For some reason, at this time of year -- late summer -- I go through a stage of introspection and retrospection. I think it's because September feels like the beginning of a new year, and I assess my accomplishments -- and failures -- over the past. I was digging through some old photos the other day, and I found this picture of myself when I was about eight or nine years old. Oh, goodness, what a little pudding face. I remember at that age what my hopes and dreams for my life were. I was quite adamant about what I wanted, and number one on the list was a university education. Even at that age, I knew education was the key to all the good things in life. When I was in grade nine, I was in the academic class (9A) and we had an extra study block. The teacher asked us to vote on whether we wanted to keep the study block or take a typing class for five extra credits. I was the only one who voted against the typing class. I had a fear and dread of learning to type. When I look back at that now, I realize how foolish it was. But to me, typing was for "those other kids who weren't so smart..." What a silly idea.
My life has been interesting, to say the least. It has been nothing like I imagined it would be, when I was a little girl playing hopscotch and riding my bike. I have met some interesting people and been involved in some interesting situations. But I have had to struggle, too, and I learned that I was a lot stronger than I thought I was. Who knew!
Sometimes we look back at our childhoods, and our home towns with a sort of wistful longing. "Oh, gosh, if only I could wave a magic wand and go back and start again -- only knowing what I know now." But that is not possible. We can only hope to impart some of our knowledge on the younger folks in our lives. My mantra is, "Get an education...!" If my family has heard that once, they've heard it a thousand times. But my mother always used to say, "You can't put an old head on young shoulders," so people have to make their own mistakes and learn their own lessons. Two of the novels written by Thomas Wolfe -- "Look Homeward Angel" and "You Can't Go Home Again" have this theme running through them. I read both of the books when I was younger, and did not quite understand what he was saying.
Wolfe should have written a booked entitled "It's Never Too Late". Instead of regretting that I did not get a university education, I should just enroll in school and get one. It's not too late. Not getting an education is my only regret, and now with the beginning of another school year, that little voice inside me is saying, "It's not too late -- do it!" How about you. If you could change just one thing, what would it be?-