“There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…”

If I could go back in time, I don’t know exactly when I’d choose. Lots of places in time were wonderful for me. When I was eleven comes to mind. The teenage years weren’t even on the horizon yet. Boys were around but had no real importance in my life. I loved school. Riding my bike all over my little world took up many a Saturday in the summer. In the winter was the matinée. I was a girl scout still and did fun overnights at the camp in town near the zoo. I remember the cots there were the old canvas ones tricky to open. We made camp fire stew for dinner. We hiked on the trails through the pine forest which smelled like Christmas. Life was easy when I was eleven.

I might give thirteen another look. We were the big wigs in school, the eighth graders. I was finally a teenager though nothing miraculous happened. Boys were barely interesting but were definitely seeping into my consciousness. The future was rearing its ugly head. I had to pick a high school. My friend and I colluded and were accepted into the same school. That was cause for jubilation. I had the best fun inthat eighth grade. The nun was crazy, not harmful crazy but old age crazy. We got away with everything. I, who seldom crossed the line, spent most of my eighth grade over the line setting a trend for the rest of my life. The line became arbitrary. Life was fun when I was thirteen.

I think I’d be twenty-one again. I’d get to vote for the first time and legally drink for a change. That was my senior year in college. During second semester, every Friday, we had a happy hour beginning at noon, a couple of hours before our last class of the day, and ending in the late afternoon at a bar owned by a friend’s family. It was always elbow to elbow with people, most of them my classmates. We were enjoying our last times together after four years of closeness. That was also the year I was whacked in the head with a sign which said in capital letters DECIDE. I had to plan my future. That was a bit scary so I hedged my bets. I applied to law school, interviewed for a teaching job and applied to Peace Corps, my first and only choice. The rest were back-ups just in case. All three came through, but I accepted Peace Corps, something I had wanted for so long. I remember the day the mailman brought my special delivery acceptance letter. It was in January. I was elated. Life was scary and life was crazy when I was twenty-one.

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6 Comments on ““There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…””

  1. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I don’t know which time I’d choose either. Being a kid was fun but it was also very limited by the adults that called the shots. Teenage years were fraught with angst about fitting in while still being me. No, I wouldn’t do teenage years again. Twenties I was still figuring out what I wanted to be when I grew up.
    Probably it would be either when I was 30-ish or 50-ish. At 30-ish I was an adult, free, no responsibilities and was having a wicked good time. I knew what I wanted out of life and work and was headed in the right direction. It was exciting. At 50-ish I was at my best and enjoying life and work a lot. It was intellectually stimulating and personally satisfying.
    Now is pretty good too in a quiet and peaceful way. I like that. Good thing I do since there isn’t any choice but to be where I am now. 🙂

    It’s hot and miserable here. Rocky and Piki Dog are at play school, chilling with their doggy pals. I’m inside with the AC where I will stay until pickup time.

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I don’t remember feeling especially limited. There were four of us and the younger two had to be watched so my brother and I had more freedom. I do remember an argument over money for horseback riding but not much else.

      I never had that angst problem as my sense of humor got me through and I had fun in high school. I think maybe going to a Catholic school where we all wore uniforms made it an equal playing field in many ways. There just weren’t the usual hook=ups all over the place.

      The Peace Corps was terrific and it gave me the desire to become a teacher instead of a lawyer. Those were two wonderful years. I bought my house when I was 29 so I was poverty stricken when I was in my early 30’s.

      I’m with you that the latter part of my life so far has been wonderful, especially since I retired.

      I’m living inside-third straight day of the AC cranking. Gracie is back and in quite quickly. She isn’t one of the heat.

      Stay cool!

  2. Bob Says:

    I would go back to when I was 24 because I was learning my trade as a pilot and an instructor. I worked seven days a week trying to build up my flying time. I had my own apartment and I dated as many woman as I could. I had no responsibilities and did exactly what I wanted.

    On my way home today my car thermometer read 103 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      The days of no responsibilities were the most wonderful times, but they didn’t last long. Soon I had car payments and rent then my mortgage. The 20’s from 21 until about 28 were great fun-a good job, lots of parties and cray friends.

      We were darn warm as well for us, 88, with humidity.

  3. Jay Bird Says:

    You tell the best stories!! I’d peg my “glory days” to 1967-72, college and grad school, newly-wed and shortly thereafter. I got a medical deferment from Nam in ’69, and a fellowship to grad school, and those were a big deal to me.

    We had this “glory days” discussion at a 7/4 picnic this year. Most of the men went back to college or the service; most of the women said age 50+ to now. Very interesting gender dynamic.

    • katry Says:

      Jay,
      Thanks on the stories. I guess my life has, at times, a bit of the tale about it.

      I haven’t ever had that conversation with my friends. I wonder if the guys would chose college and a bit after. That women chose over 50 makes sense to me. I think it probably has to do with life being easier. You are totally settled. The choices have pretty much been made. Being “gussy” isn’t as important any more. Life can be much more fun.

      I have loved being retired. That I retired so young is a good part of it. I will celebrate 11 years if blissful retirement this summer.


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