In high school, way back in the "enlightened" days of the late seventies/early eighties, I was a little too busy finding ways to avoid life to care much about school. I would take days off and head to the beach - such as they are in Northern California - to party, rather than go to classes.
Somehow, I didn't flunk out, but I did get out early, in my Junior year. Not on credits, I took and passed the California Proficiency Exam. Like a GED. There was even a quote in a local paper from me about the test. I think we were the first group, or something. My quote, in my extreme seventeen-year-oldness, was something like, "Well, if you're mature enough, you should be able to get on with life." Ha! Mature. Right. There's nothing so funny as looking back on your younger self and seeing how arrogant and really stupid you were.
Things I miss the most about the high school experience include "unimportant" things like Senior Prom and the Graduation ceremony. At the time, I was a self-proclaimed outcast, and had separated myself from the main herd. I almost convinced myself those things were stupid and boring and unnecessary. There were lots of reasons, and I understand much better now why that was. But, that's not what we're talking about today.
In the mid-nineties, living in Seattle with Kris and Kelsey, ages five and three, and a new(ish) Christian, I felt a call (an almost-irresistible urge followed up by unexplainable confirming acts) to go, of all places, to Colorado Springs to attend Nazarene Bible College. At the time, I was working in the best job of my life. I was the Registered Sales Assistant to a father/son team of high-producing stockbrokers. How the heck I ended up with that amazing job being an "almost" high school graduate with no formal degree is info for another day.
But, I felt this call, and I saw the path, and I went for it. This is not one of the "unfinished things" I regret. In fact, out of all the decisions I've made in my life, this remains one of the ones that feel the most certain. I was supposed to do this and go there.
Years pass, choices are made, and I end up in a ranch house north of Colorado Springs stuffed to the 20-foot cedar-paneled ceilings with kids. Kids of all ages, shapes, sizes, and abilities. Me, who was never going to be a mom. More ha!
But, I didn't finish Bible College. I had three years into a double-major: music and Biblical Studies. I didn't know what I was going to do with it, but I was where I was supposed to be. At the time. When I left, it was to work with the children, and that was another thing I am certain was the right move. But, I always said that if I were to ever get a degree... and strongly encouraged all my children to finish high school and go to college.
Watching my older two do just that has been a joy. And, from this vantage point, the wisdom of all those years of school is perfectly clear - and missing it, one of those regrets we seem to accumulate as we age.
So, here I am. Finishing. My classes are online, and I should have the credits to transfer to the University of Washington in the Fall of 2011. If they'll have me. Grades are good, I'm loving learning, and over-achieving (according to Kelsey, who got straight A's last semester, I try too hard). The goal is a BA in English.
I refuse to think about how silly this all is. When thoughts of what are you DOING?? seep into my brain like a toxic fog, I just turn up the music on my i-Pod. I will finish this. Whatever the outcome is, I will detach from it, and trust that the reasons will someday be evident. If nothing else, I will enjoy the ride. And I WILL finish this.