Well in keeping with my usual personality trait of just doing things my own way here is my top five list.
Top five things I don't regret that other people think I should
1 Being a single mother
2 Going to university to study the things I love rather than studying things that would make money
3Any and all love affairs
4 Moving back to my home town
5 Having no regrets
I can't say that I set out to be a single mother but I was not surprised when I became one. Somewhere in my head I never thought I could tolerate, compromise, or agree with another person long enough to raise children together.
When my second child was a few months old and my little family of three moved back to my home town, my grandmother, who I loved dearly, lamented the fact that I had this second child. Everything would have been easier if I was single with only one child she thought.
Gram might have been right in the short term; it was harder to work and make a living with two small children but in the long term she was very wrong. I can't imagine my child(ren) not having a sibling. To limit their life experience by making them a singleton would not have been beneficial. A sibling teaches you so much about relationships and how to live with others. I truly can't imagine how dull life would be without both of my children and I am thankful every time I can say, “Ask sissy to help you.”
From the time I was very young I loved anthropology. I made list from encyclopedias of cultural groups I should study and spent some time taking notes from encyclopedias and keeping them in a little scribbler. The different ways people do things fascinated me and still does.
In my first year of university I told myself that whichever class I got the higher grade, History or Anthropology, I would declare my major. Unfortunately, I got an A in History and a B+ in Anthropology. I decided rules were meant to be broken and majored in Anthropology.
After my first degree, I entered into the Kinesiology program at Dalhousie University. This was the “Be sensible, study something that will make money” educational opportunity. My first year was good; straight As and on the Deans List. But in my second year my personal life became messy and at the end of the second semester I flew off to Thailand and left all sensible options behind.
Several years later I started university again and entered a MA in Thai Studies. As I always say, a most practical subject.
So although there are no listings for anthropologists or experts on Thai culture in the Job Bank, my experience has led to employment and I am glad I made the choice to study what I loved not what was practical.
Better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. That is a worn-out saying that I can get behind. Of all the men I have been involved with throughout my life, remembering the relationships we shared is usually a laughing matter; even if it takes several years to get to the laughing part after all the crying.
I am friends with most of my exes. I have chats with them on facebook and even sometimes visit them in other cities. It is my philosophy that if you can't say anything good about your ex, that really is saying something about you. So although not all my exs are great guys, most of them have a few redeeming qualities. Some of them are great and it really was just me and not you that messed things up.
I moved back to my home town just over five years ago now. It was a big move. Most people didn't think I could handle it. My home town is a very small place-- maybe 400 people. Before returning here I had lived in some of the most densely populated places in Asia; Bangkok, Thailand and the north western tip of Taiwan in a few cities that felt like suburbs of Taipei.
More to the point, I was seen by many of my friends as a person in perpetual motion. According to their view of me, I would be unable to settle down and stay in one place. In the past, it is true enough to say that I lived short stints in different places but this was not a life plan I had devised for myself. My life was highly nomadic in my teen years due to my mother's inability to mentally adjust to stillness. On my own, in early adulthood, I lived in Halifax for seven years, then in Bangkok for almost eight years; Guysborough is small but I had lived in small places and I knew I could hack it. I didn't know I would like it as much as I do. That has been a great bonus.
I still want to travel and hope to venture further afield as the kids get older. As it is now I have my own house, have a job I like, have friends I can rely on and my kids live close to their grandparents. Everything has worked out better than I could have ever hoped or dreamed.
No regrets. None. Nada. Nein. Nyet. Ok, truthfully, sometimes I regret eating too much ice cream.
So thank you Katie for getting me out of my post-less summer. Hope yours is truly magnificent.