in life, we tend to constantly look forward. i’m not sure what exactly it is in our nature that makes us crave the still to be at the expense of sometimes having right now pass us by. i not only anticipate the next chapter, i sometimes dread it… worrying years in advance over uncontrollable matters.
dating (or not dating) may have kicked off this furture-looking curse for me.
as mormon kids you are raised knowing that dating is off limits until you are 16. and then, at 16 you generally go on group dates, leaving “real” dating for later. for some reason the church ladies i entered my teens around were sure my phone would be ringing off the hook once february 6th 1994 rolled around. it didn’t.
those same church ladies consoled my ringless phone and babysitting-filled weekends with the promise that “once you get to byu you’ll really start dating!” i didn’t. when i was home for three months before my mission to brazil, some of the same church ladies grabbed me and made sure i knew that “handsome young men would be beating down my door” when i returned.
there were also a few ladies kind enough to share another opinion…. looking agast they’d say, “well, why on earth would a cute girl like you possibly want to go on a mission?!” i, too shocked to respond, would be interrupted before i spoke, “well honey, you better hope the men aren’t all gone and married when you get back!” with that vow of confidence, i headed to south america for 18 months.
my return didn’t elicit the valiant showing of young men, begging for a date, guaranteed. to be fair… i did go on a lot of dates* but i didn’t date any one particular person. i managed (along with nearly half of my university) to graduate unmarried. the funny thing is, although i longed to date, i wasn’t that girl longing to find my husband at byu. my forward thinking actually got me as far as my mission. i was always counting on going to college and then going on my mission. once i was home, i was lost, or maybe free. i finished my degree, accepted an internship in washington dc. and that was that. almost five years passed.
the forwardness picked back up for me once i got engaged last fall and planned my wedding. managed to ship all of my belongings i didn’t sell out to seattle, and finally be on the next step of life. it seemed, perhaps, i was once again free/lost.
since christian had one semester of law school left and then the bar, this gave me something to start my future-jumping with all over again. he studied all day and all night this summer. i felt my worry increase as the bar approached. and then i realized, the night before, that maybe i was perhaps, just slightly more nervous than he was. he had prepared. he was ready. the time was now. i, on the other hand, dropped him off for the exam to make all other exams look puny… and couldn’t stop crying. in all honestly i was a basket case. it was as if i was having sympathy pains or sympathy stress for him!
he called me on his lunch break the first day, and the sound of his voice made all the difference. it wasn’t a voice of uncertainty or doubt. it was the most perfectly calm and happy voice i could have wished for. everything would be okay. this whole mess, it would work itself out. and now… i attempt to discover exactly what the next step is.
*my version of “going on a lot of dates” means nearly 50 blind dates which ultimately made me the blind dating/first date queen.