Sunday, February 13, 2011

i'm learning

so i'm going to get really personal here for a minute. (and at the same time sorta vague - after all, this is still the internet!)

i've been learning some pretty awful and wonderful things about myself in the last year. i'm sure you can guess why they qualify for both of those adjectives. spending the time that i have slowing down and rediscovering (& discovering for the first time) my priorities has been an intense and at times painful experience. my eyes have been opened to some scary truths about what i thought i knew i wanted... and that "like most women" (as my brothers are wont to say) i didn't really know what i wanted. not in a concrete way.

for example, as a good mormon girl i have always known i wanted a temple marriage. but recently i've really come to understand that in more particular detail. it's not just that i want to get married in the temple... it's that i want to commit to a man, and to God, to do all that i can better myself and my family and to progress together. but even that doesn't seem to clarify what i've learned about that goal lately...

because of the time i have spent with my siblings and parents, all living in the same home again in these last few months, i have had a strong affirmation of how precious it is to have such close, meaningful, and fulfilling familial relationships. there is NO WAY i am going to do anything to deprive my own children of something so beneficial and invaluable.

i can't, not for anything else i might want.

all this time i thought i was just looking for a good guy to marry in the temple... but now i can see that i am looking for something much more than that. i am looking for someone who shares the same hopes and desires -- that is willing to make the necessary choices and sacrifices to do right by me and our children and to bless all of us. we need to want the same thing and to prioritize in the same way. (to have a like testimony)

which is so so complicated. and hard. SO HARD.

it seems like all around me i am seeing women renounce what they ultimately want for what they think they want now. i used to be so confused by that, but i'm starting to understand it better. i'm starting to see how complicated it is to keep, not only your priorities straight, but to even understand those priorities in the first place... to put children, people you've never met, and a future that seems so far away before the here and now...

there is a lot of sacrifice involved. especially at the age when you are the most self-indulgent... i had to sacrifice a lot to learn what i have (which isn't much) and though at the time i was frustrated and upset about the pain of it -- looking back now i am beyond grateful i didn't screw things up before i knew what i really wanted. what i really needed.

of course, this doesn't mean i'm good to go. i'm still confused about a lot of things. but i am glad that i can move forward -- to whatever is coming up in my life (and i have next to zero idea of what that will be) and know better what (and who) i am making choices for.

i know better what i want now. the choices i make from here on out will (hopefully!) be made in accordance with that new clarity. it gives me direction and purpose. and i'm grateful.

many facets of my life have opened up in this way. i hope i can live according to what i've learned.