For the past few months, I have been gearing up for my 20th high school reunion. I have been contemplating losing weight. Did you know that contemplating doesn't appear to burn calories or build muscle? I have been contemplating what to wear. Did you know that contemplating does not equal shopping or trying on? And I have been contemplating the life path that I have chosen - or sometimes just contemplating the life path that I have stumbled, rather ungracefully, upon.
My class has a webpage "thing." Where everyone in the class has a page - we can post pictures of our families, it has a message board, there are forums and discussions, and a place to put your bio. And tell everyone what you have done with your life for the past 20 years. And reading those bios is really what got me to contemplating even more. So many of the women from my class are stay at home moms. And so many of us have advanced degrees. I wonder if any of us would have predicted this? Or that we would be so unabashedly happy doing it?
I have gone through so many phases of "what do I want to be when I grow up." Like most little girls...I wanted to be a ballerina. I have wanted to do hair. Or nails. And for about 5 minutes in 1978, I wanted to be a truck driver. With my best friend who would undoubtedly drive a Camaro.
I wanted to be a teacher. But then my father (who was a teacher) said that there is NO way that I would want to do that. Bureaucracy and paperwork = undesirable. I wanted to be a slut. Becuase, you know, they get to wear lots of make up. I wanted to write books. I wanted to get my MRS. I wanted to be rich. But no where in my dreams and aspirations was the thought of staying at home with my children.
As I got older, I realized I had a knack for languages. I had French in elementary school. In high school, I took 5 years of Latin. AND Four years of Russian. And thought I had found my calling. I wanted to be a translator with the UN. Or major in Political Science. Be a spy for the CIA. Maybe even an assassin.
When I hit college (and not a college as far from home as possible like I wanted - but one practically in my own backyard), all that changed again. It was one class...that I only registered for because the one I wanted was full...and that was all it took to send me down an entirely different path. And then I knew I wanted to get my PhD. Be a professor. Do field work. Research. Write. Publish or perish. Speak at conferences about my findings.
And then. Again. It all changed. All changed with a miracle that was smaller than a grain of rice. A miracle that has since been repeated. One that makes me marvel. Smile. Swell up with pride. And sometimes makes me wonder if assassin might still be a good option.
Never in a million years did I think that I would be a stay at home mom. Or a stay at home mom living in Georgia. Or a homeschooler. Or on the PTA. Or a Latin teacher. Or a blogger.
So. Here I am. Not doing anything remotely close to what I thought I would be doing. But I don't think I could be any happier. Or any more fulfilled. Or anymore at peace with the road I have taken. Or the path I have ungracefully stumbled upon.
What about you? Are you doing now what you thought you would be doing 20 years ago?