Sometimes it seems one moment in time can completely change the way you look at life. For me that one moment in time was that moment my aunt pulled the trigger on a gun aimed at herself. Losing my Godmother maybe 60 hours after we bought my wedding dress and had a celebratory dinner together has kind of turned my world upside down in ways. (Quite the intro, right?!?) I’m sure any regular reader of my blog can tell there’s been a major drop in my blogging since then. Running, I’ve run one mile in the last month. In this time that I’ve dropped off the planet I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. Fine, thinking AND wedding planning (34 days!!). And with this thinking I’ve come to some realizations and made some big decisions.
The easy one first. Running. It makes me happy. I feel better about myself when I’m out there running. I had pretty much a month long Meniere’s attack and haven’t been able to do much of anything really. I even missed some days of work (which is when I had my biggest moments of clarity). I’m starting to feel better, so I hope to get back to my regular running again. I like NOT running, but at the same time I LOVE running. I choose love over like! This year I’m not aiming for greatness. No huge number of races, so long distances (i.e. no full marathons). I just want to run for fun and health. Disneyland will take me out of state, but that’s probably it as far as races go.
And then there is my bigger thought. My life in general. My aunt’s passing has shown me how you just never know when it’s all going to end. People always say it, but now I’m really seeing it… you only live once and in the scheme of the universe, life is pretty short. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – as the brilliant Ferris Bueller once said! When I am gone from the earth and floating on my little cloud with my animals would I be happy with how I lived life? Would I be proud of what I am doing at this moment in time? My answer is NO. If I die tomorrow I don’t want to have to my name that I accomplished nothing. Sure, I ran some big races, I worked in a pretty famous theme park, I performed karaoke for a lot of strangers a few times. Big deal. Overall is that much?
As I see it right now I am just wasting time. I went to a university. For three years I was a business major until I took Psych 101 as an elective. On that first day of class I knew I had to change majors. Psychology was my calling. I’m good at it. I enjoy it. I was in my zone. After four years at OSU I had a diploma in my hand. A BS in Liberal Arts! I crossed that football field in my cap and gown with total pride. As I shook the hand of the University president I had a beaming smile on my face. I was going places!
First place I went? Walt Disney World. For three years I felt a range of emotions, but mostly happy. Happy to be in a place where I could make others feel the Disney magic. Thousands of people a day were made happy by me when I sent them on their way to raft the Chakranadi River. I got paid basically nothing, which wasn’t part of the dream, but at least I felt like I had a bit of a purpose. I made people smile , while teaching them about animals and conservation at the same time. Even when I worked in the office I felt like I had a purpose. I was paying the Cast Members that were out there sweating to make our guests had memorable vacations. In a tiny way, while making less than seven dollars an hour, I still felt I was contributing. I was proud to say I worked in Walt Disney World. I am proud of what the Disney company stands for. Walt Disney had a vision and I was helping to carry that forward for the next generations. Being a part of that was truly my lifelong dream. When I left to move home and start a family and be closer to mine, to say I cried a little is an understatement!
And now here I am. It is 2013, eight and a half years after I moved back home and I no longer have a sense of pride. Just last week I was presented with an option. Basically I was told my job is cut to part time now (although it’s been full time for 30+ years) and I got to choose what to do the other half of the day. Go to one spot and be miserable doing something that makes me physically sick to my stomach OR do the job a robot could do and take a pay cut. The reasons behind it all – not pleasant, I don’t want to get into it, but I still stand firm that sticking up for myself was right and if I’m punished for it, then so be it! In thinking about do I want to do this or that I realized my answer. I don’t want to do any of it!
If my life ended next month do I want my lasting legacy to be “Oh yeah, Ronda. Remember her? She’s the girl that studied hard in school, got good grades, and then settled for just answering a telephone once in a while if it rang because she pissed off the wrong person once? Sad thing. She had so much potential.” Yeah, I don’t want that. I’m not proud of what they’ve pushed my job into. I want to have my family that I planned nine years ago. At this point in time I would be so embarrassed to have my child ask me what I do for work. I’m not proud of it and I wouldn’t feel like a good role model. Nobody should be proud of something like this. How could I encourage my child to study hard, and go to college – when right now all I have to show for myself is that I am good with customers and know how to transfer a call. Sure, yeah, it’s a paycheck. But sometimes money isn’t everything. I want to be a person my child could be asked about and not get laughed at when friends learn what a loser I am. Man Friend and I have done a lot of talking, a lot of weighing pros and cons. I’m now on my “one year plan” as I’ve optimistically dubbed it. We are pretty much in “let’s start a family” mode, and once we are able to increase our number from two to three (OMG, what if I have twins?? That would be 2 to 4! Eek!), well I’m making a BIG change! I feel like I’d be a better contribution to the world by just being a mom. Believe it or not I’m pretty darn smart. I come from a family of musically inclined people that have an athletic side (clearly I’m more of the music person, but still). I’d rather spend my days being the best mom I can be and pass on things that I’ve learned. Walks in the park? Yes! Trips to the Wildlife Safari to learn about animals? Yes! Wasting my life being treated like a little Chess piece at work? No thanks! I’m pretty darn excited to start living and not just be existing. When I was in high school and planning my future I never figured I’d even get married, let alone have children … I guess it takes a split second decision made by someone special to sometimes show you what you really want to do in life!
*MF says I’m not allowed to start shopping for cute diaper bags yet. Bummer.