Friday, September 26, 2008

To Be or Not to Be

As I contemplated on what I should write for my first blog, many ideas came to mind. So many I stopped thinking about it! I couldn’t decide. I wanted to make a “first date” impression. An impression that would make people stop, scratch their chin and nod. I’ve always had a passion for writing. So I’m thinking this is my time. I can write whatever I want – happy, sad, comical, frustration. Then that still small voice becomes VERY loud in my ear as if I were sitting in an auditorium and the music BOOMS to life and you almost fall off your chair because it was unexpected. That’s the sound. It’s screaming you just can’t write whatever you want. You have family that will read your blog and what if you offend people. What? Well it wouldn’t be the first time. A great many people have spoken what’s on their mind and it is those I admire. It is those I want walk amongst and follow their footsteps. So with my head held high, I continue on my quest for something worthy to write about.

A few days later, I’m sitting, talking with my oldest daughter about college. I happen to be attending college at the ripe old age of (let’s say) over forty and she is getting ready to start as well. We’re both frustrated with the cost of tuition and she says to me,

“Mom, what if I go to college and get done and I can’t make a living.”

I'm instantly taken back in time and recall those same feelings of anxiety. She now understands what everyone goes through upon graduation. You gauge yourself by your peers. Who starts college right after high school, who stays in college, who finishes college, who marries first, and I just started the list. I hate to tell her but the list gets longer. By a certain age we should be well established in our tiny corner of the world, with the house on the hill, (don’t forget the white picket fence) four kids and a dog. Well life isn’t all that kind and as I tried to explain, you do the best you can and if things don’t work out that doesn’t mean you give up. It’s obvious what I’m saying isn’t helping her because I’m not the best example. I quit college, and now years later have nothing to show for it. We ranted on about the cost of food getting higher, remembered when gas use to $1.99 and asked why wages never seem to increase. How on earth are we going to pay $14,000 a year in tuition? I suggested robbing a bank. She rolled her eyes and wiped the tears from her face. Then very seriously I said,

“What if we all just give up? Everyone commits suicide. Life is hard, it’s not fair, let’s just be done and no one will be sad.”

Dead silence. She’s still looking at me. I’m not sure if I’ve completed lost her or she thinks her Mother has lost it. I asked her if the human race ceased to exist where would we be? We would have nothing to show we were here. No one to stand up and say we accomplished all this for? For what? For who? Does anything we do today matter tomorrow? Not if we cease to exist. So with as much sincerity and praying to god while speaking I tell my daughter, I choose “to be.” I don’t want to give up. I have so many goals and going back to school is one of them. I pleaded with her not to give up on her dreams because dreams make you who you are. I don’t care that I’m over forty and in school. What matters is that I’m there. Her eyes brighten a little and I smile at her. She is so young and desperately trying to figure everything out. I wish I had all the answers for her. I only hope she will look at me and emulate the good parts and throw out the bad. I know she will excel in whatever field she chooses. My dream is that all my children including myself will one day have college degrees.

So I ask you my fellow bloggers do you choose “to be or not to be?”