Sunday, September 23, 2012

Week 2 - The YOU Challenge: 2 Songs!

Here goes. Week 2 of the Ten Week YOU Challenge.
Up this week is 2 SONGS! Believe it or not, I gave a lot of thought to this post. Which two songs would I share with the world? And why? I'm a firm believer that music can say all the things we don't know how to say ourselves. What did I want the two songs I chose to say about me?

Well, here goes.

Tattoos On This Town by Jason Aldean

I fell in love with this song the moment I heard it. I grew up in small towns in New Mexico, Arizona and Wyoming. Any small town kid knows that if you want to pass the time, you have to invent a lot of things to do. Sliding down the drain on trash can lids and stop signs. Piling five people on one bike (it really happened!). Hide and go seek in the mesquite. Shooting snakes and squirrels with BB guns. Playing cops and robbers and running all over town. Building the best blanket forts in the back of a pickup and watching a drive-in movie. Summer romances. Walking around Wal-Mart because there was nothing better to do. Watching fireworks and stargazing from the hood of a truck.
"We let the world know we were here with everything we did."

I might not have had the luxury of shopping malls, beaches, nice restaurants or fancy theaters around the corner, but I did have the luxury of great friends and the world at our feet. I guess that's why I love this song so much. It brings back so many good memories and sometimes, just for a moment, I wish I could go back to being a kid. When the world was only as big as that little town and you couldn't go any farther than that dirt road would take you.
"It sure left its mark on us, we sure left our mark on it... Laid a lot of memories down, and we'll always be hangin 'round, like tattoos on this town."

However stupid or trivial our choice of activity was, we had fun. We weren't just passing the time, we were living. Living life to the fullest. And I wouldn't have had it any other way.

Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys

Ok so, it's a bit different than the first one. This song is one of my "power songs" on Nike+. Whenever I hear it, I feel that much more motivated to run harder, run faster and to get stronger.

More importantly, though, I love this song because it's a reminder of where I want to be. I've grown up knowing I wanted to live in New York. I never really knew why, I just knew I wanted to walk those streets, be inspired by those lights. Nowadays, my dream is to take the New York journalism scene by storm.
"One hand in the air for the big city. Street lights, big dreams, all lookin' pretty."

I've had a lot of people tell me I can't cut it in New York. I'm "too small town." And I quote: "Taylor, you can't drive that truck in New York City." How about, "They ain't got no cowboys in the Big Apple." Or maybe, "Everyone wants to go to New York. What makes you different?"

I've heard it all. I'm not saying I want to spend the rest of my life in New York, because I don't. (It's true, I couldn't drive my truck down those narrow streets!) I just want to know that I can get there. That I can make it. That I can cut it. That I have what it takes. That I'm enough.
"Concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there's nothin' you can't do. Now you're in New York, these streets will make you feel brand new, big lights will inspire you."

So there you have it. I like to think of the two songs as representations of where I come from and hopefully where I'm going. I like to think that the places I knew as a kid have made me into the person I am today: adventurous, strong, innovative and incredibly ambitious. :)

Tune in next week for.... 3 FILMS!

Do you?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The 10 Day YOU Challenge.

If there is one thing I know, it's that I am TERRIBLE at blogging. I usually go for three or four months without posting. I've always meant to get in to posting once a week, but fail miserably every time I try.

THIS time, however, will be different! I saw this on my friend Jamie's blog and I thought, "Hey, I can do that!" Soooo here we go. The Ten Day YOU Challenge. We'll make it a ten WEEK challenge. Be here. Every Sunday. :)

The Ten Day Week YOU Challenge

Week 1: 1 Picture
Week 2: 2 Songs
Week 3: 3 Films
Week 4: 4 Books
Week 5: 5 Foods
Week 6: 6 Places
Week 7: 7 Wants
Week 8: 8 Fears
Week 9: 9 Loves
Week 10: 10 Secrets

Hopefully this will help keep be accountable and hopefully it will help you all learn something you didn't know about me. Because, let's face it, I'm pretty legit. ;)

Week 1: 1 Picture

This is me. I love laughing. I love having fun. I love being young. I love doing ridiculously stupid things that result in pictures like these.
I'm a dreamer, believer, optimist, lover of life.

Check back next week! :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How Tupac saved my life.

^^^Take a listen while you read.

I was 18 when I was struck with this crazy realization. No matter how hard things get, no matter how sad we get, no matter what life throws at us, life goes on. Seriously. Life goes on.

I had just suffered my first real heartbreak and I remember lying in bed at night crying and crying. It was the first time I discovered intense emotional pain can also cause intense physical pain, the first time I literally cried myself to sleep, the first time I found myself wishing I was someone else.

And that's how I've felt lately.

I was so excited to get back to Provo after a very, very long summer. But now that I'm here, I feel lost. Confused. Like I got off the bus at the wrong stop and am struggling to figure out how to get to the right place.

Sappy details aside, I've been completely miserable. Like, depressing country music playing 24/7 kind of miserable. But, in my opinion, I've been doing a pretty good job of concealing it. Which, as many of us know, tends to make you even more miserable.

Then, I started sorting through the folder "useless junk" on my laptop and came upon this gem:
Oh, Tupac. Not generally one I look to for inspiration, but hey, he has a good point.

It was at that moment I paused my depressing country music playlist and put on my "wanna feel like a bada**?" playlist. Which included "The Fighter" by Gym Class Heroes.
"Everytime you fall it's only making your chin strong."

It was a moment of clarity. I think it was one of God's tender mercies. It's like he was saying, "You're better and stronger than this. Pull your head out of your butt."
"Give me scars, give me pain. And they'll say to me, say to me, say to me, 'There goes the fighter.'"

I've always known life isn't always going to be roses and butterflies. But in that moment, I realized there sure as hell won't be any roses and butterflies at all if I'm constantly focused on all the thorns and poisonous caterpillars.
"'Til the referee rings the bell, 'til both your eyes start to swell, 'til the crowd goes home, what we gon' do y'all?
Give 'em hell."

And I think that's all there is to it. Fighting. Happiness doesn't come easily. Happiness isn't a given. Happiness is a choice you make ahead of time. The time to put your fightin' pants on is when things are the darkest, the scariest, the most miserable.

Because it's in that moment that you find out who you really are: a butterfly or a caterpillar.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Timing is Everything.

Take a listen while you read.

(Isn't Garrett Hedlund just soooo adorable?!)

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, ad a time of peace.
-Ecclasiastes 3: 1-8


It's something I've been thinking about a lot lately. Why do things happen when they do? Why not a month sooner? Why then? Why now?
There are things I would have given anything to hear two years ago. But now, two years later, hearing those words...It's wrong. It doesn't work. The time is gone.

You can call it fate, or destiny. Sometimes it really seems like it's a mystery.

The past two years of my life - graduation, college, dating - seem to be a blur of missteps, bad timing and an incredible amount of frustration. I often find myself wondering, 'what if I had met him a month earlier?' 'what if I had stayed that summer?' 'what if I had actually waited after I finished that test?'
And honestly, I'm sick of the 'what ifs.' I'm sick of wishing. I'm sick of wondering. I'm sick of dwelling.

People think you're lucky, but you know it's grace.

Then it occurred to me that I was being selfish. Timing isn't all about me. Timing is about those around me - my friends, my family, people I hardly even know. Just because I feel like the time is right for something doesn't mean everyone else does. I guess I've always known in the back of my mind, but these days it's become more and more apparent that I'm not on my time. I'm on God's, who knows a heck of a lot more than I do.

I'll probably never know why there have been so many missed opportunities in my life, but I do know that when things do come together, it will be extraordinary. Because God knows what He's doing.
Why settle for good when you can have great?

So, if there's anyone else out there like me, wishing things could have happened differently, stop wishing. Stop dwelling. Stop wondering. Our time is coming. And when it does, we'll be glad we missed the bus three years ago. We'll be glad the timing all those times was off. Because life will be better, much better, than any of us could have ever dreamed.

And for now, let us live life to the fullest. Believe. Obey. Endure.
Remember, your best days are always ahead of you.

Monday, May 7, 2012


People who have scoffed at my goals and dreams.
People who don't believe I can do it.
People who told me, 'that's nice, but so does everyone else.'
People who laughed and said 'good luck.'
People who have lost faith in their dreams and think I will, too.
People and counting.
People I refuse to listen to.

You see, I've grown up in small towns. Dover. Silver City. Morenci. Deming. Globe-Miami. Sheridan.
We've moved from town to town and if there's one thing they've all had in common, it's dead ends. Dead end jobs. Dead end people. Dead end lives. Don't get me wrong, I love small towns. And I respect the people who are content with their lives. But I've always longed for so, so much more.
I'm a small town girl with big city dreams.
Ever since I was little I've wanted to live in the city. New York City. Not Los Angeles. Not Dallas. Not Chicago. Not Atlanta. Not Philadelphia. New York City. And I believe with all my heart that someday I'm going to get there.
The older I've gotten, the more people have asked me what I wanted to do with my life. These days, it's learnin' about cool things, writing about those cool things, and telling the public about those cool things. And what a better place to do those things, to be a journalist, than New York? Lately I've been telling people A) I want to be a journalist, B) I want to write about sports and C) I want to live in New York. And the majority of people I interact with say, 'you go girl!'
But then there were those six. Those six people bothered me. This blog post is for those six people.
I don't know that I'm ever going to make it to New York. I don't know that I'm ever going to make it to the big time. What I do know is I'll be damned if I don't try my hardest to get there. I'll be damned if I let that snide comment, "Well, yeah, but everybody wants to go to New York" get me down. I'll be damned if I don't work my butt off doing everything I can to make my dreams come true.
And you, if you've been affected by one of those six people, always remember that you have the world at your feet and the power to make your biggest dreams come true at your fingertips.
See you at the top, y'all.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Believe That Dreams Come True Everyday. Because They Do.

I had an amazing experience yesterday.

My sports editor asked me if I wanted to cover this week of spring football for the Daily Universe. Being a huge football fan/Cougar fan/really hot, muscular guy fan, I gladly obliged. While getting to attend practice and observe is pretty awesome, something even sweeter took place.

After practice ends, coaches and players come off the field for interviews. Naturally, everybody rushes Bronco Mendenhall for his thoughts on that day's practice, and the same goes for QB Riley Nelson. As I muscled my way into the huddle of reporters, cameras, bright lights and recorders, I looked around. I was surrounded by a group of middle-aged men who have probably been covering sports for years.

And there I was, a 20-year-old girl with a sparkly pink recorder, right in the thick of things with the pros.

It was at that moment that I realized how lucky I am. Not because I get front row seats at every men's volleyball game. Not because I get to meet nationally recognized coaches and players. Not because I've had four front-page articles in my two short months as a college reporter. No, I'm lucky because I'm in the midst of achieving my goals and dreams on a daily basis. I'm not just reading textbooks and taking tests over my career of choice. I'm living it. How many college students gets to say that? How many people period get to say that?

When I take a step back and look at my life, I realize that, yeah, there are a lot of things I'm not particular happy about. And, yeah, I wish some things were different. But my goodness, I am so blessed and so lucky. I refuse to think that just because there are things I wish were different that I can't be truly happy.

Instead, I choose to walk with my head in the clouds and my feet planted firmly on the ground. I choose to look forward to all that life has in store for me. I choose to believe in the beauty, the reality, of my biggest dreams. Because it's when we stop believing that the magic in our lives ceases to exist. So if you've stopped believing, do me a favor: START.

By far my favorite part of the entire One Tree Hill series. Makes me cry every time I watch it. Totally fitting for this post. :)

Believe that dreams come true everyday. Because they do.
Trust me, I know.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Say Oh...This Feelin' You Can't Fight

Press play. Read. Smile. Enjoy.

You know that feeling when everything seems to be going right? You walk around with this stupid smirk on your face with your head in the clouds, loving every minute of every day of life.

Yeah well that's been me the past two weeks. I don't want to brag, but I feel like so many things have been going my way lately.

I'm writing for BYU's student-run newspaper, The Daily Universe, this semester and it's been such a blast. I'm lucky enough to cover the men's volleyball team, so I get to interview really tall, attractive, athletic guys as part of my grade! I also get courtside seats to every game. Good deal? I think yes.
The DU's made me realize that I am really in the right major. So many people have asked me why I chose journalism, and I always answered that it was all I was really good at. But now I've realized that I really have a passion for the business of reporting. For the first time ever I really feel like I have a clear purpose and direction for my life. And it feels great.

Life outside of school has also been quite splendid. I've been making a lot of new friends and they are so so great! I've come to realize that without awesome people in my life, I would be a miserable person. I thank God everyday for the incredible people I have the people of knowing.

I won't go into any details about why I'm just on top of the world lately, but I will say that for the first time in a long time I feel like I've finally hit my stride. For the past year or so I've just felt so...lost. Like I was doing nothing more than just going through the motions, with no real sense of happiness, belonging, anything. Now, I'm feeling quite good about my life.

It's like OneRepublic put it: "Please tell me what there's to complain about." Yeah, I know there are plenty of things to complain about, but really, happiness is a choice. And why choose anything but happiness? Look for the good things in your life and you'll start realizing that in reality, you're really living the Good Life. :)

And some final words of wisdom that help me keep my head up....

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Life may not be the Party we hoped for, but while we're here we should DANCE

Listen to below video while reading this post. :)

One Year.

12 Months. 52 Weeks. 365 Days. 525,600 Minutes. A million memories.
Where did it all go?

What the heck happened in 2011? I'll tell you.

I got my first D on a test. I threw up for the first time since fourth grade. I got two speeding tickets. I found out the true meaning of hypocrisy. I had my heart shattered. I let people into my life who had no business being in it. I was lied to. I was stabbed in the back. I cried. I sobbed. I felt hopeless. I parted ways with people I had once considered my closest friends. I made mistakes. I lost faith in people. I struggled to put the pieces back together. I let others down. I let myself down.
But amidst all of the incredible lows, I experienced equally incredible highs.
I loved unconditionally. I saw the good in people. I met some of the most incredible people on earth. I got a 100% on a college final. I worked my butt off. I realized my biggest dream in life. I made new friends. I shared the gospel. I got accepted to the BYU Journalism program. I made amends with a person who had once hurt me so deeply. I drew closer to God. I became less judgmental. I spent money on frivolous things. I began wearing earrings again. I found the perfect mascara. I started working out. I visited friends I hadn't seen in 6 years. I stayed up late. I complimented strangers. I sang. I danced. I laughed until it hurt. I learned to love myself. And above all, I learned oh so many lessons.

If there's one thing I've learned in 2011, it's that most of the time, the most meaningful things in life turn out to be the things we NEVER. EXPECTED.

I didn't expect to fall head over heels for a boy who would subsequently stomp all over my heart and turn my world upside down.
I never expected to find out that a person I considered to be one of my closest friends had been talking about me behind my back for months.
I didn't expect to have a whirlwind summer romance that I now look back on with nothing but fondness.
I never expected that in August when I moved into my new apartment that my roommates would turn out to be three of the most beautiful, amazing girls on the planet.
I didn't expect it to hurt so badly when my best friend left for his mission in Colombia and I never thought I would miss him so much.
I never expected that I would develop an incredibly close friendship with a boy three years younger than me and I never expected to be okay with it.
I never expected all of the struggles, all of the pain, all of the tears.

But I'll tell you what I really never expected. I never expected to learn the most from the most painful of experiences. I never expected to find joy and happiness in a world full of turmoil and strife. I never expected to find myself amidst all of the adversity.

I never expected that my most cherished memories would stem from the most unexpected experiences. As I look back on 2011 and look ahead to 2012, I have one thing to say: Screw the saying 'expect  the unexpected.' No. Absolutely not. Expect nothing more than to have your breath taken away by all that life has in store. Because, without fail, there are always wonderful things just around the corner. What fun would life be if we always expected everything that happened? How dreary and drab it would be if the unexpected, however happy, sad, or terrifying, never occurred.

 "Come What May and Love It."
Accept it but don't expect it. It's like Michael Buble put it...It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life...And I'm feelin' good.
Embrace the past and promise yourself a better future. Because, truth is, we're all better people than we were a year ago. We've all come so far. And in another 365 days, I can promise we'll all be even better people. Trust me.
See you then? :)