Something I think about a lot, and that I was definitely thinking about yesterday, is how everything is connected, and how if one choice was made differently, than not only would my life be changed, but so would the lives of so many other people. One of the biggest things that makes me think this is when I get snapchats from one of my friends that I’ve known since I was in high school, who is now very close with my best friend, who I met in college. She posted one the other day that had friend that I knew in elementary/middle school, and have seen from time to time since then. And my college bestie was in the snap too. My mind was suddenly blown at that random connection.
My parents first moved to Bishop in order to go to Church on the Mountain in Crowley Lake, CA. They attended that church until my brother was small, because it was quite a drive from their house. They started attending the foursquare church in Bishop, which is the church that I grew up in. The pastors of that church were an influence in my life from birth. They both attended Life Pacific College when Pacific was still Bible and the location was still Echo Park, CA. So I grew up hearing about this school. And because we attended this church, I attended Old Oak Ranch, a camp I grew up in love with. Because of loving camp, my first job out of high school was at that camp, which has led me to work at 2 more camps. That camp also always had reps from Life Pacific, so that was another influence on my college, besides God telling me to go, which happened at a convention that I went to with the youth group from the church I grew up in. But I only went to the convention because one of my friends who also attended the camp, but was from a different city, was also going to be there and I wanted to see him.
Anyway, I often think about what it would have meant if I had waited to go to college, or if I had chosen a different college, because I often wish I had my degree in English, or literature, or creative writing. However, although I have always been a writer, I didn’t realize that that was what I wanted to do with my life until I was already in college. And I may have never figured it out, had I not attended Life Pacific. Also, it is because of my friend, Aaron, and his Yarning in the Round parties that I realized my love for story, especially other people’s stories. That was where I realized how much hearing other people’s stories can build community. If I had chosen a different school, I never would have met Aaron.
Another person who I never would have met, or who would have never met me, is my best friend Michelle, had I never attended Life. If I had chosen a different school, I never would have met my best friend.
If I had moved to Portland when I graduated from college, I probably never would have moved to Mammoth. Had I never moved home to Mammoth, Michelle would never have been compelled to visit me, thus, she would have never moved to Mammoth and found her happiness and home there.
Also, if I hadn’t moved to Mammoth or started working at The Station, I never would have done the School of Supernatural Ministry, which would have meant that I never would have seen a blind woman healed in Costa Rica, nor would I have met Ray Hughes, so I never would have gone to Ireland. If I hadn’t gone to Ireland, I never would have moved to Alabama, and I probably wouldn’t be writing this right now.
If I had chosen to move to Alabama right when I got back from Ireland, I never would have made a lot of choices that I made leading up to my move. But my brother probably wouldn’t have gotten his first house as quickly as he did. However, if I had stayed longer, my brother wouldn’t be constantly looking for a roommate, and I probably wouldn’t have moved into a 2 bedroom apartment because there probably would have been a one bedroom available somewhere.
If I hadn’t started working for the resort, I wouldn’t have the confidence that I can find a job no matter where I move, because there are hotels everywhere. But if I hadn’t worked for the resort, I wouldn’t be convinced that I like working in hospitality, which I have learned that in the South, I don’t, because I am not Southern, and Southern Hospitality is a whole different game. However, if I hadn’t gotten the job at the hotel, I wouldn’t have known about another opportunity for a very fun job, which I interviewed for, and am really hoping that I get.
I also never would have met two of my favorite people in Alabama outside of my Ireland pals, had I taken a job somewhere else.
I could go on and on about connections and choices. Because they blow my mind a lot. If even one thing in my life had been different, I fully believe that nearly everything in my life would be different. And maybe that’s a conversation for another day. So I’m both miserable and happy. I am thankful for my choices because of their connections. And I’m disappointed, because choices sometimes bring hardship. But life is a journey, and it’s a learning experience. It’s nice to see how far I’ve come. And it’s nice to reflect on the lessons I’ve learned. There’s no point in dwelling on how things could have been different, because really, do I want them to be different, or do I just like to have something to complain about?