So today marks the beginning of my fourth decade of life. I couldn't sleep last night after I fed Abby, and as I laid there staring at the ceiling I started thinking about how much has changed since my 20th birthday. Ten years ago today I was a sophomore at the U of I, dating the guy I thought I'd marry, looking forward to a year abroad in Scotland, addicted to an online roleplaying game, and expecting to be a teacher after I graduated. When I went home to visit my parents, I went to Arlington Heights, a suburb outside Chicago. I didn't have a car, I didn't own a house, I didn't have a job, I most definitely didn't have a baby. I slept on the bottom bunk of a 10 by 10 foot dorm room and did my homework on the floor while watching "Friends" and "ER." I think I had my birthday dinner at the Bombay Bicycle Club. Or maybe that was my 19th birthday. I can't remember.
I had my life very well planned out. (Silly, silly me.) I was going to graduate, get married, get a job as a teacher, and most likely have my first baby by 23 and my second a few years later. We'd live somewhere in the Chicago suburbs, have a house with a big yard, and...that was it. That was the dream I had for my life.
And God, I'm sure, was laughing at me.
Fast-forward ten years, and has any of that happened as I expected? Not at all. Instead, God rained down blessings far greater than any I could have anticipated or even hoped for. When the dreams I had 10 years go started to fall apart and fade away, I was so sad, so frustrated--I had put so much effort and time into building those dreams! How could they just crumble like that? I knew there were obviously lots of other wonderful things that could happen to me, but I wanted the wonderful things I'd come up with--because I of course knew what was best for me, right?
A gorgeous baby at 30, a home in California, a husband more perfect than I could ever have hoped for, and a career as a writer--not the life I planned but definitely a better one. The last ten years have brought with them a lot of unexpected change, a lot of unexpected opportunities, and some of the best and worst experiences of my life. Looking forward to the next 10 years makes me wonder what else God has in store...