This Is Me

I always seem to get asked why are you not married? My favorite: Whats is wrong with you that others seem to see? Why can’t you keep a girl longer than a month?

I usually shrug and go on with my life like there is not a issue. I just go about my life and don’t give those questions much thought after. The truth is though, I do know the answers to all of those questions. In fact there has always been a reason for my madness.

I am a very simple person. So simple that I am very predictable. I find it funny because lots of people think I’m very complex. They think there is a lot to me but really, I am a very simple man. I do things because I want to and I do the same things in patterns. A, then B, then C. That is who I am. I never let people in and keep my life private. I let people have the illusion that I am open person because I talk and relate with others but I only give people a surface level.

Relationships end for me when girls want a deep level with me. I understand that opening up and discussing things is vital for trust and love to grow. Being honest is very important but there are aspects that I can’t and won’t talk about. So when girls start asking and wondering, I get distant and then eventually end things. All of my relationships, with the exception of two, have a very similar pattern:

  1. Start dating
  2. Things are good and fun
  3. Girl shares personal things about life
  4. I listen
  5. Girl asks questions and wants to really know me
  6. I get distant and standoffish
  7. End of Relationship

Its been my safety net and I am ok with it. My thoughts are, someone else will come along. There will always be another girl. However, thats very unhealthy and I’ve been wanting to change that about myself.

I watched a show that completely changed my life (so weird to admit) and that has opened up many things for me. This show brought up all my insecurities, fears, and doubts in regards to marriage and being a father. This show made me think and cry. It made me angry and happy. It made ponder on many things. The last episode had a line that really taught me and changed my outlook of my relationships. As Jack is speaking to his wife about his children, he says:

“Sometimes they’ll make good decisions. Sometimes bad decisions. And every once in a while, they’re gonna do something that’s gonna knock us off our feet. Something that exceeds even our wildest dreams. Our kids are gonna be fine.”

It hit me, instantly, that I can do things completely different than the example that I was showed. I can exceed the expectations that is bound in me.  I can be the father that I never had. I can completely do something that will exceed my upbringing. I know for a fact that I will never beat my children or wife. I will never leave my children and not take care of their wellbeing. I will never, ever, make my children scared of me. I can choose the outcome of my relationships and I’m not be bound by the ways of the past. It was like a light bulb went off in my head and I realized all of this.

I move forward, ready to being a different person in regards to dating. I’m excited to change the pattern to being a person that is willing to take risks. I am ready to begin letting my guard down and to actually purse a relationship thanks to my Heavenly Father. I’m ready to trust myself because I realize that I won’t be alone. I know that I can do this! I am Riley James, a very simple man.

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The Last Goodbye

My name is Riley James Frazier and I am a lot of things. I am a dreamer, a fighter, a hypster by nature, a son of God, a Washingtonian, a wheat thin lover, smoothie devourer, runner, gym nut, health freak, and list goes on. Above everything that I am, I take pride in knowing that I am one that doesn’t quit and gives up.

With that being said, for the first time ever, I wanted to quit with all the fibers in my body yesterday. I wanted to quit school and move back to Washington state. I wanted nothing more than to leave Provo and never come back. I wanted everything to be done! The pressure was too much and people are rude! As I sat on my bedroom ground, I wanted nothing more than to pack all my belongs up and get on the next flight to Portland.

I hit a wall last night so perhaps I should turn back the wheels of time and explain what lead to the catastrophic moment of time.  I’m exactly two weeks into my final semester as a student. I’m currently in the middle of writing my thesis paper, the paper that brings six years of higher education to a point. A whomping fifty pages on collection of everything I’ve learned in my marketing program and consumer behavior. Basically, to sum it up, this paper sucks major!! MAJOR! To top it off, I still have classes with their own papers, case studies, readings, and classes to attend.

Living in Utah comes with it own problems as well. As a  26 year old man, according to the society I live in, I should have already been married and had at least one child. However, I am not married and I don’t have children. Rather, I walk the earth alone in my own world. People in Utah, particularly my program, are just darn rude. I’m ostracized on the daily and usually I don’t let it affect. However, some days the comments hurt too much. Sometimes, it hurts to be the one bullied, even when you’re trying your best.

So, I let the pressures of school and society effect me. I truly broke down and wanted to escape from all reality. While crying on the floor, a roommate was there to lend an ear and truly to mourn with those that mourn. In this moment, I was reminded of my favorite commercial.

As a marketing major, I’ve had the joy of dissecting many commercials. I’ve looked at what is good with them and what is bad. I’ve never been a fan of commercials, if I’m being completely honest. The purpose of a commercial is to inspire, motivate, and to get others to act. Well, there are very few commercials that get me to do that. However, there is one that takes the cake. In 2016, Under Armour began releasing ads six months prior to the olympics with olympian athletes. Among these came one with Micheal Phelps that stands above the rest.  Set to the song, Last Goodbye by the Kills, and showing the hard process Phelps makes by himself to prepare for the victory. The road is lonesome and he must endure most things.  Its truly just breath taking and I could go on for ever about how much I love it!  But thats beside the point as this post is not an endorsement for Under Armour.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xh9jAD1ofm4 
(click to be inspired)

 

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While being comforted by a roommate’ I was reminded that what we do in the dark, by ourselves, will be seen in the light. I was reminded that I am not a quitter but a fighter. Though I’m still unsure, I know that it will work out. I will prevail victoriously. So I said goodbye to the thoughts of leaving and quitting. I said goodbye to the tears down my face and got back on track. Though its going to be the most intense semester of life, I know that I can do it. We never truly gain a victory on our own but rather its family and friends that help us succeed. True character is found in the lowest moments and its how we bounce back from the falls. I was lucky to have a roommate that was so in tune to inspiration as I was telling God my plan to leave and call it all quits. Heres to the bounce back and motivation to continue past the haters!

My name is Riley James Frazier and I don’t quit! I push through the hard days and the negativity. I am dreamer, fighter, a true hypster, and so many things!

 

It’s the last goodbye I swear
I can’t rely on a dime a day love that don’t go anywhere
I learn to cry for someone else
I can’t get by on an odds and ends love that don’t ever match up
I heard all you said and I took it to heart

I won’t forget I swear
I have no regrets for the past is behind me
Tomorrow reminds me just where

Can’t quite see the end
How can I rely on my heart if I break it with my own two hands?
I heard all you said and I love you to death
I heard all you said don’t say anything

It’s the last goodbye I swear
I can’t survive on a half-hearted love that will never be whole


The Theory of Everything

I’m Riley James Frazier. A simple man. Who doesn’t really know much in life. In fact, I barely know anything. The things I do know are simple but impactful.

I know that I have a God, a Savior named Jesus Christ, and that I love them all deeply. I know that God loves all of his children deeply and that is why he gave us our Savior, Jesus Christ. I am very grateful for the love that God has for each person. He knows each of us individually and knows the struggles of our lives. I am grateful that when we are struggling, all we need to do is ask. Through prayer, we are able to express the thoughts and feelings to our God. I love that He hears those prayers and is willing to answer them.

I know for a fact that Jesus Christ suffered all the pains that we have and will ever feel in this life. If we turn to Jesus, then we can be lifted up in those moments of need. I am grateful that Christ’s hand is always extended to each of us. All we have to do is to be willing to grab hold of it. I know that Christ will always be there for me. I love my Savior very much.

I’m Riley James Frazier, a man of simple things. I might not know a lot but I’m learning.


The Good Life

After heartbreak, regret, disappointment, grief, and or anger welcomes themselves into my life, its natural for me to shut the world out. I personally find myself shutting the world out and not letting anyone find me. People ask me what I do and where I go when I shut the world out. The truth is, I find myself devoting myself more to my studies, running, work, and my relationship with God (not in that particular order either). I usually spend more hours than usual in the Temple, at least forty hours in the library for the week, harder focus at work, and bust it in the gym for large period of times. I find that shutting the outside world out helps me to focus on what matters the most and lets me hide a bit from my problems. It also gives me the chance to think. Being alone is something that I actually enjoy, which people find hard to believe. Being alone is a very comforting thing for me. Being alone lets me regroup my thoughts and then decide what I want to do to move forward. I like things to be quiet and peaceful. I find that the outside world is rather loud and I can’t always be the person that I want to be. So I retreat to the places where I don’t have to be around people. I justify in my mind that if I’m in places where people can’t be with me, then I don’t have talk to people. Many people don’t believe when I tell them that I am extremely introverted person but I am. I like to exclude the world and be alone.

Around the end of August/ beginning of September, I began shutting the outside world out again. I purposely didn’t answer phone calls or didn’t turn my phone on for long periods of time. I’ve hid in the Provo City Center Temple and the library. I’ve hid in the mountains near my house as I’ve gone for long runs or adventures with my roommates. I’ve only allowed my roommates and select few individuals to see me and know about my whereabouts. I’ve kept myself grounded and in my house. Its been really peaceful to not to see people. I’ve turned to my Father in Heaven for much guidance and light. In these moments, I’ve come to really feel the love that God has for me. I’ve felt his peace and healing power to help me in a time of much struggle.

Lately, I’ve been allowing myself to branch out and set social goals (yes, I have to set goals to interact with other individuals). I’ve begun to meet people in my ward, see people from my mission, and grow closer with my roommates. I’ve set goals to buckle down and get things done during the week so I could have the chance to interact with others on my weekends. Moving forward isn’t always the easiest thing for me but its something that must be done.

The past two weekends have been ones where I’ve had moments where I’ve had chances to reflect on things in the most random times. First, I went to Moab with my roommates and while sitting in-between two arches, I realized that that the Lord has really guided me to live with amazing men of God who help me in so many ways. They are so patient with me and understand when to back off and when to ask inspired questions for my progression. They don’t push me but rather are there for guidance and support. They bring much needed laughter and love at critical times. They see me for who I can be and help lift me to that person.

 

Then this weekend, I ran a half marathon with two amazing people from my mission. One of which I was able to run 12 of the 13.1 miles together talking. This was the first time I was social in a race and it was so needed. Being able to just talk about anything and everything was nice. However, it was after the race when I was invited to attend a OneRepublic concert with my best friend and his family that I realized much more. There was a moment halfway through this concert that I realized that God has really given me exactly what I need in life. He is so aware of who I am and who I need to get through the hardest of things. He has placed amazing people in my life that know exactly how to deal with my situations. He has given so much in times of need that I can’t help but be grateful.

I really do have a good life. A life that I couldn’t even dream of. I have much to be happy for. Moving forward into the future is something I’m excited for. I truly love all that has been given to me and the chance to regroup and figure my next steps in life. I look forward to being social again. To letting the world see me again. Though life is hard its not bad but rather good.

 

 

 

 


Provo Love Song

The town of Provo is a very interesting place. It has two of just about everything. There are two temples, two colleges, two canyons, two all-star apartment complexes, two Sodaliciouses, and the list goes on. Its the place to find things. Many come to find their future spouse, to find themselves, to find God, to find a new life, and again the list goes on and on. Its been my home for just over a year now, which is weird to think because time has gone by fast. I like to think as this place as the dating capital because people really live the American Country Love Song here. There are many boys who are trying to find and run away with girls’ hearts. There is always one more kiss before dropping her off at the door. Same old pickup lines get used every day and after three months of dating, he will get down on one knee.

Like others, my Provo experience has been full of ups and downs. I moved here swallowing my pride as I told myself that I would never live in Utah in a million years. However, I found myself packing my bags and unlocking an apartment on the south-side of campus. I spent six months convinced it was the worst place on the whole planet. I thought this place couldn’t get any worse and then something would happen that would top the next worse experience. I thought every person was either rude or weird. It was freezing cold and my beanie collection had me sticking out hard.

However, after six months of living here, I choose to change my attitude. I was humbled by the words of Jacob in the Book of Mormon; which taught me that there is no such thing as a bad area in the Lord’s vineyard. Jacob taught me that the worst area could bring forth the most fruit as long as the servant went to work.  So I rolled up my sleeves and went to work. I found myself giving service to everyone around me. I found myself investing myself in everything that Provo had to offer. I strengthen my friendships. I actually started living the American Country Love Song life. I found love and lost love a few times.

After a year of living in Provo, I’m convinced that it’s the greatest place ever. Its truly a place where what you put in is what you get out. So many people move there and hate it. Grant it, there are some weird and marriage hungry people here but for the most part, the people are the best. Its full of many opportunities that are just waiting to be grasped. It truly is the most blessed place on earth. The football team might need some help but I’m loving every aspect of Provo. Provo has become such a sacred place in my heart. One that I cherish deeply and am always excited for it throws at me. I’m truly living the dream and am blessed. I have the best job, best roommates, best program in school, best adventures, best temple, and again the list goes on and on. I truly love Provo, Utah!

 

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Worthy Not Perfect

The need to be perfect in all aspects of my life is a major problem that I have. My competitive nature doesn’t help either but instead adds to having to be perfect and better than those around me. On my mission, I came to realize that this was a bad thing, especially when comparing to myself. My mission president, President Paul Craig, use to always tell me to stop beating myself up for falling short from being perfect. We spent a large amount of time over coming my perfection and realizing that I am going to fall short from the grace of God. He taught me that the Savior Jesus Christ would be the one to help make up the difference of my imperfection. Though it makes sense and something I always want to do, it is the hardest thing for me to do. It’s hard for me not to beat myself daily or weekly for not being perfect. There is always something that I should have done better and something that keeps me from being perfect.

Lately, I’ve been taking an institute class at UVU in which Brother Longmoore teaches us daily to give it all to Christ. Last week he taught us ways to allow the Atonement of Jesus Christ to help us and to trust in the Lord’s grace. Brother Longmoore has been truly inspired as a teacher because I’ve realized that it’s a terrible thing to beat ourselves up for living the gospel. He tells us that the good news should be enjoyable and we should get credit for the great things we do. Last week, he taught us that sin is not sin. Sin is just a mistake and a chance to learn, grow, and become a better person. It’s an opportunity to come closer to our Savior and Father in Heaven.

Going into General Conference this past weekend, I wanted to know how to not beat myself up daily anymore. I wanted to know how I could trust in the Lord more and use the Atonement of Jesus Christ more in my life. (Side note, this conference was a special one for me as I got to attend it in the flesh for the first time!) However, conference taught me that it is ok not to be perfect. God still loves us for not being perfect. He is proud of the progress we make daily and he is there at all times. He is grateful that we want to be better and have him in our lives.

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Elder Gong of the seventy taught that being worthy is not perfect. Rather being worthy is striving daily to keep the covenants we made with the Lord. Being worthy is willing to change and allow the Savior to be apart of our change. We shouldn’t beat ourselves up for the mistakes we make like I do. So the past few week have been eye-opening to me. Its going to be hard but rather than tearing myself apart each night and Sunday, I’m going to work on forgiving myself and letting the Savior take over my insecurities. I’m going to work on my problems and let others help me more. I have a strong desire to be better person to myself and those around me. I might not be perfect but thats ok. I have a God who knows and loves me. I have a Savior who died for my sins and is there to hold me up and wrap his arms around me. I have an amazing family who loves me and looks past my faults. I have so many amazing leaders that teach me ways to be better. I have the best roommates who help me laugh at life’s ups and downs. I have so many great friends who teach me through their examples of what it is like to be disciples of Christ. Moving forward, life is going to be good and in time, I will overcome my shortcommings. Yoked with the Savior, I will be perfect one day.

For Elder Gerrit W. Gong’s full talk: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/04/media/session_5_talk_4/4829550348001?lang=eng

 

 

 


A Year Of Progress: I love tough things

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A year ago today, March 6, 2015, I left the land of Chomping Gators, Screaming Indians, sweet potato eating, southern people of Jacksonville Florida and Southern Georgia. A year ago, I took of my name badge and became a “return missionary”. Going on my mission, I was told that it would be the hardest thing of my whole life however, this past year has taught me that going home has been the hardest thing I have ever done. This weekend, I have taken the time to reflect on all things that has happened to me in just 365 and the person that I have become. The past year has taught and brought me closer to my savior then ever before and I’d like to write about a few ways how.

Coming home with a torn achilles tendon was one of the hardest things ever as I have had to learn how to re-walk and eventually learn how to run again. In a slow progression, I learned how to become whole again. Physically, I got to be healed and restored new. I’ll never forget the look of my mother’s face when I walked out of the doctor’s office in a giant boot. She was so shocked. Months of physical therapy where at times I was discouraged and left thinking I would never get to run again. The atonement of Jesus Christ was there in every aspect and helped me get rid of the fears that lingered in the back of my mind.

Coming home was a mental challenge. All return missionaries experience heart break as they leave the one place that their true love is. Words can’t express how challenging it is to mentally pick up life in a new world after your heart has been shattered. My mission motto was “I love tough things, I am the first to do tough things, I do tough things first.” I can remembering the plane taking off and my heart felt like it was being ripped out and then a familiar voice telling me that I love tough things. Coming home, that has been my motivator to do things that I don’t mental think I can do. Mentally, the Savior has helped me over come the struggles in my mind of insecurities, regret, and fears. The Savior is there to remind me that I can do the tough things that I don’t feel that I can do.

Moving to Provo, UT has been greatest blessing and I never thought I would say that. I live with three amazing men of God that teach me daily what it means to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ. I can see through their examples how to Love God and Jesus Christ so much more. They have looked past my faults and challenge me to be a better person. They have helped me over come my addiction to the word hell and all the bad days that have come from heart break, bad break ups, terrible test days, and to not getting an internship of a life time. They continue to pick me up and help me be a better man.

Provo has given the Provo City Center Temple. This temple, though not dedicated, has been the biggest blessing me. I live five blocks away and makes me so happy every day. It has given me a deeper prospective of an eternal life and its where my soul feels the happiest. Its where I escape the world and remember the importance of all things in life. This temple has helped me to think of Jesus on such a different level that I can’t help but thank him for all that he has done.

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The past year has been a rollercoaster but as I continue to move forward I know that my Savior will be there for all aspects. I am so grateful for the amazing people that I have met this year to help me on this path of coming to the world and moving forward. At first, I was very hesitant on adapting but as I sit here in my Gator hat, I am very glad that I have. I am glad that I have had the experiences that I have had this past year from the heart aches, to the new loves, to new adventures, to the many new mountains that I climb daily. Though I miss Florida and Georgia deeply, I am glad for this new phase in my life and the person that I continue to grow to be. I love the Tough Things that I have overcame and face head one with my Savior there to help me.