Monday, April 30, 2007

young vs old

young vs old
Originally uploaded by tattoornottattoo.

I searched flickr for young vs. old and this is what came up. It seemed fitting somehow.

I felt kind of old today. It was okay. But it was weird. It was weird to be back on that campus and have it feel so different to be there. I am such a different person in so many ways...but exactly the same in so many others.

I didn't really see anyone like me there - which was kind of unexpected.

They all seemed like either freshman - or fairly experienced but still only just sophmores or juniors trying to fit in a few extra credits. There were grad students - well, maybe not even grad students but MARRIED students - and I used to be one of those.

I remember when I was a single young student I used to look at students pushing their babies around campus in strollers and actually feel this kind of sick feeling in my stomache. Like - I don't know, this will sound really bad, but like their life was sort of over. I don't know, it just depressed me on some level. And I think often because it seemed as if the girl had quit school and the husband was the one who was still going.

Then of course I did the exact same thing - I did it much later in my college career than some girls. I at least waited until it was into my 4th year of college (which is EXTRA stupid not to have finished when I got married). But once I got married I started thinking about having a baby and it was just a big snowball effect from there that puts me where I am today, going back at 39.

And I have to admit that even today - most of those married students depressed me in a kind of way. And it sort of depressed me to hear overhear so many students talking about dating - or being set up on a date - or finding the right person. I overheard more conversations about that than anything else. And that kinda bugged me. It shouldn't, I know, but somehow it did.

I don't want to be misunderstood. I ADORE my kids and I made a very conscious choice to be a mother - and really, a choice to be a young mother and a choice to be a mother while my husband finished school and had the greater earning potential and frankly the greater aptitude at school. But I do regret that I sold myself short in the process somehow. That I didn't really quite understand completely where my choices were taking me. I only had it thought out so far - it wasn't until Holden started school that it really started to dawn on me that these kids were not going to be home forever and I am not really the becky homecky type. And then what?

I can do lunch with my friends and I have a lot of interests and there's plenty of interesting volunteer work and other opportunities out there - so don't get me wrong. But I just think I sold myself short a really long time ago and I think, maybe, at the time, I thought I was taking the easy way out, and really, I was choosing the hardest way instead.


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