Av’s mom found this necklace at a local art festival last month, and when she saw that the artist had a design with my favorite president, she got it for me! It’s made my Kem Alexander, who has a website called “uncommon concrete“. Besides these very-different jewelry pieces, she makes all kinds of extraordinary concrete bowls, eggs, and other pieces.
I really liked that in her biography, she said:
Every single year as I was growing up my Mother asked me: ” What are you going to be when you grow up?” Every single year I made up an answer to keep from saying: “Can’t you see what I already am?”
It would be wonderful to always have it figured out, like Kem did! I never had any idea of what I wanted to be…even in college. I graduated a little over a year late, in part because I was so terrible at making up my mind. The good thing, though, was that when I was doing my paperwork for graduation, my advisor agreed that in addition to my BBA (bachelor’s in business degree), that we could put together all those credits of me ‘figuring it out’ into a liberal arts degree! So I got a BBA *and* a BS in Liberal Arts. Whenever someone says something about me having two degrees, I’m always like “don’t be too impressed! I got one of them just by accident!”
Av and I were talking the other day about degrees – his bachelor’s degree from UVA is ‘religious studies’. Now, I would have never done that, because I would have thought to myself “gosh, you never open the want ads in the newspaper and see that someone wants to hire a person with a religious studies degree!”. But you know what? It was the perfect thing for him, and it’s from him following his own thoughts, instead of trying to be so practical like I was trying to be, that he wound up having his own business at the age of 20 or 21.
When I was a Junior in college, I went to my co-op office to see if they could get me an internship somewhere, because the last thing I wanted was to graduate and not be able to say that I had any kind of professional experience. I was really-really lucky and got a job as…more or less a file clerk…and my manager and I just really clicked. She promoted me and promoted me so that by the time I graduated, I had a terrific resume. But the person in that department that taught me the most didn’t have a business degree at all – he had a degree in Forestry. Forestry Management or something like that! He was just terrific and blew everybody away…so I guess I shouldn’t have worried so much about my degree!
Now, if I had to do it all over again, there’s a part of me that would have done the exact same thing because I had lots of wonderful experiences with the path I took — but I think really what would have suited me so well would have been if I had gone to Ole Miss and gotten a degree in Southern Studies. I can just see myself going around and collecting oral histories and photographing things and doing documentaries…
…and you know what? I am sure – absolutely sure – that I would have still met Av and married him if I had done that. Absolutely sure that we would have still met and fallen in love and had Shug. No doubt about it. That makes me feel good.
The other night, Shug woke up at 4am. He has been so good, since about the time he was two months, at sleeping through the night, but he woke up at 4am and after I fed him and put him back down, I couldn’t go back to sleep. I just looked over at Av and it came to me. I whispered, “you know what? I know what all this has been leading to. Why I got my business degree and was in purchasing and also have this love of art and meeting people and learning about folkways. I know what I am supposed to do.”
And he said, “I know. I was thinking the same thing.”
It will take months & months to put it all together, but it’s perfect because it’s also something that Shug can be a part of, so he can stay with me all day, just like now.
I’m not ready to say it out loud. Yet.
But there’s something new that I want to do. And it’s something wonderful.