When I was a little girl I would spend hours imagining my adult self, and the life I thought I wanted; the one that would make me happiest. I had my dream wedding planned, the perfect career, and ideal home. I couldn’t wait to grow up and have that dream life. Looking back, I smile at the thought of that freckled face blue eyed girl who thought she would marry the high school quarterback, have her first child at 24, her second child at 26, live in Manhattan, and become a highly sought after fashion designer. My dreams were sweet, they were simple, and they never happened.
Here’s the thing about having your life completely mapped out by the time you’re twelve years old. It’s disappointing, it’s stressful and it takes the fun out of the unexpected. When my life didn’t pan out the way I imagined, I was in fear, scared, stunned even. Suddenly the life that was enfolding in front of me wasn't good enough. I was left confused and resentful. This need to accomplish, or rather get everything I thought I wanted or needed (and in a controlled time frame) impacted my ability to appreciate the life I had. I was so preoccupied with what I thought should be happening, that I missed out on building relationships, having exciting experiences, and meeting someone new. If the guy who asked me out at the coffee shop didn’t fit my ideals list, then I wouldn’t consider him. If the job didn’t look exactly like it did in my dreams, then I let it pass me by.
Last year, my life completely fell apart. Or rather, my life completely fell together. I ended a long-term relationship with a partner, who I thought would be the father of my children, moved out of our shared home, became 100% responsible for myself financially (a first in many years), changed positions at work, and lost my emotional shit. And you know what? I can honestly say, the experience has been life-altering. Today, I can breathe. I have the capacity to sit quietly, feeling completely at ease. I sleep well, set healthy boundaries, and have been diligently working on my own self-improvement. I think back to all the things I wanted and imagined for my life, and it was never as good as it feels now. Once I embraced what was actually happening, instead of trying to control the outcome, I opened up, and began to look at my part in the break down of this relationship. Through that vulnerability, I learned to accept “the gifts” of loss, and everything that came from saying goodbye. I opened my eyes and had to get real about who I was, the choices I was making, and ultimately began looking at the areas of my life in which I happily settled (and blatantly ignored that pesky intuition). Hard truth, I chose emotional maturity over comfortability. And I came out stronger as a result.
It’s taken me a long time to get here, but looking back I wouldn’t change a thing. Had I not experienced the loss, and all the mountains I was assigned to move, I wouldn’t have been desperate and open to change. I am happy with my journey, and where it has taken me, for it has brought me to this point. I finally found my happy place, one that is built on self-love, and feels like home. What a beautiful place to be.