Monday, August 29, 2011

i guess we always have hope

At various times in my life I have always wanted just a little glimpse into the future.

I wanted just a glimpse to help me in my decisions. But my present day, the one I am living in 2011, was once just the future of a starry eyed freshman. And for all the good that has happened in my life, I am grateful Jenette of freshman year at Utah State wasn't able to see Jenette of today.

Tonight, as I breezed past Moen Hall in just a few seconds, I remembered that freshman year at Utah State . It was a turning point in life. Previously, life had generally been dictated by the decisions of others--where to move, what food was around, where to go on vacation, etc. Moving away meant decisions became mine, for better or worse. From that day forward, it was up to me to decide. The decisions of others still played a role, often very important ones, but I could always process the results of those decisions knowing that someone had made a decision.

Since then life has always fallen into those two categories of decisions--decisions of others and my own decisions. Often decisions of other have hurt me. Sometimes my own decisions prove to be devastating. Other times I make good decisions and life turns out wonderfully. And often, the decisions of others have blessed my life immensely. It has always been about managing those choices I make and those made around me.

But there is also an option I hadn't thought much about...things that happen that no one decides. They happen through God, or the universe, or mother nature, or the human body, or science--what have you. When these things happen, it is hard to know how to proceed, and I find myself wishing I could see into the future. But in the moment I wish for that, I know I don't want it to come true.

On one hand, I think freshman Jenette would have gained a lot of confidence knowing that she would find a career she loves, go to grad school, live in Washington, DC for a short time, and work at an incredible Museum. Seeing into the future would have been a confidence booster. But on the flip side, if I could see the things in the future that aren't so positive, the sickness and heartbreak, I would be devastated. Knowing such things were ahead, how could I have even moved forward with any confidence?

And that leaves us with hope. Because even in the midst of heart breaking sadness, we can hold on to hope. Maybe the future is going to be no more brighter than it is at the darkest moment, but the hope that perhaps it could be bright again gives us some strength. And when things then turn out better than we could have ever imagined, what amazing joy we can feel. And if things don't turn out how we would have hoped, we can look to the past, knowing we had strength once before, and look to the future, again, with hope.

Monday, April 25, 2011

transition times (with the option of hope)

As a history nut, the past fascinates me. Unfortunately, I also can get a little obsessed with it as well (generally this happens with my own past). As I have begun to feel more comfortable with my new job, I have found the fun in getting to know the past of Park City. And how I wish I could have seen those days! Don't get me wrong, Park City of today is a fun little place to play, but I really wish I could have seen it then. The booming mine town. The early days of skiing. Saloons. Red Light District. What's not to love?! But lately I have wanted to see the Park City of the 1950s and 60s. Probably not the most exciting time in the towns history, needless to say. Some called it a "ghost town." Mining still happened, but was not the glory days it had been. Skiing hadn't taken off. It was the transition time. If you have been to Park City today, you know the quaint ski resort town with fun Main Street, teeming with restaurants, galleries, and bars and mountainsides of outdoor fun. Goggle it, if you haven't been there, and you will see a resort town dream. But at the Museum, we have some great pictures of a dilapidated, run down Park City, where paint is peeling off buildings and you can almost picture a tumbleweed rolling down the road. This is the Park City I am currently obsessed with.

Maybe I'm obsessed with this time because things were so uncertain there in Park City. It could have become another random ghost town. No one knew the future--they knew the snow was good, but they couldn't have seen the resort town it is today. Lots of people moved. Some stayed. And Park City was eventually reborn. My life is going through a transition too. It has finally hit me that I moved (I know, delayed reaction of about six months...), have a good job, and an apartment all to myself. So it's creating that new life. And truth be told I have always hated the transition time. I hate change. And then I dwell on the past. Nostalgia is easy. It is easy to spot the things you should have done to make things easier now. It is easy to remember the good times. It is easy to spot the diverging roads in your past that could have led you somewhere else. It is harder (for me, anyway), to look ahead with the option of hope. Hope that my life won't turn into a ghost town, but will instead be a resort destination. I have had a few major transitions in my life, and each time has found me fighting those transitions tooth and nail. But, in the end, I have always loved what transpired . So I'm sure I will love what happens next in my own little history.

P. S. Though I think I would love it more if it didn't involve snow in April. *Sigh* Spring in the Rockies is highly overrated.