Nast 2018: Soundtrack of the Year

Living in Montana, I created my own trend: nast. I coined the word and created a culture around it. What gained my nast culture popularity was my covetous nast mixes. Those lucky enough to be in the circle would receive my latest mix cd: a perfect blend of songs all centered around my current mood. DJ Nast Frazz made way too many mixes for me to be proud of. My favorite mixes were the end of year mixes; which consisted of a song of that month, the song of the summer, the date night song, and my song of the year. The end of year mix was a complete set of 15 songs and took much consideration. To this day, I still get requests to create a new nast mix but I haven’t created one since I went on my mission in 2013. I gave up the nast life and have been very quiet with my music adventures, unless you’re lucky to get my apple music texts. Well my Apple Music followers might have noticed that I created a Nast 2018……That’s right, the Nast Mix is BACK! Here you’ll get to see my year unfold and see the develop of who I was and became this year.

January: Filthy by Justin Timberlake

A good pop song to start the year off great! This song brings back memories of the start of trying to rediscover who I was and what I wanted to happen. Scarred of graduation approaching and unsure what I wanted in my life, I allowed this song to be a release. Justin Timberlake is one of my favorite celebrities and it was great to get new music…. finally. When this song first came out, those around me found it annoying but in time would come to love it as well. A catchy beat and simple lyrics kept this song in my head way too much. It became my new hashtag to write on couple’s social media.

February: Love, Love, Love by Avalanche City

This song reentered my life upon watching Peter Rabbit in theaters with my friend KP. The month of love reminded me that I was alone again. Though I would try to date, I came to realize that dating was hard when I was fixed on one particular person. My bros talked a lot about their wives and how much they loved them. Though happy for them, I was also very jealous. This song expressed the feelings that I yearned for in my life: a cute, simple love.

March: Tequila by Dan + Shay

Heartbroken and unsure about my future, Tequila came at a time that I needed it. A contender for the song of the year and one that I seem to relate too much with. March was the month of much self-doubt. I had only one offer and didn’t feel right about it. It seemed like everyone in my program had their lives figured out and knew what they were doing upon graduation. I however didn’t. I felt like a loser and just wanted to know. The more I would pray, the more I would get the answer to be patient. Focusing on my school work was the only thing that I loved. My home was full of people disrespecting each other, so this is the month I vowed not to speak anymore, and I went extremely quiet. I would end the month with 4 college offers and 9 job offers with an April 1st deadline. Stress was in full force this month.

April: Never Ever by Lord Huron

My hipster life couldn’t wait long enough for a new Lord Huron album. Then, when it came out, I related! This song is the one that hit my soul so hard. The yearning on wanting someone that you can’t and still seeing them in your life everywhere you went. “She was gone without a warning” – could these lyrics be more real? Not talking, barely laughing, and unsure about life; I found myself listening to a lot of Lord Huron and this song in particular. I just needed an escape and change.

May: Velvet Elvis by Kacey Musgraves

Let me start by saying that I think Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour album is the best album that has come out in 2018! Hands down the greatest thing. I can’t stop listening to it. Velvet Elvis is the song that kicked off the summer in Provo and gave me the confidence to start dating again. This was just a feel-good song about wanting a classic love. As I began creating dating goals again, this song just felt fun. It reminded me to be silly with dating and to live life as if no one is watching. This is when my laugh began to come back to my life. May was the month my life started to change when graduation kicked it off. Scared and a bit excited for change, I found myself ready to take on the adventure with a classic twist again, Gatsby was coming back. Instead on conforming, I started to actually let loose and this song was the perfect recipe for it.

June: Saturday Sun by Vance Joy

“Oh, Saturday Sun, I met someone! Don’t care what it cost, no ray of sunshine is ever lost.” This album actually came out in March and I didn’t fully appreciate it till the summer. Wishing for a good summer love and with an offer to move to California, the month of June was a lot of confusion. However, it was met with late nights longboarding with KR and AR till I crashed hard the week after my birthday. My birthday month became one for the books! I had the most perfect month of summer in June. There were many words of advice from RT, bon fires with interesting people, pool side babes, and Penguin Brothers. Unsure for what the future would bring, I used this month and song to be my chance to truly live.

July: I Could’ve Been Your Girl by She & Him

This is the month that I discovered the show New Girl. I watched all 6 seasons on Netflix in just three weeks – no shame. I found the fictional character that truly embodies me: Schmidt. I discovered She & Him because of New Girl, and there was no turning back! I was going on dates with someone and I could have made her mine, if I really wanted to. However, I knew I was moving, and I didn’t want to lead her on. July was the month I gave up on a dream job and made a life altering change that would shape the next few months for the better. There seemed to be so many things that could’ve been mine and I altered from them in this month. July, I was completely obsessed with Zooey Deschanel.

August: I Don’t Miss You by Jake Scott

I started a new job, moved, and completely changed my life in August. It was just one thing after another. Change is something that I don’t always like, and August was really hard! I tricked myself into thinking that I didn’t miss my old life. I told myself that I didn’t miss my old ward to go to this new one. I told myself that I didn’t miss my old roommates, even though I made several trips to Southern Utah to be with one of them. I was really struggling with this new life. Looking back, jumping straight into the deep end was the best thing that I did.

September: Fun and Games by Kelsea Ballerini

September is the month that I decided to embrace my new life and a new life meant new girls to meet. My roommate and I decided to hit the dating scene rather hard. There is douchbag inside of me and I let him out, or in other words, I let the dirty slut out of the slut-house.  I tried to allow women to be my distraction. Fun and Games was a perfect theme song for the fella with the hella good hair.

October: Walls by The Lumineers

A remake of a Tom Petty song for the one-year mark of his death (may he rest in peace), The Lumineers had me dead on this month. Some days are happy, and some days are sad. Recovering from two traumatic events in October made it unsure how to feel or express. I kind of went into hiding this month. RM helped me to set realistic goals to make it one day at a time. I was trying to find my new purpose in life and I discovered a glimpse of it.

November: Norway by The Brummies

Ready to embrace a new purpose in life and ready for love, Norway has been a fun jam. I feel like November was bringing my hipster life back to action. Flannel and beanies needed a good weird song to match it. This song is all about wanting to get back with old love, and that’s how I feel. November is how I was able to find a blend of my old life into my new life. It’s the yearning for an old love. It’s just wanting to get out and go to Norway – AR we’re going to go!

December: Lonely Man of Winter by Sufjan Stevens

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Sufjan Stevens is the music of my soul! I couldn’t have been more excited when I found out that he released a Christmas song. Then, I heard it and feel in love with the first play. I’m alone but not for long. I’m excited for the end of this year and to watch this month unfold. I’m actually in love with the snow on the ground, something I would never say. I think we all feel alone till we notice how much good is really around us.

New Date Night Song: Connection by OneRepublic

New house means new date night song. I worked really hard to find a new date night song. I tried out different ones. First Date by Blink-182 almost made it but ultimately, this is the song! This is how I feel just before going on a date. I want a connection and there are many women around me; I just need to find one. Dating this year has gone in some cycles and even took a low at times. I love dating but I’m ready to actually find love again. I’m ready to slow down and start working on a family. I want a wife and that’s what I’m looking for. I’m done playing the dating games and that’s what this song is all about. I know that makes me sound desperate but I really want to create my own little weird family.

Song of the Summer: Girls Like You by Maroon 5 and Cardi B

This summer had a lot of amazing songs, but this was a clear winner in my boat. This song brings back the memories of hammocking all over the place, flipping burgers on the grill, chilling on a floaty at the pool, late night cannon drives, and ultimately just living life to the fullest. It came out the week of my birthday and hasn’t stopped being played from my earbuds. It reminds me of getting in to MM’s car to start the birthday festivals. It’s morphed into messed up rap lyrics with RM. It reminds me of KR and RT late night talks on couch. It’s camping trips or accidental couple retreats. This song embodies everything of summer, my favorite time of the year.  I also love this music video so much! Aly Raisman just slays it! When she holds Adam Lavine’s hand, I was super jealous of him the first time I watched it.

Song of the Year: Mystery of Love by Sufjan Stevens

Do I even need to say that this the song of year? Those around me, I’m sure y’all are ready for this song to go away. I’ve currently listened to this song 383 times on my iTunes and that doesn’t count the times I’ve listened to it on YouTube. I think this is the most beautiful and accurate song. It expresses every feeling I’ve ever felt with dating. I’ve processed every emotion in this song, and in the order presented in this song. It brings me so much joy and comfort. It’s dark and creepy. It has a hopeful approach to love and the role that it plays in life. I literally listen to this song at least once a day. I run to it. I’ve swam laps in the pool to it. I’ve deep cleaned my house it. I’ve laughed, and I’ve cried while listening to this song. When I think of 2018, this is song that I think of. Half way through the song, it proposes the question: How much sorrow can I take? Broken-hearted, depressed, angry, frustrated, confused, and upset are how I spent a good portion of this year. Though, I will say this year was also the happiest I have ever been. I have felt so loved, so loved! I have felt forgiven. I have felt excited and giddy. This song is the perfect bow to my year.

 

I’m excited to see what 2019 will unfold. However, I must say that I’m beyond grateful for my 2018. All of my prayers have been answered. Many goals have been accomplished. Life was a rollercoaster, but it was worth the ride. I will always cherish and love this past year. 2018 is one for the books.

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2018 Wonders

November is literally my favorite month of the year!! FAVORITE! It’s full of leaves falling down and crunchiness with every step. There is flannel everywhere and the busting out of beanies, though that doesn’t ever stop me during the year. It has pumpkin pie and the start of the mint craze. However, there is Thanksgiving and it is my favorite holiday ever. EVER! Not just because I can eat and not feel judged; but because it’s a time of true reflection and pondering of all the greatness in my life. It is the start of the holiday season where people truly are kinder to one another. Thanksgiving is where we get to see that we have so many great things in our lives! I love my life. It’s not always the most glamorous or exciting as people make it out to be. However, it brings me so much joy!

People are probably getting annoyed with my obsession with the book Wonder. Don’t really care though. Last year, I let the world into my Wonders of 2017. This year, I’d like to do the same because I truly have incredible wonders in my life, and they deserve a standing ovation for all that they do for me. So, buckle in and get ready for me to try to attempt to show how wonderous they really are. I apologize for the length this post is going to be and also for actually using people’s names (something that I try hard not to do).

31895256_2261038710580718_2078803062192865280_oFirst off, I couldn’t achieve anything in this life if it wasn’t for my family. They are my rock and my inspiration in this life. I always want to make them proud. This year, I was blessed to walk across a stage with a diploma and see them so happy of my accomplishments. Though I tripped, I was so grateful that I could have that moment in life. I love them so much! My father, Rafael, teaches me about hard work all the time. His example to work for his family is something that I hope to match one day. My mom is a crazy storm that just never stops. She cracks me up and is my biggest fan. My sister is my biggest inspiration in this world. She’s my best friend and I love her so much! I’m blessed to have her.

32187234_2267943466556909_9208300421087494144_nNext, The Cordons!! I love them so much and am so grateful to call them my best friends. This year, Josh has shown me how to achieve dreams and to fight for what you want. I have loved watching Kensey transform into this epic mom! Her love and admiration towards Todd is truly breath-taking. I don’t know how they do all that they do. I’m blessed beyond measure to call them my biggest support system. They’ve had to hear about my frustrations with dating, my fears of the unknown with my future, my career paths, and all my complaints in life. They put up with so much when it comes to our friendship. They know exactly when to call and when to ask to help me. I’m also super blessed to be Todd’s manny. It’s the greatest gift, even though we don’t make it through a full book anymore.

fullsizeoutput_539Next, Ms. Alyssa Brown needs more than a standing ovation! This woman does a million things and looks after everyone! She is a huge blessing to my life. I am lucky that I get the chance to serve her from time to time and that she is willing to serve me! For the second time in my life, I get the joy of calling her my neighbor. Living just a few feet away from her is without a doubt the biggest blessing of my life. I love that she is a constant reminder to me of the Savior. She goes about doing his gospel in ways that I could only imagine. She is so kind to everyone and asks for nothing in return. I love watching the way she cares for people; and it’s something that I am grateful to experience each day. I hope that she understands her worth in this life! She has been one that I call when I need help and I get more than I barged for each time.

IMG_0731Ryan Mitchell, it’s your turn for some praises. This kid is a very selfless person, despite what others would think. He is my current roommate and a sheer joy. I love being able to think about him and his transition each day. His willingness to do what the Lord asks of him is something that I admire from him. His spirit and love for the gospel is something I have prayed months to have back in my house. I am so grateful that the Lord answered my prayers by putting him in it. I am so grateful that I can come home and have someone to laugh with each day. Our love for college football has been a bonding experience but a reminder that we must slowdown in life, something that I forget way too often. I realized he was my friend the day I was crying in the kitchen and he helped me to pick myself up again. I always pray that I can help him, but I think he helps me way more. Ladies of Utah, you’d be lucky to have the chance to go on a date with him. He’s going to do some amazing things in the world.

IMG_0894Miranda Miller, seriously how did I get so lucky to have this friend!! SERIOUSLY! The world is a much happier and brighter world because of Miranda. This woman amazes me with her kindness and willingness to serve without being asked. She is a force that is beckoned to be reckoned with!! She is going to change the world with one laugh at a time. She has taught me to not take myself so serious in life, a hard thing for me to do. When I got hit by the car, I was so blessed to have her at my side to help me be healed. She took care of me on many levels this year. She didn’t want to be my friend in the start, but I pushed my way into her life and I have been so blessed because of it. Watch out world, she’s coming and don’t get in her way!

IMG_0601Kjell Rasmussan, the friend that helped me to laugh again. I didn’t want to live a summer in the Provo, but the Lord told me that I needed to. God was very aware of my life and I see that with this friendship. I was blessed to share a room with him as I was able to bring laughter in my life again. Fresh off of graduation and scarred to take the next step in life, I was blessed to have my buddy Kjell to help me figure out life a little bit. He helped me to see that there was good in life. He is an individual that quietly serves others and puts his needs last. We don’t talk that much these days, but I’m proud of all the good that he is currently doing. He serves one person at a time. Those that are lucky to call him a friend are blessed by his good nature in the world. He’s that friend that I don’t really worry about, because I know that he will always be there when I need him: I just have to ask.

IMG_0593Alright, Ashley Raymond don’t think I forgot you. She is the one that I refer to as my long-boarding buddy in previous posts. Living across the street from her has been the only constant in my life this year. I’m so blessed to have her. She is a goof to the max and the nicest person ever! I admire how in tune she is with knowing when I’m not doing well. She picks me up when I need someone to pick me up. She listens to me complain about our interesting friends. As I’ve transitioned from student to working adult, I’ve silently watched her to see how she does it. I look up to her because she’s been doing it better than anyone that I know. The world is a more colorful place because of her, and not just because of her red hair!

fullsizeoutput_dceSouthern charm was brought into my life when I made friends with Madilyn Green; a girl that reminds the world that nasty isn’t always nasty. I’m not really sure how the sex therapist became my friend but I’m sure grateful for it! This girl kills me! A native from the south, I love having someone who understands my southern ways. The world is so much funnier with her! With southern class, this lady is one that reminds me to see the world from different angles and always keep a wink up your sleeve. I have loved being able to have a coke and just shoot the breeze with her. I admire how hard she works and I’m just in awe with how determined she is in life. I’m grateful for her example to me.

31598669_2261023167248939_1787739055597813760_nLastly, I would like to finish by discussing my bros: Tyler Vonhatten and Grant Walton! These boys are the main reason that I graduated this year. These guys carried me when I wanted to give up last semester. They were my motivation to have my work completed. They motivated me to succeed in class. They were there to make the journey easier and to provide a million laughs. These guys made sure that I laughed, even at the stupidest of things. I really am glad that I was able to make it out of my program with them. There were moments were one of us wanted to quit, but we were able to help each other in those moments. Our up to no good attitudes created many interesting and creative ideas in school. My favorite memory is when we played soccer all the way down the main hallway of school and didn’t care if people were in the way. We had a lot of fun and that’s all that mattered to us. To this day, I’m motived to succeed to make them proud because of all their work with me. I am proud of their accomplishments and hope they get all they want, they deserve it. This photo of graduation is my favorite because my best friends in the school are behind me, like they were during the whole program!

2018 was a year where I searched to find my laugh again. These wonders helped to find it. Unfortunately, this list doesn’t reflect the many people who have impacted my life this past year. This list does show the ones that played the largest part and I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful that I have so many people that care for me and want me to succeed. I’m grateful that when I prayed in February for the chance to be myself again, and the Lord sent people to make that happen. I’m grateful for all the wonders in my life! I’m sorry for how long this is, too. Tyler and Grant can be my witnesses to my ability to write too much. Thank you to everyone on this list. Y’all truly are WONDERS, and know that I’m standing giving you the ovation that you deserve!


Next Steps

A lesson that I learn time and time again is the fact that life always carry on and it has a way of working itself out. At the end of the summer, I found my life completely changing. I found my life no longer comfortable. I found myself diving into the deep in and wondering how to swim again. With the help of KR, MM, AR, MG, and RT; I found myself really loving my life. I loved my job, but I knew that my time there was up. I loved my housing, but it was time to move on. I found myself lost not studying and not learning for the first time in my life. I found myself trying so hard to grasp on to something. So, I changed jobs and I moved. I said goodbye to a comfortable life and I dove into that deep in and wasn’t sure how to swim.

I love my new job. When I first started it, it was hard to find myself successful in it. I felt like I was messing up and found myself defending my education too much. I felt stupid because I am the youngest one there. I was scared to speak up in a meeting. I was scared to step on others’ toes. I was scared to make friends because everyone is much older than me. I felt inadequate and was wondering why I was selected for this job.

Moving was hard cause I walked into a door where I knew no one. I couldn’t see a purpose for this new location. I struggle to make friends and I felt like everyone was speaking for me. The month of September felt like I couldn’t find my own voice. I was just conforming and saying yes to everything. I found myself lost again and unsure of my life.

However, life moves forward. I’ve being putting one foot in front of the other. I’ve found a way to get out of bed on the hard days and to try. Two months in, and the newness of my job has worn off. I’ve become talking and making connections with people. My coworker KB has become a friend that I admire and look forward to telling all my adventures to. She always makes me feel validated in many things. IMG_077755994721647__2DAC39CF-8A9C-4835-B848-3634C7BD7C9F

More so though, it has been my connection with my roommate RM that has helped me to continue forward in life. Focusing on him and making sure that he is transitioning has helped me to see a new purpose in my life. Helping him to take chances and grow has been fun to watch. New simple traditions like college football and pizza on Saturday has helped me to actually rest and make someone else is happy.

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MG and MM have been there to help me still have some formality from old life. They have been my rocks these days. I am very lucky to have them as spiritual rocks and individuals that remind me to slow down. They make sure that I take time to actually have fun in my life.

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The greatest thing for me was actually getting hit by a car on my longboard about three weeks ago. It has allowed for me to slow down and notice the people around me. It has shown me that I have people that genuinely care for me.  It has allowed me to turn to my Savior, Jesus Christ, and realize that I need to be healed. It has allowed me to let others actually help me. It’s a weird thing but I see the hand of God in my life from it.

I’m not a perfect person, but I’m moving forward. I don’t have all the answers to my million questions, but I’m hopeful for the future. My life is very simple and would seem boring to the outside word, but I wouldn’t trade it. One day I’ll look back and fully understand why I went through these hard things in my life. Right now, I don’t know why but I do love my struggles and I am happy in the little successes.

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Song of the City

Buzzing sounds of people, cars, and trains seem to be the soundtrack of my life these days. Each day I leave the quiet town I live in and head in the large city of Salt Lake City. A new adventure begins as I approach the U. The rumble of voices are becoming the bass to my song. The horns of the cars are on beat, just honking along. The daily thoughts of my mind are the harmony and the city is my daily song.

There is so much going on around me. The tapping of feet guide the listeners. Turning of pages explore the students and eager learners. Closing of eyes help me to discount for just a moment in time. Daydream dozers are seeking for a better life. Yet the city is our song.

Just keep moving and somehow take it all in. Construction every where finds a way to slow down everyone. Sleeping passengers snooze till they freak out on the missed stop. Bikers weave in out till crossing guards blow their whistles. Cars just drive in a hurray to add to the song of the city.

Where I reach the sound of fingers typing away. Photo snapping and mouses clicking. Unclear directions and sneaking snacks. Creativity swarming and forced. Till it’s back to the bussing and lane changers. The song is back in my life.

I’m sitting on my couch, listening to the small talk of my new roommate. Both scared to actually get to know each and embrace this life. Packed boxes just waiting to be unpacked but fear of moving on ways in my head. Missed thoughts of KIR and RT feel my mind. Till the city plays it’s song again the next day.


                        Kindred Spirits

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There are people that come into our lives and completely change us for the better. Anne of Green Gables calls these individuals bosom buddies or kindred spirits. For the sake of this friendship, I’ll use her term kindred spirits. However, these kindred spirits seem to be exactly what you need, and you find yourself instantly best friends. Your spirits just click as if you knew each other before. These kindred spirits help you to progress, and you feel like you have a trust from the start. Today, I’d like to bring the world into the adventures of one of my kindred spirits, KIR.

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I first met him the week after graduation. I was confused and broken hearted. All of my friends from my program had gone in different directions. My best friend moved to California with his family for a summer job. My roommates all moved out and went in different directions. For the first time in my life since coming home from my mission, I found myself completely alone. I still had my longboarding home girl and her roommate was just placed in my ward (both of which would help me grow this summer, too). However, I didn’t want to be clingy and I found myself praying for a friend to be brought into my life. I didn’t feel comfortable living on my own and I asked the Lord for a roommate. Both prayers were answered with the blessing of KIR.

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Frozen Fridays and Birthday Parties

The day he moved in, I thought he was a different race because of the spelling of his name. I didn’t actually see him, but I saw his stuff. I was a bit let down that he was white when I met him, but was ready to say hello to him. First couple of days, I did my own thing and left him alone. The introverted person in me wasn’t ready to be a friend. Rather, I came home on a Saturday after going to the temple to him and his sister playing Just Dance in the living. They invited me to play and I was about to say no, but for some reason I said yes. From that moment on, we would find that we are very much the same person. I started inviting him to eat dinner with me and family dinner was a way to get him to interact with me. I also began to write him notes in the morning since I left before he did. It was something that I saw on Friends and have been doing it for a while, now. I invited to all the activities that I was invited to so he didn’t have to stay at home alone.

 

We bonded on a connection that both of us were in love with individuals that had moved to serve the Lord and do something beyond selfish. Broken hearted and unsure how to take on the world, we found ourselves ready to move on but not sure how to do it. So, we started setting dating goals for each other and holding ourselves accountable on the opposite sex. We were able to be there for each on the nights that our broken hearts were overly broken and needed someone to talk with. We were able to be a support system for one another each Monday. When the letters would come in the mail box or the email, there would be someone to talk to that you knew was going through the same thing. We helped each other by creating all sorts of dating activities: Spoon Under The Moon, Squeeze and Please, or Have a Cookie Take A Lookie. All these activities were so that we could meet girls to date.

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Can’t make it through one service….

Our love for the Savior allowed us to help each other progress spiritually. Previous to being roommates, we both came from roommates that made it hard to focus on the spirit. We found ourselves in ruts and unsure how to get out of them. Rather, we were blessed to have a desire to help one another to set goals and account each night on them. We created plans on how to be better. The love of the gospel of Jesus Christ allowed us to have much fun together. I found it fun to take pictures of him while sleeping in church. He never could make it all three hours without snoozing off. 

 

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Mud Football

Now as all young men do, we had lots of fun doing all sorts of things. One of our last night’s together, we thought about many of our adventures together. Of the many things, there were three main themes: sports, girls, and movies. There was never two people so dedicated to the world cup! You bests be believing that the two of us were up early every Saturday to watch the first game. We dove into that three-week tournament like it was the last thing on the earth. We created a new game called tennis soccer. We longboarded while shaking our butts down state street. We did a lot of long boarding till I got in a long boarding accident that left me rather bruised, cut, scrapped, and in pain (rather funny though). We excelled at ultimate frisbee. We allowed sports to be a way to take the stress away from our day to day lives.

We laughed hard at inappropriate movies and jokes. We laughed each night talking before going to bed. We laughed so hard that we turned red and cried many times. We laughed in church and we laughed while cooking together. Our friendship is so special to me because it brought laughter back into my life. I LOVE to laugh! Everyone that has heard me laugh knows that I have a loud laugh that is best termed as a cackle. It’s the thing that get me into trouble and either makes me friends or has people making fun of it. In school, I would get so serious that I forgot to laugh. My apartment had become unhappy and I found myself unable to laugh. Being able to have a friend that was willing to laugh as loud as me was a sheer joy in my life. I don’t remember what we laughed at most of the times, but I sure do remember how hard they were. I feel like when I laugh, I am truly being myself.

Before I knew it, my catch phrases started to be apart KIR’s normal life. I started to hear him say the words that I use daily like “yeah, yeah”.  We started to rub off on to each other that we became the same person in no time. A true friendship. We found music was a way to connect. Before we knew it, we were singing along to songs like Girls Like You by Maroon 5, Straight to Hell by Darrius Rucker, I Could’ve Been Your Girl by She & Him, FallInLove2Nite by Prince, and Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset by Luke Bryan. I had a three-week moment where I was obsessed with New Girl and somehow that spilt into our lives. Like this one time, I was singing the theme song loud out the door and offended this girl. It became the joke of the summer. We watched a lot of movies together. Our favorite was the new Christopher Robin movie, hence a Winnie the Pooh Quote in the front.

 

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Last Meal In Provo

The adventures have come to a slow as we have both moved out of the apartment that brought us together. We have gone in opposites directions of the state. However, saying goodbye wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. When my best friend and I stopped being companions on the mission, I had a feeling that he was still going to be a major part of my life and he has been. I got that feeling again. So, buckle up KIR, cause the adventures are just starting. I am so grateful for this kindred spirit in my life and the many lessons that I have learned from him so far. I am thankful to have a friend that answered so many of my prayers to my Heavenly Father. My life is truly better because of KIR.

 

 

Thank You, Old Sport!

 

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The End of an Era: “Bye House”

Moving out and moving on are two things that usually go side by side. They usually entail being somewhere and creating change. Almost two years ago, I moved into apartment ten against my own will. Rather, my roommates Ben and Sean asked me to move with them. I told them to pick their top three places and that I would go look at them since I didn’t have as much time to devote to house hunting as they did. Apartment ten was the last place they showed me, and it was Ben’s number one pick. We toured the place and I instantly hated it. It was far too ghetto for me and it was surround by nasty fast food. It looked like something from the 1960’s and being a boy of the 50’s, it just wouldn’t do. I left it and I had this gut feeling that it was the place that I was supposed to move to. I filled out the application and prayed to God asking to be rejected. Rather, all three of us were accepted and we expected to move in by the end of the summer.

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The unholy trinity moved in with much hope and excitement for a new life and a lot of fun. The unholy trinity became the men of ten and found ourselves in the midst of J men: Jay Michael, Jameson Jones, and Jackson Chandler. Ben had gone by Jimmy, Sean went by Jack, and my Riley James allowed us to all find joy in the same letter. We dove into this identity with Gatsby parties of all sorts. It all began with pina coladas and an open door. Next thing we knew, we were the party apartment. My Gatsby life kicked in high swing when we began to have themes to each party: fine wine and cheese, karaoke, Irish pub night, black and white affair, and the list went on. There wasn’t a night were the house wasn’t full of all sorts of interesting people.

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The Gatsby life ended, the curtains were closed, the door was shut, and I began to use this apartment as a way to hide from the world. I was bitter and angry at many people. I lost all my friends, love, and identity. Ben Jones was the first one to move and Casey replaced him. Ben Jones was the glue of the apartment prior and with him gone, I found myself the glue. Casey moved in at a time of much confusion for all of us and a time where we didn’t know what would come from it. So, we did what all great roommates would do, we decided to market others to the opposite sex. We bonded over the potential of having women apply to date us for Valentine’s day. Our results were overwhelming: we found two marriages, a serious relationship, and one girl crying to the bishop over disrespecting women. Success none the less! With new found friendship we also bonded over a mutual hatred that drove the men of ten to be divided for the first time. The presence of an individual in the home all day and all night caused a lot of contention in the house. Casey would eventually move out because of her. It was a sad time. I found myself locking myself in my room and not coming out. I was scared to do anything in the house. So, I figured if no one saw me, then some peace would come out from it.

Jackson left for a summer to explore the woods of Portland and Hunter took his spot but was here to stay much longer than the summer. Jay got married and Freddy was a short life span. Very much divided and unsure, Jameson Jones and I found ourselves growing very close. We found ourselves seeking friendships and dating outside of the house. One of the reasons I dated so much was so that I didn’t have to be home. Late nights were spent with others and the apartment became a mess. I refused to clean, and it was nasty. Freddy was a non-Mormon in a house full of return missionaries. He made us very aware of our actions and made us more aware of the image that we were putting off.

At the end of the summer, Jackson moved back, and Sean got married. I moved out of the small room with Jameson and into the middle room with Jackson. Freddy moved out and Spencer moved in with Hunter since they were cousins. In order to get Jameson to stay in the apartment, we struck a deal with management and traded him and Dexter for the two random men that were supposed to live with us. So, we got to keep our Jameson and gained Dexter. Our house was beyond busy and no one was home but Dexter and Hunter. However, the Men of Ten found themselves annoyed with each other and lots of drama followed. It was a very click apartment and no one really respected another. I found myself trying to keep the peace but eventually started to just never come home. I found ways to avoid the apartment again. I spent more time in the library and away from everyone. I got to a point where I never spoke a word to anyone because I found every word being used against me. We couldn’t respect each other, and this house became far from a home. It seemed like there was always someone mad at someone. We were all to blame for this, unfortunately.

I couldn’t wait to leave and was ready to. However, I got screwed over when move outs were a week before finals. BYU housing has this stupid thing where there is homeless week, aka you have to move out but can’t move into your new place for at least a week. I asked if I could pay for the week to stay and housing told me that I would have to buy a summer contract in order to do so. So, I found myself buying a summer contract for the 36847943_2178877802347939_5731897133712277504_npurpose of having a place to live for finals. Jameson moved home for the summer. Hunter moved home also. Spencer got married in the beginning of the summer. Jackson went to Australia, and then got an internship in Northern Utah. So, it left Dexter and me to stay. Except when Ryan and Josh moved in, Dexter chose to move back to his old apartment randomly. Ryan, Josh, and I had the apartment for a whole week together. Then, Spencer and Ben moved in. Spencer and Ben had been roommates together before and knew each other well. We all just kept to ourselves and didn’t interact much with each other. Then, the week after graduation, Kjell joined us and made us complete. Kjell was the glue that we needed. Kjell and I instantly became great friends and helped everyone to interact with each other. This summer, we have seen much laughter and loud singing. The blinds were opened, and people have been invited over again. Once again, living in ten was joyful and a true blessing. It was a prefect bookend to how things first started in ten.

On Saturday, I move out and start a new life. I will leave behind the life I once knew. I’ve grown up and I’ve learned a lot from this experience. I have come to love each of my roommates in way or another from living here. It’s very bittersweet to say the least. However, it was it needed for me at this time of my life. I will turn my key in and say good bye to my house. The first song I played when I moved in was Wildflowers by Tom Petty. I plan to have it as my last song here. This clip of Racheal moving out of Monica’s house (skip to 2:50) is actually the emotions that I feel in regard to saying goodbye.

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Good Bye Home! I will always cherish my time in this apartment. I will miss the big living room and large kitchen. The late-night pillow talks with my roommates. The pre-date preps at the vanity and large mirror in the hall. The post-date chat sessions in the hall ways. The bushes that blocked the quad from looking in the window. But most of all, I will miss this life and the people that I got to live. To the End of an Era!

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180 Dates

Since moving and becoming part of The Men of Ten, I have gone on 180 dates. Alright, go ahead and start the judgement on that number. I mean one doesn’t get the bad reputation without a high number, right? (Side note, the reputation will be addressed later, so remember it). It is a very high number and the only way I have counted is because I have a song that I play one time while getting ready for every date. That song just hit 180 plays about two weeks ago. I have learned so much from those 180 dates that I felt the need to share it with the world.

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Now, in those 180 dates, three girls were given a large amount of dates. They were even given that scary word of commitment, but sadly saw the sting of rejection in one shape or another. These three taught me how to open up and truly be vulnerable with someone. They taught me to take down the walls that I put up. They were each a blessing that I needed at their particular parts of my life. One taught me to not miss my chance and to love a friend. Two is the one that taught me that I could truly love someone. She helped me to see the hand of God more in my life. She was there for me in the beginning of my bad reputation and over looked it. Three, poor Three. She started out as a way for me to get over two and seemed more like a game. I wasn’t ready for her and I didn’t respect her. Sadly, she found rejection the hardest with a hand-written letter and the boarding of a plane for a goodbye. Not my best moment in life. She taught me the depth of my reputation and just couldn’t look past it. She taught me that I needed to learn to move on and focus on the things that matter most.

I was labeled as a heartbreaker, a man slut, and one that disrespects women. The last one hurt the most. The thing about rumors are: they are terrible and cruel, but most of them are true. I admit that I wasn’t the best with women when my heart got broke the first time since R. However, I honestly had the best intentions when it came to my dating life. When I moved to Provo, I felt that it was preached that we were supposed to date a lot. I set the goal to get married and I figured that 3-5 dates a week would help me to obtain it. That is how it all started. When I tarnished my name among those from my mission, I dove into dating like it was a sport. I didn’t see what would follow it.

Among all this dating, I feel like I learned what I didn’t want to have in a future spouse. There are some girls that I wrote off very quickly because I saw traits that I knew that I couldn’t live with. However, there are some girls that I just never asked out again because I wasn’t in the right state of mind at the time. I thought that I could use dating as a way to avoid my problems and broken hearts. I’ve learned that that is not good and healthy to do, and it is plain rude.

Since coming home from my mission, I struggled with dating in the aspect that everyone in my life seems to want to be a part of my dating life. I’ll go on a date and everyone seems to have an opinion and somehow ruin things that are going well. My friends and family seem to all be so noisy about my dating life. Even if it’s just been one date. So, I hide my relationships and dates. In these 180 dates, I’ve managed to keep most of them private. I’ve come to learn when it comes to relationships, I want them to be all for me. Not that I’m not proud to be dating the girl, but I want it to be the one part of my life just for me. I just don’t want the world to ruin it.

When my bad reputation was in full bloom, I pulled one from Taylor Swift’s page and went into hiding. I figured that the gossip would settle. What I found was that I was still in love with someone that I could no longer have. I realized that I had taken the time to mourn. So, I found myself struggling to compare girls to this one girl every time I went out. I felt really bad for them and I really have struggled to date till about two weeks ago.

My 180th date taught me so much about myself. It was simple and a lot of fun. It was very private, and I felt extremely nervous. I used to be nervous on every date and that went away. For the first time in a long time, I felt like the old me was coming back while in this date. I didn’t compare her once to another girl. I just saw her for her. I was able to be my childish self and not feel judged. I don’t know if anything will come from this date. I mean, I haven’t even gotten the courage to ask her out again. I don’t know if she enjoyed it, but I am very grateful for my 180thdate. It’s something that I will forever cherish in my life. It took 180 dates to realize that I can be me again, and that’s a victory.  I learned that I can just go have a good time with someone and not worry about the outside world. I just have to worry about if I’m impressing her enough and not saying the wrong thing. The boy before the reputation is back, just a little older and little more refined. I’m back and ready to take on the world with my large dreams.