Remember when you were young? You would imagine your life…at 16, then 28, then 40. Ohhh 40. It was going to take forever for you to get that old. Remember? 40 seemed light years away at the time.
16 was going to be great. You were finally going to get to have a boyfriend to hang all over like the kids outside the movie theaters, or the high school campers on a trip to Disney holding hands and kissing for the entire 2 hour wait for Splash Mountain. You would be captain of the cheerleading squad and naturally be dating the quarterback. You would have wavy blonde hair. Long, tan legs. Absolute perfection.
Until 16 hit…and your hair stayed as dark, curly and frizzy as it was when you were 8. Your legs were tan, but they were not long, they were average with a little chub on the inner thighs. Just enough so that you would always feel them rubbing as you walked, making running track completely out of the question. Cheerleader? Not quite. Concert band and colorguard were more your speed, and suddenly your quarterback was the 1st chair trumpet player.
That didn’t stop you did it? Didn’t stop you from imagining how amazing 28 would be. Full of babies and big houses. College degrees and fancy cars. A handsome husband who would simply adore you. Big family dinners and a tight circle of girlfriends. Perfectly dressed toddlers with big bows and clean, white sneakers. Always smiling and polite.
Should have stopped daydreaming at clean, white toddler sneakers. But I didn’t. Did I?
So where am I?
I’m 28. My life is full of babies. College degree? Got it. Handsome, adoring husband? Handsome yes. Adores me? Depends on if I used the real hamper or the imaginary one. I’ve got the tight circle of girlfriends, but the big family dinners are few and far between. And the smiling, polite toddler? Let me know if you see her.
No one warns you how hard it will be. How a job can move you far from your family. How the bills don’t stop coming just because you were sick. How your marriage will strain when the stress of work and kids gets overwhelming. How your girlfriends will actually move on and have lives of their own, just like you do. But that’s ok. It’s all ok. If you allow it to be.
Here’s how I see it.
Life is not going to turn out as we planned. It will never be the fairy tale we fantasized about as children. It will twist and turn. Surprise and disappoint us. People we thought we could count on may let us down, and the unsuspecting will show up just when you need them to. And that is ok.
There come’s a point when you have to accept that things may turn out a little different than you imagined. Embrace the unknown and quite frankly, just roll with it. What other choice do you have? Know that your life is exactly the way it is supposed to be. Whether that is how you pictured it or not. Life is supposed to be a challenge, so we can learn and grow. I may be 28, but I am far from being done with learning and growing. Which only means more challenges lie ahead.
That’s not to say I’ve stopped dreaming. I realize now, at 28, that 40 is far from old. It will be here in just a blink of an eye. I won’t tell you what it’s going to be like. I no longer am so sure of that myself. I am sure though, that I will be happy. That I will embrace whatever it is life throws at me. If you see me…I’ll just be enjoying my ride.
I hope you enjoy yours.