Thursday, June 2, 2016


un(prefix): 1. (added to adjectives, participles, and their derivatives) denoting the absence of a quality or state; not.
-the reverse of (usually with an implication of approval or disapproval, or with another special connotation).
2. (added to nouns) a lack of.

I time travel frequently... it's a little bit of magical in an ordinary world.
That sounds crazy... How does she time travel?
I keep records upon records in the form of journals of my life, my years, my moments, my feelings, my experiences, my heart, my soul, and my memories.
I look back at them not so much as a melancholy way of living in the past, it's more of a way to see how far I've come, compare and contrast, and relive the good memories.
I highly recommend writing your life down.
You won't regret it.
Four years ago on this very day, I wrote something that struck me as I read it today. It felt familiar. It was like I could've written it today and it would've rung true. However, I am not the 22 year old girl who wrote that entry. I have changed for the better. Although I may feel some of the same feelings she was experiencing, I'm handling them differently and have another outlook on them. For your reading pleasure, and so you know what I am talking about, here's what I wrote on 6/2/12:
My life is monotone. I go unnoticed and life is beautiful but I feel all sorts of disconnected with a shade of invisibility or perhaps everyone can see me yet I'm unwanted by all, not enough. I am honestly unsure which is worse. I'm lost. I desperately want someone to find me, save me, bring me to life, love me, I wish I could find ONE single person who sees in me the world, the stars, the galaxy, everything. A person who would fight for me. I don't need to be loved and truly appreciated by all 7+ billion people in this world, not even 7 million, or 7 thousand, or 7 hundred, or.... or 70, I don't even need to be the world to 7 people, but is one person too much to ask for? To hope for? To pray for? Why do I dream such impossible dreams?
Please find me.
I want to be found.
But, what if, what if, what if, I'm not someone anyone wants to find?
Or, if I a found, what if no one wants to keep me, or they regret it, and wish they could hide me? Unfound. Undiscovered. Undervalued. Underwater. Unnecessary. Unreal. Undone. Uninterested. Unchanging. Unhappy. Unloved. Unasked. Unappreciated. Unwavering. Unbecoming. Unme. Unclear. Undercover. Unfortunate. Unbalanced. Unbeloved. Unbeknown. Unwritten. Unlike. UnCharley.
Do I still have bouts of loneliness?
Of course.
But they pass...
Who doesn't feel lonely once in a while whether it be lonely for a person, place, feeling, or thing?
Sometimes we even feel alone in crowded rooms. Remember, the world alone has never lived inside of the word lonely.
For those who do and those who don't know, it's been a hell of a year for me. (over a year)
A literal bit of hell.
I didn't know how to bring back the heaven I strived for. The heaven I built on Earth.
I felt surrounded by darkness that would be my constant and only companion. 
People all around me tried to tell me that one day things would change. I would find the light again. I didn't want to listen though or more like I couldn't. When you're in the middle of grief it's like you're on another planet and nothing around you makes any sense. It's something you have to get through, push through, endure, fight. There is no shortcut and no way around it. My incredible dad reminded me of the most important truth on one of our weekly walks... along with his usual "Charley, never surrender the ground you've conquered." he told me "The light you're looking for is there. It's inside of you."
And he was right. 
I am the light.
You are the light.
We are the light.
We chase and search and claw for light like it's something we can find outside of us in someone else or in something. The reality is that the light is inside of us all along. The problem is sometimes we let people dim our light to the point where we can't see it or feel it, but it's always there. Always. We are made of light. We had to nourish and feed that light. We can't neglect it. The best, beautiful secret is the more we share our light, the lighter and brighter it grows and glows. 
One day, recently, I woke up and could breathe again. I began to not only like but love myself again. I realize I cannot change the past... nor do I want to. All I can change is myself. I love me. Do I want to fall in love again and find my love story? I'd be a complete and utter liar if I told you anything but a resounding, roaring YES. I hope and pray that there's a man out there who will love and want me someday for forever. For now, though, I'm surrendering and giving my heart to Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ. They love me more than anyone. I am also surrounded by endless, unconditional love from my amazing-in-every-possible-unimaginable-way family and friends. And oh my goodness, how I love you all.
(along with the Savior, of course)
I am a princess who grew up reading fairytales believing that one day her prince would come and take her away and rescue her... and she was right, or so she believed. Her "prince" did come but, to quote my girl T-Swift, "in the end in Wonderland we both went bad" and he turned out to not be my prince. Now this princess has turned into a badass. I don't need a prince to save me... because life isn't a fairytale. I save me. 
These are my goals... to be Pretty. Healthy. Happy. <3
When a good woman gets hurt, she lets the pain guide her to become an even better woman going forward.
Each time a good woman's heart is tested, it gets stronger. A strong woman is merely the product of adversity, and that's what makes brilliant and amazing--she's resilient.
She'll wipe the picture she painted with you clear from her memories and focus on a story that's yet to be written.
She gets noticed not just because she's incredible or beautiful, but because she radiates her strength and happiness for having survived storms and being broken before.
When you let a good woman go, a better man eventually comes along to show her what she's been searching for all along--and it was never you. 
Lovelies, life is beautiful... if YOU make it so.
 I went to Tennessee and found myself and some of the best friends a girl could ask for...
The Fab Five, Sara, Leigh, Liliya, Karly, and Stacey my life wouldn't be the same, nor complete, without you, the loveliest of women to exist. My squad empowers me.

 "The earth without art is eh."
I've discovered the joy of painting. I am in LOVE... maddening, consuming, love with painting and art.

 We love painting :) I love my family. They are my constant. Madison and I are becoming more that just cousins. We're becoming sisters and best friends. We've got this challenge going to try one new thing every single week or conquer a fear. It's how we discovered our passion for painting. We go to church and institute classes together and make our own fun.

 I love Lambsey, my twin, my bestie. He inspires me on the daily. Exercise is instant happiness. He is the best personal trainer. Whether we're doing our weekly viewings of Better Call Saul or The Walking Dead or joking about the nightmare of a joke Tinder is or jamming on car rides or BFT time, we make starlight together.

 Once again, my family is my life. I am so proud of McHale for graduating with her LPN. She will make the best nurse. I love supporting my family. I have the best support system.

 I am back in college at ISU. I have two more years until I will be a high school English teacher! I am majoring in Secondary Education (English). I am in summer school and while it consumes 99% of my time, it's worth every second. I love love love it.

 Trying new things, being a daredevil, like being the only girl brave enough to cliffdive with the boys this summer ;) Adventuring, getting your heart pumping, feeling alive, alive, alive is unlike anything else.

See you have to be proactive. Put yourself out there. Try new things. Stepping out of my comfort zone has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. Each day is 24 hours of possibility for life, for light, for you, for me, for love. 
I am holding steady in my vow to make summer 2016, and all of 2016, and the rest of my life one worth remembering, so I can look back at the end when I time travel the entirety of it and know I lived it to the fullest.
Will you vow to do the same?
<W/L3 Charley Brooke

"Opposition permits us to grow toward what our Heavenly Father would have us become."
-Elder Dallin H. Oaks

"She was beautiful, but not like those girls in the magazines. She was beautiful, for the way she thought. She was beautiful, for that sparkle in her eyes when she talked about something she loved. She was beautiful, for her ability to make other people smile even if she was sad. No, she wasn't beautiful for something as temporary as her looks. She was beautiful, deep down to her soul."
-F. Scott Fitzgerald


  1. I can't even imagine the crazy terrible year you've had. I hope that you really are doing okay. I'm glad that you have your dad to talk to and to be able to have someone remind you of how amazing of a person you are. I'm sorry that we couldn't have remained friends. I was upset about it for a long time but I'm trying to let it go. You probably don't even remember me, but that is okay. Keep being happy! You deserve happiness. Don't let the devil get inside your head and tell you differently. I have some advice for you. Don't let anyone decide your future except you and your Heavenly Father. Be happy Charley! I'm so glad you are pursuing your education in something that you will love. I hope that one day we can be friends again. Take care.

  2. Dearest Anonymous,
    Thank you for that paragraph of kindness. You have no idea how much your words mean to me. I wish that I knew who you are. Come out of hiding! I'm not "that" mean ;) My heart doesn't have a revolving door around it. Once I let you in, I will ALWAYS care about you. No matter what. It's the girl I am. I don't judge. I forgive everyone. I believe you can never have enough friends, so... I would love to be your friend (again?) if you let me.
    Best of everything,