Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Unsent Letter

Good Morning Beautiful,

I thought you should know how much I love and appreciate you.  I thought you should know that I knew from the first moment that I saw you smile that I would do everything in my power to make you happy.  I fell in love with that smile and even though I know we have our differences and that you are far from perfect, you might not know that is exactly why I love you.  I don't care about all of those little things you do because they make you who you are and it makes me happy.  You complete me.  At times we are so similar that we may feel like the same person, a reflection of everything that we are.  But there are those times too that I see in you everything that I want to be.

I want you to know that you make me want to be a better man.  There was a time once where I thought that love was this unattainable thing and that the stories of chivalry, romance, and happy endings were all dead.  That I was never good enough for the kind of person that I really loved and that I would end up settling for something less. But I realized that this isn't the case but it is a choice.  There are definite aspects of respect and mutuality when it comes to physical affection and emotional commitment, however there was one lesson I had to learn the hard way and that was that you cannot for the life of you make anyone fall in love with you.  Love is utterly and completely something that has to be given to you and it can not be earned.

We think about the Savior and His sacrifice and we realize that we did nothing to deserve it and there was no way for us to pay Him back.  All He asks is that we be our best and try to serve and love the people around us.  I could not have done anything to deserve you.  There is no way for me to repay the debt that I owe you for the love you have shown to me.  And the only thing I ask is that you let me serve you and love you for all of my days and my nights and even after my last dying breath.

I trust you.  I trust you with my heart, my dreams, my love, my future, my family.  I trust you with everything that I am and hope to be and I will do anything to make sure that I never give you reason to doubt me.  I hope you realize now how much I love you and how much I need you.  I could not keep going on if it was not for you.  I need you in my life.  You are like the air I breath and the sunshine on my skin.  You give meaning and purpose to living and the covenants that I keep and the covenants that I hope to make.

With all the love that I possess...

I have yet to meet this woman.  If I do know her than I don't know her well enough because I have yet to recognize any sign of mutual interest.   But with enough patience and continuing faith, I will find someone that I can be ready to give this to.  For now, I keep holding out for a dream and hopefully a reality.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Dynamics of Dating

I think I may currently be in one of the most interesting Marriage Prep classes available.  My professor is as to the point and straight up as can be and yet he is funny, respectful, and understands that you can't make everyone happy so he probably will offend at least a few people in his class.  In fact, if he doesn't I don't think he is doing his job correctly.  When we talked about marital intimacy he said straight out that the best metaphor for talking about intimacy is no metaphor. He made it extremely clear that there is a fragmentation of intimacy when society tries to separate the physical from the spiritual, emotional, and relational aspects of intimacy.  I love this guy!  The amount of posts I could give from his lectures would be weekly occurrences but honestly a recent class discussion struck a real chord with me.

The discussion was about how society looks at cohabitation as a means of "test driving" a relationship before going into marriage.  Whatever the reasoning behind this, the methodology is a hundred percent false.  Marriage is absolutely nothing like cohabitation.  Cohabitation means you don't have to deal with in-laws, family, kids, and you keep your independence when it comes to time, money, and in the end you are not locked into the relationship.  If you don't like it, then you can leave at any time and move out without any real repercussions.  Marriage has none of that.  Why else would a man who is cohabiting respond the way that he does when asked... "You have been living together for years.  Why don't you just marry her?"  "Woah!  Did she ask you to ask me that?  Marriage?  I don't know."  If we were to carry on the "test driving" analogy, cohabiting is like test driving a SUV but after signing the paperwork having the dealer pull around a Sedan.  Honestly, they are nothing alike.  Here is where the comment comes into play and how this whole thing applied to dating.

Cohabitation is a "Just in case..." type of relationship. Now, let us look at that.  I know plenty of girls who say that very same thing as they are going on dates with two... three... six different guys.  Maybe the reason why I struggle so much in dating in Utah and more specifically Provo is because women (and I am sure men are not excused either) do not commit.  If you are dating multiple people and can't seem to find a fulfilling or meaningful relationship out of any of them, it is possible it is because you are emotionally cohabiting and until you are willing to commit to one person and truly give it your all, you won't find that kind of relationship.  Satan  frees us to bind us in our choices and God asks us to commit so we can be free.

There is a girl who I really like right now that I would be willing to commit to a hundred percent but I have no idea how she feels.  Well if nothing else, I guess that is a red flag that either she is shy or the feelings are not mutual.  But the point is that I would be perfectly willing to clear the table for this girl.  Still, I sat there the other day and thought to myself, "I am better than this.  I don't need to sit here and wait for her to make up her mind.  I am not going to wait for a girl that doesn't want me.  There is no point."  So what did I end up doing?  Before the week was out I had four dates with four new and different girls planned for the next week.  I can respect a girl who works or has a lot that she has to do for school and who dates a lot.  It doesn't bother me at all... AS LONG AS she is willing to commit to making time for me.  A girl like that is driven, has a sense of direction, a strong work ethic, has goals, and is clearly sought after.  Why wouldn't I want to date a woman like that?  However the key is that everyone can make time for someone else if they are truly interested.  When someone says they are too busy or aren't able to commit... red flag.  Aren't and won't are fundamentally different things so don't try to confuse them.

Will I still hold out and see what that girl I am crushing on chooses to do?  Absolutely.  I don't know where she is at and until we have a conversation where I can tell her how I feel and see how she is feeling, there is no reason to jump to conclusions or (socially) jump off a cliff.  Still, the point I am trying to make in all of this is the "Just in case" relationship is not a relationship at all.  Just like intimacy without commitment is the most frightening and emotionally painful situation that I could ever imagine... This person who is touching your body and creating a bond with you body and soul... Will he/she be here tomorrow?  Do they really love you?  Do they care emotionally?  How beautiful a feeling it would be to be in a relationship where none of those thoughts and fears existed but that moment was experienced in such a way that your whole desire was to share your most intimate feelings and emotions with a person in whom you had complete trust, devotion, and love for.  That same confidence in a marriage relationship can exist even in dating, but not if the dynamic is to date around with someone else there "just in case" things don't work out.  The greatest compliment someone can share is not always saying "I love you" as much as it is for a person to say "I trust you." 

Graduate School Dilemma

This last semester has been an interesting one as I was waiting to figure out more of my future.  I am still not entirely sure but here is one thing that is starting to come together for once: graduate school.  I flew to Carnegie Mellon this year to check out their MSBTM program which would combine my interests of business and engineering into one degree but after going out there for a visit, I realized that it just wasn't the best fit for me.  Since then, I looked at the financial implications of going to somewhere like Berkley or Stanford and those were just going to be too far out of my price range just to purchase a brand name to put on my diploma.  This left me with two more options: BYU and University of Utah.

My Christmas break then consisted of applying to both schools for their dual master's programs.  I want to get both a MBA as well as a Master's in Engineering.  As I have been looking into both schools, they have plenty of great things to offer but since finishing my application, it has been amazing to see how they have responded.  I quite literally have gotten nothing back from BYU.  The school I currently attend has let me know nothing.  Meanwhile, I am here on the University of Utah's campus in a Guest House Suite, a full day of pampering and presentations under my belt on how amazing the MBA program is here, and tomorrow I am being treated to a day of skiing at The Canyons Resort in Park City.  I also got notification today that I have also been accepted by their Master's in Mechanical Engineering program as well.  Before I make any decisions, I will still be patient and see what BYU chooses to do but I have to say that with the offers and acceptances I have gotten from Utah, my alma mater has a serious job ahead of me if they want me to stay.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Anonymous Letters

Conversation... I think it is a lost art nowadays when there is texting and Facebook and Instant Messaging.  You don't even have to come up with what you want to say by yourself.  You can have all of your friends write what you "said" for you.  Honestly, I think it is a tad sad.  Is it completely a bad thing?  I am not sure.  Dating has disappeared into hanging out.  Commitment has gone from a fear and turned into just being unusual.  However, the written word hasn't completely lost its savor.

If there is one thing I still like to do it is write my emotions down in a way to capture them.  When I was in my last relationship, my girlfriend and I would write each other notes and letters.  Didn't matter what the size of them was because it was a message that you could keep and read over and over again whenever things got hard or when life had gotten you down.  So now, I do the same but for perfect strangers.

I think the library is a terrible and productive place at times and so today I had an opportunity to do something both spontaneous and good.  I saw someone else that was studying and when she got up to go who knows where I decided I would use my left over note paper to write her a short anonymous letter.  I hope she keeps that letter and remembers that even a stranger can tell when someone needs an encouraging word or to remember what is truly important.  Sometimes the most important things are the things we are most likely to forget.  What do you want in life?  What are some of the things you want to change in your life and more importantly, what is stopping you?  Who are you?  Ask yourself.  Who am I?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Light The Fire

One of the things that any of my friends nowadays could tell you about me is that if you want an honest opinion, all you have to do is ask me.  I used to be shy back in high school.  I didn't know what to say or how to say it.  I was scared.  Afraid of rejection.  I should have tried to hold onto some of that because now I say whatever I feel.  I want people to know who I am.  If they are going to like me or not like me, at least they will know the real me.  The other thing that is a bit odd though is even though I am definitely more open than most, I know for the most part the boundaries that are naturally in conversation.

I don't like to burn bridges but apparently I thought I was given an opportunity to give a completely honest and blunt opinion on a topic that a friend of mine asked me about.  This isn't the first time this has happened to me but I offended them and here I sit thinking how could something so inconsequential become such a big deal that instead of discussing things and fixing them, it is just better to let go of a friendship.  I can't say that I don't totally understand what I did that was wrong.  I can't say that I don't understand how someone could hold onto a relationship that isn't entirely real or mutual.  An apology that is given won't always be accepted even if it is sincere.  All I can do is try and learn from my mistakes, trust God, and continue to move forward.  Either way, I have to respect how other people will react and what they choose to do.  Waiting for people to come around when they lit the fire to burn the bridge is nothing but completely irrational.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Back To Square One

I think it is interesting to see how things come together.  It has been a while since I have started any new posts and I realized that there are a few things I can really talk about.  I think I have been able to use a few of my spiritual gifts since I moved to my new apartment complex but one has become more obvious lately than others.  I don't know how many times I have felt like I needed to go visit friends at their apartment and I end up staying longer than I planned to because I need to be there to listen to a friend.  I feel grateful that I have people who trust me enough that they can be open with me and talk with me but it is also so sad the things that we go through in life that so many of us feel like we have to carry alone.  Victims who become victimizers.  Lines that are crossed.  And the largest lesson and blessing I have seen that can be sought after is forgiveness.  I know personally how important that is on both sides of the line: needing to forgive and needing to be forgiven.

On a completely unrelated note though, I think I am finally ready.  I am in a marriage prep class right now and as part of that class we had to take a long hard look at whether or not we are ready to be in a committed relationship right now.  I know I still have stuff I need to work on but at the same time, I am ready to start over.  I am ready to have someone that I can share memories with, to love, and to feel like I can trust someone completely and be hundred percent open and confident with.  I want a best friend that I could date.  But until then, I just have to keep focusing on how I can improve and be patient.  I have been on a few fun dates.  I have been exercising a lot.  And I signed up for a relay race that I am going to run in sometime in March with 5 of my friends.  There are a lot of things that are happening and a lot of things which I hope would happen but overall, life is good.
  • I'm making the changes that I need to be in the best place that I can.
  • I have a lot of opportunities that are being put in my lap academically.
  • I need to manage my time better and focus on what is most needful.
It is not that I want to feel like I am starting over.  However, I am not one to stay down.  I will make the best of my situation and see what happens.  I don't feel like I failed but more like one door closed so another could open.  I feel like I have been given another chance.  I just have to wait to see what happens.

Sicker Than a Dog

I was always told that change is the only thing that is constant and that I could rely on in life.  Well to be honest.  Not a whole lot has changed.  I am still sicker than a dog.  I am still waiting to hear the outcome of the majority of my grad school applications.  And I still don't know if I have a job this summer.  Don't even get me started on social or anything else.  I feel like I need an extreme life makeover right now.  I think this might be the illness talking though... Give me a week or two.

Seriously, this seems like it is going to be the easiest semester I will ever have at BYU.  My classes don't appear like they will be terribly difficult.  Right now my biggest obstacle is the weather.  I haven't even finished unpacking my car from the holidays and it has been a week.  My room looks like the wreckage left from a bomb blast.  And my ability to sleep the last couple of days has been limited to a few hours tops from all of my coughing.  In fact the love seat in our front room is more comfortable to sleep in than my own bed because I can actually sleep and breathe at the same time.  Crazy few weeks and it will hopefully be over soon.