We went to a wedding yesterday evening. It was a lovely ceremony, including an Anglican Mass, which I enjoyed; I’d never celebrated the Eucharist at an Anglican church before. The bride and groom are both friends of mine from undergrad, as were many of the guests. I saw classmates whom I haven’t seen in over four years!! It was lovely, and I was very proud, indeed, to show off Glynis.
But – of course there’s a but – when everyone would ask “So, what have you been up to?” the only interesting thing I could think of to say was “Baby”. I mean, these are all my friends who’ve finished their undergrads – on time! – and gone on to multiple graduate degrees. One woman made history by being the first person in some 40 years to complete the undergraduate, masters and doctoral level Latin exams at U of T in less than 8 months. Another was a senior federal ethics advisor. Another is a doctoral candidate but recently spent a year teaching at the College of the Humanities where we all first met! Most have travelled the world, and seen and done things of which I can only dream. I’ve had a baby. I’m proud of her and of myself and of my husband, and am happy with many of the choices we’ve made, but I cannot help but wonder: what happened? Why did I spend 6 months working in law firms when I had no desire to make a career out of it? Why did I settle for doing administrative monkey work for a half-assed online high school in the sticks for three months? Why have I spent the last year working for a charity, whose policy initiatives I don’t even wholly condone, managing a database and printing out form letters?! And why, oh why, did I ever consider going back there after my mat leave is up?!!
I woke up this morning and told The Man: we need to figure out what the hell I am doing with my life. I ended up in tears by the afternoon, not being able to stop thinking about just how bored I was even telling my old and dear friends what a non-starter my life has become. I told The Man, “I’m ashamed of myself. I had all this potential, and I just…wasted it.”
So, that’s it. I cannot entertain the idea of going back to my job. I can’t. It is absolutely imperative that I find another way, another path, or rather, find my way back to the path I was originally on some five or six years ago. We are going to find a way to have me finish my degree, bolster my resume for grad schools, and then look into graduate studies. I’m going to start reconsidering myself. Rather than thinking of myself as a failure, as someone who forgot to finish her degree, abandoning her goals, who is therefore unworthy or unqualified for great things, I will start to think of myself who is on her way toward the place she always belonged. I’m just fortunate enough to have a husband and daughter along with me!
I read Peanut Oh, The Places You’ll Go this afternoon; the message was for me, too.
Today is your day!
…Your mountain is waiting.
So…Get on your way!