Saturday, January 12, 2008

Life After College

Like most college graduates, I receive a magazine touting my alma mater’s recent additions, endowment information and the like. It also highlights successful graduates. In the most recent edition the SAU Journal spotlighted my former classmate Leah and her growing jewelry business.

It seems Leah, after graduating from SAU with a communication degree, went on to earn an MBA in public relations, and had a successful career in television management. Then last year on a lark, she took point on she began making jewelry, and she now has a very exclusive jewelry line; all her pieces are gorgeous.

Leah and I were in lots of the same communication classes and we both worked at the radio station. I enjoyed her company and was very pleased to read of her achievements.

Of course, I read the article on her right after cleaning out and reorganizing my pantry, which was my big achievement for the week. And that got me thinking about who gets highlighted in alumni journals.

I can guarantee you that I will never be featured in my college’s magazine because I’m just a housewife and mom. I don’t have a side business, I don’t make anything, I’ve never been famous; in the world’s eyes I am not a success. Even though I graduated from a Christian college (one might think their concept of success would be slightly different than the rest of the world’s) I am not worthy a review because I don’t “do” anything.

Knowing I will never garner a 300 word write-up I decided to write my own.

Christy, a 1992 graduate with a Communication/Professional Writing degree, landed a job with Atlanta Computer Currents as an editorial assistant following graduation. Shortly thereafter she married her fiancé, Sean, and settled into married life in a suburb north of Atlanta.

After six months at ACC, Christy moved on to a sports marketing firm specializing in leveraging NationsBank’s 1996 Olympic sponsorship. It was while in that position that Christy discovered she was pregnant with her first child. She worked until her eighth month of pregnancy, even though she threw up in the car on the way to work, all day at work, and on the drive home from work, and after a marathon pregnancy that lasted 42 weeks and an even longer (it seemed) delivery of 72 hours, she gave birth to a 10 pound, 2.6 ounce baby boy, Michael. And Christy discovered her true calling: motherhood.

Two years later, precious child #2, Amy came along, and then #3, Rebecca. During those years Christy developed a desire to raise her children in a loving, Christian home. She also discovered, however, that her marriage was in shambles. She and Sean had been so busy learning how to be parents they missed the part about being a couple. So they spent gobs of money on counseling and worked like the dickens to make their marriage succeed. It was only through years of prayer, hard work and lots of fighting (and making up) that they have succeeded in creating the marriage they have today, one marked by love, prayer and mutual admiration (and the making up thing).

Christy is currently homeschooling her three children, although she is rarely home. She is constantly on the road shuttling her precious cargo between basketball practice, piano lessons, friends’ houses, church activities, riding lessons and drama practice, not to mention basketball games and the occasional horse show.

She receives no monetary compensation, but the endless hugs from Rebecca make up for that. Plus, she says there is no greater reward than watching her son grow into a fine young man, one who is striving to learn about God and practice what he preaches.

“One day I know my little ones, who aren’t so little any more, will be living lives of their own. My hope is that I’ve shown them, among other things, what a loving, Christ-centered marriage looks like so they will know that type of relationship is still possible in this crazy world,” Christy said.

So that's what I've been doing in fifteen years since graduation. No Pulitzer Prize yet, but still, not too shabby if I do say so myself. And I didn’t even include the part about the reorganized pantry.