Friday, January 21, 2011

When I Grow Up

I had no idea as a kid that my life would be like this. I have a very clear memory of an assigment we were given in Grade 6 by Mrs. Goulagh. We had to write about where we planned to be in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years and 20 years. She was a brilliant woman, and just about the best teacher there ever has been. I remember that I took the assignment very seriously and spent quite some time planning out my life. Here's what it looked like:

Get married to Kirk Cameron at the age of 19 (hey, stop's important to have goals). Have 5-6 kids, first baby (boy) at age 20 followed by twin girls at 22. I figured I'd play it by ear with the rest. I was going to be a cashier, then a teacher. We were going to live in an old stone house on a hill on Bath Road in the town where I grew up, right across the road from the lake. There would be a tree house and a swing. I believe several pets were involved.

It was pretty detailed. Of course it changed over the years, first Kirk and I grew apart and I went through a serious of musician husbands, most notably Rick Savage and Jordan Knight. Then I decided that six kids was really just ludicrous and so the number gradually dwindled, although I hung on to the idea of twins with an older brother daughter was born. I went from being a school teacher to a dance teacher to a wildlife conservationist. And I batted around the idea of living in various other cities, including Sheffield, England and Boston, Mass (see husbands).

The bottom line is that I pictured a very cookie cutter life. One husband (hopefully I'm still on track with that one), some kids (just one doesn't seem so bad most days), a job (I 'm sure I had one around here somewhere) and a house (a whole house, not an apartment, and just ONE). I guess that's no surprise, because that's what a whole lot of people have, and I figured I'd be just like a whole lot of people.

But if there's one thing I've learned in the last few years, it's that you really never know where life is going to take you. And there really isn't any point where you can say that you're "there" - grown up, settled, done. Life is just a whole bunch of days where anything can happen. And there's no guarantee that life today will be anything like life tomorrow. People that count on that are going to be disappointed, and I know a lot of people who count on that for their very happiness. The idea of moving or changing jobs or having another baby is devastating to them. Sometimes I feel that way too, but more and more I'm learning that I really am on an adventure, and it really is best just to embrace it.

Where will we live next year? In a big city with lots of excitement? A small town where we'll go on day hikes in the mountains? Will we live in tropical heat or biting mid-western cold? Will we be going back to everything that is familiar or discovering brand new territory? It won't be too long now before we know, but I'm starting to put less and less stock in the answer. No matter where we live next year and the year after that, it will most likely not be where we live forever, and I'm willing to bet that it won't be anything like I expect it to be either. We'll be starting on another adventure, and in the 34 years I've been adventuring I have yet to take a wrong turn.

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