Today as I sat cross-legged in the basement of the JFSB cramming for a test, eating the Ham and Cheddar Lunchable and chocolate milk I had vended from the vending machine, I thought of how much I would have enjoyed that lunch when I was 6 years old. Luchables were the cool things to eat at my elementary school. My mom rarely, if ever, bought them for us, pointing out that the food wasn’t good enough quality for how much they charged as well as the shocking lack of vegetables. She was right on both accounts, but my 6 year old mind could only comprehend how much I wanted them and didn’t have them. Now, in my 20 year old glory I can buy my own lunchables. Only- it doesn’t satisfy anymore. Sure, it got me through a couple hours of studying and testing until I could get home and eat something substantial. It served its purpose. But I no longer consider crackers, cheese, and ham a full meal.
As I thought on these things instead of neoclassical ideals and romantic poets, it manifested to me how fundamentally I’ve changed from my 6 year old self. I realize this fact should have been obvious, but I’d never really thought about it. Everything from what I value in cuisine to what I think and care about has matured. I feel like my heart has been changed in ways similar to the process described in the scriptures. I know my choices are made based on a desire to please my Heavenly Father and emulate his love an compassion.
As innocent as I was at 6, I was selfish, prejudiced, argumentative, manipulative, as well as many other things. From what I recall of my mind at the time, I felt completely justified in almost all of my behavior. And while I probably haven’t abandoned some of those characteristics as fully as I would like to, I have gained an understanding of the consequences of my actions, a desire to love others and behave in a way that would express that love. I’m far from where I want to be. But sometimes we get so caught up on how far we have to go and everything we’re not, that we forget how far we’ve come and the person that we are right now. I know that in the coming years experiences will come and I will eventually become the strong loving nurturing capable woman I want to be, but it was nice to take a second and recognize that the person I have become over the years is everything I wanted to be when I was 6, and more. And that this transformation is the product of plan my Heavenly Father has for me. A plan that wonderful and beautiful and that they will lead me to a place joy that I cannot even imagine.