A few posts ago I asked what I should write about, and Scott asked:
"If you were not married how do you think your life would differ from how it is now?"
It made me start thinking about my life's path...
I'm happy where I am. Interestingly enough, though, if several years ago, like at the beginning of college, I had been able to see into the future, to see what my life is now, I don't think I would have thought it was going in the right direction, that is, the direction that would make me happiest.
My freshman year one of my chemistry professors had us all write down some goals we had for his class, the year, college, and life in general. I was only half joking when I said, "Graduate from BYU without getting married!" For those of you that aren't in the know, BYU's students tend to get married a lot more than students at other campuses. My thoughts? They really, really want to move past making out, and they're not allowed to unless they're married (not only will they get kicked out of BYU, but they'll go to hell as well). Just a theory.* Anyway, having observed nothing but bad marriages my whole life, I didn't want any part of it. Why would I want to bind myself to someone, just to have them ruin my life? And why would I want to marry someone just to make babies? I just didn't want it. So I dated, because dating's fun, and let's face it, so is making out.
I never thought I would meet someone like Scott. I never even thought someone like Scott could exist. The dating pool at BYU seemed severely limited. I found guys who were good people but had different ideas and values than I did, but nobody was ever good enough. Everyone was too...vanilla. I tried dating a lot of people, but it just didn't stick. It didn't help that guys generally don't like to date girls who are smarter than they are, so a lot of the guys who I would have liked to date weren't even remotely interested in me if they knew that I was a chemistry major.
So marriage wasn't even in my plans.
Academically, I was never quite sure where I would go. My plan was basically to get my degree, and sometime my senior year decide whether I wanted to go to grad school, medical school, or just find a job. Two things basically made this decision for me: figuring out I was bipolar and falling in love with Scott. Figuring out I was bipolar, and FINALLY understanding why I was so sick all the time, made me realize that further schooling just wasn't wise unless it were the only thing I were doing. It wouldn't have been the only thing, either, because I wanted to be with Scott, and I didn't want to half-ass my marriage. I wanted to be there 100%, and I knew that if I continued school, things would just get too busy for us to be working on our marriage constantly, like we are now. It looks like that turned out pretty well, don't you think?
So...back to the original question. If I weren't married, I probably wouldn't have met anyone that I could have married, so I would have continued school. If I had chosen grad school, I probably would have tried to stay at BYU, since I absolutely adored the chemistry department there. I loved the classes, the professors, my jobs, just everything about that building made me feel more like myself than any other place I had been before. If I had stayed there, I would have had to keep going to church to stay enrolled...I'm honestly not sure how that would have gone. For all I know I might have just decided it wasn't worth it and transferred to another university. In that case, it would probably have been a college somewhere in the midwest, since that still felt like home at the time.
If I had chosen medical school, I have absolutely no idea where I would have gone or what I would have specialized in, but I would still be there today, and so I would probably be too busy to do much of anything else.
Either way, I would still be in school.
My life is now something I never thought it would be, but let me tell you, this marriage thing is awesome.
As long as you have the right person.
Which I do.
*Just FYI, I have nothing but respect for the students at BYU who actually follow the Honor Code. I certainly didn't.