Thursday, June 20, 2013

Chalked Up: Stephen's New Life

About a month ago I moved out of Eagle Mountain into a new home in Provo, UT.  I'm now no longer living with a wonderful family of 4 but have 4 other single guys for roommates.  My new room is big, my ward is great, and it's conveniently close to a bus stop that can take me to school and the frontrunner.  All in all, it's a good change but it's also a hard change too.

So why is it hard?  Well, let me give you an idea of how often I have moved...

I was born in Maryland and when I was 5 years old my family picked us up and we moved to Arizona.  In Arizona, I lived in three different neighborhoods and went to three different schools before we moved back to Maryland when I was about 10 years old.  My mom was offered her old job back and she couldn't refuse.  I didn't want to leave my friends in Arizona.

Back in Maryland, we lived with my Grandparents for a little while until we found a Cape Cod style stone house in Sykesville, MD.  I fell in love with this magical house.  It was 3 stories and a graveyard was just beyond our backyard.  Down the street lived my childhood best friend Michael Baker.  I had a great childhood here growing up.  It broke my heart when we moved back to Arizona.  I later found out in life that the reason we moved to Arizona was because my mom wanted me to have better educational opportunities since I had a learning disability.

For our 2nd time in Arizona we switched schools 3 times and lived in about 5 different places.  We moved when I was in High School as well.  When I was on my mission I served in countless different areas and there was a period of 4 transfers where I was in a different area for each transfer.  When I finally came back to Arizona I came home to a different house.  (My parents once again moved while on my mission.)
Since moving here to Utah in July 2011 I have come to live in 5 different homes.

The "headboard" of my bed I drew on my wall. That's a
dragon celtic knot to the left and a bear one to the right.
So yeah, I move a lot.  It's the only life I've ever known.  My life is full of Hellos and Goodbyes.  Looking back, I know that all of my decisions to move have been the right decisions.  I'm not flighty and try to run away from problems.  The way my life has played out, a change of scenery has often been what I've needed.

So that brings me to where I'm living now and what I've done with my room.  Having lived in so many places I've decided I want to live here as long as possible.  I want this place to feel like my home and a place I belong to.  I want to know what it feels like to really have my roots in a place.

Thus, I painted three walls in my room.  I didn't use just any paint.  I used chalkboard paint.  As many of you know, I love to draw and I'm studying Animation at Utah Valley University.  To be able to draw on my wall is probably the best way for me to make something my own.
Here are some pictures of my work...
My awesome new room!

Some instagram prints and a print I made.

Detail of my family and friends tree.

It's a sleeping firefox!

Some words of wisdom and instagram prints.
A print and a poster.
I collect belt buckles.

A print I bought at Wal Mart and some Instagram prints.
I live in my own little world.
Fadircum, a valley where my kingdom
resides. Many forests, hot springs,
rivers, and really big lake.
Blekgaf, a tropical country with dry parts. Known for it's
many mirages and illusions.


The point of this post today isn't just to show off some cool things you can do to a room or to once again show off my crazy cool art skills.  The message I have is that investing in something is worth it even if it's risky.  To paint these walls cost me a little over $70.  I could very well meet my eternal companion and need to move out of my place at the end of this year or maybe even sooner.  So why take the time to make an emotional connection when it's going to end?
Map of Coereldur.  A lot of work.
I actually don't know.

The top means
"Confrontation of fears."
The bottom means
"Path of the warrior."
It does hurt to move.  It hurt so much to say goodbye to Michael when I moved to Arizona.  It hurt to leave my old roommates and have to say goodbye to them.  I miss the wards I've been to even when I was only there for a short period of time.  But I also know that I don't regret allowing those friendships and emotional connections to exist.

The last time I saw Michael was in 2005.  It was on my senior trip for my High School.  My parents had kept in touch with his family and Michael came to visit me while I was near where he lived.  It was great to see him and pick things up right back where they left off.  I didn't realize how much I had missed him until I had seen him.

Unfortunately, we didn't keep much better contact after that and I haven't spoken to him since. I've tried to find Michael on facebook and people finder services with no luck.  Even though I haven't been able to find him, I'm glad I was able to share in such a great friendship with him.  I feel the same for all the shared experiences of many people in my past life.  Yeah, I will sometimes feel sadness but I also feel a lot of gratitude.  The thing is, sadness is good.  If you had a good connection to someone or something then you would need to feel sadness when you part ways.

I wish some of these friendships in my life would just last forever.  The wonderful thing is that although relationships change, true friendship will always last forever.

My family and friends tree.



  1. I totally hear you, bud. I was born in Germany. Moved to Florida when I was 1-2. Moved to Virginia at 6 and Utah at 9. We moved again in Utah when I was 11. It was pretty stable until I was 18 where I moved back and forth between school, went on a mission. After school, I spent a year in my parents house, a few months in an apartment in Layton, almost a year in Cottonwood Heights, almost 2 in Eagle Mountain, and now I'm in another place.

    It can get crazy. The hellos and goodbyes are kind of rough.

  2. Two things: One, Stephen I know just how your feeling. I moved around a lot my entire life and this place has been the first home I've had in a really long time that didn't involve screaming psychopaths. Make it your own bud!

    1. Excuse me? You ARE on the friend tree. You're just a little bit higher up and you're in a small square instagram print.

  3. The chalkboard was is awesome. It may have cost you $70, but it was well worth it. Now you can customize your room time and time again, and show off your mad drawing skills. I love the map you drew! That is amazing.

    1. Thanks Curt! Yeah, it's totally worth it! Looking back, I think I may have liked the one wall in black instead of green but it still works.

  4. Hi Stephen, I love your art work! It's great! Thanks for sharing this. I never would have thought of the headboard, but I really like that and how it connects to the the tree. I think whatever you can do to personalize a space like that is worth it.

  5. Especially since you do it so well.