Here I sit in a pool of tears and unsatisfaction wondering where I go from here. My life has not turned out the way that I had planned. I was supposed to graduate with high honors and go on to an amazing junior Ivy League college in a city far from the small town that I had called home from the age of 7. How fitting is it that I am back in that tiny town where it all started. How did I end up purchasing a style of home that I don’t care for in a town that felt like a back woods “hillbilly” prison for so many years? I had such great plans for my life. I was going to get my degree and work in the U.N. as a diplomat changing the world on a huge scale. I was going to be important, someone to look up to, and someone that little girls aspire to be. And here I sit: sad and over weight with low self esteem flooded with disappointment at a missed opportunity.
What I failed to see in my moment of temporary sadness and self pity was that I am in the process of fulfilling my dreams, just on a drastically different stage that I had planned. I have two little boys that I have been given who think that I hung the moon. To my boys I am a mythical creature that makes their dreams come true. I can fix any toy, mend any shirt, create their dream room complete with pirate curtains. I can fix any scraped knee or sliced open head wound. I am forgetting that I am their hero. The time that I spend in my dirty, tight fitting, stained clothes playing on the floor with them is time that I am shaping another human being. I may not change the world by finding the solution to world peace or the cure for cancer but I may be raising a child that will. The time that I am investing in my two crazy boys is time well spent.
This life didn’t happen to me, I chose it. And I continue to choose it over and over again because I believe in the vision. I want my children to have the idyllic picture of a peaceful child hood characterized by a spacious yard with plenty of woods to explore and a tree fort that may be just a bit too high in the air, with a Mom who is always just a holler away. This “hillbilly” town that felt like my own personal prison as a child is the perfect place to raise my rumbustious boys. It may have felt like my own worst nightmare but it’s my husband dream location and it is quickly becoming mine as well.
I chose to put my dreams and aspirations on hold so that I could be here for my boys. I want them to have the security and comfort in their childhood that I didn’t have. I want my boys to know that their parents will be at every game, every play. We won’t miss a single event that is important to them. When they look back at their growing up years they aren’t going to remember that Mommy was overweight; they are going to remember being cuddled in my soft comfy arms and resting their heads on my squishy belly. They aren’t going to remember the piles of unfolded clean laundry that migrated from the bed to the couch and back; they are going to remember the epic blanket forts we built using that clean laundry as walls.
I believe with all of my heart that my life is richer and more beautiful just the way it is than it ever could have been had I followed the path that I had set for my life. It is this belief that keeps me going when I want to throw in the towel and run away. I have this little sign in my bathroom that reads “We plan God laughs”. How true is that statement?! I have my plans for my life but I can always trust that God’s plans are far more beautiful than mine ever could have been.
I was looking for the world and others to validate me, to look up to me. In that moment I had bought into the lie that I need others to approve of my life and my achievements in order to gain a sense of purpose and accomplishment. I wasn’t looking for those same accolades in my dirty yoga pants that are a size too small with my messy bun perched atop my head. I thought I had to be thin, beautiful and decked out in a power suit to be valuable. I am someone that little girls should want to aspire to be. I am a devoted mother and a loving wife. It’s high time that we stop letting our children believe that they have to be high powered, professional work-a-holics in order to be valuable. No matter the direction we point our life we can make a difference and what we are doing is important, even if it feels mundane and boring. Our lives don’t have to be shiny and glittery to be relevant.
Instead of working my hardest to be exceptional in the season that I’m in I am focusing on all the selfish ways that I want to gain recognition. Have you ever heard the saying “bloom where you are planted”? It’s a cliché for a reason. I want to bloom where I’m planted. Heck I may be a weed, but I am going to be the biggest most beautiful weed there ever was! I am committing to bloom where I am planted; you too can make this commitment. What great expectation do you have to let go of so that you can begin to grow and embrace the life that you are living right now? Are you ready to join me to embrace contentment?