The Life of Bon: Adventure (8 Minute Memoir Part 4)

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Adventure (8 Minute Memoir Part 4)

This post is part of an eight minute memoir project that I have seen some of my favorite writers and humans doing.  Join in if you want.  Sometimes my fingers and my brain need to write.  The details are here.

When I was 18 years old, I fell in love.  He was in law school and smart and funny and a little dorky.  We dated my entire freshman year of college.  The intensity of my feelings scared me.

I never wanted to get married young.  I wanted adventure.  But this boy wanted to marry me.  Or, if not me, someone who could at least say that they wanted marriage within the next five years.  I could not say this.

Mormon dating is weird.  I know this.  But if you are 18-25 and you meet a boy who is a returned missionary and who has a great career path and who you really love and who really loves you back then many Mormons may think it's a no brainer that you get married.  Who cares if you wanted more adventure and freedom before marriage?  You met someone amazing!  Take that and run!

But I didn't.  I couldn't.  Instead, we broke up.  It was my first and worst breakup.  I sobbed for days.  I wondered constantly if I had made the biggest mistake of my life.  I could hardly eat.  My classes went unattended.

But I had promised myself that if I was going to break up with such a great guy that I was going to have adventure, damnit!  So I applied to go on a study abroad to London.  I didn't get into the program.  I applied for a semester at BYU Hawaii.  They said, sure, we'll take you.

At just one month past 20, I flew to Hawaii with my best friend, who had just turned 18.  We arrived in Hawaii with no plans.  We didn't even know how we were going to get from the airport to Laie, where BYUH campus was.  School didn't start for another week, and we couldn't move into our house for another four days.  But we were here!  Ready for the adventure to start!

We spent the first night in the airport.  I was really scared, but I didn't dare say anything.  I kind of just wanted to go home and marry that boy.  (Of course, by now he was engaged to someone else, so that option was off the table.)  The next day we somehow found a shuttle that would take us from Honolulu to Laie.  The shuttle dropped us off at the college campus and we lugged our heavy suitcases around, looking at the classrooms and the library, excited and terrified.

"Where should we sleep tonight?"  I asked Akasha.
"Um... I don't know..."

We had no car, no place to stay, and not much cash.

"Should we just camp out on the beach?"

So we stowed our suitcases somewhere (I think the driver of the shuttle let us leave them in his house?) and headed toward the beach.  After several hours of beach bumming, a kind stranger somehow was observant enough to notice that we didn't exactly have a place to go home to.  When he asked us where we were staying, we replied truthfully, "the beach.  We can't move into our house for another three days."

The man took mercy on us and let us stay in his home for the next three nights.

God took mercy on us and allowed that man not to be a killer, rapist, or other terrifying person who may take in two young girls.

I got my adventure.  But sometimes I wonder if adventure is synonymous with stupidity.

(Sidenote- as part of my "adventure" I spent every penny I had- $500- on a beater car.  I didn't buy registration or insurance because I couldn't afford it.  I didn't tell my parents.  The car broke down three days later.  It would need a new transmission to drive again.  When I called the person who had sold the car and told him it broke down immediately he replied, "Well, did you pray about buying the car?"  I buried my head in my arms and sobbed and sobbed.  And so, instead of driving the three miles from my house to campus, I hitch hiked every day.  So yes, adventure= stupidity.)

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