I was a golden child. Born to parents who cherished me, doted on by grandparents, blessed with good health, compliant by nature, bright, and eager to please, I was the little girl my mother had always dreamed of having. By almost anyone’s standards, I was blessed.
As a child though, I dreamed of living in an actual city instead of in the backwoods of northern Arkansas. Why couldn’t I live the life portrayed by Jeff and Mary on The Donna Reed Show? I wished my dad were a doctor or lawyer instead of a postmaster and general store owner. Why wasn’t my mother a carefree and smiling socialite who wore pearls and high heels every day, played bridge on Wednesdays and danced at the country club on weekends?
Those were the norms I saw played out for me on television, but they did not describe my life. I felt cheated.
I went to college and majored in education. Thus, after graduation I spent my days in stuffy classrooms teaching uninterested kids how to diagram sentences, convert fractions to decimals, and name the capitals of our 50 United States. The hours were long and the pay was low. I wish now that I had chosen journalism, creative writing or communications as my college major. Had I done so, I might have become the next Diane Sawyer or Harper Lee.
What a waste of a perfectly good skill set. Some observant teacher or counselor should have seen my potential while I was still in school and steered me toward a more rewarding career. I was cheated.
After our children were raised, I had several jobs, not actually needing to work because my husband provided well for us. Some of my jobs were rewarding, but I gave them up, usually because unsavory working conditions or intolerable supervisors made life miserable for me. I wish now that I had stood my ground, demanded better treatment and held on to a job I liked.
Trapped in a system that wasn’t reasonable or fair, I was cheated out of what was rightly due me.
Today I am an older woman, a wife, mother, and grandmother living comfortably and tending to the routine duties of life. I have family members who love me, a network of friends who share their time and their lives with me, a nurturing church home, hobbies that I now have time enough to enjoy, and opportunities to volunteer my services to people who need help.
I am not, however, looked upon as an expert in anything. The wisdom I have acquired through years of living is unappreciated. No one is writing a Proverbs 31 about me. Cheated again.
Of course had I grown up in an urban instead of rural setting, been part of an affluent family of high standing, been encouraged by adults who recognized my talents and helped me develop them, received proper respect and appreciation from companies and supervisors for whom I worked, and been awarded all the privileges and acclaim deserved by a person of my age, things would be different.
Within the pathetically whiney paragraphs above, many privileges and blessings are referenced, but given no emphasis. In order to make a point, I buried them, as if they were hardly worth mentioning, amid claims of unfair treatment and misfortune.
God, forgive the person who, when life hands her lemonade, chooses to make lemons.
©Debbie Scales March 12, 2016 567 Words