“You Don’t Know Squat!”
Guest post by reader: Meredith Noble
If I could go back in time and have a cup of coffee, or mochaccino or whatever fancy drink I was into then, with my seventeen-year-old self, I’d say, “You don’t know squat kid!” As a teenager I thought I knew everything (didn’t we all?), but I especially ‘knew’ exactly how my life would play out. I was going to go to college, get a fancy titled job at a big company, and live in a big modern apartment in the city down the road from my hometown in the South. I’m pretty sure at some point I was even under the impression that I would be a vegetarian. I even had a plan for how my personal life would go. I would get married at 30, once I was well established in my career, and over the next 5 years I’d have exactly two children. And then I’d live happily ever after…
I graduated from college and reality set in. My first job was as an accountant for a meat broker. (yes, buyers and sellers of bulk meat). After a month of crying myself home from work every night because I was so bored, I finally quit. There had to be something better. I worked as a teacher assistant at an elementary school. Warmer…warmer… but I wasn’t there yet. During that school year, my family started to discuss moving to Alaska where my sister and her husband had just made a military move to. I figured it would never really happen, so I wrote a note to my mom telling her that I was in. If they wanted to go, I’d go too. When the school year ended in June, with my belongings packed, I drove to Alaska where the rest of my family was settling in, waiting for me.
Life plan deviation number one: Alaska.
I started a government job right when I arrived in Alaska that I thought would just be temporary, a stepping stone of sorts to bigger and higher paying things. I didn’t realize at the time how lucky I was to have even gotten the job, because I had no military spouse or Veteran’s preference; I was actually just the only qualified individual willing to move to the Arctic. Three years later I actually enjoy serving the American people on a daily basis.
Deviation number two: Civil Service.
I’m no longer reluctant to admit that I met my husband on an Internet dating site, as it has become much less taboo. I can’t remember who found who on the site, but he appeared to be handsome, tall, and seemed like a nice guy. Unfortunately his profile included a real deal breaker for me: he had a three-year-old son. I couldn’t date a guy with a kid! I was supposed to have my OWN kids, and much later in life! Bored of scanning other guys’ profiles that clearly lied about their height (and probably their income too), I decided I’d meet him. A year later we were married and I had sealed the deal with the two loves of my life, my husband and my new son. Two months after the wedding I was rather shocked to find out that I was pregnant. A few months later I gave birth to the third love of my life, a healthy handsome baby boy.
Deviation number three: My blonde boys.
So maybe I wouldn’t tell a younger me that she didn’t know anything; that would be incorrect. She knew enough to get everything she needed in life. No, I think I’d say ”
Your life isn’t going to go AT ALL the way you have planned, but don’t worry.
You’re gonna do great kid, you’re gonna do great.”