Wednesday, June 12, 2013

How the whole•heart•ed live

So this is me!

I'm a 23 year old college graduate living in Utah for the time being. I'm a fresh member of what we Americans call the "workforce", currently shacking up with 4 of the most hilarious, generous girls you'll ever meet, been on more blind dates than should even be legal (I keep telling myself I should write a book about all the awkward experiences. I'm sure every girl my age could relate, and would buy a copy) and I'm an overwhelmingly grateful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

I've always been a goal-setter and finished my undergrad in exactly 4 years at Utah State (according to plan). But I've recently learned that as much as I'd like to be able to control where I'm headed and execute it to absolute perfection, life doesn't work that way. Graduating and nailing that first job is what we all dream of, but I never expected the big questions and worries that would soon smack me right in the face and leave me wondering, am I doing enough? Who am I really meant to become?

I'm convinced I will be seeking the answers to those questions for the rest of my life (at least that's what my mom tells me). But for now, here is what I know:

1- every single day is filled with goodness. Whether it be a fleeting glimmer, or a full truckload that dumps on you all at once. God manifests His love for us in the details of our every day lives. It's our choice to see it, and most importantly, be grateful for what we do have.
2- there is no limit to how much we can love. As a kid I thought I only had room in my heart to love one mom, one dad, and "blood" siblings. But now that I have a step dad, step mom, and 4 new siblings I know that there is no end to the amount of people we can bring into our circle, and our supply of love is endless.
3- we are meant to be happy (at least once a day I try to laugh hard enough to get a good ab workout). The best way to do this is to surround ourselves with those who bring out our best side. If we are the kind of person we would enjoy, those types of people will naturally be drawn to us. Pick good friends and family. After all, they're the people we come home to every night. They should be awesome, right?

I'll confess, I've never been a huge fan of the whole blogging thing. But I heard a TED Talk today that gave me the final push to start an "online journal" if you will. (By the way, if you aren't subscribed to TED Talks its a must!)

The talk was by Brene Brown, titled The Power of Vulnerability. She studies human connection and discusses a concept she calls "how the wholehearted live". According to her, people who live full, happy lives always have these characteristics:

Feel a worthiness for love
Courage to be imperfect
Compassion, to be kind to ourselves first and then to others
Connection with others as a result of authenticity
Fully embrace vulnerability

I don't know about you, but I could work on each one of the things on her list. Here is what she suggests we're doing that keeps us from really connecting:

We numb vulnerability
(You can't selectively numb emotions that may hurt you, like rejection, pain, and uncertainty. When we numb those we numb everything, like joy, gratitude, and peace.)
We make the uncertain certain 
We try to perfect (ourselves and others)
We pretend that what we do doesn't impact other people

So how can we break free of all these habits that may prevent some heartache, but also rob us of complete joy? She gives a few suggestions:

Let ourselves be seen. Deeply and vulnerably
Love with our whole hearts, even though there are no guarantees
Practice gratitude and joy
Believe we are enough

This talk hit me hard. I've never seen myself as a closed off person. Sometimes I actually think I'm a little too open (my friends and family can attest to that). But I realized that I'm letting a few bumps and bruises from my past dictate my present and future by subconsciously keeping up a protective wall and not truly being vulnerable. So I'm on a quest for authenticity! And this blog is one of my steps for getting there.

Whether anyone actually reads this or it ends up being my own personal journal, I'm taking a step towards vulnerability and becoming more than I am today, and that's good enough for me! ♥


  1. Good for you, you sweet girl! I am excited to read your thoughts and adventures! I hope this new path you're on leads you to everything you wish for!

    1. Thank you, Jamie! You are so sweet. I just love you and your cute (not so little) family and look forward to keep up with all of your happenings through your blog! Hope to see you guys soon!

  2. Whit, you know you're one of my absolute most favorite people on this earth? This is awesome because it has purpose! You're quite the writer, too... I never knew!! I so admire your humility when you're so amazingly talented, smart, and beautiful! I love you with all my heart!! Keep writing!

    1. Bubba! You sure know how to make people feel special and loved, its one of your greatest gifts. Thank you my dear! I've looked up to you since we were teeny tiny, and always will. I love you so much!

  3. Whit! You're such an amazing writter! I'm so happy I stumbled along this! I'm excited to read more! you're amazing, and I've always looked up to you! Thank you for being an awesome example to me!
    Meggie :)