I am often amused at life. The summer after my sophmore year of college was spent hanging out with 3 friends. We took some trips and had a lovely summer. I was even almost tan. The three friends were two old friends and the boyfriend of one of them.
My friend’s boyfriend was brilliant (my friends are also pretty smart). We always had a great time with deep discussions. One issue though was the boyfriend was in the process of leaving the mormon church. This was very hard for my other two friends, especially my friend that was dating him.
However, it didn’t bother me. I spent a lot of time talking with him, not because I wanted him to come back to the church but because I wanted him to be happy. Losing a religion is a painful process. There is so much hurt. This was the first time I watched first-hand someone go through it. Often at the end of these discussions all I really had were a few tears and a hug for this boyfriend. He was a good, kind and intellectually honest person. In truth, I probably contributed more to his loss of testimony as I added a lot of science knowledge and fact to our discussion. That “knowledge” almost always supported his conclusions 🙂
The boyfriend was a free thinker and very non-conformist. This is probably why we got along 🙂 Blazing smart and clever. He was the kind of person you think will win the Pulitzer for the book he wrote while living in a cave eating only plants he grew also saving 3 villages in the process.
My friend and he broke up after a short while but his family was based in Provo so I ran into him a few times. At one of these chance meetings we were stuck at an activity that lasted a couple of hours. So, of course, we sat down by each other and talked most of the time. He had finished BYU and left for law school. During this conversation, he tried very long and hard to convince me to leave and go back to the east coast with him. I knew he was sincere in his offer, however, it wasn’t meant to be a long-term situation…that we’d just live and hang out together till our lives took different paths.
This person may not even remember making that plea. It has been almost 20 years since this conversation. Had I been the one making the offer I too may not remember it…but I wasn’t making the offer. I was receiving it and I remember it almost perfectly. I can still see exactly where we were standing in my head. The reason I remember it so well is because I almost took it. I was so very close to going. If he had another hour to work on me or if I had run into him a day or two later I probably would have gone. It is the closest I have ever come to doing something truly crazy. The only thing that stopped me was knowing that I probably wouldn’t be able to finish college there and so eventually I would have to come back. I knew I wouldn’t be able to come back and finish after living there with a “boy.”
The main reason that I was so tempted though was because this guy was such a free spirit. I had no doubt that experience would have been filled with true adventure. I haven’t regretted my decision, just sometimes I wonder if I am the kind of person that could be that unhampered, that unconstrained. Even though my life hasn’t gone that way, it still feels like there is a part of me that would have moved back to the east coast with this boy. It is my Beps that constantly reminds me of this experience. Her soul, her spirit is completely free. I wonder what path she will chose…