...because we all have our motley moments!

Monday, April 13, 2009

It's Not Easy Being Green

So my college alumni newsletter found its way to my mailbox again. These people are good, obviously dedicated to their mission because I have not helped them. For all they know, my last known address with them should still be the third floor of Brokaw Hall. I have never bothered to update it for one reason alone. I think I'm a little jealous.

This last newsletter was hard to take. Plastered on the front cover was an all too familiar face - my best guy friend Matt. Matt and I had the same major, so we had almost every class together. We had the same group of friends and even shared an office as SGA President (Matt) and Vice President (me). Right after college, I got married, and Matt moved on to Oral Roberts University to get his masters degree. Matt had goals. He wanted to be in politics on a national level.

I had goals too. I wanted to get married and have children. I didn't really care what my major was because all I wanted to do was stay home and take care of my future husband and the children we would someday have. Getting my college degree was a formality. Everyone expected me too, and so I did what was expected. I chose to major in business management because I thought the degree would give me lots of job options if I ever really needed to work.

Fourteen years later, Matt has achieved his goal. He is super successful, and I am really proud of him. He actually has a position in the Obama administration working for the Secretary of Defense. He has had that position for several years now even under the Bush Administration.

I have also achieved my goals. I am married to a thoughtful loving man, and we have a great child. So what's the problem? Even though I have spent way too much time trying to figure it out, I still don't have a solid answer. This is my closest guess. It seems like everyone else's life is easier than mine, and here's why. College newsletters don't give the full story. They don't say how many hardships Matt had to endure to get where he is today - how many times promotions may have been delayed or missed all together. They don't report on the amount of money still owed in student loans or ill side effects from having a successful but high pressure job. They don't mention how many late suppers and missed tee ball games went along with the obvious success. They didn't disclose that in Matt's article, and it wasn't reported four years ago when they published Alex's birth announcement. Our article didn't say after years of heartache and thousands of dollars in medical treatments and other costs, Pam ('95) and Charlie ('93) finally got the child they wished for. The article did say Alex was from Russia, but it didn't capture our fatigue from spending three out of eight weeks on the other side of the world in a foreign country. It didn't say that we actually had to go to court in Russia without any guarantee that he would be ours.

Ironically, the last time they reported on Matt was the same issue with Alex's birth announcement. I got the newsletter on a Thursday. Later that night, I would go teach my GED class while Matt would be attending an inaugural ball for President Bush. Even though I would never want his life, I still can't quit thinking that we had the same degree. We had the same qualifications and the same potential. I think the bottom line is this. I would love for all of my alums to be successful and happy. I would never want them to have sorrow or troubles, only success and joy. I just don't want to hear about it. Is it too much to ask that they loose my address? Who told them I moved to Florida anyway?


fawnda said...

Pam-I know what you are talking about! In our news letter (it is more like a magazine) there is a section for babies and weddings and updates. It makes sense to me about the babies and wedding but most of the updates are like this:

so-and-so (2000) teaches 2nd greade in somewhereville, and her husband is the an account at somewhere office.

Do I care what thier jobs are?!? I mean is this really an "update"???


Does that make me a bad person?

Probably! : )


Rachel said...

I stopped by the library this morning and Kara showed me one of her former classmates--he's an actor now, and let's just say the pics she had of him from his Facebook page were pretty...revealing. You could have gone to school with that guy! lol

Personally, I look forward to seeing the announcements in my alumni newsletter, but it is rare that I actually know the people listed. It was a fairly large campus with several satellite campuses, and it's just impossible to know everyone. I also have this horrible habit of name dropping, and the job announcements are where I get my material! lol One of my HS classmates now works for NASA, and I'm dying to know what her official job is so that I can use it for my benefit...

My parents gladly handed over my new address so MSU would stop hassling them, so I'm sure that's how they found me. They have their methods, those tricky university fund raisers.

It's true that most of us if not all of us have a pretty rocky road that leads to success, but I'm just happy that many of us get to where we need to be. And, Pam, you are one of the most successful people I know! :)

Lindsay said...

My dh's college newsletter found us also (we are from Oklahoma), and he too gets annoyed with it because he sometimes feels like he could have "done more". I on the other hand didn't finish college because I got pregnant, and knew that I wanted to be a mom anyway so the time just worked. But I often feel somehow less of a person because I don't have a college degree. Go figure.

Donna said...

I guess I'm "on the lamb" from my alma mater...I haven't received a glossy magazine in a really long time and I haven't given them any of our address changes along the way. Of course, I also haven't given one red cent to their fund-raising campaigns when I have received the magazines, so maybe they figure I'm a lost cause.

I went to a state university for my junior and senior credits where no one would really remember me because all I did was go to class, write my papers, and go home. I did not live on campus and I did not participate in student government during those two years. I just did what I needed to do in order to leave with my degree in hand!

Well, mission accomplished! I'll post my update here: Donna taught school for five years after receiving her B.A. in English (Creative Writing) from UCF. She has been very successful in the online publishing world. So far, none of her articles have been removed and she has made $25 on her published works thus far. Way to go, graduate! Her proudest moment: getting both preschoolers out the door less than 10 minutes late for most functions, with relatively clean faces and shoes that match! For that job, no degree is required and we are all colleagues!

Jody said...

They manage to find us too and we have had at least 8 different addresses since we graduated. However, I enjoy recieving the newsletters. PK showed me the one with Matt's pic on it yesterday. I said, "Way to go Matt." I didn't know him well, but I am proud of him.

You know one thing the Lord continues to remind me on almost a daily basis (especially since we would so like to move on from here) is that He has us where He wants us. He doesn't measure success the same way we do. That sure makes me glad!

Maria said...

Pam, I know how you feel.

My husband likes to say "It's all about choices". I think you made an excellent choice for your life. Accolades last for only a little while usually, but a legacy of motherhood will last for generations.

Love ya!