Oh, The Places You'll Go!

11:46 AM

I remember graduating elementary school, middle school, and high school. Each time at least one teacher would read us the infamous book by Dr. Seuss, "Oh, The Places You'll Go!" Even at those younger stages I knew it was important. I knew it meant something. Each teacher was trying to inspire each student in a different way. Some would move on to be doctors, some to be famous, some to be teachers, some to be parents, and so on and so forth.

I'm not much older in years now. I graduated high school at the age of 18, and when I graduate college I'll barely be 22. Four years. They seem short to many. Some people aren't ready to face the "grown up world" after college, as many weren't ready to face the world after high school.

I haven't had the same experiences as many people. Getting married at the age of 18 helped me through many rough times, and made my experiences so very different from my peers'. I'm not saying that in a haughty way, or saying that makes me better or worse... I'm "just saying".

My college years have been filled with many of the same things: friends, drama, papers, projects, unwanted classes, strange weather, planning for the greater future, football games, parties, etc. However, it's not the same because I'm married. I didn't have to worry about boy drama, I didn't have to worry about a social life interfering with my homework, I didn't have to worry about what comes next. I was able to major in what I wanted to major in because I was married. After all, if I wasn't, English, Creative Writing wouldn't do me much good in the "real world", would it?

Many of my friends keep saying they can't believe they're leaving "this place". When they say "this place", they're referring to our college town/campus. They can't believe that they have to venture out to the next step: grad school, a "real" job, marriage... etc. They can't believe that they are finally venturing into another unknown. The four years or more spent at Appalachian State University (or whichever school they attended) went by too quickly for them. For me? It could have gone by faster and I would have been OK with it.

I'm not saying I'm not scared. I'm petrified. Expecting a child at this stage wasn't in mine and Clark's plans, but it was obviously in God's. We're moving, but we're used to it. Clark finally gets to take his turn and finish classes the "traditional" way. After that? Who knows. The thing is, though, we've been a part of the "real world" for almost four years. We've paid our bills, bought a new-used car, traded in the car for another one, filed taxes, and all that jazz. While some of my peers have done the same thing, it's different. Does that make sense?

I know I'm rambling. Bear with me.

This morning, instead of working on my Modern Theatre Literature and History paper, I was distracted going through old photos online. Album by album I found myself NOT missing it. I used to miss high school sometimes. How easy it was, the friends, the constant events, and so forth. Then I missed the sorority I had been a part of. The bonds, the parties, the drama.

But, now? I don't really miss any of it. And I am so thankful. I realize that I have so many glory days ahead of me; that the ones behind me don't really matter. They're a part of me, and I'll always remember... but I've changed so much. I may not be much older in years, but in other ways I feel ten times older.

Some people talk about high school being the greatest time of their life, some people say college, and some people say they're 20s. I don't precisely know what time of my life I'm going to define as "the greatest", but I feel like all I have to look forward to is the best yet to come. I don't want to live in the past, and I don't want to focus so much on the future that I forget where I am now.

I'm about to be a mom. It's the most wonderful and scariest feeling in the world. I've always wanted it. I don't feel like I'm sacrificing or losing anything by it happening earlier than planned. In fact, I feel blessed. I know that God wanted it to happen now, made it happen now, so I'm enjoying it now. It's not going to be easy, but nothing else seemed easy, either. Everything else was scary. Everything else seemed HUGE. But this? This is epic. This is TRULY life changing. I don't know how else to explain it.

I used to miss who I was because I thought I was "young" then and "old" now. I used to stay up late and giggle with friends and talk about boys and love being the center of attention. Now I go to bed early, talk to friends about my husband and hope I can understand their boy problems, and love making life about everyone else. Granted, I still love my days in the spotlight, but it isn't all about me. It's about my family and friends.

Some women don't want this feeling. Some women want to stay young, hip, career-oriented, and single (or at least, not married) forever. Or, they want all of it plus a husband who's the same way. I'm so not like that. There's nothing wrong with it, I suppose... but I just don't see how life can be fully satisfying without family.

I may never be published. I may never own horses. I may never travel to all the places in the world I want to see. I may never swim with dolphins, or ride an elephant anywhere other than at the circus. I may never own my dream house.

But I'll tell you what: It doesn't matter.

I am so happy because I have a God that loves me and lives within me, an amazing and supportive husband, baby #1 on the way, and wonderful friends and family who love me. To me, those are the most important and wondrous things in the world.

"Kid, you’ll move mountains!
So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, y
ou’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!"

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