|Borrowed from Pure Nourishment (Facebook)|
I ended up taking the girls home to my parents' house a couple months ago since my sister had a week off work and, you know, I'm crazy since we had just driven 7 hours to the beach the weekend before... But that's how much I love my sister.
So anyway, while we were home, my dad threw an organizer across the couch to me and made a comment about did I ever wonder what I was doing in 2001. I just laughed at the time and let it stay on the desk for a while, but while waiting for Elizabeth to give up the ghost one night and fall asleep, I sat outside her room and flipped through two years of my life.
Of course, being part hoarder (as my husband claims) I never throw anything away, so there were two years worth of calendars packed into this little three-ring zip up binder along with notes and a library card and about 55 cents in change.
I didn't realize the power in reading over years of your life and how powerfully those random tests and dinners, ball games and dates would come back in living color. I had trouble sleeping that night because my mind just kept running over the people and time that was (yikes!) ten years ago. Which got me wondering...what would the 22-year-old Annie think about the 32-year-old Annie? And what advice would I shoot back her way?
Now don't get me wrong here, I am not one of those people who would ever desire to live it all over again. I think there are events and times that I might do differently if I could, but I also know that every little turn and action has lead me to where I am today...and that is happier than I ever could have imagined being.
Ah...the 22-year-old Annie. Serious and focused and nervous about getting her future right and hard-working and a perfectionist. The calendars in the planner covered my junior and senior years at Campbell and I was pretty anal at the time about keeping lists and a detailed schedule. Well, and I had a lot going on. Reading back through it, I relived the moments when I began to doubt my print journalism career path and swung a 180 towards Athletics Administration. I had countless hours logged in the athletics training room, which as frustrating as it was that I couldn't play, resulted in a very close relationship with my trainer...which was why I introduced him to my best friend and they have been married for nine years now. (Happy Anniversary Ben and Amanda!) I saw deadlines for assignments and tests I remember cramming for. I also witnessed a focused junior year and then watched senioritis set in as I recorded less and less in my senior year.
I wonder what she would say if she knew, at 32, she'd have given up the career path she so desired to stay at home with her two small kids. Would she be disappointed to learn that she wasn't in line to be an Athletics Director somewhere or winning conference as a head softball coach? Would she be surprised that she' be able to cook certain meals with her eyes closed and not be intimidated around a chopping board, or have been married to the love of her life for five years. I wonder what she'd think about us shopping for a minivan or that I no longer run significant mileage.
And what would I say to her? What advice would I send back if I could? Good grief - this opens up a whole can of worms, doesn't it? What advice would YOU send back to your former self?
Well, here goes...
Don't worry so much - you don't have to be perfect. No one cares if you aren't.
Cherish your friends because they get far too few and between when you're older and you won't be able to see them every day and walk to the post office and eat lunch and laugh until your stomach hurts.
Oh, by the way, laugh until your stomach hurts!
Appreciate your professors who take the time to teach and explain - and tell Mr. Ensley that you enjoy his class and how much he means to you and that not too many days go by that you don't complain about television broadcasting because of the lessons he taught. He was gone too soon.
Continue to work hard to accomplish your dreams - hard work will never hurt you.
And yes, 10 years later you will still regret that only B you got in college in Business Law. You could study a little harder for that one, buddy.
Don't worry so much about pleasing people and what they think about you. Most of the people you are worried about aren't even around in ten years, so do your best and let the rest ride.
Wear sunglasses, for the love of goodness. You may not be worried about wrinkles now, but they sure will pop up later from all your squinting on the ball field!
There are no five year plans. You will never guess where you'll be in five years and you'll flip out over ten...but I can guarantee you, the ride will be worth it. Don't worry about the planning part. Have faith and pray your way through it.
Am I crazy that I'm the only one that thinks about this stuff? Or maybe I'm the only one who still has an organizer around from 2001...I'll buy that too! Share, my friends...