Living. The. Dream.
It's amazing the dreams you have for yourself as a kid.
I distinctly remember thinking that I would grow up and be a model. And then genetics kicked in and said, "HAHAHAHA" and I instead grew to be about as tall as a mushroom.
As a young adult I dreamed of world travel, and romance. I got lucky and got to dabble in a little of both with a short stint working on a cruise ship ... where I frolicked on warm beaches with a boyfriend, or two, or three. There wasn't global travel, but I sure never snubbed the beaches I found myself on. And while I didn't marry anyone from my ship days, I did have my first whirlwind, gut wrenching, experience with love.
And then life happened, and things changed and I somehow managed to get married, become a mother, get divorced, become a single mother, and remarry all by the time I was 25. That's not me bragging, either. It took a huge emotional toll on me - those very eventful years.
The dreams of my youth - of adventure and excitement - were put on hold with the needs of paying rent and daycare and all of that adult responsibility that we take care of in the world of growing up. The reality of life forced its way in, and the novelty of dreaming politely bowed out.
And sometime in the last few years, I panicked. Not just a little ... A LOT. So much so, that I doubted everything I had chosen for myself. My marriage. My kid(s). Did I want this? Or did I want to go explore on a beach in Thailand? Did I want the steadiness of a husband, or did I want the rush of finding and falling in love again?
It's no big secret that I really teetered on that edge, and I almost bailed on my marriage. It was a true crux in my life. But ... I stayed. I chose to be married with kiddos. Stable. Normal. Regular. And here is why:
THIS life, the one I am currently living, where I stay home and wipe butts and vacuum stairs, IS an adventure. MARRIAGE is an adventure. The commitment to stay, even when you want to go - man oh man, is that a ride! Accepting that each day I live, is a part of the history of my life's collection of stories, is wonderful. Am I going to write a memoir of the many beaches I've seen? Will I have sparks fly as I experience 25 more first kisses? Will I relish in the glory of fame and accomplishment? A whole lot of nope to all of that.
But I love my life. As I write this, my husband is hard at work, providing us with this plushy life. He'll come home later, and I'll have missed him. We'll cozy up on the couch and watch crappy TV and be happy for the stillness. Jet is screaming in the background and pillow fighting with Navy. Navy is seeking refuge on my lap. Her tiny hands are accidentally pinching me. Deco won't stop barking. They're both annoying AND adorable and I know there will come a day where I will long and yearn for their disruptive presence.
I spend my days inside my new house. Each week it gets a little more settled into. A vase gets flowers. A scratch appears on the floor. A picture gets hung. Each nook and cranny is filled with my family, and our stories and our lives. Each day I stare into the eyes of my kids - burning their sweet faces into my brain's database of "favorite things". I watch them grow and evolve a little, piece by piece, and the labor of love it takes to get them safely into adulthood is where my true adventure lies. I may never climb a mountain, but I'll be able to read you the roadmap of scars on Jet's knees. I may never lounge on a Thai beach, but I can surely tell you no ocean can match the color of my baby girl's blue eyes. I hope to never kiss another man, for there is truly no greater love I've known than this man I have fought to be with. But these treasures of mine - they're not rare! They are all around us. They're tucked into beds each night around 8, in neighborhoods worldwide. They're bickering during dinner about what show to watch when the kids go to bed. They're spooning as their heads hit the pillows. They're you. And they're me. We can't all be supermodels, but even still, these people I'm surrounded by sure are all my dreams come true. And with kids - there is no shortage of excitement! And laughter! And awe! There is much adventure in "the norm", and my life is teeming with it.
I bet, if you truly examine, your life is an adventure too ... Look around, have your dreams come true?