Next week will be my 30th college reunion. I’m not going to my reunion. I haven’t been to any of my college reunions, the timing just never worked with my schedule. I don’t really keep up with friends from college…although I did just hear from my college friend J who I haven’t seen in 30 years. She was reading my blog and decided to contact me now that she and her family live close by. We are going to get together soon.
How did it happen that 30 years have gone by so quickly? Oh, where, oh where has the time gone? How did time fly from 1979 to 2009 so fast? Feels like it was just yesterday that I was graduating from the Ivy towers of Cornell and starting my career journey as a young single girl in the big city. Now, 30 years later, it is my 23 year old daughter who is following in my footsteps as a young single girl in the big city. My 50+ year old brain doesn’t even remember the NYC subway stops anymore.
How did it happen that 30 years have gone by? Wonder if Bruce Springsteen and Fleetwood Mac and Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt feel the same way I do? Likely not, since they are still on the concert circuit 30 years later. I do remember all the concerts I went to in my college days – yes, there was good old Bruce and his Band, and the Grateful Dead with Jerry Garcia (I wasn’t a Deadhead, but I went to the concert anyway and yes, I do remember smoking something that we rolled up in special paper like a cigarette – I do remember it made the concert more tolerable)…oops those are the only two concerts I remember…I know I went to more concerts during college. Wish my favorite musician Dan Fogelberg was still around to celebrate my 30th reunion, his record was one of the popular tunes playing on my record player 30 years ago (Yes, I said record player and the records are still in my basement).
How did it happen that 30 years have gone by? Let’s see, what did I learn in the past 30 years that I wish I knew when I was starting out 30 years ago? What would I tell young graduating baby boomlet women, if I had the chance to make a commencement speech?
-I would tell them that success doesn’t come easy, you have to work hard at it. Yes, I’ve worked very hard to climb the career ladder despite the glass ceiling. However, once you reach the top or close to it, you may want to climb back down the ladder, or move the ladder in a different direction, or keep it just where it is, or turn it upside down or sideways. However you shift your career ladder, there are always more ways to climb…even at 50+.
– I would tell them that when you least expect it, life will throw you curve balls. Try to enjoy the good curve balls and dodge the bad ones. Sometimes, you’ll still get hit in the head, but you’ll survive. In fact,the hood of your trunk might fall on your head one day, like it did to me when I was almost 50, but I survived and so will you. And you might even be lucky like I was and a cute doctor might put a staple in your head. (The staple will hurt, but you can look at the cute doctor while he fixes you all up.)
– I would tell them that by the time you can afford an Armani suit, you may not want it anymore. However, perhaps like me, you’ll change your mind and decide to buy something better, like a ‘condo on the corner at the shore.’
– I would tell them to keep all their clothes from college, because the styles will return 30 years from now, and then you’ll be hip and cool when your kids ask you where you got all your fashionable clothing. I didn’t do this, but I wish I had saved some of my more memorable outfits from the 70s.
– I would tell them not to worry about their college yearbook picture. If they hate it, they will likely still hate it 30 years from now. (I truly think I look 30 times better today, despite all the wrinkles, than I did 30 years ago. I don’t think I will open my yearbook next week…nope…I don’t want to look at that awful picture…did I really look like that 30 years ago…ugh!)
– Finally, I would tell them the saying that is on my little lavender sachet that I recently bought…the sachet that I keep next to my pillow each night…the sachet that I wish I had bought 30 years ago. Here’s what it says:
Enjoy the little things. For one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
How true…how true.