Saturday, December 31, 2011

In which this year is finally over.

Dear 2011,
You have been my most intense year yet. You've brought me some of my happiest times and greatest adventures. You have been a year of romance, of friendship, of hiking, of random dance parties with roommates.  You started with me slaving away at the piano preparing for my sophomore recital, which I somehow managed to prepare for and perform. You brought me new friends and reminded me how much I love my major, even when I feel insecure about it. You took me to Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany. I learned how to survive in airports by myself, how to deal with homesickness, and how much I miss my family when they're far from me.

You haven't been the kindest year. You took my brother and my best friend from me, replacing them with letters and weekly emails. You gave me scary and exhilarating questions about my future, which started full of excitement and optimism, led to confusion and doubt, and eventually ended in heartbreak. But even then, 2011, you gave me a family who love me, friends who don't mind when I cry in front of them, and classes and work to drown myself in. You've given me exciting new jobs and volunteering activities, and the best grades I've had in a long time.

2011, you've given me more pain than I ever thought I could handle. You brought me low enough to finally seek help. You gave me a diagnosis, and the beginnings of treatment. And somehow, you've brought me hope that things will get better.

Yes, my friend, it's been a good year. I plan to look back on you and smile at the thought of gelato, Doener kebaps, mountains, waterfalls, and castles. But 2011, right now the most honest thing I can say about you is that I'm glad you're finally leaving. We've made some good memories, but I'm ready to be done with you. You've really overstayed your welcome by a few months, and I'm ready for a new start. I doubt 2012 will be any easier, but it will be different and new, and hopefully, even better than you.

Thanks for the ride,

Karissa

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

In which I love Elder Holland.

"Second, we must change anything we can change that may be part of the problem. In short we must repent, perhaps the most hopeful and encouraging word in the Christian vocabulary. We thank our Father in Heaven we are allowed to change, we thank Jesus we can change, and ultimately we do so only with Their divine assistance. Certainly not everything we struggle with is a result of our actions. Often it is the result of the actions of others or just the mortal events of life. But anything wecan change we should change, and we must forgive the rest. In this way our access to the Savior’s Atonement becomes as unimpeded as we, with our imperfections, can make it. He will take it from there."


"Broken Things to Mend," April 2006.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

In which I am content to begin with doubts.

Sir Francis Bacon:

""Another error hath proceeded from too great a reverence, and a kind of adoration of the mind and understanding of man; by means whereof, men have withdrawn themselves too much from the contemplation of nature, and the observations of experience, and have tumbled up and down in their own reason an conceits.

"Men have entered into a desire of learning and knowledge...sometimes upon a natural curiosity and inquisitive appetite; sometimes to entertain their minds with variety and delight; sometimes for ornament and reputation; and sometimes to enable them to victory of wit and contradiction; and most times for lucre and profession; and seldom sincerely to give a true account of their gift of reason, to the benefit and use of men: as if there were sought in knowledge a couch whereupon to rest a searching or restless spirit...But this is that which will indeed dignify and exalt knowledge, if contemplation and action may be more nearly and straitly conjoined and united together."

"If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

In which depression really sucks, you guys.

You know how sometimes when you cry, your makeup smears, and then some of that makeup gets trapped behind your contacts and then it stings really really bad but you don't want to take your contacts out because you like being able to see and your glasses are broken?

Yeah, that's why crying is a poor choice.

In other news, the semester is almost over. So, ya know, that's good.