Just Words

I can sit and stare at this screen for hours and I’ll write small bits and phrases or a sentence here or a sentence there but I can never really find a whole idea that I want to pursue.  I have so many words swirling around in my head but I find it so hard to actually put into word what I am feeling.  I cannot accurately describe the state I’m in or what the matter is.  Even when I try to communicate calmly and steadily, I end up saying things that don’t fully represent my thoughts.  It’s becoming frustrating to me that I can never say what I mean.  A lot of the time I flounder when I try to even understand for myself what I feel, so it’s really no huge surprise that that I don’t know how to communicate what’s up.  I know that it frustrates people.  My mom is really good at reading me and she gives advice that she knows I need.  But the rest of the world isn’t my mom and they don’t know how to help me, largely because I don’t know how to help myself.  I’m overwhelmed with how I feel but I don’t know how I feel.  I recently posted a list of things that are stressing me out.  I’m just letting everything get to me and I can’t take even ten seconds for myself to breathe and try to process everything.  I keep pushing myself and pushing myself and I’m finding it really hard to let myself go slow.

What am I feeling?

I’m physically exhausted and still a bit sick.  Right now I’m hungry but I haven’t had a big appetite recently, food seems boring and gross.  My body hurts and I hurt.  My heart is heavy, I’m sad, I’m tired, I feel pushed and pressured, I want to cry, I feel so little and small and sad.  I feel helpless and hopeless.  Here’s my thing right now: Life is hard and it will get better… But it will also get worse again.  I want to believe that life will get better but won’t it also just continue to get worse?  Where is the hope?  Salvation from my Savior will only come after death.  I will only be with my Heavenly Father after this life is over.  This life doesn’t seem like it’s going to be good, okay, or worth it.  I have very little hope for the future, I just can’t see a place for me where I will be happy and okay.  I am sad and I have been sad for a long time.  So why continue on?  I don’t want to die, I don’t, but I really don’t want to keep going.  I’m tired of it all, I’m tired of hurting and getting my hopes up and hurting more.
I also feel very low.  I don’t feel important in much anyone’s lives and I’m scared that the few people who do care about me may get tired of me.  I don’t know what I have to offer to others in their lives, I don’t feel like I really positively affect people.  I am, however, really good at hurting people and letting them down.  I don’t have faith or confidence in myself to be able to uplift and help people.  I feel like I just drag everyone down.  There’s not a lot in this life I feel like I’m good at.  Or I’m good at some things but not good enough.  Good enough for what?  I don’t know.  I have no idea.  Good enough for everyone.  Life is about making social connections and affecting and being affected by people, everyone talks about how important people are.  I feel like I’m not good enough to be part of that circle of changing people and being part of other’s lives.  I just don’t feel like I have a great deal of worth.  I’m not super valuable, I’m not super great or special, I’m just a blank face on a disappointing woman who just needs to keep to herself and let other people alone.
I’m so low on hope.  I don’t think I’ll ever find happiness, I really don’t think so.  At least not where people are involved because I feel like I just ruin everything.  Even when I try to fix things and I try to be good, I ruin things.  I had a dream that I wanted to pursue, a while back.  I’ll be alone for a long time and I’ll learn to be content with life as I strengthen my relationships with my siblings and parents.  I’ll make friends with my coworkers and ladies in my wards.  I’ll live alone with my dogs and cats.  I’ll write, draw, paint, do yoga, stretch, meditate, read, go to social groups, participate in church, volunteer, have a job, but at the end of the day I’ll go home to be by myself.  If I can just learn to love being by myself and not having a best friend, I could live alone, be alone, and find peace alone.  Waiting to meet my Savior.
But now I have a person.  And I’m so scared that I’m letting my best friend down.  I’m so worried that I’m just hurting my best friend instead of lifting him up like I should be.
It’s scary, having someone trust you.  Trusting is hard, sure, but having someone trust me is so hard.  I have to not be a total disappointment and I feel awful when I do let my best friend down.  I feel like I do it often, far too often.
I’m just scared.  I’m scared and rambling because I have so many words in my head trying to get out.  So many emotions are being felt but I can’t seem to identify them.

I feel so stuck, so lost, so alone.



My Stress List

I’m too good at ignoring things that stress me out.  I like to pretend that I’m not stressed by them and that everything is fine.

Everything is not fine and I am very stressed about so many things, even tiny things that aren’t a big deal.  Here is a list.

  • I just started working for a poor soul who is having a real tough time with life right now
  • I’m memorizing and mastering two songs for aforementioned poor soul, neither of which I love very much
  • He wants me to do a music video in the near future
  • My music video skills are untouched and probably kind of gross
  • I have a sectional, rehearsal, and a performance tonight and I’ve low-key lost my voice
  • I have no laundry detergent
  • I don’t want to eat anything but I can feel myself getting hungry
  • It’s getting so hard to sleep
  • I’m always freezing to the point that it feels like anxiety when I try to sleep
  • My entire body hurts including my eyes of all things
  • I’m getting married this summer to my best friend which shouldn’t stress me out but it is which makes me even more stressed
  • I will one day be a mother
  • On that note, sex is a thing I’m going to have in the future and I’m terrified? Excited, but mostly terrified?
  • I’m going to live with my mother and father in law shortly after getting married this fall
  • I’ll be living close to my own family this fall
  • I have to invite two siblings to my wedding that I don’t really want to invite to my wedding
  • Sexism runs rampantly and people either ignore it or perceive it in unhealthy ways
  • I don’t see myself as an excellent student right now which is a large pillar of my personality so I’m basically melting
  • Finances are stressful no matter how well off or how well planned I am
  • I don’t eat healthy literally ever
  • I never work out or stretch
  • I really want to be healthy and flexible but I have zero motivation to do the work to get to that point
  • I worry about my weight and what my body looks like a lot more often than I used to
  • My lips are chapped and I hate it
  • My acne scars are hecka ugly and hecka hard to get rid of
  • I don’t know what I want to do with my life
  • I don’t want my life to be boring and sad but I worry my choices will doom me to exactly that
  • I really just want a cat and a gentle dog and I want my best friend to be my husband but I have to wait a long time for all of those things
  • I need to learn to be happy in the now and stop waiting for things but I don’t know how to do that

I’m going to stop there even though I literally have five more things in my head right now.  I just wanted to get most everything in one spot and out in the world so I can get rid of it.

Bye folks, wish me luck.

-Lena Holiday

A Letter to Heaven

I’m so scared to know you.  I’m scared to look at you.  I’m scared to raise you.  I’ve lived my whole life knowing that one day I would have a child.  I have been so scared, thinking about how hard it is going to be.  I know that I am going to love you more than I have ever thought possible.  I know that I am going to cry just thinking about how wonderful you are and how I want to help you in every way I can.  I’m scared to be your mother.

But know that I am beyond excited, beyond any words that can describe happiness and hope.  I love you now and you are still with your Father in Heaven.  I have been praying for you since I was in high school, maybe since I was in middle school.  I have been preparing my entire life to be a good mother for you.  I’m excited to watch you grow.  I’m excited to see your smile and hear your breath.  I’m excited to watch you learn and wonder.  You’re going to hurt, and you’re going to hurt a lot.  It’s going to be really hard for you here, and that is why I am scared.  I know that you hurting is unavoidable and I know that you will make it through the hurt, hard, pain, and suffering.  I know that you will find so many wonderful and beautiful things to find joy in.  I’m not scared because I wonder if you can handle pain, no.  I’m scared because I worry that I will not fulfill my responsibility as your teacher, mentor, and mother.  And I won’t.  I won’t always fulfill that responsibility.  I am not a perfect woman and I will mess up.  Royally.  I will negatively impact your life in some ways.  I know that.  And you’re not always going to think that you love me.  You and I will get into arguments.  Things won’t ever be perfect between us.  You’re going to mess up really bad sometimes and I’m going to have to deal with that.  Sometimes you might hurt my feelings.  Sometimes I’m going to hurt yours.  I’m going to make your life harder, in some ways.

But we both know at this exact moment in time that I love you.  We both know that we will figure things out.  Nothing will ever stop me from loving you.  I will rejoice when you are happy, I will cry when you are sad.  I will be your person when your life is too much.  I will teach you everything I know about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I will give you the greatest gift I can, which is knowledge of the truth on the Earth.  You are in my prayers now and forever.  I’m going to keep loving you for the rest of eternity.  My love for you will never ever cease or diminish and that is a promise I will keep.

I can imagine your smile, I can imagine spending time with you and laughing and giggling with you.  I can imagine having all of the fun in the world with you.  I am so beyond excited to be your mother.  I can imagine your tears, I can imagine holding you close, I can imagine aching for you.  I can imagine feeling all of your pain with you.  I won’t always get it, but I will always be your person.  I want you to trust me and I want to trust you.  I want you to know and understand my role as a mother, as your mother, even as I do not yet understand.  I want you to come to me when you are hurt, when you are embarrassed, when you are confused, when you are angry.  I want you to want to share your joys with me, I want you to invite me to watch you flourish, I want you to let me watch you reach your dreams.

Things are going to be so hard.  Life is a hard thing to endure, but you get to experience life with me, and I am here to help and guide you.  There are so many wonderful, beautiful, lovely, and pure things about life that you will experience.  These wonderful things; the things that fill you with curiosity, peace, comfort, and hope; they are going to make every single tear worth shedding and every single negative emotion worth feeling.  The more you experience hardship and trial with me or with the world around you, the more beautiful the world can become if you choose to paint it so.

I want to enjoy the world with you.  I want you to see me paint the world beautiful colors.  I want you to help me make the world a happier place for us to live in, together.

I’m terrified to meet you, but I know that there is nothing that is going to make me happier than knowing you and having you join my eternal family.  I am so excited for you to join me and my best friend in a journey to the eternities.  I don’t know when I’ll meet you or if you will come from my womb or another’s.  I am working my hardest to become the woman you need in your life, the mother you need in your life.  I love you dearly, I miss you, I can’t wait for you to come to me.

I love you eternally.  See you soon.


Putting It All Together-Two

I’m back with more to say about my religion class.  There is so much to write about concerning the gospel and even concerning the few topics that we have covered in my religion class.  There is so much to think about, talk about, and write about.  I want to share my experience of reading the Book of Mormon this semester.

I have read the Book of Mormon about six times through on my own.  I read it once through for seminary, I read it over three different spring breaks during high school on the challenges of a beloved seminary teacher, I read it once for my young women’s medallion and once more for my honor bee.  In all of the six times that I read it, I have gotten close to nothing out of it.  The extrinsic motivation of being asked to and it being some sort of an obligation never encouraged me to internalize the book.  I have never enjoyed reading the Book of Mormon.

This past year, something changed.

President Thomas S. Monson’s brief talk given in April of 2017 during General Conference stirred my heart.  I couldn’t forget my prophet’s voice, his face, his counsel.  He was right and I knew it with my entire soul.  I should be reading the Book of Mormon every day.  I should be learning from the Book of Mormon every day.  Oh, how he testified of the importance of having a testimony of the Book of Mormon and of our Savior.  President Monson was gentle as he spoke but I have never before felt so pierced in my soul, so inspired to act.

I did not begin reading right then and there.  It took me a while to catch on and understand.  When I got home from school, I got better.  I improved and worked on reading.  I read the Book of Mormon for me.  For once in my life, I was reading the Book of Mormon because I wanted to.

As I had read first Nephi more times than I could count, I started in the middle of the Book of Mormon.  I opened up to a chapter in Alma and went at it.  I drifted away from reading and the next thing I knew, I opened my scriptures to find that I had decided to start in the book of Jacob and move my way forward from there.  I have not finished reading it all the way through yet.  I have learned more from this studying of the Book of Mormon than I have from any other time I read it, from any class, or from any teacher.  I have learned so much and I have felt the Spirit as I read.  I related to the disciples of old, I laughed at them, cried with them, felt their pains, and the Book of Mormon came alive to me.  I finally felt as if I understood what the Book of Mormon was all about.  At one point I started listing all of the names of Christ I found in the Book of Mormon and I began to realize just how true the subtitle of the Book of Mormon is.  The Book of Mormon truly is “another testament of Jesus Christ.”

My scriptures have been highlighted and worked in since I was 12, so they’re pretty darn marked up.  But I have never paid so much attention to the words in the scriptures as I did this past year.  I highlighted more than I thought I ever would as I read, because everything in this book is of vast importance to me.

Studying the Book of Mormon has become easier to me for several reasons:

First, I have never needed to know if the gospel is true.  I knew that everything was true and it was easy for me.  Recently, I’ve dealt with the hardest trials I have ever faced.  This past year was something of a wreck.  My faith was shaken and I have never doubted as I do now.  Does my Father love me?  Does the atonement really apply to me?  I finally had questions that I needed answers to.  I finally needed to find the truth in the scriptures, because for once, I wasn’t positive that it was there.

Second, I have the ability to understand the Book of Mormon now.  As a youth, the language written in the Book of Mormon was very confusing and it took me a long while to process it.  Now, I have spent so many years around the language in the Book of Mormon and Bible that I have very few problems understanding.  I’ve been preparing my whole life to have the desire and ability to read and comprehend the Book of Mormon.

Third, I had no ulterior motive for reading the Book of Mormon.  I was reading the Book of Mormon because Heavenly Father wanted me to and I aligned my desires with his; I wanted me to read the Book of Mormon too.  I wanted to read it so that I could learn about my Father and about my Savior.  No other motives.

Finally, the Book of Mormon was easier for me to read because I have more important goals than I have ever had before in my life.  I have always wanted these things, but never as much as I do now.  I want to go through the temple and be in the Lord’s House.  I want to prepare myself to be in His presence.  I want to know Him more than I have ever wanted to know Him before.  I want to get married and sealed in His Holy Temple.  I want to be sealed for eternity to my best friend.  I want to be a better person.  I want to progress.  I want to get better, to be better.  I have such strong desires to be a disciple of Christ.  I have faith in the prophet of the church because I know that the Lord speaks through him.  I know that the Lord wants me to study the scriptures so that I may come closer to Him.

I love my Savior and I love everything that He does for me.  I do not fully know Him, nor do I fully understand the atonement of Christ.  I am, however, prepared to learn and grow as I continue to read the scriptures.  The Book of Mormon is nothing but the truth.  It is a perfect testimony of my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I will continue reading it in efforts to grow closer to Him.  I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit that communicates to me what I need to know, hear, think, and feel.

I am thankful for every breath I take and I am thankful for my Savior.

-Lena Holiday

Running Away

I’m stuck and that pisses me off pretty good.  I can’t find solutions to my problems, any of them.  The problems that I do have solutions for?  They don’t bother me and I’m dealing with them just fine.  I have several issues in my life that have no fixes and I have half a mind to quit.

The good news is this: my desire to quit is vastly different from my previous desires to quit.  I don’t want to die or be dead or cease to exist.  I’m fine with living and breathing and being challenged.  I just want my challenges to have solutions.  So I don’t want to die.  Neat.  How, then, am I going to quit?

I’m moving.  I almost gave up on this dream, but I am moving.  I am moving to France, of all places.  I am going to live in a small town in France with no one that I know.  I might nanny in-house.  I might be homeless.  I might buy a super cheap apartment.  I don’t care what challenges living in France brings.  I’ll be hungry, cold, scared, confused, anxious, I’ll be all of the negative everything.  But I will be problem-solving, I will be independent, I will be learnington.  And y’all will be hearing all about it.

I almost let my fears talk me out of going to France.  I have wanted to go to France since I began studying French in high school.  I visited for a short while in my Senior year and right then and there I decided that I was going to live there.  It doesn’t matter how long I live there.  A month.  A year.  Two years.  I have been drawn to French culture for so long and I feel a great pull to understand France, learn the language, and be in France.  I almost decided to give up one of my biggest dreams of all time.

Screw that.  Life is too uncertain and too crappy not to take stupid chances that will change my life and enlighten my mind.  My adoptive Vietnamese mother figure would be so disappointed in me if I didn’t follow this dream.  I’m going and there is only one person in the universe who can stop me.

Until God tells me not to go, I am going to France.

You know, I’m almost angry that I had a month long period when I almost talked myself out of pursuing my dreams.  No, scratch that.  I am angry.  Exceedingly so.  How dare I jeopardize my education like that.  How dare I ignore the deep desires of my heart to learn and grow and comprehend.  How dare I discard my desire to know French by saying it’s less important than I thought it was.  How dare I listen to the jerks who don’t know me and don’t care about my dreams.  How dare I sacrifice a deep part of myself and my deepest desires.  How dare I be scared of my ambition.  Honestly, how dare I disrespect myself in such a way.  I should and shall respect my own wishes and follow my ambitions.

Honestly, this dream isn’t a big deal.  No one else cares and it doesn’t matter to anyone else.  In fact, I’m quite sure my parents don’t want me to go to France and I’m sure my leaving the country will significantly harden my relationship with my best friend.  This is “unwise” and “going to drain my bank” until I’m dry.  I have other bigger dreams that I genuinely need to happen, family life being a huge dream on my list.  But France matters to me and it matters a great deal.  I don’t know why. I don’t know what the pull is.  I don’t.  But what if I don’t go?  What if I don’t try?  What if I drop this dream and let it die?

I will regret dropping this dream for the rest of my life.  I can feel the deep regret as I consider sacrificing this dream for uncertainties of life.  Screw life.  Screw security, screw people who tell me I can’t, screw being scared.  Screw being afraid.

I am going to France and nothing is stopping me save it be my Heavenly Father.

I have a duty to myself.  This dream is indeed running away.  I’m running away from problems that I genuinely cannot solve.  I’m running away from who I was, who I am trying to avoid being.  I am running away from a scared little girl who cannot take care of herself, who doesn’t take chances.  I’m running away from the girl who needs things and worries about how others perceive her.  I’m running away from confusion and loss, from darkness and anger.

I’m running towards progression and learning.  I’m running towards confidence and knowledge.  I’m running towards experience, strengthened testimonies, and new friends.  I’m running towards moments of eternal gratitude and riveting joy.  I’m running towards building myself and finding myself.  I’m running towards challenges and hardships that will refine me like nothing I’ve ever known.

I’m running.  I’m living.  I’m refusing to back down.


Haunting Myself

High school haunts me.  Who I was in high school haunts me.  The doubts and insecurities follow me like shadows.  Ignoring the whispers has become easy to the point where I completely tune them out.  The shadows get locked in a closet and told to shape up.  The anxieties are laughed at and scorned.  But they persist.

Recently, I posted about roommates.  Freaking roommates.  I have three very critical roommates who love to point out my flaws and scoff at my slip-ups.  These roommates do not hate me, nor do they carry any other particularly strong opinions about me.  No, they are fairly indifferent towards my existence, if not a little amused by my irritating habits.  They are indifferent, but they whisper.  They sign to each other and giggle.  They make passing comments noting how irritated they are by me.  They casually insult me and call me out on things that have no effect on them.  When I do one thing wrong, they take that behavior and apply it to what they think they know of my personality.

My other two roommates are wonderful and splendid.  They are bright, positive, funny, hard working, interesting, and generally great to be around.  They are imperfect, sure, but they are wonderful people with good vibes.  Nevertheless, I find myself quite sure that I am their least favorite roommate.  To be fair, I am something of a jealous friend and I feel a distinct lack of worth when I am not in someone’s ‘top-tier’ of favorite people.

This is not the first time that I have been the least-favorite roommate.  Last semester brought an apartment of three best friends and two engaged women.  I felt like an odd duck out.

Today I feel worthless.

What with roommates, scholastic pressures, familial issues, stabilizing my mental health, personal relationship stresses, with everything going on, I feel like the small, insignificant, terrified, nervous, incapable girl who I was in high school.  I worry about how people view me, I worry too much about what I look like, I get upset when people prioritize other things over me.  My need to be the absolute best resurfaces and it incapacitates me to a measure.  My automatic instinct is to give up completely because I see everything as completely pointless.  Pointless.  Worthless.  Me.

Shadows follow, stalk, whisper, caress, haunt, jeer, mock, chortle.  As people progress we learn to deal with them, shun them, shake them loose.

Who I used to be is haunting me only because that is who I was for the vast majority of my life.  It’s hard to change fully.  Thoughts and feelings follow me and pull on my sleeve because they are what I know.


As I continue to deal with difficult situations and as I practice handling life in a new, more rational and effective way, I can start to shake my old self loose and finally move on.  I can finally leave behind the insecurities, worries, irrationalities, and negative feelings.  I’m not stuck behind who I was, merely dragged back in a small degree.  I can and will continue to push on because high school sucked and I refuse to live it for another year.


Freaking Roommates

My roommate just turned the light of our room off and walked out, closing the door behind her.  I’m sitting in the dark by myself yet again, as this is far from the first time this has happened.

I could complain about every little thing that my roommates do.  They in turn could complain about me.  My point is this:  roommates are the worst.  Living with five other college students is essentially the worst part about being a college student for me.  I have some good times with them, but trying to find an organized system to split up different chores is a pain.  People crowd you at the makeup counter with no cares about how much counter space is open.  People move your things without telling you.  Borrow your dishes and forget to clean them.  Sit with their boyfriends for two hours straight, taking up the entire couch.  Play loud music every dang morning.

My greatest desire for the past year has been to live alone.  I don’t care if it’s only for few months, but I have a deep wish to live alone, just me and a dog.  I do my dishes, pay my bills, buy my food, have a job, hang out with my dog, keep myself busy, and be independent in every sense of the word.  I’d socialize still, sure.  Invite people over for dinner, see people at work and try to make friends with them, attend church and church activities, spend time at the library.

The likelihood of this occurring is quite low and it seems to get lower every day.  I suppose there are some dreams that you just have to let go of as you continue through life, regardless of how wonderful and realistic a dream is.  Sometimes there are things keeping you from living a dream and you have to accept it.

There are some dreams that it’s worth it to make it work, but I’m unsure if this dream is one of those dreams.

Screw people, follow your dreams.