Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Where in the World Wednesday: Chicago, 1999

It's Classy in Philadelphia's Where in the World Wednesday!

The idea of WITWW is to post a picture of you in someplace in the world... it doesn't have to be somewhere foreign or tropical. Just a picture of you somewhere that you consider traveling. It might even be somewhere in your own hometown! Feel free to get creative and post where you WISH you could travel, old scanned pictures of vacations from years ago or even feel free to repeat a destination with different photos! Get creative.

In the late summer of 1999, after my trip to Europe with my French class, my whole family (me, my parents, and my sister) went to Illinois to visit Northwestern. My two summers there for smart camp convinced me that I had to go to college there. I didn't want to go anywhere else.

Since we were in the area, we spent some time in Chicago. That summer, the city was crawling with cows. Yes, really.


Remember when shortalls were cool? Yeah, me neither.

We definitely hit up FAO Schwarz:

I like Star Wars and Teletubbies. True story. Also true: I still have and use those shoes and that purse.

I applied to Northwestern early decision that October. I also applied to Michigan State, just in case. December 15, 1999 was the fateful day when schools could send letters to the people they'd accepted.

Northwestern didn't want me.

Nor did they want my friend, who was valedictorian of our class, an Eagle Scout, had good test scores, and was basically perfect. Learning that he didn't get in softened the blow a little bit, but it was still devastating.

At the time, and for many years afterward, it was my biggest failure.

These days, I don't see it so much as a failure, but as fate.

If I had gone to Northwestern, I never would have gotten my second bachelor's degree. I never would have interned at the Michigan Democratic Party. I never would have realized that my future was not in journalism, but in advocacy. I never would have moved to Virginia, and I never would have met Jason.

I can't imagine my life without him.

I have never been happier to have failed.


TotalBlammBlamm said...

Everything happens for a reason.

None of us die from failure. We might walk funny for awhile but...

Salt said...

I am SO glad you didn't get into Northwestern then! :)

And I love those cows. We have a similar project around Baltimore involving fish and then crabs!

Jamie said...

Ah, self perceived failure. The way it niggles at your brain and you don't think life is even going to -work- now, but then, you were on the right path all along anyway. :)