Friday, December 03, 2010

Need a Little More than a Sounding Board

I've just been thinking in incoherent thoughts, but this is what I've come up with.

No one in their right minds would allow me to make the sole decisions in their life. Who would give me the right to tell them where to move, where to work, who to be friends with and where to find new friends? How to spend their money! How to spend their time..

No one would do that.

And yet, I have to do it for myself! What a dangerous, horrible thought! I make all the decisions in my life - for better or for worse. I mean, I know that that's the plan. God gave us agency so that we could choose all of those things. Our country is founded on the idea of freedom to choose. But still, sometimes I wish I could turn on the cruise control or let someone else take the wheel for a while.

Don't get me wrong, I value my freedom. I hate being told what to do. Actually, I sort of want someone to tell me what to do, just so I can do the opposite...

But, at this stage in my life, there are a lot of big decisions that need to be made. Things I do now will set the course for the rest of my life. And there is very little room for mistakes...for u-turns. And I'm terrified. It's easier to just keep doing what I'm doing - living my very simple life where I work to make just enough money to scrape by, go home... fill my nights with meaningless activities and then wake up to do it all over again. There's no risk involved.

Except the risk of it being the exact same in 1 - 2 - 5 years. It makes me feel suffocated, and as I'm gasping for a change, I realized something.

It comes from being single. Not solely, of course, but when you're single, everything is for yourself. Yes, you have your freedom to do whatever, but I find that to be a disadvantage sometimes. I need a little more than a sounding board. Because you can discuss the future with your parents or friends. They will listen and spout of advice, and then, in the end: it's still your decision. They can't make you follow their advice. They can't make you set the plan and go for it - actually go for it.

I wonder if married people see the distinct advantage they have by being a part of a couple. The advantage of making joint decisions, where you work to make your partnership better and stronger by doing things that benefit not only yourself, but two people. I feel like the joint dream of two people is much more attainable than a single's. Because then there are two people working together to accomplish it. And aren't we taught that there is strength in numbers? That two heads are better than one? That four hands are better than two?

In the end, I feel utterly lost and alone. And that I have no one to rely on but myself. It's an intimidating challenge being your sole support, anchor and wind.

In my mind, I know I'm not alone. I'm very aware that I have a loving Father in Heaven. But that doesn't shake the daunting feeling. You can have all the cheerleaders you want on the sidelines, but in the end, it's left to you to execute the play to make something happen. Cheerleaders are, basically, useless when it really counts.

That sounds ungrateful...

I am grateful for those cheering for me from the sidelines. I certainly have a huge support system amongst my family and friends who want nothing from me but to be happy and succeed.

But I feel like I'm failing them - you. And I'm failing myself. But I don't know what to do. So I'm going to go to bed, wake up and go to work tomorrow.


  1. I feel your pain, Shelli. Whether we are married or single, the reality is that we still have to work out our own shtuff. You can have a partner and have goals for the marriage, but that doesn't mean they are goals that will fulfill your needs/wants/dreams/life calling.

    It IS hard to figure that stuff out. And, it's easy to think you only have one shot at it, but I've rarely found that to be true. In college, I studied Human Resource Development. I was in the business college and I saw myself being this business professional. While I have certainly worked for businesses, the jobs I have gravitated to over the years, have been those jobs that have allowed me to work independently. I've never worked in my major and I'm completely okay with that. Turns out, I wasn't as big business as I thought.

    We grow, we evolve, we adapt and sometimes we even settle. It's good to figure out what is next, but sometimes, the real goal in life is figure out how to enjoy where you are RIGHT NOW.

    My biggest regrets in life are not the mistakes or missteps or even the misdirections I've followed. My biggest regrets come from not learning how to enjoy the very moment that I'm in and to not live for some imagined future.

    I'm trying to fix that. I'm 46 this month. You'd think I'd have it figured out by now. I'm a slow learner. But I am getting there.

    Taking that next step into the unknown, moving our lives forward and taking risks, those are good things, especially when you feel the blessings of Heavenly Father.

    I've also come to think that Heavenly Father wanted me to be a Seminary teacher so I could learn D&C 58:26-27. I realized that I often wait until I'm compelled.

    As always, thank you for giving me something to think about. I love you!

  2. I really appreciated Suesan's comment... I loved everything she said--it is so true. I think every time in our life has its hard points where we need Heavenly Father's help more than ever. Right now for me it is trying to figure out how to really enjoy and do my best in motherhood. I think you can feel lonely or confused at every stage, single, married, with or without kids, etc. I often feel like "how does Heavenly Father expect ME to be these sweet boys mother??? I have NO IDEA what I'm doing!!!!" And then when it comes to having a spouse, there are innumerable variables that can cause struggles there! No matter how much you love or get along with someone, it is not always easy to be on the same page with them! They can have their ideas and plans for the future, and you can have yours...and sometimes they are hard to fit together! I think the constant through all of this is that no matter what our situation is, we still need to use guidance and help from Heavenly Father. No spouse, friend or family member can guide you to what you need to do in life, better than He can.


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