Singles Wards, Dating Culture, and Other Dreaded Topics

I love love. It is the most special and sacred thing to experience love in all of its capacities. I also love young single adult wards!* There is always something happening, and it's such a fun culture...for the most part. Here's something I don't totally love: YSA dating culture.

*in our church, we have specific groups of single 18-31 year olds that meet

To be fair, I get it. I get the way things are done. I get that first dates (usually) don't mean anything, three dates is pretty serious, and how you hug your date goodnight gets read into WAY too much. I get that people go on 4 dates in one week with all different people. I get that things are fast paced, and if people get engaged two weeks after meeting, hey, no judgment. Actually, this part of the dating culture is honestly pretty fun to me!
However, what I don't get is the vicious shark-tank-like environment that people create while dating in a singles ward.

I've only recently jumped back into the singles w…

TLTA: Technology, Priorities, Helping People

Hi friends! Today let's talk about technology and how to use it more purposefully, shifting priorities, and how we can improve the way we help others.

In my last post, I mentioned that I would be "unplugging" for a a time from social media and cut back a bit on technology in general, and it was INCREDIBLE. I recommend everyone doing this at least once every few months. I had no idea how addicted I was to the internet and my online image. It was so wonderful waking up in the morning and reading a book in bed instead of checking Twitter, and not fussing about what pictures to take to post on Instagram. Obviously I'm back on social media, but for a quick minute I considered deleting my accounts completely. I had the realization that the internet and social platforms are incredibly powerful and we have so much potential to do good with it! I believe the internet's sole purpose is to share good messages with the world. Messages of joy, hope, and knowledge! I encourage…

TLTA: Comparison, Plans, Disappointment

Hi friends, today let's talk about three things: comparison, making life plans, and big disappointments.

I have a handful of people who are very curious about what on earth is happening in my life, and I'm writing this in part to address that.

I have a heavy heart today. For the past 6 months, I've been working to get myself to Provo, UT to get my cosmetology license, and later finish my degree. It has been the most stressful thing applying, getting scholarships, finding housing, and a car. But, I've felt that it is what I need to do and where I need to be, so the stress has been bearable! The biggest challenge I've faced has been with my family. My dear parents have wanted/needed me home. And 5 days before I was supposed to be making my move to Provo on October 16th, my parents took my plan away from me. I don't want to dive into the dirty details, but it has been some of the hardest few days of my life having this taken away from me.

Which brings me to our fi…

One Year

February 20th, 2016: I was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
February 21st, 2016: I was confirmed, and received the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Just over one year ago, I made the best decision I have made in my life. It has been a year of membership, yes, but more so it has been a year of believing Christ, and following Heavenly Father's will for me. It has been a year of true joy, even in some great trials. I learn something new every single day about this gospel and about myself, but here are twelve beautiful things I have come to know in the past twelve months.

{February} Jacob 4:13
"for the Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not. Wherefore, it speaketh of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be"
Right after receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, my daily task became recognizing the Spirit and what it was saying to me. It was so helpful constantly being immersed in spiritual situations, and recognizing promptings …

19 Things I Learned in 19 years

Of the typical and generic things to post, this was certainly one topic I was adamant about not doing, but some readers have suggested this, and I'm now glad I'm writing this. I've had to truly think about this one. In my 19 years of life, what are 19 of the most important things I've learned? Here's an insight to how I've grown over the past 19 years.

1.) A house isn't always a home My parents were really into videotaping and documenting everyday life when I was younger. There is a home video from 1998, and I'm barely a year old. It shows me laughing and running around chasing a bouncy ball with my older sister, who was 8 at the time. The parking lot was for a motel we had stayed in. My family was just making ends meet at the time, home hopping and staying with relatives while we transitioned from living in Florida to Alabama. In the video, we were all so happy! It didn't matter where we were or that we weren't at a place of our own. We were at …

The Common Identity Crisis

"Jamie, don't take this the wrong way, but what are you..?"

This is a very vague question, but I have been asked it so many times that I know what they're referring to.

"I am half Korean, and half Caucasian."

"OH! I can totally see the Asian in you now! That makes sense."

End scene.

This type of conversation has always made me feel relatively awkward, but I could never really pinpoint why. I mean, these people who ask these things are doing so with harmless intent. However, in recent times I have been able to understand how detrimental this type of conversation is to people.

Let's break this conversation down, piece by piece.

First, I am told to not take offense to whatever is about to be said. This puts me in the mindset that something potentially offensive is about to be said. Second, the question "what are you?" is asked. A thousand retaliating questions pop to my mind, but particularly, "Why do you care so much about my ethn…

Time Does Not Heal Everything

One day very early on in our friendship, Lauryn and I were walking back to the dorms and out of nowhere, we both started skipping, with the EXACT same foot, timing, and height. Super random, but I remember when that happened, we both turned to each other and made the same facial expression. In that moment, I knew that we were best friends. Since then, we have been caught saying the same thing simultaneously, highlighting the same scriptures, taking the same notes, and basically doing the same thing 24/7. The part that really freaks us out is that we have very similar circumstances when it comes to our trials and tribulations.

Lauryn is my partner in crime, and she's that friend. She's the friend you always want to tell everything to. The friend you imagine yourself making terrible jokes with even when you're 80 years old. The friend you empathize with so much that when you see them in pain, it physically hurts you just as much.

You get the point. Lauryn and I are very clos…