Saturday, May 26, 2007
This weekend marks twenty years since...
I graduated from high school with 31 other classmates and while I was overjoyed to be graduating, I was terrified at what lay ahead. I had no idea what I would do with my life. My choice came down to joining the military and so I did. In fact this year marks twenty years I would have been in and able to retire. I likely would have been a senior chief or master chief by now getting out with a seriously cushy retirement. But a career military woman I was not meant to be and that's ok.
Last night I checked out the photo spread of the graduating class of 2007 in our small county newspaper, a bunch of happy kids with smiles, looking forward to the rest of their lives. Many of the kids who graduated last night are the sons and daughters of people I went to school with. Suddenly I felt old. I thought to myself that's probably how my parents generation felt when their kids were graduating from high school. My dad was 38, my mom 37, when my brother graduated from high school in 1984. I remember that night very well. I wonder what they were thinking? And they still had two more at home!
Age is a part of life and yeah I just need to get over that. What is important is the quality of life. I will admit that there was a stretch of time there where I wasn't really focusing on quality because I suppose I was too damn busy asking myself "what am I supposed to be doing in this world?" It's a question I've asked myself for years.
Yesterday I was reviewing my resume before sending it to a friend who is a professor so he could look over it and give me some feedback. I have to submit it as part of an assignment for class. I haven't revised it in some time and when I was looking at it, it just didn't jump out at me. Oh I have great job experience and I can do a lot of things but there's nothing earth-shattering. Maybe I don't think I accomplished much but I think he and those who know me would probably say different. In fact if they read this they'd probably be thinking "oy vey what's she talking about?"
Ok maybe all of them wouldn't use the words "oy vey" but I know mom would.
I've got to remind myself that I have changed dramatically in the last 20 years. Change is inevitable, we ALL change. Have those changes been good? Yes, they have. Have I evolved in my way of thinking? Yes, I have. Absolutely. When I was 17 I really didn't "get it" when it came to animals, energy conservation, homelessness, poverty, and many other of those type issues. When I was 17 it was all about me. I mean come on at 17, it HAS to be all about you, that's a person's time to start figuring out where they're going in life and how they're going to make the best of it.
Now I believe I "get it" in regards to many things I didn't think twice about years ago and I laugh at times when I think how much my thinking has changed over the years. Aging is a process, just another damn process. There are things I don't know now that I will come to know and understand when I am 60 and so the process will just continue. I can either go with it or just give up altogether. I'm not giving up and so I will have to deal with it.
When I was a senior in high school I was news and opinions editor of the high school newspaper. In those days I was already in the mindset that I wanted to do something meaningful with my life, something I would enjoy, something that would make a difference. I suppose back then I had some idea of what I wanted to do in life, I just didn't know how to do it.
Now I do.