Saturday, May 12, 2007

A Life Unintended........

I recently ran across a newspaper clipping of an article that had been written about me when I was 17 years old. At the time, the Phoenix Gazette was running features about local teens doing things teenagers do. The articles were written by local teens and this one happened to be written by one of my best friends.

My friend is an excellent writer and she made me look good, no doubt. But as I read the piece some 23 years later, it occurred to me that the life I am currently living bears little resemblance to the life I intended, or imagined, when I was 17.

At 17, I was going to learn the Russian language and become a diplomat. Keep in mind this was in the midst of the cold war and I had visions of helping to bridge the gap. If I didn't become a diplomat, I was going to become an attorney, I can't really remember what I intended to do with that profession. Most of all, I wanted to make the 3 Day Equestrian Olympic Team. Much of my energy and drive at the time was devoted to that cause and I was lucky enough to have the horse to take me there. At that time, I had no way of knowing that the integrity of his legs could not match his tremendous abilities or his generous and brave heart.

One thing that was not mentioned in the article, but I know applied to me at the time, was that I didn't want to get married and I NEVER wanted children. The thought of the latter left me terror stricken. My Mom would tell me that I might change my mind if I met the right person but I would just respond by laughing and saying "no way".

The years went on. I never did study Russian. The Berlin Wall fell, the USSR started to crumble and there didn't seem to be a point anymore. I got my Bachelor's degree in Political Science and upon graduation, got accepted to law school. Weeks before I was scheduled to start, a friend who was a year ahead of me loaned me some of her law books. It didn't take long for me to realize that I would quickly go into a narcoleptic coma if I had to read those books on a daily basis. Instead, I went on to get my Master's in Counseling.

In the meantime, my beloved partner, in my quest for Olympic gold, Midnight, got seriously injured during a competition. He tore every tendon and ligament in his right front leg and was never able to resume competition at an international level without re injuring himself. It was heart breaking and without my best friend beneath my saddle, the Olympics didn't seem quite as important.

Other careers emerged over the years, mental health therapist, flight attendant, and police officer. It is safe to say that my life was not turning out quite as my 17 year old self had envisioned. But one thing had not changed, my lack of desire to become a parent.

So what finally changed my mind? On 9/11, Colin entered my life. On our first date (a couple of weeks later), I nearly sent him packing when he announced during dinner that he 'was ready to settle down and start a family'. One look at my face was enough to convince him he had just said the wrong thing to the wrong person. Fortunately, he apparently liked me enough to decide he would get to know me better, despite my negative outlook on life with children.

We fell in love and Colin moved to the west coast. Eventually he asked me to marry him. Ironically, I think I was ready for marriage about 2 years before he was, but he got around to it, all the same. After we were married, it took a little time, but I realized that my Mom was right and I had met 'the right person' and suddenly I had those maternal urges I had never thought possible. I was so taken back by them, that it took me a month or two to say anything to Colin. Although he never pressured me to have children, when I decided I was ready, he was more than happy to become a father.

The moral of the story? Life does not always turn out as you intend. Sometimes, that happens to be a good thing. Sophia and Keenan were two things I may not have envisioned or intended when I was 17, but then again, I was 17, what did I really know anyway? Lucky for me, I did not feel obligated to live the life I had intended. Lucky for me, I met Colin, Sophia and Keenan.


At 4:27 AM, Blogger Samantha said...

Happy Mother's Day! What a nice post! Made me cry actually! The journey is never what we think it is going to be, but it always works out for the best in end!

At 6:58 AM, Blogger J said...

Happy Mother's Day and 1-year anniversary to Sophie. It's hard to believe I have been following your family for a year. It's fun to see how life can twist and turn. I think that statement is an understatement for you and Colin. Sophie and Keenan are so sweet. I'm sure you cannot imagine your life without them. I'm not sure about achieving the Olympic gold but instead of Russia how about trying to learn Chinese or Korean. In all your spare time of course ( ; My husband and I are attempting to learn a little Chinese before we go to China. It's a good thing we have at least 6 more months to wait because I stink at learning languages (LID 2/17/06).


At 7:03 AM, Blogger J said...

Duh !! I know that Keenan is from Vietnam !!! Sorry, I should know better than to post this early in the morning !!! I meant to say to try learning Chinese or Vietnamese, but feel free to try Korean as well. As far as I can tell, you seem to be a person who can do whatever you set your mind to. ( :


At 6:16 PM, Blogger Yes, Minister... said...

I so enjoyed reading that. I have a BS in Political Science and a second in education. My life plan at 17, omg 20 years ago, was go to law school and never marry! Kids -yuck! They poop! How funny things turn out. Of all my friends least likely to be a stay-at-home mom, it's me, and loving every minute of it!



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