The year is 2013; I don’t feel like I’ve been out of high school for 19 years. Looking back I can still see myself and know what that younger person was thinking and hoping and praying for. If I could go back in time and tell her your life is going to end up nothing like what you planned, would I? It for sure wasn’t all sunshine, puppies and flowers, as one of my friends would say; however it was definitely worth experiencing and living. I wouldn’t want to spoil anything for her even though it has not been the easiest of rides; it sure hasn’t been the toughest.
When I graduated from high school, I believed that I would go to college, find the love of my life, marry, have 2 kids and of course a dog. Somewhere along the line life had different plans for me. Fortunately I have discovered there is not “one” love of your life; I believe you can love someone for that period in your life. Married people may disagree with me, and that is their right, but I haven’t been married yet I have still loved. Even though I am not with any of those men anymore, each one of them has taught me something extraordinary about myself and about life.
I have not had children either. I believe you should be married to have children and know that the person you’re having that child with is someone you can spend the rest of your life with. I haven’t and may never find that person and that’s perfectly alright, maybe I won’t even have a child of my own but that doesn’t mean I can’t affect a child’s life immensely. My parents and many others didn’t make it in the marriage department. It happens, I think I turned out okay, my brother and sister would probably object; but they are not writing this article.
The world we live in puts expectations on us, and places all of us in a cookie cutter like we are supposed to turn out the same with the same goals and dreams. What if you don’t fit into that mold? What if you were meant to be a great single mom, or great single dad, a great wife, or anything that doesn’t fall into the norm? And why is it the norm? Statistics prove that about half the people who get married will get divorced. I have felt pain in my life, but I believe it is nothing close to what friends have gone through that have been divorced or lost a child.
Can we live in a world where what we are and what we choose to be is whole heartedly accepted? Why is that so much to ask? Because we are all different, that is why. We each have our own values, morals, and how we believe life and choices should be. If someone chooses to step out of your comfort zone (the main word is your) then you fault them for it. Why don’t we embrace them for being different and for challenging the norm? The “norm” you see might not be what they see.
This is something that is applicable is so many different situations, it doesn’t matter which area you look at. You can look at it from a personal family relationship situation to a work situation and how you would do something differently than someone else. You can look at it from you choosing to stay in your community because you feel secure to someone else moving hundreds of miles away just to see what’s out there. What if someone you knew left a perfectly good job to go chase after something they believed would make them happier? So many scenarios and so many different ways to look and see both sides, but do you take the time to see both sides?
My choices have led me to where I am today. The girl I was way back at graduation is still here, she just took a different path than most of the people she graduated with. Thanks to social media, I see that there are quite a few of us who took that different path and quite a few whose plans all worked out. We are all still wonderful, amazing people and we all still have a lot more to do. I’m hopeful we can all accept who we have all become.
Janice Jacoby, has been in the health and wellness field professionally since 2002.