“But what if someone better comes along?” I remember saying these words to my boyfriend during one of our increasingly frequent talks about marriage. Understandably, he was upset and a bit insulted at my question, but it was something I had legitimately been thinking about a lot. After all, eternity is a long, long time, and I didn’t want to be stuck with someone who was an eight out of 10 when I could have a 10.
Time passed, and I eventually found myself saying “yes” to that boyfriend as he knelt on one knee before me. Almost two years from that pivotal night, I am sitting here next to my husband as I write, thinking about how he really is a 10 out of 10. I am so glad I didn’t waste my time “waiting for someone better to come along.”
Marriage is a big decision, but it’s only the beginning. As college students, we are faced with more life-changing decisions than we probably ever will face in the rest of our entire lives. Talk about intimidating. Be it a major, a job or even an apartment change, it’s hard to know which one is the right one to commit to. But perhaps it’s not about finding the one right choice; it’s simply about finding one that makes you happy.
So it was with my husband. I was satisfied, I felt good when I was with him, and I was happy. It was a slap-in-the-face moment when I realized I had no idea what kind of “better” I was looking for. My search for the one perfect husband blinded me for so long that I had a hard time seeing the great thing right in front of my face.
There’s truth to the saying that we “spend” our lives. We can either spend our lives waiting for perfect opportunities or we can spend it on opportunities and experiences. Waiting yields nothing, while taking advantage of opportunities has a great return on investment.
Sometimes we’re going to have to take a leap of faith without knowing whether or not it will be something great. But the great thing about life is that it’s malleable. We have the power to make any opportunity a great one. After all, it will always be more worthwhile turning average opportunities into great ones than waiting for a great opportunity to chase us down itself.
Last summer I applied for multiple jobs, all of which I believed I would be happy doing — except for one. Naturally, that not-so-perfect job was the only one that offered me a position, and since I needed a job, I accepted. This was a job at the BYU Creamery on Ninth, one where I would be constantly scooping ice cream and wielding spatulas on the hot grill. A few nights before my first day, I remember crying to my husband and blubbering out, “I thought I came to college so I wouldn’t have to do a job wearing a baseball cap and flipping burgers.” Luckily, he was able to look past the fact that I was being a total weenie (like I said, 10 out of 10), and he reassured me that it wouldn’t be that bad. And you know what? It wasn’t. In fact, my experience at The Creamery was a great addition to by college experience. I was happy, I had a job, I made some great friends, and I can tell you what’s in every one of the 30-something flavors. Ironically enough, flipping burgers at the grill became my favorite part of the job. I probably wouldn’t be satisfied doing it for the rest of my life, but that’s where the importance of committing to other opportunities comes in. Just because we make a big commitment doesn’t mean it’s the last one we can ever make.
At this point I want to make a disclaimer. I’m not suggesting anyone should just settle with what they have. If you sincerely know that you can do better, then by all means, quit wasting your time and get out there and do better. This piece is for those who already have something great but just need a little help seeing the potential in it.
Whatever decision you’re facing, if it makes you happy, stop waiting around and just commit already.