Do-Over

Today’s daily prompt asks the question, if I were out of school what do I miss about it – or am I glad those days are gone?  Having now been removed from high school for thirty years this year, and seeing the success and happiness that college has brought my daughter, my perspective on school has changed from my last experiences in high school, my last formidable school experience.

I loathed and detested high school with every fiber of my being.  I have no doubt that sentiment was punctuated by the ceaseless turmoil that surrounded my home life as well.  If I wasn’t being tormented by my peers at school I was being tormented at home by my brothers.

I was too young and stupid to have the perspective I possess now thirty years later.  That school was a means to an end.  Having gone to trade school to become a paralegal I see now where college would have been a major life asset.  A concept which I have done my best to instill in my daughter all these years later.

I would likely not have the financial struggles that plague me today.  Everyone knows that the path to success, more now than ever, is “formal” education beyond high school. Though that doesn’t necessarily buy happiness, it certainly buys a lot more security than doing without, as I have felt first hand.

The one thing that I can honestly say I do miss about school was the feeling of excitement and anticipation that the promise of a new school year brought.  I promised myself I would do better in school, pay more attention, get better grades.

Sadly, however, that hope was soon dashed when I slacked off on the first homework assignment or realized the same people who would torment we were in my same classes.  Soon after the start of the new semester, my hopes were dashed and it was back to business as usual.

Now you’d think that if this was my M.O. in high school, it would carry on into my adult work life.  However, you’d be wrong.  I am actually quite hard working and possess as very strong work ethic.  Much good it has done me in a company that hasn’t given raises since the economic collapse 5 years ago.

But I digress.  I often think of how different, and better – or at least less stressful – my life would be had I applied the same work ethic to college?  I am torn actually.  I’d have a different career.  Met a whole different set of people.  I wouldn’t have been in the military.  I would have married differently and maybe not ended up divorced.

However, in doing so I might not have had my daughter, who has arguably been the best thing to ever happen to me.  For better or worse, I can’t image my life without her.  She has grounded me.  She has made me believe that my life has a deeper meaning above the trials and tribulations I have experienced.

And, like all parents, I believe she is my vindication.  I have a chance to set the universe right.  While it may have rolled poorly for me, I am determined to do what I can to make sure it doesn’t for her.  She might not enjoy the lectures and sharing my life’s lesson now, but I promise her she will appreciate them when she is older.  When she has seen the trajectory her peers from high school have taken compared to her own.

So in summary, yes, I am glad those days are gone, because they represent for me a lot of pain and regret.  However, I can impart my lessons on my daughter and encourage her to stick with it, be supportive of her decisions and watch, as I have, her continued success and happiness.

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