Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Embracing the Detours
There are detours that are minor bumps, hiccups, cute little side trips, and then there are those which change our lives. I know of 2 detours that have had a bearing on the path which I am currently taking.
Detour #1: I went to Furman University. I wanted to go to a school that had some opportunity for me to continue dancing, and possibly a dance conservatory. However, I injured my ankles my senior year of high school, and was told by my doctor that if I continued dancing as strenuously as I was currently, I would be wheel chair bound within three years. OR I could give it up. At that point I had been dancing for 13 years and was averaging 20 hours a week after school in rehearsals. I gave it up, and it was one of the hardest things I've ever done. It was like cutting out part of my soul. I can still, as a mother of two and adult woman far removed from that world, go see a show, and silently cry in yearning to be up there with those that can. That is those that can dance - at that level. It's a gift, and I got to taste it.
The other part of college was that wherever I went, it would be north, since I had grown up in small town Tennessee. I worked my tail off to get accepted to some phenomenal schools, and then I had to accept that my parents couldn't afford them. They could afford more than lots, but even then, the schools I had aimed for were more, and I had no scholarship to them. An acceptance letter wasn't enough. So. I went to Furman, which is in South Carolina, where I received a scholarship for viola and I played in the orchestra, and I was EXACTLY where I needed to be. It was a beautiful school, and I was greatly challenged, and I had to grow up to survive, and my professors noticed me, and they cared about me, and I cannot describe how grateful I am to my parents. Furman wasn't (isn't) cheap, and they sacrificed to give me that experience, and to me, at the time, it was just a detour. I grew there. By the end, I got it. Or should I say, I got him (smile). In fact, my college roommate introduced me to my husband shortly after we graduated. It's actually all his fault I even took detour number two.
Detour #2: Since I had not had the opportunity to go north for school, I decided I would go north for work. I wanted to be an inner city middle school teacher in Boston. Yes, middle school. Yes, Boston. My parents had taken me to Boston on a business trip back in high school, and I had gotten to stay in the ritzy section, ride the train alone, and be pampered at some of the boutiques. I naively thought Boston would be a great place to go teach inner city kids. After all, I had read the book, Dangerous Minds, before seeing the movie. All joking aside, it was my dream to go teach in an inner city environment, and I took the coursework to prepare myself. But Michael came along right as I started my student teaching. He was just too cute, and pretty quickly my job applications started moving south. I had three offers, but only one was near him, and I took it. I lived with his aunt and uncle while I looked for an apartment, and I changed my life's purpose to include him. He gave me the life I have now - a marriage - two precious boys - a home in the south - a life better than I had planned. It's funny, they say, the best joke you can tell God is your five year plan. I told God that joke twelve years ago, and he has rewarded me ever since.