When I was in 7th grade, our biggest project was to write our biographies. We had to talk about our birth, childhood, and yet-to-be-determined Futures. I was a serious, overly-anxious 12-year-old, so aside from doing a stand-up routine in front of the entire school, this was the worst project imaginable. I didn’t know what I wanted for dinner that night, let alone what I wanted to be when I “grew up.”
So, I decided on something that sounded safe and attainable: “By the time I am 30, I will be a married doctor who has two children and drives a red convertible.” Kids are dumb. And I don’t mean that in a bad way; most have no solid idea where babies come from at that age, so you can’t really expect them to think about life’s obstacles when setting goals.
Anyway, here we are, the last day of 2011, and I have achieved zero of the goals I wrote for myself 15 years ago. This would have killed former me. She would have told herself, “It isn’t too late; you still have three years before you’re 30!” But old me was a chump. She spent so much time worrying about all the things she hadn’t done that she couldn’t see all the things she had.
My transition into adulthood hasn’t been easy. I’ve spent the past two years trying to correct the series of mistakes that was my life from 18-25. But despite that, I am happy. I’ve learned the difference between friends and people with whom you drink. I’ve replaced dead-end relationships with a healthy, loving one. And most importantly, I see all the sadness and stress I’ve brought my family and am working on bringing them joy and pride.
If I continue to focus on what I have instead of what I lack, 2012 will be my best year yet. I’ll toast to that.