The Fork in the Road or Divine Intervention?

drive out of chaco washA friend of mine was making a decision and she wanted to discuss it with me. This is a tough place to be–thinking hard about your future and the choices you must make.

Most of the important decisions in my life appear to have happened by accident.

It started with college. I made the choice not to apply for any Universities or colleges because I felt I wasn’t going to get scholarships and I had no money. As a result I went to the local community college. That in itself doesn’t have to be bad, but this particular school had a “special” program you could enroll in. You had only one class per semester, read original works, discussed them, and completed a project or paper. I skated through this program and didn’t learn much at all. Well, I did learn about Galileo and Freud and Greek Mythology. But basically after two years I was drifting in a spot that was not really any different then immediately where I had been following high school graduation.

The next fork was when I transfered to Mills College. I never even considered any other colleges, my dream of being a Veterinarian had flown out the window with my first bad grade in Chemistry. My sister was a Mills graduate and it seemed fine to me. Plus, I had a scholarship. Plus Mills did not have any general requirements at that time (welcome to the ’70s).

Mills was where the divine intervention stepped up in the form of my psychology professor, Dr. Aline Kidd. She must have seen some redeeming quality in me because she took me under her wing, made me her research assistant (with pay!) and talked to me about graduate school.

I was still pretty foggy about my choices at the time. I honestly think I was probably one of those people that should have taken some time off between high school and college and “grown up.” Dr. Kidd pushed me to the office of her long time friend, Dr. Viola Mecke, at Cal State Hayward, and Bingo, I was accepted to a graduate program. Worked hard, got my degree, got married, had a baby and….

Did nothing with my degree.

Road forks again and we moved to Auburn and opened the veterinary clinic. I applied for one job, at county mental health, and during the course of the interview (which I later realized was actually a civil service exam and not an interview at all, but I truly was dense) anyway, I realized I knew nothing about being a therapist.

Divine intervention stepped up for me once more, on Christmas Eve, five years after I got my degree. The Director of Special Education brought her sick dog to the clinic. My husband, being the talker he is, mentioned to her I was an unemployed School Psychologist. BINGO once more. I had a job.

And so it has gone for me. Looking back I think about how oblivious I have been most of my life. I seldom plan, think about the pros and cons, or even make a specific choice. Things just happen, I go with it, and all works out.

Yep, there has to be a guardian angel up there.