I thought I’d turn Fandango’s Provocative Question today into a pointless meander. He asks if I’ve ever had to make what turned out to be a life-changing decision and, if so, do I wish I could go back in time and change it, blah blah, what and why. There have been a few…
Generally, I begin with my foolish decision not to go to Northwestern U. I had no idea about “prestigious” colleges back then apart from the obvious Harvard, Yale, etc. I knew it was good I’d gotten accepted, but the gravitas of the decision was foreign to me. I behaved impulsively as a teen and things that went wrong were easily fixed. Everything felt inconsequential at the time. My parents didn’t seem to care, and after an argument with my mom, she decided she didn’t want to pay for NU, so I ended up at the University of Illinois in Champaign. It was a horrible experience, I dropped out, moved back home, and ended up in a series of dead-end, low-paying jobs.
Next, I moved from Chicago to Southern California with my parents at age 22. I’m not sure this was a great decision, though it would have been hard to stay in the city alone given my crappy jobs. But from the minute I stumbled off the plane to right now, I’ve had one giant migraine that never seems to disappear for good. I know I’d probably suffer from them wherever I lived, but it soured the whole experience for me. I remember being bombarded with the dazzling sunshine when we landed and feeling like I was going to pass out from the brightness and the pain.
Finally, I returned to college to finish my degree. But again, doh, I eschewed UCLA for Cal State because the freaking parking was easier. It seemed like an okay decision at the time, but it was yet another folly. Not that I had a bad experience at Northridge ~ I actually loved it all and appreciated my classes and the professors there. But until I had my own children I did not realize the importance of the name of a school. Whatever, at least I finished and that led me to the job I have now, which is good. But I got a late start at a career and retirement savings…
All the while this school/moving stuff was going on, I was also dating. Ugh, what a nightmare. I can’t blame online dating and culture such as it is now for my relationship issues, since I’ve had them all along. I am attracted to the wrong men, and that’s just the common denominator of the whole mess. I regret spending/wasting time with a lot of these guys, but I can’t regret my second marriage because my two wonderful daughters are my prize for sticking with it. I should have ended it sooner however. I definitely regret all the years I thought the marriage could be fixed and floated in limbo, taking no action to help myself move on.
I like to imagine that if I’d been single in my 40s I would have had a great romance and met my life partner, though that’s probably false. I would have simply made stupid dating decisions all that time too. Ugh, thinking about all this is an emotional drain… plus it’s all fantasy. I did what I did and here I am. The only thing to do is to slog on…
AND VOTE BLUE!!!
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