Last weekend I had the chance to go home and spend it with my family, which was fun, because I hadn't been home in a while. Saturday night we went to see The Addam's Family musical at the high school my mom works at, and it was really good and funny! It's amazing to see how much talent there is everywhere you go in the world.

Sunday was a great day. Very chill and I spent some of it taking pictures with my new 50mm lens! I absolutely love it and kept gushing about how good this lens was to my family.

Pretty sure they were tired of hearing about it, but they posed for pictures anyway. Isn't family great?

My mom decided she wanted to pose for a good picture after I took the one above haha.

This picture above basically describes me..every day! I have absolutely fallen in love with my camera and its video and picture-taking abilities. It makes me pretty happy and I love getting to document all of life with it.

Oh yeah, one more kind of exciting thing happened on Sunday...

I CUT MY HAIR! I haven't cut it (besides trims) for about five years because I made a promise to myself long ago that I wouldn't cut it until I got married. Ha! Well, that doesn't look like it's happening anytime soon, and if it does, then I guess I'll have short hair at my wedding! ;)

But in all seriousness, I love my short hair! And so does everyone else haha. I've gotten a ton of compliments on it. It was definitely time for a change, and I've been wanting to cut it for a little while, so it came at a perfect time. My mom cut it for me and I think she did a great job! It's been so fun this week to keep looking at myself in the mirror and remembering that I have different hair. I keep forgetting! I know it's just hair, but it makes me really happy and it feels like it matches my personality perfectly right now.

So yep...pretty good Sunday! Cheers to short hair and double that to spending time with family. :)


Lessons Learned

I got a less than desirable score on one of my tests today and it made me mad for so many reasons. One, I really love the class it was for, Theories in Family Perspectives. It's a required class in my major, so I'm only taking it because I have to, but turns out that the class is actually very interesting and my professor is great, so I absolutely love the class and everything we're learning in it. It's all super useful and interesting!

The majority of my frustration, however, comes from the fact that I know I could have done way better on the test had I just given myself more time to take it. I didn't go into the testing center until 9 and it closes at 10, and even though I'm a fast test taker, I was rushing to finish at the end and I'm absolutely sure I would have done better with even just a half-hour more.

Which brings me to the title of this post, which is that sometimes we have to learn things the hard way. We have to experience unfortunate things, like getting a bad score on a test, so that we learn and don't do it again.

My week this week is INSANELY busy. It's midterms week so I've had two tests and a ton of things due, and on top of that, I'm working more hours this week and I have to sew things for a fashion show coming up in three weeks. It's been so busy, and yet somehow, I still can't help but be a yes man.

Yesterday, I told this guy in my ward that he could come over and use my machine to sew some stuff, which was fine. But today, I realized I should have told him I was just way too busy. But being the nice person I feel like I always have to be, I let him come over, just telling him I was busy and he couldn't stay for long. Buuut, I think he kinda liked me and was thinking I liked him, so he was just making conversation and he stayed for like an hour, way longer than I had planned for! I wasn't annoyed at him or anything, he's a nice guy, I was just annoyed with myself, because I'm in charge of managing my schedule and I did it poorly. This unfortunately meant that I couldn't go to institute (one of my favorite parts of the week) because I had to study for my test, and because it was so last minute studying, I wasn't able to give myself enough time to take the test.

I realize this is really a pointless blog post, but I'm just kind of mad. Mad because I could have done well if I'd had enough time, mad because I didn't get to go to institute (and then came to find out from my roommates later that there had been Costco pizza AND Krispy Kreme donuts for the treats, which made me want to cry), and mad because I put other people before myself.

That isn't always a bad thing to do, but today I realized that I need to do it less. Good for me for helping someone, but in the end, I did badly on my test, which will affect my grade in the class and ultimately my GPA. I could have helped him tomorrow or later too when I had more time. Point being, you can't help others until you help yourself. I'm not saying to be selfish, but it's important for me to take care of myself and take care of the necessary things FIRST.

Anyway, my lowest test score in the class will get dropped so I just have to study really well for all the other tests and do much better than I did today, so that's good, but lesson learned! I hate learning things the hard way. :P Rant over!


the best ones

Wanna hear a cool story? So once upon a time, when I was just a lowly 19 year-old sophomore in college, I was in a terrible living situation, with a roommate/ex-best friend who refused to talk to me and a desperate need for some friends. I was really lonely, and I cried all the time. One day, out of the blue, my friend Katherine, who was also going to BYU, and a friend from my high school, called me, saying they had an open spot in their apartment and would I want it? I knew most of the other girls from high school too, not super well, but we were friends, and I knew they were all really nice and fun girls. It was honestly crazy, because they had absolutely NO idea what I was going through, they just had the feeling they should call me. It was a no-brainer for me to move out and take the spot. And let me tell ya...it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

There are some friends you hope to stay friends with forever. Some of them you do, and some of them you don't. It's hard to know how friendships will turn out when people move away, get married, and go separate ways.

For a few years, I got to live with the best roommates I ever had. They were the BEST. Our lives were filled with quote walls, road trips, Friday night hang outs and Saturday night movies, summer bucket lists, talking about boys way too late at night, making music videos, and taking a gazillion pictures. When I think of my college experience, I will always think of these girls and the amazing times we had.

Of course, life changes, and at the end of summer 2013, we all kind of went our separate ways. Some got married, the others moved, and I stayed in Provo. Not gonna lie, it was one of the hardest things ever for a few months to not have those girls as my roommates. I missed them all like crazy and it was a big adjustment. I guess I can often be an emotional and sentimental person too, which does not help in situations like that haha.

I think I kind of assumed we might not stay friends after that. Me and my insecurities...always getting the best of me! ;) I was so wrong. Since we've been roommates, we've still found time to get together when everyone is in town, do Sunday dinners with the ones still in Provo, go to mission homecomings, weddings, and be there whenever we can. And every time we do, we have a great time and laugh until our cheeks hurt (haha no joke).

We got together Thursday night, and as I started writing this post, I was just going to link the "goodbye post" I thought I'd written when we all went our separate ways, but turns out I never wrote it! It's a year and a half late, but let me just say... I'm so lucky and grateful to have friends like these. Some of the best years of my life were spent with them and they are the best. We all continue to grow and move on, but the one thing that I hope never changes is our friendship.



Shake it OFF

So on Monday we had a ward talent show, and it was so much fun! It was supposed to be back in January, and I wanted to make a music video for it, so a couple months ago, we got a bunch of the ward members together and filmed all over campus (sorry, that was a really long sentence haha!). We had a pretty good time and I loved getting to edit and put it together. Let me know what you think!

I'm pretty happy I found this hobby of mine, because I really like it. :)

Oh! In other, WAY more exciting news, Carrie Underwood had her baby yesterday! So exciting! They named him Isaiah Michael Fisher and I wanna see a picture so bad but at the same time I wanna respect their privacy haha. His birthday is exactly one week before Carrie's, such fun!


I Had No Idea... What an Eating Disorder was Actually Like [part 4]

Seriously though, who knew? Who could have told me what I was getting myself into? I had no idea how incredibly hard eating disorders were until I experienced one. I don't think you can know fully unless you've lived one.

Around this time a year ago, I relapsed. After two years of being recovered, feeling incredibly good about food and my recovery, and a year after I posted my eating disorder story on this blog, I relapsed. It was awful, and it was worse than anything I had ever experienced before. I couldn't have imagined my eating disorder getting so bad, but it did.

I wrote a post on a private blog while I was struggling last year, about a month after I'd relapsed, and its kind of hard to read it now because it encompasses an eating disorder so well. Almost too well. I don't like thinking of how terribly I struggled, but anytime I consider going back, I read that post and immediately change my mind. I just wanted to put a little excerpt from that post here. Keep in mind that this is extremely personal to me and how I felt in the complete depths of an eating disorder. I was not myself, but I'm posting it because it gives people a small window to what it's like. [disclaimer: sometimes I refer to my eating disorder as ed, like it's a person. I realize that sounds kind of weird but it's a recovery technique that often works and helps.]
me, just a few days before this was written

It's so hard. It's hard hard hard. I hate it it's so hard I want it to go away IT'S SO HARD. I could write those words down a million times more and they still wouldn't begin to describe the magnitude of how hard it is. It's hard. All of it. Recovering (again), relapse, eating, not eating, being hungry all the time, fighting it, letting it consume me, eating, deciding, eating, eating, eating. It doesn't matter what direction I turn, whether it's towards ed or away from him. Every direction has something to do with ed. There's no direction that points me to a direction of a completely ed-free, relapse-gone life and I wish there was. If I could wish this away, I'd have it be gone in an instant.

...I'm in this ditch that's deeper than the one I dug the first time, and I have to figure out how to get out of it. What if I can't? What if this ditch is just too deep? I have no answers for myself. No perfect solutions to get out of this. I feel like I should, because I recovered from this once, so I should obviously know how to do it again, right? But I don't know. I keep thinking I've hit rock bottom, but then I get lower and wonder if there even is a rock bottom for me to hit. That's so scary...and what is even scarier is that I know what I'm doing to myself. I can see what I am doing and where I am headed, but I'm not stopping it. Why am I not stopping it? It's getting worse, and I know that, but I can't seem to get myself to make it stop, and that is possibly the scariest thing of all.

I don't want to do this. I'd be okay if it all just went away right now and never came back. I don't want to eat, I don't want to recover, I don't want to be scared of this, I don't want to be hungry, I don't want to be relapsing, I don't want to fight it, I don't want to give in, I don't want to do any of it. None of it. I want it gone.
(written in March 2014)

I don't often want people to know what an eating disorder is like, because it means they know what my eating disorder was like. It means they know what I struggled with and how hard of a struggle it actually was. You can see from the above picture that it didn't look like I was having a hard time or that anything was wrong, even though everything was (this is a good time to reference part 2 of this series). I don't want people to feel sorry for me, pity me, or see me as weak, so it's really difficult for me to share these things sometimes.

But in the end, I need people to know what an eating disorder is like. Not for me, but for the other people like me. I want people to know how hard it is so they can help the ones who haven't made it out yet, who haven't made it to the other side. Those other girls and guys in the world with eating disorders...they NEED you to know what it's like so that you can help them. People need to know what it's like so that maybe they'll see what they're getting into and stop. It's important for people to know what eating disorders are like so they can realize that people around them are going through these things every single day, and nobody around them even realizes it.

For the record, I've never been in a worse place than I was when I wrote those words up there. But now, a year later, I've never been in a better place in my life, ever. Not just with my eating disorder but with all aspects of my life. There is hope. You can go from total hopelessness to complete freedom. I swear it's possible. Guarantee it. I'm not really sure where I'd be right now if I couldn't tell you that.

I also want to say that what was one of the worst things of my life became one of the best things in my life. [This is not to tell you to start having an eating disorder because it will be a great experience. Please no!] My eating disorder gave me the opportunity to discover my strength, and I learned things from it that I never would have otherwise. It let me understand weakness and vulnerability. I wouldn't give up the experiences and friends I've gained from this for anything. Nothing. And most of all, from it, I grew in a way that let me truly love myself and be happy with who I am. I could probably write a whole post on lessons learned and things I gained from my eating disorder, and I think one day I probably will, but just know, that I couldn't be more grateful for having gone through it.

If you take anything away from this post, I hope you know how hard eating disorders can be, and how difficult it is to just survive one, let alone recover from one. Most of all though, I hope you know that there's hope.

This past week was National Eating Disorders Awareness week, and the theme is "I Had No Idea." If you want to take a quick screening to see if you're showing signs for an eating disorder you can go here. You can also read my eating disorder story here. Please email me (kikicbrownee@gmail.com) if you need someone to talk to or have any questions. I love to listen to your struggles and talk about mine!

[Part 1] Eating disorders don't start out as eating disorders
[Part 2] Eating disorders don't discriminate
[Part 3] Things you should (and probably didn't) know about eating disorders
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