Speak now.. or forever hold your peace.

So.. today I bought Taylor Swift's new album. I am sure some of you are thinking "gag" and some of you are thinking "me too!". I like it, but I know many people think otherwise of Taylor Swift's music. That's ok, we all are entitled to our own opinions, interests, and tastes. I am not here to promote her in any way... I only bring her up because she is the inspiration of the subject I want to talk about.

Speak now. That is the title to her new album. When I heard her new song, "Speak Now," I wondered why in the free world she named her album after that of all songs. It is a little weird. I didn't like it... at first. 

But then I read the prologue to her album. I will just quote it verbatim, she said it all way better than I could:

"'Speak now, or forever hold your peace,' the words said by preachers at the end of wedding ceremonies all over the world, right before the vows. It's a last chance for protest, a moment that makes everyone's heart race... So many fantacize about bursting into a church, saying what they'd kept inside for years like the movies. In real life, it rarely happens. 

Real life is a funny thing, you know. In real life, saying the right thing at the right moment is beyond crucial. So crucial, in fact, that most of us start to hesitate, for fear of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. But lately what I have begun to fear more than that is letting the moment pass without saying anything. 

I think most of us fear reaching the end of our life, and looking back regretting the moments we didn't speak up.  When we didn't say 'I love you.' When we should've said 'I'm sorry.' When we didn't stand up for ourselves or someone who needed help....

Words can break someone into a million pieces, but they can also put them back together. I hope you use yours for good, because the only words you'll regret more than the ones left unsaid are the ones you use to intentionally hurt someone.

What you say might be too much for some people. Maybe it will come out all wrong and you'll stutter and you'll walk away embarrassed, wincing as you play it all back in your head. But I think the words you stop yourself from saying are the ones that will haunt you the longest.

So say it to them. Or say it to yourself in the mirror. Say it in a letter you'll never send or in a book millions might read someday. I think you deserve to look back on your life without a chorus of resounding voices saying 'I could've, but it's too late now.' 

There is a time for silence. There is a time waiting your turn. But if you know how you feel, and you so clearly know what you need to say, you'll know it. 

I don't think you should wait. I THINK YOU SHOULD SPEAK NOW."
-Taylor Swift   

Brilliant. The girl is brilliant. I love that idea- speak now. I have a new found love for the song. There is a lyric in the song that says, "you need to hear me out and they said speak now." I will try to adopt that philosophy into my life (using it for good of course, there are always times to hold your tongue if you want to say something hurtful to someone). That line will hopefully be my anthem for saying how I feel when my fears and insecurities hold me back, as I all too often hold my feelings inside. Not to mention, I hope to use it to help me remember to be quicker to say I'm sorry and more eager to remind those I love how much they mean to me. No reason to hold all of that inside when it can do so much good being spoken aloud.

I hope you will take that in to account as well :)

I think whether or not we are a fan of hers, we can all agree with and maybe relate to what she said. I know I can do a much better job of speaking now. Do it, don't hold back. Don't hold it in, and don't find yourself living in regret because you wouldn't just say it.


Self-Reflective Essay

This is an essay I had to write for my capstone class. The only instructions were to write a self reflective essay on how I have changed since the beginning of college. I have fixed it a bit, revised and edited it for class, but here it is in raw form. I just wanted to share because it means alot to me to realized just how much I really have changed since freshman year:

When I graduated high school, I was a small town girl with no idea of the world. I had never stepped a foot outside the United States. I didn’t know the beauty of diversity. I didn’t understand that there were ways of life beyond that of a small town girl from Heber, Arizona. My parents had provided me with many opportunities, yet I had never experienced much of life on my own.

My first day of college, I had no idea what to expect. Stereotypical, yes, but true. I guess I figured it would be like high school, only glorified. For a while, it was. My classes weren’t particularly difficult. I didn’t drink or party or waste away my life being irresponsible. Although I did enjoy the freedoms of living on my own, I still had the self control to do homework, go to work, and maintain a social life. I had good grades and I worked hard. I knew what I wanted to do with my career; I knew who I wanted to be.

I was a business major, accounting in particular. I chose accounting because I liked numbers; I chose business because I liked men in suits (clearly I was very mature). I had never had a challenge when it came to school. I came to NAU on scholarship, part of which required me to have high grades. It wasn’t hard for me to attain high grades. School came natural to me.

Sometime during the second semester of my freshman year, my friend suggested we study abroad. I had no obligations and nothing to hold me down so I thought, “sure, let’s do it.” I chose to study in Italy. I chose it because I knew it was a beautiful place (and for no other reason). Who knew it would end up being the most amazing and life changing experience of my life.

I went to Italy just a small town girl. I went not fully realizing the challenges that lay ahead. I had never been anywhere where the people didn’t speak English. I had never been anywhere I couldn’t contact my mother whenever I decided to do so. I had never been given free rein to explore. I had never been in a situation where I felt fear, and had to use myself and my own instincts to overcome and remove myself from the situation. I had never been anywhere that tested my faith. I had never been anywhere that challenged my ability to think for myself. I had never fully taken care of myself.

Once I got to Italy, I realized nobody understood what I was saying. I realized I had no idea where I was going. I realized I couldn’t communicate asking for directions. I realized that certain gestures that were appropriate to an Italian felt completely inappropriate to me. I was irritated with the people for not understanding me. I was annoyed they couldn’t speak to me in ways I could understand. I was fearful I might be put in a compromising situation because I couldn’t read street signs. I was afraid. I was tested and pushed to the limit, and yet I was alive with the joys and pains I felt by being there.

I taught myself to love the Italians. I learned to embrace the language barrier because that meant we had something to learn from each other. I learned that the world does not revolve around me. I learned there is more to the world than Heber, Arizona. I learned to travel by myself. I learned to be aware of less than safe situations. I learned to buy a plane ticket and book a hotel room. I learned to use languages and gestures that I was not accustomed to. I learned to be adventurous. I learned to accept and embrace culture. I learned to pull myself out of bed and take myself to church. I taught myself how to cook because I couldn’t just call my mother on a whim and ask a recipe. I learned so many things about the world that I had never known before. I learned just how big the world really is.

I also learned to love and appreciate my family. I learned to love the times we are together, and to appreciate the ability I have to be in constant contact with them. I learned that I love the United States of America. I learned I am patriotic. I learned just how much I loved the wide open spaces and the pine trees. I learned that as beautiful as it was to find new culture, it was also beautiful to be home.

Upon returning to the US, I jumped right back in to school at NAU. I continued to work hard and get good grades, until accounting 302. I had taken accounting classes before, and done decent in them. Not my best work, but I figured it was just the aftershock of taking a semester off and moving abroad. But accounting 302, that was another story. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I hated school. I was never happy in it. I was miserable every day that I had to attend class. I couldn’t figure out the change in myself. I loved school, why was I feeling this way? Then one day it just came to me, “I don’t like accounting.”

That was not acceptable. I was going to be an accountant. Everyone knew I was going to be an accountant, and I couldn’t let them down. I am good with numbers, I have to like accounting. I went back and forth in my mind for several weeks over the topic. I didn’t know what to do, but all the time I was miserable. At the time, I had 18 credit hours. One day, I just decided to drop my accounting class. If I decided to go back, I could start over and retake the class. I f not, maybe that was my answer. After dropping the class, I realized that was what was making me miserable. I was so much happier without it!

So there I had it. I was no longer an accounting major. Where to go from there? I didn’t want to move out of the college of business because I was about 3 years in to it at that point. It wasn’t until I took Bizblock that I realized I wanted to be in marketing. It was the creative side of business, it was so fitting! I loved it; it was the best part of my week to be in marketing classes.

The change that took place in me as a result of changing my major was the realization that I had to be happy in my career, even if that meant telling people I couldn’t handle accounting. I learned to not worry what other people thought, and to do what was best for me. I learned that you can be good at something, and not enjoy it. I learned that college is more than just gaining an education; college is also a pre-step in deciding the rest of your life. Are you going to do what people expect of you, even if it makes you unhappy? Or will you find the courage in yourself to do what you want to do, what is best for you? I learned to do the latter, and I am so happy with my major choice as a result.

My senior year of college, I moved to Orlando for an internship at Disneyworld. I completed the college program there. When I moved to Orlando, I had never lived in such a big city before. I had never been so pressured to smile so much. I had never been taught appropriate customer service skills. I had never seen so much of the United States. I had never helped make anyone’s dreams come true. Disney gave me all of these experiences. I learned how to respond to frustrated guests. I learned how to calm a crying child. I learned how to love children. I learned how to keep smiling all day long no matter what. I learned that by simply playing the part, I was part of the magic of the Disney Company. I also learned the importance of the business side of life. I learned how a company should treat its employees. I learned how employees should treat the company they work for. I learned to trust and respect my overhead. I learned to voice my opinion. I learned to think for myself when finding solutions to problems. I learned to work in high stress situations calmly.

When I arrived home from Disney, I was once again thrown back in to school at NAU. This time it was harder. This time is was senior year. My classes were hard. My professors expected more of me. I didn’t feel like I had more to give. I felt so mentally drained after 4 years of college, and I was ready to be done. Because of this, I learned to push through these rough times. I learned to persist when I feel I have nothing left to give. I learned to keep moving forward when I feel it is time to quit. I learned I have it in me to succeed when I doubt my abilities.

So, here I am now. I am a second semester senior in college. In 10 or so short weeks I will be graduating. I WILL BE GRADUATING. I will receive a piece of paper that represents everything I have just shared. I will receive that confirmation that all I have been through was for a purpose. I will be able to walk up to somebody and say, “I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration in Marketing from Northern Arizona University.” Although that statement might mean little to some, to me it means the entire world. It means I have pushed myself to the limit and come out on top. It means I have taken advantage of the opportunities life has presented me with, and made something of myself. It means I have gone against all odds and succeeded. It means I have the world at my fingertips, to do with what I will. It means I can choose to be whatever I want to be because I have put in the time and effort to learn all I need to be a college graduate.

The biggest change I have seen in myself since my days as a measly little freshman from Heber, Arizona, since I was the girl who had never really been anywhere and had never experienced much about life is that I have learned. I have spent many hours with my face in a textbook and my seat in a classroom, but more importantly I have learned about life. I have learned who I am and who I want to be. I have learned more about the world than I ever knew before. I have learned to have courage. I have learned to have faith in myself. I have learned to seize the day, and take full advantage of every opportunity. I have learned to enjoy life, and to be happy. I have learned that college is not about graduation day, it is about all those hardworking days I spent to get there. It is about all the time I spent in Italy, in Orlando; it is about the time I spent deciding which major would make me the happiest. It is about the lessons I learned to get there. I have learned to find joy in the journey of life. I have learned to embrace people, places, and situations. I have learned that even the worst of situations can teach you the best lessons, as long as you are looking for the right message.

I am not the small town girl I was when I came to NAU. I still have those roots inside of me, but I have seen more of the world. I have had experiences. I have taken care of myself. I have grown and changed in more ways than just learning material in classes; I have been shaped and molded to someone who can survive in the world. I have learned life skills that can only be found by pushing yourself to get a degree. I have learned who I really am, Misty Dunny, college graduate, class of 2010.

Feelings ruin friendships.

Warning: this post may be a little "negative nancy"...ish.

The other day I was watching (500) Days of Summer. Amazing flick. It is so peculiar, yet so enticing. When it was over, I pushed play and started it over again. This time I paid closer attention. I listened to the lines, and I watched the movements of the characters; I studied their actions and reactions. When it was over (again), I realized something. I had thought about it before, but now I was positive...

The movie is written about me!

Ok, obviously not, let's not be absurd. But honestly, it is such a great portrayal of so many incidents in my life. Now, granted, there are some obvious parts that are nothing like me. If you have seen the flick, you will know which scenes I mean (in the video store, for example). BUT, that doesn't take away from the point I am getting at...

Three times. Three times in my life I have had a best friend. Three times I have had someone who means more to me than most other things. Three times I have had someone I would go the the end of the earth for, as long as it meant simply making them smile. Three times I have had the kind of friend that you don't even have to ask if they have plans because you already know you will be spending time together. Three times I have had the kind of friend that- when you show up somewhere without the other person at your side- people ask, "where is so-and-so?" both because they know you know the answer, and because they thought it strange you didn't show up together. Three times I have spent every waking moment with a person doing the most pointless things. Shopping at the grocery store, watching music videos at two am, laughing about army pants and talking about nothing. Three times I have had the kind of friend everyone wants... or think they want.

Three times they were guys. Kind, fun, amazing guys. Now,I do have a lot of female friends, but I have always had a particular attachment to male best friends. They are a great counterpart. They seem to just get you in ways that girl friends don't. They give you the opinions you need to hear. These friendships are fun and amazing and beautiful and just so EASY. It is easy to be around them, to be near them. You feel better just having them around. At least, that's how it was from my side of the story. Very few people understand every single thing about me. All three times, these boys have gotten me, to the core, exactly who I am. I loved it!

Three times, one of us has fallen for the other, and our relationship was ruined as a result.

Three times, one of us had stronger-than-friendship feelings while the other continued to view the relationship in the friend zone. Three times, one of us has confessed our feelings, and everything was detroyed. As hard as we worked to overcome it, nothing was the same again. As much as the one pretended to not love the other, you can't just stop loving someone. As much as the other wanted to make their best friend happy and love them back just the way they wanted, it wasn't there. As bad as we wanted things to go back to how they were, one of us was too hurt, and the other couldn't make themselves change their mind.

All three times it ripped my heart right out.

I loved them. It was friendship, but it was love as well. I cared more than anything about all three of them. I cared more than anything about how they felt, I wanted nothing more than to make everything ok again.

Three times I have lost my best friend. Three times I have had to pick up the pieces of my shattered heart. Three times I have had to try to accept the change, and pretend to be happy when I see them with someone else. Three times I had to spend months alone because my best friend was gone.

There is a line in the movie (yes, back to (500) Days of Summer) that says:

Tom : No, you know what ? I’m not going anywhere until you tell me what’s going on.
Summer : Nothing’s going on. We’re just ..
Tom : We’re just what ? Just what ?
Summer : We're just friends ...
Tom : No. Don’t pull that with me. Don’t even try. This is not how you treat your friend.

That line hit me so hard. This is not how you treat your friend.

Maybe I don't know how to treat my friends. Maybe there are lines, lines I have not yet recognized between friends and more than friends, that I have crossed. It's so true, you don't treat your friends like an object, as a means to an end, as someone to cure the lonliness until you find someone you care more about. True friends would recognize they were crossing the line, and they would stop themselves before they hurt their friend. I have been on both sides of the spectrum. I have fallen for a friend, and had a friend fall for me. In both cases, it hurt us both. We can't treat our friends like a means to an end. We must treat them as an end in themselves. If I have done this, I was unaware of what I was doing. I would never intentionally hurt my friends. I would especially never intentionally hurt those three best friends I have loved and lost.

I guess my point here is that I am lost. I don't know what to do... avoid male best friends I guess, or learn to treat them in a way so as we both understand our intentions.
I simply don't know. I just know that it hurts, and that right now, just in this moment, I truely believe that feelings ruin friendships.

Ps. I feel like I should add that I am still very thankful I had these friendships. They were well worth it, even if they didn't work out and we ended up growng apart. I wouldn't trade the times we had for anything! They are all still amazing people, and I am happy they are happy! :)


The bright side...

In my politics class we were talking about World War II, and about how Admiral Yamamoto lived in the United States for a while. He got a degree in Michigan (that's what my professor said, wikipedia says from Harvard- the details are unimportant) as an engineer and I believe my professor said he worked in the auto industry here for a while (also, not that important to my point). Then, he went home to Japan and was an admiral for the Japanese Navy. He was the one who instituted the idea of Pearl Harbor. The war was the most brutal in history with the most lives lost (I won't go in to too much persuasion, I think we can all agree to the gravity of the event).

The point of this story is... in my notes, right above where I was writing all of this down, I wrote (and I quote):

"Thanks for pulling us out of the depression though, bud."

Talk about looking on the bright side. Haha I just thought this was a funny story I wanted to share. Have a happy Thursday, almost through week 6! :)


Would it be ok if I took your breath away?

If you know what song the title of this post is quoting, good for you because it's an amazing one!

Here we go again... one of these days...
It's another one of those days. I just have some things on my mind that I need to put somewhere. Lucky you! You get to listen to my rantings! If you are bored already, there is a big red X on the top right of the screen you can click and it will spare you :)

To be honest, I am just waiting for Late Night to come on. I LOVE Jimmy Fallon. Like, major celebrity crush.

I'm not even really attracted to him, it's not all about looks you know, he is just adorable and hilarious.

....anyway. First thing's first, I am terrible at love games. I am way better at just wearing my heart on my sleeve. Maybe it's because I am all about honesty in relationships, I don't know. Anyway, I wish I could take Lady Gaga's advice and "play the love game"... but I fail. I have heard it said that "he who cares the least controls the relationship"... guess I'll never be in control because I always care the most.

This commercial is amazing,and it makes my night every time I see it!

In three days I will be watching Carrie Underwood


Also, General Conference this weekend. I LOVE General Conference. In institute we have been talking alot about modern day prophets (we are studying the Doctrine and Covenants) and I am just so thankful and excited to have the opportunity to hear the words of a modern day prophet. What a blessing!

This weekend my little brother is playing in the Homecoming football game. WOW. When did he grow up, and how so fast? Man, it makes me feel old!

I NEED a roadtrip :/

I have been thinking alot about change lately. Everything changes. Nothing stays same. Sometimes, I wish it did. People who were once your good friends, your very best friends, move on. It's just a fact of life, but sometimes... it's just hard.

I LOVE fall. I think spring and fall are my favorite seasons... no no no summer and winter are... oh I can't decide, I love them all! But fall... full of changing leaves, hoodies, football, all of it. It makes me so stinking happy inside!

I'll end there- on a good, happy note :)  I hope you have an amazing weekend!