It dawned on me a few months ago (back in October, as I celebrated my 32nd birthday) how "old" I am getting. I say old, because when I was a pre-teen, I thought anyone in their 30s was decrepit, with one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. In my old age, I have come to realize, you are only as young as you feel. I feel about 27.
I went to bed that night, with a full pregnant belly. I had a hard time sleeping so I decided to reflect, on me... being the day we celebrated me and all. I was 32 and what had I done with my life? Now that question can make or break a person. I hadn't really "done" anything grand, or anything I would want to tell the world about.
When I was 18, and fresh out of high school. My next door neighbor / best friend, Maggie, and I had decided we were moving to Ocean City, Maryland. We wanted to work in a shop on the beach and just be ourselves for a while... eventually going to college there, or somewhere else. Well, as you can see I am not living in Ocean City, nor did I ever do that. What I did do, was started dating a guy I went on a blind date with. He wouldn't quit calling me and decided maybe I want to stick around for a while. After almost three years of that mess, I had had enough and moved on. I still wish I had gone to Ocean City Maryland.
My whole life I have wanted to back pack through Europe. "My Skinny Friend, Brandi" and I had plans for February 2010. We were going to be in Europe doing just that. I wanted to taste amazing food, see historical places, meet crazy fun people.... just to say I did it. Then I ended up pregnant. To this day, I have never left the country.
I have always dreamed of living in Manhattan. I could definitely be without a back yard to mow for the rest of my life. They have parks for all your grassy needs. I wanted to look out my window and see tall buildings and people like ants racing to work. I wanted to hear angry people honking their horns in bumper to bumper traffic. I pictured my life, much like "You've Got Mail".... Don't you just love New York in the Fall? I would send you a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils. Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino. OK, Taryn, back to reality. I never moved to NYC... heck, I have never even visited. To my dismay, this trip has been planned more times than I care to count and something always comes up and plans change.
I can remember sitting on my best friend's bed in high school, writing the physical description of the perfect man. He would be at least 6'2" tall, because I would feel smaller. He would love sports and play them, just not be considered "a jock". He would have to play golf, because my grandfather did and I loved going to the golf course and driving the golf cart. He would have an amazing family, his parents would still be together. He would have green eyes, because all the jerks I dated had brown eyes and I have blue. He would have a great sense of humor, because laughing is what I do best. He would be smart, but not nerdy. As I recall this list to memory, I did find that perfect man... and every time I look into his beautiful green eyes, I am thankful he exists.
I wanted to have my first or only child by the time I was 28. Without even trying, that actually happened. I was 28 when I was pregnant with my first child, my son, Lake. Not really "planning" on another, a few years later, I was blessed with my daughter, Lennon.
I did eventually move away from my home town. In 2005, my perfect man and I moved to Dallas, TX for a little over two years. There, I met some of the most amazing crazy fun people who would turn out to be some of the best friends I will ever have. I cannot imagine life without them, even if they live halfway across the country now. We also had a short move to Baton Rouge, that eventually landed us full-circle, back in our small home town. I never thought I would ever be happy living here. I can honestly say, I am excited to be here and I love every minute of it. Well, except for the few minutes the paper mill fills my car with a stinch that will burn the inside of your nostrils. Or those few minutes you are in a drive thru getting lunch and the person taking your order speaks their own language to the point of you don't even know what you just ordered.... "Apple Dipples"... What the heck is that? I asked for Apple Dippers.
I did go to college, even if it wasn't in Ocean City, Maryland or anywhere else but right here at home. During that time, I did some things I am not too proud of, had a heck of a lot of fun and laughter, dated some more people that weren't my perfect man, and met some more really amazing people who would still be great friends to this day - even if they also live halfway across the country today.
All in all, I have learned more about myself in the past 14 years than I ever expected to. I have had a lot of experiences that either landed me in the emergency room, jail, or living in a different state. I have vacationed to really great places inside the U.S., such as, Myrtle Beach, Hawaii, San Diego, The Grand Canyon, Las Vegas... and I know there are so many more great places to see. I have married the perfect man, and had the perfect children and we live in the perfect place - for us. The more I think about it, I have done exactly what I wanted to do, with exactly who I wanted to do it with.
I am 32 years young, and I still have my whole life ahead of me. I will do all those things I wanted to do. I will learn more about myself when I grow up.... and I will meet more amazing people to share my life's events with. I don't regret a thing.