Tuesday, October 04, 2005

What if....

Tomorrow I have a project in the SE part of the state. I don't get back there as often as I'd like to and I am excited to go. Hopefully will get all my work done so that I can visit one or two places before returning home. Definitely want to hit Chester County Book Store. Beats the pants off Barnes and Noble or Borders any day. So many obscure books to choose from all housed in an enormous space. Anyway, this part of the state is where I spent my college and young adult years. Every road and town has a memory (usually good ones) and I sometimes drive past places I used to live just to see how they have changed. Are flowerbeds I planted still there? Who put those hideous curtains in my bedroom window? A game I like to play while doing this is to imagine that I could pick one day at each of the old abodes and just step back into my life at that exact moment. Which moment would I pick? Would it be a point at which something really good was happening? Maybe it would be an awful moment that I'd want to relive, just to see if it was really that bad. A certain moment comes to mind there.....A day when I failed a statistics test in college....really failed....a 34. The professor hadn't given us enough time and I couldn't finish 1/3 of the test and I had studied so hard. I felt like the world was collapsing around me and I lay on the floor of my apartment and cried so hard I hypervenilated. My then boyfriend panicked and called my parents and I couldn't even talk on the phone. No words were coming out, just the sound of sucking air. My mom was yelling that he should call an ambulance. I was hoping I would die so I could avoid the shame of failing statistics and havng to take it again. My, how serious I used to be and dramatic. Two days later, turns out the prof. didn't allow enough time and no one in the class had scored above a 45, so we all got to retake it and I got a 93. When you are young, it never occurs to you that maybe this isn't as big a deal as you think and that things might be completely different tomorrow.

Then I like to imagine a time when I was in the process of making a big decision (or little decision that had big consequences) and imagine what would happen if I could be in that spot again and make the alternate choice. How would my life be different? What if I hadn't broken up with that guy? What if I would have gone on to graduate school instead of getting a job right after school? What if I had been truthful about my feelings for someone I liked but never told? It's a fun game to play while you are driving around, remembering things from long ago. And it makes you appreciate where you are at this very moment...living, breathing, seeing, traveling, happy...and not in statistics anymore.


Blogger EFB said...

It would be nice if in real life they had re-tests.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Wow. The Chester County Book Company. It has been many a year since I've been there. If you're going to the same place that I'm thinking of, I went to college in that town. Might we have gone to the same place?

2:54 PM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

I went to West Chester University. The Chester County Book Company is enormous now. And it always has the book you want and 10 others you didn't know you wnated. Yesterday I bought Sinclair Lewis 'It can't happen here', Rural Renaissance, This Organic Farm, and two I saw recommended on your page Liz, Eat Here and Voluntary Simplicity. I can't choose which to start first.

12:55 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

What a small world, huh? I went there too. Graduated in '94. I used to spend so much time in that bookstore...I wish there was a place like that up here (or maybe not. for my wallet's sake). I vote for Voluntary Simplicity, but that's just me. :)

5:34 PM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

I graduated in 95. Biology major with a minor in geology. I too wish I had a bookstore like that in my town, but I would spend way too much money. I get to Chester County books about twice a year, so thats good enough. I keep a list of books that I know aren't available at my library. My husband cringes when he knows I'm going. But I spent less than $100 so it wasn't so bad. I figure I carry a purse from Target and wear sweaters that I had in college. Books and plants are the only things I spend money on.

9:47 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Yep, books & plants here too. Well, and some yarn. :)
I was a Political Science major who thought she was going to save the world, but opted to just save one little part of it instead.
Hey, at some point leave your email on my site so I can write to you proper.

10:05 AM  

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