Let's throw it back to the year 2005. When my blonde hair was a product of a bad dye job and an on-sale box of Clairol Brilliant Blonde from Rite Aid. When I sported graphic tees of bands from places like Incognito and Hot Topic - it wasn't a coincidence that those bands were the favorites of guys I was interested in. I went to school because I had to, attempted to skip detention, and my only true interest was that of Steve Madden clogs. I said things like "I'm never going to have kids". And I didn't believe in God.
I guess I was in some ways the textbook version of a rebel - someone who fought often with her parents, said things like "shit" and thought I was cool, and cheated on tests.
But, shockingly, I still had a plan, as much of a plan as a 15-year-old who didn't really have it together could have. I was going to go to college, major in Journalism, and become a reporter as the greats Walters, Jennings and Brokaw inspired me to do. I was going to travel - get away from the Godforsaken bubble that was my little hometown - and get married in my 30s, you know after I had lived a little.
I turned 16, then 17. I went through my Frankie-Says-Relax-tee-shirt-wearing phase (though I had no idea what it meant), got mixed up with guys I shouldn't have, and learned all I needed to know from Friends and Seventeen Magazine.
Somewhere along the way, I grew up a little. Maybe it's because I ran into some people who became mentors and helped me to see what true fulfillment and responsibility really was. Maybe it's because I just grew up a little faster than expected for a teen through a combination of good life experience and lack there of. I picked a state to move to, a college to attend, and packed up, bidding farewell to whatever had been. My ultimate dream of becoming a journalist remained, my level of determination increased, my work ethic improved, but the angst-y, lost, bad-mouthed teen did not (thank God).
And while going down my own little path, I met a guy. A guy who was unlike most I had met or dated. He was driven, he had passion, he knew what he wanted and was willing to work hard. He was funny, in sometimes an inappropriate way, which my inner rebellious teen appreciated. He taught me a little something about forming my own path, going against the grain, and challenging myself. And soon my once steadfast stance on the strict no-kids policy started to fade. My reasons for once not wanting a family no longer mattered.
And now here I sit, living out my ultimate anti-dream with all my previous plans having faded into nothing. And I couldn't be more thankful. My opinion of people getting married and having kids before the age of 30 now seems both hypocritical and ludicrous. The God I once didn't believe in had other plans in mind, bigger and better plans as the cliché goes. I got a taste of a newsroom and ultimately decided that life wasn't for me. My love for Steve Madden clogs has stayed with me over the years. My hair is once again blonde, though never again out of a box.
Making PB&Js is a part of my daily routine and words like "nesting" are in my vocabulary. I know what it's like to have birthed a child and have experienced the pure joy that comes with your baby's first laugh. Sometimes date nights with my husband aren't as fancy as others, and I step on one too many legos throughout the week. My love for writing has only increased and Faith is something I no longer shrug off but cling to.
10 years later, I can't help but be most thankful for detours, speed bumps, and traffic jams. They're what led me to discovering and uncovering the path to my truest and most fulfilling dream.