If there’s one thing I’ve learned from being single, it’s that the grass isn’t always greener in future pastures. I typically have a disdain for clichés, especially those that assume I share behaviors with livestock, but this one describes how I sometimes feel.
Have you ever been in this situation? You’re graduating soon and don’t want to date until you’re done with school. (That’s me.) Or you don’t really love your ward and can’t muster the desire to get involved. (Been there.) Maybe you’re simply not satisfied with the current set of available eligible bachelors/bachelorettes. (Oh, pick me!)
When I’ve been stuck in such a quandary, I’ve found myself longing for an old man sitting upon a mountaintop who could offer sage words of wisdom regarding my dating life. However, since my life is somewhat devoid of old men, at least those who habitually take up residence on the tops of mountains, I decided to consult my parents.
As usual, my parents were founts of irritatingly wise counsel.
My dad gave me that stern look that only fathers can give and told me I was never going to get married if I kept looking at things this way. It’s good to plan for the future, he said, but if we live only in the future, we miss out on the present. (He told me something to that effect. I may have fortune-cookied his words a little bit.)
My mom told me that I needed to stop thinking I’d be happy when some event in the future happened. I needed to be satisfied now with conditions and make the best of where I was.
And so there I found myself. I could continue to disdain everything about my current situation, or I could make the best of it.
Don’t go thinking that this counsel altered my paradigm of life, instantly made me a happier person, and made skipping my normal form of locomotion. Any shift in belief or behavior takes time. I’m still trying to take my parents’ advice. Resolving to live more in the moment, especially when it comes to dating, is one thing, but seeing results is another.
Blooming where I’m planted, as they say, involves serving in my calling, regardless of how high-profile that calling is. It means home teaching the guys in my ward just as diligently as I home teach the girls. It means giving everyone a reasonable shot when picking out people to date. And—this one can be tricky—it means being satisfied with myself and where I am in life while still striving to always improve.
It’s not easy, but at least I’m trying. That, I think, might make all the difference in the end.