As a little girl, I don't remember dreaming about Mr. Wonderful, that I would be Mrs. Wonderful, or all of the little Wonderfuls we'd have together. In the place of those dreams were ones of pursuing medicine, delivering everyone else's babies for a living, and maybe adding a man and one smaller version of him and me to the house. Maybe. Someday. Later than sooner.
All of my dreams of school, school and more school were suppported by my family, especially my mom, who saw all the potential in me to make what I dreamed come true. And, while she was encouraging me to go that direction, she was subliminally (sometimes not so "sub") encouraging me not to go that other direction.....the one where Mr. Wonderful entered the picture.
Like every teenager, I had my perfect life planned: school until I was 27, then internship and residency and then slip into practicing Obstetrics. Sometimes, when Mr. W would fade in, we would have a business partnership as well as a marriage one ~ he would delivery babies for a living, too. More than looking forward to the casual shoulder brushing we might do in the hallways, I thought of him as the guy on the other end of that hall: seeing patients until it was time to share a car ride home. Unless he was on call, or I was. I was too clueless then to really picture details, even the good ones.
Part of my cluelessness came as a result of my own parents' divorce when I was seven. While I remember a few things about being a nuclear family, mostly I remember the benefits of having two separate parents: really cool vacations with the parent I didn't live with and two sets of presents at Christmas and for my birthday. As a kid, I didn't feel like I suffered because I lived with only one. I attribute that to the amazing job my mom did to make sure we (my brother and I) didn't go without.
And then, at seventeen, all I thought I wanted started to change. As many times as I've told my family it wasn't that Church I joined that brought on the change, really it kind of was. Kind of. I don't think of it as the Church as much as learning to include the Lord in my planning, and coming to find that He had a very different plan for me. Full of things I never knew I wanted.
Three days after my seventeenth birthday I was baptized. A little over a year later I graduated from High School (with Honors and with plans still for college and medical school, etc.). Not quite six months later, while attending church in a Singles Branch, I had what I remember being like a bolt of lightening crash through me as I saw this guy walk in the doors while walking down the hall. I knew I knew him, but couldn't remember from where. It wasn't long before I remembered ~ we'd been in band together back when I was a Freshman and he was a Senior. We'd both been pulled out of other classes to come and play tubas in the marching band. We were around each other a lot that semester, but while I know I played in the band at his graduation, it had been years since I'd seen him.
He kind of did that same "I know you but can't remember your name or why I know you or from where" thing that I'd done and while we might have said "hi" at the time, he had to ask his friend what my name was.
We started spending more and more time together, especially after he had knee surgery and conveniently my car was the one (out of all the girls! ~ gosh, you think I'd have seen what was to come coming. But no ~ totally still clueless here) that his braced leg fit best in. We'd spend hours and hours sitting in front of his house talking ~ about my plans for school and his plans for school ~ and repeat it as often as we were able.
He became my closest friend and we spent a lot of time together, still with all our individual plans firmly in place.
While I remember the day I knew I loved him, I don't remember when "like" turned into "like like". We found excuses to spend time together, and I know I was jealous when another girl walked right up to him, in front of me, and while playing with his tie flitted and flirted her giddy little self around. Hmmm....makes me wonder where she is today. And what her name was. Can't remember that, either. Something surely with an -ie at the end. No, it wasn't Barbie. Or Buffie. Good guesses, though.
But somewhere in there my jealousy came from feeling like this girl was invading my territory. I just don't remember at what point I was ready to stake my claim. Not necessarily the eternal kind of claim, but at least the 'next little while' kind.
There was so much to like about this guy ~ his goodness and the way he treated his mom. Not to mention that at six-foot-five, with blond hair and blue eyes and beautiful teeth, eyebrows and forearms, he was awfully easy to look at. I liked being around him and being separated got to be very very hard.
Other things at the time started to change as well. The first MCAT informational meeting I went to left me with a pit in the bottom of my stomach. What I sort of knew then but definitely know now is that it's the feeling I get when something isn't right, or I am in the wrong place. I started wondering if medical school was the right thing to do, not just if it was what I wanted to do. And it wasn't long before I knew that it wasn't the right thing. I didn't know exactly what would replace it, but I changed my major to Biology/Secondary Education. I felt better and looked forward equally to teaching High School someday as I had to delivering babies (though that was still fascinating!).
More To Come.....