Sunday, April 17, 2016

A New Chapter

Summer and I have been watching this semi-dumb but surprisingly likeable TV show, Hart of Dixie. You follow the lives of several characters in a small southern town. We just finished the last season last night, and I'm surprisingly suffering post-show depression. They wrapped it up very nicely. All the characters found their "happily ever afters" and ended in a chorus of song. What made it so beautiful was that every character went through many failures and made many mistakes on their path towards their "happily ever after".

When I came home off my mission, I had just given two years of my life to the Lord, and I was excited to start focusing on me and my goals. My mission was a very positive experience that blessed me with great social skills, and the drive to set and accomplish goals. Even though I had no college degree, no girlfriend, no job, no money, and no car, I knew that I had a great future ahead of me because there was nothing that I couldn't accomplish. I'd almost describe it as a "life high".

We went to Tahiti for 4 weeks, after 3 weeks of being home. While it was amazing experience to reconnect with a beautiful land and an amazing family that I hardly knew, I wanted to get home to start living my short-term and long term goals. I think that my parents were confused as to why I'd want to go back home, but it made sense to me at the time. On the way home from that trip, I mapped out my entire life and decided what I wanted to do, be, and accomplish.

I a list of 3 - 5 year long term goals.

  1. Get my Computer Science degree, and possibly get my master's at Stanford.
  2. Be out of debt, and start investing money.
  3. Become a great musician
  4. Get in really good shape. I was already in good shape, I just wanted to step it up even more.
  5. I wanted to find the perfect girl and get married.
  6. Be educated, speak several languages
  7. Be a spiritual giant

Then I created sub-goals, and daily habits that I would need to practice to achieve these goals. I thought that I had to live this perfect life, not making any mistakes to achieve my happily ever after. I did really good the first year. I got a 3.87 at school, I had no debt, I started a band, I worked out everyday, I ate good foods everyday, I spoke Spanish and French fluently, and I was learning Portuguese, and I felt very close to my Heavenly Father. I had a fun part-time job.

These were to be my main goals during the "Student Phase" of my life. Things changed. Mistakes were made. Priorities shifted along the way. I was lucky enough to marry the girl of my dreams, have a great part-time high paying internship, maintain a band, among other things. While I've certainly fallen off the path of perfection, I've always took comfort in knowing that I'm steadily advancing towards my BS in CS degree.

 But, these past 4 years, I've felt as Jack Sparrow in the opening scene for Pirates of the Caribbean, where his sights were set towards the dock, as his ship was slowly sinking. I feel as though my life is the ship that is sinking, and the dock is University Graduation Day. I've concentrated on that point so much, that it scares me a little to reach it. I'm about to drop the ring into the depths of volcano of Mordor, but what happens after? Who is the person I want to be? How will I write the next chapter of my life? What will be the next big quest? Those are questions I'm contemplating as I'm about to graduate.

I'm immensely grateful for everybody whose gotten me to this point. My loving wife, who lets me do homework, my family whose been supportive of me every step of the way, my friends who were positive influences and great examples, and Heavenly Father, who has given me the strength, and knowledge to reach this point. I was petrified of Math when I first started my degree. I know now that it must have been the Angel of Calculus inspiring me to get all the way through Calculus 3.

I will post about my new goals in a following post as I think about them.