On Never Giving Up

May 25, 2011 10:17 pm

Dear Love,

Recently a very dear friend wrote me a letter asking for advice and she wanted to know how we do what we do.  You know... go to grad school while having four children, no money, lots of stress, tons of responsibilities and basically an all-around crazy way of life.  I asked your opinion on the matter and you had some profound advice.  I wrote her a letter using your wisdom sprinkled with a itsy bitsy tiny bit of mine.  

This is (basically) what I wrote her:

First of all I'm flattered that you would even ask me for advice.  You're too sweet.  Before I begin my speech I think you need to know a little more about Trey and I's background before Pharmacy school. 

When we first got married Trey was in the Army.  We lived in CA for a year and a half and life was BLISS.  We then moved to TX into (literally) a blue shack.  It was a very weird and crazy 6 months and then Trey got orders to go to Korea on a hardship tour.  I was five months pregnant when he left and I lived with his parents.  It was horrible being separated for two months and the whole time we were apart Trey was working on getting me to be able to come over.  When I was seven months pregnant I was finally able to go to Korea and we lived in the smallest little apartment I've ever seen.  We had no car, no washer, dryer, dishwasher and we did without a lot of "modern" conveniences.  Because we chose to be together in Korea the Army cut our paycheck by more than half. I had my first baby, Jonas, at a very outdated hospital that was two hours away from where we lived.  Our years in Korea were an adventure, but not always a good one.  After Korea we moved to Maryland and that's when Clara was born.  When she was four days old she got deathly ill and was hospitalized for almost a month.  When we made the choice to get out of the Army it was very difficult because life's choices are made for you and we were scared to face the real world.  

After we got out of the Army we were living with Trey's parents when we found out I was pregnant with a surprise Nora.  No job, no house, no money.  Trey went back to school and got his Real Estate License, but then the economy went bad, it wasn't a secure career, and we lost a lot of money.  He then started a construction business with his best friend, but it ended up not being a good thing and we lost thousands of dollars.  When Trey was going to undergrad times were very stressful because he had to make straight A's in order to get accepted to Pharmacy school.

When he finally decided on the path to Pharmacy school we already had three kids and we had been married six years.  What I'm trying to say is... LIFE IS HARD.  Are you surprised?  Sometimes I am.  I never imagined my life to be what it is now, but I wouldn't do anything differently.  Every trial and setback has made us stronger individually and as a couple.

As far as school goes, yes it's hard.  Harder than we both thought it would be.  There are days when I don't want to get out of bed.  Days when I can't seem to control the tears.  It's stressful and emotional and sometimes I hate it.  I have to constantly remind myself that it's going to be worth it. Trey and I seem to bounce back and forth between him feeling depressed and like he can't handle it and then it's my turn and he's lifting me up, telling me it's going to be okay.  We've both learned things about ourselves and yes, we're stronger now.  

You don't know what you're capable of until you're pushed to your limit.  Heavenly Father will often give us a gentle pull or push to make us grow, but some of the time it's a shove.

The way to tell if you're on the right path is if it's so hard you feel like quiting.

The main thing to remember is NEVER GIVE UP!  There's no courage in quiting.  It's okay to fail and try again, but it's not okay to quit.  We've failed at a lot of things, but it wasn't for lack of trying.  What I mean by never give up is that if you don't pass a class you take it again.  If you fail again, try harder.  You keep trying until they tell you not to come back.  If that happens, try a different path.  History is full of extraordinary people who failed numerous times before they succeeded.

* As a young man, Abraham Lincoln went to war a captain and returned a private. Afterwards, he was a failure as a businessman. As a lawyer in Springfield, he was too impractical and temperamental to be a success. He turned to politics and was defeated in his first try for the legislature, again defeated in his first attempt to be nominated for congress, defeated in his application to be commissioner of the General Land Office, defeated in the senatorial election of 1854, defeated in his efforts for the vice-presidency in 1856, and defeated in the senatorial election of 1858. At about that time, he wrote in a letter to a friend, "I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on the earth."

*Michael Jordan was cut  from high school basketball teams. Jordan once observed, "I've failed over and over again in my life. That is why I succeed."

*Henry Ford failed and went broke five times before he succeeded.

There are lots more, but I'm sure you get the point.

We do what we do because we have to.  Some nights Trey doesn't even go to bed because he's studying so much.  School doesn't come easy for him.  There are countless times when Trey has felt dumb and like he's not smart enough.  He does whatever it takes in order to pass.

I take care of the cooking, cleaning, the kids, preschool, my calling, soccer, homework, etc... by myself... because I have to.  Some days I do it better than others.

This time of your life will past and when you look back you'll realize it wasn't as hard as you thought.  I know it's so hard right now, but try and have faith and stay positive.  You're going to have constant learning and growing experiences and I know you guys will do great.

Love, Meshan

Some points I wanted to add for journaling purposes:

Two years have flown by and in the thick of it I thought it would never end.  I can't believe Pharmacy School will be over soon.  I remember crying to Grandma and Grandpa Livvy about how hard it all was and having myself a nice little pity party.  They snapped me out of it by telling me how lucky we were to have Trey going to school, how blessed we were to have four healthy children and how I needed to be grateful for the things I have.  They told me that when we're in our eighties we'll remember these years fondly as the best years of our lives.  I'm so thankful for their wise words and that they have been such a constant source of encouragement and prayers on our behalf.

Just to be clear, these are the years we're going to treasure:
The years our children were little and running around getting into mischief.  The years a date out seemed like the most wonderful luxury in the world.  The years we had to constantly encourage one another to press forward.  The years we had to count every penny and hope they would stretch until the next student loan came.  The years we lived in the blazing Nevada heat. The years when our lives were consumed with soccer.   The years I ran a preschool out of our home.  The years we treasured our time together because time together was so rare…

Yes.  I do, indeed, feel blessed.

xoxo, Me


  1. you guys are awesome. enough said.

  2. Keep going you two. The future is bright. From President Hinckley; "Life is just like an old time rail journey ... delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride."
    Jeff and Brit

  3. Love this post. Just what I needed to hear/read. Thank you for sharing!