Thursday, April 28, 2011

The center of the universe

How many teenagers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Just one--and it revolves around them.

Sometimes, I'll admit, I get caught up in my own universe. It's one of the benefits/downsides of being single--everything about my life is centered on what I want and what I'm doing. At least, I like to blame my self-centeredness on being single.

But sometimes, things start to fall in place enough to make me think the world really does revolve around me. For example, a few days before I made the move to the Salt Lake area, I read in the news that the Church was redoing all of the YSA wards in the state, combining singles regardless of their situation in life. This happened right as I was moving not just out of my parents' house but out of the county, and as I was a little bit worried about being too old for a typical student ward but not really wanting to be a part of an odds-and-ends singles ward--the YSAs who are living at home, the YSAs who are well past marriageable age (you know, like 31 or something), or the YSAs who are fresh out of high school and excited at the prospect of going to church with the big kids.

How convenient that that dilemma was solved for me.

Going back a little bit, on the day I got that enormous Christmas present (a.k.a., no more job hunting), I had no idea that I would actually love my job, that I would have a boss that leads exactly the way I want to follow (very laid back about life in general, snarky, and believes in delegating and then leaving you alone), that I would like everyone I interacted with even though many of them had U logos on their clothing, and that I would have unique opportunities for personal growth every day. All I wanted was something to pay the bills and give me something to do--I didn't think I would get the entire package.

How convenient that things worked out so well for me.

It isn't just recently that I've felt this way, however. Even as a child, I was aware of my center-of-the-worldness.

When I was little, I was convinced that I was my Grandpa Jackson's favorite granddaughter. He would sneak me gummy bears when my parents wouldn't fall for my crying tantrums, he took me to the farm and then retold the experience every chance he got (I talked more during that precious hour than I have the rest of my life combined), and his face always seemed to light up whenever I came over to visit.

I felt the same way about my Grandma Rushton, too. After all, she did give me a sweatshirt that said, "I'm Grandma's Favorite Angie."

As I grew older, I was disappointed to discover that my cousins felt the same way about their grandparents. Grandma Rushton was a champion at buying (and making) perfectly individualized gifts, Grandma Jackson was always loaded with gummy bears and fun crafts, while Grandpa Jackson and his hard chest gave bone-crushing hugs to all who crossed his path. My grandparents saw the individuality of each grandchild, and loved each of us for who we were. Thus, we all felt like we were a little more important than everyone else. And who doesn't like to be more important than somebody else?

So forgive me for thinking that the world revolves around me; all evidence seems to point toward that fact.

However, just as I wasn't the only "favorite" grandchild, the world can revolve around more than just me. In fact, it can and does revolve around each individual. There's no way that I would feel so sure about the path I'm on if someone hadn't help me pave the road, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that way.

No matter what happens, I'll always be the center of someone's universe, someone who has the power to make things right in my life. And this person doesn't just care about me--he has a universe to base around all of us. And oddly enough, knowing that I am the center of someone's universe makes it a lot easier to make someone else's universe better.

There's a wise and loving Creator out there, that's for sure.

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