As young naive teenager, I had this vision of what my life would be like. Looking back at my old daydream is both hilarious and tragic. Nothing is as I thought it would be. I can’t decide if that’s good, bad or doesn’t really matter either way.
The Fantasy (Per my sixteen/seventeen year-old-self)
– Prance off to college of a full scholarship
– Join the best sorority on campus
– Join all the best clubs/organizations
– Declare major. High school French teacher? Yes, please.
– At the end of sophomore year or beginning of Junior year, meet “The One”
– Get engaged at the end of junior year/beginning of Senior year. Have super cheesy candlelight at sorority house.
– GRADUATE. With Honors. And as many cords, stoles, medallions, etc. as I can get my hands on.
– Get married. ASAP. Preferably the Saturday following graduation.
– Move back to the hometown to be close to the fam. Get cute starter house and start working.
– Start trying to get preggo on 2nd wedding anniversary.
– Have beautiful babies, stay home, be PTA President & the Cheerleading Coach. Oh, and don’t forget about the Junior League.
Seriously, that is how I thought my life would play out.
– College? Check.
– Join bad ass sorority? Check.
– Join various & sundry clubs & organizations? Half-check. I did campus climb it up for the first 3 semesters of college, but once I realized that early graduation was upon me, I sort of moved on from filling out club applications to filling in LSAT bubbles and post-grad apps.
– Declare major? Let’s just go with French minus the teacher, after all, I’m going to an attorney so it doesn’t matter if I can’t fall back on my bachelor’s degree, right?
– Meet “the One”? Bahahahah. Yeah freakin’ right. I think it’s abundantly clear from reading my blog that this did not happen.
– Engagement? Candlelight? Negatory, but I did examine many a ring and sing many a candlelight song for my sistas.
– Graduate? Hallelujah, I did it! Unfortunately, I was too busy hitting up Thirsty Thursdays with my allowance to pay for the cords I should have worn that day. The parentals were none too thrilled with my lack of regalia.
*** This is where my actual tale takes a very significant detour from the fantasy route…
– Move to south to attend alma mater’s rival for law school. Get tiny apartment & awesome dog.
– Relish in my own averageness at the middle of my class.
– Look for law job alternatives. Teach for America, why oh why did you not want me?
– Graduate. Move into my parents’ “pool house” (i.e. tiny room off the garage where some previous homeowner’s poor butler used to live). Pretend to study for the bar exam.
– Get part-time job. Woot woot! Actually, study for the bar exam. Consume mass amounts of Alka seltzer, Tylenol PM, cigarettes & cold medicine.
– Take bar exam. Move in with Miss PoliSci & Miss H.
– Pass Bar. Get full-time job.
And that’s pretty much it. Just navigating the working world, trying to wrap my head around the fact that I didn’t learn anything practical/applicable/useful in law school (teaching us how to think does not actually put motions on the table), and struggling to keep up with the learning curve of life. (Wow, that got deep.)
So my life isn’t at all what I thought it would have been at this point. And honestly, I probably could have lived out the fantasy if I had tried a little harder. Does that mean I didn’t actually want it? Or that it just wasn’t right for me? Maybe I just got a new fantasy as I got older. I will say that the old one sounds pretty good right about now. But then again, I get to put Esquire at the end of my name (not that I ever actually do it). So I’m not married, I don’t own a home, I don’t have summers off or any babies. I used to think that having those thing was just how it worked. Clearly, that hasn’t been the case for me, or for a lot of my friends for that matter. And now I know that it’s okay to not be who I thought I would be. The real challenge seems to be deciding who I am and who I want to be. Once I do that I get to figure out if who I am and who I want to be are one and the same.
Maybe my path hasn’t been conventional in light of my buckle-of-the-bible-belt-church-of-Christ upbringing. At least I can be proud of some of the things I’ve done so far, and I can claim them as my own — no one suffered through law school on my behalf, that was all me. And I tell myself every day, it isn’t too late for the house and the love and the babies. I can still have all those things, I just got the timing a little differently than planned.
Is your life what you thought it would be 10 years ago? Do you wish it were or are you happy with how things have turned out?