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?