Thursday, July 31, 2008

10 Years Older...and a Self Portrait

Today I spent some time reading this post and this post by the Pioneer Woman (I know these were posted a while back but it seems I'm always lagging behind on her blog). For those of you who won't link up to see what was said I'll give you the low-down: basically she talked about where we end up in life compared to where we thought we'd be 10 or 20 years ago. Her story was interesting, but honestly, the comments in the second post captured my attention most--how uniquely similar we all are. Anyway, I thought it was an interesting topic of discussion and it got me thinking about a topic I brush over every now and again.

10 years ago I was ready for my senior year of high school at Kodiak High (woo. go bears.). I thought that in ten years I'd be married (after completing my degree at a college "back East" and perhaps a mission somewhere exotic and incredible) for two years to my oh-so-perfect husband and my first child (Emma) would be brand new or possibly on her way (I was a timeline planner, what can I say?). I figured I'd live somewhere other than Utah and I'd work as a stage actress and possibly appear in a commercial or two. But that, because of kids, I'd maybe step away from my great career for a while. Yes, I actually thought this would be my life in my heart of hearts. At 17, I recall now, I was oh-so-naive.

Fast forward 10 years and I'm single and childless and living in Utah with a roommate, my best friend, and the thought of performing on a stage or appearing on camera makes me sweat a bit under my arms. College happened in my hometown while I lived in my parents basement (because anyone with a brain could tell you that financially this would be the wisest decision). I'm not sure if my 17-year-old self would be crushed by this news or not. What I know is that I am very happy with where I am at.

I can't imagine what career I would prefer to teaching because, though I complain about it and it exhausts me, performing in the classroom is my life's work, my niche . I feel I get better at it every year and when it is good in that room, wow! how it feels to know you made a kid think about their world! And when it is bad in that room you always have a good story to share.

The past few years of single-hood have been a blessing. I know myself. I know what is important. And while a good marriage would be nice, I know that I am very content to keep busy until a good marriage presents itself. What doesn't appeal to me: a mediocre marriage for the sake of being married and no longer "alone."

And the thing about this supposed loneliness is, that I'm not. I'm lucky enough to live with my best friend who is like-minded and witty and good. I have a wonderfully mixed up, dysfunctional, and loving family that I get to live not far from because I'm living in Utah. And while I'm not a mom yet, have you seen the pictures of my nieces and nephews? C'mon--that is more than most could hope for!

So, 10 years later I can say that I'm nowhere near that place I thought I'd be. And it is fine by me.

Oh, and here's my squinting self-portrait challenge submission for this week:


Ashley said...

What a cute picture! I love the color of the wall with your outfit. Love it

Alice said...

I wonder what my ten year ago self would think of me now? It is so interesting to reflect on what one thinks is a great plan, and what actually spills out. The reality is, while I love that girl, I'm glad my ten year ago self isn't still in charge :)

Cute SPC- I love it.

Mrs. Bennett said...

Ten years ago - lets see, I was 20. I thought I wanted to marry later in life like, around 23 (can't believe I thought 23 was "later" in life). I definitely thought that by thirty I'd probably have at least a few kids and be a stay at home mom. I'm a little behind but I have loved the journey! I've done so much in my life that I wouldn't have been able to do (or at least it would've been more expensive and difficult)had I been married with young children, i.e. traveled the world, finished school, had a career, etc. I'm happy with how it all turned out. Great link by the way!

Jen said...

Very cute pic. I thought I would be back east editing or writing books or something intellectual. I also thought I might be married with a couple kids, which I am. However, I thought parenthood would be much more glamorous. More snuggling and story reading, less bodily fluids and scrubbing.

Rie Pie said...

Beautiful pic sista!! I'm very happy that my 14 year old self is not deciding anything that is going on in my life right now. If "she" was, I'd be living in New York, living with a very not-so-good-man, not going to the right church, and probably looking for someone to borrow money from. Man. I feel better about where I am now.

Kimmy said...

I just have to say that you're awesome. You help me remember all the great things that life has to offer, although those things weren't planned. You're so fun and vibrant. I love it!