Our lives are like a glorious page turner, in which we are not able to determine the twists and turns. Had we known which way the details of our lives would align themselves, our lives would be predictable and not the journey that they are designed to be.
There are many times that I feel as if my bookmark has fallen to the ground. I scramble to pick it up as if by simply holding it in my hand, it will magically replace itself. I rifle through the pages trying desperately to find my location.
Where am I?
If I backtrack needlessly, it is fruitless…territory already covered. Lessons learned and vision restored. If I jump ahead of my place, I will only be skipping important details that are essential to any good story. Oh, it is so tempting to sneak a peek, just one juicy tidbit to keep my interest engaged, but that morsel will be all the tastier when it is revealed at the proper time.
(excerpt from A Work of Heart blog post-September 2006)
(I fought the urge to rewrite the above.)
If I am honest, had my life been a book, I wanted to be the author.
I wanted to name all the characters, describe the plot, subplots and
construct the ending.
Although predictable endings are often chided, I considered that possibility
fabulous in my book.
Not having a plan or direction in my life unnerved me.
I placed my qualms in a brightly colored box filled with perfection and performance
enveloped with a sparkly smiling bow.
As college approached and tensions heightened,
the public library offered me tranquility and a comfortable setting
to determine the course of my life.
On Saturdays, I would stride toward the reference section
containing mammoth volumes about careers
and hoist one upon a table.
From A to Z, I would investigate career options, requirements,
salary ranges and who was best suited for each profession.
From the pages of a heavy tome in a library, I chose physical therapy
as my career choice.
I had laser sharp focus in college.
There were subjects I was drawn towards but
if they weren’t on the map,
I ignored the gravitational pull and I drop kicked those classes.
With the exception of a semester of college physics which proved to be
my undoing, I worked hard enough to earn grades necessary to
apply to physical therapy school.
Carl and I had been engaged for a few months and we had a huge decision
to make regarding physical therapy school at
Northwestern University in Chicago or
The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
Graduate school began three weeks after Carl and I had said our vows.
We stuffed our Honda, waved goodbye to family, friends
and wedding gifts and headed to Rochester, Minnesota
and called it a honeymoon.
We were young, in love and anything familiar to us was thousands of miles
away, visible only if we squinted in our rear view mirror.
The P.T. program at Mayo was affectionately or not so affectionately
called mini-Medical school.
It was intense and not the ideal orientation for newlyweds.
Physical therapy school proved to be
the catalyst of stripping away chunks of my identity.
I found myself uncomfortable answering questions on the spot.
I cringed when I demonstrated techniques before my classmates.
In college, I set up camp in a library and studied without time constraints but as
a young married, I had to learn how to balance school and a husband.
After 8 hours of class most students were in the library or anatomy lab for
the rest of the night.
I wanted to study but I also longed to be with Carl.
I wanted to decorate our apartment and cook meals yet
Carl worked late hours, I would return to an empty apartment and find
a pan of Hamburger Helper and a note from Carl.
I was accustomed to working hard enough to ensure good grades,
now I inhabited the lower third of my class.
Every clinical day I put on my white laboratory coat over my “Mayo Way” dress
code and raced to keep up.
I used to have hours to spend with God, now I could only nod my head knowing
He was with me but we felt like strangers.
I felt every bit like the pizza Carl would bring home at 2 am.
We would sit on the floor and catch up.
Slivers of slumber gave way to awakening with the pizza
hangovers we thought were exclusive to college.
There was a silent conversation between our eyes expressing
disbelief of how our newlywed bliss was spent in tiny scattered segments.
My carefully constructed life was a jumbled up mess of partially devoured
wedges without hope of fitting back into a whole concentric circle.
The steadfast words filling those two years were found in textbooks, clinical
evaluations, board exams
and love notes from my husband encouraging me to not give up.
All words written by the hands of others and not my own.
Could my bookmark be retrieved once it floated to the ground?
To be continued…
This post is from a series called A Work of Heart History.
You can read the first post here.