By Laura Bishop: Regular Contributor
Ever get that feeling you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be in life?
When I was a little girl I would spend hours imagining myself as an adult, and who I thought I would become. I had my dream wedding planned, the perfect career, and ideal home. I couldn’t wait to grow up. Looking back, I smile at the memory of that freckle-faced, blue-eyed girl who thought she would marry the high school quarterback, have her first child at 24, her second child at 26, live in Manhattan, and become a highly sought after fashion designer. My dreams were sweet, they were simple, and they never happened.
Here’s the thing about having your life completely mapped out by the time you’re twelve years old. It’s disappointing, it’s stressful and it takes the fun out of it. When my life didn’t pan out the way I imagined, I was stunned, in fear even. Suddenly the life that was unfolding in front of me wasn't good enough. I was left defeated and bitter. This need to accomplish, or rather get everything I thought I wanted or needed (and in a specific time frame) impacted my ability to appreciate all the amazingness that was right in front of me.
I was so preoccupied with what I didn’t have, that I missed out on building relationships, having exciting experiences, and meeting new people. If the guy who asked me out at Starbucks didn’t fit my ideals, then I moved on. If the job didn’t look exactly like it did in my dreams, then I let it pass me by.
Recently I fell for my best friend. Ok, if I’m being honest, I fell for him a long time ago. However, it was only recently that I admitted to myself that he could be the guy for me. These past few months have been amazing. I think back on all the things I wanted and imagined for my life, and it was never as good as it is now. Once I stopped obsessing on what I didn’t have, everything fell into place. There are no plans, no expectations. Instead it’s just the two of us for today, and there is no better feeling.
I think it’s important and a necessary part of life to have dreams, aspirations, something to strive for. It’s when we fixate on a specific plan that becomes problematic. I guess, what I’m trying to encourage all you lovely ladies to do is to embrace the unknown. Be open to the magical surprises in life.
It’s taken me a long (and I mean LONG) time to accept where I am today. I am happy and excited about my present. I no longer obsess on what will happen tomorrow. Instead, I’m focused on all the love and joy that surrounds me in this moment.
When your vision for your life doesn't quite pan out, how to you embrace and appreciate each moment for it's unique gifts, rather than be upset over "what isn't"?
Laura is a Bay Area native, with a master’s degree in counseling/psychology. She loves helping others become the best versions of themselves. When she’s not working with clients, she can be found spending time with friends and family (especially her little goddaughter), practicing yoga, hiking, and baking cupcakes. She considers it an honor and a privilege to share her voice with the IATG community.