Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Change Without Expiration Dates: George Eliot

"It is never too late to become what you might have been." ~ George Eliot

I love this quote. I don't really look back at my life and regret choices I have made or wonder what might have been. I do think that I can be better, do better, become the best version of myself. There are certainly paths I wish I had taken, but the road leads back around to those paths eventually.

When I was little - by the time I was 6, I was in love with books and the only thing I wanted to do, the only career I ever considered, was to be a teacher. I have always worshipped my teachers (see December Thanks-Giving posts for more details)but when my life finally arrived to the decision-making place, teaching was not the path I took. Mostly, I couldn't see the path...I felt like I was SUPPOSED to know how to pick the best college, how to get a scholarship, how to get into the right program... That pressure cowed me into not pursuing it at all. Add to that the fact that a month before I graduated from high school, my father was laid off from his job and there went a four year university. But, fast forward 10 years and I was beginning to teach in an interpreter training program. Different than I had imagined, but I became what I wanted to be - a teacher.

The only other thing I ever wanted to do in my life was to write...I started writing stories when I was pretty young...My mother says that she realized I was going to write when I was in the first grade and she went to a parent night and read some sentence I had written about the moon. She said she'd never heard of a six-year-old writing like that (she can't remember what exactly I'd written). After that, I started experimenting with writing. I wrote stories, copied stories that I liked, I fell in love with books and a short story that I never forgot - "The Scarlet Ibis"...I copied information out of the encyclopedia because I wanted to soak it all in and I think I believed that even copying stories would help me figure out how to write my own. In high school, I wrote poetry, wrote for the newspaper, took creative writing. I earned quite a bit of noteriety that way, but I never wrote the way I wanted to...I always wanted to be a more erudite writer - more sophisticated. Mostly, I have always written in a very conversational way and people know it is me when they read whatever it is that I wrote. I lost confidence in my writing for a long time. This blog is really my first venture back in about 10 years...after Roby died, I processed some of my grief through poetry, but it was so personal and raw...then I kind of gave it up to be busy. I have been running busy for a long time until finally, in the last few years, it didn't hurt so much to stand still. I think this blog was one of the ways that I have finally been able to stand to be with my thoughts. Another circular path.

What I might have been is who I still can be. I love that it is never too late. There is no expiration date. No deadline, except for the DEAD line. And I'm actively becoming. Actively being. That's a pretty good place to be.

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