I think this is something we all wish-that a DeLorean was available for us to enter, we could turn on the time circuits, flick on the Flux Capacitor, and we could reach that 88-miles threshold to another place and time where we could change things…
Summer 1984 is where I would go. 31 years ago. I was a thick-glasses wearing brunette, I wasn’t overweight but I didn’t sport that concentration-camp look either, you know, the one that models have on the runway.
By the following year I had lost some weight, bleached my hair blonde, and got contact lenses. Let’s just say 1984 & 1985 were two years I would revisit for many different reasons. They were scary in many ways because I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do and who the heck I was, but some decisions I made those years have followed me in ways sometimes I appreciate and others… well… you know. But don’t we all have some regrets in retrospect?
Still, 1984/1985 were good years for me. I graduated High School, went to Florida for my Airline school, I spent a lot of time with Nick, my best friend at the time (should we have gotten married? Hmmm… ) and it’s also when I met Greg.
The career with the airlines never materialized, despite some of what I consider heroic efforts on my part. I mailed hundreds of resumes to any airline in existence, but at the time my biggest detriment was that several airlines had folded and those people with “experience” were on the frontline for many of those jobs. Just to illustrate how far and few these jobs were, I once went to Albuquerque for an interview for a stewardess position. I applied for any position possible BTW, I was qualified to do all, reservations etc. This airline was holding 3 sessions for two days, each session had about 50 girls and guys in a “group” interview. So… in Albuquerque alone they saw a minimum of 300 people. Albuquerque was just one stop on a cross-country tour. They went to at least 10 big cities, but probably many more. They were only looking to hire 100 people temporarily, of which they would offer full-time positions to only 50. I didn’t let that discourage me, after all I was fluent in two languages, but all my efforts went null. I flew to San Francisco for an interview once, they liked me but they hired someone with more “experience”. I almost got hired by Eastern Airlines in El Paso at one point. They said they would call me a few days later to let me know which position I was going to be on. A few days later they did call… to let me know Eastern Airlines had been pulled out of the El Paso Airport. I cried for days. The most I was able to do is to work for a travel agency… that was a story in itself, I wrote about it in my book “Butterfly Child“.
Looking back, all this airline stuff seems like a gigantic waste of time. It was my dream though, that’s what I wanted to do. If I went back, what exactly would I change? That’s the million dollar question. Perhaps I should have joined the computer bandwagon back then, but wouldn’t everyone?
I did end up joining the computer industry in 1992 when I started working at Babbage’s. Too little too late perhaps? Still, I was one of the first people to get an “email address”, I wonder if that counts for something. I went to the Google HQ with Nicky a few weeks ago and it felt so “right” to me, I told Nicky that if only I had been a few years younger (ok, 25), that’s where I would love to work. Totally in my bag of tricks, so to speak. Was I born too early maybe?
If I am being completely honest here, I never felt like I fit in anywhere. I didn’t fit in Italy, I don’t think I fit in the US at all, everything I do I feel like I fail at. My track record is just pathetic. I couldn’t get a job in the airline industry, I was unable to franchise a Domino’s Pizza store (despite enormous heroic efforts there as well… the stuff I did… ugh!), then I had to quit my MicroAge job just when it was going so well when Nicky was born…
I feel like I am a major loser in that Dept as well… first baby, dead. Check. Second pregnancy, miscarriage. Check. Third baby, one of the more severe forms of EB. Fantastic. Then and only then I got Connor, and that’s only because I am not a quitter. I feel like the good Lord looked down on me and said… let’s throw her a bone. I felt that too when Greg and I got married in 2002. It’s almost as if God felt sorry for me and decided that maybe I was due a bit of something good. For the past 18+ years all I’ve done is taking care of my son. Don’t get me wrong, if I could go back in time I would do it over again, but it takes its toll. I can’t go anywhere, do anything, without considerable effort. It’s only been for the past few years that I can leave him alone in the house for a short amount of time. This means I have very little freedom. Even going to school was hard. I could only take classes at a certain time of day.
So, what exactly would I do if I was able to sit in this DeLorean? Perhaps nothing, perhaps something significant. I hope people don’t take this the wrong way, but seeing your child suffering every day, or holding your dead newborn are life-changing experiences that I wish I never experienced. Would I be a terrible person if I decided not to try to franchise a Domino’s Pizza store, forget about getting a job in the airline industry & ultimately not married Nick and had our kids (Alex & Nicky)? Would that make me awful? But of course that does not mean that something worse would have happened otherwise, although I cannot contemplate anything much worse than what actually happened.
At the end of the day, this is it. This is our life. Whatever happened in 1984 or 1992 or 2004 is written in stone. It cannot be changed. I’ve cried all morning writing this blog, for many different reasons, mainly because I forgot to take my Lexapro for a few days, but also because sometimes it just feels good to let the tears flow. It is OK. I accepted things. I am a happy person in the grand scheme of things, and I appreciate all the good. I just wish my lessons hadn’t had to be learned in such a hard way.
Love and Blessings,