Has there even been a year or an age in the future that you thought a lot about? As a teenager did you fantasize about what your life would be like at 28? Did you wonder if the year 2015 would really have hover boards as depicted in Back to the Future?
In my teen years I gave a lot of thought to the year 2000. It is very likely that I’m not the only one of my generation to do so; after all it was the beginning of a new century. The Millennium. That sounded huge. There was a lot of anticipation and excitement building up to that year. Oooo, I wondered what it would be like!!
Did you ever have to write a letter to your future self in class about what you hoped to have accomplished, your life goals? In the year 1990, the highlights of my hopes for my future went something like this:
- Go to university
- Fall in love. Get married. Have kids.
- Learn French
- Change the world.
- Find a career.
- Buy a house.
Pretty standard stuff. I didn’t know exactly when each item would happen or what my job would be or where I would live but I had a general idea of what to shoot for and expect…there was plenty of daydreaming, wishing and hoping that went along with each and every one of them.
I spent a semester of my last year of high school in France. Check. I rang in the year 2000 on the banks of the Detroit River having just returned from a volunteer stint in an orphanage in the Caribbean with my husband of 6 months. Check, check and check. We had graduated from university just two months before our wedding. Check.
It wasn’t exactly how I’d pictured things. It was exciting and there were some surprises (i.e. I thought the “get married” bit would come a lot later) but it felt familiar and expected. And there was still more on the list to look forward to and plan for!
A move across the country, then back, to the south of Ontario and small stints to the remote north and bustling cities. Careers we were passionate about followed an additional university degree each (double check). Kids came along, a then house…Check, check….
And so…today, on my 35th birthday, I realize that my entire list has been ticked off one by one…and now instead of looking forward to being pregnant, instead of wondering what the voices of my children would sound like, I know. The life I had dreamt of and imagined happened!
That was what the newborn phase was like. The toddler years. I now have two school-aged children. I hadn’t thought that far ahead…
So that was the style of our first house (quite a surprise I must say). Now we live in our second home. One I hope to live in for many years to come. The realities of home ownership are sinking in. I hadn’t thought of that part either…
I live in a place I had never imagined myself living. I’ve lived in it so long that it feels like home. Far from many friends and family. I hadn’t counted on that…
Before we had started clinical placements in midwifery school, my classmates and I took pictures of our hands. Our hands before they were the hands of midwives. And now ten years later, having witnessed close to 500 births, I look at my hands and wonder how many more babies I’ll have the privilege of catching. I am so blessed in my work. A vocation my teenage self could never have imagined…
Thirteen of the happiest years of my life have been spent married to an incredible man. A child of divorced parents and grandparents this may be the most surprising of the gifts life has given me…
I am happy and content. I am well loved and love many. Life if full and beautiful.
Yet I had never given a thought to 35. I had never wondered about 2012…
Tomorrow is blank page.
It has never been dreamed of. It has endless possibilities.
I do think it is time to write another letter…