Wednesday, January 22, 2014


As lazy as I feel some days, all this down time is helping me become reacquainted with myself. Now that I have time to explore my life and the world around me in a normal setting, really since I've been home from my mission. This summer was a little bit of a break, and a good start to that but everything got swallowed up in the utter academic chaos that was my life this past semester. But here are some things that I have (re)learned about myself in the past few weeks:

  • I need people and am an introverted extrovert. I'm an extrovert in the sense that I love people and spending time with them and I draw energy off them and I really do need those with whom I have close relationships. But I'm a horrible extrovert because I am really bad at meeting new people and being myself around people I've just met, especially if I'm not with someone I already know very well. I hate situations where I'm meeting new people. There are times when I need to be alone. But I give everything I have to the relationships that I have and once I get past my awkward meeting people stage (or if I meet you with others that I already know), we're friends forever. Loving people is one of my gifts. And I need that in return from people. When I'm having a hard time, I need someone there. Luckily, I have so many of "my people."
  • I need words and music. Books and writing and singing and playing piano breathe soul into my life.
  • I am more marketable than I think. I just need to find the right place. But God might not tell me for a while, which means I might not be exactly where I wanted to be or what I had planned to be doing for a while (right now that basically means in a big city/not in Utah). But that is okay, because I will make choices and work towards things and being better.
  • I don't have to have a job or be doing something big and grandiose in order to be successful. After some lovely words from a roommate and reading this marvelous talk I realized that I have the talents and skills to bless people by just being me and loving them and working towards becoming who God wants me to be--in a completely spiritual sense. And right now I have the time to do that fully without any distractions of overworking at a job or school.
  • Sometimes I am sad, and that is okay. Sometime I am giddy, and that is okay too. Emotions are human and I shouldn't feel ashamed about them. It is okay to cry and to share my feelings with others, even/especially negative ones. I have always felt like I needed to be "strong" for other people--to hold in my tears until I'm by myself so as to not burden them with my emotions, so that I am not a wreck so that I can help them. So to not break their view of me as this happy person. But GUYS GUESS WHAT. Everyone has moments of sorrow and grief and anger and frustration and HUMANITY and that is not only okay, but it is necessary and I am not helping anyone or myself by being "strong" and keeping all that to myself. We are not weak when we show emotion. I have come to realize that it is a very courageous thing to do--to open your soul up like that to the world and accept everything that comes. Admitting you need help or a shoulder to cry on is strength. True strength is not being a rock, but being humble and resilient.
I guess this is all just more continuation of the Void. It's been getting to me the past few days, but good things happened yesterday (as in, I have another interview and also a JOB OFFER--but I am waiting to accept until I see how this other job pans out) and I woke up today with renewed conviction that 1) I will live my life however I want, 2) God will guide me and bless me, even if that includes being stuck in the wilderness for a few years first, and 3) . . . well, I actually forgot what this one is, but know that it had to do with me being AWESOME. haha.

And sorry for the HORRENDOUSLY LONG post. It's impossible for me to keep things short.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


This summer I revamped my blog to its current format. I wanted something a bit rustic and vintage, but not too much either of those things. Mostly, it just needed to be simple, and I was really happy that I found/came up with what I currently have. But it also needed a new title. Before my mission it had names like "Custard Cremes and Milk" and "The Girl with the Blue Shoes." Then I came home and was "Baltushka" for a while. But I've changed a lot in the past years, and while I still love custard cremes and milk (oh, I love milk) and I still have and love my blue shoes and I still talk a lot, none of them fit anymore.

Hence "Unsung." Singing has been perhaps the one constant in my life. Singing and writing.
A definition for you: "not celebrated in song or verse; not praised or acclaimed or honored"
Some synonyms: neglected, overlooked, unacknowledged, unrenowned, forgotten, unacclaimed, undistinguised, unknown, unhailed.

Although you could (hopefully jokingly) argue that it's kind of become the first few in that list of synonyms (another definition: neglected--a blog that wasn't written on for 3 months), I wanted it to be more of the actual definition. You know, just about the simple things in life that people often take for granted or don't think about. That's kind of who I want to be. Yes, I want to make a difference in the world. Yes, I want to change people's lives. But I don't want any honor or glory. I mean, a little recognition is nice, but it really doesn't matter. I just love people, and that's why I do it. I'm fine being unsung.

But I also love singing and writing and telling and hearing these stories of the unsung heroes and things in life. Perhaps that's the real reason I renamed my blog to "Unsung." It's a place for me to sing the songs that are currently just empty notes on a page, waiting for someone to come and discover them and give them a voice.
  • stThis is kind of what I wanted my blog to be. A simple place for me to talk about 

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Void

My friend Kate and I have this joke about "the void." I think every twentysomething is at least vaguely acquainted with it. In short, the void is about post-graduation uncertainty and not knowing what you should do. For my entire life, my parents and teachers and friends and leaders have been telling me that I can do whatever I want. And I know that I have the ability to. The problem isn't in that. It's in that I don't know what I want to do.

Up until a few months ago, I knew what was going on in my life--what I wanted, where I was going. And I did it. BYU, English, a mission, going back to Russia. But somewhere along the road, I realized that I actually didn't know what to do after graduation. Adding a Russian major and my internship helped postpone the need to decide, but buying time didn't help much. And graduation grew closer . . . and closer . . . and went right on by. And here I find myself just floating in the void.

Almost 7 years out of high school
A recent grad
Not a lot of work experience
Even less of a clue of what I want to do with life

But something Kate told me once about the void has stuck with me. Yes, the emptiness and uncertainty (especially since I've never really dealt with it before) is terrifying. But emptiness also means that there is something to fill with love and relationships and words and experiences and goodness and life and ME. So that's what I'm trying to do. I might not be able to see super far into the future--honestly, I can't see past the end of this week, for the most part. But I can work on filling today with worthwhile things; I can work on making me worthwhile. I mean, more worthwhile than I already am, because let's be honest, I'm pretty awesome. But in all seriousness, this is a time for me to not worry about the little day-to-day things, and to just focus on filling up the void with the things that I do know and love. It's kind of like I'm splatter painting in the dark, and I have no idea what I'm doing (because it's dark and I'm bad at making art) but someday the lights will come on and it will be a Jackson Pollock worth millions of dollars. Maybe. And that gives me faith in myself, in God, and even in the void. That it's a good thing and also not forever. And despite of the not knowing, or maybe even perhaps because of it, I feel like 2014 is going to be the best year yet.
Pollock's Full Fathom Five, MOMA (from here)