With the recent invasion of college students returning to Lexington, I have been thinking about my own college days. It's so bizarre to think that twenty-one years ago this week, I started my first year at Butler at the tender age of seventeen. That's one choice that I never realized would have such an impact on my life. Going to Butler was an easy choice: I wanted a small school in a big city, I wanted to be within driving distance of home but not within dropping-in distance, and I wanted a scholarship. I got all three. That one decision of where to continue my education ended up bringing me to my life in Lexington.
*I went to Butler and made amazing, life-long friends. The bonds I forged there are still present and still very strong. And in a required speech class, I met the love of my life, only I had no idea he was The One at the time.
*I loved school, and I loved student teaching in Indianapolis at Broad Ripple High School and Cardinal Ritter High School. I was offered a job at CRHS as a full-time teacher. There, too, I met people who will be my life-long friends.
*With my friends, I went to a bar one night in Indianapolis. I met J.
*J. became my first husband.
*CRHS wanted to move me to a part-time position, so I took a new job at Danville High School.
*Four years into the marriage, J. turned my world upside down one morning by telling me that our marriage was a mistake and walking out on me while we were staying with my parents for a visit. Humiliation doesn't even begin to cover it.
*In a blind and numb panic, I went home to Valpo and my family. I got a job at Valparaiso High School.
*In my classroom at Valparaiso High School, I received an email from Trevor, The aforementioned unrecognized One.
*After one year, I taught part-time at VHS and Ben Franklin Middle School. *BF was the place where I healed and remembered how to smile again.
*After lots of phone calls, emails, and visits, Trevor asked me to marry him. *The rest is history.
Some of the things that happened were pretty terrible. There was a long period of time where I wasn't sure who I was anymore or if I would ever figure it out again. I had a lot of lonely nights and a lot of sleepless nights. But, boy, did I have a lot of fun, too. I really can't stress enough how many amazing friends I have made in the last twenty-one years and how important they have all been in different aspects of my life. And my family? Beyond measure. Without their support and unconditional love, I would have withered away before the new millennium. But everything that happened had a purpose, and every single decision I made, good or bad, got me to where I am now. Every single decision was the right decision at the time simply because I made it, you know? And look where I am now: I am married to a man who loves me more each day, even when I'm a teeny bit overdramatic. (What...me?) I have two children who are stunning creatures. They're truly the best things I have ever done. If I hadn't chose Butler, I wouldn't have met Trevor, lived in Indy, met J., been dumped, moved to Valpo, taught at VHS where my email address turned up when Trevor plugged my name into a search engine, found myself and found my joy again. A friend and fellow blogger has had a pretty crazy/bad/frustrating year herself, and now, she is consciously choosing joy in her life. No matter what choices you make, you can't go wrong with joy. Even when the decisions or choices don't feel joyous, have faith that someday they'll get you there.