we visited two of Thomas' friends at the University of Toronto today. absolutely lovely campus in all ways. the size was easy on my tired feet, and the trees had just started to turn in most areas. there were people walking between buildings, playing soccer and chatting on benches. the air was crisp and the company was wonderful.
there was nothing truly messy about this afternoon, but it was still very difficult to carry pure joy today. much like other posts, this one is going to be quite vague, but i'll say this;
it's all about regret.
i regret failing my first attempt at college. i regret wasting time, money and opportunity. i regret putting myself in the position to completely fall off track and sink into the quicksand of self-destruction.
as i peeked through the window panes of a very old building and saw the lecture room above. i was filled with the nagging feeling of all of those years i spent struggling and missing out.
i pictured good students in those chairs--driven, disciplined, well-off students--and decided i would never be part of that collection. as if sitting in leather or wood made more of them than the plastic did for me at my alma mater.
i imagined insightful discussions happening in there.. logic-drenched banter that would lose me and notes i wouldn't be fit to keep up with. certainly the enlightened conversation i once shared in my favorite "Rhetorical Criticism" course couldn't measure up.
i played this comparison game with a few more details until i finally shut down, backed away from the glass and just shook my head.
life is still a personal experience, no matter where we are. an historical campus doesn't produce 100% more brilliant students. there's no guarantee that each young man or woman is coping well, and feeling their best.
my struggles were struggles because they were mine. looking down a row of buttoned-up coeds, i'm sure i would assume i was the worst, but how could i know that? to beat myself up in this moment was just as absurd. certainly my same fears and insecurities were felt by at least one someone who actually sat in those heavy chairs.
it was only 15 years after my first day of college classes that i finally graduated and collected a degree. nothing big or noteworthy, but powerful just the same. in continuing toward a dream i was recharged and rejuvenated. in working hard as a wife and mother, i was inspired, and inspiring others.
and in finally finishing what i started, i felt not like a new woman, but a more complete version of the one i've always been... and that is a beautiful thing.