#1: It Will All Work Out/Hold on Loosely to Your Plans
It's really ironic that I even put this as a life lesson, because JUST yesterday I was FREAKING out about my life. However, today, as I was talking with a student who was worrying about the future, I was telling her my own history, and how every year of college was something that I could have NEVER foreseen. I fell into Residence Life every year by happenstance. I fell into Sociology. I didn't even know what Res Life or Sociology was. I was committed to staying 4 years in college--I ended up staying 5. I was hell bent on going to APU in California--I ended up in Seattle and had the happiest 5 years of my life. Things work out. I just have to believe that right now :)
#2: Friends Are Essential
I realized that the darkest periods of my life were the ones that I didn't have close friends nearby. Middle School was hard--no friends. Half of high school was really hard. College=best years ever. The few times I branched out in college where I was completely without anyone were fairly unenjoyable. For me, happiness=friends and family. It's just that simple. I remember sitting in Costa Rica watching this movie about this guy who goes and lives in the wilderness and dies alone. Something with Wild in the title...and it's really escaping me what the movie is called. And it's bugging me. IMDB time. ANYWAYS, I remember a particular quote from the movie--"Happiness is only real if shared." And that moment struck me in such a way that it's still vivid to me to this day. I need my home base, I need a network--it's just how I was created. I cannot be alone.
#3. Don't Watch too Much Law and Order: SVU--No matter how much you may love it
You will start looking over your shoulder in parking lots and thinking someone is coming after you when you sleep alone at night. Creepy. OK, that's not a REAL "life" lesson, but a valid one nonetheless.
#3a: Love is Not the End All Be All.
I believed this myth for a long time. And then I became a sociology major. Sociologists as people enjoy love (it's just a really bad variable). But I realized more and more that love is not IT--and believe me that's about all I thought about for my first 3 years of college until I found sociology (for real!). I thought that love would "fix" me--that it would validate me, be euphoric and amazing and everything I'd ever dream. W-R-O-N-G. The more and more I think about it, the more difficult marriage seems and I want it less and less. I realize this goes against the grain of most Christian culture, which thrives on really early first age at marriage. But once I was intellectually stimulated and found my passion in life and had a goal, it seemed that all this love stuff didn't seem quite so important. There are days I will be happy to be married, and days I'll wake up happy being single. There are hard days and happy days in both worlds. I have made the decision that I will be happy no matter what. And it feels good--and freeing. Again, it's not that I think love is BAD or SILLY by any means--but I WILL be content no matter what.
Well. More to come.