When I was at the end of sixth grade, I thought I was pretty darn grown up. Then I started what was then called “Junior High,” and things really changed. I no longer thought I was the cats pajamas because I now was a small fish in a big pond.
Fast forward to high school…..
Again I thought I was going to be the cool one in school because I was entering a new phase in my life, High School! I went to Van Nuys High in the San Fernando Valley. In those days VNH was the place all the kids from families that were in the film industry went to school, and I was going to school with them. Natalie Wood, Stacy Keach both went there, but I didn’t know either of them. High School wasn’t quite as glamorous as I thought it would be, but there I was trying to be a cool kid, and still keeping up with my grades. That wasn’t easy since I was basically majoring in “Boys!” To be honest, the boys situation was a bit discouraging as well. There wasn’t the selection I had anticipated, but what was available had to do!
Once out of high school, again I thought my knowledge was primmer and with nothing more to learn, I tried my hand at a local community college. The thought of studying literally made me sick to my stomach, so I decided to once again major in “boys!” There I had a much better selection, however still not quite up to my expectations.
My next door neighbor was just entering a university, and invited me to go to one of the groups of interest she signed up for. This one was a skiing club, and reluctantly I went to her first meeting with her. Wow, now this was what I was talking about!!!
They were everywhere, tall ones, short ones, skinny ones, stocky ones. There was a boy for every occasion. They looked at both of us like they had never seen girls before, and we were in seventh heaven! Conversations were easy, not like those lowly high school boys. They hadn’t learned how to talk to girls yet. Before we knew it, we were both invited by the boys to go skiing with them, and hang out. My friend wasn’t intimidated, but I was passing myself off as a college student, and I wasn’t. So after the meeting I quickly disappeared into the sunset, not to be heard of since. I lived out my days in high school quietly, and as quickly as I could.
After graduating I thought my life was my own. I’m free as a bird, with nothing to stop me! Sure that’s what I thought, then reality set in. My parents were very strict, and I still couldn’t go anywhere without their approval….I was humiliated! I was an all knowing, graduate, and adult now, how could they treat me that way? I know they were just trying to do the best they could, but at the time I couldn’t understand why their job wasn’t finished.
The following year, I met the love of my life, we married soon after, and started our family. First a son, then three years later another son. By five years later, I had divorced, remarried, and had a daughter. I was a young, all knowing mother of three with one divorce under my belt. Boy was I cool!
Fast forward a few years!
Almost seventeen years later, my kids are getting big with two boys in high school, and a daughter in elementary school. My hands were full, and I was running a business., and holding down a full time job. As I look back, I wonder how I found the energy, or the time to do all of this. But I did, and it worked. I had a lot of energy, and of course I was all knowing. That helped! I knew exactly what I was doing, and where I was going. How cool was I?
Then the stuff hit the fan…..
One day my husband came home and told me he was dating a blond waitress, and because I was so cool, he knew I’d understand & be OK with it. I certainly was OK with it! I guess I figured it was time… and so I decided since I knew everything there was to know, it was time for my children and I to go. And we went…
It was a struggle, but somehow we did it. The kids and I had a Charlie Brown Christmas , and ate hotdogs & baked beans for some time, but we did it, and we were better for it. My dad use to say, “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger!” “Thank you Dad, I hate to admit it, but you were right!” How true that was… We have all grown, and become stronger, and better people because of this little bump in the road. Looking back, that’s all it was, just a bump in the road.
Many years later in the middle of working my second job, I met a local man, we dated for a while, and decided to marry. They say the third time is the charm. Apparently they were right, because we are now going on thirty years of marriage. Everyone is doing well, and we are all happy.
The point of this entire story is this, I have learned by trial and error that the Older I get, the less I know! Yup I was cool then, and slightly cooler now.
As most of us do get older, and each day I learn something I didn’t know, and each day I reflect on how much is in our world to yet learn, I’m curious, I want to know things, and I learn every day. But every day I’m on this amazing earth, I realize how much there is to learn, how much it has to offer, and we only have so much time. It’s undetermined, Don’t waste it!
With much love, I thank you for stopping to read Stone Soup.
See you next time, Karen
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