As I was driving home from running errands for the third straight day, my music lists, as it always seems to do, shuffled to the right song at the right time. And of course, I was ready to sing along, as I always am. But then, I caught myself as I joined in with the lyrics:
“I’m not falling behind or running late… I’m not standing still, I am lying in wait…”
I’m not falling behind… I’m not running late. I replayed the song as I entered the gates to the military base that I called home and let the song play again even after I parked the car. I sat for a moment in thought. Here I had been reluctant in returning to my alma mater for homecoming… all for what? I won’t deny that the fear was real… the embarrassment of not having achieved the goals I had set for myself all those years ago. What would my former classmates think of me? What would my sorors think of me? Had I failed the expectations of those who once held me in such high esteem?
Writing this I realize that I failed to announce that yes, I am returning to my college for its homecoming celebration. After friends had asked me for years when I’d come back, I figured I could no longer keep away; my reasons had run out. In the years before, I was either too far, or had to work. I was either newly pregnant for busy caring for young toddlers. But being that we are finally back on the East Coast, my kids are older and in school, and I have yet to start work after PCSing from Colorado, I figured what the heck? I have a little money, and a little time. I might as well make an appearance. Besides, it’s been ten years… I owe this to myself, at least.
It can hard to accept when things don’t go as planned. But I find that things typically don’t go as planned, and that’s OK. It’s OK that my life took a different route than I expected. And it’s OK if some of my peers seem to be doing a little more with their lives right now. What’s important is the solace you find in where you are right now. Knowing that it’s never too late to achieve your goals, or that it’s perfectly fine if you have to wait for your time is the real challenge the most people cannot accept.
I won’t make this one long since my last one was a bit of a read, and also because I am currently sitting in the airport, barely able to keep my eyes open. (I don’t know why I thought it was a good idea to stay up til midnight when I knew I had this flight today… I am not 21 anymore!) But I will say that even though there will be the trap questions all weekend pertaining to achievements, accomplishments, and current projects (college graduates are sooooo obsessed with these things called “careers”- cue eye roll), I can say that I am more secure in what I am doing, and what I am working toward, right now at 33 than I was when I was working at 23. So I’m gonna let it go, relax, and enjoy my weekend at the great Bethune-Cookman University- shout out to all Wildcats coming back for homecoming weekend.
And whatever else may happen and possible inquisitions I cannot yet answer, I’m willing to wait for it.