give or take a few years…

on

This week’s ‘Let’s BlogOff’ prompt is “What would I change if I could turn back time?” Returning to the beginning of this post after I’ve written it, I’ve realized I kind of meandered a bit; and yet I’ve no motivation to change it.

I think it should also be noted how I really restrained myself about the middle there.

So, as you will see, ‘Let’s BlogOff’ (in the spirit of broadening community) will pretty much let anyone join in. Check out their site, the other posts, and think about participating. And of course, feel free to answer the prompt in comments–or commiserate, your choice.

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“What would I change if I could turn back time?” Boy this ‘Let’s BlogOff’ feels relevant all the sudden. When I first read the topic, I despaired of missing another week of participation. In choosing something I would really want to change, I would be affecting something I wouldn’t really want to change. The rest of my choices were a shrug.

Well, I can say, I am really regretting not having finished my undergrad sooner. Not only for the sake of having that degree on my resume, but because I just really want to be done already. Just thinking about starting classes today makes me very tired. Some of it could be the fact my financial aid is still in process and I am sweating getting my textbooks before major assignments sting me. Another aspect is mere hours from graduating, I have had to switch schools and programs after a two year break. I’m going to have to take a Math class, and Government–bleh.

The headache I’ve now incurred is still a shrug. At least I haven’t a Master’s in Architecture and all the debt that has piled up at the door.

Saturday evening’s dinner with a couple of friends from the old office featured comfort food and sighs of regret. “If I had only known” was heard more than a few times. They would never have entered an industry that couldn’t support them, that bred this kind of uncertainty. Even if they realized that it would be years, if ever, (or a lucky strike) before they would design anything, let alone build something. Even if they knew that they would be paid nothing for their first years of work experience. All of those sleepless nights and painful critiques–it was supposed to be worth it.

It isn’t for a lack of talent that they lost their job. It isn’t a lack of passion or work-ethic that they are flailing in the profession. Nor is it an absence of “destiny.” If only. There are hundreds of reasons why my husband and friends find themselves out of work and there are none at all–nothing that should have been known.

What advice would we give our younger selves? What do we tell our daughter? How much pragmatism do we salt that treacherous walk that has become of our dreaming? How much disillusionment do we pepper that image of who, as citizens, we are supposed to become?  How broad a definition of “unfairness” should we understand at age 11–or even 17?

Natalya at the table (essentially, if not exactly) said, “I’m going to have to keep my options open. Evaluate the state of things when I’m older. No one knows how things are going to work out.” Regardless, she is going to ultimately do what she wants. She has the ego to think she can. She is affording herself the flexibility–the belief.

If I went back, I would have nothing to give and everything to take. I want that ego of a younger self.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Very well said, L. To have the young ego and confidence would be a wonderful thing. Similarly, and right along with it, would come a less jaded/cynical view of the world. That’s one thing I’m trying to fix in my own life right now, how to be less cynical/critical. I still see good in people, but not as easily as I once did.

    Good luck with school.

  2. Suey says:

    I really want to try this Let’s Blog Off thing one of these days. But I’m very intimidated by it. You do an awesome job though. Speaking of.. ego? Not sure I ever had one, now or when I was younger. 🙂

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