1, 5 & 10

Maybe you were asked this in high school and maybe you weren't, but I'm sure at some point in your life someone has asked you where you think you'll be in _____ years. Life of Bon took it a step further with one year, five years, and ten years. From the perspective of your high school senior self. So 17 year old Laurie and....27 year old Laurie. Go.

Note: I always thought I would be close to my family. There's no need to throw it in with every milestone. They would always be there. All of them. Supporting me and my endeavors. That's one part I definitely got right. Okay. Back to the task at hand. 

One year
Where I thought I would be. 
Just finishing up my freshmen year of college and majoring in International Business and German. Probably plotting my semester abroad to Germany. I would still be dating my high school boyfriend and spending a lot of time with my friends from high school. I would still be working at the same job at Old Navy that I had in high school. See the theme here? All safe and familiar

Where I was. 
After 9/11 my study abroad dream was declined with an emphatic no by my father. And who can blame him? I changed my major to a brand new (to the college) one, Digital Communications. I got the boyfriend and the friends things right, because that's just what I did. I had a few new jobs in there too during that year. I became famous for changing jobs like I changed my hair color and style. Exactly a year out of high school I was working in the copy center at Staples. Little did I know how much that would prepare me for my future in administrative work.

5 years. 
Where I thought I would be. 
A year out of college I thought I would have some fabulous job. Something really fancy and important. I would wear suits to work and have an office and just be really successful. I thought I would probably live somewhere that wasn't here. A city perhaps? High schoolers are just so silly. The boyfriend would still be around and we would probably be engaged by now. Because everything will go just according to plan.

Where I was:
I just got back from a lovely week long girls trip to Rome. I was engaged to a new boy, Matt. The best of all the boys. We were going to be married in the fall and we were picking out an apartment and wedding planning. I had a nice little cube at a non-profit and I just loved the people I worked with. I wore suits on  rare occasion but only when I helped out with events of the very fancy and important. But I, my readers, was not. 

10 years. 
Where I thought I would be. 
I thought I would be married and starting a family now. I had a five year plan after those wedding bells and surely that baby would be a boy. All babies would be boys. And that husband would probably be the one from high school? I think? He thinks kids are kinda sticky and stinky and gross so something would have to give there. I would still have my same girlfriends of course that I had at the time I thought all these things. I wasn't really holding out much hope for myself and future friends now was I?

Where I was. 
Matt had I had been married for almost five years. We had our little girl that was about to celebrate her first birthday. I was a stay at home mom about to hit the one year mark from my retirement from a feed company, where I worked in Human Resources. We lived in a development with houses that all looked about the same. I still had those girlfriends from high school - those Wine Monday's are such a pleasure. I met a few good ones along the way too of course. 

Some things I never thought I'd see? I certainly never thought I would be a runner. I never thought I would one day be carrying a baby swing through a casino in Atlantic City. Or that my idea of a great night would be any night at home with my little family.  I never thought I would enjoy gardening or even care what went in the ground. I never thought I would take a baby into a winery. I never thought the only music I would listen to in the car would be Sunday School tunes. But it's all true.

Turns out that my reality is way better than the dream. Even if the reality had some things included in there that I wasn't expecting. Like death and loss and sickness and infertility. The good far outweighs any of the bad. You can't plan anything, and you're not really in control. Hug your family tight. And that's the name of that tune!