roads

Levi and I—we’re tired. For the first time since we’ve been married, we’re having a hard time reaching consensus (at least about something important) and the stakes at hand make our diverging opinions feel like kind of a big deal.

I’ve always thought it unfair the number of big decisions people our age have to make. Isn’t there a place, say five years from now, where we just live the lives we’ve been deciding about for the past decade? Because it really is exhausting—all this choosing things right now that will ultimately determine whether we end up in Michigan or Mongolia; in passages of hounding regret or blissfully happy.

Who to marry. What to study. Where to live. Where to work. How to live. Because we have to decide all of that right this minute, don’t we?

The particular choice at hand feels like roads diverging, which is hard enough. But it’s complicated because we’re two travelers who decided to always walk together, and after a lot of personal and careful consideration on this matter, we didn’t chose the same path. Levi wants to go left, I want to go right.

Which means we’ve spent the past couple of weeks trying to convince each other to switch platforms. And trying to convince ourselves that we’re not being selfish by pushing our own agendas. And then deciding it is selfishness and meeting up at the end of day and saying to each other—at the same time—I’ll walk with you. Then trying to convince each other that we’d both be happier doing what the other person wants. Until we find ourselves back at that place where again, we each want two different things. Like I said, we’re tired.

There’s a story in the Book of Mormon that a lot of Mormons read when they have to make a choice. It’s about a man who goes to God with two specific problems. God solves the first one, but sends the man to come up with his own solution to the second, in effect promising to help and bless whatever solution the man comes up with.

Levi and I, we’ve tried both approaches. We went to God and asked for solutions for almost a year, and no definitive feedback to speak of, we assumed He would bless whatever we came up with.

So we’ve brainstormed. We’ve been to the temple. We’ve fasted. We’ve listed and ranked the options. Weighed the pros and cons. Stayed up late. Conceded. Held fast. Listened. Cried. Argued. Sank. Pumped our fists. And this week, we smashed head first into a deadline. We had to make a decision by Tuesday morning. (Or else.)

So on Saturday we spent three hours with a marriage counselor. (Okay fine, it was one of my best friends who doubles as a therapist. The things we ask our friends to do for us…)

On Sunday, anytime we found ourselves alone, we looked at each other and though we didn’t want to, asked the same question. “What are we going to do?” Sunday night, we fell asleep on the couch, on the verge of depression, at 9pm. We both slipped off at that point in the conversation where it didn’t make sense to say the same things for the sixtieth time. We still don’t know what will be best.

But like I said, we had a deadline. So on Monday night, we flipped a coin and had a good night’s rest.

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