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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Picking Up the Pieces

     This entire summer, my mother has been searching for the perfect seed-bead necklace.  I've seen tons of these on Pinterest, and let me just say- THEY ARE GORGEOUS. But with all the time she's spending, I felt bad, so I volunteered to make the necklace for her.  I found a pattern and had set in my mind that it would just take a few hours, and no sweat.  No sweat...right.  
     So for the past few days, I've spent a good portion of my day working on a lovely seed-bead necklace for her. It's gorgeous, but it is quickly becoming the Bane of my Entire Existence.  Do you realize what that means?  

It's like I'm Harry and it's Voldemort.  
I'm Frodo, and it is not just the ring, but Saron too.
I am Luke, and it is my father  
...you get the idea? 

Needless to say, I'm having a hard time with it.  So in my downtime, away from fighting the war on the necklace, I leave it set up nicely on my bedroom floor.  

     Now I'm not sure how many of our readers have children or little siblings, but should they find a pile of beads, an unfinished necklace, and LOTS of beading tubes with about 8 bright colors- well it's about the same as letting a shopaholic inside a shoe store with everything 90% off.  They go crazy! :) And yes, I concede, it is a special happy moment to watch that joyous little expression as they trample through it, picking up pieces, fling it around, and scream with laughter. However...cleaning that up...when it was everything you were working on...is just not. 

     This is how it ends. Misery. 

(Ignore the blurriness...I took the pictures half-way through cleaning up when genius HIT, and I realized I wanted to post about it. )

     Lo and behold, I had to pick up every single piece I could find, and it took me the better part of this morning.  It hurt because, I have back problems (but who doesn't? or at least elbow problems...or hip problems...everyone has problems) and it was frustrating, because I kept dropping them and having to re-find them again, and again...and AGAIN.  Just when I thought I had picked up all the beads in one spot, I'd find like 27 more.  My point is- it was hard work, and it's not the kind you can take short-cuts on, or you will lose important beads.  You have to just grin and bare it until the arduous job of evil is over. 
      Then I had the thought...how much is this like picking up the pieces in every other part of my life?  (You guys know I'm long-winded, bare with me.) A year ago this month, I found out that I had been cheated on by my stupid ex-boyfriend and wait, here comes the shocker- one of my best friends from growing up. I'll save you the drama ;) because I'm sure somewhere along the way in these posts and my songs, you'll figure out the storyline ;). 
     I can speak of this now light-heartedly because I've been through a year of what?  Picking up the pieces.  What happened shattered me- but I am SO lucky, because it shattered the OLD me, that I didn't know, that I didn't always love...or even like.  When I arrived in Utah, I arrived as a broken girl, with a couple of suitcases and an entirely new chance to start completely over.  You know what I did?  I took it, and ran with it.  I ran like I had never done before.  (Literally, because I quite suck at really running.)  I made new friends, I tried new things, I changed my life, I changed where I wanted to be, who I saw myself becoming, and most importantly...I changed me.  
      Now, don't let my happiness of the present fool you- it was the hardest thing I have ever had to go through.  I had to readjust not just one or two things, but everything! I had to completely reorganize my priorities, the way I saw certain things, how I looked at different parts of life.  I had been stuck in this "wandering zone" for the whole last part of high school, and for the first time in a long while- I had to learn what it means to stand on your own, and for yourself. 
     Just like the beads, it was hard work.  There were days when I sat on the balcony of my apartment with my two best friends and chucked ice cream cones in anger at the pavement below, there were times I cried on my pillow until I couldn't quite remember what made me cry in the first place, there were days I felt pathetic and miserable...but after those days passed, there were days of beautiful sunshine, where new songs were born in my heart and new thoughts took hold of my soul.  There were many MORE days that were good and wonderful because I didn't take shortcuts.  

       There are no shortcuts in life.
 When you take what you think is a "shortcut" you are really just shortcutting yourself of all the incredible experience and learning about life and yourself that this world has to offer. 

      I had no short cuts with the stupid beads, but picking up every single piece made it worth it to have each of those important pieces back together, and this time the necklace will be even better.  Picking up every single piece of my heart, and myself was the best thing for me, because when I put them back together, I knew EXACTLY who they were making, and I knew that that girl was beautiful, inside and out.  I put those pieces, even the ones that were truly the hardest to pick up, together in a much truer way, and now when I look at what I thought at the time was a mess...I see someone that was worth taking all that time for.  

      Clearly, we all have challenges, and times in our live when we have to pick up the pieces, we have chances to find each bead and we have opportunities to change.  Every time you think you're picking up the pieces, I challenge you not to think of it as not only picking up pieces but building something better, stronger, something- someone to be completely content with being.  I challenge you to remember that you can't take shortcuts, but in the end, life will bring you to the most wondrous places and you will become that person you long to be most, all by putting in that hard work, picking up the pieces, and building something better. 

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