I opened my mail one day this week and had an envelope from my friend Nicole, which is always fun. Sometimes I get updated photos of the girls or maybe a little piece of artwork only little hands can make. I opened the envelope and unfolded a sheet of paper that said "5 Years from Now..."
I really hardly remember it, but at Nicole's bachelorette party one of the things we did was write out on a sheet of paper where we thought we'd be in five years' time, as well as what we saw for Nicole and Josh. I assume we were supposed to get it back before now as they've been married eight years, but since she has two girls and is pregnant with twins... we'll give her a break. :)
Hold onto your seats, people, because the following excerpt contains my old predictions:
I'd love to be married with a child, maybe through adoption. I will have at least one of my children's books published and will be working on a book of short stories. I will have made another recording for my family and friends of different songs and will sing at a Jazz Club at least once - just to say that I did.
I will have vacationed in New York and gone to see a couple of Broadway musicals. My future husband will of course take me to N.Y. often just so I can get my fix of culture. :)
Nicole and Josh, you will be happily married and I'm guessing just starting to think about having kids. You'll be in a new house, going on vacations and loving every day together!
Well, fortune teller I am not. It would have been encouraging if at least one of these predictions would have come true, but maybe I get points for getting them all wrong? Kind of like when you play the card game Hearts and try taking all the hearts for higher points rather than get rid of them. (That happened to me once, but not on purpose. I'm just so bad at the game that I wound up with them all. But I digress...) I was even wrong on Nicole and Josh... thinking that it would take them 5 years to start having kids. Now, 8 years into their married life they have two daughters and are expecting twins, taking them to a family of six. Wow... was I off!
I have to admit that when I opened the envelope and realized what it was, I was hesitant to read it. I couldn't remember what I had written and didn't know if I wanted to stir a pot of ... you know. So I read through the predictions and nodded my head remembering how sure I was of them. Then I took a deep breath and waited for it to happen.
I waited for the sadness. I waited for the longing. I waited to be wistful. I waited for the envy to creep in for that girl that existed. I waited. And nothing.
It's not that I felt nothing. I wasn't unaffected; I was unburdened in a way. It was simply a memory of another time. I thought of how lovely it is that I was able to have those dreams... I had the chance once upon a time to think those things were possible. I had such fun that summer celebrating with Nicole and having that time in my life when it seemed like everything was within my grasp. It's not sad those things didn't come true; it's a joy that I had the chance to dream about the future.
My reaction surprised me (which makes sense as apparently I'm not that great at predictions), but I'm not sure if it's how I would have reacted had I not been writing this blog. I started this simply for something to do. My convictions and beliefs and outlook on life haven't changed. But I do think saying what you believe out loud (or in writing) makes it so much easier to live your convictions. The fact that I have been telling all of you how grateful I am for the blessings in my life made it easier to read that letter. It made it possible to appreciate the dreams of that 27-year-old version of myself, while still being a happy 35-year-old living a totally different reality.
So I wanted to take a moment to tell all of you readers that you are appreciated and I don't take you for granted.
And don't be afraid to speak your truth... it does make it easier to live it.