Writing has become a bigger part of my life than it was before

I know, it’s hard to believe, but writing has now become even more of my life than it was before.

When I think of my past history with writing, I think of NaNoWriMo and all of my little short stories and poems on the side. When I think of my future? Now I think of all of that with the addition of Odyssey.

I was given the opportunity 2 months ago to take part in this wonderful organization. It has given me the chance to get my voice further out there than I had before. I have grown from this experience and since becoming a Content Creator for Odyssey, I have learned what it means to say what you want to say. I had been a Content Creator for 4 weeks when my Managing Editor offered me the role of Editor in Chief. Since then I have taken on the responsibility of maintaining an Odyssey Team and helping them be the best they can be, all while working hard to get my voice out there as well. We are a team, we strive to work together, and I am astounded by this organization. Odyssey is more than just an online editorial, it is a life experience. If you haven’t experienced getting your voice out there like this, then you are definitely missing out. With all of these responsibilities, it’s no wonder writing has become more of my life, than just a hobby. I am prepping for my future as an editor, what are you doing to prep for your future?

This is my article this week, it is about Suicide Squad: 11 Reasons Why Suicide Squad Is The Best

Fare thee well,

Karen Alyse

A good day to spend in a good place

This past Thursday was absolutely wonderful. Before I mention the temple, let me just state how much I love tithing and how grateful I am that it is now online, not only do I no longer have to wait to pay my tithing but I also no longer have to keep the tithing slips because they are now all online. Tithing is a great blessing, I know it has helped me in my life. All the Lord asks for is 1/10th of what we earn. That is little to nothing in the grand scheme of things when he has given us so many beautiful things, such as the temple.

I had the opportunity to go to the Dallas Texas Temple to help watch some kids for a family while they spent time doing a session in the temple.

We walked around the part of the grounds that was available to walk around, talked about different things in our lives, watched a few LDS videos, and did some puzzles. In fact, I even drew a lion. But one main thing struck me and stuck with me all weekend.

As we were sitting there watching the video On the Way Home, I was asked many questions. One of which was probably the most important question out of all they asked, will their family be together forever?

Even though the family in On the Way Home is a fictional one, I responded that yes they would be together forever because they all chose to be baptized into the Lord’s church and be reunited with their lost family members in the future. I was so glad that they had asked that and that I could proudly and confidently state that they would be together again and would have forever together.

There are many people who don’t understand this blessing that we have been given, but when an effort is put into understanding, that is where the truth can shine.

Maybe they already knew the answer to their question, maybe they were testing me, but whatever their reason for asking I am so grateful. They helped me realize with a surety that no matter what befalls you, there is always the opportunity to be together again, no matter how long  or how much effort it takes. Families can be together forever.

As we were watching this is reminded me of my own family. Now, we are quite different from the family in the movie because we aren’t converts, have more boys than girls in our family, and have not lost a sibling early due to an accident that caused a death. But, we are similar in the fact that we have lost someone. Not to death, no. But to a fate that might even be worse than death right now.

We have lost one of my brothers, all his life he was faithful to the gospel, he did everything he was supposed to: got his eagle, went on a mission, loved the gospel. I know he truly believed or he wouldn’t have chosen to do any of these things. However, he met a girl and she influenced him for the worse. He has stopped coming to church, has moved away, and I have seen a great change in how he interacts with us. Every once in a while, his old self will shine through proving that he hasn’t changed entirely, but this new self is not the brother I know and love. He is different.

However, this doesn’t ruin my knowledge of the gospel and how I know that no matter what he will come back. I know my brother. He doesn’t want to be stuck like this. He does want to come to church and one day I am sure he will, but that day is not today. Just as the family was angry about their sister being taken, I was angry about my brother being taken. But I have learned that no matter what, God knows what He is doing. He knows that we have worries and He knows what will come. We just need to trust in Him and He will make everything better. All things are better through Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and I sincerely believe that. I can’t wait to be truly reunited with my brother, even if it isn’t in this life. I dearly hope it will be, but if it isn’t there is a reason. Nothing happens without a reason.

This day has by far been my favorite day of the week. It brought me so much peace to just be able to spend 3 hours at the temple and I am absolutely grateful for this gorgeous building. I love the temple and I love that the plan of salvation exists for all of us. We are all children of our Heavenly Father and he truly loves each and every one of us and doesn’t want to lose any of us.

He lives in us, so let’s live for Him.

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A good day 🙂

The smile that was on my face all day, nothing could remove it and I am so grateful for the ability I have to recognize the beauty in all things, even when the temple grounds are being torn up and repaired. Nothing could stop the temple from being gorgeous, look at this picture.

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Dallas Texas Temple

  1. I love to see the temple.
    I’m going there someday
    To feel the Holy Spirit,
    To listen and to pray.
    For the temple is a house of God,
    A place of love and beauty.
    I’ll prepare myself while I am young;
    This is my sacred duty.
  2. 2. I love to see the temple.
    I’ll go inside someday.
    I’ll cov’nant with my Father;
    I’ll promise to obey.
    For the temple is a holy place
    Where we are sealed together.
    As a child of God, I’ve learned this truth:
    A fam’ly is forever.

With that, fare thee well!!

Karen Alyse

those days when you can only smile

The status I posted on FaceBook two nights ago:

“Those days when you can just smile through everything and nothing goes wrong and everything just keeps getting better and better? Those are the best. Cherish those days.

I just had one of those days.”

Now, this day was actually two days ago, but essentially I am still on a high from it.

I woke up and while I was definitely tired, I was glad to be awake. It was beautiful outside, I was working in my favorite department that day at work, and I got to talk to someone important to me.

Prior to work, I had a conversation with a good friend, we just talked about what was going on that day and then I went to work. As I was working I ended up being the Theater/Presentation Checker and I got to only do that all day. I helped out with organizing the box offices for the majority of the day and finally for the last 2 hours of my 8-9 hour shift I got to actually check theaters.

When I started checking theaters I went and had another conversation with my friend because they were at the theater. I found out how long they would be there and planned to come back later. We talked for like half an hour at that time and then both figured we needed to get back to work so we did.

I got off of work and went home, took a shower, and my brother asked me to come see a movie with him and our little brother. Of course, I agreed. On the way to the theater, I convinced my brother to stop at Kroger so I could get a Mexican Coke for my friend at the theater. He agreed to let me do that so we stopped there, I bought the coke, and we were back on the road to the theater.

When we arrived there we got our tickets and headed to concessions. While my brothers were at concessions I told them I would see them in a bit and headed over to where my friend was so I could give him his Coke (which was for his birthday).

I walked up to him and he was very involved in what he was doing right then so I jjust stood there and waited for him to notice me and finally when he did I was like “Here. This is for you.” and I held the Coke out to him. He got really excited and was genuinely happy and then he threw me off when he asked “Can I give you a hug?”

Of course, I said yes, I wasn’t about to turn down a hug. Then we stood there and started talking and before we both knew it we had been talking for like an hour and a half. It didn’t feel like it had been that long, but it was. I really enjoy his company, he’s a great friend and I’m positive we’ll still be friends for a while.

After that, I went and finished watching Star Wars with my brothers and finally we left and hung out at home. The day was literal perfection. I am not sure how much better you can get.

Like I said, I am still on a high from all that occurred that day.

If you have the opportunity to have a day like this, take advantage of it. They don’t come along all the time and may surprise you when they do or even disrupt your plans when they do. But they are so worth it.

As always, fare thee well!!

Karen Alyse

#donotbeafakefriend

I recently posted a FaceBook status that reads:

“It’s interesting when you realize just how many people you talked to/were friends with when you were younger that decided you were just another face in the crowd they could forget and now they have to interact with you. It always makes for some nice awkward encounters. Word to the wise? Maybe be a genuine friend or just don’t invest time in people. This way it won’t be awkward in the future. ‪#‎donotbeafakefriend‬

This is a good lesson for anyone to learn, but I am about to focus mainly on my faith. If no one knew this, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. With this comes a lot of close-knit community ties. We have a tighter community than most other religions. Especially with the fact that we don’t necessarily “choose” where we go to church, but rather go to a specific building based on where we live. Not only is it the building that an area is assigned to, but different sections of the area go to the church building at a specific time.

In Utah, this topic may not be a thing seeing as there truly is a church on almost every corner, but in Texas, this is absolutely a real occurrence. Especially when you reach cities that are even slightly more city than suburb. Even 45 minutes away from a major city deals with the tiny close-knit community that Mormons/LDS members are known for.

However, it’s not even home wards that we are dealing with here, it’s YSA’s (Young Single Adult wards and branches). If you thought the way we did Sunday services was strange, you’re gonna get a real kick out of this one. Outside of Utah and Idaho, we don’t really have multiple YSA’s for each stake. We, more than likely, have one.

And this brings me back to my main point. Do not be a fake friend.

When we are younger, we have the chance to meet people in our area and age group in the church at various activities and we 0ften become friends with many people this way. The only caveat here is that many young members of the church will simply tolerate people that they wouldn’t want to be friends with outside of these activities. Thus, when college hits everyone goes their separate ways, UNLESS they continue to live in the same city that they grew up in.

This is because they now begin going to the YSA branch/ward in their area and now have to encounter those people again on a regular occurrence–even more than they had before as children.

This is not an issue for everyone, but this can be one for many because they have chosen to ignore those they “befriended” as young children because they, at the time or later, thought they were “too churchy”, “too weird”, “not cool enough”, or even “merely tolerable”. (This list doesn’t end. People have endless reasons for dropping someone and ignoring them completely–This isn’t only in the LDS community. It happens with EVERYONE.)

What drove me to write about this is that I now have an assignment where I have to interact with one of these “friends” from my childhood each month who I suppose was never truly a friend. It wouldn’t be weird if the person in question hadn’t continually ignored me as an adult and pretended like I didn’t exist. However, because they did this it will make interacting with them that much more awkward. I had made the effort to reach out to them as I was at school and such and they, countless times, ignored me.

Y’all may be thinking “oh she’s just butthurt that this happened to her…”, “she shouldn’t have tried…”, “only she would be affected by this…”, “it’s all in her head…”, “this isn’t really happpening to her…” but all of those phrases are so far from the truth.

If the person in question hadn’t been friends with me when we were young children there would be no issue and this would be another instance where I get to meet a new person, but because I’ve known them for over 15 years, have known what they went through, and have seen how far they’ve come without them even thinking that I might be a friend, this is going to be awkward. And it probably won’t be awkward just for me.

I can guarantee you that the second they realize that I was one of the people they knew as a child whom they often spent time with they will feel the awkwardness.

This is not a post where I am asking you to pity me or help me wallow in my sorrow, but this is a post where I am asking you to please, PLEASE, please be genuine. I cannot express how much I hope everyone takes this and decides to be a genuine individual and friend. It is hard to realize how important it is when we are young, but as we grow older we need to recognize that nobody has time for fake friends. Nobody has time to be fake. No one has time to even think about being fake. Genuine is where it’s at. This is the only type of friend ANYONE should be. And the only type of friend that I intend to be. I will interact with this person just as I would with any of my close friends. I will continue to love them and reach out to them, no matter what because I truly care about them and I hope, more than anything, that I can make a difference in their life.

 

These are my thoughts on this topic, I hope y’all have thoughts to share with me as well because I love to hear stories and comments from people.

Fare thee well!!

Karen Alyse

“Words will never hurt me…” #lies

I know I haven’t posted in a while so here ya go:

You know what guys? Words actually do hurt. Whoever said, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” was obviously never targeted by words. It has happened to me by strangers who don’t know me and by family members who probably think they know me. It’s not just me, though. I’ve seen it happen to others countless times. And I’ve had this happen twice this semester. Once by someone who basically knows nothing about me and the other time by someone who is supposedly a “family member” who is supposed to know me.

I. Am. Sick. Of. It.

If anyone even does this anymore, I will not condone it. If I see it happen–you can be sure I will take action. It is not worth it to state what you are thinking if it will possibly damage someone’s soul or image of themself. Take a rendition of Thumper’s advice, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” And this means you need to evaluate your words and think about what kind of effect they may have on the person you’re going to say them to BEFORE saying them. NOTHING is worth saying if it will hurt someone deeply to the point that they spend time crying over it. Sometimes people cannot control what will hurt them which is why we as feeling beings MUST work hard to be the best we can be and that means we do not accuse or assume ANYTHING about anyone.

I need EVERYONE to realize that this is not okay. It is not okay to tell someone who they are when you barely know them–family or acquaintance. It is not okay to assume anything without learning the other side’s story. It is not okay. So stop it. Just. STOP.

</rant>

Fare thee well!!

Karen Alyse

My apologies…

I only successfully posted 8 stories in this section before the year was up, I owe you 17 more stories and as such I will work on posting those. They may be short, or long. And they might not just be in story format, but in poem format. It can vary depending on how I was feeling when I was writing the story. I tend to be happy when I write stories and when I write poems I tend to be more depressed.

Fare thee well!

Karen Alyse

Letter to you, even though you may never read it…

To whom it may concern,

There are many things I once thought about you.

I often found myself wondering, “How could I have been chosen?” or “How come you aren’t better friends with other people?”

However, after almost 3 years of this “friendship” I am finally seeing it in the light. Whatever it was, we weren’t friends. You used me — abused me.

You s m i l e d, teased, flirted and yet you didn’t care for me. I was only a means to an end. Used for who I am. Used for my innocence. Used because I was trusting.

You were my friend. The one I turned to when I realized I had no one else. The one who was there for me even though I was probably a very difficult person to deal with.

I can’t help but feel like you truly loved me at least at one point.

I feel it in my soul. You did. You just might not admit it because that would be a weakness.

A weakness that you would feel would destroy your impenetrable shell.

Once you told me we would be best friends for ever – not in the cheesy way, but in the literal way.

There was nothing that could break our friendship, except perhaps…. you.

We talked constantly. We knew each other so painfully well that it truly is painful to have to forget all that.

But whatever our past was before those two years came upon us, it doesn’t matter. Because you obviously think it doesn’t count.

Yes, I loved you.

Yes, you were my best friend.

Yes, I was going to miss you when you left.

All of these things are true, but none of them were good reasons for what you did to me.

I wrote to you. I wrote letters that traveled to you by snail-mail. I wrote emails that traveled through cyberspace. I poured my heart and soul into our friendship. I anticipated hearing about how you were doing and being able to know that you were alright.

I missed you. Painfully. My heart literally hurt from how rarely we got to talk to each other.

And then you, out of the blue, cut me off. You barely gave a reason. You said we should “quit this cold turkey”, but what exactly were we quitting? Our friendship? At this point we had about 2 years to go off of. Yes I still loved you, but honestly? I’m never going to stop loving you. It’s kinda difficult to stop loving your first love.

“quit this cold turkey”

The moment you said that, the instant you did, the tears began to fall. I couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t handle losing another close friend. Do you even realize how many friends I have lost via the same methods?

Too. Many. To. Count.

But not many of them quite as close to me as you once were.

I broke down. I was defeated – crushed. I bawled. Tears streamed down my face in public. After reading those words, I couldn’t help it. Victory was yours to claim and boy did you claim it. Not only did you say we should quite this cold turkey, but you forbade me from contacting you. You told me not to contact you until you had returned, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to go that long without contacting you.

I waited. A few months. I waited for three months. Then I sent you an email.

I updated you on my life like nothing had happened, however I put a disclaimer in the email stating that you didn’t have to respond – and sometimes I wish you hadn’t.

You emailed me back, you assured me that nothing had changed – that we were still friends, but really you were planning your attack.

I periodically emailed you with updates, telling you how my life is going, asking about yours and you would play along.

“Played” being the key word.

You faked everything. Is there even anything I might be able to give you the benefit of the doubt on? I don’t believe so.

I was having a hard time with my breakup and then going to college, did you truly care? No. You didn’t really even try. You said sorry and went on your merry way.

It came time for those 2 years to be up, I was excited. I would get to talk to you again. Maybe even have a phone call with you. But instead of contacting me, you contacted countless others who obviously were more important than me.

“one of the six girls I know that I would date” and yet you didn’t contact me. I think that was a lie. I call bull.

I had to message you. So I did. I said, “Hey”

You responded enthusiastically so I went on. I asked you how the past two years had been and you gave me one word — okay so you were not so enthusiastic on this response.

I shrugged it off.

I asked if you would like to try to hang out, and it all goes downhill from here.

You told me no. You made pitiful excuses.

“We’ll I’m not sure if I’ll have time. Holiday season and such.”

Really?! Anyone with a blind eye can see that this isn’t a solid reason.

And you say you’d like to hang out, but then you say that “cutting ties” is the best thing we can do right now.

Even when you found out that I’ll be in town longer than just the holiday season, you STILL said no. Was there anything I could have done or said that would have influenced you to say yes to me? Most likely not. You made up your mind the first time we met each other that summer of 2011 and yet you played me. Friends for 3 years and yet you hurt me to the point where my heart will always have a painful reminder of what you did to me.

You once told me this: “Don’t worry, I’m just holding your heart until the next guy comes.”

But you didn’t just hold it. You stomped on it. You ripped it up into little pieces. You trashed it. You threw it away. You ignored it.

Hold it? I think not.

There is very little you held on to. The moment you could, you dropped it. But not because it was hot, oh no. You dropped it because you were afraid of the truth. You were afraid that my feelings were actually real. You were terrified of having something real. And that is where our story ends. The last words you will send – not even speak – to me are “Thanks Karen.” No emotion or anything. Just that unfeeling, senseless, two words.

But never fear. Though I will still love you, I won’t be able to think of you in a good light again. The funny thing is that when I first started talking to you and we first became really good friends, my best friend tried to tell me you weren’t real – that you were a fake. A tool. A jerk. But did I listen? Obviously not. I thought the best of you, even when I shouldn’t have. But no worries, because I will not make that mistake again.

Whatever merits you may have had, will not work on me again. Nor will I try to contact you again. We had a friendship built on lies, just as I once had a relationship built on lies. I refuse to deal with lies any longer. You have ruined any and all possibilities for having me as a friend in your future, but that’s okay. I just assume you don’t actually want friends. You just want people that you can play until they’re broken and not fix them. You’ll leave them on the floor for other people to step on and use to their advantage with no regard for the individual. But it’s okay. Make no mistake, I definitely will be remembering all that has occurred. You do not and will not ever again have a clean slate in my book. Your page is filled with warnings and I pity anyone who falls into your trap, not you. It is them who should be warned to look out for you and your slimy little underhanded choices.

But that isn’t my job. I don’t have to worry about them. I just need to worry about fixing myself and in time, I may be able to look back at all we had and not cry – but that is not this time. I wonder when that may be, but it could be years before I can successfully not cry about you. But if I cry it isn’t because I lost you – it is because I know you lost sight of who you were and therefore harmed anyone who was in your little bubble.

You are filled with empty words and broken promises, I just hope you learn that these are your mistakes and that you work to the best of your ability to resolve them. Mend yourself. You are in no position to try to be with others in any sense of being with them – friends, neighbors, lovers, family, etc.

Check yourself, dearheart, before you wreck yourself for even more people.

Fare thee well!!

Karen Alyse