When I grow up

I remember when I was in law school. I would call the Psychic Hotline wondering what my life would look like when I turned 30, wondering who I would be when I grew up. What kind of lawyer would I be? Would I be married? To whom? Did I already know him? What did he look like? What was my hair like? What was I doing? Where was I working? I wondered and pondered what life would be like in the future. I wanted reassurance. I wanted to know that everything would be ok.

I remember turning 30, being married and having a young baby. I remember laughing at my younger self and my idealism about marriage. I had such optimism that I think is probably rooted in Disney fairy tales. It turns out marriage was harder than I thought. I turns out being a young parent was as well. Both were nothing like I thought in both good ways and not so good. I hoped that if I could just get through the sleepless nights, the terrible twos, the juggling work and motherhood and being a wife would come seamlessly together. I wondered if that was true in the future.

I remember turning 40, being divorced with two kids, being in a job I love, with family and friends I cherish. I remember shaking my head at my 20-something self and my 30-something self and chuckling at how much I thought I knew and how little I really understood. In my 40s I have learned that optimism is a beautiful thing, but so is practicality. I have learned that growing up means growing into who I want to be and am supposed to be. I have learned that I knew so little back then, but it was in the acquisition of experience that my life has gained more facets with more wrinkles but also more interest.

One thing I continue to learn in my 40s is that I still don't always know what it is or who it is I want to be when I grow up. But one thing I appreciate is that the wondering means I have a lot more living to do today and hopefully well on into the future.

After all, this is the life.