It's December 30. Just one more day left of 2009 as well as this first decade of the 21st century.
Back 10 years ago - I was on my final winter vacation during college. My family had moved back to Texas after a two year stint in Fairfax, VA. My mom tried to make a love connection between me and one of her colleagues sons, but it had only resulted in an eerily silent staring match. And I spent New Years Eve with my sister and her friends playing board games and freaking out over the backed up toilet in my parents bathroom (not a pretty site). At that time I had a dog, a pool, and a bedroom I could call my own at my parents house. I also had married parents. If you had asked me where I thought I might be in 10 years - I probably would have said I would be in Texas, probably a stay at home mom trying to raise young kids - preferibly girls so that I could enroll them in the Girl Scouts as soon as they came of age. My life would make sense. I so did not see this decade coming.
My younger self would scoff if today me came to her and said, "In 10 years, you will wake up in Northern Virginia to the sound of NPR. Your dad will be remarried and living in Mexico and your mom will be living on her own in North Carolina. You will have fallen in love one and a half times. A half because the first time may have just been you trying to find a center while your parents marriage dissolved. You won't be married, but you will feel like a widow after the one who were just beginning to dream you were going to marry drops dead of a stroke. You will discover that you are the one in your family who will have a lifelong struggle with depression."
Wow - dark stuff. But then - older me would have to list the good stuff.
"You will discover that you have a tremendous ability for making friends - some of them really good friends. You will have known your best friend for over 18 years. You will discover you rock at your job, but also that you do a good job of balancing your job with your life. You will become an awesome cook - and incredible cupcake baker. You will find out that your mom is your ideal travel partner - and that you love windjammers and summers in Maine. You will begin to figure out your sister and be friends with her because she is awesome and not just because she is the only person you know when you move. You will actually be glad that you don't have kids because you still have a lot of learning to do before you are ready to settle down - but that you still have the ability to influence little ones with all your friends kids. You are incredibly creative and you use that creativity in as many ways as possible. You will become comfortable with the fact that you need to cry sometimes because if you didn't you would explode. You will have been loved by someone who really loved the person you are - and you loved him and all his faults. And although it was cut short, it was real and beautiful - and that's not something everybody gets to experience. But most importantly, you will discover that you are a survivor."
That's a lot.
It makes me wonder where I will be in another 10 years. At this point - I have no vision of where I want to be. Will I have found love again? Will I finally be organized? Will I be able to actually buy clothes in 75% of the stores at the malls instead of just 2? It's tempting to dream about, but I've learned that its kinda best to leave things to fate.