Hilary Weeks sings a song with the lyrics, "For the roads I've never traveled, for the pain I never knew, for the places that ... [I was] kept ... from, ... for the days that were not wasted, for the years not spent in vain, I'm grateful for the stories that remain unwritten."
My husband and I had both been engaged for a short time and broken it off before we met each other. We've talked about how life would have been different if we had married the other people, and we both agree it would not have been good.
When my husband was deciding where to go for college, his mom encouraged him to go UVSC, now UVU. He decided to go to another school instead, but looking back, it is interesting she suggested that because that is where I went, and we would have been there at the same time for a couple years. We probably would have never met though, being in completely different degrees, and with him being a little ahead of me. Also, he wouldn't have wanted to date me because I would have been too young for him, just graduated from high school. The older people get, the less difference a few years makes.
Growing up where I did, every once excepted me to go to BYU because it's just what you do. My parents met at BYU and both graduated from there. I also expected I would go to BYU up through part of my senior year of high school. Someone suggested I should apply to UVSC as a back up. I wasn't worried about getting into BYU because I had good qualifications. I started my application to BYU, then halfway through I took a break and decided to look at UVSC's website. I filled out the application and at the end it said I'd been accepted to UVSC. I thought that was awesome, so I filled out the scholarship application and ended up getting one. I never finished my application to BYU, and I never regretted it. All my friends went to BYU, and several with similar qualifications got scholarships, so I probably could have too, but I didn't want to. Attending UVSC was a great experience for me. I learned more things, and different things than I would have at BYU.
These were major life change for me, and I am very glad I went down the paths I did, and very glad that I did not choose the other options.
There are many other things I'm glad have not happened to me, more serious things, like rape, abuse, war, loss of limbs, death, disease, serious sickness and pain, poverty, etc....
We all have our own personal demons from our own personal hells. I will always have to deal with my troubles, as will everyone else. I'm just grateful that I don't have the hells that others do. My life could be so much worse, and I'm grateful that it's not.
I know many people that can hardly think about what it would be like to have my personal hell. I think the same of others too. We deal with what we are given. Some days we deal better than others, but life moves on and so we have to also.
Many people say, count your blessings when you are feeling sad. Here's another suggestion- think of the places you were kept from. The paths you did not take. The days that were not wasted. The pain you never felt.
This is not to make your burden less real, less painful, or less important. It is to give you a perspective of what your life could be like. To help you realize that everyone is hurting, and in ways you would never want. To help you realize that you're not alone when you lie awake at two in the morning. Be grateful for the stories in your life that remain unwritten.