The university newspaper of which I was once editor-in-chief — the BYU-Idaho Scroll — called me for an interview a couple weeks ago. It’s strange being on the answering side of those interviews. I’m more comfortable being the one asking the questions, taking the notes, telling the story. The role reversal had me slightly on edge.
Kaisey (pronounced “Kay-see,” in case you’re wondering like I was) did a great job with the article. You can read it here. But one of her best questions didn’t make its way into the article: “What did you worry about as a student, and how were those worries resolved?”
Isn’t that just the greatest question?
I talked around it for a minute, gathering my thoughts. I said something about worrying about my career since print journalism was dying (I declared my major in 2006). Then I got to the heart of the matter:
I worried I wouldn’t find someone to marry me who would believe in my dreams as much as I did. But in the end, I managed to find someone who did. In the Scroll office, of all places.
I’m working this morning from Starbucks on a rare day off of mama duties. (Thanks to MormonHub for this super helpful article. I felt so lost, ha!) That man I found in the Scroll office back in 2008 is home today rocking the parenting thing. He’s running errands and being amazing so I can catch up on my work to-do list that is spiraling out of control.
It’s an unusual setup I have with Ryan Olaveson, but it works for us. He cleans the house and cares for children and runs errands to make my load a little lighter. I work to help us pay for those little, unexpected expenses that might otherwise stress out a breadwinner carrying the load on his own. The Family Proclamation says husbands and wives are obligated to help each other as equal partners, and I suppose we take that more literally than some families might. And that’s OK.
I know some of us might think our way of running a family is the only way, or at least the best way. We might think we’ve wired the ideal way to be married. But it’s inevitable that in our quest for happy, well-balanced families, we’re all going to take some different turns. The key is to be happy with where we’ve landed (and to be happy for others whose path has led them somewhere different).
It’s taken me a while to settle this idea in my mind. It takes confidence to live the life you’ve imagined, especially when it makes you feel out of place sometimes. Especially as a woman, I sometimes get the impression that I’m supposed to do things a certain, prescribed way. But I read a quote from Virginia Hinckley Pearce (daughter Gordon B. and Marjorie Hinckley) a few days ago that changed my perspective and gave me confidence.
At a launch for the new book “At The Pulpit,” someone asked Sister Pearce how women can handle the ambiguity of their roles. Her response?
“Rejoice in ambiguity! It is your opportunity to make life be what God wants it to be for you. … Part of our life journey is to get comfortable with ambiguity. … We keep ourselves seeking God’s help because it won’t be the same for everybody.”
I’m learning to be comfortable with ambiguity — and to rejoice in it. I’m trying to learn what God wants my life to be. I know that, for me, it involves putting the gospel, those sweet kids, and that sweet man first. But what comes second? Third, fourth, fifth?
That’s the question. A question with a million different answers for a million different women and a million different families.
Now that’s something to rejoice about.