Lately I have been doing a lot of reflecting on my life. There has been no significant event to bring on that reflection. Sometimes you are just able to step back and see things for what they are.
I am a 37-year-old wife and mother. I am an aunt and friend. I am a dedicated employee and newly reborn Christian. Am I now where I thought I would be by this age? Nope.
When I was a kid I wanted to be a firefighter, neurosurgeon, truck driver, and in the military. When I was a teenager I found my calling when I watched my dad practice for this bar dj’ing gigs. I knew that radio was what I was meant to do. I was a fine arts geek in school . . . band, choir, theatre . . . but my passion lie in my clarinet and saxophone. I remember thinking that I would never be able to feel whole if I stopped playing music.
I look back at the friends I had when I was younger and vividly remember writing notes to them that were signed “best friends forever.” You never think when you’re younger that the friends you had then would not be the same friends that you would have when you are older. Many of those friends from high school I don’t even talk to anymore. They were people who were there for me at some of my hardest teenage times . . . break-ups with boyfriends, fights with other kids at school, struggles with classes. I thought that we were building friendships that would last forever. But when you are a kid it’s difficult to see past today much less see years into the future.
I remember my first love . . . Bill. My world rose and fell on him. He was adorable to my little high school mind. He was tall, blonde, the most beautiful blue eyes, and very smart. Everybody loved him. He was my first boyfriend. He was my first kiss. He was the first one that encouraged my writing. He was IT . . . my first love. I thought that relationship would never ever end.
I haven’t seen or spoken to Bill since December, 1995. I do know that he is father to a couple of children and married to a beautiful girl that we graduated with. She has the same name as me. It’s funny the way life works sometimes.
As a kid I had lofty dreams of where I would be when I got older. I would be living in a nice house, driving nice cars, and doing very well off financially. I would be married to the perfect man, and I would be a raging success in my career. Basically I imagined my life as a fairy tale. How does the saying go . . . “Want to make God laugh? Tell him your plan.”
We can make all the plans we want, but only God knows where our life will go. Only He knows what lies ahead of us on our road.
I do not live in a nice house. I live in a two bedroom apartment. I do not drive a nice car. I drive a little Kia. I am not well off financially. I struggle every month to make the ends meet, and sometimes they don’t. I am not married to a perfect man, but I am married to a man who is perfect for me. I am not the raging success in my career that I pictured while I was in broadcasting school, but I have listeners that enjoy me being a part of their day.
Thanks to Facebook I still can keep up with many of the people who I was friends with as a kid. But, honestly, if I deleted my Facebook account the loss of their constant updates about their trips to the gym and what they made for dinner would not diminish my life. Why? Because I don’t know those people anymore. I am not the same person I was when I did know them. Just as they are not the same person they were when they knew me. We have grown and changed, and have not talked in years. Facebook is just the last vestige of holding on to the past.
I just realized that I sound kind of bitter right now. Bitter is not at all how I feel. I feel so very thankful for the way my life has turned out so far.
2-and-a-half years ago I realized my dream of going to work for a station I had been hoping to work at for 10 years. I have been married to a wonderful man for almost 10 years. I have an amazing 8-year-old son that tries my patience but makes me love him more everyday. I have a 14-year-old stepdaughter that is growing into a wonderful young woman. In the past couple of years God has brought so many people into my life that have brought change in me that I could have never imagined when I was a kid. I have met people who are like family to me. I have more moms that I can count now. I have friends that are more like brothers and sisters to me. I have met people who have helped me find my way back to God, and people who have helped me grow in my relationship with Him.
A year ago I was on a path that was leading not only to my own self-destruction but to the destruction of my family also. I was having an affair with one man, and just a few months away from meeting another man who I would actively try to seek an adulterous relationship with. Did I plan on that when I was a kid? Nope. I was going to have the perfect marriage, remember? But one year ago I was lying to my husband about where I was so that I could go to another man.
I am not saying that my life is perfect now. It’s not perfect at all, but it is getting better. I am getting better. I have learned to have faith in God to lead me where he wants me. I have learned that he will bring the people into my life that he knows that I need to be better for him. I have let go of the adulterous relationship, but am still struggling to extricate myself from the other man I was actively pursuing. But God will show me the way and give me the strength.
I had great plans for myself when I was younger. But God had great plans for me from the minute I was born. I am finally able to see that.
I have not taken the radio world by storm. I am not rich or famous. I don’t have a big, fancy house. I don’t have a super nice car. But I have a roof over my head, food on the table for me and my family, a job that I love, and the faith that God is giving me everything I need.
As I reflect on where I am in my life I look back and see how far I have come in the weeks, months, and years of my past. I am not who I was then. I am not who I will be in the future. Who I am is who God wants me to be right now.
Are you who God wants you to be right now?
Until next time . . .