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

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Dear This Shallow Thought,

"I'm worried about marrying an ugly man, because people will look at us and think, 'Wow, she's way too pretty for him.' Also, I'm even more terrified of having ugly kids. And no one will tell me. And marrying an ugly man will up my chances of having ugly kids.

"I'm also worried about marrying a man that's prettier than I am. Because then people will look at us and think, 'Wow, he's way too pretty for her.' Chances of having ugly kids are less if I marry an attractive man, but what if our genes mix in a way that creates really ugly children anyway?"

I'm sure that when I find the right man, these worries will become moot, because I'll be in love and happy and whatever happens, happens, but that doesn't stop these vain and shallow thoughts from crossing my mind every once in a while.

Am I a horrible person for thinking these things?

Love, Tanika

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dear Eating and Losing Weight,

Regardless of how much we has human beings have progressed in the last so many thousands of years, the human body still has many primitive instincts and defenses. We still grow hair all over the place to keep us warm and protect our skin from dirt and whatnot. Women's periods match up if they spend a lot of time together so that "nomadic" families can all settle for a few days while the ladies' bodies take care of business at the same time. If our bodies are suddenly not getting the same amount of food they're used to, they think our society has hit a famine and uses up the fat they have stored all over the place.

So yes, when we practically starve ourselves, we will lose weight. BUT, as soon as we've reached our goal weight and allow ourselves to eat like natural human beings again, our bodies have this huge celebration of "YAY, THE FAMINE'S OVER!!!" They go into panic mode and store as much fat as they possibly can from whatever foods we're eating, just in case the famine comes back. Because our bodies are doing their best to survive, they will only work against us if we work against them by being physical supporters of anorexia. By denying our bodies of the nutrients they need, we are almost literally becoming our own worst enemies. 

Instead of waging war with yourself in the battle for a slimmer figure, realize that your body is your ally. It wants to be healthy! If you feed it as much as it needs, with natural, nutrition-filled foods, coupled with regular exercise, it will happily do its best to comply with your want to lose weight. You may not see the results as quickly as you would with self-abuse and self-neglect, but the benefits of eating well with a healthy lifestyle are far more lasting. Be good to yourself! Be healthy, be happy!

Love, Tanika

P.S. I have a friend, McKenna Gordon, who is the founder of Totally Healthy Recipes. On April 25th, she's inviting one and all to participate in a 30 Day Challenge of living a healthy lifestyle. It's FREE! I'm all ready to go for it and whatnot. If you want to join me, click here. Let's be healthy, people!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dear Cause and Effect,

If your car has overheating problems, you may choose to borrow your dad's truck to get to work. If the truck suddenly breaks down in the middle of an intersection in Provo, you will hopefully be able to pull into a parking lot to get out of traffic. You will then have to walk the rest of the four blocks to work, in the snow. You will be stopped by that lady who dances with the Pizza sign so she can tell you about her failing marriage. You will show up 12 minutes late to work, drenched. After your shift, you may ask your coworker to give you a ride to your sister's place, which is a lot closer than yours, so you can crash there and deal with the truck situation in the morning. Unfortunately, by the time you CAN deal with it, the lovely University Campus Parking services will have towed your broken down truck half a block away from where you parked it. Once you can get a friend to tow the dead truck back to Pleasant Grove, you will be charged a total of $230 in fees (including a $50 "administration fee" so you can fill out the paperwork) to get it out of the lot, which is a block away from were it broke down in the first place. You will not be buying food, let alone going to Disneyland, any time soon.

Love, Tanika

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Dear Those in Both Light and Dark,

John 3
20  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21  But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought of God.

The opposite of evil is truth. Therefore, when we are doing truth, we cannot be doing evil.

After reading these verses and many others in Sunday school today, the teacher then asked, "So why do people choose to stay in darkness?"

This is my answer.

Darkness is easy. When one turns off a light in a room, it's never painful. Eyes enjoy the rest, for they are not being put to work. If one chooses to apply their eyes in the dark, they will adjust. However, after continuous usage they will grow weak. Meanwhile, those who walk in darkness do not see what they are missing. They can walk along in the dark room just fine until they stumble upon an object they didn't see coming and stub their toe. It hurts, they curse their unidentified stumbling block, and continue on their way.

Suddenly turning on a light in a room full of people who have been sitting in the dark for an extended amount of time often results in an outburst of near-outraged groaning. Those who have adjusted to the darkness will feel a searing pain in their weakened eyes. Many may immediately ask to turn the lights back off. But, given time, they will be able to see the room with clarity. The walkers will see that perhaps that thing they ran into that hurt them so much was, in fact, something they can put to good use.

Being able to truly see, though it may not always be easy, will always be better than remaining blind in the dark.

Love, Tanika