Sunday, April 02, 2006

Does life ever turn out like you think it will?

Springtime always gets me in a sentimental kind of mood. I’m not sure why, but it makes me think about my life and how it’s turned out.

Do I have a perfect life? No, and anyone who claims that they have a perfect life is probably delusional. But I am happy with my life about 95% of the time, most of my unhappiness stemming from my job situation over the past few years.

Just for fun, I was thinking today about what I thought my life was going to be like and what my reality is. Play along if you want to:

Age 6: I wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to make sick people better.
Age 16: I wanted to be a dentist. I wanted to make people’s teeth beautiful and healthy.
Age 19: I wanted to work in Hotel and Restaurant Management. I wanted to own my own restaurant one day.
Age 20: I wanted to be a college professor. I wanted to teach college-level English or Linguistics.
Age 23: I realized that I needed to find a job or I was going to have to move home. I took a job in construction thinking it was just a temporary thing.
Age 36: I work in construction. I build big buildings. I guess the temporary job turned into a long-term job, huh? And I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

Age 6: I wanted to marry Andy Gibb and have his babies. Lots of blond babies. And we will live in Australia and I will be BFF with Olivia Newton-John!
Age 7: I wanted to marry Mark who lived around the corner from us. I thought he looked like Davy Jones from The Monkees.
Age 10: I was never going to get married. I was going to dedicate my life to science.
Age 11: I wanted to marry Jimmy. He played the trumpet in the school band and was in my homeroom. And he had an adorable freckle right on the tip of his nose.
Age 13: I wanted to marry Neil. He was going to be a doctor and I was too and we were going to have lots of little Italian babies.
Age 14: I am back on the Jimmy train again. Oh, and did I mention his identical twin Mike? He would do in a pinch if Jimmy was booked.
Age 15: I am back with Neil again. And then with Jimmy. And then with the twin Mike. (I think I needed some serious professional help at this point. This whole scenario was just wrong in every way imaginable.)
Age 16: I am back with Neil again. And then with Rob. I will marry Rob and he will be a famous writer and I will be a dentist and we will live in a beautiful stone farmhouse. When I move we stay in touch and I end up carrying the torch for him for a long time and then he breaks my heart by marrying some girl named Corinne when I’m 22.
Age 17: I move South and discover beautiful Southern boys. I am going to marry Ron and be his rock star wife and we will have three children and travel around the country while his band is on tour. Oh, and did I mention that U2 is going to be opening for his band? My parents have a stroke since I am close enough to 18 that Ron is a serious threat that I will either get knocked up or run off and get married.
Age 20: I get engaged to Jody. He is going to be a rich investment banker dude and I am going to teach English at the local college. My parents are not happy because they see all that college tuition going down the drain if I get hitched or knocked up.
Age 22: I am not even remotely interested in getting married – I know I will someday, but I was enjoying playing the field. I briefly get back together with Ron and realize that being the wife of a starving musician isn’t what I want for myself. And then I try to get back in contact with Rob and discover the Corinne factor that changes everything. That bitch was going to live in my stone farmhouse!
Age 23: I am going to marry J. We are going to have a huge white house with a country front porch and three kids, two boys and a girl. He is going to be a hugely successful salesman and I am going to be a stay-at-home mom.
Age 25: I am never going to get married. I am never going to have kids. Men suck.
Age 26: I marry Joey. He is a vice president of a construction company, I am working for a construction company too. We never discuss where we’re going to live or what kind of house we want because frankly, it doesn’t matter as long as we’re together. I want three kids, he wants two.
Age 29: Mother Nature has an unpleasant trip to the land called Infertility planned for the next two years. I may never have kids at all, but hey – at least I have my “career”. And we have each other.
Age 32: I have Monkey Man. And I come to the crushing realization that my dream of three kids may never happen because my damn ovaries won’t cooperate.
Age 36: I am happy with Monkey Man and can’t decide if I want another child or not. But I would be okay without any more children.

How did I get here? I mean, to go from marrying Andy Gibb to some dude in construction is such a far stretch that my head is spinning. And to go from being a doctor to a dentist to a restaurant owner to an English professor to construction worker is even worse.

On the job front, I don’t think I ever knew what I truly wanted to be. My parents (translation: Mommie Dearest) expected me to be a doctor, dentist, or lawyer. And I honestly wanted to please them. The only two things that I’ve ever really fallen into and developed a burning passion for were teaching English and then my time I worked in a lawyer’s office doing research for him. I am an excellent researcher, if I do say so myself, and those are two times when I enjoyed plucking things out of oblivion to craft something. The whole construction thing was a total freak accident, and while I do love what I do, part of me still wonders if it’s not too late to try another career path. It’s something I struggle with every day.

As for the personal stuff, obviously things happen for a reason, and up until the age of 16 it was all just cutesy high-school crushes and stuff. After that point, I learned something from every one of them that shaped me into who I am.

Neil taught me that people will try to control you if you let them.
Rob taught me that love really can be pure and innocent and honest without any game-playing.
Ron taught me that a person doesn’t have to have material possessions to have endless amounts of love to give.
Jody taught me that sometimes friendship isn’t enough to keep a relationship alive and that it’s okay to walk away as long as you do it with respect for each other.
J. taught me everything that I don’t want in a relationship.
Joey taught me and continues to teach me everyday about unconditional love and what it’s like to find your soulmate. He restored my faith in trusting another person with my heart.

Well, you know what happened to me, but what about The Men? Let's see what happened to our cast of characters:

Neil is a doctor, married a girl that we went to church with, and has two children. Did I mention that his wife has a mustache that rivals Rollie Fingers'? (Sorry, that was's not quite that bad but the girl would seriously benefit from some waxing.)
Rob teaches English at our old high school. I heard that he and Corinne are divorced but have no confirmation if it’s true or not.
Ron is a professional musician in the mid-Atlantic area and started a small record label with a partner. He is not married and ironically enough wrote one of the songs on his band’s first album about me. It’s not a nice song but I’m okay with that even though he played it at our 10-year high school reunion (and of course everyone KNEW it was about me). I still think he’s a hell of a musician and he was an important person in my life for many years. I'm waiting for his new CD to come out so I can see if he's gotten over it or what. Our 20-year reunion is coming up, you know, and I'd like to be prepared.
Jody, last I heard, is a vice president for a huge bank. He married a teacher and they have two children. He ended up marrying someone just like his mother, how appropriate.
J. is married to his third wife that he met on the internet. He has one son with his second wife. He sells Amway (snicker).
And Joey? He is out in the backyard sitting in a pile of sand with our beautiful son playing dump trucks. I’m looking out our back window and listening to Monkey Man laugh and laugh at his silly daddy.

Life is good. I don’t know how I got here and it’s been a bumpy road filled with all kinds of twists and turns, but I wouldn’t trade any of it. Not one single second.

1 comment:

Mrs. Wheezer said...

Great post!