When we’re kids, we’re taught to turn the other cheek, to take the road less traveled, to be the bigger person. It builds character, makes us a better human being. It helps us grow into a model citizen.
Make the right choice, our parents say. Healthy versus fast food. Thoughtful discussion versus profanity. Drug free versus substance abuse. Save versus spend.
After all, without challenge, there is no victory. Right?
I don’t have a college degree, and for all I do and know at work, I still recognize that, deep down, I’m really just a knowledgeable secretary. I’m a smart person — 1400 on my SATs. I walked away from a full scholarship to the University of Maryland. That was an easy choice at the time. My family was going through a great deal of difficulty, and college was just too much to deal with. But now, though I make a decent living, I’m still just a secretary.
I could go back to college. I could make the choice to sacrifice my writing, my time with my children, time with my husband. I could get a degree, lose this stigma of being “just” a secretary. On one hand, I think it’s good to feel humbled sometimes, because it gives us motivation to work harder. Though maybe I’m just saying that to sound motivational. Maybe it really makes us want to burrow deeper.
It’s easy to feel trapped by the choices we’ve made. But we’re not trapped by our decisions. Every day is a choice. It doesn’t seem like it, sometimes, because we’re so strongly pulled to mother our children, to honor our husbands, to keep traveling the rut we’ve dug.
But that’s still a choice.
And just because it’s easier to keep traveling down our chosen paths doesn’t mean it’s wrong.