Wednesday, February 21, 2007

My Life Monday - Late again

I'm sorry I am late in getting this up. Life has been busy and with a three day weekend, I lose all track of time.

I've had several growing experiences, like most of us. I've talked about some before such as infertility to a degree. Today I want to focus on one as a teenager which shaped much of my religious and personal beliefs and I feel, to a degree, shaped my future.
When a junior in high school, I had two sets of friends. One was my really good LDS friends who shared my same beliefs. The other were good people, but ones who liked to drink and such. I got involved with the second group because my on-again off-again boyfriend of the time liked to party and I wanted to be with him. I felt I was walking the fine line of both groups pretty well.

Although I never drank at parties, I went to drive my friends home safely. And although I was seen at parties, I was sure everybody knew I was still a good girl who lived her religious values.

As time went on, the line between my two lives became blurrier. As a result, I wasn't sure which way to go anymore with my life. I felt I had to make a decision - stay with my friends who were good people, but not living the best lives, or stay with my friends who shared my convictions.

In February of my junior year, something happened which compelled me to make a choice. While out skiing one weekend, a friend of mine was in a skiing accident and lost his life. I had my grandpa die before this, but had never been touched by the death of a peer until this moment. His death made me realize how fragile life can be. I realized I could die at any moment too and I questioned what sort of life, and person, I wanted to be. What kind of legacy did I want to leave behind? What kind of person did I want to be remebered as?

I decided I had to cut it off with my partying friends. While good people, that was not the lifestyle I wanted for myself. No matter how many times I told myself I was being a good friend by driving them home or that it didn't rub off on me, I wasn't being true to myself and what I held dear. I wanted to be known as a person of strong beliefs, who stands up for those beliefs. So I stopped spending time with those friends in order to become the person I wanted to be.

It was a very hard thing to do. My LDS friends welcomed me back with open arms, but there were a lot of shadows of doubt. My old friends couldn't understand my reasoning. And I had a hard time breaking away from the on-again, off-again boyfriend.

It took a year to recover from the choices I made, to recover my image, and the trust of many people. I still miss those old friends and wonder if I handled it in the right way. They were good people, but not the kind of life I wanted to live. I often think of those friends and would like to explain myself to them now when maybe we could see more clearly the reasons.

This experience was growing in that after this, I always chose friends who believed what I did and encouraged me to be a better person. I never again questioned my religious convictions (well, up to the infertility I should say, which questioned them in a different way). It really shaped my future and I believe my life has been forever changed by that decision all those years ago.

Share your link below if you participated, even if it's late. Next week's topic (and I will be on time with it) - Food likes and dislikes. I want to hear about all the strange things you either really love or really hate.


Unknown said...

I was late too. Monday's are hard.;)

Dawnyel said...

I couldn't think of something to write about on this topic...maybe next week will be easier! :)
I admire what you did. If someone paid me there's NO way I'd go back to being a teen-ager! Even tho I had a pretty good childhood, being a teen sucked!!

Unknown said...

I liked this topic, I just didn't get it done this week, maybe next week with the new topic.
I had my feet in church life and the world as a teenager and into my early 20's. I finally planted both feet in the gospel at age 22 when I met my husband. It was the best decision I have made! I'm glad you made the same good decision :-)

J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J. said...

I left that other comment but i didn't proof read it well. My best friend in middle school had to make the same choice in terms of friends. But she chose opposite. I didn't recongnize what happened back then, b/c it was a little at a time. We just drifted apart until we didn't talk or hang out at all. I no longer had a best friend. I moved on until we ran into each other in college. She had alot of struggles b/c of her earlier choice and was very unhappy. Now, we still talk occassionally. She is doing much better since she has chosen to come back to her childhood teachings and values.

Lee said...

Wow that is a lot like my HS. But I hung out with them until I graduated. But I totally get you. Going to UVSC and institute was the best thing for me. Great post!

Melzie said...

I think that whatever choice someone makes in this regard is the right choice- because it's theirs. I had the same group- only the church friends were very, very minimal. 99% of my friends were nonmembers- and I cherish that, greatly. Yes, I had friends who drank, people I drove home and such. But, now, looking back, I had such grand opportunities with each of them- and today still do.

Don't second guess your choice, I don't second guess mine. Each leads us in a path that got us where we are. And for that, we should all be greatful. :)

Mimo- JenK said...

Hi, I found your blog through Lee's, and just wanted to say I really like it. Enjoyed reading it, I like the way you write. :) Have a good week!