Monday, April 11, 2011


We live, we learn, we make mistakes, we grow from them, we move forward.

Today I met a 23 year old man from Togo, Africa who moved to the U.S. when he was 18. We sat and talked about the history of Africa, we talked about the U.S.A. and it's current situation, it's past, where it's heading. We talked about values and about life, about the future.

Today I met a woman who moved to the U.S. five years ago with her husband from Sibera, Russia. We talked about growing facial hair and drinking vodka to stay warm. We talked about cultural differences between many nations of the world. We talked about the past and about the future.

Today I met an 82 year old man from Brooklyn, New York I wouldn't have guessed was a day over 55. We talked about his amazing experiences in his 30 years in the Marine Corps, and about his personal triumphs since then. We talked about the possibilities for the future if I chose to stay in the Marines as a reservist, about doing what is best for me and ignoring what is not. We talked about our country, about careers, about living instead of just being alive.

Today I was given a third chance at a company I never would have wanted or asked for if I had not stilled my heart and my mind and trusted in the Lord to guide me.

Today was an amazing day.

Tomorrow is looking bright.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

No more procrastinating here Bennie. It's time to start living.

You know, it is a bit hard to fathom that I would turn down two interviews in a row while I am so desperately seeking work, but somehow I have. I was contacted both yesterday and today by businesses I had applied to and asked to come in for an interview, which I immediately accepted, and then later decided it wasn't what I wanted to do. Still... I need something. A part time job would suffice to be honest. I don't have a high cost of living right now and if I am able to find a $10 an hour job with 30 hours a week, I would be able to save up money for the next couple of months and would be able to get myself out of here.

This past weekend I had one of the most eye opening and inspiring two days of my young life. Early last week my good friend Chalise was looking for a ride "home", and without thinking twice I offered my car and my services to escort her. Then the next 5-10 minutes involved a conversation in which I realized "home" was no longer a 30 minute drive from Chandler to Mesa, but was now an 8 and a half (told her parents 10 and a half of course) hour drive from Mesa, Arizona to Provo, Utah where she was attending BYU.

I thought twice about retracting my offer for approximately 2 seconds before I realized what a great vacation this could be from sitting around with nothing to do all day. To make an 11 and a half hour story quite short (yeah we took a wrong turn), I had a remarkable drive filled with music and laughter and great conversation. It was fun to reforge the bond between this friend and myself.

When we were about 2 hours out of Provo she called her friend Travis and before she could even get the question out, he told her he would be happy to have me stay. I can honestly say that in two days in that apartment I gained 6 of the better friends I will have ever had. I had a blast in that apartment, and will forever be grateful for the experience. To see these 6 guys my age doing nothing but enjoying life hit me so hard. Each one was working part time, going to school, and living the gospel of Jesus Christ, and these guys shone. This is where I realized that these are the kinds of people I wanted to be around, and that THIS is what I wanted to be doing.

For some time now it has been a goal and desire of mine to attend Brigham Young University. This desire came about the moment I saw and heard the BYU Priesthood Choir sing in the priesthood session of General Conference a few years ago. "I am going to sing in that choir." I said. One of the great experiences of the weekend was that I was able to follow Chalise around to her classes, and as she is a vocal performance major, I got to see and experience the exact classes I would want to take. Quite honestly, I don't think I could have enjoyed this experience more.

And so, as I drove the eight and a half hours home alone, blasting music to help me stay awake and singing along at the top of my lungs, I didn't have much time to reflect upon the music... but now I have. I have watched people my age doing exactly what I want to be doing. So now, I'm going to do it. I have a few things to get in order first, one of them being to take my SAT or ACT, but I am going to do it. As soon as I am ready I am going to apply to BYU, but even before that I am going to move up to Provo and start living. I know one little weekend may have made this seem a little more glamorous in my eyes than it truly is, but you know what, it set me on fire. I am ready and anxious and I am off to get as much school in as I can before I am ready to serve a mission for my Savior.

No more procrastinating here Bennie. It's time to start living.

(and by the way, I AM going to get accepted.)