I found the mug you see above at the Barnes and Noble Cafe and was immediately offended. And I knew that this mug, innocently sitting on a shelf waiting to be purchased, would be the topic of this blog post.
“Live the life you have imagined.”
As if my life must be pre-planned, and I wasn’t allowed to deviate from my imaginary blueprint. How limiting would that be?
It got me thinking that most of my life isn’t anything like the life I had imagined. I had never imagined I’d be married weeks before my twenty-third birthday. I had never imagined that I would be the mother of one child, not two. I had never imagined that my adult home would be ten minutes away from my childhood home. I had never imagined that by the age of 40, I would have only once traveled internationally. And I would never have imagined that I would have retired (due to a disability) from my teaching career after twelve years.
That isn’t to say my current life is worse or better than the one I had imagined. It’s just that when you’re young and inexperienced, your imagination starts to run wild. I envisioned trips abroad (to visit my pen pal in Japan and to eat pasta and gelato in Italy) and a semester studying in France. I imagined owning a house instead of being a life-long renter.
But, you get older, and you get out into the world and start experiencing life, and realize that your imagination and your reality don’t always match up. And you realize, that different than originally imagined isn’t bad. Different than originally imagined can be fine. Actually, more than fine.