The other night Doug said something that got me thinking. After our drive on Sunday, we stopped up at Paul and Christa's, since we hadn't seen their new house yet.
(Side note: Their new house is very cute! It is indeed new, part of a relatively recent development up in Fresno. Its a nice house and I am rather jealous of their giant bathtub--I could so use a soak in a big comfy tub right now. It looks great and I'm sure will look even better once they get a chance to get their blinds up and their grass growing!:) )
We were all talking about places we would/could/may go in life and Christa said she could never live in a big city, with which I heartily agreed. Doug said, "You say that, but if that's where you felt like you were supposed to be. . ." I said that was true, that I could do it if I had to, but I wouldn't be thrilled about it.
On the car ride home, he brought it up again. "You say that," he said, "but 'if I have to' has never been your reaction when it comes right down to it." He's right. I haven't usually gone with my first choice on a lot of major decisions in life, but rather with the choice I felt was the right choice, and I've always been happy about it.
BYU-Hawaii was a perfect example. I always said if I got in there, that's where I'd go because it felt like the right thing to do. But in some ways, I wanted very much to go to a school in Wisconsin instead. There would be plenty of snow, the school's strengths were in the exact programs I wanted, it would be easy to hop on a train or a bus if I needed/wanted to go home and they had offered me $24,000 in scholarships and a job on campus. But Hawaii was where I supposed to be. And, though not without its challenges, it was an incredible experience.
The same was true of moving to San Luis. At the point we made that decision, we were considering several other options and Cal Poly was at the bottom of my list--it would take the longest, cost the most, and be farthest from the things I knew. And certainly there were parts of the experience I wouldn't want to do again, but I loved it and was happy to go.
Its not in my nature to see things as the burden I have to bare right now or just what I have to get through to get to the next step of my life. When it comes right down to it, whether I'm headed where I think I'd prefer to be or not, I usually see changes as an adventure.
One of the things that make Doug and I well suited to each other is a shared strong curiosity--about life, the world, ourselves. Each new challenge or move gives us an opportunity to indulge that curiosity. We are both regrettably stubborn individuals, and yet each of us is surprisingly willing to be molded for the sake of our adventures.
We've been talking lately about dreams. So many people never go after what they really want because they have 1,000 reasons why their dream isn't possible. What they really mean is that is isn't possible without significant sacrifices. Well, if there's one thing our experiences with McDermont has taught us, its that if the dream is a good one, the sacrifices and risks--the long days, the frustrating setbacks, the fiscal, emotional and physical toll--are all well worth it to see that dream come to fruition.
President Hinkley once said that you can never think of something as a sacrifice when in the long run what you get back is far greater than what you give up--that's an investment. But you don't have to be just biding your time until that payday comes. Even in the midst of the "giving up" part, where things are challenging, you can be happy and having a lot of fun.