No permanent job, no car, no place to live and a quickly approaching wedding—recipe for disaster or adventure?
As I reflect back on the year 2005 I am amazed at how out of control my life was, yet how much it didn’t matter. How is it possible, that a person who craves control as much as me, was able to not only survive but remain calm in such chaos? Was I someone different that year or did life spin so out of control that I had no choice but to just hold on tight to the merry-go-round and hope that I didn’t fall off until the ride was over?
I wish 2016 Megan could talk to 2005 Megan and get some advice on staying calm and having fun amidst the chaos.
As we planned our July 2005 wedding we both lived at our parent’s houses for the previous year saving money. We lived two hours apart and Brian had a full-time job, but not one he wanted to do forever. He had taken the LSAT and was waiting to hear about getting into law school. I spent the year substitute teaching and working at a day care trying to determine if I wanted to pursue a career in teaching. (Spoiler alert—I didn’t.) We didn’t even know where to look for places to live because we didn’t know where we would be in the next 6 months.
We continued planning our wedding, job searching, apartment hunting and car shopping. I forgot to mention that during this time my car had died and I was walking to and from work. I even had to have my brother drive me an hour to meet Brian so we could look at a potential apartment to live in after the wedding.
Brian received his acceptance to law school (and with that acceptance came tens of thousands of dollars in debt – hence our debt snowball journey now), but we knew he couldn’t go if I didn’t have a full-time job. Again, for some unknown reason I really didn’t feel the pressure. We settled on looking for a place to live in the area around the law school in hopes that a job would pan out for me. About a month before the wedding we found a great duplex to rent, we bought a used car and my job searching continued.
We lived on a lot of faith back then. Our new duplex was located only 10 minutes from the law school that he wasn’t sure he was going to attend, but 45 minute from his job at the time, and I still didn’t have a job where we were moving.
Meanwhile the wedding itself was undergoing some chaos too. The florist had a nervous breakdown (literally, I heard her own engagement got called off and she lost it) and our contract was changed on us. My dad was growing fields of sunflowers (my favorite) to take pictures in and to cut some down to be added to bouquets and serve as table centerpieces. Ten days out from the wedding amidst a drought year there were no sunflowers in bloom. Again, miraculously I did not panic. When asked what we would do if the flowers didn’t bloom I simply responded, “I guess there won’t be table centerpieces and the bouquets will not have sunflowers.” I still sit in awe about how absolutely calm I remained about all of it. In the end I knew I was marrying Brian and that’s all that mattered. The rest would work out.
Work out it did. The flowers bloomed just days before the wedding—the pictures looked beautiful, the centerpieces were stunning, and the wedding was amazing. On the way to the resort for our honeymoon I got a call offering me a job I had interviewed for the week before. It had all worked out, no worrying necessary.
So what would 2005 Megan tell 2016 Megan?
- Have faith. God has a plan and it will all work out one way or another.
- Relax, you are way too serious all the time.
- You can worry about things, but worrying will add no time to your life and will in fact take away opportunities for fun.
- Buckle up and enjoy the adventure, it will make for a good story later.
We are taught to value the wise words of those older than us who have years of experience to speak from, and I don’t disagree. However, we should not underestimate the lessons we can learn from both those younger than us and our own younger selves.
Think back 10 years or more. Could your younger self share wise words to the person you are today? What would your younger self say?