I mean really, really.
I can pinpoint the exact moment that my apparent crisis reared its ugly head. I don’t know what I was thinking when I bought the extreme deal $9 tickets for the kids and I to go to Cliff’s amusement park. For my raza in LA and other parts, it would be equivalent to a micro version of Six Flags.
I had been listening to the radio and the idea wasn’t bad, “Join us at Cliff’s!” as the commercial had put it, “to kick off another long, hot summer!” I guess the rest of Burque heard the same commercial because they were all there at Cliff’s with all of their crazy kids too.
Okay so back to the story. So I was standing in this long ridiculous line for the log ride that would last no more than 5 minutes (hey, sounds familiar, eh!) when all of a sudden I felt as if I had been sucker punched in the pansa. Out of nowhere I remembered my once upon a time med school path that had been thwarted so long ago. Circa two decades ago I had graduated from UCLA with a hard science degree that was intended to prepare me for the rigors of med school and for various reasons (some that I won’t confess), I did not follow that path.
So as I was waiting in that line trying to ignore the rowdy chamakos next to us, feeling the sweat trickling down my spine that would surely make me look as I had peed my pants (thankfully I could say it was because of the log ride), I suddenly felt so insanely bad, down, confused, stressed, and anxious. WTF had I done?
I kept thinking and thinking and thinking, what a mismanagement of time! Even if I had waited to apply to med school after having my eldest, I would have been a practicing M.D. at 30 something. I thought about how many other Chicanas and Chicanos had followed different paths because of lack of adequate guidance and support. I thought hard, trying to go back to that place in time and remember the what, the how, and especially the why the hell not!
“Ay Dios, que fregado me paso?” thought my delirious mind as I stared off watching but not really seeing the hordes of sticky sweaty people all around.
Suddenly I heard the voice of my eldest, “Mom, are you okay?” forcing my being to start its descent back to Earth.
As I heard her voice and saw her sweet face, one of the loud chamakos said something to me but I couldn’t make out what he had said because of the current moment of crisis I was experiencing.
“Que? What did you say?”
“I said the ground is lava!” as he laughed and moved forward in the line.
I turned to my hija and said, “What the hell does that mean? Translation please.”
She laughed as she said, “It’s a game mom! It means you have to jump on the rails so that your feet don’t touch the ground, the lava, you get it?”
Really? You want me to jump on the rails when here I am at 40 something (you can easily find out the something by pinche Google if you have to) having a punch-me-in-the-gut realization that maybe, just maybe I had made a major mistake.
I could feel the wave coming on as my being became swept up, drowning in useless ‘what ifs.’
What if I had been advised properly?
What if I had gone to med school?
Would that have changed everything?
Where would I be today?
What would I be making? (OMG probably four times as much!)
Would I still have all my kids, or would a couple of them suddenly disappear?
And so many others …
My brain hurt so much thinking and re-thinking about how and why many of us veer off the path. Are the sayings from our abuelitas true, “que Dios sabra el porque,” and “todo tiene su razon?” Or, have those words been conjured up to appease the troubled soul? Maybe it was my true destiny to become a maestra, or maybe gente I just messed up. Quien sabe!
It took me at least a couple of days to finally shake off that feeling of shame, regret, and of sadness. Yes, sadness that one of my pipedreams would never be met and would forever be remembered with nostalgia.
Wait… when’s the next MCAT? Eh!
#lablogadora #medschool #chicana