I realized when I woke up this morning that today would have been the day that I received my Bachelor's Degree from Coastal Carolina University had I continued there past my freshman year. I hadn't really thought about it at all, but when I logged onto Facebook and saw the various statuses from old college classmates about the day they'd been waiting and working so hard for, it hit me that it actually is May of 2011, the month I thought I'd be walking across that blessed stage. I'm not regretful, but it did give me a little something to think about.
I may not have that shiny piece of pretty paper with my Bachelor's degree stamped across it, but I do have a boatload of memories I never would have created had I stayed a full-time college student in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I wouldn't be married to my best friend, and I wouldn't wake up every morning to the cutest little toddler waving at me from her toddler bed into her video monitor that I roll over and look at the moment I open my eyes. I wouldn't be 9 months pregnant with my second child, and I wouldn't be living the life of an Army wife. I wouldn't have spent 2 years living in a foreign country, or seen the many unbelievable sights that I have seen, care of this crazy Army life.
Do I wish I was finishing the undergraduate chapter of my life today? Of course. But some things you just can't trade. I know I don't live the life that a lot of 21 year olds would be all that tempted to live at this age, but I love it. Despite the screaming toddler tantrums, the early morning wake up calls when you just wish you could have ten more minutes of sleep, the occasional marital spat, the financial troubles that come with being a full-blown grown up, and the days when I all want to do is throw my hands up to responsibility and crawl into the bed of my teenhood with the covers pulled over my head... despite all of that, I wouldn't trade it for anything. My husband is my rock, and my daughter is my sunshine. So maybe I did give up the plan that I was "supposed" to follow, but I sure did get a lot in exchange. I'll take my current 39 college credits and keep trudging along, 2 or 3 classes at a time, until I finish because, really, I'm living my best life. And for me, that's the best thing I can do.