In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Futures Past.”
I remember the first time my aunt took me to the UBC Museum of Anthropology and I turned to her and asked in awe “You mean you can just dedicate your life to study of where man came from and what and why we evolved to what we are now?” I swear it was like my little brain just blew up, it was that intense a discovery.
Up until that moment I had sort of had the idea that I would make an amazing marine biologist, if I could just get past the dissection, and my paralyzing fear of fish.
No, marine biologist was never a good match for me. Really I just wanted to look at photos of fish and perhaps swim with some dolphins in a control pen so that no fish could come within eyesight of me. *shudder*
Sad to say, neither of those dreams came true. I became a Mom to 3 wonderful kids, who are mostly grown now. My youngest is 16 and special needs, a whole different can of fish, so to speak.
Other than those fleeting dreams, I never really had any aspirations about where I was going to end up in this life, I just sort of let my life wash over me, much like the waves of the ocean. They buffeted me, and sent me flying head over heals when the sea got too rough. But I never really sat down and thought about what direction my life should take.
I think it’s because I was always convinced that I would somehow, magically die before I turned 30. So really if your going to die before you enter your third decade, what’s the point of planning for the next 60?
No, I did not have a life threatening ailment. I didn’t have any sort of addiction and I didn’t come from a dangerous situation where others were certain I was going to end up dead. I didn’t sell drugs and I didn’t use them either. I didn’t drink and I wasn’t always getting into fights.
I was just the girl sitting in the back of the class, apathetic to everything. Nothing anyone said or did could make me care about what the future could hold for me.
I’d cut class to sit in the school library and read books that were covering the exact same subject matter that was being taught in the class that I was not attending.
Teachers would call on me for answers and even though I knew the answer, I knew what they wanted to hear, I’d just look up from the current doodle I was dedicated to drawing and I’d just shrug and tell them ‘I don’t know’. What a pack of lies!
Guidance counselors and Vice Principals would sit with me and have discussions about what kind of life I’d like to have once I was done with school. Do I want to work in a McDonalds all my life? I’d just smile at them knowingly as they went on about how I was squandering my potential and that I had so much more to offer the world than being a burger flipper. But I knew better than them. You can’t flip burgers when you are six feet under ground.
I was a very angry girl, and I had very low self esteem and I figured that I just wasn’t worth the trouble that everyone was going to as they tried to motivate me.
There were teachers who saw my lack of care for myself as a serious problem and they would actually call my friends parents to warn them, telling them that I was not a good person for their children to be hanging around. Sometimes my friends would be told by their parents not to talk to me anymore, sometimes my friends would listen, sometimes they wouldn’t. It didn’t matter. I didn’t need to form relationships because I’d be dead.
I’m in my 40’s now, and I’m so very glad that my strange belief that I’d never life this long was so very wrong.
I’ve been blessed to have my dear kids. I have a husband who made me care about being alive, and who I love to death.
I never dreamed that I’d have any of this. I’m so glad that I was wrong.