When I was younger, I had my whole life planned out down to the types of flowers I was going to have at my wedding (they were Lillies). I knew that by my thirties I would be married to lovely man, have a great career, probably have a kid or two, and a lovely suburban house: ya know, a white house, blue shutters, white picket fence with a Golden Retriever bouncing around in the front yard. I was going to be happy and complete.
This year, I turn 29 years old. Of my beautiful dream life, I have zero items checked off. Sometimes, I think about all the different choices I could have made to get that life, but honestly, most days, I can’t imagine my life any different than it is now.
I tried going straight to college after high school, but I wasn’t happy. So, I picked up and left. I did what many young girls do and fell in love and moved wherever he wanted to go.
We lived about 30 minutes outside DC when the “love of my life” decided controlling me was his newest hobby. I didn’t fully appreciate his passion for said hobby, so I left. I was now a ten-hour drive away from my family, and at 20, I had to make my own decisions for the first time in my life.
The next few years, I struggled, and I moved around.. a lot. (My family really loved helping me move to various cities and states.) By 25, I found myself living in my parents basement, single, and completely lost.
This was the moment I made the decision to go back to college. I was nervous and afraid I would fail, but after a couple months in school, I realized that I was pretty good at being a student. I was(am) also one of those really annoying students that freaks out when he or she makes a B. However, somewhere within the pages of my textbooks (not the math one, though. Math is awful), I began to find myself.
There are times in the deep, dark night that the dreams from my youth creep into m
y mind, but they are chased away. The amazing people I have met, the great trips I’ve taken, and the lessons I’ve learned all trump any childhood dream (except maybe the one where I marry Russell Crowe).
This is the life I was meant for. Though one day, I may have the other things; there’s no rush. Because no matter the struggles I face, I am stronger for not choosing the traditional path, and I am happy and complete (well.. maybe not complete, but I’m happy).