Sometimes, life just doesn’t turn out how you expect it to be. When I was a little girl I didn’t exactly envision myself as a 26-year-old adult working 60 hours a week at two part time jobs, not having been on a date in over two years, and trying to figure out what to do next in life. Instead, however old-fashioned it may sound, I had dreamed that by now I would be married and working as a stay-at-home mom, cooking meals for a family, going on walks with a stroller, and spending time with a husband and children.
We’ve heard stories about the guy who goes and buys a Harley when he turns 50 because he wants to feel young again, or the person who gets a dramatic makeover, quits their job, and changes as much about them as possible in a short amount of time. For most people these moments happen at more of a middle age like 50 or 60. The other day I found myself wondering if I wasn’t in the midst of a mid-life crisis myself at the young age of 26.
Suddenly I had reached my limit. I was tired. I felt defeated. Watching other people make their dreams come true no longer seemed good enough. From somewhere deep inside I had a yearning to make my life into something my dreams couldn’t even imagine. I wanted to throw caution to the wind and just go for it. The only thing that slowed me down was not having any idea what I wanted out of life any more. Let me tell you, it is hard to throw caution when you don’t have a target to aim at.
However, the counsel of Dieter F. Uchtdorf came into my mind and really helped me find a starting place. He said, “If life and its rushed pace and many stresses have made it difficult for you to feel like rejoicing, then perhaps now is a good time to refocus on what matters most.” My life was fine, but I wasn’t finding as many reasons to rejoice as I wanted. As I looked at the lists of things I was doing each day I realized that I was working really hard, but not towards my goals. It became apparent that I would never become the person that myself and God desired me to be unless I put myself on the correct trajectory.
Instead of going out and buying a fancy car, and getting a crazy makeover, I did choose less hours at one of my jobs. I did begin studying to take the GRE. I did start taking a few extra moments to help myself be ready for the day. Most of all I realized that even if life doesn’t turn out how we plan it to originally, that it can still turn out to be a beautiful and fulfilling experience. From my perspective, maybe it is good to have a mid-life crisis, because it might just be the course correction you need to change the end of your life story.
If anyone else out there in this big universe finds themselves wondering what to do next, and perhaps even a bit deflated that life didn’t go exactly how you planned, I invite you to create your own self-imposed mid-life, or even mid-week crisis. Evaluate where you are, where you want to be, and how you are planning to get there. For me, President Uchtdorf’s words really made all the difference. I wouldn’t say my life is totally how I want it to be, but I do have a greater appreciation for the ability to slow down and focus on the things that matter most.
Ashley Dewey is extremely talented at being single. Hobbies include awkward conversations with members of the opposite sex, repelling third dates, talking to boys about their girl problems and to girls about their boy problems. In her spare time she also has a very fulfilling school life, work life, and social life. Besides being a professional single, Ashley is also a BYU graduate with a degree in linguistics (Aka word nerd). She enjoys studying other languages, particularly American Sign Language, and finds most all of them fascinating. She is currently pursuing a masters degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. Ashley works most of the time and has often been accused of being a workaholic. Currently she works full time as a merchandiser and supervisor in a retail store, and part time doing social media work. On her day off she works (really it doesn't feel like work) in the Provo LDS temple. The only kind of work she finds difficulty focusing on is house work. Her favorite activities in her free time are reading, writing, creating social experiments, and spending time with great friends and family. Specific activities with those family and friends include: going to concerts, plays, dance recitals, BYU basketball and football games, and watching sports on television.