Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Lessons from a Recovering Doormat


Class Reunion

I was invited to a school reunion and thought it would be fun to attend. High school was a happy time for me. I had loads of friends and was involved in many activities. So I went and it was fun to see so many people I’d been friends with back then. My best high school friends were there. I got excited about reuniting with them and some others I really liked but lost touch with. Yet I left with no phone numbers or promises to connect. Sadly, there was no one I wanted to see after.

Going to the reunion made me realize how far I’ve come in my growth. Most of my former classmates were still stuck in a version of DoorMatville, doing what they’re “supposed to,” plodding along through life instead of passionately living like I am. All night long I heard oooo’s and ahh’s about my career. I didn’t talk to one person who enjoyed what they did. They said life was okay, but that was it. Almost everyone had gravitated into careers they were told were appropriate, like I did when I became a teacher against my desires. And only I had broken out.

Touching bases with your past can teach you about your present.

Have you grown a lot over the years or are you still stuck? It’s always nice to have reminders of your progress. As you move forward, change can be very slow, and you might not recognize much from day to day. But when you see people you haven’t seen in ages or look back on who you were years ago, the changes can become more obvious. I didn’t need all the admiration to know how far I’ve come. All I needed was to talk to people I grew up with to understand the strides I’ve made.

They were all in a much less happy place than me, not bad, just not really good. Most had been pushed into traditional careers like teaching and were still there. They settled for their lives, living with spouses they didn’t have much to do with and just passing time instead of really living. One of my two closest friends seemed almost matronly, which blew me away since she used to wear very short skirts and attract guys like a magnet. She was HOT years ago. Now she was dowdy. Marriage settled her into a very boring woman.

My other close friend was bitter about her life. Her parents brought her up to believe she needed to marry a doctor. So she went on a mission to “hook” one. She pleased her parents but her marriage was fraught with drama until she finally left. Now she’s bitter about wasting her youth on him and feels like it’s over for her. Most of my old friends felt like they were where they should be and should stay. But I didn’t hear any enthusiasm. Except from me!

Loving what you do creates so many positive emotions, and I truly love what I do!

That night I felt admiration, amazement that I was able to reinvent myself, and envy. I left feeling bittersweet. It was fun to see everyone again after so many years. But I had no desire to stay in touch with anyone. NONE! That made me a little sad. I saw people who were former cheerleaders, dancers, party girls and guys, smart, creative, etc., who were settled into unstimulating ruts. It made me appreciate my life even more and how blessed I am to be out of DoorMatville for good.

Look back on your life. Are you in a rut that isn’t satisfying? Look for ways to change that. You only have one life. Why not make it the best it can be? I continue to look for new challenges and opportunities to enhance my life. I won’t stop until God takes me from this earth. You owe it to yourself to create a life you enjoy.
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