I have it tonight...the feeling that there is a giant hole in my gut. The feeling that tells me I missed...something... along the way.
I have noticed that I get this feeling, this emptiness, when I contemplate who I am and how I got here. I get this feeling when I start to think about the me that was there when I was on the verge of becoming...something.
The empty place opens up every time I think about the fact that I didn't go to college after high school. I was accepted at three schools, Baylor and UT in Texas and Florida State in Tallahassee. I enrolled in Florida State. I was all set to go.
My mom decided, right before the fall semester started, that we needed to move to Orlando because Tallahassee was bad. Something bad had happened to her (she was accused of shoplifting in an Albertson's grocery store by a clerk and the police took her to the station to search her. They found nothing and let her go, but the damage was done.) My mom never stayed any place where something bad happened to her. She had a long track record of running away. Of disappearing and remaking herself. And bringing us (my sister and I) along in the wake. To start again from nothing. To be the new kids. Again.
When she told me she was moving and that I was coming with her, I wanted to tell her "no." I wanted to say that I would stay and go to school...but I didn't. I helped her pack our things and then we moved. Just like that. Away from school. Away from what could have been, if only...
It's hard for me to think about that now. As silly as it is, when I think about the fact that I didn't stand up for myself and figure out a way to do what I wanted (needed) to do, I am sad way down inside. If only I had been the person I am now, I would have done it. I would have stood up to her. I would have stayed and gone to school like I had planned.
It surprises me how much it all still hurts me. I am married and have had a successful career in law enforcement and I have my sons. I don't regret my life as it is, I just miss what I missed.
I don't think that going to college and getting a BA or JD would have made me a better person. That is not what I am talking about. It's just, I guess I regret not having had the possibilities that were right there. Maybe it's just the fact that I didn't even try to do it that really bothers me. The fact that I gave in so easily and went with my mother, whom I hated. Why would I do that? How could I have done that? Did I just admit that I hated my mother?
Tonight, my friend Kelli from Narraganset No. 7 told me she is getting her masters in writing. She is living in a dorm right now and somehow making it work even though she has a family at home. I envy her. I feel the hole in my gut.
Could I have gotten here from there? From Florida State? What if I had gone there and become the civil rights attorney that I had planned on being? Would I have met Kurt and had my sons? I don't know. It's not that I am ungrateful for the things I have, the blessings, the bounty, not at all. It's just that sometimes I wonder what would have been there in its stead. I went to school part time while I worked as a police officer. I got my AS degree from the community college. It was enough to get me promoted at work. It wasn't enough to fill up that hole.
I don't like this feeling...this empty ache. I don't know what to do about it except to write it down in an attempt to get it out...examine it and then put it away...until next time...when I feel like I am on the verge of...something...indefinable.