Sunday, May 20, 2012

Dear Things I Need To Have Happen Sometime In The Near Future,

I'm in a transitional phase. Rather, I'm in a waiting/transitional phase. Again. I'm on the brink of so many wonderful and exciting things. Some of them I need to just DO, and others require a little patience. These things have been swimming their way through my brain currents in a semi-unorganized fashion, so I'm taking this I'm-not-sleepy moment to let them all run out my fingertips and find some order on the screen I see before me, while updating my blog for all you lovely people on the screen you see before you. Yourself? Grammar. Ugh.

Before I rampage everything yet to happen, I must gloriously announce one huge thing that has a giant green check mark next to it on my to-do list, I HAVE A JOB! Actually, I have TWO jobs! One at Massage Envy in American Fork, the other is with a company called True Balance Onsite Massage, where I go to various places of business in the valley and work on employees, giving chair massage. Both are fantastic. Both are going to get me out of school debt and out of my parents' house and... oh dear, I let the list get ahead of me. may as well start it now.

1. I need to pay off my school debt. As previously stated and as logic goes, the jobs (and some prudence on my part) will take care of this. After multiple sit-downs with the calculator on my phone, I've figured out that I'll be able to pay off most of what I owe to the government by the end of the summer. BOO-YAH. However, I want to build my credit (I feel so adult and boring saying this) so I'll still make monthly payments for a good, eh... whatever will build my credit faster. Speaking of credit, how does one go about safely checking their credit score for free? Rumor has it it's possible, but like hayel if I'm trusting the commercials on the radio.

2. I need to move out of my parents' house. Here's the plan: I save up what I can to complete number 1 this summer, then move to Provo in August. If you'd ask me if I'd ever move back to Provo this time two years ago, I would have laughed and then punched you in the face. I've changed SO MUCH in the last two years, absolutely for the better. I'm in healthier, more self-relient place. I'm not moving out because I feel like I have to, I'm doing it because I want to. I can't be an adult the way I want to be while living here. Don't get me wrong; I'm eternally grateful for my parents' patience, understanding, and overwhelming support in letting me stay here, but they would agree that it's time I get my own place.
So why Provo? It's farther from work than where I live now, it's full of zoobies, and... some other con to make this a proper tri-list. Really, the only con is that I'd have to forge the Utah Valley I15 for a solid 7 entrance/exits. The goal is to get a place that's really close to the Center Street entrance, and Envy is right off the American Fork Main Street exit, so the commute would be about 90% freeway, which is not that bad... depending on construction and the time of day. I'll risk it. Besides, living that close to the freeway will get me far away enough from campus that my ward won't necessarily be filled with 18-year-olds who will be married faster than you can say, "Family, Home and Social Sciences." (I'm being so rude here, guys. Sorry if I offend you.) But really, most of my friends live there anyway, and let's face it... I need a better dating scene. Cringe. I'm not sure what I'll find there, but it's bound to be better than what I have now.

3. I need to upgrade my standard of living. This goes along well with number 2, but deserves its own mini-category. Things like getting a smart phone to better organize my life. Fixing my bike/getting a new one to be more eco-friendly and to add exercise to my lifestyle, not something I just set time aside to do. Taking better care of the things I have, like clothes, my car, my hair. Using my time wisely. I've spent a lot of the last year getting to the point of functioning well, and it's time to up my game. I have it set in my head that these are all things I'll do once I move out, but really, I can do them right now. So I will!

4. I need Elder Nathan Gardner to come home from his mission already! Three and a half weeks. June 14th. Freakishly excited. Don't get any ideas, people. I'm ready to have my best redhead friend back, and that's it. No, stop it. I know what look you're giving the screen right now. Stop it! I shouldn't have said anything.

5. I need to record myself singing more often, and SHARE it. I haven't given up on my dreams of being a professional singer/actress/whatever, but I've semi put them on hold while pursuing massage therapy. Now that I have THAT underway, I can get back to my core passion of music. I'm juggling with the idea of going back and getting my degree in vocal performance or something music-related, but that's still extremely vague and in the works. Meanwhile, here's a little ditty I recorded with my friend Sam Dodini, who's much better at internet-ly sharing his voice with others and has inspired me to do the same. Enjoy!

Love, Tanika

Friday, February 24, 2012

Dear Anti-Brilliant Inspiration,

You are what I get when I decide that there's no way I'm going to sleep.

Usually you manifest yourself in the form of Thoughts Of Worry; things completely out of my circle of influence that I do my best to avoid spending copious amounts of time pondering during usual waking hours. Blaugh.

Sometimes you creep up on me on the pages of a really good book that I started reading "to help me fall asleep." I can't remember the last time I finished a book between 6 am and 10 pm.

On a related note, "Just one more episode..." Netflix will kill me someday.

A few weeks ago, you turned into ink from a pen scrawled upon my forearm in the shape of all the lyrics of Blackbird. If I were to get a tattoo... obviously I never will, because I immediately went to the bathroom and spent a good twenty minutes washing you off. But it looked fantastic to my 2 am brain.

Tonight, without me even trying to sleep first, you found yourself in a new bottle of nail polish.
It wasn't until after I had finished that I realized this wasn't just a finish-and-go-to-bed project. Turns out nail polish has to dry if you don't want to find yourself with your toes stuck to the sheets of your bed in the morning or something.

So now, you are this blog. Still waiting for them to dry. Thanks.

Love, Tanika

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dear Reader 4

Once again, my life has done that thing where it has become completely different since the last time I blogged. Changes being:

I am single. I won't go into details as to why. But I learned a lot from the experience. Always, always, do life experiences teach me to do better, to be better, next time.

I am graduated, and then some. I'm officially a licensed massage therapist (LMT for short), running an extremely small private practice. I'm currently living in two places at once; up in South Salt Lake with my loverly Aunt and Uncle Findlay during the week and at my parents' place on the weekends. Deciding to do the Master Bodyworker Program at the Salt Lake campus of UCMT (the continuing ed stuff I mentioned in the last blog) has been a huge eye-opener for me. If anything, it has humbled me into realizing that I still have a lot to learn not only about bodywork, but about life. Escaping the Happy Valley Bubble was is a lot scarier than I thought... turns out I really am a product of my surroundings. I'm the self-dubbed "Bright and Shiny" person in my tiny class of six people. Befriending those other five people is the best adventure.

That being said, I'm to the point where I really just want to be working. To have a chance to relight the fire of this fulfilling work. To make a LIVING. So it's time to pound the pavement and be a contributing member of society. And it will happen. I'm more than capable of getting a good job. I'm going to keep telling myself that until someone finally hires me.

Through all of this, I'm doing my best to establish a personal relationship with Heavenly Father, through Christ's atonement. Letting go of some serious pride has broken me down in ways I never thought would be this good for me. It's personal now. It's about doing the right things because I want to, not just because I should. It isn't about what others want or expect of me, it's what God expects of me. It's down to earth, it's deep, and it's real. It is my core. I don't think I've ever been this converted, and it feels more right than anything ever has.

So there you go. Without the forced positivity of anything, that is my life.

Here's a piece of music I've come to remember that I love in the last 48 hours. It, along with other pieces from this soundtrack, will hopefully be making its way into my Massage Therapy playlist as soon as I decide I have enough money to spend on music again. Have a great experience in your life sometime between now and the next time we talk.

Love, Tanika

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Dear Reader 3

After randomly picking up my blog again last night, I realized that I had previously talked about "Big Changes" and "Things Happening with My Life" and "I'M AN ADULT!!!" type stuff, but being oh so totally vague about what those happenings were. How mysterious of me... sorta.

Also, very few of my blogs this year have had pictures in them.

So I'm making up for not talking about what's going on in my life, personally, before I have to get ready for the day.

I graduate from THIS school in THREE WEEKS!!!!

Fo shiz. If you need a massage therapist, I'm really quite good. I'm a great Christmas present, too!

So that was the big change. Once I graduate, I'm moving on to 10 more weeks of continuing ed, because I can. However, I definitely want to be working during those 10 weeks. Best time to catch me is on weekends. 

Since starting that school, I have done two plays. First THIS one:

Again. I was white this time. In fact, I looked like THIS:

I KNOW, RIGHT?! Totally awesome experience. Performed it in front of thousands of people. I think. Ha. 

The second play I did was THIS:

Much smaller show, but absolutely fantastic. Got a lot more out of it than I was expecting, particularly in the friendship department. (Shout out to my SHTR peeps. Leedle.)

I sorta looked like THIS:

My hair was a lot more 40's. I was lazy on picture day. But believe me, I make one attractive maid.

Speaking of attractive, I've been dating THIS guy:

He is Trent. He is great. No, we are not engaged. He is currently going to grad school for Scene Design at Ohio State University. That is in Ohio. OHIO is fun to shout. OIHO is fun to shout backward. Ohio is far away. Trent has been far away since the beginning of September. Long distance is not my favorite. But he will be home for the better part of December. And I am excited. Fragmented sentence.

So. That's me since I last blogged. Aside from last night.

Love, Tanika

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Dear Dream Role List,

I've always been slightly hesitant to write you, because in the past I felt like writing down those dream roles was an invitation for people to say, "Oh, she could NEVER pull of THAT role!" "Really? That's so mainstream theatre for her!" "Well she could do it if she were shorter/whatever-er..." and the unknown humiliation of putting myself out there would secretly destroy me. But, I've come to realize that not writing such things for such reasons is more than ridiculous. I'm freakishly talented, and anyone who scoffs can SUCK IT! In the most polite way, of course.

And seeing as how I haven't blogged in AGES (massage therapy school is almost done, by the way. !!!!!) here goes. Starting with just musical theatre. These are in no particular order and I'm sure I'll add to this in the future:

Lady of the Lake: Spamalot
Lucille Frank: Parade
Clara Johnson: The Light in the Piazza
Fontine, Eponine: Les Mis
Elphaba: Wicked
Lily: The Secret Garden
Baker's Wife, The Witch, Cinderella: Into the Woods (possibly all at the same time ;) )
Cathy: The Last 5 Years
Gertrude McFuzz: Seussical
Olive: 25th Annual Putnum County Spelling Bee (mostly to perform The I Love You Song)
Nina: In the Heights
Eve: Children of Eden
Lizzy: 110 In the Shade
Jo March: Little Women
Diana Goodman: Next to Normal
Lucy, Emma: Jekyll and Hyde
Marcy: I Love You Because
Belle: Beauty and the Beast
Fiona: Brigadoon
Either woman: Songs for a New World
Audrey: Little Shop of Horrors
Pennywise: Urinetown (I'd do it again in a heartbeat)
Maria: The Sound of Music
Anita: West Side Story
Mother: Ragtime
Kate McGowan: Titanic
Lucy: You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
Florence: Chess (only to perform Nobody's Side)
Housewife: Working
Ellen: Miss Saigon (only to perform I Still Believe)

And that's that. If I end up writing other dream role lists, consisting of Shakespearian/straight play roles, chances are it'll be a lot shorter. I'll be lucky to knock out half this list before I die, but this is me, sending out these roles into the universe, hoping a few of them will come back my way.

Love, Tanika

Friday, July 8, 2011

Dear Happiness,

I found you!

For the last month and then some, I have been LIVING my life, and it is glorious. In my last post, I talked about how I was making a whole bunch of big changes. Those changes have settled themselves into who I am. For the first time in years, I'm happy on a regular basis. And no, it's not one of those weird euphoric mood swings I get every once in a while where I'm suddenly ecstatic for no apparent reason and then a day or two later, I crash back into what I used to call "my true self," where I was content to be moderately downtrodden. No; I am genuinely a happy person now, and have been for five weeks and counting.

Of course there have been moments of less-than-bliss. Things are not always perfect, and I feel whatever emotions I need to feel about the given situation. But then I choose to focus on my goals, and the things I have power to change, and I go on living. I am not stuck. I am progressing. Instead of life coming at me, I am coming at life. That empowerment is extraordinary. 

I used to hate the word "happy." I thought it sounded cheesy and childish. I would use all sorts of synonyms to avoid using it. Now that I understand the word, not as just an emotion, but as a state of being, I'm more and more inclined to use it. 

To be honest, I've been avoiding writing this post, because I was afraid of jinxing everything I have going for me; that as soon as I allowed myself to write down how blissful I am, something awful would happen to strip me of everything I have going for me. That will not be the case. I know exactly where this happiness is coming from; my Heavenly Father and myself, by allowing Him to empower me to take charge of my life. Instead of waiting around for Him to tell me exactly what I needed to do with my life, I chose for myself and asked if it was okay. After a lot of war against Satan (again, refer to my last post) and breaking through my inhibitions and doubts, I had a glorious light dawn on me that I was doing exactly what I need to be doing. I thank Heavenly Father so much for allowing me to be free, to make my own choices, and for supporting me in them. Because Happiness is my choice, something that I have claimed as my own, it cannot leave me unless I let it go. There is no possible way that is happening any time soon.

Whatever happens from this point forward, I know that I can choose to not let it defeat me. I can overcome everything, because I am not alone, and because this is MY life.

Love, Tanika

Monday, May 16, 2011

Dear Mr. Satan,

Shut up!

I have a lot of really positive changes happening in my life. I've rectified many a wrong, I'm learning to use my talents to do good things for the world, and I've chosen to get the ball rolling with my education and career. Basically, I'm taking charge of my life.

So of course you're making sure I focus on all the things I'm losing instead of what I'm gaining.

You, Satan, do not have that power over my life. I don't believe the lies you think you're getting me to tell myself. Just because changes are happening, does not mean that I am being abandoned. I am choosing to make these steps, and these things inevitably lead to the distancing of people. And that's okay. Everything will end up being okay because I am in line with what Heavenly Father wants me to do.

So, Mr. Satan, shut up!

Love, Tanika