Something new to mourn; a.k.a. “Get a Grip!”

I find I’m mourning something I never imagined even caring about: my college experience.

I went to school in the South for a year and didn’t fit there. Then I went to a local community college for nearly a year while I was pregnant, and I finished up at the local university. I’ve always been very thankful I was able to finish and that my parents helped me do that.

I never felt I missed out on the whole college scene, the parties, the friends, the connections, the reunions, etc. I was there on a mission to get through it – not to live it up. And I’ve always been OK with that. (A side note – I did live it up while at that southern university AND in high school – so, yeah).

Over the last few years, while helping Rocky and Petunia find schools, I didn’t give it a second thought.

But now, suddenly, I feel so sad about what I missed. It hit me yesterday while Daisy and I were visiting one of the local New England colleges. I think it’s a combination of feeling at a loss about what I want to do with the rest of my life (work wise), the impending empty nest, looking at so many schools, and going to Jed’s college reunion recently.

I realize not only that I missed out on some things (mostly meeting people – since I didn’t live on campus), but also that I had so little guidance before and during college. I don’t know where my guidance counselors were, or if there were any at all, but I figured it all out on my own. My parents didn’t advise me. I took the classes that seemed right and somehow managed to get a fairly useless liberal arts degree.

But career plans? Ha. And I was a single mom. Where was the advice? I’ve advised my kids from the get-go, finding that each child has different needs in that regard. But I’ve been very hands-on, and because of that, they’ve thrived. I’m pretty sure one of them wouldn’t have made it through high school had I not “helped.”

Don’t get me wrong – I’m glad my life turned out the way it did – of course that I have Rocky, that I married Jed, that I have my girls, that I homeschooled, etc. I can’t imagine life any other way. So then why do I NOW feel so sad about how it could have been?

Mid-life crisis, anyone?