What screws us up the most in life is the picture in our head of what it’s supposed to be.” – Socrates
By the time I was five years old I had my entire life mapped out I was going to do amazing at school, get into Oxford university where I was going to train to be a surgeon, while in my second year I was going to meet prince charming, buy a house in the country, get married and have four kids. Who would eventually visit us when we were old and grey but still good looking ( naturally ) and my life would be perfect like a Disney cartoon, I would spend my life a princess.
However that’s not how my life played out, luckily I eventually meet my prince although I had to kiss a lot of frogs along the way and even marry the wrong one but eventually I got to him. In my twenties I would punish myself a lot for not sticking to the original plan, I would get frustrated that I was in a dead end job and living with the wrong kind of man, I didn’t even have my house in the country. I moved a lot looking for somewhere to settle, going on dates with men that were definitely not princes, most of them didn’t even have basic manners. On a quest to try and get back on plan I went to university although not to be a surgeon that ship had well and truly sailed but to study art, which I absolutely loved but I knew I still wasn’t happy and was still punishing myself for it.
It wasn’t till I reached thirty that I finally realised that my life was and had been better than a dream I had when I was five years old. The dream didn’t include the friendships, the late wild parties, watching the sunrise in Rome or celebrating my 21st birthday in Las Vegas. It didn’t include Jamie holding my hair back when I was sick, Dave waking me with a big lick across my face or baking a cake, whilst dancing around my kitchen whilst not tripping over the two bunnies. In the end I have realised that a dream is just a dream and what I have is so much better, it is what makes me laugh til juice comes out my nose, and who holds me when I’m crying. I no longer punish myself for not sticking to the original plan. I now punish myself for spending so much time worrying about the plan in my twenties and not being more thankful for what I had when I had it.
Some plans work out and some don’t I have found its best to not have a plan and just enjoy the life you have so if you want to be a surgeon work hard towards that dream but don’t feel like you failed if you don’t get there. Realise that yes there is a prince charming out there for you, but you will probably kiss a lot of frogs and even the occasional rat til you find them. You may not get that house in the garden but you can make your flat in the city feel like a country cottage. On the other hand you may get your childhood dream and hate it, the truth is that life isn’t a Disney cartoon or a romantic comedy, life is messy and we all make mistakes, we take the path that is right at the time for us and deal with the rest afterwards. By living in the moment you we run the risk of going off course and that’s wonderful because maybe that path was never really meant for us maybe by going wrong we are actually going the right.
I guess the moral of this little rant is its ok to live the life you are living and you don’t need to apologise for it, you just have to enjoy it.