Friday, April 22, 2011

Choose Your Own Housing Adventure

This apartment hunting is really stressing me out. Yes, there are plenty of options available, but its finding a long-term place big enough for a growing family, staying within the ward boundaries because I've made so many dear friends already, and staying within our budget. And sorry to make demands, but a washer/dryer is a huge priority! OH and finding something deleaded, but everything here is more than 150 years old.
For every 25 calls and emails I make inquiring about such apartments, I only get 1 or 2 responses because things are going so quickly. Even working with realtors, I find myself making appointments at 11pm, to have the listing sold before I get there in the morning. Its feels like a full-time job.
Its hard to decide whether we should move out asap so we're not in a bind when our place does sell, or if we should not look into anything and stay as long as possible, then freak out when we're given the 60 days. Wow, there are SO many aspects to picking out a home, and I worry about the consequences of each decision and don't want to regret moving my family into a bad place.
I keep thinking of a post I wrote more than 2 1/2 years ago that my brother pointed out to me. I pulled it up and realized how much I liked it and think its relavent to a lot of us.
Choose Your Own Adventure
I'm a big fan of "Choose Your Own Adventure" books. I could direct you to the wall of them at the local library. Lately, I can't help but make another analogy of how life is our own "Choose Your Own...", where we are the protagonist, making the choices that determine one of so many options in the end. In these books, at the end of every page, you have to make a choice, each option telling you what page to turn to next. You keep making choices, keep jumping to other pages, and eventually end up at one of typically 40 different endings--some rewarding, satisfactory, some death.
So God hands us the book and says, "Here, see what you make of it". Its our book, we're turning the pages, calling the shots. We'll always have our agency, the choice is always ours. We can read it how we like, but realize that its all about the sequence of events. If you skip a page, some critical element of your story dissapears and suddenly you've lost the direction of where to go next! If we read it the way WE think it should go, it doesn't make any sense! If you want to make God laugh, tell him YOUR plans!
I think we're meant to enjoy the book along the way. We've all read and hated classic novels from high school English class, or college physics textbooks, but I think that this is one not meant to be skimmed. There's a lot to learn on every page, to take time and enjoy the story! Its your life. Stop thinking "I'll be happy when I get to page 88", "I'll be happy when I'm out of school". Learn to be happy on the page you're on, Camille! Choices are stressful, yes? When we get to that part:
If you decide to start back home, turn to page 34. If you decide to wait, turn to page 95. start to get nervous! Don't we all feel that way at one point or another, that this ONE decision will set us on a plot line we never wanted? "If I don't study, I'll fail this test, I've lost my scholarship, and I'll have to drop out of school", "If I walk away from this relationship now, I'll never know if it couldn't worked in the end". And they usually aren't easy decisions, are they? If it was an obvious choice, there'd be no question, and everyone would end up with the same exact story. It's not always choosing between good and bad. Lots of times its between good and good, and we base our decisions on what we think would make us the happiest. And when a decision doesn't bring us happiness, we think it was the wrong one, but maybe those decisions are the ones that will lead us to a greater joy. One course will bring us the greatest happiness.
We may never know the many options that lie on the number of pages that unfortunately and fortunately will never be read. We think about that all the time, don't we? "I wonder where I would be if I wasn't a member of this Church", "What would I be doing tonight if we had never met?" I bet while you're on page 25, its hard to imagine what the end looks like. Even if we could read the endings first, and see what page we'd like to end on, we still would have no idea how to get there. Its supposed to be that way.
God wrote it, he knows what's on every page. And He wants us to choose the best-case-scenario, don't you? Maybe that one designed plotline was meant to be longer than others, include certain pages that no one else reads, send you in some direction you never thought it would.
In some way, we can't write our own story. It's already written. But we can choose our own adventure!

1 comment:

Diana said...

This is so true! I was actually thinking recently about this very thing. When i was choosing a college, it was between BYU and BYU-I. And I chose BYU. I was thinking how different my life would be right now if I'd chosen BYU-I. Where would I be? I probably would never have met Marc. My life would be totally different. And all because of one little choice.