Sunday, 23 August 2015

The Girl With 'The Plan'

I've always thought of myself as one of those girls with 'the plan' The girl that had her future all sussed out. I've kind of  been planning it from  as far back as Primary school when I sat with my peers discussing which boy in the class I would marry. My future babies names were all chosen, and I even had the house we would live in picked out. Apparently i've always been a bit of a psycho..
 I remember doing an essay in  an English class when I was just thirteen titled
'My Dreams And Hopes For The Future.' 
. In it I wrote that I would be  making the move to New York to become a flight attendant. My husband (Jake) who was to be an  handsome American man from an affulent family was going to be an entrepreneur and father to my three children, Eve, Olivia and Philip. We would holiday three times a year and I would drive a silver, BMW convertible. 
Not that i'm picky or anything...
As the years went by and my hopes, dreams and plans changed, and thank Goodness for that- My claustrophobia probably wouldn't have made me the best candidate for cabin crew and who would have known I couldn't just hop on and plane and move across the world without all the fuss and faff of citizenship to consider? Not thirteen year old Sarah anyway..

By the time I reached sixteen I was happy enough if I managed to scrape enough UCAS points to get into Uni and hopefully become a photographer further down the line. I'd fall in love, have a big beautiful wedding and maybe a few babies years after we'd seen a bit of the world. Y'know? after we'd filled our faces with spaghetti in Rome, watched the sunrise in Thailand, camel trekked the dunes of the Sahara, scuba dived in the Great Barrier Reef etc etc.  But If I have learnt just one thing this past year, it is that you can meticulously plan your life down to the smallest detail and more often than not it won't end up that way because things change, circumstances change, people change and more often than not,this is all for some greater purpose- even though you may have to wait several years to see it.
If you had told me on New Years Eve 2013 that the following October I would be cradling a beautiful little baby in my arms I would have stopped you in your tracks, laughed in your face. There was more chance of me winning the Euromillions, and I don't even do the Lottery.

 On the 17th January 2014 I stood shaking, looking down at a positive pregnancy test, completely terrified of what was ahead. I spent the rest of the day curled up in bed sobbing into my pillow listening to David Gray's 'Holding On' - A fantastic track for a 'pity party' might I add...
In all seriousness though, was I really ready to mother a little human? I mean realistically, i'd never been the most independent of people to begin with. Could we even afford it? would we be good enough parents? How on earth could we teach a little human right from wrong when we were still figuring it all out ourselves? Would our relationship survive the broken sleep? the difference of opinions that comes along with parenting? Would he still love me when I was wearing sick stained pajama bottoms and hadn't washed my face in over a day? Were we ready to give up our 'selfish' years? After all, I was only three years into my twenties.

Fast forward to August 2015. and there's no American husband in sight, I haven't been on one holiday this year never mind three, and there is definitely no silver BMW convertible in the driveway, but i'm in a happy little place. One I could not have predicted in a million years. A life that if I had sat down and drew out the blueprints for I am almost sure, wouldn't have turned out quite as good. 
Of course it is far from perfect. I still complain, cry, and at times want to trade Stuart in for American Jake, just like i'm sure there's times I infuriate him so much he'd happily make a straight swap for a girlfriend who doesn't leave foundation marks on the pillows, a girl who always remembers to put the lid back on the toothpaste (Sorry!), one with impressive culinary skills and doesn't sigh when he says he says he's going to football on a Saturday. 

But that is life, and life is at times a little messy, complex and extremely unpredictable.
There are of course times I wish I had a degree to frame, a more interesting job to talk about,  and more stamps on my passport- but who knows what the future holds?
Our little unexpected blessing is turning one in just a few weeks, and is so blissfully unaware of how much joy she has brought into our lives. Never have I thought so much about life and purpose and what really defines me until she came along and taught me that life is nothing without a little love.

My qualifications aren't worthy of being framed and my bank balance looks a little pitiful the day before pay day, but I am sure I have found my 'happy place' under the same roof as two wonderful people. And that makes me a little less scared of what the future has in store, a future I can't help but feel optimistic about.


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