Growing up, I sort of always believed that I'd be married before I graduated college. That's kind of the thing with Mormons, you know, getting married young. Marriage and family are things we focus on a lot. So, many church lessons are on how to be a good mom when you grow up, how to date, what to look for when you're dating, etc. Obviously those are all good things, but somehow I let it stick in my mind that that was my only goal in life. I went to college because a- it was something to do while I waited to find Mr. Right, and b- it was what I was supposed to do; be educated so I could help my future children.
During college, I fell in love with design and photography. I thought, "this is perfect, these are totally 'mom jobs' that I can do from home when I have my children." Then, I got more into blogging and I thought "yes! another 'mom job', this will be great." And I continued to plan everything around that one goal of being married with a family by the time I graduated.
Now, it's not that having a family is not a good goal. It absolutely is. The problem came when I graduated and I wasn't married and suddenly I had zero plans for my life. See, when you're married already and you graduate, you just have children. That's the "cookie cutter" plan that I had for my life. But, life doesn't often turn out the "cookie cutter" way you imagined it should be.
Suddenly, I had to either find someone to arrange a marriage for me, or I had to pick some other goals for my life. During my last week of classes, it suddenly hit me that I did not want to have a career in corporate PR. So, good thing I was about to graduate with a PR degree, right? No husband, no desire to do PR, and no idea where I was going in life.
I remember one night, I was at my parent's house for the weekend and I just curled up on my princess bed and sobbed. I cried and cried and waited for someone to come find me. (Which is exactly what I did when I was four years old and I had a bad dream.) Finally my mom came in and asked if I was okay. I said, "No. Everything is wrong. I don't want to graduate, I don't want to have a job, I don't love any boys, I want to be a camp counselor forever, I don't want a big girl job, I don't want to grow up, I don't know how to do this, and I don't have any money."
Letting it all out helped. Then my dad broke my heart by making me realize that I couldn't just wait around for my knight in shining armor to show up and save me from the awful disaster that was graduating college. I needed a plan. I needed other desires and new goals.
So, I asked God who I was supposed to be and where He wanted me. The only thing I knew without a doubt was that I was supposed to stay in Logan and that I needed to make a choice that would allow me to pay off my student loans. After the semester ended, I started applying for any and every job that I didn't think I would hate up here in Logan. One day, the stars kind of aligned.
The short version of the story is that I sent my resume in for a secretarial position at a real estate brokerage, I had the right connections and happened to talk to those connections at the exact right time, and I got the job. It was the hugest blessing. It was scary, but I knew it was where I was supposed to be. I went in with an attitude of "I'll work here and pay off my student loans and then I'll find a husband and I'll quit." Then, over time I fell in love with the company and the incredible people I work with and I learned to be okay with a 40 hour a week job. I realized that maybe having a career wouldn't be so bad.
Every so often I would get an itch to get out of Logan or try a new job. So, I applied for a billion jobs outside of Logan, never heard from any of them, and just as I would convince myself that I was ready to move out of Logan, something would happen to say, "Actually, Logan is still where you're supposed to be. You love it here, this is right." So, I'd stay and be happy for a couple months more and then I'd go through the whole cycle again.
Through all of this, I started doing a lot more design both at the real estate brokerage and for freelance projects at home. I realized that I could spend eight hours a day in photoshop or indesign and hardly even know that time had passed. I talked to a friend about the potential of starting a business and helped him with ideas for getting customers and he said "Why didn't you go into marketing?" I blogged and blogged and blogged and talked to people about all sorts of cool social media/blogging ideas. And suddenly, I started to figure out what I was passionate about and what I was good at and what I might want out of a career.
Yet, through every potential opportunity that pulled me out of my comfort zone, it was still right to stay at my job. And still right to stay in Logan. Then a couple months ago, I was praying and I just got this feeling that maybe it was time to move on to a new job, but only maybe. And I definitely still needed to be in Logan. (I got called to be Relief Society President in my ward.) I didn't really seek out any new jobs, I just tried to keep an open mind. I love my current job, so I didn't want to give it up for just anything.
Then, last week, my friend texted me and asked me to send her my resume. She said they might have a job opening at the marketing and design firm she works at and asked if we could have lunch on Saturday to chat before she proposed the idea to her boss. At lunch, she asked me about social media, design, photography, and creative writing. Let me rephrase that: At lunch, she described my ideal job to me and said that there was a pretty good chance that I would be a good fit for her company.
On Tuesday, I interviewed and they offered me the job. When I got home from work, I cried for an hour and a half. Not because I didn't know what to do, but because I was completely overwhelmed. I cannot deny that the Lord's hand is directly involved in my life and in this opportunity. And I cannot deny that His hand was involved in everything else that has happened this last year. And I am sad to be leaving my current job.
Props (and 100 points to Gryffindor) to anyone who made it through this entire post. I wanted to have it all documented. If you skimmed through the whole post (I wouldn't blame you) here's the important part: When you turn your life over to the Lord, he blesses you. Always. And it's okay to change your dreams, or add more dreams. It's okay to break out of the cookie cutter ideal you had for yourself and find something way better than you could have imagined. Not everyone gets their dream job handed to them on a silver platter, but we do all get the blessings that the Lord knows we need the most. And for that, I am so grateful.