Life Is Not How It's Supposed to Be

October 23, 2017

The plan: When I was in high school, I had big dreams. I was going to get a degree in art history and start my own non-profit and become a Congresswoman. I was going to go to BYU and get married at 19 (because that's what happens to everyone, right, and because I'm cute so it definitely has to happen to me). If I didn't get married I would go on a mission and learn a foreign language. I would graduate from college in four years and find a good salary job immediately and work my way up according to my five year plan.

My mom bought this hat in like 2003, like way before most of y'all thought NASA was cool
(I'm so cute, who wouldn't wanna marry this face?)

The reality: I studied family life and I didn't declare a major until I had too many credits and they forced me to. I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, only after my GPA had taken a large blow (a blow so large that my GPA wouldn't be able to recover from it the remainder of my college career). The only date I went on my freshman year was arranged by my ward and a boy told me I needed to stop wearing baggy sweatshirts or boys wouldn't like me. I didn't go on a mission and although I took two semesters of Italian, the only word I really remember is "to eat (but really what else do you need to know?)." My sister passed away. I lost friends. I did get a good salary job right after graduation and was commuting from Provo to Salt Lake every day in the middle of winter, but they ended up downsizing after 3 weeks of me working there, which lead to my six-month long unemployment.

The hidden gems: After my sister passed away, I adopted Fonzie to help with my anxiety and depression. I am honestly convinced that he is the cat version of my soul-mate and I don't know what I would do without him. I graduated in 3.5 years and I loved what I studied (which can be seen by me recommending books about sex in marriage for my friends when they get engaged). I dated a boy for 19 months in college that I thought I would marry. That didn't happen, and as I'm writing this I realize it's now been over a year since he broke up with me and I am doing a-okay. I've been in a relationship now for 7 months and he is my very best friend and I never get sick of him (or his family) and I wouldn't want to be with anyone but him. Despite everything, I am happier than ever. My family definitely stopped taking each other for granted after Julian's death, and we have become so resilient in the past few years. I was miserable at my three-week job, and while job searching I did work at Old Navy for a bit and got the employee discount (holla). I eventually found two part-time jobs that I work at now, and honestly, I like that more than working one full-time, because I never really get bored since I get to completely switch what I'm doing in the middle of the day every day. I have amazing bosses who were so understanding when I went home for a while when my father passed away. I've made lifelong friends. I now live in the cutest little apartment that I get to decorate myself, and even better -- it's smack dab in the middle of my two jobs (which are basically across the street from each other).

My life is not going how I planned. This is not how it's supposed to be and I get frustrated often with how things have turned out, but I would be stupid to ignore the amazing tender mercies that have appeared all along -- things that wouldn't have happened without suffering, heartbreak, and many, many tears. Life is hard. It is so, so hard and I'm not pretending that it's not. But I'm trying to focus on the good, and most importantly, the amazing people helping me along the way.

Yours truly,

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  1. McKay!!

    This is amazing. I really needed to read this today. Thank you for sharing <3

  2. I love you! You are such a strong person!

  3. It's crazy how much people go through, and it takes A LOT to be able to share your story with others. You will inspire so many people :) Thanks for sharing

  4. Thanks for sharing your story. I truly believe our lives are all not like what we planned. Life throws us a few curve balls...