Flashback time. Think back to one year ago. Five years ago. Ten years. Heck, just last week. Where did you think you would be today?
Strap in folks, I’m taking a stroll down Memory Lane, on the corner of Unrealized Dreams Avenue and Bumps in the Road Boulevard.
When I was four I wanted to be a fairy princess. That’s not a joke or just a standard little girl dream. I was dead convinced I could be such a thing. I had wire and cloth fairy wings that I wore well into my tween years. Ok, 15, but those were happy times. 22 was an impossible age. It’s like how my 3 year-old nephew thinks most grown ups are only 5 years old, including me and my parents. 22 was ancient and simply too far in the future for me to even consider. I was busy with a fairy kingdom to plan for after all.
When I was 12 I wanted to be everything. A musician, a fashion designer, a doctor, a teacher- I wanted every job Barbie could hold basically. 22 was still an unreachable age that didn’t matter. When you are 12 it is hard to see past your own nose, which you are convinced is ugly and terrible and will keep anyone from liking you in middle school.
At 18 I was getting some idea of what I wanted out of life. College gives you that kick in the ass needed to figure yourself out. I wanted to be a journalist. I wanted to write stories that would make people smile, cry, laugh and most importantly, think.
I wanted to get my degree, work in New York or internationally for a few years, move to a smaller town, get a job at a local paper, marry the guy I found after dating around and raise a few kids well into my 30s. I thought 22 would be my jet setting years, the years I defined my career and told people “I’d like kids eventually, but right now I’m working for my Pulitzer.”
Now- I am 22. New York is no place to raise my baby. I can’t handle the demanding work load required of a big time journalist and be there for my kid every day. I found the guy I want to marry so dating is unnecessary.
Everything is backwards, opposite and upside-down of how I thought it would be at 22. So now let’s plan on where I will be at 32.
My kid will be 10 years old. I will be celebrating a wedding anniversary with Matt. I hope there are more kids in the picture by then. And I still want to be a journalist at a local paper, wherever we end up.
I guess this ramble is just to say, everything is different than I expected at 22. But I like my new plan. Because this baby will be my fairy prince or princess. He or she has the possibility to be a musician, a designer, a doctor or a teacher. This baby is my Pulitzer.