Saturday, October 23, 2004

So I'm 20!

My Birthday was the 20th, this past Wednesday! It was great to have the family in town; Ma and Da came in on Wednesday night and Gavin and Kelley arrived Friday evening. I'm a lucky girl- to have my family all around me on my birthday.
I feel... young. Not because of the 2 numbers that indicate how long I've been alive, but because I feel dependent. On so many things.
I got into the Study Abroad program for Spring semester in Italy. It will be awesome, won't it? living in Italy for 4 months. Great. Just GREAT!
But then this little twinge of doubt creeps in. Lets be honest... a lot of doubt. I don't know if I can do it! I want to, and I know that the first thing is to figure out whether this is what God would have me do. But then the next part is whether I want to. Of course I want to, yes, but... really? I don't know. I think people think I'm so strong for leaving Utah and coming to New York and "doing so well"... they must not know how I feel everyday, or they wouldn't be fooled into thinking I do well here. Grades aren't a measure of everything, I know that for sure.
I guess I feel like I don't have any idea what I want to do with my life. Wouldn't it be easier if God just wrote it out? Sure it would. And I get that that is not the point; I'm not supposed to just scoot along like some robot. But I would like to... does that count for anything?
I want to figure things out... and I know that I want to see the world and do things and learn everything-- soak things up. But I also know that that stuff doesn't really matter. Then of course I know that God wants me to find pleasure in this life, and He is happy when I am delighting in his creation! So where is the happy medium? I want to be in New York, I want to be in Italy, but I can't get the idea of being in OGDEN, UTAH out of my head! Am I crazy? Sure! But I love it there. I love my church, my friends- even the crazy ones! I love the air, the gym I go to, the cities, the space, the mountains, the sunsets, the dusk, the house I grew up in.......
I feel like some of my friends have taken the easy way out. And this is not to say that it is the WRONG way, because i am very happy for them-- yes all of them! But I feel like it is so easy to find someone and just marry them. There is no uncertainty. What will you do 20 years down the line-- well you'll be married, living with that person, probably have kids. And I'm not saying that I'm never getting married-- I'm sure i will, and in all honesty it may well be "sooner than I think." But I feel like there is a certain part of life that insists upon learning from uncertainty- from trying to hear God whispering- to live in a different country, to go to school, to keep learning, to fall in love more than once. I'm not saying that I expect to lose the relationship I have because I certainly DO NOT want that. I am also not saying that a life without a 3 month residency in Italy isn't valuable, or that finishing your college degree is something that gives a person worth. I believe worth is found in your identity and character. I think we all have a lot of say about what our character is, and I think we can find our identity in the right and wrong things. Marriage is not the wrong things for my friends, but I can tell you (me!) that for me, right now, it is the wrong decision for me. It is NOT the next step in my life.
I have a hard time knowing that my friends will be moving on to a part of life that is, to whatever extent, very far away from a place I'll be. That is ok-- but when I'm calling about graduating from college, they'll be calling about having their first child... and there's NOTHING wrong with that. It is just an odd reality to face in the midst of decision making, trying to discover my purpose more specifically in terms of "life" and what I'll "do." I am trying to concentrate on the "be"-- so if you're a prayer- pray that I'll be better than I DO anything. Ok, my 20 year old blabber is over, you can relax if you made it this far.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

It is interesting, isn't it. That nameless it to which I refer... it is complex, right? The sound of your feet hitting the pavement when you walk alone, the sadness you feel when you see a trampled flower, how a blind man can put things into perspective so quickly.
So here we are. It has been almost a month since school has started-- can it really have been that long, and yet... how times passes so slowly sometimes! I've been enjoying school, and New York has grown on me- as usual. I miss home, I miss life in Utah, but I'd miss life in New York if I weren't here. I know that is true for NOW... what the future holds only God knows. You better believe I'm begging him to tell me. But really I feel content. I don't feel rushed and hurried and harried about things, I don't feel sad all the time, and I don't always miss home. It is scary to type that- does it mean that I am meant to be here for a while... a longer while than I had planned? And if I know that I am meant to be here for that lenghty while I didn't plan, does that make me miss home more- continuously? I'm not sure.
School is going well. My disaffection with math has not waned, but my love for languages grows by the day. Italian is wonderful, I like the people and the teacher- it makes me hunger to learn more and more... I want to be emersed and learn all at once!
I keep hearing how more and more people are getting married, getting engaged... these are my close friends. Some I am excited for, some I am baffled by... but mostly, I think, it has left me feeling a little ponderous and maybe even alone. I've got someone wonderful- Josh, you know, but I don't meant that kind of alone. Alone in this stage of life- maybe that's it.
My brother got married 2 weeks ago yesterday- it solidified the knowledge that I am truly not ready to be married. It also made me feel jealous... and miss him. Him Gavin, my brother. My big bro who taught me to play soccer and basketball, and tried his best to teach me how to throw a spiral football. It's an odd sensation, feels like maybe I lost a best friend to whom I haven't seen in a while. I'm so happy for him, but I worry that as we grow older we'll grow farther apart- all of us. If I have any control over that, it won't happen.
So what am I trying to say? I don't know. This is stuff I need to express I guess. I'd write it down but I can't write as fast as I think. Today is a day I have a chance to make a different... did I? Am I aware enough of the people around me, do I love them enough? I hope so... but I know taht I don't. I catch myself feeling annoyed about the slow people walking in front of me. I forget to hold open doors and I shy away from buying homless men coffee. I know these things don't make me a "bad person," and I certainly don't believe that deeds can redeem. But I do believe that what I do is probably an indication of who I am... I hope I'm doing who I am.
I've wandered all over the place, better stop myself for now!