It's 11 at night on a Sunday. I had one of those days today that makes me sentimental and reflective. I don't typically spend a lot of time on my blog discussing my personal life, so you know... read or skip, but you've been forewarn.
I often wonder where my life would have taken me with one different turn.
There are so many forks in the road that has been my life.
How about that decision I made, round about my junior year of high school, where I chose to follow the dream of being an actor and not a history teacher. The decision to not be a paleobotanist was sort of made for me by my extreme lack biology acumen. The decision to not be a baseball player was made even sooner by my aggressive lack of discipline.
The choice between actor and teacher was a tough one for me. More than most people know. I still love the idea of teaching. I mean... what other job can you have where you are so demonstrably smart? I love thinking I'm smart. I may, or may not be actually smart, but I sure love feeling like I am. History still holds a unique fascination for me. I had some extraordinary history teachers in high school. I've always thought there was something magical about finding some way to share these elegant facts in a way that draws in the otherwise apathetic.
Of course, it's a romantic notion. And god damn, I'm nothing if I'm not a romantic. Which leads me to my ultimate decision... What's more romantic than joining a profession of poets and performers and idealists and all of those things that 16 year olds think actors are?
So I put all my eggs in that basket. I spent the next year searching for a college program for theatre. I gave no thought at all to what would happen if I changed my mind. This is how I ended up at Wright State University. As a Musical Theatre major. Amazing the possibilities that were ahead of me.
So... There's the fork I think about all the time. The number one fork. And it has led to so many more forks...
What would my life look like had I not been cut from the Musical Theatre BFA program after my freshman year?
Would I live in Chicago or New York? Would I be married? Would I be broke? Would I love theatre or view it as a job? (See... that was always the thing I thought I'd never lose.)
Just the other night I was reminded of my thought process the Summer after I got cut. It was too late to get in to most colleges for the Fall term, so I considered delivering pizzas for a year while I tried again. I considered just moving to New York and trying my luck (at 19!! What a fucking joke. I could barely do my own laundry.) Dee Anne suggested I go talk to one of her long-ago mentors at Thomas More College, Dr. Ron Mielech. Doc (as I'd soon come to know him) offered me an immediate second chance. I wasn't ready to let go of my dream of being an actor, even though I'd been told that the dream was ready to let me go.
Suddenly I was enrolling and registering for classes at a college that I thought was an internet college or something. A thought based almost entirely on a really dumbass jingle on the radio, and no other information to go by.
I found myself thriving, and loving this small (decidedly NOT Internet) college in Northern Kentucky. Amazing what a string of decisions leads to.
Don't worry... even though I could break this down into hundreds of individual decisions of course, I won't. I could discuss the minute details of choice after choice. I have an absolutely stellar memory.
Oh god... This is getting weird. I'm not good at sharing like this. I tend to ramble...
The point is, I'm grateful. It's crazy... I finished a really miserable week at my job where I worked 12 hour days from a combination of sweat boxes and a hotel room. I missed the Muchacha something fierce. I missed our cats. I got home yesterday morning, and found my love of home renewed.
I mean, there's always room for improvement. I need to get a crown on one of my teeth this week. I could stand to lose a few pounds (as usual). Work is insanely stressful, and not that much fun. (Spoiler Alert: I decided not to be an actor). I could read more.
Today I spent a day with the beautiful Muchacha, doing all kinds of mundane things like hardware shopping, marathon training, and watching True Blood with a friend. I find myself happier than I've ever been.
I think about my life and I reverse-engineer the decisions that brought me here, and despite the pain and flux and confusion that many of those decisions caused in the short term, I have to say thanks to that 16 year old version of me for getting me to today somehow, because today? Fucking rocked.