I have often said that if I could lose a hundred pounds in one year (2012), then anybody can. I mean that. Anyone willing to adhere to the Weight Watchers system for a year can do what I did. There may be other systems that would produce the same result. I only know about Weight Watchers.
I often present myself as Everywoman. There is a valid reason to do that. I am not movie star beautiful and I am not an heiress and was not a straight A student, although I was pretty close.
On the other hand, there is a lack of balance that can adhere to presenting oneself as Everywoman one too many times.
For example, I went through Aviation Officer Candidate School (AOCS) in Pensacola, Florida in 1981-82. I don’t think that AOCS is for everyone, nor do I think everyone can complete it. There comes a point where I think I am allowed to acknowledge that, God helping me, I accomplished something that few women of my time did. By the way, many men in my day actually enrolled in that program and failed to complete it. It is okay for me to rejoice in something exceptional that happened in my life (it’s called an accomplishment!).
I say that because I have heard women say that they wish they had known me earlier so they could have gone through AOCS with me and completed a naval career. When they make that theoretical statement, I usually think that the life they are living is probably the one God actually wanted them to live. Theirs, not mine.
Theoretical is not actual. I actually went through AOCS and did the following:
1) Completed an approximate 3 mile beach run at 7-8 minute miles while in ranks (many of the men and all of the other women fell out of ranks. Several of them were vomiting from exertion).
2) Was rolled inverted underwater in a simulated helicopter and a simulated airplane while blindfolded. Extricated myself from my seat and seatbelt and found my way to the surface from both.
3) Parasailed behind a truck.
4) Was picked up by a helicopter dropping a line to me out in Pensacola Bay.
5) Drownproofed for half an hour in the base pool after treading water for ten minutes after treading water with my hands held still and out of the water for one minute.
6) Jumped from a high dive and swam the length of an Olympic-sized pool without coming up for breath.
7) Many other rugged requirements of which this is just a sampling.
In addition to the physical requirements, we had a heavy schedule of academics which actually challenged me even more than the physical program did.
Needless to say, graduation day was a day of rejoicing for me.
So, when someone makes a theoretical statement that she wishes she could have done what I did and had my career, I have to bite my tongue to not say that neither of us knows whether she would have graduated from the program . . . Many people did not.
We are all unique. My life has not necessarily been more challenging than someone else’s, even having gone through AOCS. Even with having had breast cancer at age 49. Even with having had a child with autism.
However, I will not negate my challenges and say they were not challenges. I will not say that anyone could handle them. But for the grace of God, even I could not! But His grace was applied to my life in these challenges because He willed them to be part of my life. That does not mean anyone else could have handled them in the same way or as well as I did. I am me. I have lived this life. Anyone comparing herself to me is just being theoretical.
It has become important to me to spell that out because a longtime mentoree who probably has borderline personality disorder seems to have become enraged at me that my life has turned out fairly successfully while hers has shipwrecked. From all I can see in her communication, she seems to wish she had had my life for herself without having had to put into it the effort I have put into my life.
In other words, she wants to have the same things I have worked for, but without the work.
Life doesn’t work that way, folks.
Yes, God has blessed me abundantly. But I have partnered with Him. I didn’t just lie down under an apple tree and wait for Him to drop blessings on my sleeping head.
God is sovereign; man has choice. Those two work together somehow.