so I guess this is goodbye-- for now.

December 1, 2014

I've never really liked "goodbyes." Most of the time I just trick myself into thinking that I'll see the people I bid farewell to sooner rather than later. Which results in this strengthening thought that lingers in the very back of my mind and keeps whispering, "You'll see them again soon!" as long as my heart keeps longing to be with them.

I guess you could say I'm real good at ripping off the bandaid real fast. The quicker the better. Just get it all done at once, I say. The longer and more drawn out it is directly correlated with the pain that is felt in the process. This will be my second goodbye and I don't really know what to expect. I never know what to expect, to be honest. My emotions are entirely unpredictable. But I can guarantee you that the very moment I step off the plane in Korea and see my sweet mission president and his wife again for the first time.... I'm going to sob. Excessively, probably.

It's amazing how quickly time passes. Before I know it I'll be home for good-- but let's not think about THAT just yet. I've got nine glorious months left of my missionary adventure in Korea and I look forward to it with a heart full of hope.

So this is farewell, again-- but if you want to follow along on part two of "CaLea in Korea," then you can mozy on over to my mission blog and be a part of my journey there. (And who KNOWS what sort of adventures will occur in the last months of my mission? I mean-- in the first half I made my companion pee her pants in public, accidentally ended up in a bar on a sunday night, ate dog soup, and bathed in public with a plethora of Korean grandmas. It's a party.)

Stick around and I'll see ya when I see ya.
Oh, and we can be pen-pals if you want.
My letters are good and I always send cute stickers.

xoxo,

Sister CaLea Bagley

welcome to my front porch.

November 21, 2014

Today my heart felt heavy; it intruded on my lung-space so I couldn't breathe and then my eyes started to leak-- I hate it when my eyes leak. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it makes me extra frustrated (which obviously doesn't help at all). At one point I even felt like throwing my hands in the air and exclaiming, "Okay, world. Ya got me. I'm done." 

But I didn't. 

Instead, I came home, put on my pajamas, curled up in a ball with my pillow pet, and then watched movies for hours. All by myself. And somehow I magically ended up with the most delectable chocolate cupcake in my possession so I went ahead and devoured that-- I'm assuming that contributed greatly to the healing therapy for my soul. 

I don't believe in "bad days," only bad moments. Because in every single day there's at least one thing-- no matter how little it may be-- that can make us smile. And if a day has one insignificant little detail in it that is good, then it can't be a bad DAY-- just a long day full of lots of unfortunate little things and a couple of good things. 

But let's be real, when those bad moments come, they don't mess around. Take, for instance, today, when I my cheeks ended up tear-stained and blotchy thanks to my temporary emotional breakdown. I just wallowed in silly misery and thought, "This sucks." And there wasn't really anything I could do in that moment except for just waiting it out. Emotions will do as they please, but those bad moments will pass. They always do. 

Feelings, they're the worst.
But the best.

Life is so ironic. 

xoxo

"Herro, How ah you?"

November 16, 2014

I've been spending all my time working for an art gallery that does shows at various costcos across the valley. Last night, as I was making my way down a grey highway and longing to be back in Seoul, I offered a simple and short prayer merely asking for an opportunity to converse with a Korean. My prayer was more like a silly request than a demand, and I wasn't entirely sure what sort of circumstances I was asking for, but I was sharing the feelings in my heart; I directed my pleas heavenward and hoped for the best.

It's funny because there I was, just organizing all the art in the bins, when I heard an explosion of "anyeonghasaeoh," (the Korean "hello") right behind me. I turned around just in time to see a group of them smiling and bowing to each other in a cheerful greeting. They all went separate ways before I even had a chance to spark up a conversation with one of them. But just seeing Koreans and hearing the Korean greeting phrase was all I needed to know that God hears my prayers-- no matter how silly they may seem.

About ten minutes later, one of the members of the korean greeting party, an old man who most-likely spoke very little english, walked past my booth. I turned to him and said, in Korean, "Hi! You speak Korean, right?" (Which was a silly question because I'd already heard him speaking Korean). And I think the fact that I was speaking to him in Korean when he was expecting english resulted in him not understanding what I said. So, in an awkward response (that I actually thoroughly enjoyed), he merely said, "How ah you?" Day = made. 

I've never been one to believe in coincidences because I've always believed that everything happens for a reason. We may not always know or understand why things happen the way that they do, but the one thing we can always know is that, when we strive to do our best every single day, in the end, it's all going to end up exactly the way it was always meant to end.

Which is pretty cool, if you ask me.
I believe in happily ever afters, happiness despite despair,
and new beginnings with every new tomorrow.

xoxo

autumn is getting sleepy but winter wants to play.

November 12, 2014

My days have begun to run out of light earlier than I'd like and the golden leaves that autumn used to decorate the earth's surface are beginning to sparkle with frost. And just like that, another season is dozing into oblivion while the next gently rubs the sleep from its eyes. 

Sometimes I let my mind wander back to seasons that have long since passed and forward to seasons that have yet to come. I can't decide which I like thinking about more; when I pull out old dusty memories from their hiding place inside my skull it feels almost as if I've traveled back in time to fleeting moments when my heart was warmed by kind words and when my lips were warmed by hot cocoa. And when I close my eyes and let my imagination create hypothetical outcomes of unknown and adventurous tomorrows, I always end up biting my lip in a weak attempt to tame my growing excitement. 

Life is a peculiar thing that is ornamented with magical moments. It's almost like a christmas tree-- it's this grand, beautiful, breathtaking vision, but it's made up entirely of minor and seemingly insignificant details. I think we forget that it's the little things in life that make great things so great;

Singing Korean hyms with a toothless and tiny old woman as we stroll down a busy walkway and she lovingly pats my bum. A romantic summer picnic bathed in moonlight that was interrupted by the city's sprinkler system. My soccer team storming the field when we stood victorious at the end of a the championship game. Holding my nephew for the first time as his little hand wraps its fingers around my own. Pulling up to the Provo MTC with the knowledge that it was time to begin a new adventure all on my own. Shaking hands with an apostle of the Lord. Hearing the words, "I love you." and not being afraid. Overlooking the entire valley from the very top of mount timpanogos. Laying in a hopsital bed in Korea at three o'clock in the morning with my name tag still pinned to my chest...

When I look back upon all the life I've already lived, all I see is moments. I don't remember every moment from start to finish, but I remember the moments in which I felt, breathed, hurt, smiled, laughed, dreamed, danced, tripped, screamed, cried, served-- LIVED. And so, I am entirely made up of moments. 

Some happy, some sad, but in the end they're all just moments. 
And each moment is just one little stroke of the masterpiece my life is becoming.

xoxo

Hi, I'm twenty.

November 9, 2014

I've officially bid adieu to my teenage years and welcomed in the arrival of my twenties. Not going to lie-- I was sitting on my couch on the eve of my birthday and I couldn't seem to shake the feeling of utter terror due to the sudden recognition of the death of my so-called "teen years." Yes, I will always be a kid at heart, but the fact that I've somehow managed to reach the phase of life in which some of the greatest decisions must be made caused my heart to go into cardiac arrest. I'm (kind of sort of) freaking out. Heck, my dad even freaked out.

Dad: "So how old are ya?"
Mom: "Dale, she's twenty."
Dad: *with wide eyes* "What the heck?"

Jill and I were talking about it, and we decided that the "twenties" time period of a human being's life is the most difficult. Why? Because it's the time of life in which you must decide where you want to go to school, what you want to study, who you want to marry, where you want to live, when you want to start having babies-- SO MANY DECISIONS. I'm the kind of girl that has a hard time deciding where I want to go out and eat, let alone making critical, life-changing decisions. I'm doomed.

But all things aside, I had a good birthday. I once-again received a Costco-sized box of fruit snacks.. (I think I sense the beginning of a life-long tradition.) My big sister gave me an adult ninja turtle onsie complete with a removable cape. And my cute mom got me the nicest down coat and wool socks for those cold winter days on the streets of Korea. Oh, and she also managed to find a "dressy" snuggie. Like, I basically wore a blanket to church yesterday and it was great.

But the best present of all? The knowledge that I will be returning to Korea at the end of the month! I'm doing my best to wait patiently but holy hannah I'm getting anxious. SO, I'm doing my best to keep myself busy.

Being twenty is weird.
Being in America is weird.
But hey, whateva whateva.

xoxo

Hey, GUESS WHAT.

November 2, 2014



 I'm going back to Korea. 

xoxo

the leaves turned gold // the gold turned to dust.

October 27, 2014

We will never be capable of running from change. It's in every season, every stage of existence, every day-- every moment. And the more determined you are to prevent it from inhabiting your life, the more likely it is that its slippery fingers will find a grasp upon you and leave smudged fingerprints all over everything you've ever known; in an instant, it will all be different. I've learned that, although it can be heart-wrenching and bitter at times, change isn't always bad. It builds character and helps us to appreciate life from a moment-by-moment perspective. In just a moment, everything can change. 

When you aren't thinking about anything in particular, where do your thoughts wander? Mine wander to the tippity-tip-top of the rocky mountains, to the busy, heavily-populated streets of Seoul, Korea, to evenings spent beneath the weary summer sun as the autumn breeze sneaks in with the night. Mine wander to taco tuesdays, Taylor Dale's magical hot chocolate, and poprocks. There are so many adventures etched onto every wall of my skull's interior that my thoughts wander at least a thousand different times in each individual moment. My mind is a maze of cozy once upon a times' and hopeful somedays'. 

The lips of strangers and acquaintances alike keep forming the words, "Probably not," but my heart and my soul keep screaming, "YES!" If they know me, then they know that it's possible. Since the day I was born the world has labeled me as stubborn; but I like to call myself determined. So I brush all those, "not likely...", "it's okay if you stay," and "you're not going to be leaving this country again," comments right off my shoulders and I keep pressing forward. I can't change what happened but I do have a say in what is yet to happen. I'll accept my fate, of course-- but that doesn't mean I'm not going to fight for what I want. 

Faith is made up of two parts: belief and action. Maybe I'll compare life to a vast and dangerous body of water across which we must cross; faith is the vessel that will carry us there and the ores that propel the boat forward represent both belief and action. If you use one ore without the other, you don't progress, you're stuck going in circles. So yes, I believe that I can do it. And yes, I'm doing all in my own power to do just that.

When I was five years old, I had a major accident and the doctors told my sweet mother that I'd likely never speak again-- but if I DID, it would require extensive speech therapy and other such treatments. I can only imagine the amount of faith my mother wove into her heart-felt prayers that day. The next morning, when I came around after they'd put me out for my surgery, I wiped the sleep from my eyes, yawned, and said, not understanding the gravity of my words, "Mom, I want a waffle." I remember watching her in confusion as salty droplets of pure joy dripped down her cheeks. 

Faith can bring to pass miracles. 
I've seen it many times and I'll see it many times to come.
xoxo

whatever we are, i remember what we were.

October 25, 2014

People always tell me that love isn't what the books and movies portray it as; that it's something far different. And they're right. But what they never told me was that it's far better than any book or any romance movie out there; it's different because it's real. 

I've gotten really good at missing people. I guess that's just one of the side-effects of this stage of life. And I suppose missing someone who is dear to you isn't necessarily a bad thing. It hurts and sometimes it's lonely, but the heavy feeling that rests upon your heart and burdens both your mind and soul may be something to be grateful for. It means you love someone. And the twinge of longing that so often encompasses your entire being is the not-so-gentle reminder that a piece of your heart belongs to someone else. 

Maybe fearing vulnerability is merely the world's way of trying to keep us leagues away from falling in love (and just loving those around us in general). Heartaches and heartbreaks, romance horror stories; the universe keeps telling us to run, to plunge forward into the great unknown alone-- to not hesitate for even a moment. After all, it only takes a moment to fall...

But the truth is, the vulnerability of love doesn't make us weak, it makes us strong. And somehow, despite everything and anything the world tries to throw in its face, love will always come out of the darkness as the conqueror. 



*     *     *     *     *

"...Sometimes I wonder if she's real. If I didn't imagine the whole thing. It's too star-crossed and ironic to have actually happened. It seems like just the kind of sardonic, tongue-in-cheek thing my brain would concoct to keep itself entertained. 

But then I remember how small her hands are in mine, and I remember the flush in her cheeks when I look at her, and I know my mind could never have created something so beautiful." --Him xx



xoxo