I got off to a fast start. I probably realized about as soon as consciousness itself dawned that I was smarter than the other kids. Like Isaac Asimov before me, I was secure in that intelligence. I could almost always figure stuff out, in and out of school. It was a confidence builder even as I failed to connect with most other kids socially in grade school.
Once we moved to a new community where the other kids hadn’t gotten in the habit of hating me, life was very good indeed. I was adequately popular and academically accomplished enough to make me one of the few people I know who doesn’t look back on the high school years with a great deal of I-was-too-hip-for-the-room angst.
When I got to college, though, all bets were off. Released from a moderately toxic environment of battling parents (who would soon agree to divorce) instead of moving ahead, I drifted. As the saying goes, I never let my school work interfere with my education. I flunked a class, freshman year, thus killing any chance I had of getting into the Oriental Institute’s Egyptology program, which is what I’d pinned my dreams on.
Where would I be, had I not derailed myself by focusing on my social life instead of my studies? A question with no answer. No one knows.
I’d like to believe that I could have done what my daughter is now doing, reaching the heights of academic achievement. Certainly I could have, intellectually. I intensely regret killing my own chances at a career in Egyptology, that much is certain.
But… had I gone on to that kind of demanding graduate-school environment, there is no doubt I would never have had the husband and family that I do today.
I recently did some idle Google searching and turned up the personal page of someone I knew in high school, someone who has a long list of impressive achievements to brag about (and brag she does). It left me feeling massively under-achieved. There’s no way I can catch up to that.
On the other hand, would I have wanted to give up the husband I got, for the career I wanted? And never known the children I had, in exchange for equal bragging rights?
I don’t think so. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio….Hope you'll recommend my posts via your favorite social media. Just don't copy the material as your own.