What’s on my mind lately
Nothing too profound this time around, just a little update for my dedicated blog-readers out there (I appreciate your loyalty, too!).
1) Grad school is so expensive! Counting up the costs and then determining how much money I’m going to need to borrow is stressing me out, especially because a good portion of what I’ll be borrowing will be unsubsidized loans, which accrue interest while I’m actually in school. Paying for interest while still in school! At the risk of sounding like yet another entitlement-expecting Generation Y-er, I have to ask myself, is this still America?
2) Related to #1 is this: in the long term, how will I become financially and intellectually independent? If possible (and I believe it is), I want to develop some sort of idea or expertise which will allow me to enjoy a high degree of independence. This is definitely a long-term goal, and in the short term I expect to put in a number of years working for the man for the sake of gaining experience and some measure of financial stability for myself and my theoretical family. Finance and energy seem to be promising areas which I will probably look into.
3) Speaking of theoretical families, the proper pursuit of ladies is a near-constant topic of inquiry for me. Recently, one of my best DC friends got engaged, and naturally it has gotten me thinking about my current and potential relationships with the fine Bryce-aged ladies of the DC area. Of course, even if my friend weren’t getting married, I’d still probably be thinking about this. However, his progression towards marriage has made my own future marriage seem more urgent and, thankfully, more possible!
One thing in particular I’ve been thinking about relationships lately is how crucial open and clear communication is. I think it would be an exaggeration to say that communication is the most important part of a relationship, but it definitely is a crucial component. Reflecting on certain of the very attractive (and I mean that in all senses of the word – certainly the physical, but also the spiritual, intellectual, social, and emotional) ladies I have met out here and the reasons why I have not moved forward with any of them, I recognize that communication issues offer much explanation. Ultimately, I do think principles such as sacrifice, service, humility, patience, faith and, of course, love are the most critical for the success of dating and marriage relationships. However, if the goal of a marriage is to become absolutely unified as one in righteousness, and I wholeheartedly affirm that it is, then communicating well with each other seems to be fundamental to such a noble endeavor as well. There are, as I see it, different communication styles largely intertwined with personality types, and a mismatch of communication styles between two otherwise excellent people is, sadly, unlikely to lead to a positive outcome.
I have also been wrapping my mind around the idea that my expectations for my future companion are probably too high and unrealistic. This is, I believe, where principles such as patience, sacrifice and love come in. For, to reference President Kimball’s very wise insight, although us single people will rightly seek out a person with whom life can be most compatible and beautiful, it is nevertheless true that marital happiness and success is ultimately a matter of what price each person is willing to pay for it. In other words, there ain’t no free lunch when it comes to marriage, either. Being such a high-minded idealist, I have historically had very high expectations of my future wife. While I am not about to completely throw these ideals out just yet, I am willing to re-evaluate them, especially in light of my current dating options. And I am also becoming more comfortable with the idea that, let’s face it, I will never, ever find that perfect person, and I should expect that I will need to patiently adapt to whomever I do marry (and of course, she will have plenty of that to do in regards to me). Really, I just need to find someone who is very good inside (outside, too) and is a good match for me. The perfection part comes much, much later.
Hm. I didn’t intend to write as much as I did for #3, but perhaps some of you will consider such abundance of thought on marriage encouraging for my future 😉