Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thing I'm Thankful For: Austin

Remember when I said I was thankful for being in Austin? And that I'd share the particulars with you later? Well, it's later, and my post about Texas is long overdue.

I'll start by saying that I almost didn't stay here. Most people probably know this by now, but as of August 2011, I was supposed to be in Indiana. After an incredible scholarship and job offer from Indiana University, I had decided to move. I was going to transfer my 9 measly UT credits to the School of Information at IU—Bloomington and start over. I had planned it all—from the apartment to the roommate to the departure date. All that was left to do was sell my large furniture, pack up, and move out.

But I couldn't do it.

I had finally made friends here in Austin. I made friends at church and friends at school. I started having fun and relaxing a bit. I went on dates. I didn't want to go through another painful 6 months of getting used to a place and overcoming my shyness.

So I prayed. I wanted Heavenly Father to tell me what to do, but he didn’t. And I knew he wouldn’t because it was my decision. I went to him in prayer and said something like, “I don’t really know what to do, but I want to stay in Texas, so I’m staying in Texas. Please just somehow make it easier for me to afford my program.”

Then, during the second week of school, a classmate told me about an open graduate research assistant position that would be perfect for me. I applied, had an interview, and got the job by the third week of the semester. It wasn’t until that week that I felt Heavenly Father’s ratifying seal—not that I had made the correct choice—because I think Indiana would have been a good choice, too. He ratified and sanctified my decision. He said, “Okay, Sara. I left you alone on this one. You used the brain I gave you to make a decision and move forward. Now, I approve and I’m going to help you out after this trial of your faith and bless you with a way to ease your stress a bit."

Sometimes I think about what I'm missing in Indiana—leaves changing color, snow, Midwest accents, and a world-class music scene. I think about how I traded cream and crimson for burnt orange—gross. But every day I think about the things I am starting to love in Texas:
  • Sunny weather
  • Kayaking
  • Ridiculously prideful Texans
  • Breakfast tacos
  • Nerds (Austin is filled with them.)
  • A large and active Institute
  • Lots of other Mormon graduate students
  • Being halfway to Utah
Despite the difficulty that is grad school and the extreme lack of sleep and constant insecurity that goes along with it, I'm glad I came to Texas, and I'm glad I stayed.


Blogger Unknown said...

Great story. I'm glad it worked out so well for you.

4:51 AM  
Blogger Gretchen Alice said...

I'm pretty darn glad you stayed, too.

8:16 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

I love burnt orange...I painted an entire room in my house burnt orange. Maybe it will grow on you :)

8:50 AM  
Blogger bh said...

Austin has an amazing music scene - i doubt you're missing much from Indiana...

11:36 AM  
Blogger cardlady said...

Sara, because I know the details of this post, you made me cry. Joyous tears. Your faith and strength and asking for confirmation of your request is a very positive influence on all of us. You are a sweet, believing young woman with faith to move mountains. Love YOU MOM

1:06 PM  

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