Ten Days: Day Ten: One Confession
Hmmm...what to confess? There could be my undying love for...
um, nope. Or I could confess that I cheated on...
don't think so!
Instead a little more about me.
For years and years I proclaimed that I wanted a "normal" life: one husband, one wife, two children (a boy, then two years later a girl) with matching initials both born before my thirtieth birthday. I wanted to be a stay at home mom; I wanted a husband who would work and make all the money that we needed to live in our perfect 2600 square foot home, complete with a formal dining room and a swimming pool (with perfect landscaping). I did not want anything that could be considered "odd" or "strange" by my children's friends or anything that they would have to explain. One job per adult (mine, of course, would allow me to work at home and just make "play" money). I wanted this for a long time.
This life was the stark contrast to the one I grew up in. My parents were 36 and 39 when I was born. My mom worked outside the home, my dad was self employed (with about 15 businesses running through the house). We went on business trips all the time and I missed a lot of "normal" kid things (Homecoming namely). Not to mention I had to explain all the "cowboy" stuff (I will not do this here, sorry!).
Needless to say, personality wise, I am about a 180 from my parents. I always have been and probably always will be. I yearned for the lives that my friends have: the "status quo."
John Lennon said: Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans. That quote completely describes my life!
For starters I did not meet my husband-to-be in college and did not get married the summer after graduation and did not start having babies in the amount of time deemed appropriate. Instead I started a job, that I didn't love, but ended up meeting wonderful people. I dated a guy: FAIL. I dated another guy and fell in love. We broke up, got back together, broke up, got back together, broke up, got back together, got a dog, broke up, got back together, bought a house, got another dog, got another dog, got ANOTHER dog, got engaged, bought another house, planned a wedding, and forty-one days before he called it off.
Um...where do I go from here?
My whole perfect house (almost the size I wanted, but no formal dining room, but with the pool!), two children, stay-at-home mom dream was dashed. Here I was 27, approaching 28, and back at square one. I was devastated to say the least. There were days that I just prayed and prayed that we would get back together and all would work out like my plan. In the end that was not the plan for me.
I found a great church a few months later, found wonderful friends, all was perfect again. I was single, but I was okay with that. I healed from the relationship. Then, all of a sudden, the sermons started to be about "taking risks" and "walking through open doors." ARG! Stupid challenges! I never met one that I didn't go for. I started, very lightly, thinking about grad school. It was a crazy idea. What would I do? What did I want to do? Where did I want my life to go? I had figured out, during this time, that I love people and I want to help people. I mentioned this to my wonderful best friend who used the lowest of the low argument for why I should go to grad school: what are you going to tell your daughter if you had the opportunity to go to grad school and didn't do it? REALLY??? Using my yet to be conceived child against me? Did it work? OF COURSE!
A short time later, there I was applying to OU, not really sure how I was going to pay for it, writing a personal statement, getting my three recommendations. My mom got the scholarship information from my tribe (the Chickasaw Nation...stop your laughing, I am 13/256 which, with a CDIB card, is the perfect amount to have grad school totally paid for!) I applied, and found out that I got in on a Thursday; the semester started the following Tuesday! I enrolled in what I could, got snowed in, slipped and slid to get books, got all my scholarship stuff turned in and was off on a new adventure!
In the meantime of all of this, all my wonderful new (and old) friends did the unthinkable: they all got pregnant. Seriously there must have been something in the water. This was HARD. I want to be a mom more than anything in the world and here was everyone around me, even those that weren't trying, getting what I wanted. Pretty much everywhere I went was hard to deal with. Watching them find out the sex, go register, have showers, prepare for labor, have the beautiful babies and get to be mommies; I'm not going to lie, I love them all, but there were moments (days, weeks) that I was not happy for them. I was angry. This was supposed to be MY time, and it wasn't.
Then I went to Austin.
I had a crush on a boy who liked indy music. (Oh yeah this was not a secret to anyone, though I'm not saying names!) My friend Lucy was going to South by Southwest (which I went to my last year in undergrad). It was the week of spring break and I had Friday off. I only had to take off one day and got to be gone for four days. I had been talking to a guy and realized that he was lonely and I enjoyed talking to him, however he just wanted to be with someone (or that was my perception of the situation). On the way to Austin this hit me. And I did not like it, one bit. I was better than being "insert girl here" into someones life.
That's when it hit me: I had concocted this amazing life and was just looking for "insert guy here." Uh oh. If I didn't want to be that person, why on earth would I want to be with someone who would settle being that person?
I also realized that I like the extraordinary! I don't want just a simple life! I want it to be fabulous and wonderful and I want people to look at my life and say "wow!" That is truly what I want. I want to make an impact. I want to change the world. I fought this for a long time. I kept pushing it out of my brain: this was NOT what was going to happen to me, I just want simple. Now, though, I have chosen to embrace it.
On that trip it was like a light went off. Here I was in Austin, which is such a fun city, part of the time I was with my friends, part of the time we went our separate ways to see different shows. I discovered some awesome bands, that I now love (check out 100 Monkeys, Carney, Lynhurst, and The Honey Brothers!). Most importantly, as I was driving around on Sunday, before I left, it just hit me: all of my friends are experiencing some awesome things right now (marriage, kids, etc.), but I get to experience all kinds of things right now too! I am getting to have amazing experiences and I get to be selfish for a little bit of my life. I put others first a lot and above myself a lot. I still have plenty of time to have all those things that my friends have.
The time will come for me to meet that special someone (or if I have already met him: when I figure out that he's who I'm supposed to marry) and get married and have babies. For awhile, post breakup, I thought that if by the time I turned 30 I was not in a committed relationship that would lead to marriage (starting to sound like If Lucy Fell? no the plan was not to jump off a bridge) I would just go it alone: pick out the perfect sperm donor and have a baby by myself. This whole blog thing actually changed that one: I read a blog that has a seemingly perfect husband and wife and an adorable daughter. Reading their blog, which I love to do, I see all the fun of having both parents and the baby and I think it is worth the wait!
In the meantime I am going to enjoy every day, for what it is, not as a stepping stone for what comes next. I will have all these amazing memories that I get to keep forever! I have amazing people that surround me and I always will. Some of the names and faces will change, but I choose to surround myself with the most extraordinary people!
This whole outlook was hammered home this summer when I met (finally) an amazing woman named Beth. I had heard about Beth for the last 20 years. My "adopted" grandparents when we were on the road were Teddie Jo and Charlie. Sadly, Charlie passed away last June. My mom and I went to Dallas for the funeral and at the lunch after we got to meet Beth. Beth dated their son, Blake, but they didn't exactly work out. Beth is now married, though she didn't get that way until later in life, has a beautiful son, and is happy as a lark as a stay-at-home mom. She lived her life and had all the experiences that I am having right now, then she got everything else she wanted (or that I assume she always wanted!). It was so encouraging hearing her tell me that I was on the right track! It was even more encouraging to see that she'd lived through all this and totally came out on top!
Okay, so that's Day Ten! The culmination of the Ten Day Challenge! It was a long one! What have I learned from this challenge?
I want to write! I mean I really do! I have already started outlining my first novel. I thank each of you that is reading this blog (and my current writing outlet) for all the encouraging words you have said about me having a talent to write. I know I don't have the best grammar in the world, but I have an amazing editor (who is having a baby girl tomorrow!) and I really, really love writing.
In the meantime of all of this I have also figured out that I DO NOT want to be a therapist! Great profession, totally think that, but I just don't feel that I would make the impact on the world that I want to. Hopefully I can take all the classes I need to prepare me to start a non profit in a year or so and can work it where I can have babies at work with me, surround myself with my friends who have the same passion that I do, and write!
Thank you to everyone who was mentioned in this blog, whether with or without names, you have truly impacted my life!