One of my favorite things about life is that I can, at times, look back on it and realize why certain things happened the way they did, why certain people came into my life, or why I came into the lives of others. (The latter is my favorite type of discovery, because it feels especially good to think that I am sometimes able to help other people out in this crazy and confusing world.)
What I've learned is that it seems there are two reasons why certain people or things come into our lives. The first is just to be a Godsend- to help us, to bring us happiness. For me, music is like this. So are a lot of other things, like the Gospel, the city of Mapleton, my grandparents, Spring, my roommate Kelly, and the opportunity to go to BYU.
The second reason is to teach us something or give us the opportunity to better ourselves. In many cases the two coincide. Take my old roommate, Sarai. (Hi, Sarai!) I had a blast rooming with her this summer AND I learned a lot of things from the experience. She helped me to loosen up and be a little crazy, and taught me that no day is a bad day if it includes Jones Soda. AND she got me to sing in church!
But, many times the two don't coincide. Sometimes we have to go through trials and hardships that are not fun, but that help us to become better people. Changes and struggles and heartbreak will come into all of our lives and we can choose to let these things overcome us, or to draw strength from having overcome them. As many people know, moving around so much in high school was like this for me. I don't like to think of what life would be like if I'd never had to go through that. Or what I would be like.
There is a third reason, too, which is that life is just hard. There are moments when it feels like there can be no reason why something had to happen, like the feeling I got when my cousin passed away, or when I was told that my grandpa had terminal cancer.
I guess what I'm saying is that, yes, life is hard. But knowing that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us, and who wants to return to Him makes everything so much more hopeful.
I learned this summer that I don't always have a handle on life. I don't always know exactly what I'm feeling, or what the right thing to do is, and that's one of the hardest things about living, for me. Yes, we have the scriptures and the prophets to guide us through life, but there's no clear road map for every decision we have to make.
I have always prayed to live the life that Heavenly Father would have me live, and while I still wish to do that, this summer I have learned that no matter what, I am just going to make mistakes. I'm not going to live anything close to a perfect life. I'm going to get confused about how I feel and end up saying the wrong thing, or not saying the right thing. And maybe I messed it all up. But the good thing is that life is about second chances. I won't make every right decision that will lead me to the "life I am meant to have." In fact, I think I need to give up my "meant to be" stance on life. I still think some things are meant to be, but most things we really do just have to decide on, or make happen for ourselves, which is scary, but also exciting. I don't think many people will read this, but if for some reason you are, let me just say, don't give up! Life can be beautiful if you face it with an eye of hope and no fear! Being fearless is hard, but how about I'll try if you try? We've all got a long way to go, but you know what? I think we might just make it.
P.S. I'm going there someday