I've Had a Great Run
He was my high school boyfriend’s best friend. He was an earnest young man, a good Catholic boy, attending the prestigious Seattle University. My high school boyfriend was in the service by now. He had discontinued communication with me. He had found someone else. I was a junior in high school. Tom was a freshman in college.
We went on a double date with one of Tom’s friend from college and my friend Laney. Tom was informally paired with Laney. I was with the other fellow, Tom’s friend. His name escapes. At some point during the date things switched around. Although the outing was never intended to be romantic, just friends enjoying a night out, on the way home, Tom and I ended up in the back seat engaged in a very intense make out session.
It was during a time when I was intensely focused on school and was preparing to attend college the summer between my junior and senior years in high school. The plan was to graduate early and get away to college in Eastern Washington in the spring. I'd be out. I'd be free.
I was very single minded. I had to get away from my father. At all costs, that was all I could think of. So when Tom subsequently reached out, I simply stopped responding. I had clear and unshakable priorities and I just wouldn’t and likely couldn’t focus on anything else.
The fall of my senior year in college, Tom called me. We chatted. But again, bad timing. I had had a bad experience dating another fellow just previously and I had sworn off men for a bit. I needed to focus on finishing school.
My father was sick, very sick, he would pass in just a few months. He died during winter quarter of my senior year. Of course, I did not know that he would pass. I had no idea how sick he was. I was still frantically focused on my studies. I had to do well, I had to graduate, I had to get away from my abusive father. I did not want to have to live at home with him after I graduated.
During the phone call, Tom asked me if I was still a virgin. I laughed. I thought he was joking.
“Are you?” I asked.
“Yes,” he responded. I wrote him off that very moment.
It was a few years later that again, I had a look back at my life, at my choices. I was a very foolish girl. Or was I? I had been in survival mode. And I had survived. I finished high school and college with good grades. I very effectively set myself up for a successful career.
I have regrets, but I’m also proud of myself for those times when I knew it was important to focus all of me and for keeping my eye on the prize. Because I have achieved success. Tremendous success. I’ve had a fabulous career; I’ve had a great run.
Yet I have never married. I’ve never had the family I so desperately wanted. Or believed for so many years I wanted. So, did I win? Or did I lose? I really don’t know. But here I am. The cumulative sum of all my choices and everything I’ve learned up till now.
I Persevere. And life goes on.