First, the explanation.
My oldest daughter is about to graduate from high school. We’re very proud of her for all that she has accomplished during this stage in her life, but she has much more ahead of her that is causing us to swell with pride, and to experience just a little bit of anxiety. During her junior year she became a Certified Nurses Assistant, and she is now taking college courses while she finishes up her senior year. She is studying to become a Medical Assistant, working along side doctors and nurses and assisting with patient care. Eventually she wants to go to nursing school, but 18 months from now, when she has finished her MA Associates Degree, she wants to apply to work with Amnesty International’s medical assistance program in Africa.
Part of me is terrified. The mom part of me is terrified. It frightens me to think of my child so far away in such an unstable part of the world. But part of me, the part that remembers being 18 with whole world wide open to me, is jealous for that time of life when nothing is out of bounds.
So here is my meme for you, and my own answers below:
What wild dreams or once-in-a-lifetime opportunities did you have when you were in your late teens and twenties?
Which ones did you follow up on and how did they go?
If you could go back in time and do things over, which ones would you go after, or which ones would you do again?
When I graduated from high school, I was accepted to Winston-Salem College of the Performing Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. They offered me a two year scholarship, with the potential for a full scholarship if my grades remained above a B. I turned them down because I was too afraid of being that far away from home. I struggled off and on for four years at the University of Utah, going to school and changing my major, dropping out, then going back with a new major. Ultimately I decided I needed to move forward with my life. I transferred to Westminster College in Salt Lake City, and in two years graduated in English and Theater (they now call it a Speech Communications degree, but they didn’t have one of those when I was there).
My other wild dream was to move to New York and be an actress on Broadway. Numerous people told me I had the talent, but I didn’t believe enough in myself to follow through and give it try.
Looking back, if I could do it over, I had another opportunity that I regret not taking. During my early 20s, I got certified in scuba diving. One of my former dive instructors named Floyd Bowdy (really, that was his name), called me in 1986 and asked if I would come to the Cayman Islands to work on his charter boat. I would be the cook and one of the dive masters, making $1,500 a month. I’d work two weeks on the boat, have two weeks off, and I’d live in an apartment that would cost $200 a month and that included utilities. He told me that once I’d bought all the tee-shirts I’d ever need, I’d still have over $1,000 a month. But I had just gotten engaged to my first husband. I turned him down. If I could go back, I’d tell him yes and I’d be on the next available flight to Grand Cayman with my scuba gear in tow.
So, how about it? Someone has got to have a great story about a wild dream that worked out!