Salt Lake City: The Balance of City and Wilderness

When I moved up north a little more than a year ago, I never thought I’d feel like this place was home. Especially living up in Heber, I often found myself wondering what I was doing there. A small little town on the Wasatch Back…with really nothing there for me in terms of theatre or a social life. Although, I got to spend that year living near my sister and enjoying the wilderness offerings that come with living in a mountain valley village. Then I had the opportunity to do a show down at the Hale Centre Theatre and started making frequent trips down the Sale Lake Valley. This is were I began to click with living up North. I fell in love with Salt Lake City. I began to frequent the city more, and staying down as long as possible. It became easier to stay in the city as I began to date and the city started pulling me in even more. Those first few months of traveling between Heber and SLC were rough. The drive up Parleys Canyon is beautiful and scenic, but as most paths do when traveled many times, became tedious and dull. I was then presented with an even bigger change, and was able to move down into the heart of the city. I found myself at an apartment complex within steps of Temple Square and the city night life. There has always been a part of me that is fascinated with city life, I yearn for it. There however is also a part of me that yearns in the same way for the mountains and the wild. Spending to much time in one makes me seek the other. That balancing act keeps me sane, and Salt Lake is the perfect city to find that balance. When I yearn for the mountains, and for hiking, I’m only a short car trip away from some of the most beautiful areas in Utah. If I want city life, it’s at my finger tips. I am now in a massive transition period of my life, and I feel like I have found someplace that will be a good base for that transition. There is something bizarre about trying to get out on your own. I have the will to be independent, but often lack those necessary skills to be fully financially independent. I’ll be interviewing tomorrow for a position with the Salt Palace Convention Centre, and have many opportunities in the theatre world coming up. Brigham Young called the Salt Lake Valley “a place of bounty”, and I’ve come to realize that it is indeed.


My Faith is Equality

Yesterday, Arkansas became the 18th state to allow Same-Sex Marriages. Hearing that news brings up many feelings of joy and happiness. Knowing that this country is moving in a direction that promotes equality for all individuals is an excellent feeling. Places where gay marriage seemed to be an unclimbable mountain, are now base camps in the fight to marriage equality. Marriage equality is forth and for most a basic right. The right to marry who you love. I honestly have a hard time coming to terms with individuals who oppose this idea of love. How one could think that another human shouldn’t have the same rights as them is beyond me. The debate of homosexuality and gay marriage should be a debate of humanity, and never a debate of religion. If you use religion as the basis of your debate, it is automatically flawed. To declare that homosexuality is wrong based on church teachings, or the writings in The Bible(or any other religious text) holds no more truth than if someone declared homosexuality wrong based on an ad in the newspaper. As someone who has experienced the exhausting emotional conflicts of hiding their sexual preference, I know that despite what “The Bible Says”, I don’t feel like it has validity. I know only what I feel. I am fairly certain that those feelings are the same feelings that many of you reading this have felt too. What is it like to be sexually attracted with the opposite sex?  Whatever your answer was to that question, I have felt in the same way towards the same-sex. There is nothing foreign about it. It is one hundred percent the same exact emotion and feeling. We are humans. We have instincts and behaviors, and who is to say that any of these instincts or behaviors are wrong? We base our knowledge of what is appropriate on texts that have been altered and changed through out history. Texts that have been altered to fit specific circumstances. Therefore, using religion as a basis for the debate in same-sex marriage becomes mute.

We are living in an era where human rights need to be secured and it’s important to remember what our faith teaches us. It teaches us to be true to ourselves, to remain a good person, and to accept others no matter their circumstances.

My faith is equality.


A Journey of Health and Happiness

Let’s face it. Eating healthy is hard. Despite how many good intentions we have, somehow that bad food makes its way into our lives. There’s that word, that word we all hear, and it makes us cringe. “Bad”, we have this connotation that food that is high in fat/carbs/sugar is “bad” for us. The truth is…it’s not necessarily bad for us in moderation. The point in which food becomes a systematic problem for our bodies, is when consumption out ways any sort of physical output. It is quite possible to maintain a slender frame and only eat McDonald’s foods. Calorie counting is an fantastic tool in losing weight. However, counting calories places a tole on our minds. We become obsessed with counting calories. We see it everyday and we say it to ourselves as well. How many times have you picked up a snack, turned it over, and gasped because this particular food item was loaded with calories. This sort of mentality is harmful not only to our eating habits but to our body image as well. This is where Paleos strong point shines through. Paleo allows us not only to eat foods that our whole and unprocessed, but it allows us to stop counting calories. We can eat until we are satisfied, without the guilt of consuming to many calories. Personally, I find counting calories to become a detriment to my overall health. I will decide that 1000 calories is fine for the day, and make a point of not eating past that amount. When looking at what promotes health, underrating based on calorie counting can weaken your immune system as well as place your body into starvation mode. Once your body has entered this starvation mode, it begins to literally feel “starved”. As soon as any food is eaten, the body begins to store it. In my experience with Paleo or Whole 30, hunger is not a concern. Cravings in the beginning of the process are strong, but after a week diminish.  Why is this? The reason is simple, food becomes a means of feeding your healthy body. The longer you give your body organic vegetables, farm raised meats, and protein rich nuts and seeds…the less the body craves nourishment as a means of replenishing energy, because it has all the energy it needs.

The reasoning of a paleo based diet is the theory that our paleolithical ancestors(or cavemen) consumed only foods they could physical gather or hunt. Their lives revolved around surviving, and to survive they had to thrive. They only way in which they could thrive, was to fee their bodies foods that not only gave them energy but promoted a strong and healthy body. A diet with plentiful nutrients of varying degrees allows the body to enter a state of harmony. With my own personal experience here is a list of common problems that seem to not only get better but disappear all together:

-Digestive Problems: Stomach bloating and cramps become non-existent.

-Skin Health: I’ve suffered from mild nodular acne since high school and on paleo, my skin clears up, and to a point is almost blemish free. To the point where people comment on the health of your skin. There is an interesting chapter in a book called “It Stars with Food” by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig  . I not only suggest this book to new comers to paleo, but almost insist you read it. This particular chapter speaks about skin being the indicator of your overall inner health. Those with glowing and radiant skin, typically have far less inner health issues than those with overly blemished or problematic skin.

-Mentality and Mode: This one is a big one for me in particular. Clean eating promotes an increase of chemicals in our brains that effect mode. How many times have you eaten a meal that satisfied your cravings, but afterwards made you feel low and defeated? Do you feel this way after eating something you consider healthy? The brain plays a big part of your overall health. A healthy brain promotes a healthy body, and consequently a healthy body promotes a healthy brain. When you eat clean, it’s a win-win.

I have experienced all these benefits, and I have also lost them as old habits have come back. My intention with this blog is to document another phase of my journey into a balance of health and happiness.

Time to head out on this Journey! Life is great.

The Whole Food Effect: The gathering of spiritualists, hipsters, and granolas.

Something I have found to positively influence my journey of living a more healthy lifestyle is to visit Whole Foods on a daily basis. There is a feeling or vibe that gives you a little punch to think along the lines of, “What am I putting in my body?” and “How does it influence my life?” There is a certain truth to the phrase, “You are what you eat.” I am fully aware of this concept. As an individual with an unhealthy relationship with food, I know the after effects of a fast food diet. Along those same lines, I have seen the remarkable effects of living an organic and clean-food diet. I am a yo-yo dieter. There is no question about it. I have seen my weight fluctuate in my teens and my 20’s to points of extremes on either end. Having lived at 250lbs as well as 155lbs its hard to find a perfect balance. Because of that search for a balance, I have placed my body in a series of extremes that have most likely put my body in shock. Eating fast food and gaining weight is common for me. I can pack away the weight in a short amount of time. I just as easily can lose the weight at a rapid pace. There however is a balance that I am slowly finding. I’m no longer afraid to eat fast food occasionally, as long as the majority of my food intake is “real”. By real, I mean foods that are unprocessed and literally straight form the source. Whole Foods offers a place where you can find these foods readily available. Even now I am sitting in a Whole Foods on my laptop, a fresh salad next to me. The couple next to my table is talking about energy levels and spirituality, and the atmosphere promotes a strong will to accomplish goals. Job hunting, literature exploration, and theological conversations happen all around you…the vibe is good here. Hipsters, Spiritualists, Granolas, and the Health Enthusiasts have a place to gather…and I hope that I fit in here in some way.

The Pause

“I need a pause button!” How many times have you heard someone utter these words? We all seem to be searching for this imaginary and unreachable pause button. With the constant slew of demands the world tosses our way, we all just want a quick second to compose ourselves and figure life out, without life actually continuing forward. Think about how wonderful that would be? Imagine you have some unfortunate car troubles. The mechanic tells you that in order to drive your car again it will most likely cost upwards of a thousands bucks. Stress right? But what if we had this pause button? What if we could just pause life until we somehow managed to acquire an extra grand….and then were able to proceed on…..what a world that would be…

Alas, we live in a non imaginary world things like “pause buttons” don’t exist and life keeps forging on despite our undying wish to stall. It really is crazy to think how much happens in a day, and what sort of issues and problems we have to sort out in a 24 hour period. There is always something to be done, something to be paid, something to be late for, something to not want to do, something to enjoy, and so-on and so-on. That is what keeps life interesting. At least that is what we must tell ourselves to avoid going crazy.

I haven’t blogged much in the past year, not because I haven’t had anything to say, but because I haven’t found a moment to do it. I of course spent numerous hours watching netflix and other useless activities that could have been used to blog…but we will forget that….and say that I just couldn’t find the time.

2014 has been a whirlwind of a year. I have learned a lot. Expectations have been met. Expectations have been shattered. The youthful dream filled person I was before has been knocked down a couple pegs, and honestly, it probably was for the best. I was able to experience the realities of a relationship and the consequences of allowing a relationship to become the center of my own life. Needless to say that any song by Adele…makes WAY more sense now. Lots of good is happening and lots of hard work is now in store to take me where I have always wanted to be. This realization has been rewarding. Hard work brings fulfillment…and in order to fulfill my dreams… hard work will need to be sought after and not ignored.

It’s time to end 2014 better than I started it…by being 100% true and honest and believing in my full potential. Things will happen, if I make them happen.

Woot Woot!

Lord Farley Farkington the Third of Dogenshire

Lord Farley Farkingon the Third of Dogenshire: May 2nd,  2004- August 10th, 2013

As many of you probably have seen either on facebook or instagram, our favorite shakespearean pup has passed away. Farley Farkington the Third passed on over to the other side this last weekend. Farley had developed bone cancer in his shoulder, and it spread fairly quickly to his chest and lungs. I was thankful to have the chance to see him and tell him bye, but it still seems weird to know that Farley is gone. I’ve had many dogs growing up, but none came close to Lord Farkington. Ty and Sloan have been fantastic the last 4 years for taking Farley into their family and taking care of him. It just wasn’t possible to have Farley at the house in St. George or up here in Midway. Josie was all quick to make sure I knew that Farley was loved, as she constatnly informed me that he was now “her dog.” That was perfectly alright with me! Farley couldn’t do any better than being her dog. The Farley Tribune will of course continue to hold his memory, for many years to come.

This is a post about Farley from 2005 on this blog:

“Farley Kepts getting out of his kennel I mean how bad could it be sitting in a 10 by 6 square, rain, snow, and hail fallen on you. Its like he doesn’t like it or something. Yah! I fell bad for him, all alone all night. Dark all around, its really sad when you look right in to his big brown/golden eyes. It just breaks your heart. Went for a walk with him today and right there in the road was a pile of dead deer, must have been about fifty . Ok more like six but still what in the world is that! A pile of dead deer. I mean what in the world of weekly news is a pile of dead deer doing in the road. Farley of course wanted to go over to them, so he could get a good wif of that sweat aroma coming from that pile of dead deer. Well I just walked past them and then noiticed pieces of plastic from headlights and pieces if glass. If I didn’t know any better I would say a car hit all six of them deer. After investigating those deer the Pup and me went on home ready for another wonderful day of escaping, dead deer, and of course those sad sad brown/golden eyes staring into your own eyes, makeing you heart break, intell you drop to your knees and cry like a little baby.(or puppy)”

The Man….

As a human, life can seem overwhelming at times. I think we all go through those points in our life where we look in the mirror and say, “Well what the hell am I supposed to do now?”. There always seems to be some sort of expectation to live up to, some sort of goal to meet, and some sort of destination to reach. Those constant thoughts of , “I have to do this!”and “I have to do that!”creep into your head…even in the middle of the night. What if there was this magical place that all stress and life expectances kind of just went away? Well that place doesn’t exist, so you have to deal with it. It honestly isn’t a bad thing though. What would life be without challenges and obstacles? It would be like this stress free un-adventerous safe place…and who wants that? Okay…maybe that does sound nice…

I never saw myself sitting at a desk…and I still don’t see myself sitting at a desk. Even when I AM sitting at my desk I have a hard time keeping my attention inside my window or away from my ever growing wanderlust. I show up to work everyday because I need money. That need tells me one thing……I have sold out to the man. Selling out to the man, I guess, is a part of becoming an adult-like person. You have these wonderful ideas of what your job will be like, and then you actually start working your job. Then you realize that working in an office is actually NOTHING like The Office or Mad Men. So you sell out to the man to earn that almighty dollar. Then you start to see that you don’t make nearly enough money as the world costs, and The Man starts to get a decent edge on your life. THEN The Man says here is a credit card, and that basically is check mate and The Man has won…so you hae to find a way to stick it to The Man.

…I guess what I am trying to say is… Adulthood seemed so great in my Childhood….and now as I enter my Adulthood…Childhood never seemed so appealing. That is the reason I do theatre…because in a small way I get to hold onto a pretty fantastic part of childhood….imagination and dreaming. Which, did you know? Is the best way to stick it to The Man.

Anywho…I’m rambling. I really just wanted to let you all know that I was cast in Brigadoon at the Hale Center Theatre in West Valley. The show opens October 9th and runs through November 30th. So I hope to see you all there. I will be playing the part of Harry Beaton, and I’ll be highland dancing with swords….so I know you don’t want to miss that.