Saturday, April 06, 2013

Scintilla#13, Day 16

The last prompts. Okay, I'm really late to this particular party.

1. What would it have been like if your life had turned out the way you wanted when you were a kid?

2. We bet there was a story you wanted to tell that didn't line up with any of the prompts. Write it anyway - and use it to write a one or two sentence prompt that others could use to tell a good story of their own. Then,
share it with us, if you're comfortable.

Well, there are lots of stories I still have to tell, usually prompted by something that stirs a memory or an emotion. I'm hoping I'll be around for a long time to tell 'em.

I've been thinking about the first prompt since it came out, however, and I've already sort of spoken to that one in the Day 7 post about event horizons. Most everything that has happened since I was a kid is because of the choice I made about where to go to college, and then to stay there.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a nurse. Then a pediatrician. I loved kids; wanted to have four or six of them. Loved babysitting and did a lot of it. Helped in the church nursery and with the four-year-old Sunday school classes. I hung onto the medical field as a career goal pretty much until I butted heads with chemistry classes and realized that medicine was going to require a lot more math and science than I had any interest in -- or aptitude for -- taking. Scratch that one.

Had I stuck with the medical field, I would not have chosen the college I did, and everything would have been different. Everything.

When I hit early high school, I had a spiritual experience at church camp that convinced me I wanted to be a minister (United Methodist Church), and pretty much held onto that through most of high school, even being awarded a Christian service scholarship. It's quite likely that at times I was fairly insufferable, although my view of Christianity and the church's place in the world was very ecumenical and very involved with social justice issues -- clearly a precursor to my admittedly liberal opinions as an adult. I got to attend a variety of church-related conferences and workshops, and met so many interesting people in doing so.

And then in the latter part of my freshman year, that goal changed. I had joined various 'Christian' groups on campus -- not difficult in a church-related college -- and taken the 'Baby Bible' required courses: a semester of Old Testament studies, a semester of New Testament studies. But I started to question everything, including the core Christian belief of the Resurrection: clearly not a good thing for a wanna-be clergyperson to do, huh. Scratch that one too.

As it was, I experienced infertility and my then-husband and I adopted our daughter after a multi-year wait. Scratch the four-to-six kids.

And scratch the boyfriend I had for four years in high school and early college, too, and with whom I'd planned to spend my life. He's gay and is in a wonderful long-term relationship: they came to our wedding in 2000.

I am so grateful that my life has unfolded the way it has, even through the hard stuff and the heartaches. I would never have believed that at age 50 I would fall in love with a man who deeply adores the quicksand I walk on. I would never have believed that I would move to California (of all places -- Colorado would have been so much higher on my list back then!) and live by the ocean and end up in a rural valley between mountain ranges in a house I designed with my honey. I would never have believed that I would do even half of the things I've done -- not all of them pleasant, but each remarkable.

And that's all good, isn't it. We create our own destiny, minute by minute, year by year, experience by experience, hopefully building on what we learn to create a life we love. I have no expectations for these coming years of my life -- other than hope they will be numerous and happy -- but instead try to live and cherish each day, one at a time, and give thanks for it. What an incredible ride it's all been so far!


BBC said...

I've sure been down a lot of interesting paths.

Beth said...

Well, I guess I have too, although probably not interesting like yours are.