Happy Birthday to my darling husband! I love you! In other news…
I attended my 20-year high school reunion this past weekend. Boy am I getting old! Well, at least I feel that way sometimes. You know how it is. Things don’t work quite like they used to. I did find while attending my reunion that there was one thing that had not changed in the past 20 years, and it was not for the better.
That was the insecurity and need to impress that I felt when around some of the people I saw this past weekend. Seriously. What’s up with that anyway? To provide a little history…
I ran with the “popular” crowd in high school. Please don’t think I’m bragging here. I’m not. We all know that there are different cliques in high school. They happened to be mine. I took the highest level of courses you could take at that time and graduated 13th out of a class of 120. I was in Beta Club, the band where I was drum major my junior and senior years, served on the staffs of the yearbook and school newspaper, voted one of 10 outstanding seniors, FBLA, FCA, had the lead in our school musical one year, etc.
Again, please don’t think I’m tooting my own horn. That truly is not my intention. I mention these things only to help you understand how these people I saw this past weekend knew me. The me I described above is the me they knew 20 years ago. I felt there were certain expectations, and somehow, I felt that I had not met them.
When we graduated from high school, everyone with whom I had hung out my entire high school career (and in many cases, my entire school career) had plans to go to college…except me. I wanted to go to college. I had always dreamed of attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I am a rabid Tarheel fan, and I had always longed to immerse myself in a sea of Carolina blue while taking the next step towards who I wanted to be when I grew up. But, it was not to be.
When the parents of all of my friends were moving them in at college, my mother was moving me into a private mental hospital. Yes. You read that right. I was only there for two weeks, but, still, not something you want to share with the “one’s who knew you when” when asked what you did after graduation.
There’s lots of history about what led up to that trip that may or may not be for another post. Either way, it doesn’t really matter for the purposes of this one except to say that my mother was the one who should have been checking in, not me. If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, then you are familiar with the story of my mother. If not, and you are interested, you can read about that at Pink Petunias and Pink Petunias Revisited. Anyway…
It has always bothered me that I didn’t go to college (except for a year at community college which I didn’t finish either because I started working so I could move out on my own). I have taken some college courses through the years and could go back any time, but it wouldn’t be the same. I wanted “the college experience.” I can’t ever get that back. I had one chance for it, and that chance is gone.
The truth is, I don’t feel the need to go back. I don’t think it is necessary for what God has planned for me to do, but I still grieve for that lost opportunity somehow. Twenty years, and it still bothers me.
So when it came time to tell people what I am doing now, I didn’t feel that I could say that first and foremost I am a stay-at-home wife and mother. I don’t have a problem telling other people that. I just couldn’t tell my old classmates. They have all gone on to college degrees, some post-graduate, and are working in their chosen majors.
It wasn’t that I didn’t get around to saying that I stay at home, but only after I had listed other things that I do. I was honest in what I said, but I didn’t prioritize in the order of my actual priorities.
After God, my husband and my daughter ARE my top priorities. And that is as it should be. And I am content with my life. I haven’t always been able to say that. I haven’t even always been content to be a stay-at-home wife and mother, but I am now. I love my life. And I am so thankful that my husband goes to work every day to support our family in a manner that affords me the opportunity to pick my daughter up from school every day, volunteer in her classroom, be on the PTA board so I know what is going on, and a whole host of other things that I am able to do because I stay at home.
I can’t go back and re-do this weekend. But I can learn from it.
There was talk about having another reunion in five years. I hope that is the case. With God’s help, hopefully, I will be an even different person than the one they saw this past weekend. And that person will be proud to say exactly who she is because her identity comes from who she is in Christ, not who man thinks her to be.