Tuesday, December 20, 2011

just cause

This one's gonna be a free for all.

I have the time to write. And the desire, so...here's to late-night blogging.

I've found myself at the pinnacle of my college education--surprisingly enough, from here on out I have less ahead of me than behind.

Seasoned am I.

And as a conclusion, even as a veteran among my freshman counterparts, I admit I just experienced the most defining semester of my young adult life.

I witnessed betrayal and confronted a broken heart.
I relied on my soul mates and rediscovered strength.
I created purpose and redirected by pursuits.
I chose happiness over hatred and festered over my potential.
I made investments and spent too much money.
I offered apologies and begged for second chances.
I found a boy and fell in love.

The semester I've been anticipating since I graduated Dixie High School; an entire season of "FIRST"s and "LAST"s.

The FIRST time I've ever used my Master Card to make a purchase exceeding
1. the worth of my seven-year-old Saturn Ion.
2. the amount of my 2011 tax return.
3. the total amount of gas money I spent traveling to the East Coast, and back.

I'll defend that purchase til the day I die and spend any given opportunity justifying my actions. Though, there is a very obvious sting associated with paying off $50 accessory pillows in increments of the "minimum payment". Yes, plural pillows and yes the biggest purchase of my life, thus far, has been on designing the bed of my dreams.

It was an investment, and I am an fool.

Giddy up.

This October was the FIRST time I've ever used the one curse I vowed I'd never, ever say.

I imagine the "LAST time I ever said that curse I vowed I'd never, ever say" declaration will be in another post. New habits...die hard? :)

November 25th: The LAST time I ever worked a Black Friday in a blue polo.

I tried eggnog for the FIRST time, ever.
An event I recognize as a FIRST and a LAST...

I was kissed in the aisles of a library, for the FIRST time.
I Nerf'd and Grooveshark'd for the FIRST time too.
I watched an episode of The Unit, had a desire to perfect my German accent, ice skated with my eyes closed, and ate tiramisu!!

Hopefully those exclamation points are as nauseating to you as they were to me. Especially considering the rhyme they are exclaiming--it must be four in the morning.

The past few months even encouraged a legitimate interest in the logistics of the military. That's a FIRST.

I changed guitar strings for the FIRST time and purchased a Victoria's Secret bra.
And when I say "I changed guitar strings for the FIRST time and purchased a VS bra," I regret to clarify that those happenings were indeed two separate events.
And when I say "a bra," I mean two bras. Naturally.

In October I had my FIRST kiss with that same boy I have fallen and am falling in love with. I'm hoping that occasion finds something in common with my eggnog experiment.

It would be a fulfillment of my best made plans to recognize that as a FIRST and a LAST.

Considerably more FIRSTS than LASTS, but an acceptable summary of my past few months and a gateway leading right into New Year's resolutions.

1. Stop saying that one word..

The FIRST one to greet this morning, and the LAST one to go to bed.

Friday, October 21, 2011

lady bug, lady bug, fly away home

Yesterday morning I woke up to a lady bug on my pillow...

I instinctively told her to let me sleep and to go home. She disregarded my suggestion, but advised me to do the same--for reasoning other than a house fire or unattended children.

She told me to go home, so I did; she told me to find happiness, so I am.

Tonight I'm sleeping in southern Utah with a partial heart. I feel broken, but hopeful. My closest friends and most faithful family members are challenging my sorrow with peanut butter cupcakes, filthy rap music, exaggerated memories, complimentary glitter toes, pornographic picture messages, songs about Spanish love affairs, and real hugs--the Melvin J. Price kind. The distance between Logan, Heber, and St. George makes things complicated, but reminds me that I'm still alive. I15 was the best recovery for a brief moment of heartache.

Nicole Murray: Enjoy the weekend with your sweetheart, I couldn't have survived this week without you.
Jeff Sonderegger: Enjoy the sweet smells of your momma's house, with or without appendicitis.
Laura Wilson: Enjoy Texas, but more importantly enjoy yourself. What I wouldn't give to live on your street...
Tennessee Casas: God bless you for covering my shift. Enjoy the dinner I'ma make for you when I get back.
Phil Wright: Enjoy your Tony Horton abs, "you're more of a man than I."
Tyler McGinnis: Enjoy your genius. I'm so impressed with your innovation. Put it to good use and celebrate your originality.
Matthew Laplante: Enjoy my personal profile. You provided me more opportunity to address my issues than any other professor. Many tears were shed in the name of my News Media midterm.
Nikelle Taylor Flores: Enjoy your humor. You are one of the funniest people I know and I will be thankful everyday that we share a dirty mind and a curious soul.
Klydi Heywood: Enjoy your family, and your momma! Happy birthday darling.
Tia Jeppesen: Enjoy your glamorous weekend and know that you are missed.
Lady at Urban Renewal: Enjoy your winter-green fur coat.
Sierra McCleve: Enjoy your skill, your infectious laughter, and you ability to "talk 'em down."

Women: Enjoy your complexities and your contradictions.
Men: Enjoy your women.

Men and women: Enjoy each other.

Jessica, J, Jess, J-Fresh: Enjoy your versatility, your options, your dreams. Enjoy your sisters, your mom, your friendships, your networks. Enjoy your job, your education, your plans. Enjoy your words, even your curses. Enjoy the fall, enjoy your abilities, enjoy the time. Enjoy your ladybugs and your full, weathered, able heart.

Friday, April 1, 2011

rose price

I'd like to create an opportunity to acknowledge my soul; the designated guardian of my wildest dreams, the most secure vault for best kept secrets, the purest source of my celestial divinity. She is a pioneer, a gypsy, a romantic, a dreamer. A house wife, a rock star, a pin up girl, an athlete. She has motherly instincts, she wants to change the world, she craves attention. She's a listener, a problem solver, a motivational speaker, a poet, and an optimist. She sings to soothe, she sings to meditate, she sings to entertain. The very essence of my soul is a sincere reflection of who I can be--who I am striving to become; the very essence of my soul was ignited by my mom. It started with her, and after weekends like my birthday weekend, I appreciate her as she sustains my existence with every laugh, every offering of advice, every snuggle, kiss, and back scratch. At the end of the day...I blame my mother.

So, as tribute to her inspiration and grace, AND as my celebration of her contributions to my birth, I'd like to reference a whole 21 things I am thankful she taught me, in these 21 years. Though 21 will hardly be a fraction of her gifts, I found it appropriate considering my age. Mom, this is for you.

1. How to properly fold towels. Maybe we are perfectionists by nature, but the edges should all be aligned--folded into fourths, then thirds, then organized by designated location of use.

2. Don't eat fruit on an empty stomach. Come to find out, she was right...it's not good for tum-tum.

3. Always bless a sneeze. It's your obligation as a human being, to bless your fellow sneezers. I've gotten in such the habit, I bless all and any bodily expressions; coughs, burps, hiccups--considered yourselves blessed.

4. Make it a habit to clean the counter after doing the dishes. Nothing looks more unsettling than a dish-less sink and a muffed up counter. AND nothing looks more complete than a scum-less counter and the hum of a freshly loaded dish washer. Everything has an order of operations, this one is especially impressive outside your own home. Cook the food, bless the food, eat the food, clean up the food, do the dishes, clean the counter, lotion your hands. Done and done.

5. Find hope in tomorrow. I couldn't even make an appropriate estimation of how many times she's referenced "tomorrow's a new day, Jess." It instinctively reminds me to finish today, and learn from today's misfortunes. Tomorrow I have a choice to make it what I will, and if I'm finding myself that frustrated with today--find hope in tomorrow. Most of the time it takes her saying it to calm my spirits, but I'm learning to incorporate that hope, daily. It is my desire to remain hopeful regardless of the outcome of today.

6. Clean your microwave with a bowl of water. Boiling a bowl of water will vaporize your microwave funk and ease the work of your paper towel. After episodes of resenting leftover scum, ignoring potential food borne illnesses, and seriously discouraging access from innocent-unprepared bystanders, you are left feeling insanely accomplished and redeemed.

7. Acknowledge the morning song of the birds outside your window. It is beauty in the simplest expression. Symbolic of peace,serenity, and celebration. I applaud her not only for the observation, but for appreciating it enough to encourage the people around her to do the same. It is my self-declared tender mercy, and I thank her for introducing me to the song.

8. Everything is funnier, with something hanging out your nose. Licorice, Cheetos, chopsticks, q-tips, pretzel rods...there is a general theme to be assumed here. If she's ever been in "a mood," rest assured there is a picture, somewhere, with her sporting something up her nose. It's hilarious, and it will still be hilarious tomorrow.

9. Take advantage of your ability to move. There is mental clarity to be had. Take a walk, my friend.

10. You can kick a habit, more than once. Whether it's curse words or Diet Coke, don't feel discouraged. We all have our vice.

11. How to eat. Whole wheat bread, vegetables of every color--what once wasn't an option, is now my personal preference. My learned reaction to a salad bar is comparable to that of my instinctive reaction to a candy shop; salivation, twisted fantasies, deep contemplation at the endless possibilities of flavorful reunions and unconventional concoctions. Let's not get started on bread...

12. "...if you love somebody, tell them often." Never am I more regretful than after missing an opportunity to express my love for someone. Whether you're simply en route to the grocery store or journeying to the furthest horizon, if you love somebody, tell them often. Mom, I love you, forever and for always.

13. How to quietly sit through sacrament meeting, without dry cereal or crossword puzzles. Though the distractions are a perk, there is something to be said about a child that can attentively engage in a church service with a reverent disposition. I have experienced such sacrament meetings, initiated by my mom's expectation and conducted with much encouraged self control. And though, out of the 4, I would definitely recognize myself to be the most socially problematic, my sisters and I were hardly ever bribed to be on our best behavior. She raised us to be respectful, regardless of diversions or rewards. It's not even as if she never resorted to "the church bag," because we had one...and well packed, at that. BUT we knew how to act without it, and that has made all the difference. Do I still carry Silly Putty in my church bag? Yes I do.

14. Experiment. Blonde hair, brown hair? Vegetarian? Carnivore? Dixie State? University of Utah? Utah Valley University? Utah State? Orthodontist? Chef? Telephone operator? Journalist? Thick Rims? Red lipstick? Rugby? Tennis? Rodeo? Painting? Eminem? Tina Turner? Logan? St. George??

15. My momma taught me how to cook, crochet, mow a lawn, and hold a baby. The best meals I've ever eaten were products of my momma's love. My most productive General Conference weekends were spent crocheting winter scarves. One of my first interaction with empowerment and independence was enjoying a freshly cut lawn. And one of the prettiest things I've ever seen is a baby in my mother's arms.

16. Moisturize your face and neck twice a day--spf 15. It is among my life ambitions to pamper my skin as my mother has taught, with the direct intention of obtaining what she has. Her face is as ageless as a new born; her skin is as innocent as a child, smooth as butter! Or, for a more realistic comparison, the woman's got the skin of a baby's butt. We've all thought it! She is the prime example of well kept personal hygiene, and the victor with the most immaculate results.

17. PRESENTATION. 'Nough said.

18. Appreciate the past. Marilyn Monroe, Duran Duran, Sean Connery. Check and Check.

19. Work with what you have. This is less about settling, and more about optimism. If your sponge-painted walls make you want to vomit, paint them; at least you have walls. If you have a considerably "plump," genetically unwavering hiney, prance around in skinny jeans; at least Sir Mix-A-Lot appreciates the gesture.

20. Take your camera everywhere, capture every memory. I will be so bold to claim that my mom's collection of photo albums has helped encourage a limitless memory. Field trips, lemonade stands, family reunions, dance recitals, childhood mischief, infinite variations of my "rabbit face." She always has her camera, I love that about her.

21. Take care of yourself. Do what's best for you and your immediate circle of influence. Treat yourself well and be thankful for what you have. Love yourself, love others, and allow others to love you back. Figure out who you are, but accept change. Don't be too hard on yourself.

The end of the list, but hardly the end. Thanks mom, for everything.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

recycled thoughts

I'm not sure if it is the "I'm more conscious of life, the real kind--actual living--than ever before" variable...or if I am just naturally attracted to and in agreement with every quote I've recently been subjected to, but for whatever reason the universe is trying to tell me something. From Walt Disney to General Authorities, from Dove chocolates to radio advertisements, from Food Network to Geneen Roth; here's to indirect, undeniably powerful communication.

"Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most. That people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; and i want you to remember this, that love...true love never dies. You remember that, boy. You remember that. Doesn't matter if it's true or not. You see, a man should believe in those things, because those are the things worth believing in."
- Hub, Secondhand Lions (2003)

"True wisdom gives the only possible answer at any given moment."
- Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love (2006)

"You are the authority on what is not possible..."
- Vincent, Gattaca (1997)

"She's a good girl, she loves her momma. Loves Jesus, and America too. She's a good girl, is crazy about Elvis. Loves horses and her boyfriend too."
- Tom Petty, Free Fallin (1990)

"Eaters must understand; how we eat determines how the world is used."
- Barabar Kingsolver, Animal Vegetable Miracle (2007)

"Gratitude on a daily basis means we express appreciation for what we have now without qualification for what we had in the past or desire in the future. A recognition of and appreciation for our gifts and talents which have been given also allows us to acknowledge the need for help and assistance from the gifts and talents possessed by others."
- Robert D. Hales, Gratitude for the Goodness of God (1992)

"Every time I try to fly, I fall."
- Britney Spears, Everytime (2004)

"I don't want to be "away from it all," Dad, I like it all."
- Max, A Goofy Movie (1995)

"To discover what you really believe, pay attention to the way you act -- and to what you do when things don't go the way you think they should. Pay attention to what you value. Pay attention to how and on what you spend your time. Your money. And pay attention to the way you eat."
- Geneen Roth, Woman Food and God (2010)

"...and in His name, all oppression shall cease."
- Oh Holy Night

"You are too concerned about what was and what will be. There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the 'present.' "
- Oogway, Kung Fu Panda (2008)

The value of these quotes lies in the beholder, and I can't help but find treasure in these words--even with just revisiting them briefly. I'd like to thank the quote-ees, if not individually, then publicly. Whether these lines, phrases, paragraphs were a direct reflection of your trial and triumph, or simply to fulfill the script of your screen writer, you presented your words affectively and I appreciate you.

Monday, December 6, 2010

sleeping beauty

Once upon a time, there was a girl – a girl too dependent on her afternoon naps, too rebellious for a bed time, and a girl who had recently fell victim to the itch of adventure. Among other things, she was also a dedicated plasma donator and lacking any sense of responsibility, (no she is not blogging comfortably from the bitter-sweet lounge of her dusty-blue plasma throne.) When her unconventional sleep pattern acknowledged the inconvenience of real life, a peculiar, though comical and slightly humiliating, occurrence began to emerge; Girl, she who shall not be named, fell asleep everywhere, anywhere, and as often as inopportune.

Savasana: 7 o’clock yoga class has never been so riled. Not only has “the new girl” hacked her way through relaxation – due to a baaad and slightly eternal case of the whooping cough -- , disrupting the very hint of inner peace, BUT she falls asleep during the closing Savasana, everyday. Not once, not twice, but EVERY class I’ve attended. I wake up to an empty room and the sweet taste of dry mouth, thank you **rabbit-face.

Les Schwab: Because a tire shop is the most desirable place to take a power nap? Eventually face down, at the attempt of browsing a magazine irrelevant to my interest OR pursuits, I was awoken by my sister Sierra, via phone call. “Hello?” “What are you do..” “I just fell asleep at the tire shop.” I drooled a little, don’t judge me -- that magazine’s one purpose what to absorb the effects of a long anticipated siesta.

I’d like to say this is something new, that I haven’t always had narcoleptic tendencies…but I have. Let us revisit the past? Pay tribute to some of my finest moments?

Missionary discussions (2007): Feeling ambitious and experimental, I approached my Bishop about the idea of accompanying the missionaries to attend a few discussions – to experience the “authenticity” of mission life, in effort to test my involvement in the mission field. One second I was wide awake, bright and bushy tailed, if you will, in observation of the interactions between the sister missionaries and the eight year old boy we were scheduled to teach. Next thing I know, MUCH to my dismay, Sister Can’t-Remember-Her-Last-Name is creatively inviting me to share my testimony of the Book of Mormon, to both wake me up and provide my desired experience. Thus, I postponed the consideration of a mission for the next four years.

Arlington (Summer 2010): Potentially the most dangerous of all sleeps, but earning US (me and Laura Wilson) eternal bragging rights. Did we attempt a 5 hour drive to Washington DC at midnight? Yes. Did we eat waffles and French fries at an anonymous Denny’s at 2 am? Yes. Did we tour the city like champions, lacking any sleep or sense of direction? Yeah we did! Did we BOTH momentarily fall asleep on the historical grasses of a national cemetery? YEAH WE DID! Did we survive to tell the tale, and can I still recognize her as the gypsy I traveled the eastern side of the country with?? Yes we did, and yes I can. Love you sister friend – monster buck.

Take this for what it is though; confessions of a lethargic soul. It is suggested that one cannot fall asleep where one feels threatened, endangered, or uncomfortable. I just so happen to have the ability to abandon consideration of all three and slumber at the drop of a pin. World, I trust you.

** A deep sleep of Jessica Wilkinson will always include the notorious "rabbit face." My bottom lip falls open just enough to drastically showcase my two front teeth. Beware of that face, sleep talking will shortly follow.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

laugh it off

There's something beautiful and slightly entertaining about living on your own; no one to laugh at you, no one to laugh with you. The latter encourages a very awkward desperation for company -- it's a hard pill to swallow if you're prone to embarrassment, but being laughed at eases the discomfort of stupidity, clumsy occurrences, and quirk.

I dare say no one knows the volume of genuine laughter until it is echoed through the halls of an empty house. So, in order to cope with the battle of unaccompanied comedy, let us laugh via blogspot.

Times of undeniable entertainment and sincere solitude:

Being the first and only somebody to witness my first moments of consciousness after 6 hours of sleep -- be it in the morning or after one of my extravagant power naps; haggard vocals, HAGGARD appearance, delayed motor skills, prolonged state of confusion. Enough to make me giggle, enough to earn you one million views on a youtube post.

Or the morning after a slumber party in my living room, by myself, with every light in the house on. In attempt to ensure a more easily accessible escape route from the poltergeists, serial killers, daemons, and Asian curses that very well could have been lurking in my townhouse…I spent a number of sleepless nights on my couch, watching various Disney movies and Hey Arnold reruns. Come daylight, when I wasn’t scared of suffering a malicious, bloodcurdling, perverse encounter of pure evil, I was laughing. Laughing until I remembered the 16 hour day I had ahead of me, thus the “extravagant power naps.”

Substituting paper towels for toilet paper. You only make that mistake once.

Or the time, after an eventful “Stache-Bash,” I failed to acknowledge/dispose of the fake mustache I had occupied for the evening. In a mad dash (Stache-Bash-Dash) to a convenient store bathroom (shout out to my unreasonable, slightly impatient bladder), I take a second to sincerely glare back at the people scrutinizing me. Thought process: “It’s not THAT unusual to use the bathroom at midnight. You work at 7-11, surely this isn’t the first time you’ve…oh, my mustache. Great.”

Or the precious moments I spent reading the sympathetic hate note left on my windshield, “This is not a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ parking place, be a little more considerate.” What? No signature? I was shocked. FOR WHAT it’s worth, I only meant to park there for a second. Unfortunately I fell victim to one of those power naps, involuntarily. Sorry neighbor whom I have offended.

For whatever reason needing a plunger…and not having one. Charging a 2 dollar plunger to my Discover card, out of desperation.

Realizing my sweatpants were on backwards after a good 24 hours of use and plenty-o-interactions with my roommate and her boyfriend. Funny how there’s a tie in the front, and a tag in the back -- much too subtle of an indication.

Homemade yoga, a work in progress.

Homemade breakfast taquitos, a work in progress.

Homemade synthetic plasma, a work in progress.

Walking in on insect intercourse. There were mating flies in my laundry room. I felt embarrassed, perverted, and uncomfortably fascinated. I have since then noticed every single fly in our living quarters -- like a proud Aunt, or Godmother.

Or the time, oh wait, the three different times I invested in canned foods -- considering my purchases to be both economical and nutritious -- only to remember our kitchen is, and always has been lacking a can opener. I'd eat really great, if I had a swiss army knife.

Or last night when I dramatically fell up the stairs...twice.

Or this morning when I made oatmeal to the sweet sounds of my personal rendition of Def Leppard's 'Love Bites.'

I testify of a whole new understanding of "lol"-ing. Laughing out loud really does happen, a lost art of sorts but it can happen. It's happened to me, and it can happen to you.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

cinna-bombs and vinegar chasers

I can't help but think I need to post something, right this second.

To my sister: "Just follow your heart, and nothing is impossible!!!!!!!!"-Jacquimo (a quote directly from her childhood's worst memory; Thumbelina)
To the pregnant lady who skuzzed Food Network whilest on the treadmills yesterday morning, yet shortly after asking if the chicken being prepared was fried or baked: Your baby's thanks, is thanks enough.
To the world's most prominent widow's peak: Tis the season, you made Halloween for me this year.
To Danielle Parker: Though we identify similarities on a regular basis, you are what I want to be -- I'm not there yet, thanks for setting the example..all day, everyday. You're great. Remember that for ever and for always.
To the boys that just left game night: I pulled my obliques with laughter (plural, obliques, both) and still have to pee. Mind you, I've gone four times since I lost water Uno and hour ago.
To the Doctor that conducted my physical this morning: I salute your enthusiasm and appreciate your praise. You have great shoes -- good luck to your son and his endeavors with the food movement.
To my mom: I'll never be ok with saying bye, especially when leaving takes me somewhere temporarily referred to as home. Thanks for the Easy Mac, we both know I will initially deny any association...but I'll cave. And then probably blog about it. You're a gem, stay what you are.
To Best Buy: Thanks for giving me a day of work.
To Brad, from Best Buy: Thank you for contributing to my eLearning, 5th times a charm.
To Tyrnee, from Best Buy: 1. Your bomb for all your academic accomplishments, 2. You are a riot -- "Quasimodo" references from now until forever, 3. Warning: I make things awkward. Thanks for laughing with me.
To Phil, from Best Buy: Thanks for noticing my purple nail polish.
To my roommates: The ghost(s) rearranged the clean dishes today.
To the creator of my 5 Dollar Foot Long: God bless you. Never before has a 5 Dollar Foot Long been consumed so fast. I blame you, appreciatively.
To the snow: Eventually you're majestic charm is going to fade. We've still got a few weeks left to our blissful friendship, but still, you suck.
To myself: Decide what you want. What do you want?