Looking Back

October 29, 2019

Someone from High School, and yes I am young enough to remember High School, asked the other day when we were catching up, if I’d ever thought my life would end up the way it had.  I looked at them and laughed.  Not because it was a bad question but because I thought it was hilarious that she even thought to ask.


Growing up, I was raised in what I would have called a small Montana town, population pushing 2,000 and proud we were almost there.  My class numbers went up and down from in the 50’s at the lowest and around 75 at the highest.  We were the largest class to have been in the school, the one that the teachers told the next grade level, have fun with that one.  However, biased, we did have fun. I am smiling as I write this but I’m veering off from where I was going.


Back to the topic at hand.  Why did I laugh? Because besides my best friend, I was probably the second one that you would never find living in rural Montana.  I had big ideas, big college goals and a future mapped out.  Best laid plans … which I have heard and now realize truly appreciate as not usually the way it happens.  At the time I would have been upset if anyone had told me I couldn’t or wouldn’t do my plans.  Its amazing though what life and God has planned for you.


I went to college, 2 states away, ready to be a doctor, still hearing from everyone that I should be a lawyer or a teacher, (7 of my family members were teachers and I didn’t want to be a lawyer so both were out.) But, 3 months into school, I realized that I really didn’t enjoy my premed classes but I loved my core classes.  This threw me because for once I didn’t know what, where or why.  It took me two more semesters of school of dabbling here and there, while still taking History and English classes, to finally give in: I was going to be a teacher, History and English.  Yes, most of my family wanted to say I told you so, but thankfully they refrained until I had my degree in hand.  Having finally really figured out what I wanted to do, I realized that I needed to go home. I missed Montana, the rural aspects and life.


Once I graduated from Montana State (Go Bobcats!) I added my English minor at Western and looked for my chance to be a teacher.  That chance took me to a school in Southeastern MT.  I taught Seniors English and Juniors History.  I loved each and every second of it.  I realized that I was living in a place smaller than my hometown, but still big enough that I still classified myself as being from a small town.  


Then I, like many young ladies, found this guy, who lived on a ranch, near a town I had never heard of (yes, even in MT we do not know every single town but probably know someone from every one) doing a job I didn’t know anything about. This guy had a ranch and a feedlot near the town of Melstone.  Quite honestly, I had to look it up to see where it was and why I hadn’t heard much about it. It was small.  I actually had to consider the fact that I was no longer from a small Montana town, compared to Melstone I lived in a city.  (Thankfully, after living here I realize that small means nothing, its the people who matter).


So I had to decide, if I wanted to marry this guy, yes he’d asked, I would have to leave the school I loved teaching in, the friends I had, the kids I loved, and move to somewhere I hadn’t known existed prior to him.  Talk about a leap of faith.


So back to her question, no, I never thought my life would lead to this path, my plans did not even closely resemble them, but they were the plans that I needed and never even knew.

About jandbbergin

I am a mother of 3 boys and along with my husband, we run a ranch/feedlot in rural Montana.
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