Do you ever have a seemingly innocent conversation with someone, but walk away with this one line that you just can’t seem to get out of your head? A line that somehow turns into this alarm clock in your brain. It starts repeating loudly as it lulls you from your comfortable bed, forcing you to accept that you are awake and a new day has to start right now whether you want it to or not.
That new day started a week ago for me.
I was having one of those mother/daughter conversations that almost inevitably end in a fight. It seems as though my Mom and I are repeat offenders – we always tend to bring up the same topics that are just too sensitive to discuss.
Before I continue I must place a disclaimer. Always understand this is just my perception of a two-person situation. I could have forgotten key factors in the conversation or certain events that actually happened in the reality of my 28 years of existence. She may very well know more about me than I actually know of myself. After all she held me inside of her belly for nine whole months before I even had a conscience. However, I was gone from her daily life for almost 10 years. But I guess that’s what this blog entry is getting at…
The culprit of this particular conversation was how I ended up not going to LSU after high school graduation.
See when I was a senior, I still wanted to bleed purple and gold as a Tiger. I wanted to move away and finally be this person I knew I was always destined to be. I wanted to meet new people and join the staff of the Reveille. I wanted to roam that epic campus and one day rule it.
I watched way too many Disney films growing up.
My high school experience was one of active participation. I didn’t have to work or tend to home matters. For some reason I had it in my mind that college was to be the same way. I thought if you worked hard in high school and got your tuition paid for, the rest was handed over to you on good merit. Ha.
As I write this, I realize I wrote something similar to this a few entries ago about life after college graduation. Seems like once again I think life is somehow supposed to be easier for those who do good.
Enough back story. Back to the conversation.
With my youngest sister about to start college, it tends to bring up stuff that happened to me ten years ago, which sometimes makes me feel like I am perpetually not allowed to forget any past mistakes.
My mom begins to talk about why I didn’t go to LSU. It seems like we had different versions of the same story. My version is that she practically scared me out of going. I was going to have to get a job and live in a dorm and wouldn’t have time for extracurricular activities. I understand that these are the realities of going to school. But as my mom used to tell me when I talked back to her, “It’s the tone in how you say it!”. I didn’t feel like she was encouraging me to get through it, I felt like she was trying to talk her oldest from leaving the house. Especially because I had no desire to go to McNeese like my parents did.
My view at times is that after driving through the Boulevard in Rayne my family wants to go left towards Lake Charles and I want to go right towards anywhere else. Cowboys versus Cajun.
A few weeks before I was to start college, I decided to switch to UL Lafayette and commute my first year.
As my mom and I discussed this scenario, again, she said something unique to this repetitive cycle, “I just wanted to see how much you wanted it.”
We kept talking, but that line began to haunt me like the exorcism of Emily Rose.
She wanted to see how much I wanted it.
Maybe she saw back then that I wouldn’t have been ready to handle such a change. Maybe I always want to blame someone else for my lack of success.
Either way, it made me think–hard. How much do I want it? How much do I want to be successful? I have always chosen the harder route, even when an easier one was paved for me. My poor parents. They really are phenomenal. I just have this obsessive need to experience life.
I would just like to finally put down this luggage of guilt that I’ve been carrying around. I can’t change the past. I chose to do things differently and I have to handle those consequences. I understand that it would be easier on me to be around people who are like-minded. But what’s the fun in that? Didn’t I just discuss that I never choose the easy route?
One thing is for certain, I want it. There aren’t many decisions that I can make. There aren’t many things I can clearly define. However, there is one thing I have known since I was a little girl in the first grade, I am a writer.
Even more so I understand now, I want to be a successful writer.
I feel at this point life has given me enough circumstances to understand just how difficult it may be, but has also prepared me with the skills and experience to master it.
Along with the guilt, I am leaving behind these immature patterns of thinking and reacting to old conditions. What’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
I was told as a child that God will do whatever it takes to bring his children safely back home. I believe that home is a sense of peaceful understanding. I feel that bringing me back to my earthly and familial home has definitely matured my perspective–especially that of myself.
Remember, you can’t change the past, even if you really want to. It’s awful heavy to carry it around, too (takes up a lot of brain space to find places to store and organize it). I can now look at it this way. Were all party members trying to make the best decision based upon available information and experience?Yes. The rest is history.
Everything is as it should be. In the words of Amy Steinberg, “I am exactly where I need to be. I need to be exactly where I am.”
More importantly, I WANT to be exactly where I am.