i just want to say something.

i know that social media paints our lives in a way that makes them much rosier than they are. and generally, i prefer it that way.

i don't get online to hear you complain about your husband or tell me how much your kid screamed today or say that your boss yelled at you. i get online to see that you took your twins to the park and your toddler started asking "why" all the time and you took a fun vacation or you found some pretty scenery near your home. 

but here i am. sharing the bad stuff anyway. because this is my narrative and not very many people read this blog and i feel like it would be disingenuous to myself if i didn't own up. i have refrained from publishing this for a long time because i know it will cause gossip around some family members and friends, but ya know what. let them talk. so here goes.


jordan and i have been talking about that fact that it's been a year since we moved to california, and with every conversation i increasingly was feeling like, "wow, this year has really wore me down." i kept questioning myself and wondering if i was just having an attitude problem. (and really, that's not entirely out of the question.)

but that's reality - the last year has been hard. really, really, hard. i seem to be in a downswing that i cannot claw my way out of - though i have tried. why have i been such a downer? well here is the short list:

in the last year i have become semi-estranged from my parents. i have felt like a close friend was seeking an inappropriate relationship with my husband and when i tried to approach her kindly about it and set some boundaries, i was scorned. that one was really hard. i have experienced several bouts of insomnia that have lasted for weeks at a time and made me feel like i was going to lose my mind. i have had a few downswings of depression that made it difficult to even get out of bed. the loneliness of having a husband that is always gone and living in a ward where you are the only woman without children has been, at times, almost unbearable. i have felt lost and disappointed in my career, and finally, i have taken on all responsibilities for our household while jordan works crazy hours - and i just feel like i am constantly failing and disorganized and not as "on top of it" as i like to be.

a few saturdays ago i was attending a morning kickboxing class and when i saw myself in the mirrored wall, i didn't. even. recognize. myself. i have aged so quickly in this past year (although dear friends and family say they don't see it. bless them.) i ducked into the bathroom and sobbed - big, loud sobs that tore through my body.  i just looked so beat up and worn down. and i look that way because i am.

this quote from a jeffry holland talk perfectly sums up how i have been feeling:

If for a time you are unable to echo the joyous melodies you hear coming from others, I ask you to hold tenaciously to the line in this hymn that reassures, “Jesus listening can hear the songs [you] cannot sing.”

one night as i was driving through the broadway tunnel at midnight on my way home from work, listening to "blues run the game", it just kind of slowly dawned on me that it's okay that this is a hard stage of life. like a sunrise, i gradually came to the knowledge that, i don't need to fight it or pretend it wasn't tough or try to salvage it. i can surrender and cut my losses and press forward with faith that it will get better. i know that heavenly father is aware of every heartache i've felt and every tear i've shed and i know that the upward swing will come. that drive home, filled with big tears and a lot of really big feelings, felt really significant. i knew that i would remember that drive, that tunnel, that song, and those feelings as a marker of this stage of life.

the realities that have been hard to swallow for me have been these: it's perfectly acceptable that i couldn't, by sheer will, force myself into a perfect year with no disappointments. it's okay that i got a little beaten down, as long as i pick myself back up. it's okay that i am vulnerable enough to let other people hurt me. it's okay to categorize an entire year as "not my favorite." it's okay that this bummer year will blemish my life story, where i wanted it to be a parade of productive, happy years all in succession.

(quick note that i feel is important - although this year has been hard, i am not in despair. i have TONS to be grateful for - including a pretty much perfect husband and a vibrant city to live in! that's not lost on me.)

i think it's important to acknowledge your sadness, validate it, and allow it to be set free - although it feels so natural to marinate in it. i am still working on that. i take great comfort from this excerpt from one of my favorite conference talks, and it's a mantra i'm learning to teach myself:

"When we offer our broken heart to Jesus Christ, He accepts our offering. He takes us back. No matter what losses, wounds, and rejection we have suffered, His grace and healing are mightier than all. Truly yoked to the Savior, we can say with confidence, “It will all work out.”


  1. I love this, and I love you. It's okay to not be okay. Motto of my entire life right now. You're allowed to feel everything you feel! And (even though you appear this way basically all the time) you don't have to be perfect. Next time you're feeling down, call me and I'll book a flight and we can redo that whole ice cream tour you guys just did :)

  2. Amen, Kayla. I love how you said it is important to acknowledge your sadness. I think each emotion deserves to be felt and recognized as existing. Once we accept that 'today was not a great day' or 'this year was not the best' we can move on from it. I have such a huge issue with perfectionism and wanting my life to be picture perfect and in doing so I sometimes fail to stop and accept the weaknesses and hard emotions and challenges I face and just let them be and run their course. I want to hurry and move on and get out of the hard times! But if we do that we fail to learn some valuable lessons. I am sorry you have had a difficult year full of trials. Undoubtedly we will face such things in this life, but without them we wouldn't be able to fully appreciate the joys we have. Some years just stink! Hopefully this next will be better for you.

  3. Kayla, I am so so sorry things have been so tough for you lately. I look up to you so much, and I think you handle your problems with such poise and grace. But also, it's totally ok to admit that you feel like your life is a dumpster fire and be sad about it for a minute too. Like you said, such an important part of the atonement is being able to recognize our sadness or our trials. If we can't acknowledge that, then how are we supposed to take our troubles to the Lord? I find that when I can just lay out all my feelings on the table, it often makes me feel better and regain some perspective. I hope that worked for you too! You deserve all the happiness in the world!

  4. you are superwoman. if I've learned anything this past year it's that *nobody* has their sh*t together, as much as we all try to project that to the world. keep your chin up, friend.

  5. Is it weird of me to love this post so much? I needed this and I need to remember this. It's okay to not be okay all the time, and it doesn't mean I'm failing. My word that keeps coming to me for this next year is "embrace" and I feel like I need to be embracing and experiencing everything in my life right now- the good and the bad. Because the bad is going to mold me and shape me 5x as fast as the good. And sometimes the good is disguised as the bad. You may not have it all together all the time, but you are crazy amazing and i look up to you so much. Even when you are having a bad year ❤️ I'm sorry you've had to deal with the crap you have, but I love that "Kayla" is still shining through in this post. Love you!

  6. Your blog is one of my faves because you're always so inspirational, even when you're talking about tough times. I'm sorry you've had a hard year . . . hopefully that means you're due for a better year now! ;)


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