Category Archives: Living a Good Life

10 Embarrassing Questions I’ve Asked Myself While Simplifying

I’ve recently begun to really, really evaluate the stuff I have in my bedroom at my parents’ home in Utah. My mom has done an incredible job going through years of memories and collected items, and my room demanded the same.

And it’s hard. And it requires a lot of thinking and questioning.

So here are the silliest questions I have genuinely asked myself as I’ve sorted almost 22 years of possessions:

  1. What am I supposed to do with this jewelry box drawer full of single earrings missing their pairs?
  2. Where did this t-shirt come from? I’ve never been to [exotic destination].
  3. Why did I keep this lotion & perfume set that smells like a middle school boys locker room?
  4. Did I actually purchase this green eyeshadow palette for myself?
  5. I wonder who Evelyn is and if I ever sent her a thank you for this graduation card…
  6. Why did I think this doodle on my church bulletin from 2008 was worth saving? Did I think I was creative?
  7. Seriously? A purple eyeshadow palette too?
  8. Would this restaurant still accept a coupon that expired 3 years ago?
  9. What if I need to use my 8th grade graduation cap and gown again in the future?
  10. What have I gotten myself into?
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Disconnecting to Connect

Quick note: This post is a modified version of an article I wrote for the opinion section of an independent news site at Liberty in November 2013. The site has since deleted all of my articles, so I am taking the liberty to repost some of my work on my personal blog. Enjoy!

A few days ago, I sat alone in a corner booth at a diner writing a paper. As my brain slowly melted from analyzing literature, I couldn’t help but watch the people around me, and I was stunned at what I observed. As I looked around, I saw that every person at every table was looking at a glowing screen. Granted, I had my own laptop screen in front of me, so I’m not guiltless, but there were couples, groups of friends, and one-on-one conversations – all fixated on their phones instead of the living, breathing human beings in front of them. Two girls were Snapchatting their entire meal with a third party. Several people were reading aloud from the occasional Facebook post from one of those ever-popular college crushes pages. Very few were invested in meaningful conversations with each other.

Continue reading Disconnecting to Connect

Note to Self

All right, Carissa. Here’s the deal: You know you have spent countless thoughts and minutes and moments on wondering when that boy was going to text you back, or checking to see if he opened your Snapchat, or watching for that “[he] is typing…” message on Facebook. You have been distracted beyond measure hoping for an ounce of attention from someone who probably didn’t know you were hanging onto his every word and surely didn’t care. You could measure your life in boys whose attention you were addicted to at the time, and it’s time for that to end.

Continue reading Note to Self

Choosing joy.

[I began writing this post in February and left it in my drafts. But I’m revisiting it and sharing it with you now! Lucky you.]

This year — 2014 — was supposed to be an amazing year. I know because I decided last year in December. 2013 ended rather poorly, but I was filled with motivation as we rolled over into the next year. I was convinced that every moment of my final semester of college was going to be flawless and thrilling, and that nothing was going to hold me back from living my life to the fullest!

Boom. Then life kicked in.

Continue reading Choosing joy.

Am I a feminist?

I was recently asked if I am a feminist, and the question made me pause and carefully consider my answer. Am I a “feminist”? I surely hesitate to apply a label to my ideas on such a fluid subject; one of the first points I learned about feminism is that the ideology is not the same as it was ten, twenty, or thirty years ago. So I don’t know that I am a “feminist” in the same way that you, reader, would define it. But I thought it would be appropriate to take some time to lay out what I believe on the subject of women’s place in the world as it becomes an increasingly discussed subject in our culture today, from the #yesallwomen hashtag to accusations of a rape culture.

You see, I think any woman would tend toward ideas that empower women if she had ever been treated by men in her life as if she were an object that they deserved, or if she had been desired for purely carnal reasons.

Continue reading Am I a feminist?

On sweet little moments.

College is busy. Really busy. And if I allow it to be, college can also be chaotic. Assignments, meetings, shifts, and exams attack rapid-fire for the entire duration of each semester, and it’s so easy to be swept up in the rush and scarcely take time to breathe. Some days, I’ll look around and realize, “It’s 3:30 in the afternoon and I haven’t even had the time to sit down one time today.” But amidst the whirlwind pace of a college senior’s life, I can look back and see moments when time seems to slow down, and each second feels sweet and bright. When I break out of the monotony and catch a truly beautiful moment, the rest of the rush doesn’t feel quite as important.

Continue reading On sweet little moments.

So much more.

Close your eyes and imagine something with me. (Actually, maybe don’t close your eyes, since you need to keep reading. Maybe try to do both. I don’t know, figure it out.) Imagine you woke up one day and you couldn’t remember anything about yourself, about your friends, or about the human race, but then you stumbled upon your social network accounts. You have to try to figure out what your friends are like based on their Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. Worse yet, you have to figure out who you are based on social networking. What would you decide about human nature?

Maybe you’d discover these things:

  • Everyone spends the weekend in groups of people, having fun and partying.
  • People typically look happy, put-together, and well.
  • Everyone attends awesome, fun events constantly.
  • Your friends who are dating have flawless, happy relationships; your married friends have well-behaved, cute kids.

But then, forgetful, confused you would wander outside into the “real” world and look around… and you wouldn’t see everyone sitting around, looking picture-perfect at coffee shops. Because that’s just not life.

Continue reading So much more.