The combination of a New Year and a January birthday always brings me to a place of introspection. I just love the hope that comes with a fresh start and the excitement of new adventures to come. Amidst all of the ambition, I also find myself pondering my place in life.
I remember distinctly completing my high school senior survey with the questions, “Where do you want to be in five years? Ten years?” I can’t exactly remember my answers, but what I can say for sure is where I wanted to be most certainly isn’t where I ended up.
Time to time, I find myself thinking—am I where I want to be? Has my life played out the way I thought it would? Are things how I always had hoped they’d be? For me, these are really tough questions to answer. It often leads me back down memory lane strolling down the path that got me to where I am today. I recall many of my own personal choices that lead me off the path, along with the events beyond my control that changed the course of my life.
The next question that follows is–do I really want be where I thought I did? Plans change, experience shapes my world view, love and pain mold my heart, relationships and connections provide fulfillment, adventure brings enrichment, risk brings courage. Although I thought my life might look different for me at this age, it doesn’t mean that I’m not where I’m supposed to be. In fact, I believe it’s the complete opposite. And although I still have quite a few goals, aspirations and dreams I’m reaching for, I’m making an effort to move in the direction of making them reality. Along the way, I am learning, figuring things out, changing and adapting. I’m also trying my best to not let expectations dictate the outcome of my happiness.
In retrospect, I can recall not long ago when the future of our family was uncertain. My husband and I were living in waiting, hoping and praying for the gift of children. I remember quite vividly dreaming for the life I have now. It is not lost on me how incredibly lucky I am to have the opportunity to be a mother.
So, I thought life would look different for me at this point. And perhaps I thought my life would play out in a very different way as well. But when I reflect on all of the blessings I would’ve missed out on had things gone differently, I’m filled with gratitude for the beautiful, imperfect, rich and satisfying life I do have. I could definitely have gone without a lot of the struggles and challenges and would change some of the choices I made, but finding meaning and purpose through it all is what brings peace. And truly the only place I want to be right now is exactly where I am.