Friday, September 01, 2006

And then they begin to LIVE...

I still can't bring myself to formulate into words the experiences I've had over the last few weeks. I still need more time...

So, since I can't articulate anything meaningful, I'll allow my 6-year old daughter to do so for me.

She was watching 101 Dalmations yesterday and I asked her to tell me what it was about. In her very unique way, she said:

"Well, this man and this women get all tangled up with their dogs in the park, and then they get married, and then they begin to live!

I don't know why that struck me so profoundly, and I don't remember inculcating her to think that way, but it hit me that we center all expectations and our lives around LIVING after marriage. She accepted it completely. Many others do too.

I have a 30 year old accomplished nephew who is single. All his mother can think about is why her son isn't married and how he can't start LIVING his life until he is. It begins to be the topic of discussion at any family gathering, and if this nephew brings a "friend" around, the gossip immediately spins around whether "she's the one".

We had a driver on our recent "trip" who was working 20 hours a day to make enough money to build a dowery for his sister so that she could get married. We asked about whether he was married. Matter-of-factly, he stated that his father was dead and so it fell upon him to see that his sister was properly married FIRST. Then he could think about marriage for himself and LIVING his life.

We became friends with another young man who just got married, though it was an arranged marriage by his parents and the bride's parents. Mind you, this was a very educated, 21st century college graduate young man, who accepted such arrangements as best for all involved so that he didn't have to worry about the entanglements of courtship. But now, he can begin LIVING.

I know I wanted to be married so that I could be the good Mormon boy and create that ideal family that brings eternal life and eternal increase. My life after my mission had to be centered around that "next step" or else I wasn't doing my "duty" and I couldn't get on with LIFE.

I don't know exactly where I'm going with this... just thought it interesting that even my 6-year-old daughter is convinced that LIFE doesn't start until after marriage.

I sometimes wonder when my LIFE is going to start...


Foxx said...

Life begins when you can muster the courage to turn the key in the ignition.

Askinstoo said...
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Samantha said...

That life thing...if you keep waiting for it, you'll miss it. You have to make it happen. Even in the struggles, life is beautiful.

I DO know what I'm talking about. At this point I get up every morning and make a decision whether to live or die--literally. If I stop eating for more than four days in a row, my body is now at the point where it will shut down and my heart will fail.

Live your life, Beck. Make new dreams--then help them come true. Get up each morning and decide to live.

santorio said...

i married five months after returning from my mission [i think my inlaws thought that we 'had' to get married; if they only knew]. if i had waited, got to know myself better, and of course by that i mean my gay identity, my life may have been reversed but for better or worse who knows?

Elbow said...

I love this post. You are wise, and you are a good man. Keep striving and living. No matter what you may think, or no matter what others tell are living in the present. Read "the power of now" it's a great book. Live in the moment and embrace life at the present.

There's a lot to be affraid of, but there's more to be embraced.

Elbow said...

By the way. I lost your email address. Please write me. How are you? What is up? Fill me in!

Loyalist (with defects) said...

Your blog, though I don't think you meant it to, brought a sense of mirth to me.

My kids still ask me what I want to be when I grow up. Up until recently I would always say "I don't know." I'm 35 years old!

Life has happened around me. I am reminded of Pres Hinkely's talk from a few years ago when he compared life to an old fashion steam train. Sure there are moment of thrilling vistas and enchanting scenes but there is also lots of smoke and cinders and the incessant clickity clack of the wheels.

I'm just beginning to understand that life is the journey and not just the destination.

Best wishes to you, my friend