Monday, August 02, 2010

life happens

i've been thinking about the irony of life a lot lately. actually, it started in the car one day with Scott. we were listening to this country song by Eric Church, called, "What I Almost Was." and the gist of the song is that he's happy about the things that have happened in his life, though they may have changed his plan, or his path. he's happy he didn't up being what he almost was. it got me thinking.

life is funny. everything i have thought was the end of the world, or everything out of the scheme of my normal plan, has always turned out just fine. i thought of many instances of this, the first being a ten year old little girl terrified to move across the country and leave Texas and everything she knew. i mean, i cried every night for a year, and i can remember my mom sitting by my bedside, and crying because i was crying. and now, looking back, i simply can not imagine my life without that move. i didn't understand it then, but now when i think back on it, it gave me a chance to get to see my aunts, uncles, and grandparents a lot more. that move caused me to meet people that are my best friends now, and that i can't picture my life without. maybe it wasn't in my plan, but it was certainly in someone's.

i thought life was going to end when i graduated college. i really did. i couldn't believe that my so-called childhood was over, that my days of freedom and youth were just supposed to cease right then. no one told me that it doesn't have to. sure, you grow up a little. you get a few more bills, you get your first real job, and you move into your first little studio apartment... but you know what? my twenties have been fabulous. i've spent four years in a great city that i love and i don't feel old at all. yes, i have more responsibilities, there is no doubt about that, but i learned a lot about people and i learned a lot about life, and i think in some sort of natural selection process i only ended up associating with the people and things that are good for me. and i'm happy.

mostly, lately, i've been thinking about my job situation. never in a million years would someone have told me at 10 years old, 15 years old, 18 years old, even 25 years old... that i would have ended up being a nanny for almost 2 years. it will really be 2 whole years with Ben and Taylor in a couple of weeks. i will admit there are time that i've been down on myself about it, simply because i do feel that i worked so hard to get an education and get a good career. in the past year, i've really changed my train of thought about that, and here's why.

i may not be where i thought i would be in the marketing world, but i do believe i will get there. and in the meantime, i've had a job that is so valuable to a family, and that's in some ways, more rewarding than working for a company. i've made a very good friend with Taylor, and grown close with her and Ben over the years, and i've had fun. there was never a day that i felt like i dreaded going to work. i certainly felt that when i worked at the hospital now and then. and, Ben brings me joy. i don't know how anyone couldn't get joy out of a two year old. it's incredibly fulfilling to see someone so completely full of life and innocence. it makes you wish we could all be that way from time to time, and i get the chance to see that a lot. i've learned from Taylor's resilience as a single mother, whom when i met her was working full time and in law-school. i've never seen her feel sorry for herself or complain. she just takes what life hands her and she carries on. i certainly wish i could be more like that, and i always have that to think back on when i'm feeling bad about myself for something so much smaller.

and in relationships, in life, i think the hard parts are what makes you realize what the good parts are. i love living in chicago because i think we enjoy summer and spring 100 times more than people who live in a warm place all of the time. it's an analogy for the same thing. we endure winters, they're long and cold and not fun, but we always survive and we have something to look forward to in the end. in good will hunting, robin williams says, "And you'll have bad times, but it will wake you up to the good stuff you weren't paying attention to." and i certainly think that's true. if you want the rainbows, you have to put up with the rain.

i really do believe everything is full circle. sometimes it takes longer than others, but it always seems to work out. every single time i have thought it was the end of the world, it wasn't. and years later, it was quite the opposite. it all works out. a lot of these things i mentioned prior were not in my plan, but you know what, they've worked out just fine.