September 1, 2014

onward, ever onward.

Time has a really peculiar way of sneaking up on you much quicker than you were ready and of changing the right now into something the you of the past could have never possibly imagined. And so it's funny to be sitting right where I'm sitting right at this moment in time when even just a few days ago this present set of circumstances was entirely unfathomable.

On Friday morning, I was a missionary in Korea; on Friday night, I was a sad little CaLea who had to take off the little black name tag that reminded me every single day who I wanted to be. And I guess that the thoughts and feelings that are raging through me can't exactly be captured by mere words...

But I can say this: we, as mere mortals, do not have the capability of controlling the story line of our lives-- things happen. We will stumble over the trials and unfortunate circumstances will fall in our paths. Sometimes, bad things happen. Sometimes tears will fall from our eyes. That's been a promise since the beginning. But despite all the sorrow and misery that may try to consume us in this life, we've also been promised that there is hope for better things to come.

I don't know why things have happened the way that they have. And quite frankly, that's not something to worry about right now. Worrying about why things aren't the way you'd like them to be only blinds you from seeing all that CAN be. And the mere idea of those "hoped to be things" is what can give you the strength to keep pressing forward-- no matter what.

I'm CaLea Bagley. I was a Sister missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I wasn't ready to take off that little name tag-- but I've learned that sometimes things don't go the way that I want. That being said, I don't believe in endings; I only believe in new beginnings. I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but I know that each new day contains a thousand new opportunities to smile.

And life tastes much sweeter with a smile.


December 2, 2013

Called to Serve Him.

Well kids-- this is it. The day has finally come to say goodbye to this beloved blog of mine for a short eighteen months. I've been counting down the days until I would begin my new adventure as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for a very long time (at at times, it felt almost too long). But I am ready; I am ready to be a missionary for this wonderful church-- and more importantly, I am ready to be a representative of our wonderful Father in Heaven.

This isn't the end of my story. In fact, it's just the beginning of a new chapter in life. I have been called forth at this time to serve in the Seoul Korea South mission. I'm both terrified, excited, anxious, and prepared all at once-- fear, however, is a silly thing. For I believe in a God who believes in me. He has offered to help me every step of the way as long as I remember to look to Him for help in and with all things. I am grateful for a Lord who cares enough to allow me to grow. And I am grateful that He loves me enough to pick me up each and every time I fall.

I know without a doubt that this is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I know without a doubt that Christ lives and that He will come again. I know without a doubt that His plan leads to true and lasting happiness and I know without a doubt that I want to experience such joy. I have a testimony of our loving Savior, brother, and friend, Jesus Christ. I know of His love because I have felt it time and time again. It's everywhere-- we just have to be willing to recognize it. 

I could not possibly live my life having enjoyed the blessings of this sweet gospel without feeling a sincere desire to share it. I want everyone to know what it is like to have the Holy Spirit as their constant companion; I want everyone to know what it is like to have a knowledge of a Savior, a heavenly being, who loves each and everyone of us personally and unconditionally.

This is my time to dedicate my life completely to Him.
This is my time to learn of His love and to learn of Him on a more intimate level.

I invite all of you to join me in my adventure. This blog may be put on pause but I have created a mission blog that will be updated once a week (every week) for the entire eighteen months that I am away. Come, be a part of my adventure. (And write me letters. I'm really good at writing letters in response...the address is posted on the other blog.)

I want to be able to share this experience with you.

November 28, 2013

happy fat day; happy day of thanks.

I fill my room with my favorite things. My closet is full of words (in various forms: books, old, fraying journals, papers I've written and kept, letters from loved ones-- words upon words upon words.) My walls are covered in photographs; a few favorite memories and a few of prints from my favorite shoots. I've got at least five different-smelling candles placed in various locations around the room. Hot pink curtains (which is actually surprising because I've never really been a "pink" girl, but my room has always been hot pink and black.) The Korean flag hangs above my bed. On one wall there is a large, antiqued map with the names of my dear friends written upon it in places all over the world. I have plastic stars on my ceiling. I have crescent moon rug upon my floor. I've got a reading corner with a comfortable little chair and a cute little lamp. I've got a giant whiteboard behind my door that is covered in favorite quotes, odd doodles, and "I love you!" notes scribbled across the white surface. 

When I woke up this morning I realized that I only have a few more days of waking up in a familiar environment. And so I just stayed there and let the reality of everything soak in. And when I took the time to do so, I also realized just how grateful I am for the life I have been given. I am thankful for the upcoming adventure. I am thankful for the adventure that my summer was. (I'll write a book about it eventually-- it deserves one, fo' reals.) I am thankful for the wonderful people in my life. Seriously, Heavenly Father is so good to me. 

Life is wonderful.
And I love it very much.

Happy turkey day!
What are you grateful for?


November 27, 2013

bedhead: less than a week left!

//The days are winding down and my nerves are winding up. I've got all my answers to society's stereotypical questions memorized because they have become a part of every last one of my conversations: "Are you excited?" Oh, yeah! Of course. I'm beyond excited. "Are you nervous?"
Definitely. But I am also grateful for the opportunity to serve.

Come on people, let's skip the obvious questions and jump straight to the good stuff like, "How the freak are you going to speak Korean when you can't even find words to express yourself in English 98% of the time?" It's been decided: I'll have to create gibberish words for Korean too.

//I tried to get on a regular missionary sleeping schedule but that plan flew out the door as soon as I tried to make it happen. Trying to sleep normally doesn't work when you've got a mission on your mind. You end up laying in bed staring at the ceiling and dreaming of how your life will be when you become a missionary and then you stay up really late so waking up early is just out of the question.

//I've got the cutest missionary clothes. Fo' reals tho. I'm actually really excited to dress myself and whatnot. Living out of my suitcase for eighteen months will not be hard at all-- but only because I have a suitcase full of the world's cutest dang clothes.

//Hey, I'm done working. What-what! Yeah, I walked out of work for the last time today and it was seriously THE weirdest feeling. I didn't know how to handle myself so I just walked wide-eyed to my car and drove home really fast so I could sit on my couch with the knowledge that I have completed this working phase of my life and I am now ready to move onto the next.

//I leave in under a week. Is anyone else trippin' about that? No? Just me? Oh... okay kewel. (I LEAVE IN SEVEN DAYS. WHAT THE FLAGNOD IS HAPPENING!?) No big deal or anything, kids. No big deal.

//Hey, so I'll be temporarily retiring this blog in just a matter of days. (Don't fret, I'll be back in eighteen months.) But anyways, I'll be blogging over at my missionary blog so you can find me over there. I'll be the same old, sarcastic, spastic, random, creative self so you can expect all you've expected from this blog and more. (And I say "more" because I'll be learning another language and being an awkward human around a bunch of other people so it should be pretty interesting. I mean, I'm excited, you can be excited with me.) If you missed it the first two times, you can find my missionary blog right......

---------------------> HERE.

//I'll miss your faces and stuff. But you can send me letters. I bought a butt-load of stamps today for my stay at the MTC today. (Enough to write five or more letters a week, to say the least. And I'm going to be there for about eight weeks soo.....) I mean, I'll be perfecting my letter-writing skills and what not, so if that's something you want to partake of, you can find my address/email over on my mission blog. (That's four times, if you haven't gotten the hint by now... well, I'll be disappointed. Let's just leave it at that.) SRSLY though, I'd love to hear from you peeps.

//Um. It's three a.m. and I know that I'm terrible at the whole 10:30 bedtime thing but this is ridiculous and I should at least try and be in bed before three a.m.... I'll do better over the next few days. But maybe not. I mean, YOLO? Anyways, what I'm trying to say here is that I should probably go to sleep now. Because, yeah.

Life is weird and it happens fast so make the moments count!
That's my advice for the day and I'm going to be a missionary.
Missionaries give good advice most of the time, right?
Meh. I'll work on it.


November 19, 2013

"is this real life?"

I don't even know where to start... I could start with the fact that I've officially checked off "farewell talk" from my list of things to do before my mission. I could start with the fact that I had to say goodbye to one of my big brothers tonight-- I won't see him again for nineteen months. I could start with the fact that I leave in a mere fourteen days. I could start with a lot of things, but like I said, I have no idea where I SHOULD start or if I should even start at all. 

Life is weird. I never thought I'd actually get to this point; you know, the point where the countdown starts to feel more real. Like every day spent is one that must be spent well and spent in the company of the people you love the most. December fourth used to seem so far away and now it feels so close that it is literally breathing right down my neck. I can't even believe it. 

My best friends in the mission field write me every single week just to tell me how excited they are for me to join them in the work of the Lord. I honestly can't wait to join them. They're remarkable human beings doing remarkable things and I am more than ready to throw in my two cents as well. Sometimes it's a little scary but I've always been a brave little girl. 

This phase of life isn't the easiest but it's the most worth it. 
I know it, I truly do. It's hard but it's absolutely wonderful.
It's time to wear my biggest, prettiest smile and say, "Bring it on."

November 14, 2013

my mom hates my space pants but whateva.

I work every day from eight to five and when you're nineteen and you're leaving on a mission, working full-time gets really lame really fast. It's the very worst when you walk outside after being locked up within a grey-walled warehouse all day and the sun is trickling through the last-leaves surviving on the almost-barren branches and the sky is humming a lullaby to the earth in splashes of color and you're just like, "Welllllp. I'm sure today was a really beautiful day and I'm only JUST NOW getting to appreciate it." Creative minds sometimes come as a curse, I've decided. I've got creative ADD and it's severely damaging my ability to function like a normal human being. 

I check the mailbox as soon as I get home every single day because I love letters and I love words but most of all, I love love letters full of lovely words. Sometimes life is really super duper confusing and nothing makes sense at all. But I've learned that the pieces always manage to fall exactly where they need to be and in the end, "love conquers all." Call me a sappy romantic, I can handle it. But only because I mean that with all my heart. I think I've got the best love story of all and maybe one day I'll be brave enough share it. 

Today has been one of those, "I'm putting my hair on top of my head and wearing my dinosaur sweatshirt and space pants with warm socks and I'm going to watch Mr. Darcy fall in love with Elizabeth and cuddle with my pillowpet," kind of days. I'm terrible at being a girl because I'm too dang good at being a hobo. I'm not even mad about it. I've always had a peculiar sense of style and my desire to be comfortable always overrides my desire to be socially presentable and so I've just learned to throw up the deuces and roll with it. 

One time a boy was going in for a smooch and I wasn't sure how to handle the situation so I retracted my head into my neck and frantically asked in desperation, "WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF I MADE A RAPTOR NOISE RIGHT NOW????" He pulled away slightly and furrowed his brow down at me and I just looked right back up at him, widened my eyes, and screeched. His lips did not meet mine that night. Mission accomplished? I can't even explain myself and the way I handle life. 

This weekend is going to be a big one. Starting with the sister missionary meet at Temple Square and ending with my farewell talk. Um, and everyone is invited to both events, fyi. I want to see your lovely faces there.

Oh hey, 20 days. 
Are you gonna miss me?


November 13, 2013

i need to sleep more because oh em gee i'm tired.

//I can't remember the last time I even took a picture with my point-and-shoot camera. But I guess I'd better start whipping that baby out more often because she's gonna be my moment-capturing companion over in Korea. I'm getting in some last-minute practice in kitchens with crazy awesome people and cardboard cutouts of Damon Salvatore at one o'clock in the morning. #premissionarylifeyo (I just hashtagged a blog post. I'm breaking every social networking law right now.)

//As my room gets emptier and emptier my heart becomes fuller and fuller. It's weird to pack up your whole life into a couple of plastic bins just so you can put them on a shelf somewhere to collect dust. What's even weirder is packing up the rest of your life into a few suitcases and preparing to live out of those two suitcases for a period of eighteen months. It all sounds so crazy. I guess it's good that I've always been good at crazy. 

//I ripped my pants tonight. And I totally just pretended like it didn't even happen until I got into Mirae's car. "Um, Mirae, I ripped my pants." And then I sat there while she laughed at me for a solid five minutes. This is my life, guys. And do you want to know the worst part of all? I'm not even mad about it.

//I've kind of made it my own personal goal to play at Velour for open mic night before I leave. That gives me a total of like... two opportunities to make that happen. hahaha. I'm going to be honest, it probably won't happen. But in my dreams it totally would. 

//Buy music from low-key musicians just to see the look on their face when you say, "Hey, can I get a CD from you?" It's a magical moment and every human being should experience that. 

//Hey, guess what. 21 days until go-time.

//Being in Provo brings back way too many memories and I totally wasn't ready to be bombarded by that kind of chaos tonight. But it's okay. I survived. 

I don't even know what life even is anymore.
Hashtag: Get me outa heeya, quick.

November 8, 2013

birffday gurl.

Today marked my nineteenth year of life so I guess I'm officially official when it comes to the whole mission thing. (That sentence was supposed to sound ridiculous, by the way.) We're down to 26 days and I'm only slightly freaking out.

Dewey (my pillowpet) celebrated the day with me. It's been a whole year since he became a part of my life. And man oh man what a year it has been. Life is fantastic and oh so exciting. If you would have told me a whole year ago that I'd be going on a mission to Korea, I probably would have laughed in your face. If you would have told me a year ago about the adventures that occurred this summer, I would have laughed in your face. I am nothing I thought I would be a whole year ago. But in all honesty, this life of mine has become so much better than I could have ever imagined. It's silly to plan out your life because it seems to have the tendency to become nothing you ever thought it would be. And that's what makes life so incredibly awesome, I think.

Whenever I exclaim, "Where's CaLea going!?" while I am in the presence of my cute nieces and nephews they all exclaim, "KORRRRREA!" I've trained them so well. When I ask them what I'm going to be doing in Korea they respond, "Teaching people about Jesus so they can be happy." And as simple as that sounds, they couldn't have put it any better. I'm going to Korea to help others come to know the Savior and the blessings that a strong relationship with Him can bring into their life. His teachings bring happiness. I know it because I've experienced it time and time again.

(Nov. 17th @ 11. Email me for the address because you're all invited.)
Now, I'm going to go make the best of my last 25 days in this phase of life.