EDUCATION IS AN ADMIRABLE THING, BUT IT IS WELL TO REMEMBER, FROM TIME TO TIME, THAT NOTHING THAT IS WORTH KNOWING CAN BE TAUGHT…

Posted on January 11, 2010

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i was a good student.  i excelled in all subjects (minus PE, b/c seriously?  why is that even a graded class?!  and unless i’m going into pro badminton, why do i need to be a fabulous player?).  i loved going to school – loved math and science (even won a science fair) and loved being part of a collaborative effort to make our schools better (go-go school coalition).

when i started attending college (ohio state university – go buckeyes!), i thought i was on top of my world.  nothing could stop me.  i had all i needed to know and anything i didn’t, i would learn there.  in college.  where your life is supposed to begin and end.  sort of.  figuratively, anyway…

i’m a book smart girl.  the one that has her nose in a book, while she has a stack of about 40 magazines to still get to.  i know words that no one should have to know.  i can spell just about anything, even if i was knocked out of my 9th grade spelling bee by the word “militarized”.  i can whip up one amazing business letter, even if they continually give me headaches.  i can proofread with the best of them, even if my blog is, as the teens now say, a “hot mess”.   and i would rather read about medical conditions, than celebrity gossip, even though i still LOVE me some celebrity gossip. 

and i thought for a LONGlongLONG time that all i needed was an education b/c well, it was to educate me, teach me everything i would EVER need to know. 

and i was wrong.  b/c no one taught me…

* how to grieve a loss.  when i was in 4th grade, a good childhood friend of mine died in a freak bomb accident.  hers was the first funeral i ever attended. the only person close to me that i had ever lost.  and it affected me more than i ever realized, until i lost my mother.  and i was a mess.  distraught to such a point that i never thought i would make it back.  but i did b/c i had to.  and i did b/c strength is something i needed to exhibit to my silly monkey, even if he was barely a year old.  and i still grieve.  not b/c i’m not strong, but b/c i’m still affected.  and i miss her.  i miss my mom.

* that patience is more than a virtue.  and until about 4 years ago, i never had any.  zero.  zip.  nada.  anything and everything set me off.  if something wasn’t done the right way RIGHT NOW, i would freak out.  and then i had silly monkey.  and suddenly, the world almost slowed to a stop.  i didn’t mind the incessant crying.  i didn’t mind the waking every 2 hours for feedings.  i didn’t mind the thousand diaper changes a day.  and after nearly 4 years, i don’t mind the tantrums or rough behavior b/c now i know that if i just relax and keep the frustrations at bay, hey LOOK, a lollipop.  YAY!

* that good things are worth waiting for.  and great things are worth waiting even longer.  and when i’m good & ready and when silly monkey is good & ready, we’ll add to our little family.  not a moment before then.  b/c this isn’t just about me anymore.  it’s about us.  and sadly, i may be the only one thinking about what’s best for silly monkey.  i may be the only one that ever does.  and although my biological clock has been ticking since before i was 18 (OMG, i know, right!!), i can wait and wait and wait until it’s aligned with the world for me to add to our family.  i won’t settle.  and i don’t want silly monkey to have to settle any more than he already has.  i did that for nearly 10 years and silly monkey will have to do that for far too long.  but that unfortunate union, me and M, brought something SO precious that i could NEVER EVER EVER feel regret.  foolish?  sure.  regret?  NEVER!  (little known fact:  for a year before M & i split, we tried to have another baby.  two weeks after a little OB testing, he moved out.  bringing another baby into the picture at that time, now THAT would have created regret.  not for the baby, but for the situation.)  those selfish enough to ignore the needs of others tend to rush into something so HUGE.  and since i am so far from selfish and have such an appreciation for patience, i wait.

* about the value of a dollar.  growing up, my mom made sure we had everything we needed and most of what we wanted.  we were typically spoiled, but not rotten – just like silly monkey is now.  i had a part-time job as a teen and it paid for my car and auto insurance, just as my mom required.  though i never thought about that money and needing and having it b/c i really liked my job.  there was no lesson, no sit down about being responsible and not throwing money away (maybe in the toilet, but definitely not in the trash), but now that i have my own home to pay for and a child to provide for, boy is that dollar more than necessary.  function over frivolous.  and when there’s extra… we play!

* that people don’t inherently change, just b/c you want them to.   oh wait, he CHANGED!  oh crap, not so much.  and it hurts.  a lot.  especially when the requested changes are more than reasonable (ie.  come home before 5am!).  and especially when expectations are SO low.  but then again, settling is all i’ve ever known.  and acceptance of bad behavior is all i’ve ever done.  i’ve never wanted someone to change WHO they are, i’ve just wanted one to change behaviors and choices that made it completely obvious that they were done in spite.  but i always forgave.  over and over.  and it wore me down.  over and over.  until i had been worn down to almost nothing.  i know, as much as the next person, that change is difficult, but when you refuse to change to better yourself, that just makes YOU difficult.  a better me makes a better silly monkey.  it’s actually quite a simple concept.

* what real love is.  i didn’t know real love until i had silly monkey.  M loved me conditionally.  when he wanted me, he wanted me.  when he didn’t want me, he made it abundantly clear.  when i was gone, he would show up to make all things right, and to re-secure his place in my life.  it was push pull for over 8 years.  when my mom was diagnosed with cancer/GBM, i pulled and he pushed.  and it was like grasping for air.  it became painfully obvious that there was nothing to grasp.  and i resented him, all the while he used the situation as an excuse to keep pushing.  and i dared to stand where i stood far too many times.  but for the past 2 years, i’ve allowed myself to be the one to push.  so i’ve pushed.  and pushed.  the funny thing is, i didn’t need M to change to unconditionally love me b/c i already has SO many people that loved me that way – my family and friends.  perhaps i was far too miserable to realize it then, but i am certainly aware of it now.  and i’m allowed to be loved, unconditionally.  i deserve it. 

life is so predictable and unpredictable, all at the same time.  a formal education teaches you to be technical.  life teaches you to be resilient and adaptable.  those lessons… they aren’t taught in books.

** pot title – oscar wilde

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