At 25 I was a very selfish person. I thought more about myself and my needs than any one else. I picked fights with my husband, left friends in need, acted in a way that mostly benefited myself, and thought the world revolved around myself. Which I think is typical of a 25 year old (I hope?) I had yet the learn the etiquette of writing a thank you note, or bringing a gift to a party, or bringing a friend food after a baby. I was basically all talk and no action. I’d like to think I would be pleasantly surprised to find that I truly enjoy helping people, and that I often do things for the pure enjoyment of helping a friend in need (with zero expectation of reciprocation.) I have better manners, a better understanding of how to be a good friend, and a need to become a better person each and every day.
Free People lace ruffle tunic; Topshop lace up flats; similar lace kimono; similar sequin clutch.
I’ve been reading What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty for my book club this month and it is about a concept that has really intrigued me and made me think.
(Don’t spoil the ending for me, I’m only half way through!)
The premise is this: Alice wakes up after falling at the gym and finds that it is ten years later than she remembers. The last thing she knew she was happily married and pregnant with her first kid and about to turn 30, and now she has three kids, is getting divorced and about to turn 40. There is a mystery there as to how she has changed so dramatically in 10 years, as well as what has exactly happened to her marriage and her life (which I have yet to find out, ha.) Needless to say, I am riveted and can’t wait to find out;)
I can’t help but think about what I would feel like if I woke up to find myself at my age now (35), and how the changes in my life would seem. Ten years ago I was 25 and newly married one year. We lived in Miami and were living a very carefree life of two people with two incomes and no kids. I was teaching my first year of Kindergarten and life was just beginning.
At 25 I had the dream that I was going to be a great mother someday, because I had a lot of experience with kids. (Ha.) I thought I knew it all and wasn’t scared at all to be a mother. I was still two years away from having my first child and had no idea the reality of motherhood. (Does anyone?) If I woke up now to two kids ages six and seven I would be shocked. I’d be shocked by the nuances of raising small children that far surpasses basic care. Taking care of children is the easy part (feeding, clothing, logistics, etc.), it’s the emotional stuff and the uncertainty that really gets you. I would be surprised how much deeper being a mom really takes you, it exposes all your deepest insecurities and fears like nothing else. I’d also be surprised by the depth of love I feel for my children, because it far surpasses anything I felt then at 25. I would do anything to protect my kids both physically and emotionally, and I would never have predicted the amount of time I think about keeping them safe and happy.
At 25 I had just married my college sweetheart and we were living in a beautiful house outside of Miami. As the Brad Paisley song goes, “I thought I loved you then,” and it is so true. (Cheesey!) I didn’t think I could love him more and that the love would grow exponentially more after we had children. We had been together five years by then and I thought I really knew him, but looking back I only knew a small part of him. I’ve since seen him become a dad and watched him negotiate the emotional meltdown of a three year old girl in a tutu and princess crown. We have moved three times since then and taken countless vacations and navigated deployments and arguments. We’ve learned what to argue about and what to let go, and what I thought I knew about him is just the tip of the iceberg. Ten years later we are better and stronger than we were then, and I envision this happening year after year.
At 25 I wasn’t really that happy with my body, despite being about ten pounds lighter than I am now (yeesh.) I didn’t work out and ate what I wanted, but had yet to discover how strong I could be if I pushed myself. I had crooked teeth that I was ashamed of, and other body issues that I have since rectified (another post, ha!), and I hadn’t yet fallen in love with style. I think I would be pleasantly surprised to wake up now and see what I see in the mirror now. My body is not the same. I have wider hips and a pouchier belly. I have an alarming amount of gray hair and wrinkles that have popped out of nowhere when I smile, but I am strong. I know what looks good on me and I am confident in how I present myself. I am more secure in myself, deep inside, than I ever was at 25, and you can’t learn that. It just is. Age has improved almost every aspect of my life, even if I am not physically ten pounds lighter, or unwrinkled, as I was at 25.
I think the moral of all this is, I want the same to hold true for my next ten years. If I were to wake up and be 45 years old tomorrow, I want the same growth. I want two children that are the best they can be (happy and kind are my goals), I want a stronger marriage that makes me smile each time I see his face, and I want to be happier and more secure in myself than I am now, (no matter how many more wrinkles or gray hair appear.) I want to improve with age and not regret it. I never want to take for granted what brings me the most happiness. I want to be a better me each year I am blessed with.
What do you want to see in ten years?