Sunday, May 29, 2011


This story starts a couple weeks ago when I needed new shoes. I wasn’t in the mood for long hours of shopping, so I went into the first store I found, saw a pair of black shoes (the color I needed), appreciated the fact that they happened to be Nikes and thus would help resolve the foot pain I’d developed by buying brands that disagreed with my feet, tried them on, and bought them. End of story. Or so I thought. When I wore them to work the next week, one of my co-workers exclaimed “Cortez Kennedys! That’s SO gangsta!” I had no idea at first that he was even talking about my shoes, and was pretty much uber confused, since nothing I have really ever done in life could really be described as “gangsta”. Later, one of the physical therapists I work with saw my shoes and said “Hey! Cortez Kennedys! That takes me back to my break dancing days! That’s so cool!” It was then I fully realized my new shoes have a reputation. I tried to google them to find out more about the new found reputation, but it didn’t get me very far. Apparently there’s a football player named Cortez Kennedy. And apparently there’s a rap song about the shoes. But that’s all I’ve got so far. But if I start turning out more gangsta by wearing these shoes, I’ll let you know.

Deepest Desire

I’m going to let you in on a secret. It’s my deepest most secretest desire in the whole entire world. The thing that I would love to do most in life is be an author. I want to spend my days writing novels. That’s what I want most out of life. And oh buddy, do I have a bazillion novel ideas. And they are FANTASTIC. Unfortunately, while I seem to have an extreme gift for coming up with brilliant plots and/or characters, my greatest weakness is actually sitting down and putting the whole thing on paper. At best I have a random collection of scattered scenes, nowhere near enough for a publish-worthy book. A few days ago my brother told me I didn’t need to keep coming up with more ideas, since I have so much work to do already with the ideas I have. But after pondering, I decided I disagree. I can’t help when genius strikes, so I might as well jot it down while I can. And many of these story ideas have a special meaning, associated with a certain event or certain emotion that if I don’t write down now, I might never be able to recreate again. Hopefully one day I’ll actually be able to do something with all of my ideas, but if not, at least I have a few blurbs that will entertain my posterity.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I have been really really really wanting a pet lately. A snow leopard is always preferable, but in this case I've been wanting a dog. I realized that part of my wanting a pet comes from the fact that I want to have a family member here with me, and since my brother and sister and parents have their own lives to lead, the only option left would be to get a dog. Growing up, our dogs were always like members of the family. The best part is that they always love you. When I was in the middle of failing out of school and crying on the phone to my mom, she made the comment "Why can't everyone be like Nora? (my little sister's dog) She has unconditional love. She is always there waiting at the door for you to come home, and she's always so excited to see you. Why can't people be like that?" At first I was confused at what this had to do with being kicked out of physical therapy school, but as I ponder it now I realize that it is true. Why can't we be more loving of each other? That really is all that people need. They need people who are always excited to see them when the walk in the door, people who have been waiting for them all day. People who love you no matter what. In short, we all need more family members in our life. We need to treat others like our family, because in reality, we all are members of the same family. We are all brothers and sisters, and children of our Heavenly Father. And we probably all need pets in our life too. If only I lead a stable lifestyle and could get a dog!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Time to Heal

I want to take some time and document my current brain function, status post traumatic brain injury 2 years ago. I had an epiphany a couple days ago. I had been slightly frustrated with the fact that these days I seem to always be tired, and I hate adding on any activity to my day. This puzzled me, because I used to live a very busy life, and I never felt excessively tired to the point where I didn't want to do anything ever. For example, the fall semester of my senior year at BYU, I got up at 4am every morning, left the apartment by 4:30am to get to my part-time job as a custodian, then had classes from 8am-12pm, then went to my athletic training internship with the football team from 12pm-6:30pm (where, mind you, I was running around with an awkwardly full fanny pack dragging a 10 gallon cooler of water on wheels around), then ate dinner, did a couple hours of homework, then was in bed by 10pm. In addition to the hectic schedule, I was also applying to PT school and finalizing things for my internship in Italy. So needless to say, I was booked out to the max. Yet I wasn't super tired. Sure I took naps, who wouldn't? But I was never scared or anxious if some other activity came up, like hanging out with friends or some church activity. But now, all I do is work an 8 hour day, and attempt to go to the gym for a measly 30 min workout (which I dread every day, despite being an avid gym goer for years). If anyone even suggests adding in some extra event, I freak out and think of a million excuses not to go, because I don't have any extra energy to spare, and my only priority in life is getting to bed on time.

Having said that, I was pondering such unusual circumstance when I realized something. My brain still hasn't completely healed. It's still in the process. And healing takes energy. So of course I'll be extra tired. It's okay. It's normal. And it won't last forever. I need to be okay with not being perfect at this time, with being a little weak. I need to let my body heal.

It's only just recently I've been able to understand most of the ways my brain is different after the accident. Maybe I always knew the differences, but it's only just now that I am beginning to accept them. I definitely have lost my ability to focus as well as I did before. I get distracted a lot more easily. I used to have a photographic short term memory, and I've realized I've lost it. Not because I can't memorize, but because I can't focus enough to let my brain imprint the information. When I really want it, I can still memorize quickly like no other, but if even one little distraction comes up it becomes impossible. It takes me a lot longer to process complex information and make sense of what people are saying (but my processing speed for simple tasks is 99% better than the rest of the nation without brain damage, says my post injury neuropysch assessment). I can’t visualize abstract concepts as well (though my own imagination of tangible things is still working off-the-charts-amazing). My taste buds are finally healing, which has been a joyous discovery. And my sleeping patterns are getting better, and I’m mostly not having disturbing dreams anymore.

Sometimes I still feel though that things are a little foggy, kind of like trying to walk through sand. It’s hard to explain to people, because I don’t have any loss of function, and there is nothing obvious that is wrong, but it just doesn’t fell right. Though I’ve definitely come to accept any weaknesses I have now, and I am not bothered by it in and of itself, I still can’t escape the feeling that so much in life is a competition, and that other people will only like me or accept me if I’m the best at everything. And since I can’t explain that things aren’t quite right, I feel like everyone just assumes I’m not good enough and that’s that. It’s especially hard in the atmosphere of Palo Alto and Stanford sometimes. People here compete just to get their kids in the best preschools, and it’s a pretty cutthroat competition. So of course the rest of their lives seemed to be focused on being the best. Even though most of the people I know well aren’t from this area, I still feel like it rubs off on people sometimes. Everyone is always concerned with success.

Recently I’ve become addicted to the TV show “Community”. I love it because it is a bunch of failures who go to school at a community college. Despite all of their ridiculous problems and the lack of a stellar future, they are happy anyway. I wish people in general were more like that. Brain damage isn’t so daunting when I’m not expected to be “perfect”, a feat I couldn’t have accomplished sans brain damage anyway. I guess I just need to learn better how to rid the sense of competition from my life.

Monday, May 23, 2011


An interesting story I read that is making me re-think how I handle stress:

A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience with a raised glass of water. Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, 'half empty or half full?'...
She fooled them all ... "How heavy is this glass of water?" she inquired with a smile.
Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. To 20 oz.

She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter.
It depends on how long I hold it.
If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem.
If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm.
If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance.
In each case it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes." She continued, "and that's the way it is with stress.
If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on."
"As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden - holding stress longer and better each time practiced."

Monday, May 16, 2011

Oracle Betrayed

I read this book the other day and it sparked some great pondering on my part. The premise of the book, more or less, is that there is one person in the city that is declared "Speaker", who is able to hear the god's voice and tell the rest of the people. In the book, the girl who has the title has become corrupt and no longer hears the voice but declares her own will, so the god chooses another girl and of course drama ensues.
What I loved most about this book was the dialogue between the god and the girl he chose as his own speaker. It reminded me how we all should be in our communications with our Heavenly Father. We always need to be open to receiving His voice and trust that He is God and He has a bigger plan and He knows what He is doing. He will always take care of us if we listen to Him. God is always there listening to what we say. He is very aware of everything that is going on in our lives at all times. If we take time to listen, He will guide us in the direction that we need to go, even if it seems like the answer doesn't make sense. He truly knows what is best for all of His children, for He loves them dearly and wants them back with Him. We must always communicate with God. We must pray, read the scriptures, and listen to the guidance of the Holy Ghost, and we must do these things constantly. We should never be apart from God, at any second of any day. He is always there for us, are we there for Him?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Queen To Be

So probably due to the recent royal wedding, I was reminiscing about how in middle school one of my friends was obsessed with Prince William. She was so obsessed that she even made her email address to "queen2be", clearly certain that she would one day marry the prince and therefore eventually become queen. While, unfortunately for this friend, her dream didn't come true (it turns out I wasn't BFFs with Kate Middleton when I was little), I have been pondering lately about royalty, and how in reality, we all are of noble birth. We are all children of God, beloved sons and daughters to the Most High. He has promised us, if we are faithful, that we will inherit all that He has. We are not just royal, we are divine. I don't think we can quite grasp our full potential here on earth, and all that we are destined to become, but I happened to read a few scriptures this morning that reminded me of my own nobility:

Moses 7:56 "...and the saints arose, and were crowned at the right hand of the Son of Man, with crowns of glory;"

Moses 7:59 "...thou hast made me, and given unto me a right to thy throne, and not of myself, but through thine own grace;..."

Romans 8:16-18 "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."

Isaiah 62:3 "Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God."

1 Peter 2:9 "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people..."

Doctrine & Covenants 72:4
"For he who is faithful and wise in time is accounted worthy to inherit the mansions prepared for him of my Father."

3 Nephi 11:33 "And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God."

Do we remember who we are? Are we living up to our destiny? Here is a fantastic story that we can remember as we go about our daily lives, bombarded by evil, weakness, discouragement and disappointment at every turn. REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE.

"King Louis the Sixteenth of France had been taken from his throne and imprisoned. His young son the prince, had been taken by those who dethroned the king. They thought that inasmuch as the king's son was heir to the throne, if they could destroy him morally he would never realize the great and grand destiny that life had bestowed upon him. They took him to a community far away, and there exposed the lad to every filthy and vile thing that life could offer. They exposed him to foods the richness of which would quickly make him a slave to appetite.
They used vile language around him constantly. They exposed him to lewd and lusting women. They exposed him to dishonor and distrust. The young Prince was surrounded twenty-fours a day by everything that could drag the soul of a man as low as one could slip.
For over six months he had this treatment but not once did the young lad buckle under pressure. Finally, after intensive temptation, the captors questioned him. Why had he not submitted himself to these things? Why had he not partaken? All of the things that were offered provided pleasure. Things that would satisfy one's lusts and things that were desireable to everyone else. And all of them were offered to him! Why wouldn't he partake of them?
The boy said, 'I cannot do what you ask for I was born to be king'."

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My New Obsession

I have recently become obsessed with National Geographic. I subscribed to the magazine and devour each issue when it comes. But even more enthralling for me is going to the website and collecting cool pictures. I save them in a folder that I keep as my screen saver, and so often when my computer goes to the screen saver, I will just sit there and watch all the cool pictures that I've found. They are so amazing!! I can't believe how fantastic this world is that we live in. It is so remarkable beautiful! I am so grateful to God for having created such a wonderful masterpiece!