Friday, October 5, 2012

Crisis at a Quarter

For all of you who know, or don't know,  I was engaged for a week and a half and then my fiance left me. The details of why or how are not so important at this time, I write to tell you the life lessons that came about when I lost, who I thought to be, the love of my life.

People will (and have) criticize me for going so quickly in the relationship. We were together for 3 months total. Some have said I was "naive" and "foolish" others told me that I had it coming because, obviously, how could you know someone in 3 months. But I just don't care what these people think. I was following the spirit. The spirit was telling me "go on, it will all be ok." Every obstacle stopping me from continuing the relationship, (either my own feelings or his own mistakes) I would pray fervently if he was the right person to be with and my answer was always "go on, it will all be ok." I forgave him for his faults, I sucked up my fear and I "went on" because I knew it was all going to be ok.

Little did I know...

"Ok" to God and "Ok" to us human beings are two VERY different things. Why I haven't figured this out yet, is astounding!

So there I was, standing on my front porch fiance-less and ring-less, feeling the most intense sense of loss and abandonment. (Interestingly enough, being abandoned has been my biggest fear for some time.) And in that moment, my worst fears didn't just creep up on me, they jumped me at my most vulnerable state of being. Over the next week or so I mourned the loss of my future marriage and husband, but mostly, I mourned the loss of my best friend. I was actually keeping things together and glad that I could move on so quickly. But after experiencing a *burnt toast moment, I came to realize my biggest predicament.

I was abandoned. And it hurt.

So at 1:30 in the morning I frantically called my sister, Rachel. (Who has been a HUGE help in all of this). I called her and blurted out desperately, "Rachel, I was just abandoned. I was just faced with my biggest fear and it hurt more than I could imagine." After over 2 hours of talking she brought up a very good point; I was confronted with my biggest fear, and I turned out just fine. What a huge realization this was!  As hard as this loss is, it's not the hardest thing I've ever dealt with. A bolt of lightning struck me "Liz, you're ok."

So what are these life lessons, you ask?  Well, one of them happens to be that I can do hard things. I have overcome death, disease, loss, abuse, and the pain that comes from my own sins, and I have come out the victor. (Of course none of this can have been accomplished without the Savior and the Atonement).  Another is: having to face my fears is incredibly freeing. I was so desperate to not be abandoned that I was begging him to stay and offering up the best parts about me to be with him. Thankfully, the spirit (and his agency) intervened and he left anyway. Next time, I will have the knowledge that even if the next "love of my life" leaves me, the pain of abandonment will be insignificant to the pain that will be later felt by giving up the best parts of me to be with that person.

Unfortunately, one of the other life lessons I learned was: Now what? I had a very clear future in mind when he proposed to me. Not so much a "happily ever after" but I knew that whatever obstacle that we faced, we would be able to face them together. No longer would I have to fight my way through life alone. I would be a wife and a mother. All of these clear decisions I made have now been fogged over. I was going to have a place to live, a job to go to, and a very comfortable life with my "honey bun". In the process of these "clear decisions" I gave up my apartment, my schooling, and my life back in Salt Lake City. I now don't even know if the business I have always wanted is the right path for me. I guess you can say, I've entered into my Quarter Life Crisis and I have to start all over again.

Where am I going? What will I be doing? Who will I be meeting? Are all nagging questions I'm faced with. Somedays I see it as an adventure. I get a free pass to start my whole life over! While it's exciting it is also a bit overwhelming. Somedays I see it as a chore: Figure out what you want to do and don't screw it up!

So, here I start my new stage of life. I guess we can call this chapter: "New Beginnings".  The "unknown" is always a bit scary, but I'm excited for this fresh start. I'm incredibly grateful to my Savior for letting me start over. I guess that's the most beautiful part about the atonement.

Life Lessons By Liz: Go on, it will all be ok.

*burnt toast moment: The moment when a piece of burnt toast leaves you crumbling on the floor bawling your eyes out, when previous (and much harder) obstacles have failed to do the same. And we all know, it has nothing to do with the toast.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

On a scale of one to awesome...

I just want to create beautiful things, even if no one cares. Is that too much to ask???


Is IT?

I didn't think so! And yet, I find myself in a perpetual state of boredom. I'm bored with my clothes, my hair, my lack of job, my lack of money, my lack of friends.....basically just a general lack of awesomeness!

The only, and yes I mean only, redeeming feature in my life is my very wonderful boyfriend Kade. He and I have been dating a little over a month.  Things are getting serious y'all, and it's wonderful!

Oh wait, I did forget that I have 10 paintings of mine featured at a beauty salon in Salt Lake! (1340 E 200 S just below the UofU.) Now, if I could get said paintings to sell that would be so wonderful!

More later. Let's hope things become more exciting in the next few months, cuz my life could use a jolt of awesomeness.

Monday, July 16, 2012

How are things on the West Coast?

Rachel and I finished a week long journey to Oregon and Washington! We saw the Ocean, shops, more shops, flowers, seashells...did I mention we went shopping?

Fun fact #1 about Oregon: There are no signs letting you know you're on the right road, so just assume that all roads lead to the ocean.

Fun fact #2: If the sign says "rocks", "slides", "lights", or "congestion" take it more seriously than it looks.


Fun fact #3: Just because it's July, doesn't mean it's going to feel like summer!

After fun adventures on multiple beaches I decided that Cannon Beach was my favorite. The water was slightly warmer and the view was spectacular. I had so much fun on our adventure but I find there is no place like home.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Tri, Tri, Tri again.

I am officially off of all, yes ALL of my medications. I finally feel normal again!  I decided the best way to come off all of these chemicals (without too many withdrawals or side effects) is to counteract  them with some chemicals all on my own....ENDORPHINS!

I, Liz Erickson, will be participating in the August 18th "Triathamom". It's a sprint Triathlon consisting of three events; swim 400 meters, bike 12 miles, and run 5 kilometers. It's been about five weeks since I started my training and I feel amazing. Sometimes when I'm biking or running I keep thinking "what in the world am I getting myself into?" But, overall I'm happy I'm doing it. It's bringing me a huge sense of accomplishment that I've never thought I could have. It also helps me to think "you know, if I could do this...what else am I capable of doing?' the answer: just about anything!

Another good benefit of this training is my meal planning. Sometimes I'm so hungry, I can down an entire hamburger, and guilt is nowhere to be found. Half the time I've already burned off a good chunk of calories for the day so anything I eat after that doesn't really add up to anything. But (mostly) I just like to eat healthy now. Today I made this AMAZING quesadilla I threw together and it was so good! I also thought it was so pretty that I had to take a picture.

Here's the recipe:

2 white or wheat tortillas (I prefer wheat, but the picture shows white)
1 roma tomato diced
1 avocado diced
1/4 cup of black beans
1/2 cup of cheese
1/2 cup spinach
1 lime
salt to taste

Start browning one of the tortillas in a round pan. (Do this BEFORE chopping all of your veggies so it's perfectly brown by the time your ready to flip it. This will keep the spinach nice and crunchy). In a bowl mix tomatoes, avocado, black beans, lime, and salt. Spread the mixture on the tortilla in the pan. Add cheese. Once the cheese is almost melted, add the spinach. Cover with 2nd tortilla and flip. Brown the 2nd tortilla and you're done!

With the wonderful flavors a glass of raspberry limeade really added a nice summer touch.

For one quart:

1/2 cup lime juice (I used 1/4 cup of limeade juice and then 4 limes squeezed)
3 1/4 Cup cold water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 mashed raspberries

Mix all ingredients until sugar is dissolved. Add ice. (You can add a sprig of mint if you're getting really fancy!)

Mmmmm. Don't these look amazing? Enjoy!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Bucket list

I made this booklet of all the things I want to accomplish in this life called "Cough Syrup is Yucky." Its a fun way of making a "bucket list".

Sunday, June 3, 2012

With God (and willpower) all things are possible.

Sometimes I feel Facebook was created for the sole purpose of making me feel completely jealous. I don't know how many times I end up getting frustrated after looking at the wonderful things people are accomplishing: Getting married, having children, going on exciting adventures, getting promoted, falling in love, etc.

I decided I'm too focused on everyone else's accomplishments that I haven't really looked at my own. So, drum roll please, for a list of my accomplishments in the last few months.

* I painted 4 new paintings for a wedding that everyone loved.
* I am training for a triathlon and have managed to stick to my training schedule for a WHOLE WEEK! (A sprint triathlon is NOT an Ironman triathlon. It's 400 yd swim, 12.5 mile bike ride, and a 5K run.)
* I have decided to go off all of my anxiety and anti-everything medication because I want to kick this    thing with my own strength. (The withdrawals are not my favorite but, It's better than taking medication to treat side-effects for another medication.)
* I finished my 10th painting.
* I made a new friend.
* I found an athlete inside of me.
* I have been practicing a new piano piece and I'm getting really good at it (if I do say so myself).
* I have discovered the show The Big Bang Theory and fell in love with it.
* I flirted with a boy (believe you me, it's been a LONG time since I've flirted!)
* I discovered a new hairstyle that I absolutely love.
* I am slightly tanner now than I was in the winter time...slightly.
* I'm finding happiness inside of me and am realizing that I don't always have to be pretending to be happy for people to like me. 
* I'm becoming more confident.
* I was asked to be a "fashion expert" at a "beauty night" put on by my old ward. 
* I started my 11th painting.

Small accomplishments, yes, but they are leading to greater things. 

I also want to thank you for all of your prayers for my happiness and well-being because they are being answered. You have not knelt in vain! 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I a'int dead yet!

After many months, I finally have a diagnoses!  I have conversion disorder (wiki it if you want to know). But being diagnosed was only half the battle. Now, I just need to overcome it.

Last month I moved back to my Dad's house; because holding a job, when my symptoms are so unpredictable, is very difficult. I think I finally adjusted moving back, but I'm still having a hard time not using my beautiful dishes and seeing my wonderful and colorful decorations. If I had only one complaint about moving home is: EVERYTHING IS BEIGE! The plates, the walls, the furniture! Yuck. I'm a color person, the more vibrant the better. However; this solution is better than anything so I guess I'll just have to get used to it.

I'm currently subleasing my apartment in Salt Lake and my roommate stayed and someone else will move in. This is the perfect situation because I didn't have to move my furniture and I can move back to my apartment when I start to feel better.

Currently my day consists of scanning my Grandma's pictures and naming them. This is a project my Dad needs done, but doesn't have time to do it himself. He estimated there were around 22,000 pictures and the other day my aunt brought over more. I also have been working on 4 paintings for a wedding. They have an antique theme and I drew AND painted my very first bicycle and it actually looks like one!  You may not care, but I'm stinkin' proud of myself!

A week and a half ago I went to Arches with my good friend Michelle. It just so happened to be over her birthday weekend. While buying ice, prior to leaving Pleasant View, she mentioned it was her birthday weekend and we're going to Arches and a nice sales associate gave her a free Happy Birthday balloon. On our way to Delicate Arch, we tied the balloon to the backpack we were carrying and about 50 people wished her a Happy Birthday.  Once we got to the Arch, I had her open her present (cupcakes with candles) and as she is blowing out the candles, 15 random strangers started singing her a happy birthday! Once the song got to the "Happy Birthday dear _______" there were many different endings. My favorites consisted of "Happy Birthday dear": blonde girl, birthday girl, stranger girl, and my absolute favorite: pink shirt girl. I can't really speak for her but, if it were my birthday, it would have been the best birthday ever. Not to brag or anything, but I throw one heck of a party!

Life is certainly unexpected and I'm learning to just go with the flow instead of fighting my fate. I find it difficult that nothing is going how I planned it to go, but good things will come out of this. "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction". Good! My future is looking better and better then.