i want a pen pal.


//I dress myself exactly the same way my five-year-old niece dresses herself. And I'm completely fine with it. Matching colors and patterns are too boring. My brain needs a little utter chaos in order to feel at ease. 

//Yesterday was such a busy Sunday. I felt like a missionary all over again. I left my house at 7:30am and didn't get home until 6:00pm. And after teaching mission prep, speaking in sacrament, meeting with my stake president, getting set apart as a ward missionary, and attending a ward missionary meeting-- as soon as I got home I stuffed my face with as much food as I possibly could in five minutes then went into hibernation in my room for the remnant of the day. Seriously. I crashed. And didn't wake up until morning. 

//So, as of yesterday, I've officially "resubmitted" to be a missionary. As for the rest of the details, (such as, how long I'll have to wait to hear back from the mission department, where I'll end up going, what's going to happen, etc.) I'm entirely in the dark. I have no answers whatsoever. BUT, I've done my part and now, it's just time to wait. (again.) Cross your fingers on my behalf because I left my heart in Korea and it's kind of important to me that I get it back.

//I should be more patient with answering people's questions. But like. I always feel the need to say, "YOU HAVEN'T TALKED TO ME IN FIVE YEARS, WHY DO YOU CARE!?" I can't help the agitated-female-monster that comes out when people are tryin' to get all up in my business. I mean, I'm really, really open about a lot of things. I should just carry a sign around in my purse that reads, "please refer to my blog" to hold up whenever someone asks me a question that I don't feel like answering. 

//No, male, I don't want to date you. No, male, I'm not here to stay. No, male, I don't want to talk to you. I'm still in missionary mode, thank you. Therefore, in my mind, you're not even an existing factor in my life. So please, go harass another female with your flirtatious comments and incessant "wanna go on a date?" inquiries. Maybe that's a bit harsh? But like, come on, guys. I'm trying to get back out on my mission, I don't have time for you. You'd be a waste of my time right now and I'd be a waste of yours. 

//My feels are all over the place. Like, holy hannah. I didn't even know that some of these emotions even existed.

//Sour gummy worms and the dollar store are my two favorite things right now. Whoop whoop.

//Hey, does anyone wanna be my pen pal?


hiding place.


There once was a little girl named CaLea who, when entrapped by wretched emotions such as frustration, fear, or despair, would run as rapidly as her little legs would carry her to her little room, lock the door, and hide in her little closet with naught but the company of her most cherished book and loyal stuffed comrade. 

Solitude has always seemed to have the capability of silencing the chaotic details of my existence. I think the most evil emotion is frustration; but only because it goads all the other dreadful emotions to squeeze themselves into the already-cramped space within your brain and then all at once you're entirely overcome by the inescapable feeling of suffocation. 

Life has its moments, and I'd be lying if I said that I didn't have my moments as well. 

I'm alright and I know that I'm going to be alright, but I've been tossed into deeper water and I've just got to figure out how to swim again. At moments I feel as if I'm flopping my arms about like a lunatic in desperate attempts to stay above the surface and at other moments I feel as if there's someone or something else holding me up and allowing me to breathe. But no matter what, I know that I cannot drown. I may get a little water caught in my lungs and I may sink a little lower into the dark cool mystery of life's boundless sea, but the one who is teaching me to swim will not let me sink beyond His reach.

Today, I just want to hide in my closet and escape the world.


mountain song.


There is something about the autumn air up on the mountain; it heals the soul and whispers peace to the heart. My mind has been on hyper-speed for the past couple of months, but every time I hear the mountains beckoning me and I heed their call, my mind finally feels pacified. 

There are certain friendships that are forged under the most peculiar sets of circumstances; I think those ones always turn out to be my favorites. This gentleman was the very man who kept me wide-eyed and confused at the MTC on my very first day because he kept telling me to do stuff but refused to speak to me in English. His first impression of me was me putting my enormous bag full of books upon my desk in his classroom only to have the entire desk topple over due to the sheer weight of the bag. Now, so many months down the road, I'm here at home and he's still there to help me out during those "tough missionary times." And he's just one of the many people who made my MTC experience one that I'll always remember with a smile. 

I talked a lot about my feelings yesterday on two different occasions. I even stayed up until five thirty in the morning laying on a little apartment floor with one of the people I will forever consider one of my best friends and talked about everything from wolf shirts to the gift of agency. But I walked away from that conversation feeling as if my soul had grown a couple of inches. 

I'm grateful for the relationships that exist in my life. I'm surrounded by people who strengthen me, lift me up, and challenge me to be better. Day to day conversations turn into life-changing moments for me because of the people I am so fortunate to associate myself with. I'm beyond grateful for the major ways in which my life has been influenced by so many beautiful souls. 

I'm not sure what comes in the next chapter of the book of CaLea,
But I do know that I have a good feeling about it. 
And after all, God is in charge.




Guess who got medically released today....

>> THIS GIRL. <<


happy medicine.


I've been been consuming too many meds to keep track of over the last couple of months; some of them helped, most of them didn't. But as long as I've been alive, I've never been a big fan of modern medicine. Yes, I acknowledge that medicine is awesome and life saving and pain preventing and a whole bunch of other things... but I'd prefer a long board ride down the canyon when the leaves have turned to gold and the air has a nice little nip to it, caramel apple spice, and a night full of reminiscing through the pages of an old photo album. I've been on a new medication that has been helping a whole bunch, but I haven't felt as good as I felt when I was cruising down the canyon on a set of four wheels with nothing but the wind ringing in my ears and the sight of the sunlight flickering through the dancing leaves. It made me feel so... alive. And for so long I've felt so dead inside. 

It's important to keep busy and to be doing lots of important things like school, and work, and other grow-up stuff, but I think it's also important to take the time to be happy. We all have our little happy-ticks that make our soul smile and our heart burn with enjoyment; but sometimes we forget to implement those simple, little things into our lives. When we're so busy that we forget to enjoy the seemingly-insignificant details of our lives, then I believe we're TOO busy. 

We were put on this earth to do a lot of things, 
but, like the missionaries all keep saying,


p.s. have you gone to see "Meet the Mormons?" 

S.O.S. // are there any lifeforms out there?


Greetings earthlings, marslings, middle earthlings-- any existence in the grand universe that may be intercepting paths with these words being produced by my fingertips. And if no CaLea's-words-intercepting-beings exist out there, then I suppose this virtual oasis of mine truly is as lonely as it appears to be. 

Sometimes I throw my words out on the internet as a plea for help; other times I throw them out there in hopes that they'll be some sort of response to somebody else's plea for help. All in all, I've always considered blogging as my favorite form of social media. I like it. I say what I want, I post what I want, and I make friends here that I couldn't have made in any other location... you get the idea. But as of recently, this place, which once danced with friendships and comments and friends, has evolved into a blogging ghost town. I suppose a large portion of blame for the death of the population here could be placed on the shoulders of the nine month absence I took on behalf of my duties to the missionary work in Korea. But all things aside, I'm home now (for an unpredictable duration of time) and I think I need my blogging friends more than ever now.

So yes, consider this a desperate cry for help.
I'm a blogger in distress and I could use a little supportive "umph" from my blogging comrades. 

If you're there-- if you exist out in the blogosphere somewhere-- and you've stumbled across these words, I'd love you forever if you'd take but a small moment to acknowledge your existence: leave a hello, a giggle, a cyber "wave", anything, really. I'd be appreciative of anything. (Yes, I'm desperate. No, I'm not ashamed.)  Bloggers need each other; it's a dangerous world out there.


survival guide for life.


Somebody should write a survival guide for life. You know, with chapters specifically focusing  on the various situations that you could potentially fall into as you make your way slowly through the underbrush and thorns of existence. The chapters could range from topics like "getting over bad break-ups" all the way to "how to get away with dressing like a homeless person." It'd be a best-seller, I'm sure. 

But unfortunately, we, as imperfect and stubborn as we are, must learn for ourselves. There's not some generic manual we can turn to that will tell us exactly what to do when we're feeling uncertain or confused about the circumstances in our lives. There's not a "perfect" solution for the problems and downfalls of humanity. We're all living, breathing, imperfect, DIFFERENT human beings. And with all those differences and imperfections, each of us must learn along our own life journey what we must do to make it to our desired destination. 

And that's the beauty of all of this, I believe; we're all different, we're all imperfect, and yet we're all pressing forward towards the same happily ever after. So in the end, I suppose it doesn't matter which path we choose to tread, it just matters that we end up exactly where we want to end up. 

And I want to end up happy.


thoughts from an early RM.


Being home (when you still feel as if you're supposed to be in another country) is such a surreal thing. You're surrounded by people and things that at one point in time were so normal-- and now all the normalcy almost makes it all feel abnormal. Have you ever had a dream where you were watching everything happen from a third-person perspective? For example, I once dreamed that I went to the wedding of my dear friend but instead of seeing it all from my own two eyes, I watched myself from above as if I were merely a fly on the wall. Kind of like in A Christmas Carol where Mr. Scrooge gets whisked about from past to present to future and he sees all that is happening but he's not actually a part of the occurrences. Well, that's what it feels like to be an early-returned missionary. 

I'm here, I'm home. I'm with family and loved ones. But given my current set of circumstances (i.e. desiring more than anything to return to Korea but remaining unaware of what the immediate future may uncover) my heart doesn't feel quite at home. I'm not sure any collection of words could ever fully capture the feelings, thoughts, and emotions that are so deeply intertwined with the experience of returning home before your assigned release date, but I do know that it's one of those rare life experiences in which a person can only truly comprehend once experiencing it themselves. 

And so I sit, day after day, rejoicing as my younger sister moves off to college and my younger brother receives the Preisthood, cheering as a dear friend exits the temple after being sealed to her sweetheart for time and all eternity, laughing when my nephew attempts his first few steps and falls so adorably upon his diaper-clad bottom-- and experiencing life while not actually mentally feeling as if I am progressing down any particular path of life. It's the missionary limbo-- I'm working to complete my service as a full-time missionary in the Korea Seoul South Mission but I am a released missionary residing in Utah. And with no definite verdict in the given situation, I feel as if I am standing at a stopping point in the journey; I'm at a fork in the road and at some point I'm going to have to keep walking. But with the limited information I now have, choosing a course upon which I must continue my journey is a terrifying concept. 

And so I just keep smiling when my infant niece presses a slobbery kiss to my cheek. I just keep falling to my knees at my bedside each night in gratitude for all the many ways in which I have been blessed. I just keep pleading in my heart for the opportunity to return to Korea and finish my time in total service of the Lord. And I just keep pressing forward; it's not easy to be home when your world revolves around your yearning desire to once again be a missionary... then again-- life was never meant to be easy. But it was meant to be enjoyed. 

All we can do amidst times of hardship and adversity is will ourselves to continually keep taking steps forward-- even if we do not know in which direction to walk. Our Savior is constantly reaching out to us and offering a hand to hold us up and support us when we feel as if we can no longer stand. I don't know many things, but I know He lives and I know that He loves me. And that knowledge alone makes everything I've gone through, everything I'm currently going through, and everything I have yet to go worth absolutely and entirely worth it. 

So to any of you who feel as if you're drowning in a sea of sorrows and discouragement, close your eyes and remember to just breathe. Because no matter what, when we do all that we can to be the best that we can be, we're promised our own happily every after. 

And it's worth every salty tear drop.