I've been thinking a lot lately about life planning. I had a very clear plan when I was 22. I knew how the rest of my life was going to be, and I don't think any of it is turning out that way.
When I was 22, I thought I'd be married by 23. I was in a decent relationship and I sort of expected it to be my last. It wasn't. He shattered my heart into a million pieces a month after my 23rd birthday. In fact, on my 23rd birthday, I had a meltdown and explained to him that turning 23 and not being married was the first step to my entire plan unraveling. In retrospect, maybe that turned him away. Or maybe it was the other woman he was planning to marry. You know, it's the little things.
When I was 22, I planned to be done having kids by the time I was 30. Well, 30 is less than 9 months away and I can tell you unequivocally, I'm not pregnant and that is not going to happen. I have one, and my perfect family would include a second. Obviously, it won't happen by the time I'm 30, but maybe shortly thereafter? A conversation I need to have with the hubster.
When I was 22, I thought I was going to be a radio star. I thought I was just an up and comer and would be working for CBS or CNN radio in no time. Five months after I turned 23, I abandoned radio after losing my passion for it.
When I was 22, I thought I would have the perfect life. Don't get me wrong, my life is pretty good, but I thought I'd be in the kind of relationship where I didn't have to think about a budget. I thought I'd be marrying someone and we'd travel the world and drink wine every night and cook together. Let me tell you something ... real life is not like that unless you're my sister.
So I often wonder these "what ifs" about my life. What if Rodney hadn't shattered me. Would I be in Texas with him? What if I hadn't met Rob. Would I still be in Conway, Arkansas? (The answer is definitely no. Conway -- great town, dry county.) What if I had come right back to Jefferson City when I graduated. Would
Rob and I have ever met? Would I still feel as disjointed here as I do
today? What if Rob and I had stayed in Lincoln. Would we still have Alex?
And that's what it comes down to -- that perfect little boy. While he is tremendously energetic and trying at times, it all comes back to him. And he's the reason my "what ifs" never matter. Because every time he runs into my arms or says he loves me, my world is perfect again. On the worst days; on the saddest moments; he makes it all worth it.
So for now, life is what you make of it. Let what happened in the past shape you, rather than guide you. Learn from mistakes and love what you have. Too often, it's ripped from us in an untimely manner, so I hope each of you (and me!) can learn to appreciate the life before you with passion and remember the life behind you with fondness.