Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Way It Could Have Been

When I was a child I wanted to be a social worker. Then I wanted to be a flight attendant and see the world. In high school I was on the newspaper staff and I wanted to be a journalist.
My senior year, I spoke with an Army recruiter and joined the Army. I lived with my grandparents and knew that before my mom moved us there, they were on their way to retiring and traveling. But then we got dumped on them, that’s how I always felt.
My senior year, I was exposed to Langston Hughes’ poem "Dream Deferred". And I knew. I knew that my grandparents dream had been put on the back burner for us. I have always been grateful, but the Army was my way out. To get out of their home, to not be a burden to them. And an opportunity for me to see the world.
So, I joined the Army. And it scared me senseless. The closer my enlistment date got, the more petrified I became. And finally, I got a college catalog from the community college and I went to the recruiter. He tried telling me that I could not get out of it. I was sworn in already, and he held that over my head. But by that point, I knew what was possible. He kept me there for 3 hours, but in the end I left, and I was free.
I had not thought of that for years, but today it all came rushing back to me. If I had gone into the military, who would I be now? For that matter, if I had become a social worker, a flight attendant, or a journalist…
I am who I am because of every event in my life. Every dream has helped to mold me, to shape my soul. Even a failed marriage, lost jobs, every little spot on the galaxy of my past. I would not be the person that I am without each and every lost dream, every tear, every heartbreak.
In my life, I’ve worked at fast food, worked with developmentally delayed adults as a caregiver, was a stay at home mom, a med-aide in an assisted living facility, a housekeeper, a job developer for developmentally delayed adults, an administrator of an alzheimers unit, a temp worker in various factories, and now a scale operator at a gravel pit. Each and every job helped to give me all of my knowledge and ideals that I currently have. Each job has had it’s ups and downs. I can pick and choose any one and say ‘what if…’ but in the long run they were just pieces to the puzzle.
Our job does not define us. It contributes to our outlook, but it does not define the whole. I’m thankful for every struggle I’ve had. And for that matter, I’m thankful for the ones going on right now. They are adding to me, to make me a little more complete.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my photographs. I entered one in a contest Sunday, am working on submitting more to various contests. And by the end of the year, I should have a book made with many of them in there. I will keep you posted on that.
Another theme in my life lately. You know how something is when you notice the very same thing everywhere you go? Each time you turn around, there it is again… is a women’s sacred circle, goddess sacred circle, etc. I’ve said before that I’ve always been a tomboy. But at this point in my life, I am completely connecting with women. I am going to have to dive in soon… I see this phenomenon everywhere and it looks so inviting!
Happy Tuesday Everyone!!


Belle said...

This is such a beautiful post. Some days it's challenging to accept, but it is so true - "I am who I am because of every event in my life." And you are so right - our jobs do not define us, not unless we want them to. The choice is ours. And that is one of the secrets to happiness, I think.

Melissa said...

I have the same thought every so all the stuff I went through was so worth it to get me here.

I've been interested in a women's circle for years....just haven't been lucky enough to find one that fits yet. But perhaps I will soon.

I was such a tomboy when I was young...I had mostly boy friends, riding big wheels, playing with cars in the dirt. I think I'm still a little tomboy'ish. ;)


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