Before we came to earth there was a big meeting. Well, there probably were a couple big meetings. But one of the most influential meetings was called "The Life Plan Meeting: An Exercise In Agency"-and that is the big meeting I'm talking about.
As I recall (which I really don't) we were all in a massive white cultural hall. There was someone at the front, on the stage, behind a table covered in a white linen tablecloth. On the table was a huge glass box filled with white papers. The person at the table would choose a paper out of the box and read it out loud. We all listened intently because this is what the paper would say:
LIFE PLAN 00842
1.) You will be the youngest of a family of three
2.) You will be in the school marching band
3.) You will marry your college sweetheart
4.) You will love Krispy Kremes
5.) You will buy a Gandolfo's Franchise in Southern Nevada
6.) You will have road rage
7.) You will write Science Fiction Novels
Then someone in the room would frantically raise their hand. "I want that life! Please let me have that one!" Promptly they would be handed the paper. We would all do the Primary Clap (some call it Jazz Hands) because it is the reverent way of showing excitement. It would be recorded.
At the bottom the paper reads:
You have chosen this plan because you were given the agency to do so...now make the most of it and congratulations!
Then they read:
LIFE PLAN 00843
1.) You will be a little on the nerdy side
2.) You will start a company
3.) The company will make you the richest man ever to live
And we all know who got that one (Bill Gates).
So lately I have been thinking. Knowing me, I probably waited until there was a really strange LIFE PLAN read and I was like Ohhhh yes, intriguing.
LIFE PLAN 31177
1.) You will be the sixth child of nine
2.) You will develop a lisp that will become permanent over time making words like "crisp" almost impossible to say.
3.) You will have large cheeks
4.) You will go through puberty in fourth grade, on average, four years earlier than most of your friends
5.) You will have extreme feminist issues in high school and will not shave your legs almost your entire senior year
6.) Your first boyfriend out of high school will be a hippie
7.) You will go on a mission
8.) You will marry the hippie for nine tumultuous months and then call it quits on the same day your little sister gets married causing rampant family confusion
9.) You will elope to Vegas with your next husband, after praying about it
10.) You will have issues with infertility, western medicine and people's opinions, making your life hard to explain to others
11.) You will be a developing vegan -whatever that means
12.) You will have a mild case of car hypochondriacism -the fear that your car, regardless of how new, will break down on you at anytime OR that any sound your car makes is the sound of imminent engine failure
And because they can see that 31177 isn't going to go easily, they add:
We'll throw in an awesome (second) husband as an incentive!!!
That is when I nudge the spirit next to me (it was probably Trish, cause we are SOULMATES) I think that one should be mine. So I shoot my hand in the air "Pick Me! Pick ME!" I yell across the cultural hall. There is more Primary Clap/Jazz Hands and I do a grandiose bow. As they hand me the paper I beam with excitement. It is recorded. LIFE PLAN 31177 belongs to me.
I am trying to remember this meeting when I get criticized for my choices. I want to say Well do you think I would have picked this particular personal revelation? Don't you think that I want to eat Ice Cream like the rest of Mormondom? Then I remember how happy I was to choose 31177. It was MY choice. And truthfully, although a little exhausting at times, I did a pretty good job. Not nearly as tedious as 00843. I am so sure.