When I was younger I dreamed that at this point in my life that I would have 4 children and be married in a house with a white picket fence. I would have two puppies playing in the backyard and Keegan, Kenzi, Kayla, and Kolby would be happy and blonde and super sweet. I dreamed that I would have been a teacher for about 3 years by now and things would be mighty settled. I believed my husband would wear a tie to work and that he would kiss me every time he walked in the door. Frank Sinatra would be playing on the stereo and I would cook dinner and pick the kids up from school. I believed that my friends would come over weekly for dinners with their children and we would play cards and drink wine and sit on the back porch. I thought I would look older, have shorter hair, and buy clothes from Ann Taylor. I imagined me reading books every night with the light on from the night stand and my husband would read the newspaper. I thought I would be in bed every day by 10:00 and the kids would be asleep by 8:00. I would drive a black car and it would probably be a mess from the crackers but I would be happy. I figured we’d go to church every Sunday and my mom would hang out with my kids when I just needed a break.
That aforementioned picture is but a long lost dream. Or, I guess I should say, nightmare. My life is nothing like I thought it would be at 26. I’m a blonde and still buy clothes from Forever 21. I listen to music I listened to in high school and love to shake my ass to rap songs at clubs. Every night is different for me. Sometimes its Trivia, sometimes it’s baseball games, other times it’s movie night or dinners with friends or late nights at school events or something else random. Sometimes I’m tired, sometimes I’m energized. Sometimes I dress like I’m old and have a boring job, and other days I dress in hot pink and yellow. I spend a lot of my weekend time doing fun things with my mom or friends or random people I don’t know. Sometimes I go to L.A., and sometimes I fantasize about getting on a plane to Chicago or NYC for the weekend. I have a full life, a full schedule, and generally a smile on my face. I mostly think about work and how to be a better teacher. Sometimes I have homework (that I rarely finish on time because I am so busy living my life). There is a reason my life is so sporadic and crazy and fun and random. I learned that life is just better this way.
Through my 26 years I learned that I should say YES! Yes to the game, yes to dinner, yes to a night out, yes to drinks, yes to kickball, yes to Vegas, yes yes yes!! Life is so much better like this. I am tired a lot of the time and I spend a lot of my time sleeping, but when I am awake I want to live life out loud. I want my life to be colorful and full of memories and laughter and jokes and happiness. There have been some things that I have regretted and most of them have been because I said no when I wanted to say yes. I just take chances and I move to Chicago or I go on random trips to places I have never been or go out to eat with new people. I have made so many new friends in the past year that I know will be in my life for a long time to come, and so many new people that I feel so blessed to know. Friends that I feel God purposefully put into my life and who I have luckily gotten to know very well because I have said yes to new friends and new experiences.
While we live this life, i feel we all try to search for the answer “What’s the point of life?” And I believe it’s a lot of different things. I believe it’s about learning to overcome heartache and struggles. I believe it’s about growth and change and learning to adapt to situations and outcomes that are ever-changing. I believe it’s about loving and giving with your whole heart to the things that matter to you. I believe it’s about learning to love the slow times and breathe during the fast-paced and hard times. I believe it’s about being the best friend and sister and brother and aunt and cousin and daughter and sons that we can be. It’s about taking what our parents taught (or didn’t teach) us and making the right choices that are mindful of others and that take into consideration other’s feelings. I believe life is about laughing with the best of friends and hoping for the best outcomes for yourself and for others. I believe that it’s about taking chances. Mostly I believe it’s about having faith in the fact that God has made you into a perfect being and person and that there is nothing that has gone overlooked. But, what I am learning to understand on my 26th birthday is that it’s about saying YES! I feel so blessed and lucky to have the memories that I have because of the times that I said yes. I just look back on my life and I realize that I said yes to so many different experiences and because of that I have many memories full of smiles and joy and wonderful times. Things and chances that I know I will never get the opportunity to do again, but I thankfully and with a full heart, I am glad that I did when the time came.
Thank you Life and God for allowing me the heart to say YES so that I can feel full and blessed and loved and happy as I move forward into my 26th year.
I thought I would be depressed I was getting older and my life wasn’t where I thought it would be but as I look back, I am so lucky to have done what I have done and know the people that I know and have the memories that I have.
Life has been good to me.