I’ve been a Type A planner and perfectionist straight from the womb. Life for me is filled to the brim with plans, goals, and determined outcomes. Well, sometimes. In my dream world. And sure, occasionally in reality too. But mostly, my life is a messy compilation of beautiful imperfections. A whole host of happy surprises, that didn’t all start out quite so happy.
I distinctly remember being in middle school and feeling like I couldn’t wait to grow up and enjoy the perfect life I had planned out in my head. Fun, adorable, husband and 3 boys. I was going to be a school psychologist and the summers off with my kids were going to be awesome!
As you all well know, none of that came to fruition, and I couldn’t be more glad. As it turns out, the family I got was exactly the one I was meant to have.
I had no idea I could be attracted to women until I met the love of my life at 16 years old. The spark and connection was undeniable. I don’t want to be cheesy and tell you that it was love at first sight, but let’s just say that it was pretty damn close. But shit – what a mindf&*%. Gay?! Me?? I had a choice to make. I could run from this opportunity, or I could embrace it. I closed my eyes and I took the leap. It’s been messy, hard, terrifying at times…but I’ve never regretted it.
The school psychology thing went the way of the husband as well. While I did complete my master’s degree in the field (and will be paying for it for many years to come), a career in insurance became available to me. Once again, I had a choice to make. I could stay the path I had planned for myself, or I could embrace a new plan 180 degrees from where I ever anticipated I’d end up. There have been long nights in the office and some brutal business trips that have left me wondering “what if…”, but at the heart of it, I’m good at what I do and am exactly where I need to be.
Oh, yes, and how about those three bouncing boys? At least the number of children panned out! Shortly after my wife and I were married, we planned the nursery. Painted a soft yellow and built a crib. We daydreamed about baby shower themes and hanging ultrasound pictures on the fridge. It was such a sweet and magical time. Naive, though. Before long, infertility haunted our days and the door to that possibility was closed. Instead, a seed was planted in our hearts. A calling to the emotional and unpredictable world of foster care. The baby we thought we were signing up for came in the form of a sibling group – an energetic trio that quickly turned our lives upside-down and stole my heart. There were times that it was less of an embrace of this new path, and more of a holding on for dear life, but we were committed nevertheless. Thank goodness we were.
The road I never saw coming was the best choice, every time. My heart bursts with gratitude for my marriage, my career, and my children – all of which I never would have had if I wasn’t willing to go there.
Sometimes you just have to reach out your arms, grab a hold, and see where this wild ride takes you. Life doesn’t always go as you plan – and that’s okay. I’ve found that life’s opportunities are there, if you are willing to reach out and embrace them.