Some bloggin’ ladies that grew up in my hometown started posting comparisons of their real life to the life they thought they’d have. I love the idea, so I’m going with their encouragement to write my own. They broke it down into love, family, and career, so I will do the same.
Prediction: I started dating Mr. Gray in high school. He was a freshman; I was a sophomore. I was convinced we would get married. I just knew. I thought we would go to college, graduate, and get married. Everyone thought I was crazy.
Reality: Mr. Gray and I dated through college. When I graduated, we got married. Not so crazy now, huh?
Breaking it down: We have grown so much from the relationship we had in high school, but we have never grown out of love or lost the spark that unites us. So many people think high school relationships don’t last; most of the time they don’t. I am grateful we had family and friends who supported us instead of fighting us through it.
Prediction: Growing up as an only child (mostly, but that’s another story for another day), I only wanted one or two kids. I liked the amount of family time and attention my parents were able to give to me. I thought I would start having kids by about 22 or 23; I wanted to be the young, hip mom.
Reality: I was 25 when Baby Gray came along. Between degrees (I was 21 and 23 when I graduated; Mr. Gray was 22) and life, the young, hip mom wasn’t in my cards. HAHA! I’m still plenty young and hip! For now, we’re enjoying Baby Gray and spending time with him. We definitely have plans for him to be a big brother one day, we’re just not quite sure what that will look like.
Breaking it down: In all actuality, I’m glad we waited to have kids. We were able to enjoy each other and enjoy our marriage before adding a new little person to the equation. Baby Gray has been a great asset, but the memories and times together as just us are irreplaceable. God has perfect timing, even when I being patient isn’t exactly what I thought it might be.
Prediction: Wow. I was all over the place with this. First and foremost, I wanted to be a mom. Really. I did not want to waste my time or intelligence just sitting around waiting to get to that, and I didn’t want to be stuck if, in fact, I wasn’t able to stay at home and be a mom as my sole career. Lucky for me, I love going to school. Love it.
Starting in about third grade, I thought I wanted to be a teacher. I dabbled around with psychology, but ultimately decided to go into teaching. I never thought I would do that as a life long career, though. My biggest fear was being the teacher who had been in the same classroom for all 50 years of her career (we need those people; I just wanted to have a little more variety than that). Then I went back to wanting to be a counselor or psychologist; then I moved on to wanting to be a college professor so I could teach teachers and reach more kids. All the while, I just wanted to stay home with my own kid(s). Really, all over the place.
Reality: My reality is sort of as all over the place as my prediction. I got my undergrad and my teaching certificate in three years. I starting working on my masters the same August I started teaching. I wanted to be able to teach college-level education courses or do workshops and trainings to help teachers do their jobs better and more effectively. As soon as I finished my masters, I applied to an LPC program to get into counseling. I was accepted to the LPC program and scheduled to start the fall after I graduated with my masters. I decided I wouldn’t have the time to devote to a practicum or internship so I didn’t even start the program.
I left my job teaching (my fifth year) when Baby Gray arrived to stay home and be a mom. On the side, I help my friend with advertising, marketing, and accounts payable for the boutique she and her mother own. Oddly enough, I love it. I never thought I would like doing anything like that, but I love it. I am able to do most of it from home. Also, I’m currently shopping PhD programs. I’m more than ready to go back to school. I just have to decide what I want to be when I grow up. (I have also been accepted to, and decided against, a library science program in the meantime.)
Breaking it down: Once again, my reality is a little crazy and all over the place, but I have loved every step of the way. I have learned so much about different school districts, some of the politics behind it all, technology and the way its helping to shape the new generation, and so much more. I can’t even begin to compare what I thought would be versus what is. What is is perfect for me.
I’m going to take the liberty to add a little about faith here as well.
Prediction: We would be a family who went to church most Sundays. We would celebrate Easter and Christmas because of what Christ did, not just because of candy and gifts. We would do our best to raise our kids as Christians.
Reality: What I wanted from our family is so far below where we are now and where we are striving to be. I have so much to learn, but I know I don’t want to be known simply for my attendance at church. I want to be a walking, talking, living, breathing example of a Christian life for Baby Gray. I want him to grow up not knowing anything else, but still longing to know Christ more, love Him, and do His will. We were placed into the hands of a wonderful church, and I couldn’t be more grateful for what it has taught us about what we need to be as Christians. God also hand-picked a Heart Group for us when we initially moved to the area. These have become some of our very best friends and great examples of marriage and family for us.
Breaking it down: I have a lot of work to do to go from my prediction to my predicted “reality” as stated above. It’s worth the work, though.