"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin

What My Life Could Have Been

>> Monday, November 03, 2008

We were back in my hometown this past weekend for a wedding reception and stayed at a chain hotel. As I was both checking in and leaving I recognized a girl - ok, she's now a woman- who I was rivals with during my late teen years.

She was a few years older than me and we were both dating the same guy. Of course he denied that he was seeing both of us and neither of us was smart enough (or confident enough or something) to tell him to take a hike (or something in much stronger language).

I remember one weekend when she had three of her friends jump me at a street dance (it's a small town). They were large girls and I weighed about 100 pounds at the time. I can barely remember crawling away and collapsing in the street where someone took pity on me and took me home.

You could say that we hated each other with a passion.

We both moved on, thankfully. I moved away and she stayed. She remained involved with the guy for quite a few more years and had 2 or 3 kids with him. They never married and I heard that he continued to treat her badly and didn't change his habits of dating.

When I saw this woman I had a couple of thoughts...

First I felt pity for her as she was quite beautiful when she was young and you can see that her life has been rough. And because I know she trained as a cosmetologist I was sad to see that she is now cleaning hotel rooms, which is a thankless job.

Then I thought, "It's an honest living and nothing to be ashamed of" as there are many people who see that as beneath them.

Then I realized just how much I have changed, through my belief in God. At one time I would have gloated about this. Now I can look at her and, though I feel pity for what I know she's been through, I can be impressed by her strength to move on and do what she needs to do to survive.

And I thank God for taking me from there because that is what my life could have been had He not given me the strength to leave.

6 comments:

The Fritz Facts 7:15 PM  

The growth we experience as we move on in life always astounds me. I run into people from the old days all the time, and they sometimes are holding onto the past. I have worked hard to move on, and not live in the past.

mpls Bobbi 7:34 PM  

I can't tell you how much I enjoy seeing, not just the growth, but the blossoming of this new and improved Jody

Fantastagirl 10:07 PM  

When I see people from High School I try to forget where we were, and try to remember where we are now, and realize people do change.

(Sometimes though I am not the better person, and I laugh on the inside because the perfect high school snob, is now living the life she so desperately was trying to avoid. - BUT I REALLY REALLY try to be the better person...)

Chris Huff 5:46 AM  

Isn't it amazing the changes we see in ourselves when we "let go and let God" be in control instead of trying to be the controller? Everything happens for a reason - even though it may be hard for us to accept and understand.

WILLIAM 7:41 AM  

This is a great post.

Laurie J. 4:40 AM  

Jody, I am pretty sure I remember who you are talking about. How very sad for her.
I just want you to know how much I enjoy reading your blogs. Your kids are so cute. You are a good Mom and give so much of your life to them. They are blessed.

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