I was born to teenage parents and raised in a small, blue collar town where the local technical college had more students than the nearby university. A “career” was going to beauty school and doing hair or working at the paper mill. The only kids I remember that went on to college were rich kids or teachers’ kids… but rarely the blue collar kids unless it was on a basketball scholarship. Needless to say, when the time came during high school to sit down with my counselor and address higher education, my parents didn’t exactly see the point. Oh, I wanted to go to college, mind you… I wanted to go badly. However, in my family, you graduated high school, got married, went to work and worked hard, made some babies and died. That was what was expected so that is exactly what I did. Well, all except the dying part. So far. But the day is young, right?
I waited a lot of tables. God, I hated it… people are so damned weird, especially when their blood sugar is low… but I was good at it. You can make a lot of money waiting tables in Los Angeles or Manahattan and it’s a noble profession, but in small town America you ain’t getting rich off of the quarters stacked three high under the side of some old farmer’s plate as he slaps you on the ass and winks saying “I left you a little somethin’, honey.” Yeah, thanks, Elmer, now I can finally afford my boob job.
I’m not complaining. I got by and I met some great people in the process. In fact, I met a few people while waiting tables for a corporate retreat and they recruited me straight out of the restaurant and threw me blind and stupid into the world of sales. Fuck I hated sales too! I felt like a pushy, obnoxious pimp…but again, I was good at it. I worked with a mentor who took a shine to me, forced corporate to drop their “College Degree Required” policy in order to promote me, and the rocket was launched…wheeee! Little ol’ me with just my high school diploma had become a sales rockstar. It was a major break and a huge opportunity for a kid like me from blue collar roots.
Life has a way of throwing curve balls at precisely the wrong time, doesn’t it? I became pregnant with my son (who is totally worth it and quite possibly the most perfect child on the planet… if I didn’t know better I’d swear he poops diamonds and roses…) and the rocket was brought back down to earth, decommissioned, and sold for scrap. Both the Ex Hubs and I were traveling for work and that just wasn’t gonna jive with our new bundle of awesomeness, so I did what was expected of me (again) and became a stay-at-home supermom while Ex Hubs escalated his career to near guru status. I didn’t always love it, didn’t hate it, but let’s just say those sweet diaper commercials are, well, full of shit. But I am damned good at it.
And then my marriage fell apart. And the economy tanked. And the job market changed.
And I was still me. With my eensy weensy high school diploma and a resume that now led with seven years of making snacks, cleaning boogers out of noses, and dry macaroni art. Employers should be aching to hire me and offer me a livable wage based on those credentials, right?
The first post I wrote here was Crossroads and Crunch Time. At that point I thought that my crossroads were to turn right for happy life with man supporting the family or hang a left for another unexpected potential job offer that I would build into a bigger, better rocket than the last one. Both of these roads wound up to be dead ends with the job being a mirage and the man being an unmarked cliff perched over a deadly river. Seriously. Don’t we pay people to put up warning signage anymore? I’ve sat at this intersection for a long time now, wasting gas and getting flipped off by fellow drivers and there is just no way around it… the only answer is to pull a U turn and go back the way I came from. This old girl is going back to school and I start today right after I finish stalling by writing this post.
There is a piece of me that resents my parents for being so… short sighted.
There is a part of me that is pissed off at the Ex Hubs for letting things fall apart.
There is a side of me that’s kicking myself for putting all of my eggs in his basket to start with.
But mostly I am just:
freaked. the. fuck. out.
I don’t really recall what the road looked like to get out here but I hope on the way back it looks like this:
You know, blue skies, no cliffs to fall down or bodies of water to drive off into and drown trapped in the car, destination obvious, a nice flat road with no traffic.
My fear is that the road looks more like this:
Or maybe like this:
Or God forbid… this:
If this road winds up even smacking of any of those I will be like this:
And my kids will do this:
Which will make me become this:
And I’ll eventually turn into this:
And it will all come to this:
Holy crap… here goes nothin’… Jesus, take the frickin’ wheel already….