IMG_0068Now now now, calm down.  It got your attention didn’t it?

This is the evolution of me.  I’ve been thinking a lot about it this week.

I had a wonderful week off (exhausting, but good) with my son visiting in from Texas.  He’s been quiet this week and I miss him.  A mom worries even when her babies aren’t babies and it was so nice to talk to him just a week ago today.

Earlier this week, when I pulled into the parking lot for work, there was one of the massive ore freighters coming in the Cuyahoga river.  The only sound she made as she eased through the water was a very low hum.  She was graceful and huge and it made me smile.  I remember the freighters in Duluth.  I remember the pellet trains (and blowing up dirt) in Minnesota.  I remember the parting words that someone gave me as I left the plant (and the company) in Minnesota.

He told me that some day I would look back and think what if.  And during my walks to work, up the hill from parking… this week (15 years later) I really started to think about the what ifs.

I know what he meant.  He meant with regret.  And I have regrets in my life.  However, I don’t look back on the last 15 years and the adventures I’ve had or that I’m having, necessarily, with regret.

I’m sitting at a desk I adore in a house I finally feel at home in listening to the sounds of everything and nothing stream through the open windows.  I’ve tried to drink from my empty coffee cup about four times now.  I sat on the porch a while and watched the sun creep up through the trees.  I have a job I enjoy with people who I’m finally a team with.

If I hadn’t left US Steel, I would never have had the opportunity to learn so many of the things I’ve learned.  I would not have made my way to Texas and met the people who I met (and some of whom I miss) there.  I would not have seen what I’ve seen and I would never ever have been where I am right now.

Am I wear I pictured myself 15 years ago?  Nope.  Not even close.  My goals have changed.  My drive has changed.  My outlook has changed.  I’ve grown (in many ways) and I’ve stretched my wings far further than even I ever dreamed possible.   My Brazilian business visa is in process and I’m starting to find my voice and my strengths and weaknesses and learn my way navigating my new(ish) job.

I have evolved.

Do I miss my kid?  Yeah, an awful lot some days.  Do I completely understand why he is in Texas and I’m in Ohio?  Yep, completely.  I wish Ohio and Texas were closer.  I wish I could make life easier for both of my babies and that neither of them would have to be going through some of the stuff they go through.  And I sit and drink my coffee and think about where I am and what I do and the lives that have touched mine and I smile (and try again to drink from my empty coffee cup… there has to be a metaphor there somewhere).

This weekend I’m tired.  I’m tired, breathing sucks this morning, and I ache and I feel every bit of the two weeks late on my orencia infusion… and I’m SO looking forward to Wednesday when I can get my next obscenely expensive fix.

Has it been a week of thinking about what ifs?  Yep.  It sure has.  But my Blue Jay is back and I’ve scared the piggy little squirrel out of my feeder again this morning.  And I hear the hickory nuts thudding to the ground where the stupid squirrels are either harvesting them or knocking them down.

I am exactly where I am supposed to be today.

And just for shits and giggles, I googled the guy who told me I would look back and think what if.  The meteoric rise to power that he foresaw in his own future I guess has come to pass.  He’s in slovokia now.  I wonder if his ex-wife and his cute kids and dog are happy back in their home town without him.  He seems (if the company press releases are anything to go by) to have become a smashing success.  And I guess I do wonder where I would be had I not left my first grown up job 15 years ago.  And I’m PRETTY sure I don’t think I would have liked where I would have been.


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