April 8, 2016: Carrie Underwood Concert Number FIVE

This post is here for my sole purposes only, because it deserves to have a place on the blog forever and ever as the current best day of my life! OBVIOUSLY.

Quick rundown: When Carrie Underwood announced the first leg of her wondrous Storyteller Tour, no Utah dates were announced. I repeat, NO UTAH DATES WERE ANNOUNCED. However, I'd been to four of her concerts, and this was simply a small hiccup in the road. My mom is the greatest and has been to all of her concerts with me. She's now the only one I can go with to a Carrie concert, because I know nobody else would be as much fun or be able to experience it the same way. Anyway, when I told my mom this, she didn't even question the fact that we were going to have to go see her in concert somewhere else. So after much researching and planning, we decided on Reno, NV and many long months of excited anticipation began.

I got the day off of work and we road-tripped the long and pretty boring way to Reno. One cool thing about the trip was that we took it in a BLACK CADILLAC. I took my car in for a repair while we'd be gone and the only rental car they had left was a Black Cadillac. It was very boujee and we had no complaints (only that it was so new we had trouble working some of the controls at one point haha). We stopped at the Salt Flats and took a few photos, and also stopped in Elko and Winnemucca (I would definitely recommend taking trips to these lovely middle-of-nowhere-towns if you ever get the chance NO PLEASE DON'T).

Reno is..put shortly, a place I really have no desire to ever visit again. It is a smaller, dirtier, and less exciting version of Las Vegas. We took a visit to the University of Nevada - Reno campus, saw the Reno arch, and searched for a while before we finally found a place where our food wouldn't smell like smoke. I was verrrry anxious throughout the whole night because I was terrified that something would go wrong and also excited about the concert. I can't help but get like this in high-excitement/stress situations. But once we got into the venue, all my fears went away and everything I felt was pure happy.

Easton Corbin and the Swon Brothers were the opening act, and while they were great, we all know all I wanted to see was Carrie Underwood. And then, she came, and thus began the greatest night of my life. It was THE most amazing concert EVER. We had floor seats and I have never been so close to her. I definitely cried multiple times during the night and just felt so incredibly grateful for the opportunity. All the waiting, driving, and anxiety was worth it. Because I was there and Carrie Underwood was there, and she was singing amazing things and it was all just incredible. (Side note: if you would like to know reasons why I love Carrie Underwood, you can read so here.)

(btw, WE WERE SO CLOSE. These pictures are not zoomed in, they are an actual representation of what we were seeing so it was amazinggggg!!!)

When she sang "Two Black Cadillacs" (because of COURSE it happened during this song, are we even surprised?!) I looked around me and noticed all the people around me with their phones up videoing her, and I thought about how weird it must have been for her to be there singing to a crowd of people with all of them taking pictures/videos of her in response. So in that moment, when she was right by the stage part where I was at, I put my camera down, put my hand up, and waved.

And what do you know SHE WAVED BACK TO ME OMG I DIED. (I'm very sorry this is such a fangirly post, my goodness, but honestly, how can I not?!) I am pretty sure I legitimately died and went to heaven for a split-second. And what do you know, my mom happened to be one of those people taking pictures at that moment (for which I was ever so grateful) and she got a photo of it!

To see the person you love and admire most in the world is already an amazing thing and almost more than my heart can take, but to have that person look at me and know I existed even for just a second? I hope everyone gets that opportunity at least once in their lifetime, because it truly was incredible.

The rest of the concert was amazing. And the rest of the trip, regardless of all my fears, went completely smoothly and we had a great ride back to Utah (albeit a little sad that the concert was over). The even greater silver lining of all of this is that a week before we left for Reno, Carrie Underwood announced a second leg of her tour, and guess which place is the last stop on the tour?

You guessed it...SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH! So Carrie, I'm coming for you again November 28, floor seats and everything. And obviously. I COULD NOT BE MORE EXCITED!

New Normals

I have always been a hater of change. I can think of multiple situations--my family moving when I was thirteen, friends getting married when I wasn't ready for them to be, taking an unwanted break from school, and moving home again after six years of not living there. Obviously..life changes. It ebbs and flows and we adjust to it as we need to. We HAVE to adjust to it, because sometimes there is nothing else we can do, even if adjusting means going through coping mechanisms that may or may not be unhealthy.

My life this past year has been a conglomeration of change, more so than usual. I finished school, I left Provo, and moved home, my sister left on a mission, and I spent four months out of the year performing in Savior of the World three nights a week. These changes were something I got used to, and were, for the most part, welcome. Those first few months of living at home were very chill and consisted of editing videos, hanging out with my family, cleaning my room, and doing a few face painting jobs here and there. Then in December I went from doing (let's face it) basically nothing every day to getting a full-time job at the church in less than a 24-hour period. And then my flexible life changed into a 9-5 job where I suddenly started making money, got a car, and started living a stable life I have never truly lived before.

Let me say this, stability is amazing. I can fully attest to that, because ever since I left home to go to college, my life was nothing but stable. It was VERY emotional, my environment of living places and friends/roommates constantly changed, I lived paycheck to paycheck, I loved school and struggled in it at the same time, for various reasons, and for the most part, I lived a pretty normal college life (aka it was crazy). So now, after being in a full-time job for exactly six months as of yesterday, the stability I currently have is amazing. Regardless of that all though, I'll definitely say that the first month-ish of it all was a huge adjustment for me.

And now, after experiencing much stability and normality, my life has begun to get crazy once again. Crazy in a very good and exciting way, but crazy nonetheless. Crazy can be the only word to describe everything suddenly picking up in momentum all at the same time.

Two months ago, when my Freshman roommate Chelsey asked me to be a part of the production team for a new web series she was producing called The Cate Morland Chronicles, I jumped at the chance. She and the other producer/my now co-director Amanda warned me multiple times that this was going to be a BIG commitment and I eagerly said yes to everything. I definitely didn't realize what I was getting myself into, and I'm glad I didn't, because I might have said no, and then I wouldn't be having the amazing experience I now get to be a part of.

My weeks have now consisted of casting, planning, and prepping for LONG 12-hour shoots on Saturdays and sometimes Sundays. I get to work with some very talented and fun people, and every day I'm either ready to die of happiness or die of overworking myself (sometimes at the same time). I realize it sounds insane, but we've just started, and I'm already having some of the most fun I've ever had.

With new stress comes new territory and I am trying to learn how to navigate through this "crazy" new normal of mine. My anxiety levels have been pretty low for the past little while, but since all this has started, they've gone through the roof. With anxiety, for me at least, come panic attacks, lack of sleep, headaches, and a constant nauseous stomach. Because of this, I am definitely not eating as much as I should, and because of that, along with everything else on top of it, it shouldn't be a surprise to me that I've been getting triggered much more than usual.

Being triggered brings on a huge amount of fear for me. Most people don't know this, but two years ago I relapsed...very terribly...back into my eating disorder. This relapse was not one I'd want to repeat, and I know. I KNOW that if I relapse again, it will be much worse and much more difficult to get out of. It's definitely not something I'd want to do, and I'm also not sure it's something I could do again. Which then puts me in the situation of...I basically CANNOT relapse. Or else.. As I realized this yesterday, it brought on a full-blown panic attack, something I have been able to avoid for almost a year until last night. Nothing scares me more than my eating disorder, as much as I hate to say it.

However, I am not going to stop living my life or stop doing the things I love, even with the threat of my biggest fear in my face. A comforting thought came into my mind this morning, of something one of my friends and I talked about two years ago. That my life is not always going to be the same, and throughout it, I'm going to have to continue to re-learn how to be recovered from my eating disorder in different situations. Two years ago, learning that meant I needed to relapse. Two years later, learning it again means I can't relapse. It was a comforting thought, because even though I have never experienced this particular situation in my life yet, I have the tools I need to re-adjust and continue to live a happy and healthy life. It will just take some getting used to at first. It's also helpful to remember that even though it may seem like a HUGE thing, but its really just all in my head and I am the one in control. (cue Carrie Underwoods song "So Small")

Although I've always been a hater of change, I'm trying to be less so. Because while change does mean people and things I love leaving my life, it also means different, and sometimes even better people and things I love entering it. So with a cautious little fist bump I go into the fray saying "yay change!" (and then go hide in my bed)

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