19 August 2010

Life, Love, and Why

For the record, roughly 2/3 of my blog post titles are stolen from songs, books, or communication I've had with friends. I rarely make them up.

But that has nothing to do with this post.

I was thinking about my life yesterday and what I'm doing with it. Transition times tend to give you pause and you reflect more on your choices. At least I do. I played that game that happens a lot, not the Regret game called "If Only" but its cousin, the "I've Distanced Myself Enough from This Experience That I Can Recognize My Mistakes" game. I don't think people play that one as much. Anyway, I was going through particular events from the last year, and then, as often happens, I began comparing them to similar events in other people's lives. That, of course, lead to analyzing other people's lives and why they are the way they are and I came up with this question:

How in the world did those people manage to make things work well enough to get married so young?

The whiney version of this question is, How can they do it but I can't? and the arrogant version is, If I couldn't do it how can they possibly? I think I was feeling some of both, but I phrased it more maturely (although rather judgmentally, so I guess it wasn't so mature). But it's something that has been on my mind, and it's the type of thing that prompts conversations such as this:

Friend: she's kinda shy
9:30 AM me: that's okay though, isn't it?
 Friend: yeah but it just makes it more confusing
9:31 AM me: that makes sense
 Friend: i'll keep pursuing for now
 me: good, I think you should
9:32 AM it's hard for some people to open up. I should know, I'm one of the worst. so just because you're unsure doesn't mean she isn't interested
9:33 AM Friend: she's got to know i am right?
9:34 AM me: I'm not sure... girls tend to second guess those things a lot. I have the worst judgement, I can never tell if a boy likes me. plus I have no confidence that anyone would actually be interested in me anyway. that happens a lot
  and if she likes you it will make her more unsure about if you like her
9:35 AM because she'll wonder if she's reading things correctly or if she's just hoping too much and it skews her perception
 Friend: freak why is it like this
  that's why i want to get married cause you don't have to worry about this crap
 me: amen to that

I sat down on a cement planter box outside the JFSB (oh I miss that place) and was pondering this question and the wind started to blow. Hard. It had been rainy all day (truly pouring, it was lovely) and the addition of the wind made it some of my favorite weather, so I just sat there with my eyes closed and let it rush past my face.

And then, it spoke to me. The wind, not my face. I was like Pocahontas, or Anastasia (the wind speaks to her too, right?). Except it didn't say "And then I'll keeck her, sir." Although Bartok the bat says that, not the wind.

Sorry, frivolous tangent. What the wind said to me was, "You already know why it didn't happen for you, and it's the exact same reason it is happening for them. How could you not make that connection on your own? Didn't you graduate?"

Okay, it wasn't actually that snarky at the end, that was my embellishment. Although the wind does speak in italics I'm sure.

But I know why I'm not getting married this summer like half the world is, and I know why I didn't get into BYU's graduate program, and I know why I didn't get so many jobs I interviewed for, and I know why it took me so long to find an apartment. I know why, and I have known for a while:

That is not what I'm supposed to be doing right now and would not make me happy if I did it. Not that I would have been terribly unhappy in any of those situations that didn't pan out, but I know that on a happiness scale, it wouldn't have been at it's peak. But it will in Boston.

And if I know that about myself, that this is what I'm supposed to do and that's what Heavenly Father wants me to do and what he thinks will make me happiest, then who am I to say that he's not saying the same thing to the 21-year-old boy who has only been home for five months and is getting married now? "Yes, it might seem crazy to everyone around you, but I'm pretty sure you'll be happiest if you ignore them and actually do it." I think he probably heard something like that. How self centered am I? It doesn't matter what I think about other people's life changing decisions. I don't know all the factors in their decisions, and I shouldn't know them either.

Post Script: If you think you are the people who got married young, you probably aren't. I doubt you know about whom I was thinking. (Nice avoidance of the preposition at the end AND the use of whom, eh?)


  1. That was the most enjoyable and relatable post I have ever read. You are amazing on so many levels.

  2. Ditto to Lu Lu's comment. Al, you truly are a fantastic writer.

    BUT...I want to know with what friend you had that conversation! TELL ME!


  3. Oh wait. I think I already know. Never mind!

  4. May I say that I am very proud of you? Thanks! I am saying it anyway.

  5. This was a great post that I need to read every once and awhile to remind myself of these things. Thanks for being so open!