You know, my goal for the last 16 years was to finish college. And WHOO, HOO!!! I did it!!!
But now what??? The graduation speeches and cards are all about the future … having a whole lifetime ahead in which to pursue goals and fulfill dreams. Where does that leave me, I wonder. The “normal” course is to grow up, graduate from college, begin a career, get married, have a family, retire.
Well, in my dictionary of life, “normal” is the equivalent of “boring” or “average” or “satisfactory” — all of which sound depressingly … normal and well, dull! So naturally, I start by doing everything backwards. Let’s see … I know! I’ll get married and have a couple of children, barely out of high school. Well, no surprise there, but that didn’t work out so well (except for the kids part – two of the most awesome human beings around are now MY children!) Ok, well, if it didn’t work the first time, I’m sure it’ll work the second time! But to make sure of that, I think I’ll marry an alcoholic, residing in prison. Seriously. Oh, and have two more children. Well, no surprise!!! THAT didn’t work out either! Fortunately, I am now the mother of the other two most awesome human beings around!!
So, as a single mother of four sons, I decided to return to school 16 years ago, announcing that I WILL FINISH COLLEGE, JUST WATCH ME!! And I finished two weeks ago, graduating magna cum laude! (I’ve been DYING to get to where I got to put that part in!!!) But NOW what???
Well, I have been pondering this question now for two weeks, AND …
I have decided that “now what?” is whatever I want it to be, up to and including (a little legal-ese there for you, as a perfect segue) … into law school!! During the last couple of months, just like every 18 year old senior out there in the “normal” world, I have changed my idea of “what I want to be when I grow up” at least half a dozen times! “I’m gonna be a doctor!! Yes, I am!!” “I’m gonna get my J.D./M.B.A. Yes, I am!!” “I’m gonna get my J.D./M.A. (history) or M.S. (psychology)!! Yes, I am!!” Maybe I’ll be a writer … maybe I’ll be a researcher … I should go to Africa as a missionary … I should be a marketing guru … maybe I’ll just start my Ph.D. as soon as I get a J.D./M-something-or-other!!! (Yes, Daddy, anything but get a REAL job!!) However, I have decided that law school will be my next goal. So, watch out!! I WILL FINISH LAW SCHOOL, JUST WATCH ME!!
Ok, correction. I will finish law school if my Uncle Sam will lend me the money!!!
But, the really cool, really awesome, most amazing thing about “Now What?” is that I get to do and be whatever I want to do and be! Those four amazing human beings? They have masters degrees, are finishing bachelor degrees, and heading off to do a year of missions work. They are happy. They are healthy. My oldest son is a great father and husband. The others are pursuing their education and vocations, they have great friends, and they are ALL wonderful to me. If I did NOTHING ELSE, EVER, I’ve been more blessed than some ever get to be. But I do get to do more.
Now what? I can hardly wait to find out! Some days I wake up, itching on the inside, I am so excited about what is coming next in my life!! What I do know is that it won’t be normal. It won’t be dull.