I say this because, at least for me, I never actually thought I’d be living my life the way I am.
As a child, I always thought I’d be like my parents. I’d grow up, get married have some kids and be happy. As I grew older, I realized things don’t always work out as you would like them to as a child.
My mother was diagnosed with cancer when I was around 10 or 11. From then until she died our lives revolved around trying to make her better and comfortable. So much so, we moved from Michigan to Florida, because in Florida she would have someone to spend time with her while my father worked. I will forever be thankful to my aunt for making that possible.
When my mother died, things were difficult for a while, and my father and I were constantly at odds. After I graduated, I decided I wanted to be a photographer. I went to the community college and took art and photography classes. In high school and college, I was a very good artist. I loved to draw. And at the end of my semester in photography, my teacher said I had a bright future ahead of me if I continued.
I went to community college for about 2 years on and off, but I needed to work, to help my father with bills. So, I dropped out. My dreams changed, and I thought I can always go back to school. I then met Tony, at the time he was the first and only boyfriend I had ever had. To this day our three and a half years remains the longest relationship I’ve ever had with a guy, and looking back now, it really ended six months into our being together.
Still, I wanted to marry him and have kids. When things ended between us, he left me and moved back to Gainesville. It was during this time Hurricane Andrew blew into Miami, and I wound up living with my aunt. My car flooded, and all of my artwork and photo’s I’d taken were damaged and lost. I never really drew again. For several months, I pined for Tony. Always making plans to move to Gainesville. I’d even ordered several newspapers from the area to look at the job situation. I visited him during Thanksgiving and spent over $300 on Christmas presents for him. On New Years I finally realized, my wheels were just spinning, and nothing would ever, could ever come of us. So, I moved on.
My brother was married, my dad had remarried, my cousins were married, everyone in my family was married. My brother and cousins began to have kids and I was happy and excited because I thought my turn would come soon. It was when I was about 35 that I really realized having kids may not happen. At 41 I knew for sure kids were not in my future. I no longer have the patience or desire to give that much of myself. That and I would not have a child as a single woman. Not that I have a problem with being single and having kids, but I know how hard it is for single mothers. It’s hard enough for me to support myself now, I can’t even imagine having to support a child also. Sure I’d probably have help from my dad, but he’s retired and it would not be fair to burden him and his wife with having to take care of my kids or even help me monetarily.
So, my dreams have changed. I thought by this time in my life, I’d be married with 2 or 3 kids. I’m fine with not having children. For a long time, I mourned the kids I would never have, but now I’m okay with it. I have my beautiful cats, whom I absolutely love and spoil to no end. Those little furry four-legged creatures are my kids, and I have no problem saying so. I adore them. As for marriage, well I still would like that. At the very least, I’d like to meet someone who I can share interests with, do fun things with, and enjoy life with.
I sit here at work and wonder how to go about getting to the point of not dreading coming to work. I know, it’s time for me to go but, that’s easier said than done. I would not be able to support myself right now if I changed jobs. For now, I stay here. But, I”m keeping my eyes open.
Sure I wish there were some things in my life that were different. Like, my mother still being alive, or my having kept up my pursuit of photography, or even if I hadn’t met Tony. But because those things happened, I have met the people I know today. Every relationship I have, be it in person or over the internet I would not have, if anything in my life had not been the way it was.
No, I’m not where I thought I’d be, but I am where I am supposed to be.