Nine years ago today, my intended life plans changed. Only I didn’t know it at the time.
I was living in Scotland whilst studying at Edinburgh Napier University. I was researching graduate schools and had planned to finish my undergrad then go directly on to my master’s work, followed by my doctoral studies. I was certain that I would be “Doctor Cook” by the time I was 35. Then I would work toward becoming a single mum through adoption. (I was extremely picky and couldn’t find a man worthy of a second date, let alone a man I’d consider marriage and adoption with!)
Then I met Paul. I thought I was just meeting a great guy and that we’d date whilst I was in Scotland and maybe we’d stay in touch when I returned to the states, and that if we were still in touch when I returned to Scotland again maybe we’d date a bit more. When I realised that I was really falling in love for the first time in my life, I realised that I needed to re-think my plans. I couldn’t imagine passing up a relationship with this amazing man just so that I could get my PhD. Plus, I had a feeling that he’d be supportive of me doing that later. And he was.
So nine years later I’m sitting here with a new life plan. It’s a bit sad to realise that my new plan is so similar to the one I had nine years ago; it’s almost as if I’ve just been in a state of suspended animation. But I don’t regret taking the diversion—not at all; not in the least.
I don’t find this to be a sad day or a sad memory; though it is sad to know that I don’t have Paul here to walk down Memory Lane with me. But at least I still have the memories…