Sitting here in my grown-up house with my real career and people that call me Mum, I wonder exactly what my seventeen year old self would think about who I am now.
Career-wise I have done exactly what I wanted and can honestly say I have no regrets about wasted dreams in that department.
I always hoped I would have a family and I have been incredibly blessed to have a happy marriage and two wonderful children. Marrying a man who made me laugh was the best decision I ever made. I am also still supported by my parents, brother and my in-laws. From a family point of view, I don't think life could be much better.
Fortunately I have managed to keep old friends and make new ones. They fill my life with fun and joy. Some of the girls I went to school with are still my closest friends. We have spent days emailing and on the phone working out the best way to make sure we get maximum time together over the reunion weekend.
What I never really imagined was that I would wind up on a farm. And a proper working farm at that. Actually when I think of my seventeen year old self I can't really remember if I had any idea where my life was going to occur. Now I can't imagine being anywhere except The Farm. I feel like I have landed exactly where I am meant to be.
I am vain enough that my appearance gets a mention. Luckily I can honestly say I have only gained 2 kg since I left school. I think that for twenty years and two kids that is a very fair swap. (Unfortunately I think the distribution of where all my kgs now hang out has changed considerably but that is nothing that decent underwear and a well cut frock won't sort out.) My love of the beach has hit me in the wrinkle department though. Now I am just aiming for happy wrinkles and getting on with it. Incidentally, after saying for twenty years that I was not going to wind up looking like my mother, I am starting to see a lot of similarities. And know I could do a hell of a lot worse.
What does strike me is that while I am very happy now, it has taken me twenty years to get here. And I think that is the bit my seventeen year old self wouldn't get.
I did all the stereotypical things you are supposed to do in your late teens and early twenties. Studied (hard), partied (hard) and fell in and out of love with the wrong men (over and over again). Life was chaotic and random, although looking back now it was also carefree with no commitments. Sure there were ups and downs but the only person really affected was me. I wouldn't change one second of those years now. I think they contributed to where I am now in so many ways.
There have also been some times that have been less than rosy. I would be kidding myself if I pretended otherwise. I try not to dwell on the harder times other than to accept that they have shaped my personality and contributed to me knowing who I am. And, just as importantly, who I am not.
Overall the path from seventeen to thirty-seven has had the odd bump and several unexpected twists and turns. Once again I wouldn't have it any other way. I feel like I have grown into my life and hopefully my seventeen year old self would be proud of who I am today. I know my thirty-seven year old self is.
I have learnt that life is a journey. A journey we are all lucky to be taking. And one we should never take for granted.
|My Little Princess|
|My Little Prince (So Small Back Then)|