As my start date draws closer for my new schooling, I have been thinking a lot about the future. Matt’s recent promotion and job success has really made me think about where I’m headed, and where I expected to be already.
There are two different versions of my life: the one that I have now, unfolding in front of me, and the one that my teenage mind planned/expected me to have by now.
Sometimes I’m disappointed in myself. Whether that’s because I wasted so much time and money on university and have nothing to show for it, I don’t know. I’m not proud of that aspect of my life, and so I’m sure that’s a big part of it. Once my program at the U of S was cancelled, and my dreams were dashed by budget cuts, I realized that I pissed away the years between 18 and 22. All I have is debt, a plan that failed, and some university credits that will expire in 2014.
Eighteen year old Jacquie would be disappointed with the way things have gone. I’m rounding the corner to the big two-four and I have no degree, no husband and no immediate plans for a family, white picket fence or home purchase. Actually, we have a white picket fence… AND a Volvo… so maybe I’m close to that close-minded dream.
But 23 year old Jacquie isn’t disappointed. The cancellation of the Linguistics program is beyond my control, and while I hold a lot of bitterness for the university, I already have more for SIAST. And I need to remind myself that a Bachelor’s degree isn’t the only thing that deserves to be called an accomplishment.
I’ve experienced a lot of things already, more than many people my age or even older. And just because those experiences don’t translate into a degree on the wall, doesn’t mean they didn’t educate me. I’m proud that I’ve already lived in another country, filled the pages of my passport with stamps and visas, and eaten local Italian, German, Thai, Vietnamese, Laotian, Malaysian and Cambodian food, had my heart broken and repaired it.
Although I have no children, and am not expecting any for a few years, I do have my beloved fur babies: Minnie, Meez and Bearface. And even though we rent a shithole house, we have no one living right above or beside us, and the space is ours alone. I have a great relationship with my parents and brothers. I have an entertaining, excellent and supportive group of close friends. And even though we can’t afford to indulge our every whim, our rent gets paid and we eat well.
And even though I’m not as married as I expected to be, I HAVE found a truly great person to share my life with, someone that can only be described as my partner. I feel like where I faulter, Matt succeeds, and where he stumbles, I stride. Life is a team effort, and I like it that way. His recent professional success made me a tad envious at first, as I compared myself working in a fruit stand. But instead of dwelling on my failures, I am using it to spur me forward. I worry that if I fuck around and waste more time on stupid jobs and screwed up plans, I’ll end up a tag-along on Matt’s life. I prefer to be the navigator of our life-flight. And also, I like to be in charge of the guns.
High fives for my Top Gun metaphor
Years ago, looking ahead to 24, I expected myself to be a teacher, have a house, husband and concrete plans for a family. But I just wouldn’t be Jacquie if I did things the way everyone expected, my former self included. I have already been a teacher and quit. I often refer to Matt as my husband, for simplicity purposes. We have the aforementioned fur babies, and housing in Saskatoon is over-priced anyway. So even though I’m not where I thought I’d be, where I’ve ended up is pretty good… probably better.