about what you've read -- this is when the Spirit will guide you.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

School Stories 10 - English - Tell Me Something Interesting About Yourself

Well, I just know I'm going to have tons of stories about school this term; I always do. I will probably also have a bunch of stories about my little house that I'm moving into, but more about that later.

My Intro to Critical Theory class kind of makes my brain hurt. I initially thought I was going to hate it, actually, and towards the end of the class I decided I think it will be okay. I guess we'll see. The professor seems really interested in things like "What is race?" "What is gender?" "Why do we have race?" "Is there race?" "Why do we have gender?" "Is there gender?" He says our class is about asking questions that people don't usually ask. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I like to ask questions, but.... I like gender roles. I like being able to label things. If I say that I want Italian food, it's easy, and communicative, and maybe there are some Italians that eat Chinese food, but people are going to know that I mean pasta. And that isn't a bad thing!

Anyway, at the end of class we went around the room and we were supposed to say our name, where we were from (almost everyone was from SLC. Like 1/7 of us were from other places.), our major (it's a required upper division class for English majors, sooooo I think everyone but like one girl said that they were majoring in English. They had different other stuff with it, though...), and something about ourselves that made us unique or whatever. The professor said that sometimes partway through the semester he sometimes finds out that someone is suuuper into water polo, or that they own their own business, or whatever, and he's always just like "why didn't I know that?" so he wanted us to say that stuff.

It was kind of interesting though, because if you had to just choose one thing about you, that people would remember about you, what one thing would you tell? I think for some people it's easier, because their whole life is permeated by soccer or something, but for everyone else it's an interesting question. People had a wide variety of answers, and I collected them to share here.

1. Speaks English as a first language and Spanish as a second language. Thinks in both languages. When he is tired, things come out in Spanish, which confuses other people.

2. LIKES BEER. A LOT. Likes brewing it, drinking it, anything with it.

3. Plays water polo.

4. Favorite thing to do is coach cheer.

5. Likes to write. [Seriously? You couldn't come up with anything better than that?! It's an English class. 2/3 of us like to write. AND, not only that, nobody asked what she likes to write. Poetry? Short stories? Who knows.]

6. Works at the library and "enjoys seeing what the community values in literacy."

7. Also plays water polo.

8. Has worked with at-risk kids since she was 16, and it's her second biggest passion--next to English. [Passionate about English over touching people's lives? Ooookay.]

9. Plays table tennis competitively.

10. Her name is "Carusa" (sp?) buuuut she goes by "Cricket." [Cool.] [Tracy?]

11. Likes participating in haunted houses. [Awesome random thing.]

12. Coached two different little league teams to... district? finals? championships? I forget.

13. "The only thing I like better than a long walk or a good nap is a new friend in a new language." [He has a good hand on Russian. Can speak Ukranian okay. And in Spanish he knows how to ask where the bathroom is.]

14. Doesn't speak Spanish. [Looks very Central American, and she says people come up to her and start speaking Spanish daily.]

15. Trained formally in oil painting and drawing.

16. Two favorite things are writing and sky diving. [ = my new best friend. But she doesn't know it yet.]

17. Is a life student. Said she will die before her loans are paid off.

18. Just started a girls bike club. Critical mass! Alleycat! [The teacher was like, you're using jargon, what are you talking about?] Critical mass you can ride any kind of bike (motorcycle), and it's the last Friday of every month. People meet at Gallivan Plaza at 5:30 pm to ride as a group and "make a statement" that you don't have to drive. Alleycat is actually this time called "AlleyScat" because it's music themed. You can ride any kind of bike for that too. It's like a scavenger hunt. [Not really sure how that works, but it almost almost makes me wish I were into biking. Almost.]

19. Likes "watching teachers teach and make mistakes" [our professor was like "!!?" and he said "so I don't make them" and it was because he's becoming a teacher.]

That was probably half or two thirds of the people. Neat though, huh. People are interesting.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What is your email address?

I just had an interesting call at work.

The man told me he wanted to upgrade his subscription from a trial to a membership that included more. Okay, I said, what was his email address

"bmheh 1945 AT ...dotcodotuk"

"What?" I asked.

"bevin1945 AT ...dotcodotuk"

"Sorry," I said, "I've got bevin1945 at, but what comes before"


"Okay, there needs to be something before, though. For some people it's btinternet, or sky, or aol. It's your service provider..."

"Mine's just at dot co dot uk!"

"Well, there needs to be something else between the at and dot co dot uk. Could it be..."


He was really annoyed with me for not accepting that his email address was

"Well, do you know if your username that you're using is bevin1945?" (A lot of times the system makes up a username from the beginning of the email address.)


And then I found it.

The email address? Yahoo.

It reminds me of the time someone was mad because they were emailing us and we weren't replying.

"What email address did you write to," I asked.

"I sent it to"


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Neil Patrick Harris called me for my birthday!

Remember how I mentioned that I love Neil Patrick Harris? He plays Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother. More people know him because he played Doogie on Doogie Howser.

He called me for my birthday! It was pretty much awesome.

I'd been up in Salt Lake, apartment hunting. I was headed back down to Provo and my phone rang, with a number that I didn't recognize. I assumed it was someone returning one of the messages I'd left about an apartment. But a guy answered. Kinda weird.

"Is this Emily?"


"Hi Emily, this is Neil Patrick Harris."

"Wait. Who?"

"It's Neil Patrick Harris." (He wasn't calling me back about an apartment.)


"Yeah. I'm calling to wish you a Happy Birthday."

"Oh. Thanks!"

He said my dad shot him an email to let him know that it was my birthday and see if he would call. (They are members at the same private club in Hollywood.)

"Oh, did he tell you you're my favorite actor?"

He said he hadn't, and I told him that it had all started with How I Met Your Mother, and that I'd also watched Dr. Horrible. He was excited that I'd seen Dr. Horrible.

He talked to me a bit about them filming season four of How I Met Your Mother. I couldn't really hear what he said for that part, because the train made a bunch of noise. And then he asked me what I was doing to celebrate my birthday. I told him about how my roommates and I have a tradition of going out to dinner for our birthdays, and then doing something, but it's always a surprise. So I didn't really know what I was going to be doing.

And he wished me a happy birthday again and told me he hoped I would have fun (or something like that), and I thanked him and thanked him for calling, and I told him he made my day.

How nice. And awesome.

And then I thought of the things I wished I had thought to ask while I was on the phone with him. Like about the doormat in season one of HIMYM. And about whether or not he has a blog, since in Doogie Howser he did (well, an old-school blog, which was basically a journal on his computer), and in HIMYM his character is always talking about his blog. And Felicia Day is on twitter, so who knows, maybe Neil Patrick Harris is too.

And I thought about calling him back to ask, but stalking someone seems like a rude way to thank a celebrity for calling you.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

YSA Summit 5 - Deciding to Decide 4/4

Decision Quotes

We do not always receive inspiration or revelation when we request it. Sometimes we are delayed in receiving revelation, and sometimes we are left to our own judgment and understanding based on study and reason. We cannot force spiritual things. It must be so. Our life’s purpose to obtain experience and to develop faith would be frustrated if our Heavenly Father enlightened us immediately on every question or directed us in every act. We must reach conclusions and make decisions and experience the consequences in order to develop self-reliance and faith. Even in decisions we think very important, we sometimes receive no answers to our prayers. This does not mean our prayers have not been heard. It only means we have prayed about a decision that, for one cause or another, we should make without guidance by revelation. Dallin Oaks, The Lord’s Way, 1991, pp. 36-38.

The second decision for us to consider is this: Whom shall I marry? Now we’re getting close to that which is in your mind and heart. It is essential that you become well acquainted with the person whom you plan to marry, that you can make certain that you are looking down the same pathway, with the same objectives in mind. It is ever so significant that you do this. I should like to dispel one rumor that is very hard to put to rest. I know of no mission president in all the world who has ever told a missionary that he had the responsibility to marry within six months after his mission. I think that rumor was commenced by a returned missionary. In making the momentous decision concerning whom you will marry—and in making other decisions throughout your life—you have a formula, a guide to assist you. It is found in the ninth section of the Doctrine and Covenants, verses 8-9:

“You must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right. But if it be not right you hall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought.”

That counsel from the ninth section of the Doctrine and Covenants has guided me, and it will guide you. – Thomas Monson

Now may I move to the last decision: What will be my life’s work? I have counseled many returning missionaries who have asked this question. I interviewed seventeen hundred missionaries one year all over the world. My advice to them, and to each one of you young people here this evening and elsewhere throughout the world, is that you should study and prepare for your life’s work in a field that you enjoy, because you are going to spend a good share of your life in that field. It should be one which will challenge your intellect and which will make maximum utilization of your talents and your capabilities. Finally, it should be a field that will supply sufficient remuneration to provide adequately for your companion and your children. Now that’s a big order. But I bear testimony that these criteria are very important in choosing your life’s work. – Thomas Monson

This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. - Speech given by Winston Churchill at the Lord Mayor’s Luncheon, Mansion House, London, November 10, 1942 (middle of WWII)

The End.

P.S. I know my fonts and spacing and stuff do crazy things sometimes when I write stuff in Word and then copy paste it into here. It doesn't give me the option to change the font, so I don't know what's up. Oh well.

YSA Summit 4 - Deciding to Decide 3/4

I think our speaker had served as a mission president. He had one of his elders come to him, who had joined the Marines after his mission. The guy said that he could tell in his first week that being in the Marines would be a lot different than the past two years he had spent as a missionary, and he was worried about that. So, the workshop speaker told us what he told the guy. It comes down to 3 hours, 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months. He told him, in the first 3 hours, live your values without bragging about it. In the first 3 days, be quiet and dignified, and read your scriptures at night, but you don’t have to announce it to everyone or make a big deal about it. In the first 3 weeks, attend church on the Sabbath, and continue living what you believe. And after 3 months, because of the decisions that you’ve been making, people who don’t believe the same as you will support you in making the right decisions. He said that if we break it down into 3 hours, 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months that we will gain the support of other people around us.

After we finished talking about the 3s, he showed us our application exercise, which we were to use to apply the decision principles. I recreated it from my handout. Hope you have good eyesight.

Beneath it there's the question:
What is something I can do in the next 3 hours, 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months?

YSA Summit 3 - Deciding to Decide 2/4

How can I make better decisions?

Decision Principles

1. Answer: what do I want? If we don’t know “what is wanted” (which is the critical question), the Lord doesn’t know how to interact with us. Will the Lord support our righteous desires? Yes. And how do we determine what we want? By answering two questions: What is easy, energizing, and enjoyable for me? And, “What if I were guaranteed success? Then what would I want?”

2. Get real. Our aspirations should be within the limits of our resources. Here he gave an example of how he wanted to be a pro basketball player, and tried playing for his school but quickly learned that he was just too short and not any good at basketball. (It’s wonderful to have aspirations, but it’s dangerous to have aspirations that exceed our capabilities.) How do we get real? Try it. If it doesn’t work, let it go. If you have conflicting goals, put yourself in a position to do both. (Someone asked about wanting to be a mother, or if she didn’t get married, she wanted to be a doctor.) We need to make sure that our aspirations are real, or we will just face repeated disappointment.

3. Chunk. Turn a long term aspiration into today’s goal. Make choices that are within your control. (On some other tangent, he said everything has a price. Luke – “Before you build a tower count the cost.”) There are four steps to this. 1. Think big. 2. Test small. (You want to be a doctor, take a Bio class.) 3. Fail fast. (It’s okay to fail. Rejoice in rejection because you were doing the right thing.) His example for this was, he briefly thought he wanted to be an accountant, but he took an accounting class and learned that he hated accounting. And that was fine! Because he realized it wasn’t the right thing and moved on. 4. Learn always.

4. Let go and begin anew. (Identify that I can be evolved.) When you let go and begin anew, you need to 1. Disidentify. The identity you HAD is not the identity you WILL have. 2. Disengage. Don’t call the same people. 3. Accept that you’re disoriented. 4. Accept that you may be a little disenchanted. There are two things that you take from any transition: 1. Knowledge from our experience, and 2. Relationships. We should nurture good relationships.

5. Prioritize. NOT everything worth doing is worth doing well. There have been whole studies about this, and it’s called satisfice. Some things are so important to do that they’re worth doing poorly. There are a lot of things that are worth doing well. There are a lot of things that aren’t. Do them anyway. (He told us a story of when he was getting his….doctorate? Masters? I don’t remember. But he told us things were different back then. He said he went to his dean because he was going to have to take some class that had absolutely nothing to do with what he was actually studying. He told his dean he didn’t want to take it. His dean said, “Well, you have to. It’s required.” And he asked, “Do I have to pass it?” And the dean said nobody had ever asked him that! And so that meant no, and he went to the first day of the class and told the teacher that he had nothing against him (he didn’t even know him), but that he would not be attending any more classes, and that he planned to fail the class. He got 3 F’s as part of the degree, and graduated with the lowest GPA of anyone doing his program, with like a 3.18 or something. He said though, he’s as proud of those 3 F’s as he is as he is of all of his A’s. Because those 3 F’s meant that he prioritized correctly; in the same time he also published a book and wrote articles, etc, which was far more valuable and relevant to him than classes that someone had arbitrarily decided that he should take.) Learn the things that are important.

6. Reflect, repent, and renew. A big predictor of the success of a leader – is whether or not they can LEARN (their “learning agility”). We have weaknesses that we need to learn from and sins that we need to repent of. Sometimes we mix these up.

7. Make mature choices. (Your decisions will not always be right or wrong; have them be the best that you can do.) It’s not either/or. Almost every choice has trade offs. What am I willing to trade? When we goof, begin anew. How do we make mature choices? Envision. Anticipate. Know your strengths (the things that are easy, energizing, and enjoyable for you). Also, enjoy the process. (Don’t play the “if only” game. Because when we play the “if only” game, we never win.)

8. Seek spiritual guidance. Will the Lord bless us as we make decisions? Yes. We feel the Spirit in different ways. He wanted us to list at least eight, and the ones our group came up with were: - through the scriptures, - prayer, - attending church, - attending the temple, - through service, - being still (anywhere) (If you’re ever on an airplane and you don’t want the people next to you to talk to you, he said, take out your Book of Mormon or Bible and start reading. That always works. Or if it doesn’t, start humming as you’re reading. Then they never bother you. He flies at least six times per week to teach at the University of Michigan.), – music, - bearing testimony (sometimes bearing testimony by deed), - teaching, – writing/journaling, - spending time with friends/family. Whatever language of the Spirit, let him participate in your decision making. God will answer our prayers in a way that we understand.

YSA Summit 2 - Deciding to decide 1/4

The second workshop I attended was called "Deciding to decide…How to make choices today that will guide us tomorrow". It was by Dave Ulrich ( – He teaches at the University of Michigan business school and does consulting for businesses to like, help them optimize stuff and make more money.

This is the beginning part of his handout, with some of his comments added.

As a result of this workshop, you should be more able to:
- Recognize your decision predisposition or style of decision making.
- Understand and appreciate principles of decision making to make better decisions.
- Apply those principles to specific decisions you are likely to make.

Personal insight
Please answer these questions about yourself as honestly as you can (circle a or b on each of the 10, then add up your A’s and B’s).

1. Is it your way to
a. make up your mind quickly b. pick and choose at some length
2. Are you more satisfied having
a. a finished product b. work in progress
3. Do you more often prefer
a. final, unalterable statements b. tentative, preliminary statements
4. Are you comfortable
a. after a decision b. before a decision
5. In most situations are you more
a. deliberate than spontaneous b. spontaneous than deliberate
6. Do you prefer to work
a. to deadlines b. just whenever
7. Are you inclined to be more
a. hurried than leisurely b. leisurely than hurried
8. Would you say you are more
a. serious and determined b. easygoing
9. Is it preferable mostly to
a. make sure that things are arranged b. just let things happen naturally
10. Are you more
a. routinized than whimsical b. whimsical than routinized
A:___ B:___ = 10

Personal style of decision making
As we make decisions, our predispositions come out and we tend to over and under react. We need to recognize our predispositions and moderate them. If we have more A’s (like 7 or 8 or more or something), then that’s a high “J”(judging) predisposition, which means we go too quickly in decision making. If we have more B’s, then that’s a high “P” (perceiving) predisposition, which means we’re going too slow, or can’t decide. Which ever one you are, fight it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

YSA Summit 1 - 17 Secrets to Male and Female Psychology

[I am writing a series of posts about a YSA Conference that I attended this weekend, called The Summit. It's going to be good. Look forward to other highlights like: "How can I make better decisions?" and photographs of actual speed dating profiles.]

This is the handout that we received in my fourth workshop. The class was called “17 Secrets to Male & Female Psychology” (by Alisa Goodwin Snell). It was scheduled for one of the small classrooms, and the room filled, and the whole hallway was still packed with people who wanted to attend. They switched the room to a gym, which also filled up. Basically, she just went over the handout. The girls agreed with all of the stuff on the girl list, and the guys agreed with all of the stuff on the guy list. Everyone kind of shared examples. It was interesting.

17 secrets to the male psychology

1. Men seek out relationships that make them feel trusted and respected.

2. Men love through sacrifice.

3. Good men are largely logical about their relationships and commitment. Thus they do not commit easily to things they have not invested in over a period of time.

4. Men are driven to succeed, face challenges, compete, and conquer.

5. Men like women who like themselves.

6. Men love to be heroes.

7. Men like being appreciated.

8. Men like femininity.

9. Men like women who have opinions and assert their needs.

10. Good men pursue women who are approachable and appear to be available.

11. Good men want sex with a woman who feels good about having sex with them and will wait until marriage.

12. Men need to be needed.

13. Men are repelled by criticism, nagging, and whining.

14. A man experiences anxiety in every conversation a woman initiates until she tells him what she wants him to do.

15. Men bond through doing activities and talking about things more than they do through talking about people, problems, feelings, or ideas.

16. Good men adore women who give them love, attention, and affection.

17. Good men are often willing to talk openly and honestly when they feel it will help them or another person to do so.

17 secrets to the female psychology

1. Women thrive when they feel safe and secure.

2. Women love through sacrifice. However, women often love and sacrifice in ways that are not good for the male psychology. Thus, a woman needs a man to communicate about his needs. Not only will a woman love him for communicating respectfully with her, but the more she sacrifices to meet his needs, the more deeply her love will grow.

3. Women read into men’s behaviors, get excited, assume commitment, and then get hurt when he pulls away due to the added pressure.

4. Women are critical of their bodies and fear competition from other women.

5. Women are attracted to strength and confidence.

6. Women are turned off by men who are too nice.

7. Women often fall in love with friends.

8. Women like to be pursued and to feel wanted.

9. Women enjoy touch, kissing, and affection but feel vulnerable and prone to shame after sexual contact.

10. Women want men who hold off sexually – it makes a woman feel respected and wanted rather than feeling like an object.

11. Women want immediate relationships but trust and value slow progressing relationships.

12. Women long to feel adored.

13. Women are repelled by moping, brooding, and the silent treatment.

14. Women worry. They need to know they are not alone in dealing with the problems of the relationship.

15. Women who don’t trust and respect their men fall out of love, especially if there is no communication.

16. Women like gifts, surprises, reasonable spontaneity, and excitement. The extra effort makes them feel special.

17. Women would rather have open and honest communication about misdeeds than to be protected from the truth.

Snell, Alisa Goodwin, L.M.F.T. (2008). Dating Game Secrets for Marrying a Good Man. Bonneville Books, Springville, UT., Alisa Goodwin Snell, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, phone: (801) 447-6000 or e-mail:

Monday, August 04, 2008

I’m [less] sad.

Lately I haven’t blogged much. At first I wasn’t blogging much because I was spending a lot of time with a guy, and lately I haven’t blogged at all because I’ve been sad about how things ended. (I don’t really like blogging about sad things or really personal things, but this has kind of permeated my life lately, and when I told Jess I was thinking of writing this she said I should do.)

Basically, when things really ended, I still liked the guy a lot. My heart hurt. A lot. I wanted to cut it out. I felt sick to my stomach. I wanted to change his mind. I texted him like nothing had changed. But it had. I wanted to become a crack addict and never feel anything again. After a few days, I was tired of it hurting. I ate one of those SKOR chocolate bars and a bunch of Twizzler bits, even though I’m mostly eating healthy stuff these days. I cried a little bit, too, but not a lot because I’m not a big crier. I wished I could cry more.

Today, my heart still hurts, but quite a bit less than it did. Here are the things that I’ve been doing, which have made a big difference for me over the past week:

- I stopped texting him.

- When things seem really overwhelming, I take a 12 second deep breath. I fill my lungs over a slow count to four. I hold it for a couple seconds (which are not part of the twelve…hmmmm…wait a minute…). And then I exhale over a slow count to eight. Even though I remember that lungs have a resting capacity (which we studied in my high school anatomy class) I try to squeeze all of the air out of my body. I repeat this a couple times, until I feel calmer. Doing some certain number of 12 second breathers every day adds up the same as like an hour of yoga, or something, but I don’t remember what, because I learned awhile ago that it’s good to breathe deeply, I don’t usually think about it.

- I’ve been listening to some specific music. Three songs that I have really liked over the past week are: “This is such a pity” (Weezer) (which is really not about boy stuff, but I like it anyway), “Happy Hearts” (Okkervil River), and “Miss You” (The Feeling).

- A few weeks ago I went to a really fancy place in Salt Lake (okay, I don't really know what to link to for them...sad.) to have my hair cut. I desperately needed to rid myself of split ends. But then, I couldn’t stand being somewhere so fancy and just getting a tiny trim, so I had my girl color my hair too. She weaved in blondish caramel highlights and also reddish brownish ones. It came out perfectly. This has helped me twofold: first, even though I’m sad, I feel awesome when I look in the mirror because I am still very pleased with my hair. Second, my girl had tons of personality and something she said has stuck with me. She talked about how she had pretty recently broken up with this guy she’d lived with for eight years. At first it was really rough, and she drank a lot. She was past that, though. Every so often as she was doing my hair, and as we were talking, she’d sing the little phrase that kept her going: “Just gotta keep on keepin’ on.” So now I’m singing it too, to no particular tune, and I like it.

- On Thursday, I found a neat book at my school bookstore. It’s called The Bounce Back Book, and it’s by Karen Salmansohn. The subtitle is “how to thrive in the face of adversity, setbacks, and losses”. I almost didn’t buy it, because I wasn’t raped, I didn’t divorce anyone, I haven’t lost my job, etc, but I really liked the parts I read while at the bookstore. It seemed like it would maybe help me feel better and it has. Tip #4 says “Feeling means you’re dealing means you’re healing.” I read that when my heart hurt a lot, and I kind of resented it, but now when I start to hurt I think that, and to me it means that the more it hurts, the sooner it will hurt less, and that’s comforting. There are also a bunch of other good “tips”. I’m glad I bought the book.

- On Saturday I spun a bunch of yarn. When I first started my spinning class, our instructor said that spinning would be relaxing. It wasn’t. It was hard. I had to really concentrate to get it to work at all, and never had yarn that was even. I’ve been spinning for a year and a half now, though, and now I don’t have to think about it. Instead of having to focus to have it come out even, I usually watch movies while I spin, and I sit back on the couch, relaxed. My feet move the treadle, and the wool floats from my fingers to the spool, and it feels like a cloud.

- Friday I visited UffishThought; I hadn’t seen her for awhile. I’m always happy to see her, actually. Friday was possibly my worst day, and Uffish helped me feel better. She gave me a hug. She shared Dr. Horrible with me, and also reminded me that I need to watch Pushing Dasies, which Optimistic had told me to watch a few times already (and I’d promptly forgotten). She told me all about Heroes, too. And I saw her garden, which I’ve wanted to see for awhile. My roommates have been very helpful through this too.

- This weekend I got a lot of sleep. When I started spending time with the guy, I stopped sleeping as much as I needed to. Getting more rest has really helped me think more clearly about all of this, and worry less.

- Also on Saturday, I finally went back to the gym. Before the guy, I had been going to the gym most days, following a rigorous training plan. I had been doing well for like 5 weeks, and I was so happy. When I became interested in the guy, though, I started attending ward functions most days, plus I was always tired, and things just always seemed to make my gym time impossible. Going back felt SO GOOD. Also, I bought a fantastic pair of like, stretchy fitted running/gym long shorts (that sounds ugly, but they’re really cute), which I’ve wanted for a long time. They make me happy too.

- Something else that has kind of helped my heart hurt less is thinking of reasons why it’s better this way. I think about the different trade-offs I would have had to make if I had seriously dated or married the guy. Obviously there were a lot of things about him that made me really happy, otherwise I wouldn’t feel awful. But thinking about the other things makes me hurt less. For example, knowing him didn’t make me want to be any better than I am, and that’s something that is kind of important to me. Similarly, I’ve tried to put things into perspective and look for the good. I haven’t really dated anyone since my mission, and the stuff with this guy will make it easier for me to have relationships with guys up in Salt Lake after I move. Good. Also, I gained a friend who understands some stuff from my life that nobody else really does, and that’s good.

- And then finally, I’ve noticed that I’m praying more than I had been before, and I think that’s helping. Also, this week I plan on attending the temple, which I haven’t lately, and I think I’ll feel even more peace after that.

Anyway, that’s where I am right now. I’m still sad, but I’m feeling a lot better than I did a few days ago. Things will be okay.