My friend (my mother's friend really) Coleen has always said "don't look back, you aren't going that way." I believe this whole heartedly and embrace moving forward and the excitement and joy of the next adventure. But, at times, it is fun to look back to see where I've been and remember how I got where I am.
This weekend had one of those fun moments. I went fishing with a good friend and we had, as always, a great day together. This friend happens to be a former student of mine and we had a chat that revolved around "I can't believe we have been friends for 10 plus years."
To make it a bit more fun, this friend, along with a few others, were my students the year I turned thirty. They found this out and got into the school early in the morning and hung "Park is 30" signs around the building. Using a ladder so I couldn't reach them to take them down. I felt old at the time. Ha!
He asked why I worked at that job, as I didn't "fit" there. He is correct, it was an awful job for me. Relatively wealthy, spoiled kids and horrible, small town relatively wealthy parents. I didn't enjoy most of it and the students I had never quite fit. But, I enjoyed those students immensely and some of them remember me fondly as I was able to connect with them in a way that the rest of the faculty didn't bother to.
When I travel back to Connecticut to see family, I always see a few people who I really enjoy. Those people are ones I met working in that school. So my answer to him was that, although I didn't "fit" I was there for a reason. To meet some amazing people. Who, ten years later, I am thankful to still count as friends.
I try not to question where I am day to day. There is a reason to all of it. We may not see it until after the fact, but every step along the path has value. Have a plan. Keep moving forward. Be thankful for the experiences, even if they suck. Often you will look back on parts of them fondly. As I can with my friendships from LOLHS.