A couple weeks ago I stumbled across the blog Sometimes Sweet, and absolutely fell in love. Danielle is the coolest mama, and has the cutest little family ever! One thing that Danielle has started is a journal day. Basically, at the beginning of the week she writes a prompt, and invites everyone to write about it, and than share our writing with one another. I have been in a bit of a blogging funk lately, so I thought I would give it a try. I don't really write here anymore, so I think this challenge will help me with that. Here is the prompt for this week.
Everyone has a time in their life they view as a crossroad. Sometimes you can see it as it's happening, and you're able to choose one way or another. Other times you may not realize you're there until you look back, and see what a turning point it really was. This week, write about a time you view as a marker in your life; a distinct place where things changed, for better or worse.
This prompt was kind of a difficult one for me. Mostly because this crossroads of mine happened not to long ago. Exactly a year ago I was filling out my papers to serve as a missionary for the LDS church. It was a big moment in my life. At the time it felt so good. All my friends around me where leaving on missions, and it was nice to feel connected to all of them in some way. It was exactly a year ago yesterday that my best friend left for France to serve as a missionary for the LDS church, and at the time I felt like that was the only thing I should be doing with my life. I mean, everyone else was.
As time went on, my excitement towards serving a mission began to fade and feelings of anxiety and dread soon took over. It didn't feel RIGHT anymore, but everyone was getting ready to leave, and they were all so excited. I thought that I needed to be on that level with them, so I faked it.
In May (I think it was May), my mission call came, and I was asked to serve in the Mississippi Jackson mission. The whole day leading up to opening that call was not a good one. I had been waiting so long to get this thing. There had been a bunch of mix-ups with my papers (like them getting lost), so it took a lot longer than it was supposed to. I had so many different emotions, but the most present one was feeling like I was going to throw up. Yeah, basically the whole day. As I opened my call, for the first time in a long time it finally felt right again. Unfortunately, those feelings were quickly fading away.
I didn't feel like I could tell anyone about this. The only person I wanted to talk to was basically on the other side of the world who I could only communicate with one day a week through email. I just felt lost and broken. I felt myself getting dragged deeper and deeper into this depression that I had no reason for being in. Then I met a boy.
This isn't one of those stories where I fall in love with the boy, and decide to stay home from my mission because I am madly in love. Sure, that may have been a result, but that didn't come until much later. This boy that I am now madly in love with was rock during this time. He was the only one I felt like I could open up to, because he wasn't a member of the LDS church. He was the only one who seemed to be able to strip away all the religion crap, and see me and how I was truly feeling. It felt so nice to finally be able to open up, and get all my feelings and thoughts out there. My thoughts of not wanting to serve a mission, and wanting to take this time of mine that I had to educate myself by going to school, and traveling the world. He could see the real me.
I can still remember the conversation I had with him. It was a warm August day, and I was sitting outside on my back patio. I had a chair facing the house, and I was running my fingers through the cracks of the brick trying to make sense of it all. We had been texting back and forth, and on this particular day I was just completely done. I didn't want to fake it anymore, but I was so scared of what everyone would think of me. I was scared my family would be angry, and that everyone would look at me different afterward. I just felt completely lost, and I had no idea what to do.
This is where my crossroads happened. This Zachary of mine sent me a combination of words that completely changed everything. These words made me stand up for myself, and take charge of my life. Obviously I don't remember the entire text (it was a long one), but he basically told me that this life of mine, it is MY life. I have the ability to make my own decisions. No one else has control over my decisions. I need to go after my goals and dreams, and what I believe in. You can't live your life being scared of what everyone else will think. This life of ours is ours to live, and we were given the agency to make our own decisions, and we have the ability to choose for ourselves.
When I look back at it now, these words are so simple. Of course we have the ability to make our own decisions! But before that day I had been so concerned with making everyone else happy. I lived my life scared of what people would think of my decisions, and I always tried to mold my decisions around everyone else's happiness. These words have completely changed my life. They helped me to be bold, and to sit down and figure out what I wanted, and what would make me truly happy. I know how selfish all this sounds, but really, there is no other time in my life where I will get to be a little selfish. This time is my time, and I don't want to waste it on doing things that don't make me happy.
Since this crossroads in my life, I have been so much happier. I am lucky enough to still have this Zac of mine right by my side to always remind me of it. I finally have taken charge of my own life, and I don't know where I would be without those simple combination of words sent to me through a silly text message that August afternoon. And for that, I will always be grateful.