Friday, February 28

You Must Live an Awesome, Interesting Life

I woke up at 2:00 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep. I felt like going to the gym and swimming, so I walked across the street and did sprints until my arms gave out, then sat in the steam room until I had trouble breathing. While I swam, there was a girl in the lane next to mine. When I got out of the pool, she did, too, and when I jumped back in after being in the steam room, she left. I got out of the gym and she was standing outside next to the bike rack. I didn't talk to her - I didn't want to come off as flirting at 3:00 in the morning. I wonder if I should have said something. Sometimes God tells me to do things so that I can be there for people who need someone. Most of the time it's not about me or my wants. *sigh* I'm not sure if I was supposed to talk with her or not.

Last night Grace was part of a benefit concert for the South Franklin Center in Provo. I was buying pieces of clothing for group members who couldn't find stuff that matched our dress code (yellow/orange/red with white/tan as accents), and as I checked out the cashier at DI asked me if I had found everything I was looking for.

"I did. I just hope they fit." (Indicating a pair of shoes).
"Well, if they don't, you can bring them back within seven days."
"Yeah. We have a performance tonight, though."
"Oh? For what?"
"I'm in an a cappella group called Grace. We're part of a benefit concert at 7:00 tonight at BYU." (Turn around to show my Grace jacket)
"Wow. You must live an awesome, interesting life. It's really cool that people do that kind of thing."

I wasn't expecting that reply.

I left DI feeling shaken and a bit humbled, but I didn't have a lot of time to reflect. I got to the benefit concert two hours early so that I could set up sound equipment. My donation to the cause: Providing all the sound equipment and doing the live mixing for the concert. It was my first time... but at least every group but Grace was pretty balanced. We didn't have someone to mix us. :/ But people said we sounded good anyway. It was perhaps the most stressful concert I have been to in my life. It was good.

But while I was swimming just now, I found myself thinking about what that cashier said at DI. "You must live an awesome, interesting life." Do I? Is my life really all that different from someone else's? And, if so, how? Why? What does that mean? Is it just that I'm at an interesting part of my life? That she thought it was interesting as a contrast to hers?

My biggest wonder is how that should affect how I live my life... and part of me doesn't want to believe it, but feels obligated to. Because if my life is awesome, and someone else's life isn't, then that brings two meanings: some people don't see the awesomeness in their lives, and it's partly my responsibility to help them find it.

Maybe that's what I was supposed to tell the girl with red hair standing by the bike rack. Maybe she needed to know that life could be interesting and amazing... and just needed to talk with someone.

Or maybe I was just supposed to write about it. I don't know.


  1. Perhaps we can't live our lives on what we are "suppose to" do. W can't live it on shoulds. Partly because that's poor motivation, and partly because often we don't know what we should do. How then do with live? Out of love and trust? What should that look like... back to shoulds. I don't know the answers... should I?

  2. I used to think about what I was "supposed" to do a lot. It made me feel like a constant failure because 1. I was never 100% certain of what I was "supposed" to do, 2. Every time I didn't do what I thought I might be "supposed" to do, I assumed that I had let God down and missed a chance to change someone's life or something similarly dire and 3. I would berate myself for being so incapable and that's just never helpful. Eventually I had a paradigm shift. Instead of looking at life events as "supposed to's" I looked at them as opportunities given to me to see what I could make out of them. I still miss opportunities, but it's ok to try again the next time one comes around. Maybe there was an opportunity to talk to the redhead and maybe something good would have come out of it. Maybe not. You could have done it, but you didn't, for reasons that make sense. It's ok to not stress about it. I don't know if you were "supposed" to write about this experience, but you did and I'm glad I got to read it. It was uplifting to at least 1 person.

  3. Regarding your thoughts about wondering whether you're supposed to do something -- I do that, too. Often I feel like I second guess myself.

    I really liked your comments here about living an interesting life and I enjoyed listening to your contemplation about what makes a life different or more interesting than someone else's.

    Thank you for sharing. It gave a lot to think about in a good way.

  4. I appreciate reading this post. I constantly need reminding to act upon opportunities which are placed before me (I'm shy and am trying to break the habit. I also really needed to read Esther's comment because I see the shift from 'should do' to 'opportunities to do' as an integral one that will ensure we don't beat ourselves up unnecessarily. Thank you both for posting and to the redhead for being at the pool to inspire this conversation.

  5. I've spent so many nights thinking about my missed opportunities. Sometimes I feel prompted to leave comments on blogs like this one, but after I do wonder if it was a mistake and if I just sound like a crazy person. Sometimes I feel prompted to give money to homeless people, but I'm so shy I can't do it. And then there are times when I look back at my life and know that I really did miss an opportunity, and I'm determined to make less of those mistakes now. A friend taught me a new little tip to help with this, at least I feel that it helps me. I ask that Heavenly Father remove all fear, shame and doubt. Then I asked to be filled with his light and love(sometimes I ask for knowledge or guidance too). Then I focus and ask him a the question I need an answer to.

    I also believe that if we don't learn what we came down here to learn we will keep ending up in the same situation until we do learn. Not always comforting, but I guess it helps in some ways. I'm definitely trying to learn my lessons now so I don't have to make a repeat of my experiences.

    P.S. You must have a pretty amazing and interesting life. After all look at all the readers that come to your blog to read about it :).

  6. There's so much to think about. We have a great deal of capacity to influence our fellowmen, but I agree with the comment made about not "berating yourself or missing the supposed to's"

    This blog and a great many parts of your character constitute your interesting life... there is an obligation to lift people, as you so much desire to do. Embrace it! Don't regret it.. though there's a great deal of complication to go with the "interesting". Tonight I'm admonishing myself as well. Capacity is a unique burden to carry, but the Lord will teach us how to accomplish beautiful things to further his Kingdom and we will almost inadvertently grow to become like Him. :)


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