And because my peers are mostly around this age of 30, some of them have dedicated blog posts to it. Some say things like "I'm so glad that I got married later because I wouldn't have appreciated it when I was younger," or "I'm glad to be older and still single because" blah blah blah. This only applies to me, and not to those other people, but I can't say that I'm a better person because I'm still unmarried or that it could have never been just as good some other way, maybe even better. I can't say that I wouldn't have appreciated being a father at a younger age. The fact is, I just don't know. Maybe I wouldn't have appreciated it at first, but maybe I would have grown into it. Maybe I wouldn't have learned the same lessons I would have learned going down this path that I've been on, but maybe I would have learned other just as valuable things that I can't even fathom because I honestly have no idea how I would have reacted to married life or being a parent or whatever.
The only thing I do know is that with the ups and downs that I've had over the years, the only thing that really matters is that I've learned to be content with the things allotted unto me (right now, at least - check back in a few months to see if that's still the case).
This is what I have going for me:
- I love BYU. I love my program and what I'm doing. I have amazing professors and opportunities to learn and develop skills, and to further my career prospects. I interact with so many people for whom I have so much respect.
- I live in an amazing ward. We have an amazing bishopric and stake presidency. There are so many awesome people that live within just a couple of blocks of me, and I think I want to be best friends with all of them. Next week I get to go camping in Zion with 12 of them. Although I wouldn't have chosen my new calling for myself, I feel like I already have a lot of support, and I'm excited about the new relationships and experiences that I'll be having.
- I am in great physical shape. I haven't actually gotten sick sick in a couple of years. I had a bad cough for a month or so, some sniffles here and there, but nothing that has put me out of commission for a long time. I haven't even gotten the flu or thrown up in ages. I'm only 6 months removed from having run a marathon, and I'm planning on running another one this summer, and maybe two this year. I am so grateful for health that allows me to play sports and do physical things whenever I want and I never really get tired or even sore. That's such a source of joy for me - just to be able to play and be active. I live for it and am so grateful for it.
- I have a wonderful family. The coolest thing about my family is that I always know I have their unfailing support. Although they haven't always agreed with my method, they have always ultimately trusted my judgment. All my life it's been that way. It's so nice to not feel challenged, threatened, or doubted by people who are so close to my heart. It makes me feel like I can do anything. And while I've never been the person who knows everyone and has a million friends, one thing I've always been very, very good at is developing deep and meaningful relationships with the people around me. I've learned to bloom where I've been planted and, as a result, I have so many people that I love and can turn to whenever I need a listening ear or advice about anything at all. I have a best friend that I have 17 years of history with. Do you have any idea how many dates Dave has heard about? How many hundreds, and maybe thousands, of hours we've played soccer together? How many times he's heard about my heartbreak? how many times he's heard me excited about some girl? How many of you were baptized by your best friend and can still remember that day? or the day you went through the temple and received your endowment together? We're as close as two people can be. I'm just sorry that none of the people in my life here in Utah even know who he is. And his family is my family. I love them all to death. I just love love love the people in my life. I'm so glad to know you all.
- I'm dating an amazing girl. She's a magnet for fun. At her insistence we went golfing last weekend. She wants me to give her some tennis tips this weekend. And the Zion camp-out was her idea. And as enjoyable and exciting as all that stuff is, she makes me feel so loved and cared for, and makes me be the person I want to be, or at least I'm working towards it. She's just great. I couldn't be happier with her or how things are going with her.
- Above all, I have the gospel. I have a temple within minutes of my house and I'm eligible to participate in the ordinances therein. I hold the priesthood and have so many opportunities to serve. Although I'm not one of those people who just loves to serve, I do love the relationships and the bonds that come as a result of it. And even though I have so far to go in my own personal development, and I make mistakes left and right, I love that I have the opportunity to repent and atone for my errors, that there is a Savior who makes that possible. I don't have to be resigned to a fate wherein I cannot escape the follies of my past. I am not beholden to the person that I was yesterday because tonight I will lay down and die to this day, and then rise again tomorrow trying to move just one more step down the straight and narrow towards an eternal home. That's something that engenders hope within me, and for which I am so grateful.