Life's Expectations, and other Shortcomings
(DeLaredo is pleased to announce that we have added a columnist and featured contributor to our silly blog. Meet Ms. Mary C. Read her initial work, Life's Expectations, below.)
When we’re younger and naïve, we have certain expectations about our life and how we want it all to turn out. When you get older and the veil starts to slowly slip away, you notice that things in life almost never turn out the way you want them to. Sure, they may come out close to how you want them to be but never exactly the way you planned. I remember when I was younger and was constantly writing about what I was going to do with my life and who I was going to spend it with. I knew exactly where I wanted to attend college and exactly what kind of guy I was going to marry. I even had it down to what age I was going to get married and at what age I was going to have my first baby. Yup, didn’t turn out like that at all. I know the saying goes that things happen for a reason. Sure they do. Let me tell you what I had planned out for myself:
For school, I was planning on attending Harvard University and studying law. I have no idea why in the world I set my sights on Harvard but I knew it was my destination. I loved the whole idea of living in Boston and making my life there. I was looking forward to surrounding myself with people who were intellectual and open-minded. Most of my life I’ve been surrounded with people who are so set in their ways that they find it very hard to understand another person’s point of view. It’s not so much that they aren’t empathic, they just stick so close to their way of thinking/living that they aren’t willing to make an effort at comprehending another form of viewing the world. Well, yes, Harvard was my college destination back in the day.
For the whole husband thing, I always had my heart set on a guy that would take his work seriously. I had always envisioned a guy that would work long hours but go home and make me happy. Someone who had his life’s goals accomplished and who wasn’t really romantic but knew how to make me feel like I was his everything. In my mind, he was always dressed in three-piece-suits, always on the go but never failing to at least give me a good-bye kiss. He would look like he belonged on the cover of GQ 24/7, he would be all mine. This might have something to do with the fact that I devoured romance novels in my misspent youth, but really that’s beside the point. Oh yes, this is who I envisioned to be my husband.
Lastly, the ages in which I thought I would get married and have my first baby. For some reason, I always thought I would get married at 25. I’m not all too sure as to why I thought 25 was the perfect age for me to get married but I always thought, in my heart of hearts, that 25 would be the absolute right time for me to finally commit myself to my better half. I would marry at 25 and then have a couple of years of wedded bliss and then at 27, I’d have my first baby. By then, I would have my life steered in the right direction and I would be able to handle being both a loving wife and a caring mother. So 25 and 27 would be pivotal years in my life. It would be my entrance into adulthood. Yes, this was my way of thinking.
So let me tell you what really happened. When it came time for me to start putting in college applications and deciding on what I really wanted to study, I didn’t set my goals as high as I should’ve. I settled on applying to my local university. It was easy to get accepted there, even though I had no problems getting accepted anywhere since I had exceptional grades in school. I applied for a scholarship and ended up getting that as well. It was a scholarship that would cover all four years of school, so I had it made. When it came time for me to decide on what I was going to be studying, I settled on psychology. You see, psychology always held a fascination for me. Sure, everyone is always curious to see why people do the things they do. That’s why so many movies and shows about serial killers are such a hit. People want to see what the hell made that person do what they did. Also, I would conduct my own social experiments with friends when we were in school. Those experiments dealt mainly with sociology but still, I was always interested in seeing why the person reacted the way they did. So in the end, psychology was a fairly easy major to choose. In the end, I completed university in four years and graduated cum laude. My university experience was nothing compared to what someone in Harvard away in Boston would have gone through, but I did finish school so I’m not complaining.
Now for the husband part. I have never been married, so I haven’t been able to attain what my idea of the perfect husband was/is. Now although I have never been legally married, I was in a serious relationship for the past five years. This man was nothing compared to what I had pictured as the man of my dreams. Well, the only area he fit was the part where he wouldn’t have much time for me and he would be kind of cold. Other than that, he was the polar opposite of my image of the desirable man. I could go on and on with details as to why this man was as far from perfect as could ever be possible but that’s for another entry. Besides, some things are better left unsaid. But I know he’ll be the star of another entry…there’s just so much stuff that it just HAS to come out sometime.
As for the ages, well since I have never been married, it’s safe to say that 25 came and went and a wedding ring never appeared on my hand. BUT 25 didn’t go unnoticed. Instead of waiting until 27, my first child came a little bit before planned (as if everything else went according to my plan). So I may not have gotten married, which turned out to be for the best, I did end up with my baby who is beyond a doubt the best experience I have gone through in my life. It’s not easy and I’m in no way the best mother in the world (I’d be lying if I said otherwise) but I can honestly say that I try with all my might not to be the worst mother in the whole entire world. I’ll leave that title for others, which I know for a fact there are. Thinking about it now, 27 also came to be another important year in my life. It’s the year in which I officially became a single parent. I know, not the best thing to celebrate but after what I’ve lived through, I must say it is something to be proud of. So there, 25 and 27 did prove to be pivotal years in my life; it’s just that they didn’t turn out the way I had them planned out when I was younger and naïve.
In conclusion, the old saying goes, things happen for a reason. Sure, eventually we all figure out why things didn’t work out. We all find out that things do turn out for the best. We all realize that whining and complaining about the past doesn’t do much but leave us a bad taste in our mouth. I will say though, that the past always leaves us tainted with a lesson. Not always is it a profound and life-changing lesson but it’s something that will someday pop up and remind you about something that happened in your yesteryears. As for me, yes, my life isn’t what I had planned it out to be but then again, I’m better off because of everything that I went through. What more could I possibly say…