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