THIS BLOG ISN'T FOR YOU if you are a proud PTA member, or if you live for weekends schlepping children to and from sporting events and friends' houses, or if you feel fulfilled combing bubblegum from pigtails! But, if like me, you occasionally wish that your offspring would disappear, if "Get me out of here!" is your mantra, if you have come to relish the dentist office for its delicious quiet, then you are a Muddled Mother! Read on!
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Caution: Prom Can Alter Your Destiny!
Paths. So many are available to us when we are young and the world is open. Author, Steven Redhead, once said "The paths we choose will make us what we are. There are endless opportunities for change and to alter our course or path through life. A split second decision can change the course of your life completely, forever." Paths. Life's paths--discussed in books and movies alike. Who could forget Gwenyth Paltrow in that thought provoking existential film, "Sliding Doors?" (If you haven't seen it, stop reading RIGHT NOW and click on your Netfllix icon and order that baby tout suite! It is a must see!) In it, Helen, the protagonist, lives two lives simultaneously. One in which she jumps on a subway home just in time. The other, in which, she misses the subway. Fate, destiny, chance and choice intertwine as Helen's two lives unfold. The audience takes part in a "what if" compare and contrast game that is both thought-provoking and entertaining.
Dr. Phil calls these paths "turning points;" moments in our lives when we clearly had choices and those choices directed our destinies in unexpected ways. He claims that when thinking back most middle aged humans can pinpoint at least 6 of these occurrences in which we traveled down a figurative road when there were oodles of other streets we ALSO could have taken.
For me, when I mine my messy, sometimes maniacal memories, the first turning point, (perhaps the ROOT of all other turning points, ) happened 25 years ago on prom night. The choice of course was due, in part, to a boy...(after all, what OTHER pressing issues do teenage girls pay attention to?) It was also made out of spite and feelings of rejection and unwant. The path taken was clouded by teen angst and heartbreak and the utter DRAMA of being a girl. But no matter the reasons (so clearly seen today as a 41 year old,) the choice was made...to date a boy that I'd never even noticed or remotely liked-all in the hopes of making another boy jealous. I am not sure that I ever got the response I wanted from that boy, but the world kept turning and my stubbornness made me trudge down that brambly path I had chosen come Hell or high water.
Sounds like regret doesn't it? Funny thing there is so much I DON'T regret about that infamous prom path. But that's the thing about choices--they send you down a road that can be full of craters, but also brimming with gorgeous scenery and stops that you wouldn't change for the world. You see, I ended up marrying that "revenge choice" a few years later. And while THAT was no picnic, the two sons that came out of that marriage were, I am sure, the reasons for the prom path. If I hadn't made that choice, I wouldn't have them. They wouldn't exist. And while I lament them and their choices quite often here on this blog, I can say with the utmost assurance that life without those two little guys would be empty. Furthermore, who I am today is in part due to the craters that tripped me up down that particular road. While traveling that path I learned that I was strong and resilient. I grew to be self-sufficient. I learned what is was that I did and did not want out of life. To put it mildly, I am a different and much more evolved human because I took a path that wasn't necessarily the best one to choose. So it leaves me questioning? If it molds and shapes who we are, can there ever REALLY be a poor choice or a bad life path to saunter down?
And so...and so...after journeying down this existential road with you dear Mudders, what can we take from it so that we can impart some wisdom to the children we so love and adore? Well, we could tell them that choices no matter good or bad, smart or dumb, whether conscious or unconscious will shape their lives in ways that they could never foresee. We can also teach them that choices will present themselves whether significant or slight all the days of their lives, and when they can, they should try and be present and aware of the possible outcomes when making decisions. But perhaps most importantly, dear Mudders, we should let them know that making choices, choosing paths takes forethought and insight, and that with any choice comes a chance for growth and developing a sort of stamina necessary to take us down the next path.
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this was a great post! So true... It's amazing how the simple, sometimes silly, choices we made in high school really do still affect us...ReplyDelete
(and I think you meant "Sliding Doors." Not Sliders. Sliders is a sci-fi movie turned tv show starring Jerry O'Connel. People could request that and well, who knows where that path would take them! ha!! :) )
Thanks Logan, I love your writing. It's nice to know that the choices we make don't necessarily ruin our lives even if they might be the "wrong" ones. :)ReplyDelete
Rachel (your niece)
Hi :-) Thank you for visiting me on Bloggy Mom's!! I am following your blog in all ways available. I loved this post! I truly hope I can teach my daughter those values as she grows into the strong woman she is sure to be. :-) Looking forward to future posts! Have a wonderful week!ReplyDelete
What a great post. BTW, I adore Sliding Doors...while it didn't do wonders at the box office, it sure got me thinking. I'm SUCH a whatifer...ReplyDelete
One of my favorite things that Alice Walker has written states "I believe we are destined to meet the people who will support, guide, and nurture us on our life's journey, each of them appearing at the appropriate time, accompanying us at least part of the way." I could go on with it, but simply put, we interact with the people we need to in order to become more fully who we are.
hey girl, love the blog, im your newest follower .. your almost to 400 :)ReplyDelete
I love this post. Ah, the days of high school. I sure miss those days, to only have to worry about homework, tests, and what we were doing the upcoming weekend! Prom is such a special experience and it is so true. Whether good or bad choices are made that night. The outcome will affect you the rest of your life. I lost a close friend prom night due to drinking and driving and just want to remind everyone, especially those attending prom or have children that will be attending prom. This will be one of the last or most important teenage experiences before graduation and entry into the "real world". Be a kid and enjoy it! Don't drink!ReplyDelete
Well said. I'm glad you don't regret your choice, I don't believe in regrets...just lessons :-)ReplyDelete
Life defining choices, circumstances... if I hadn't been in an alcoholic state for nearly nine years, I wouldn't have married my ex and would have pursued a very different kind of life. But if I had done otherwise, I wouldn't have proceeded on a journey that led me to adopt Jessica and Dylan. Unimaginable. My experience has brought me unique knowledge and understanding.ReplyDelete
I love this post!ReplyDelete
I also remember 3 distinct times in my life where I had to make choices and I considered them to be the right choice but now after reading this I think its possible that had I made a different choice things wouldn't necessarily go wrong or poorly, just different.
Thanks for helping me to see this different way of thinking. :)
Great post! I will need to see that movie. I'm glad you have your sweet boys. I also have made unwise choices. I still have regret for some, but not for the person they have made me or for the path I have found because of them. I think it is what we do after those choices that is important.ReplyDelete
I would still like to keep my kiddos out of the dating world for the rest of their lives!!! I'm kidding, sort of.
I have to agree, at first I thought "nothing that happened on prom night changed my life". But, it did...some girl making fun of me made me make the decision to no longer be a victim. To stand up and try something new...I am me and if someone doesn't like that, well..thats on them! Awesome post!ReplyDelete
Looking back, prom night really does impact our life. Thanks for a flashback in time. Great post!ReplyDelete
This was an enjoyable post. I haven't seen the movie but I will make a note to.ReplyDelete
<a href="http://www.terrislittlehaven.com>Terri's Little Haven</a>
Well written, insightful post. I like that you touch on regret, but don’t dwell on it. Regret is real and often justified, but it we don’t move forward from there it is nearly impossible to find contentment. I had my first daughter well before prom night when I was 15, which would seem like a regret. However, she has grown into a beautiful young woman inside and out and enriches my life and her father’s life. Her father and I ended up getting married 16 years after Jenna was born and had two more children. So anytime I feel judged or regretful for being a teen mother (once upon a time), I like to say that perhaps that was a bad choice, but today I’m unique in that my kids all have the same father and we’ve only been married once (so far – ha!).ReplyDelete
Anyway, your post made me think of regret at the end of one’s life. I once worked in an extended care facility and the poignant regret of Mrs. Olsen has always stayed with me:
Lala Musings: Dwelling on the Past
Wow! A) Thank you for visiting me during my very first week on Bloggy Moms; it's all so excited and overwhelming!ReplyDelete
B)I am following your blog happily as I can see my future self right in your words, lol! My oldest is a boy, just about to graduate kindergarten, and I really wish I could soak both my children up into me again, but barring that I love the wisdom I'm getting from other mommy bloggers on allowing our kids to gracefully grow up.
Well said, and very nice blog. I am floowing you on google and twitter check out my blog menearfamily.blogspot.comReplyDelete
Great blog! If we dwell on the what if's, they will eat us up inside. For our sanity we should own our choices, accept, and move forward.ReplyDelete
Read once we are doomed to make the same mistakes until we make the right choices... believe this whole heartedly!
Oh. SHIT. How did I not find your blog sooner? We are obviously soul mates. I spend most of my time as a mother wondering how it is my kids haven't ended up beating puppies. Of course, there's always tomorrow. I have no clue. And I recently wrote a blog post "mama, why aren't you in the PTA?" I think you'd relate. Anyway, I'll be back. Cheers.ReplyDelete
Great post. I know that I haven't made the best decisions in the past but I know all of those decisions have shaped who I am today. I may be domestically challenged, emotionally needy and borderline OCD, but I LIKE me and that's really what it's all about. I know I would not be the ME I am today were it not for all my trips and falls along with my elegant maneuvering.ReplyDelete
I talk to my kids about their decisions and the natural consequences that follow. It's not easy to explain the "big picture" to a child who doesn't yet have the vision to see that far into the future, but I know I'm planting seeds for growth later. ...
Again, super post.
Stopping by from bloggy moms. Very well said. It is amazing how one choice can change your entire life.ReplyDelete
Well stated. I'm glad I found your page...and I wasn't even looking. I'll be following you.ReplyDelete
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Awesome blog! I sent my daughter to the prom last weekend too. It was great to see her feeling and looking like a princess. I think it was a truly enchanted evening for her. My proms....not so much. : ) Anyway, our teens teach us so much about ourselves! I look forward to following your posts.ReplyDelete
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