Grateful for Disappointments

Plans are meant to be broken.

Growing up I always wanted to be an astronaut. When I went to college, I decided to major in aerospace engineering. I figured that I could at least design the spaceships if I never got a chance to go to space. After my first year of college, a couple suicide attempts, and some health issues, I gave up on my dreams. I felt lost, but decided that I would make the best of things.

If I couldn’t be an astronaut and I couldn’t concentrate enough in school to become an engineer, I would do something to help people. I decided to become a clinical psychologist, with the hope to one day become a motivational speaker. I completed a bachelor’s degree and planned to return to school to complete a doctorate program after taking a year and a half off to serve a mission for my church.

It has been almost four years since that time. I am just now returning to school, but not to get a doctorate degree. I will be returning to school to get a second bachelor’s degree in computer science. I did not serve the mission I thought I would, and ended up getting hired to do the job I was doing on a volunteer basis as a missionary. I never imagined that my life would head in this direction or that I would be doing the type of work I currently do.

Life doesn’t always work out like we planned, and I am so grateful for that. I am grateful for the plans I have made that didn’t work out. I am grateful for dreams that were crushed, continual disappointments and rejections, and problems that prevented or delayed plans. I am grateful for the tears of pain, frustration, and rejection.

I am grateful that I didn’t get the many jobs I applied for because it led me to search for what I really wanted to do with my life. I am grateful that I was hospitalized and had to take a semester off of school because I was able to help so many people and discover myself and how I fit in the world. I am grateful that my suicide attempts made becoming an astronaut impractical or impossible because I might not have given up on that dream if I hadn’t felt like I needed to. I am grateful for the disappointments that have led me to a much better life than I had planned for myself. I am sure my life will be filled with more disappointments, but I am learning to be grateful for all of them because those disappointments are leading me to much greater things.