Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013: Year in Review

Last year I did a 2012: Year in Review post, based off a New Year’s tradition that my family has done as long as I can remember. I figured I’d keep up that tradition by doing another Year in Review blog post this year. So here we go…

Neatest Place You were in 2013
Again, like last year, I feel like I haven’t gone far. Other than Alberta and Idaho Falls, I have only been outside of Utah once this year, when we went on our family cruise to the Caribbean. It was really cool to go to Mexico and finally use the Spanish I had been studying for three semesters. Belize was really relaxing, just spending the day at an ecotourism spot with my parents and my baby nephew Carson. And in Honduras I went zip-lining with my siblings and my two older nephews. I’m not sure I could pick one of those ports as my favorite, but it was all definitely adventure!

Mexico! (August 2013)

Biggest Surprise of the Year
There isn’t one “surprise of the year” for me. Looking back to where I was a year ago, there is no comparison. A year ago, I was incredibly codependent. A year ago, I did not believe I could do my classes. A year ago, I wasn’t sure I was worth loving. Now, I have hope. I am beginning to learn what it means to love myself and truly care about myself.

My Voice(s) of Hope Shoot (September 2013)

Best TV Show/Movie You Watched
Easy answer. Doctor Who. I got introduced to it by my friend Josh at the beginning of the year and Garrett and I quickly took to it. Enough that we dressed up as two of the Doctors for Halloween and the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special… And I’m looking for an excuse to dress up in my Doctor costume again. It’s a science fiction show, but I’ve also had some amazing insights from watching it about depression/suicide and about agency/emotions. It continues to inspire me and continues to give me hope.
Garrett and I as the Doctors for Halloween (October 2013)

Saddest Day/Time in 2013
This is the one where I get vulnerable I suppose. The moment I was lowest emotionally this year. Back in March, I had a day where I was more depressed than I can ever remember before. So low that I felt I was unworthy of suicide. That day I was blessed to feel support from many friends and it was then that I began working hard on my self-esteem to keep that from happening again.
Jordan River temple trip (July 2013)

Happiest Day/Time in 2013
In contrast to March, the past few months have been the best part of my year. I have felt more comfortable with myself and more okay with who I am. I still have a lot to work on, but the past few months have been the healthiest for me, I think. I am aware of many of my weaknesses, but I am willing to work on it. I will continue to work on it throughout the rest of my life.
Quidditch for Garrett's birthday (September 2013)

Best Book/Magazine You’ve Read
Of all the books I’ve read in the past year, the one that I enjoyed the most and the one that has changed me the most was “The Continuous Atonement” by Brad Wilcox. I read it earlier this year and it completely changed how I see the Atonement. Put simply: Life is not about me being perfect; it’s about me never giving up and about trusting that Christ can help me become a better man.

Things You Will Remember From the News
I’ll be honest. I don’t watch or read the news much at all. The only news clip I remember watching was after the Reconciling Faith and Feelings Conference in November. ABC did a short story on it, the purpose, and the success that they had.
Reconciling Faith and Feelings website

Favorite Talk in Church/Conference
My favorite conference talk this year would probably be Elder Holland’s talk about depression and other mental disorders in October. Having felt depressed, it felt nice to have that feeling validated. Though never diagnosed with depression, I have felt depressed. I also really loved Elder Bednar’s talk from April. It helped me understand the Law of Chastity a lot better and to appreciate more the great trust and gift that the Lord has given mankind.
Jeffrey R. Holland

What Would You Like to Do In 2014?

Well, I know one thing I want to do in 2014: I want to travel out east again. I was accepted for the Hill Cumorah Pageant a couple weeks ago, so I’ll be spending July 4-20 in Palmyra. Somewhere around that (either before or after Pageant) I’m going to visit Toronto again (I am not getting that close to my mission and not visiting people that I love). Besides that, I am going to keep working on my degree, learning what I need to in order to provide for my family. I am going to keep working on myself in therapy and related groups, so that regardless of what happens (marriage, singleness, or whatever) I can be happy. I am going to continue to learn what it means to be a missionary and a disciple of Christ.
Garrett and I at the Hill Cumorah (July 2012)
I'm going back!!!!