Remember how, as a kid, you would daydream about how your life would be as an adult? I used to daydream about my adult life a lot. Actually, my siblings and I made a game out of it to make our walk to school more entertaining. Each person was allotted a number of days to narrate his/her grown-up life, complete with name of spouse, number of children, details of interior décor, and type of job. Heck, I loved this game so much so that I would only half-listen to my siblings’ stories because I was so caught up in calculating and re-calculating the details of my story. I didn’t want to be out-outshined when my turn came up. I, with my 2.5 children, my shiny Brad Pitt husband and my Joan of Arc armor, single-handedly saving the world. I couldn’t wait to be grown-up! But then fast-forward 20 years and the story couldn’t have been more different.
I won’t go into the nitty-gritty details of how different my real life has been from my imagined one but one thing is for sure: it turned out a lot rougher than I had imagined. One failed marriage, a graduate degree that I thought would help me save the world but instead almost cost me my head of hair, and more mommy-related meltdowns than I would care to count, young me would have latched herself tight into her childhood and never have let go. Most days I’m like this:
(picture from http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3rn71n/)
Okay, that’s an exaggeration but you get the point.
However despite all the headaches and heartaches, I wouldn’t have my life any other way. Deep down, I know that I had to go through all my troubles in order for me to appreciate what I have today. Not just appreciate, but APPRECIATE. Yes, in caps. My family was there for me when I couldn’t even believe in myself. They gave me the support I needed when I couldn’t support myself. We were always a close bunch but in the last few years, we’ve gotten even tighter. You know that feeling you get when you realize that there’s a group of people that will always have your back no matter what? I think it’s called ‘rich’. I didn’t get Brad but that’s ok because my real husband is even hotter. Just the fact that he saw me through my worst moments puts a tried-and-tested stamp of approval on the ‘for better or for worse’ part of the marriage vow that most people hope will never have to materialize (the worse part, that is). And even though I don’t live with all my kids all the time, I get to cherish the time I have with them. As for saving the world, I am not CEO of some hot pharmaceutical company that just found the cure to AIDS and cancer, but I am a much more compassionate person. I’d like to think that I am playing a part in saving the world, one kind word at a time.
Did I get the life that I had imagined as a child? No. I got an even better one.