Graduated from high school, started college two weeks later, had my first roommate – who turned out to be a pathological liar, got my first job (woohoo Mervyn’s) and bought my very own cell phone (that nokia you could switch the faceplates on – don’t act like you don’t remember it).
Then I had my favorite roommate, Amanda (yes, she is who I stole this post idea from) who was not a liar and was clean like me. We lived in Hinckley Hall, I tried to be crazy and carefree, I got put on academic probation, and I rode on the back of motorcycles with no helmet – because everyone knows at 18 nothing bad can happen to you.
I learned I couldn’t successfully work more than 20 hours a week while going to school and having friends.
I decided I was too cool for the dorms, and moved into apartment #107 at King Henry, all by myself again.I found a wonderful boy to date, we fell in love, got in a fight, broke up, had our issues, worked them out, got back together and decided to get married. I got a job as a telemarketer, and then at a jewelry store called Argento – probably still my favorite job to this date. I tried classes from childhood development to computer science to interior design; trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up.
I learned mistakes have consequences.
I got married, moved to Salt Lake, quit going to school, had a baby (4 weeks earlier than expected). I watched Erik go to school and work. We became the apartment managers.
I learned what it’s like to not sleep through the night, and that marriage isn’t perfect, but it sure is fun.
I felt like Erik was too busy and I wasn’t busy enough so I got a part-time job back at Argento, which turned into a full time job. We were sealed in the temple, Mason turned one, we moved back to Orem. I worked while Erik finished school. I had the craziest visiting teaching companion ever.
I learned how much Mason loved his dad and that a one year old can fall down half a flight of concrete stairs and come away without a single scratch.
I found out I was pregnant, attended Erik’s graduation, took my first trip to Hawaii and raised the white flag (I quit my job). We bought a condo in Pleasant Grove, Milo was born, I re-remembered what it was like to not sleep through the night, found out what it’s like to have two kids (wow) and helped start Rudy’s PriceLine Motors.
I learned my husband has the best memory in the whole wide world and faux painting techniques are not where my talent lies.
I started taking trips with Erik to pick up cars and drive them back to sell. We decided to take the step to home ownership, put our condo on the market and sold it to the first couple who walked through. We moved out two weeks before Christmas into my parent’s basement while trying to find a house. I worked for the holidays at Banana Republic (awful commute from my parents, but the best discounts ever). Erik and I stayed in the basement while the kids stayed upstairs. Milo cried at least once every single night –
I learned how to run up two flights of stairs really fast.
We found a house in American Fork and moved in two months later. I got a job at Home Depot because I: a) don’t like staying home and not working, b) they offered insurance to their part-time employees. I watched Erik get sick off and on from March to December. We found the best dog in the history of all dogs and we bought him and changed his name to Marmaduke (it was Rage – totally not fitting).
I learned how to do yard work.
I found out my husband had Leukemia. I didn’t even know what Leukemia was, but it made me cry. I watched Erik go through three rounds of chemo, full body radiation and a bone marrow transplant – then remission. Mason and Milo became the most non-shy children ever. We moved into a hotel downtown, then a condo, then back home to American Fork. I quit my job at Home Depot when Erik went to the hospital. I started a job at Mountain America after we got back home.
I learned how valuable family and friends are to us, how important we were to each other and how much I need prayer.
Erik started getting back into the dealership, I quit my job and we took a trip to New York to pick up a 4Runner – my best birthday ever. By May Erik’s medical news started sounding less happy. In June I heard Erik’s prognosis go from years to months – but in reality he only had days. I watched my husband go from seemingly perfectly healthy to completely helpless in less than a week. Then I made arrangements for and attended his funeral. I was lost and confused and sad all the time.
I decided to try running away for a couple weeks, and hopped a plane to England. While there I attended a singles ward – where I heard someone quote President Hinckley saying something about how we need to seek all the education we can get. I decided then and there that I needed to go back to school – and I needed to go back real deal. I came home and applied. And I dyed my hair black.
I learned the value of a good friend.
I started school. I applied for Graphic Design: fail. I applied for Advertising: pass. I took trips to LA and New York, and even a road trip with just Mason and Milo all the way to San Diego. I found out that leaving town makes me happy and is my form of anti-depressant. I got angry, sad and confused – but found happiness and peace and faith.
I learned that school plus kids plus life really stresses me out, I am an emotional merry-go-round, I like my hair long, I despise laundry, my house survives with crumbs on the floor, and that sometimes it’s ok to ask for help (so I’m told).
Maybe in 2010 I will learn how to successfully juggle school and children and a clean house. Maybe I’ll also find out where I fit in society as an undergrad studying, single, 27 year old mother of two. Or maybe I’ll learn what it’s like to be a normal girl and how to handle normal boys (big ones, not my children). Probably none of the above – but one can always hope!
“Always think of what you have to do as easy and it will become so.” – Emile Coue