I like to think of my life as a novel…and that each different part of my life can be divided into chapters. Anyone who has read a good novel can hardly put the book down because of the suspense of not knowing what will come next. Our lives, if we step back for a moment and look at it from a third-party perspective, can be like an award-winning novel. But it is our life and we need to realize that the novel before us is actually an autobiography and we get to fill the pages of each new chapter. We should fill our lives with meaning and purpose and give ourselves things to look forward to if we want our novel to be superb.
We write each day onto blank pages (like the blank sky in the picture above) and then the weeks and months go by. What are we choosing to put onto paper and include in our story?
I have chosen to let lots of adventure into my life story because that is just the way I am. I get bored easily and restless and so I am constantly on the move seeking for opportunities to grow and expand my life experience. The world and the people in it intrigue me…I don’t want to leave any stone unturned.
My most recent summer chapter was no exception. I finished my first year of school and I chose to move to Los Angeles right in the heart of the city of Santa Monica Boulevard.
I think I was in the right place at the right time because I was able to meet Carlie and we were able to get to know each other and grow in a relationship all summer. I had full intentions of continuing with The Mormon Bachelor but had to step down because I wanted to be honest and date Carlie. It was nice to be able to share summer adventures with Carlie and her son Cooper… 4th of July in Idaho with everyone was definitely the highlight of the summer!!! I got introduced to the YouTube family and even started my own channel and business “ClarkKent Hops.”
On top of all that I got to play some beach volleyball, go to a Dodgers and an Angels game, visit Compton and South Central, play pickup basketball on Venice Beach, visit the LA temple and visitor center and make some true friends in LA that I will never forget. I spent a week and a half in casting finals for the CBS TV show, “The Amazing Race” just barely missing the cut.
Oh yea and by the way I did end up passing my Dental Part 1 National Board Exam on August 15th…It was a dark cloud hanging over my head all summer but I finally knocked it out!!! After that it was a Utah trip to see my family and Idaho one more time and now I’m back in AZ starting my 2nd year of dental school!!! phew!!!
As I reflect on my summer chapter I am nothing but grateful. It was a roller coaster with lots of ups and downs but I love roller coasters. What stayed constant throughout the summer was the support of family, friends and loved ones who showed me that they cared. This was my last free summer without work or school of my life!!! Never again will I have that chance and so I made the most of it.
As my new chapter begins I am realizing that I still have the constant of friends and family by my side like angels to help me through the hard days and to celebrate with on the great days. What I have realized is that it’s “the characters” in your life novel that really make it worth reading/living. If there weren’t any characters then your story would be boring. We would all have the same old story maybe something like the movie Cast Away with Tom Hanks where he so desperately needed somebody that he ended up making a volleyball that he named “Wilson” his best friend.
Money, fame, cars, possessions and all that stuff you cannot take with you to the next life but your relationships with people will endure forever. D&C 130:2 states “that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy.” This verse literally means that everyone you know here, even a small acquaintance, you will know in the next life. That is why it is so important for us to love our fellow-men because you might be able to avoid someone here on earth temporarily but they like you will live forever and be around forever!!! The best moments with friends and loved ones here will go one in heaven but they will be magnified by “eternal glory.” I don’t know about you but I cannot wait for that chapter.
Yet we must live in the present. My present chapter has only been a week back on the grind at school has been exhausting. It is nice to settle into a routine but kind of difficult to keep an insanely busy pace when the summer was so relaxed. I started coaching volleyball as an assistant for Mountain Ridge high school girls varsity which on top of school keeps me very busy. Hard work is good for the soul though and I feel productive. The 2nd year of dental school is not as much book work, there is much more hands on time working on a mannequin in the Simulation Lab which is much more interesting. Crazy to think I will be treating real live patients by next summer!!!
I had an especially difficult day this week on Wednesday hump day. I ended up having my keys fall out of my scrub pocket onto the floor while at lunch at a Pizza place. It caused me lots of unnecessary stress searching the entire campus and my friend’s car until I finally backtracked all the way to the Pizza place. I called my friend Collin who was nice enough to pick me up from campus and take me home to get my spare key and then drive me back to campus so I could drive. Then later that night I ended up running out of gas. It was on empty for three days I don’t know how long I thought I could run on fumes. A friend named JR picked me up and we went and bought a gas tank at Pep Boys, then to the gas station and to my car… Without these two friends in my life my failure of a day could have been even a lot worse. These characters came into my story at just the right time.
It feels good to be back here in AZ because it really feels like home. Familiar faces of friends and faculty are comforting. As I begin this new chapter with hope I am determined to fill each page with meaning. I have some new goals for this school semester and I am excited to find my greatness within. I chose 4 words that I want to shape this next chapter of my life:
CONSISTENCY, PATIENCE, SERVICE and PURITY
I want to incorporate these 4 words as principles in my life that will make me a better man. I have a planner where I am going to set specific goals to improve in all these areas of my life.
Are you beginning a new chapter? What are some principles you can choose to incorporate into your novel? What are the steps you will take to accomplish this?
As we all move forward lets remember that our relationships with friends and family are what really matter. Lets create memories that we can carry on with us in this life and into the eternities. If we do this I know that we will be happy because we will not be alone. We will have an exciting novel full of interesting characters and adventure.