Thursday, December 13, 2012


I should start this by saying I wrote a song. But that would be lying. Because, in true Shelby fashion, I merely...edited a song. I adapted it. 

Not really. I mean, I just switched a few lyrics around to express myself at this, the close of yet another year. It's crazy how fast time goes. Did you know Lizzie McGuire has been off air for nearly ten years? Oh, and she's a mom now--the actress. Plus the Suite Life twins are 20 years old. And Shrek came out over a DECADE ago. I mean, when someone says "a decade ago," I still think the '90s. 

Point is. My life is practically a quarter over. And, while that could be depressing, I've had a great year. Really. I'm finishing up school. I got a better, less-hell-like job where I even get paid more. I've made some of the best friends ever. My family's still amazing. And, oh yeah, I went TO LONDON. As in Europe. As in the best eight weeks of my life. And...I have a backpack to prove it. 

So, anyway, I was thinking about all that today (Facebook is really good at making you look back on your life; thanks for that "Year in Review," FB. You know me too well). And then I wrote this song. 

Again, I didn't write it. I revised it. With no malicious intent and no intent to profit off it either. So, copyright hounds, back off. 

Without further ado, my rhyme (almost). 

(In the style of Bright Eyes and their song "First Day of My Life, who reserve all rights)

This is the best year of my life
I swear everything all just went my way
I went out of my shell, suddenly everything changed
There were dreams I finally reached

I can’t believe the things I saw
I think I was bored before all of this
I can’t believe where I’ve been
But now I know who I am
I’m just not sure where I want to go

But there’s some things I finally know
That life can take forever;
It’s okay to take it slow.
I realized that I love it
And I doubt it will ever be more cool

Remember the time I flew all night
Just to spend some months in London
And then when I got home, I thought everything changed
I felt as if I’d just woke up.
And I said, “This is the best year of my life
I’m glad I didn’t die before I lived this
I met so many people, did so many things
I think I’ll always be happy

So I have never felt this free.
With life there is no telling;
I’ll just have to wait and see.
But I think it is so fun and pretty
And I’m glad I finally know me.
Besides maybe this time is perfect
I mean, I really think it could be. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Oh, hello.

Long time, no write. Sorry about that. But I recently wrote about childhood books, all endearing and that. But I put it on my book blog.'s about books. Ergo.

Read it.

Friday, September 7, 2012

I'm Baaaack

I've been back for awhile. Three weeks. One day. 17 hours. 23 minutes. 42 seconds.

Well, I made up that last bit.

Point is, it's been awhile. And I slipped into this sort of comatose crash of blah-land nausea. Work was lame, school was lame, life was lame. I felt so...normal. So average. So lame. And then--today! Oh, today! I finally felt alive! It was this strange sort of surreal euphoria that split across my face in a beaming smile. I swear, rays of sunlight rose from my curled mouth! Birds and butterflies alike sang their sweet songs from my very soul! It was, as you might assess, rather magical. And nearly inexplicable. But I'll try. In verse.

I walk half asleep.
The tired half-life half lived.
Then I think: London. 

Just kidding. I really need to describe this moment in detail, and that calls for prose (as most situations do. stupid poetry).

Anyways. As you can tell, I'm giddy from this experience. And I'm sure it won't mean much to anyone else, but it was this beautiful awakening for me in every sense of the word (except sexually. awkward).

So, I was walking from French where I had just successfully bombed my first quiz, like epically--someone should write a poem about that. And I'm heading back to work, lost in my own tired thoughts. Usually I bemoan my existence and my pitiful life, making lists of things to do and things I hate and pouring a little more out of that half-empty glass. Depressing stuff, I know. But today was different. Today I thought about backpacks.

Let me explain. As part of my Study Abroad package, I was given a free backpack. That means everyone who does a BYU study abroad gets one--of different varieties. But they're a certain brand, just marked with a BYU insignia. Many a people have this same brand, though. And today I saw one. Just a normal backpack on a normal guy (calm down. this is not a love story) and it got me thinking. It got me thinking about my backpack and why I had it and how cool it was to have it.

And then it dawned on me. For the first time in three weeks, one day, 17 hours, 23 minutes, and 42 seconds, it really hit: I went to London.

Now, I've of course recognized that I spent seven weeks in England. I wasn't in a coma during the experience; it has been ingrained in my psyche. But it was in walking down the stairs towards work for the second time that day--this day--that it really finally epically hit me. I went to London.

Instantly, I was beaming. I was grinning. I was smiling so brightly, a silent laugh was bursting from my inner being. It was this epic moment where, suddenly, all the stars aligned and I realized how lucky I was. No matter what happens next or if I fail to reach any more dreams, I can rest assured--I can be happy--because I did it. I made it to London. How many people get to say that? How many people actually reach their dreams?

It was like, in this singular instant, I suddenly thought of all the cliches of people always dreaming of what they wanted to do but never making it, always waiting for life to happen to them. And here I am, a bona fide world traveler. Not out of luck or birth or social standing, but because it was a dream and I realized it. And isn't that the coolest thing any of us can do? I did it! I made it! And I want to sing because of it!

I only wish you could have seen this go down. It was like I was walking in the dark, my backpack weighing me down, my energy drained from a mere two weeks stuck in school studying things I didn't really care to, fighting to stay motivated, wondering what I'm going to do with my life and doubting I'd ever really succeed. I'm a realist, some say a pessimist. I can be a buzz kill, a downer, that depressing reality check. I don't know why I let life get me down, but I do. Sometimes. And then today--it was like walking into the light. No, it was like walking into a field of peanut butter with a forest of cotton candy next to a river of nutella and the sun is shining but there's a slight breeze to keep things cool and puppies are barking their sweet barks and corgis are flopping and fluffy bears and big cats are romping happily about while the coolest people on earth (inluding Jake Gyllenhaal) are hanging out with balloons and pinatas laughing rauciously at funny movie clips as Jurassic Park plays on a big screen in the sky.

That's what it felt like. I was so ridiculosuly happy. I couldn't stop smiling.

I went to London.
I lived in London.
I made it to London.
I actually did it.

So, yeah, I went back to work (lame) and I still have school (lame) and I don't know how I'll have the time for everything, including growing up (lame), but it doesn't matter. I realized that, frozen on a step in the HBLL, staring at some stranger's backpack. I did something not everyone gets to do, and I did it because I wanted to, and it was awesome and I loved every minute (except the rainforest thing) and I won't ever forget it and I'm just so dang happy about it. Life is about moments, right? Well, that was about 4,333,200 moments (seconds) that I gave to a dream and that turned out to be even dreamier than I could have dreamed it. Except it was real. And it was awesome, even life-changing, and it happened. And I just realized it today.

So that is why I'm spouting poetry. Why I'm grinning. Why I don't think anything about today will get me down--not even a bad French score (cuz, let's face it, we all knew that was happening). I went to London. I made a dream happen. And that means, no matter what, my life wasn't wasted. Au contraire! My life will always be something good because, no matter what else, I always have London.
that's Big Ben behind my head. if you didn't know. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Moving Time

You know when you get in the mood for a change? You just feel anxious and unsettled and unhappy and you feel like you have to get out, go somewhere, change something?

Well, I don't feel that at all. I am exceptionally happy. I feel supa' CHARGED UP. So much good has happened in my life and I'm simply thrilled. In all honesty. I don't know why this is coming across as sarcastic. Maybe it's the amount of periods. I'll throw in an exclamation point!

Nope. Didn't help. But, listen, I really am so happy, for a variety of lovely reasons.

One: My brother bought a puppy and named him T-Rex. He's the cutest thing. Really. I show pictures of him to everyone. Over and again.

Two: I have $7,900 in savings currently. Which is pretty fantastic. Sure, two grand is a student loan, but that leaves almost six grand made with the sweat and tears of moi. See? Hard work does pay.

Three: I am in my senior year of college. Yeah, this time next year I'll be prepping for graduation. Walking the walk, talking the talk. All that jazz. And, for those who doubt it, there really is nothing more satisfying than being able to say "I'm a senior." It's empowering.

Four: Though my brothers are gone (and I weep every night for them), Cait came back to Utah! And it's been so fun getting to see her so much. Her and her beautiful puppy. Also, with The Hunger Games coming out soon, guess who'll be my date? Ding a ling a ding dong!

And, five (which is what this post is all about): I GOT ACCEPTED TO THE LONDON STUDY ABROAD!!!! I posted this on facebook, so everyone who reads this should already know. But...I tried to pass it as my getting a mission call (really, it was a perfectly crafted announcement subtly satirizing the usual mission announcement without ever outright lying. Oh, the cleverness of me). Maybe there's still some confusion out there. So, to clarify, all that was very tongue-in-cheek. I am going to London to play, not to serve; to bask in its glory for six weeks or so, not 18 months. Imma goin' to merry ole london! Returning to the motherland! A dream is finally coming true!

But, it's all this goodness and all this change that has enthused me completely. Thus, I have come to announce--after such a long break--that I have moved. I created a new blog--one that will naturally allow me to share a new sort of adventure (those of an international sort). It is called "The Traveling Typist."  But it's not just a travel blog; it will function much like this one. Just..a new blog for a new chapter of my life. That of a more graceful sort of immaturity.

Follow me. Or I'll defame you.