Lesson from Shrek
Have you ever seen Shrek Forever After? I didn't even know there was a 4th Shrek until buying the bundle on Apple. Half paying attention, I was able to grasp the gist of the plot (spoiler alert!): Shrek makes a deal with Rumpelstiltskin to trade a day for a day. Shrek wants a day when he can be a "real ogre" again -- be feared and have privacy; Rumpel wants a day from Shrek's childhood. Shrek didn't have a preference on which day Rumpel took, so Rumpel took the day he was born. Shrek is whisked away into an alternate reality.
The concept of giving up a day has been on my mind lately. I work in the MBA program at the University of Utah. During our applicant interviews, we ask, "Is there anything you would change about your undergrad?" This question always gives me pause. Is there anything that I would change? Sure, maybe I'd change a few things, but if I change a few things, would I still be me? Would I still have the same experiences that have shaped me, or would the course of my life be just different enough that I would be a little different too?
It's the same thing about giving up a day. Would I give up a day? I've thought about the days where it seems like nothing happens or the days where I'm sick and wish I had full energy again. But even those days might change something about where I'm at now. I like to think that I make the most of every day, but I'd be lying if I said that were true. I like to THINK that, but I don't think I actually do some of the time.
As I pause to think about this, I also think of the hard days. Yes, there are absolutely days that I would love to trade, but I wouldn't actually go through with it. Those hard days have 100% shaped me. There are days where I'm absolutely crushed and think there's no way up. But, yet, somehow, I make it through. Those days make me tough. Those days make me proud of what I've gone through. THOSE are the days that define me.
If I were to change anything from my undergrad, maybe it would've been the classes I took. Maybe take a couple of business classes. But if I did, I would've met different people. What if I had a different best friend because of that circle? What if I married someone from that circle? See? My whole life could've taken a very different direction!
If I were to trade a day, it'd probably be a day when I was sick and stayed home from school during high school. That seems obsolete, right? Well what if being sick that day built my immune system to help me get over a different, more serious illness? It's a stretch, I know, but I hardly ever stayed home from school. I was one of those kids that never skipped class and always turned in homework and got straight A's. The idea of me taking a sick day sounds very lovely! I wouldn't want to rob myself of that. See? I wouldn't want to change it!
What days define you? Is there a day that you would give up?