Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Reunion

I had drinks last night with two friends from college. I'll call them Top of the Corporate Ladder Girl and Saving the World Girl. We're recently reunited here on the East Coast, and it's a beautiful thing.

On the way home, I was thinking about how the three of us are living proof that all the things they tell you are so important in college--focus, direction, a serious and disciplined approach to THE FUTURE--don't really matter at all.

Here's what I mean: take Top of the Corporate Ladder Girl. She didn't exactly spend her college days attending Future Business Leaders of America meetings. By her own admission, it was a bit of a struggle simply to remember to wake up in the morning in time for English Class. Part of what made her such a great friend in college was that she somehow remained utterly unfazed by all the pressure, and knew how to celebrate the little stuff that happened almost every day. And now, she's hugely successful in her field, so much so that she has a full arsenal of skills for hiring and firing not just people, but entire branches of her company. If I had any skills whatsoever (aside from bumbling into situations that make for interesting blog posts and memoirs...) I'd be begging her for a job, because I bet she's fabulous to work for.

And Saving the World Girl: she's a mover and shaker at the highest levels of corporate giving. She has her finger on the pulse of the Boston Philanthropy Scene (who even knew there was such a scene?), and has miraculously parlayed her left-wing, hippie upbringing into a job where she gets to travel the world AND legitimately make it better. She's like Robin Hood, only everything she does is legal. I'm telling you, the girl's a genius, even if she left our graduation with no idea where she'd go next.

Then there's me. I knew from second semester freshman year that I was going to be AN ATTORNEY (not a lawyer, but an attorney...sounds more important, right?) Yeah. Three years of law school and three years of practice, I realized that I HATED billing my days in six-minute increments more than I hated algebra (which is a serious level of hate, trust me). So I quit, went back waitressing, back to grad school, and back to dating guys who obviously weren't Mr. Right, just to have some semblance of a Mr. Right Now...you get the picture. Not exactly the stuff colleges brag about when sharing their alumni news.

And yet now we're all doing great, and discovering that we still have a fun bond that makes girls' nights well worth planning, despite our crazy schedules. That counts for something, right? It makes me wonder if, for all the things the world tells us we MUST do to succeed, it might be worth considering the possibility that we don't have to do them at all?

In salute to this realization, I'm crossing "Organize closets" and "buy scented candles" off of my to-do list, and trusting that somehow, my life will still turn out okay.

(I expect to hear from my alumni director any minute now, begging me to pretend I went to a different school :) )


16 comments:

chloe elizabeth said...

Fabulous post! Life is surprising. I loved the day I realized I didn't have to be like my dad and pick one job that I would stay in forever. I'm all for starting over, or just shifting gears. Thank goodness college really is just a hoop one has to jump through and not the definition of our lives.

JenKneeBee said...

This was a lovely post. You definately have some amazing friends (and you're pretty darn great too!).

Sarakastic said...

this gives me hope

Dating Trooper - Dating is Warfare said...

Hallelujah! I think the thing that makes all the difference in who we "turn out to be" is Character. sounds like you all have that.

Surfergrrl said...

sounds like you are a trio of awesome women! the world needs people like you!

Larramie said...

Since life is a journey, a long and windy road stretches ahead for all of us. And the real lesson -- needed to be taught -- is to enjoy...

L Sass said...

I love hearing stories from old friends and seeing where they are at on their "journey" these days! It's wonderful to remember that there will be lots of twists and turns (and second chances) along the way.

Nilsa S. said...

I love growing up. It's when we realize what we thought we wanted to do and what we really want to do might not mesh. And we follow our heart. Yeah for you for finding a way to make it work!

Colleen Snell said...

More power to you! From a fellow list-maker, sometimes crossing things off (no matter how small) just feels good, doesn't it?

Ello said...

It took you 3 years huh? Don't I feel like a putz continuing for 15 before finally leaving it behind. The last 10 were in house so it's not like I had to really worry about billables. Maybe that's what kept me at it so long! Nice post! It's great to see our friends successful.

Are You Willing to Change? said...

I love girls nights...they are always so much fun! Especially with people that I am not just getting to know but those friends that I've had for years!

booklady said...

Your girls' night sounds like so much fun! And as for where we go after college, I think that we learn so much by doing different things and by, yes, failing. Anyway, it's so difficult to know at 18 what we want to do for the rest of our lives.

Mary Ann (Moanna) said...

I think guidance counselors should be required to read your posting.

Em said...

so true, I thought I wanted to be a physical trainer.....until I took biology 101....oops!:)

Barrie said...

How fun to reconnect and have it still work!

ramblin' girl said...

Girls' nights are such a great way to realize that your friends have really made something of their lives, made even better when they remind you that you have, too!

Oh, I've just re-written organize closets on my list. Because having two of the exact same pair of shoes, and still not being able to find either left one is ridiculous. Although I think my sister's dog may have eaten them...