15 years ago I was fresh out of college. I was happy to get hired into a top notch company. I was thankful not to be a starving college student any more. I thought that it was a temporary stop on my way to realizing my dreams.
Well, I'm still here. In Ohio. At my same job.
And nowhere near living my dream life.
These 15 years at the same company were marked by a cake.
And a little blue box.
Who doesn't love that special shade of blue?! I have to say, my heart was pounding just a bit even though I knew what was inside. I got to pick it out myself. As I delicately, slowly, unwrapped the box, 15 years were filling my head. The silver beads twinkled and I was blindsided by my swirling thoughts.
Are any of us where we thought we would be 15 years ago? For those that are, a part of me is jealous. The other part says be careful what you wish for because you just might get it. Longing for dreams unfulfilled, I am certainly NOT where I thought I would be. But maybe I wasn't supposed to take that path. Sometimes things aren't meant to be. Things happen for a reason.
I'm not saying that I have a bad life. Not at all. My life is full and rich and solidly GOOD. I am not stuck in a bad marriage. I am a college graduate. I'm not lonely. I am healthy. The little bit of family I have is mostly close by. I have a job when so many others have lost theirs. I have more than enough to eat and money in the bank. Health insurance. A pension. I have great friends. I am loved. I am grateful for what I have. But there's a big BUT....
I still dream of moving somewhere warm. Somewhere west. My soul soars when I'm in the sunshine and shrivels during our LONG cold dreary winters. I wish I was brave enough to move to a new place by myself. I still dream of casting off the Ms. and becoming a Mrs. I still dream of an interesting job that is much more than a way to pay the bills. I still dream of loving exercise. Of having a huge open yet cozy floor plan that welcomes many guests easily. I want to entertain to my heart's content without worrying about where I will put everybody. I still dream of learning how to not be such a procrastinator. To be organized. To love to get up early. To not be so lazy.
Until then, I try to make the most of every single day.
To wring out as much happiness as humanly possible.
To learn new things. Take chances. Breathe deep.
Radiate my own sunshine.
While a lot has stayed the same during these 15 years, there have been a lot of changes too. While my location and vocation are stagnant, thankfully I am not. I've seen movies and attended events alone. I've traveled to wonderful places. I experienced the craziness of online dating. I adopted a dog that made my house a home. I took more risks. I climbed a mountain. Eat*Drink*Cleveland was born. I continue to make amazing friends.
Because life is short and I don't want to live a life of regrets, I will wear my new bracelet and vow to count my blessings. I will strive to stretch my wings further that it seems possible. And to take baby steps every day that bring me closer to those dreams. Let's see what the next 15 years bring...