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.


  1. I. Love. You. I so enjoyed reading about your detours. He is pretty amazing! I had totally forgotten you were a dancer. I want to know the schools you were accepted to...because I know you are brilliant:D

    I think it is pretty awesome that you were one of my first friends in Aiken and then we have ended up in the same town:) Pretty cool.

  2. Hi Patty -- Reading today wile the children are outside romping around.
    I enjoyed learning you were a dancer. Me too! I can totally relate to your feeling of melancholy when watching someone dance on stage. Though I never had the talent you did/do, I understand "feeling" the movements on the inside. It is a powerful emotion.

    It is amaznig how our lives zigzag as the Lord brings us where He needs us, to better fulfill His purposes and bring about His glory. Gald you in Cola-town, too. :)