One day you just wake up, look around you, and realize that you spent nearly half of your life getting to where you are now.
Maybe it’s just me….
Frankly, I wasn’t too impressed when I took that look around. All I saw was defeat laying before me. No, not those feet! DE-FEAT.
I looked around and I saw the house that I wasn’t living in yet. I saw the car that I wasn’t driving yet. I saw the safety net stashed in the bank that I hadn’t established yet. I saw the obedient, respectable, accomplished children that I hadn’t fully raised yet. I saw the plaques of my college success gleaming from the wall that I hadn’t earned yet. I saw pride of success as I graced the presence of some high end career that I didn’t work at yet. I saw the perfect green grass that felt like velvet beneath my bare feet that I didn’t plant yet.
I looked straight into my present and saw nothing but future. My dreams. My goals. My desires. It’s not that I’m materialistic. I’m not THAT girl that just wants a shiny big house and a shiny new car and a shiny bank account and shiny children and shiny grass and we might as well toss in a shiny gardener too (just for overall appeal of course!).
I’m just not that kind of girl. I don’t want a mansion. I want a home. I don’t want a million dollar car. I want a safe SUV that I can rely on to take my children to and fro and visit friends and family, and basically that will last us 3-5 years, rather than months. I don’t want a billion dollar bank account, just enough to get us by if a small crisis comes up. Just a safety net. I don’t want very much, but what I do want means very much to me.
I realized that I have spent nearly half of my life getting to where I am right now and when I looked around, all I saw was where I haven’t been yet. The goals I hadn’t reached. The dreams that hadn’t become reality. I never stopped, even for a moment, to truly look back at all that I DID do, all that I HAD accomplished.
I have a roof over my head. No, it isn’t the roof that I want to lay in my bed and look up at the rest of my life. It isn’t a neighborhood that I want to stare out of my window and view every day for the rest of my life. But it is a roof. AND it is over my head. Sure, it might leak when it rains. But… who else can say that they have their very own waterfall right in their home?!
My kids don’t eat at the table. They scream for a toy when we pull in front of a store. They sneak their way into staying up far past bedtime. They fight, good Lord do they fight. Over every little thing possible. And it drives me up a fricken wall. (Not the wall the waterfall is on!) But, there is not one time that I’ve been out in public that I haven’t seen another child doing something, saying something, acting someway, that I haven’t thought to myself, “wow, my kids really are not that bad”. And honestly, they aren’t. They are very nice, friendly, respectable kids. I get to see them at their worst, that is all. They feel SAFE enough to show ME their worst. So, I must be doing something right. Besides of course, they’re not perfect children, we’re only halfway there! And who in the heck wants perfect children anyway?! How boring!
I have a car. It runs. It fits my family in it. Sure, it isn’t my SUV. But it is safe. It has the necessities. It’s gotten me down the road for nearly a year now with no hiccups. Well, there was that one time that I forgot the gas gauge is a little off and ran out. Even that was not really a hiccup. My stepson was there at my side within 20 minutes to save the day, with a full can of gas in his hand and a big ol’ smirk on his face!
(As VERY hilarious as this is, the vehicle that I was referring to broke down about a week and a half after I typed this. Within a few days it was replaced with a smaller, older, shittier looking vehicle that I love just as equally, if not more!)
I’m 30 years old. I’m nearly halfway through my life. I look around and I see other people that seem to have it all worked out. Here I am, so conflicted. So defeated. I never once took the time to consider that while I may be halfway there, I am ONLY halfway! Sure, these other people might be closer to the finish line than I am. They might have also not had the life that I had, the set backs that I had. They may only be running a 1 mile race, whereas I am running the full 5 mile. So maybe, they’re a little closer to their finish line. But… I’ve still got two and a half miles to go, and that’s more than they even had to start with!
As I look back at all that I have overcome, all I have REALLY accomplished, all that I REALLY have… all I can imagine is what amazing things are in store for me this next 30 years!
I’m learning to speak up. I’m learning to put my foot down and appropriately say what is important to me. I’m learning about what makes me happy. I am still, ONLY halfway there. I still have two and a half more miles to go, and a world full of ideas on how to get there!!
If life is a race, do you really want to beat me to the finish line?
*Disclaimer: Only in life (and a turtle race) does it take 30 years to travel 2.5 miles