Growing up, I always felt different from most other people, particularly of my own age. I was an only child until I acquired three step-sisters all at once, and even though we loved each other, and always felt like I belonged, I still felt different. I married young, at eighteen, and by nineteen had birthed my first child. I was not generally a girlie girl, but did love the times we could dress up for a photo or special occasion. By the time we left the Navy behind and joined the civilian world, we discovered that most people "in the real world" that were our age were only just beginning to start their families. Now I am young-ish woman with a son leaving for school soon and another to follow in a couple years. Most people we know in such a situation are ten-ish years older than we are.
I am a Republican who does not fully identify with her party, a Christian who holds views that might be considered a tad hippy-ish, a middle-class gal who longs for less and not more. I am still not girlie, although I do still love to dress up on a Sunday or a special occasion. I would rather garden than shop, build than crochet, camp than motel. I have accepted that I am a unique individual, as I am understanding better that everyone is unique.
But. This past week I came very swiftly and confidently to a place where I could say "Yes, I have made the right choice." The Hort program students took a whole day and attended the MidAm trade show sponsored by the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association. At the end of the day my feet were blistered and aching, but my head was a-whirl with the plants and products, with the terminology and creeds of the horticultural culture. After speaking with employers in the Student Career center I have come to realize that this path I prayed about and set myself on was the absolute right thing to do. I find myself feeling so right about it in a way I have almost never felt about my earthly walk; (spiritually its another whole matter.) I have only ever come close when working with horses; deliberately setting out to train an animal to do something or respond in a certain way, and having success...knowing in my heart that "this is right, and good." I have always known, however, that working with horses professionally was not ever going to be an option for me.
Additionally, I am making connections in my class and with others in the program. Some of them are even my age! (Or close to it.) It is refreshing to be in a group of people who are not always like-minded about everything horticultural, but all have a common thread and common walk. (Much like being with my church family, I might add.) I am eager to get going. By next Monday, a week after our first day at school, we will have missed a day to weather, a day to MidAm, and a day to holiday. Lets go......my future is waiting!