Sunday church was packed; we almost filled the first half of the center section. The congregation was full of recent high school graduates and weathered college freshmen who had just completed that arduous first year of college away from home. Mind you I am 29 years old and with the exception of a handful of people the majority of our ward is between the ages of 18 - 21. Meaning I could have baby-sat for or changed the diapers of most of the kids I go to church with. As I was musing on this idea, and the irony of it all I chuckled to myself. So grateful that those years were over and so excited for the years yet to come. In the midst of my pondering, one of the girls got up to bear her testimony. I wish I had a tape recorder. She welcomed the new members of the ward and offered her words of wisdom. She introduced herself as a “veteran” of the singles ward and with so many "young" people in the ward she is starting to feel really “old”. At this point, I actually laughed out loud, the people in front of me turned around even. But a few of them had smiles on their faces as well. Why? This "veteran" of four years is only 21 years old. I have been in the singles ward since she was in primary! She talked about the trials of having to pick a major and what to do with the rest of your life, as if that was the toughest thing anyone would have to do. She spoke of how difficult, it was to watch her friends get married and still be single, but that deep down she’s really grateful she didn’t get married at 19. At this point I was close to vomiting. I hope she wrote about that in her journal and I hope she stays single a really long time so she can appreciate the humor of that moment. I mean that honestly and without bitterness. If that is what your twenties are to you, what a loss.
I guess as I get older everything is put into its proper perspective. The things I worried about when I was younger, don't so much matter anymore. Ironically enough, the older I get the more I recognize how young I am in experience and how much life experience I have left to experience. I recognize that there are people who struggle with REAL problems and I am grateful that I am carefree. Sometimes it’s hard, but that last for such a small moment and then I realize how blessed I really am. I am glad I no longer feel the urge to have my entire life planned out for the next ten years. I have plans, but I have learned to be adaptable. Life hasn't gone according to my plan (thank heaven); it has turned out much better. Life is so short and so precious, and in the scheme of things the shortest time of my existence will be as a young single adult. Too many of us waste these precious years thinking, when I get married…then.... You have ETERNITY (a very long time) to be married, but only a few short moments to be single. Not that I am advocating unnecessarily prolonging your singleness, but merely advocating the embracing of it.
I am relishing getting older. I love the wisdom that comes with experience. The older I get the more I learn. My thirties will be much better than my twenties, not because my twenties will be finally over with, but because of the lessons I learned in my twenties. I hope to say the same of my forties, and fifties, and so on.