I have decided that because it is nearing the end of 2010 that I will reflect a little bit on what these past couple of years have been like. I didn’t do this last year – so I’m kind of going to include 2009 as well.
College. It didn’t seem like I’d ever get there! High school seemed to just drag on for me… It wasn’t that I didn’t like it – but living with a disease made it really hard. Some people didn’t understand and some of the students and my friends had a hard time understanding how to “cope” with someone they know having a chronic illness. Even through all my struggles though, I pushed through it thanks to some amazing teachers and my family and graduated high school – something that is a HUGE feat for any chronically ill teen. I mean heck, it’s a struggle to get through each day let alone graduate and start a new chapter in life!!!
My decision to go to Utah left a lot of people doubting me and questioning if I was doing the right thing. Some thought that I couldn’t do it, and I don’t think a lot of people believed it me. But guess what – they can have it thrown back at them – I have been doing GREAT since I’ve left home. And it is the best decision that I have ever made. I LOVE it here. The weather is perfect. It’s not humid and the temperature doesn’t change so quickly and drastically as it does in KS. This has been REALLY good for my health. My joints have been doing a lot better and I haven’t been as sick in the summer due to humidity and heat. My health has improved in that way – and I’m so grateful for that. Something that is also wonderful is that I am in a city! I’m not going to lie – I am NOT a country girl. I don’t really care for the isolation that I felt living in such a small town. And not to mention – I dislike the farming community very much. I appreciate what our farmers do (don’t get me wrong) but it is not for me!! I am so happy that I am away from harvesting and farming. I am happy that I am now building my OWN life where I want to be. There are so many opportunities out here for me. I am going into medicine and I couldn’t have picked a better school and location to succeed. I am at a top rated nursing school and I have the chance to work at a top rated hospital!! Couldn’t have picked better!
I love my school and I am so very proud to be a UTE and dress in Crimson red! My school is great. I served on the freshman council and that was one of the best decisions for my freshman year. I met some amazing people. We have great volunteering and community service opportunities here, and that’s something that I LOVE.
A lot of people thought that I was moving here solely for Spencer. I thought my decision out… a lot. I spent a lot of time thinking about where I wanted to start my life out at. Being completely honest, yes – Spencer was a huge advantage of me attending school in Utah… but if it wasn’t for Spencer and his brother showing me the U… I would have never found this school and all the things it has to offer. Not to mention… I fell in love with Salt Lake City and Utah the moment I arrived here the very first time.
I am happy here. I truly am. And I hope that now people will realize that I made a decision that was best for ME, not everyone else. I am proud of myself for actually following my gut and coming out here. It’s the one time that I didn’t listen to everyone else telling me that I was making a bad decision.
I was told before I moved, and I continually get told that, “oh those Mormons are going to ‘get’ you! They will try to convert you. They are a cult!” all I have to say is, Shame, shame, shame on you! Coming from a small down where LDS is not very well known, it is judged very, very poorly. I haven’t once been asked to attend church. I haven’t ever been asked to talk about Mormonism. I haven’t ever been insulted about my own religion. Yes, my fiancé is Mormon, but not once has he manipulated me into going to church. Not once has he asked me to talk about The Book of Mormon. I have been the one to bring everything up. I have looked into the LDS church, not because I was asked to or forced to, but because I wanted to learn more about it. I wanted to understand what they believe and how they live their life. And it honestly is not that much different from what Methodists, Lutheran’s, or just your average Christian believes. They interpret some things differently, yes, and they have temples that signify more than what we do, but we are all the same, siblings of Christ. Don’t judge a book by its cover. And PLEASE do not judge me if I chose to look into this religion more. Shame on you if you do. Open your minds a little bit.
The experience of the dorms was indeed interesting. I don’t think that life was for me. Anyone with an illness knows what I mean ;-) It’s hard living with new people who haven’t been around you your whole life, but with an illness it’s even more hard. They don’t quite understand it and it’s hard for them to grasp your needs and how you live your life. My dorm mates were great and I’m thankful that I was paired with who I was. I learned a lot from all 3 of them! Sometimes we had our different thoughts about things, but all –in-all I was pretty luck with who I was with =)
Year two of college has been a little more challenging than the first. It is easier in the sense that I now know what college is all about and I know how to study! My grades were NOT at all what I wanted them to be come the end of my first year, but I finally understand how much work goes into each class that you take. It’s stressful – but I’m coping. I moved out of the dorms and am living with my fiancé’s family. It’s interesting, to say the least! I am currently looking for an apartment with Spencer so that we can start our lives together. Chances are we won’t find anywhere until we’re married – which is good, but it will be nice to create our own rules and not have the stress of living with so many people. I LOVE his family, but anytime you are living with multiple people it makes it a bit harder to fully function.
I’m LOVING college courses. I like the freedom to take what you want. Some courses are not very fun and are pretty dull, but the majority of what I have taken have been so very interesting. Along with my goal for nursing school, I am thinking about taking up a minor while I am waiting to apply and be accepted. I have LOVED all the Social Science classes I have taken, so I’m going to talk with an advisor about the different minors within that field of study. I think it will be a nice minor to go along with my major! =)
And for the biiig event that happened this year – I got engaged! Yay! I am extremely happy about it. I really wasn’t expecting it to happen when it did, but everything worked out for the best!! =) I am so happy he proposed. We’d been talking about it a little bit beforehand. We had been dating for 2.5 years, known each other for probably about 3 years. He gave me his mom’s wedding ring from when she was married. It is perfect and just beautiful. I love the fact that it is within the family.
Even though I am VERY happy to be marrying the love of my life, my best friend, and my biggest supporter – I feel very judged. I know I shouldn’t care what other people think of me and my decisions, but I do – it is just the way I am.
Look, I know I am young. I am only 19 (almost 20) years old and I am making a HUGE leap in my life so early. But please do not judge me. There are many reasons why we have chose to get married and take this step so soon in both of our lives. When you are with a terminally ill person, It’s hard to think about the future, but a must. The average age for a person with CF is only 37. Now no one can put the time a person lives… but you have to realize that life is VERY precious and you have to live it up like each day is your last. I want every single ounce of time with Spencer as I can have. I’m not rushing things… I am not moving it along quicker because he is sick. It is very important to me to be married to him as long as possible. And it is very important to Spencer to spend all the time he has with someone he means so much to him. We were going to wait a couple years to actually tie the knot, but his father was diagnosed with Cancer and with some other happenings, we felt like it was in OUR best interest and his families to have it sooner. I told him that I wouldn’t commit to setting a date for the wedding until Spencer started working on his health.. he did and so we set the date for June 10th for the wedding! I’m SO excited! Haven’t done much planning, but we’re getting to it! Lots of details to work out since the wedding is in KANSAS and the reception is in UTAH! Haha.
So there you have it… Reflections of these past couple of years. I think that about sums it up. Of course I could write more, but I’ll keep it simple =)