Really, what kind of thoughts ran around that pretty little head of yours? Or, maybe I don’t want to know. heh heh
Let me be more specific – 20 years ago, where did you think you would be now?
(By the way, that photo of me is from 16 years ago. The whole ’20 years’ thing will make sense in a minute. Yes, that was my school’s mascot and yes, I wore an outfit to match the bengal. I had WAY too much school spirit, I know.)
I was cleaning out a cabinet the other day (clutch the pearls, yes, I was cleaning something) and came across some old high school stuff. Recently, I was in charge of my 15 year high school reunion (OK, I just had to take a deep breath. Please, lock me in a closet next time I volunteer to do that again.) and I still have remnants of the event stuffed in the corner of my office. I thought it was about time I did something with it…the reunion was last October.
Being the sentimental sap I am, I had to thumb through the pages of the last school newspaper. May 1994 – seems like yesterday, seems like forever ago. I chuckled as I read through the articles… That one guy is most likely to go bald. You know who will one day be Hollywood bound. What’s his name will surely become a monk. Prom Queen and King were crowned. Scholarships and other honors awarded. Fond memories all bound into a few sheets of paper.
Of course, the article labeled “Melody’s Notes” caught my eye. There was a little section of the paper reserved for ramblings of my own. I was Student Body President and a tiny part of my job description involved writing something inspiring on a monthly basis for my fellow students. The last paragraph in my last article in the last school newspaper read this: (I’m going to quote myself right now. Weird…)
“Twenty years from now you might be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the ones you did do. So, GO FOR IT!! Reach for your goals; they’re not as high as you think!”
I must admit, I just got a little twinge of pride for my teenaged self. I remember being ready to conquer the world. I was itching to dive into the next chapter of the book of Melody, but to be honest, I had NO clue where the story would lead me – and THAT is what I have always thrived on. Newness. Fresh beginnings. Bold new projects…
I had goals back then. They morphed and transformed into a life I hadn’t quite imagined. A different life, but a great one. College bound, I wanted to become a broadcast journalist. I changed my mind about a month into my first semester. I always swore I wouldn’t get married until I was 30 and set in a career. I got married when I was 19 (and still very happily married 14 years later, by the way). For a brief moment, I wanted to become a private investigator. (That’s a whole story in itself.) I started a wedding business instead. I just knew I’d be doing that the rest of my life and then nine years later we had our first child. It’s true, a baby changes everything.
If I had led my life according to the plans I had in mind 16 years ago, I would be a completely different person now. Life takes us on side trips. There are so many lessons we have to learn along the way and, if not learned, sometimes we have to flip a U-turn, take a detour or go a route we never even knew was on the map.
So, here I am walking down an unfamiliar trail with yet another goal. The ‘project’ … at times I am still overwhelmed by it. I constantly have this banter between my brain and my heart, “You’re crazy. You’re gutsy. This is insane. This is exciting! Seriously, you’re tall and all, but this is way too big. You’re so tall, those jeans aren’t long enough…”
As I look back at the 17 year old who told everyone to ‘go for it’ so boldly, I can’t help but feel the self-induced kick in the butt.
Twenty years from now, I don’t want to be disappointed by the things I didn’t do.
Go for it.
©2010 Melody G. Fritchley