The other day as my husband and I were out shopping, I ran into one of my first college professors. It’s been a long time, and I didn’t even recognize her at first. In fact, I was so flabbergasted when she stopped me and asked how I was that I wasn’t even sure how to respond.
It shouldn’t really feel like meeting a celebrity when you run into someone you already know, should it? But it really did. I was taking her classes at a time in my life when I felt ready to conquer the world. Sure, not everything was perfect, but going to a college where I knew absolutely no one was the beginning of a new era for me. I had nothing but respect and even a little awe for this woman.
Would you like to know what the best part was? (Well, I’m going to tell you anyway.) She seemed so genuinely happy for me when I told her I’m writing full time. I hear you, you’re saying that really isn’t that remarkable. But this wasn’t just your typical, “Oh, that’s great. Good for you.” This was more of a hand to her heart, wide eyes, “Oh, that’s wonderful.” Like she really knew what this meant for me. I didn’t even realize that she had understood me that well all those years ago. I was a biology major, after all. I never sat down and discussed my hopes and goals for the future with her, and at that time writing wasn’t really one of them. I had chalked it up as a pipe dream. But somehow, all these years later, she instantly knew that this was big for me.
Sometimes it’s hard to know when you’ve really been able to reach out and touch the stars. Meeting one goal often just leads to an entirely new goal. It’s good to keep going, to not be complacent, and I know that I still have so many more things I can do. But it’s also really great to look back at all the stars beneath you and to remember the people who helped you get there.