Another thing I've learned about myself is that Suvessful Christense has decided to come back to haunt me.
I was introduced to Sucessful Christense by a well meaning high school gu8idance counselor who just didn't get it. I was afraid one day I'd find out that I only thought she didn't get it because I was seventeen, but I'm not seventeen anymore and now I'm sure of it: she didn't get it. I took a couple AP and IB classes because seriously, why not? College credit? Why yes, thank you.
So Sucessful Christense enrolled in PCC about fifteen years ago, and ever after she was thrust before me in guidance meetings. Why not take more IB classes? I could handle it. My grades were fine. It would give me a leg up in college and help me become Sucessful. I steadfastly refused. I didn't want to be one of those kids. I wanted to be in the band and have a job and drive around in my car and I did not want to be like the girl I knew who did her homework while her family was decorating the Christmas tree. I wanted to LIVE, dammit, and Sucessful would just have to sort itself out later, since I didn't know how to do that anyway.
And I have LIVED. I've been to eight countries on four continents and had twelve jobs that were all awesome in their own ways. I speak three languages with varying degrees of sucess. I have eaten iguana and cow brain and I have become a Real Man not once but twice by climbing the Great Wall; I have been on TV and danced the tango with a genuine Italian and I have been a camp counselor; I have fixed grammatical mistakes and been in the OR during surgery. But all Sucessful Christense has to say is, "It's fifteen years later and you're still doing undergraduate work at a community college?"
Well suck it, Sucessful Christense. Maybe I don't own a house or a car or have a kid or, in 27 days, a job (someone save me), but I have a bilingual dog that sometimes does what I tell him and is spunky enough to poop for spite. I have a husband who is kinda eccentric but is nice enough to not only go out looking for Chinese soup for me at 4am but to not even get that mad at me when he found out that I had been talking in my sleep. I have parents who are willing to let me and Mr. Spite Pooper and Mr. Eccentric and me move in with them and kink their freewheeling retired lifestyle. And yeah, I haven't written that novel yet, but I've got a bunch of book related pins on Pinterest and a blog that gets as many as nineteen views per day and a bunch of weird ideas and a healthy dollop of guilt, so that's a good start.
Anyway, whatever. What's Sucessful Christense got? A desk and a secondhand Asian car and a boyfriend she met on the internet and a tempurpedic bed and a Coke Zero addiction (because I see that happening no matter what, yes?) and a boyfriend she met on the internet. She's skinnier, but she's hungry, and she is always griping to herself about That Other Christense that could have gone and did lots of stuff.
The other day a student told me she thought China was weak because the government took a placating stance when a handfull of Hong Kongese were taken prisoner by the Japanese. I told her how the US got those hikers out of North Korea and she asked me why the US didn't do something more. Well, there's a whole lot of worms in those cans, but I told her it all came down to the fact that just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do it. So yeah, Sucessful Christense, I could have studied and then worked myself to death, but that doesn't mean I should have. And anyway, there would always be something that I didn't do, and overall I'd take my Didn't Do over her Didn't Do any day. I'm Lucy, dammit, and I pay my taxes and I have never taken anything I didn't have a right to, and therefore I exercise my right to live up to exactly as much of my potential as I want to. I'm having more fun than she is anyway, and that's something I had right even when I was seventeen. BOO YAH.
That's the thing.