I spent my sixteenth birthday driving home from the next province after my paternal grandmother died. That week was the first time I’d seen my father cry, and the first time I stopped being excited about my birthday.
As a sixteen-year-old, life is pretty dramatic (or is that melodramatic?). And yet, it’s also a world full of possibility. I was going to be a journalist – or maybe a lawyer! – after attending university all the way across the country. I was going to be self-sufficient, a truly independent woman. And a writer of fiction, too, certainly published by the time I was twenty.
Oddly enough, that kid didn’t really have a clue what would happen. And yet, it doesn’t much matter either, because even as a sixteen year old, perhaps after a birthday without a grandmother, and a father in tears, I knew things change, and we can’t always predict the future.
I attended university in my home city, living at home all that time. I did not enter journalism or law, but obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English and French. I am less self-sufficient than I’d like, but I do have a wonderful husband and child, a beautiful dream home in the country, and a massive garden that always needs weeding. And no, I wasn’t published by the time I was twenty … or thirty for that matter.
I have a life that isn’t what I expected as a kid, but it in no way dims the dreams I had as a child, or the reality I experience today. Because I understood then as now that putting any certainty into an uncertain and unpredictable future is just foolish. Instead, why now live with the freedom of possibility?
Make plans, but understand they may change. Dream, but be willing to watch some fade in importance and new ones rise. Keep moving forward, to whatever life will bring. Some of it will be good, some of it won’t, but in either case we continue to change, to evolve, to live.
I think my sixteen-year-old-self would be pretty happy with that. 🙂
Thanks for reading. Have a great week!