I met my soon-to-be best friend Claudie (Claudette) in college, when I signed up for the newspaper staff. When she called to announce our first staff meeting, Claudie came off as a very cool, calm, together sounding woman. Hanging up, my 18 year old brain proceeded to conjure up a mental composite based on sound alone. I envisioned a tall, leggy blonde with Hollywood good looks. A southern Daddy's Little Princess use to getting her own way. With a sigh, I headed toward our first meet.
As I walked in the door, a short (hey, I'm 5'1" and I can say that!) woman with dark hair and a huge smiled stuck out her hand and said enthusiastically, "Hi! I'm Claudette. It's nice to meet you!"
She came off as sincere and genuine. I felt very bad for mentally prejudging. We became friends instantly. Sure, people claimed it was because we were the only two on campus short enough to look each other in the eye. Oh, and for the record, her Dad wasn't the Sugar Daddy type I'd envisioned. He was a native son and stationed in my hometown thanks to the Air Force. I really must write the Air Force a thank you note one day: they provided both my best friend and Hubby, whose Dad was an AF pilot.
Claudie and I did LOTS of talking. We still do, even it's mostly e-mail. We live in the same state, but on opposite ends. Plus we both seem to be the "go to" person in our families, which keeps us busy. Too busy at times. When she reminded me today that her son is 28 and single, I realized that by the time we were his age, we'd both been married for 6 years....and that son was 4 years old.
It was one of those "where in the world is time going?!" moments. But instead of deep reflections or Bucket Lists (which I refuse to make), I often wonder how we decided at 18 what we wanted to be when we grew up. Because, obviously, we didn't become that. I have a degree in Early Childhood Education, with a teaching certificate I never used because they were no teaching jobs. And now? I'm Director of a senior citizens center. Some of you will see the irony in that. Unfortunately, if a senior misbehaves, I can't send him/her home to their mother. Claudie got a degree in Journalism and runs the Billing Department of her local hospital. Our friend Chuck, who sang at my wedding, stayed an extra year to get a degree in Music. Guess he came close: he and his wife own an award winning Video Production Company in our state. Bobby, our former Student Body President who I'd known since 1st grade, was "the smart one". Recipient of a Harry Truman scholarship, he received a degree in Political Science. Upon graduation he worked for his hero, one of our state's Senators. That lasted a year, as he soon discovered a backbiting side to politics of which he'd been naively unaware. Now he teaches history to high school students. I'm guessing he came closest to utilizing his degree.
This all made me wonder: if you went to college, what did you major in and how did that work out? If you went straight from school into the Big Bad World, what did you envision at age 18 vs. what did you ended up doing?
You know me. Always curious. :)