She wasn’t more than 9 or 10 when she knew exactly what she wanted to be when she grew up. It wasn’t a career she longed for. It wasn’t to be rich or famous. It wasn’t to marry well and spend her days in a very comfortable home. It wasn’t semi-yearly vacations wonderful destinations. It had nothing to do with a car or a house or how many children she would have.
It didn’t depend on finding the right person. It didn’t depend on finances. It didn’t depend on where she spent the holidays or how many friends she had. It didn’t depend on making all of the right decisions or mastering the fine art of perfect timing. It certainly didn’t depend on luck.
It wouldn’t be measured by what she owned. It wouldn’t be measured by how many people surrounded her. It wouldn’t be measured by the amount of education she had. It wouldn’t be measured by how many people she slept with. It wouldn’t be measured by how big her TV was or how new her phone was.
It was simple and it was pure. She wanted to be independent and happy. She wanted to make her own choices and accept all of the consequences with grace. She wanted to love and to be loved, not by many, but by quality people who were not there for moments, but the duration.
When she was in her 40s, she looked back to assess where she was in this long-term goal to be happy. She had a job that she was good at, though it wasn’t anything she was necessarily proud of. She wasn’t rich or famous. She certainly didn’t marry well. Her home was small, but it was better than where she had been a few months ago and most definitely better than what she had during that ill-fated marriage. If for no other reason than it was hers. It was all hers and she earned it. She worked at that job she was good at and pushed through every day because this home was all hers and she intended to keep it that way.
She doesn’t go on vacations, doesn’t have a fancy car. She’s single and finally comfortable in that designation. She has a son, and that’s enough. Her timing sucks, her luck may be worse. And she’s still here.
The things she has, she mostly bought for herself. She’s often lonely. She has a college education with only a mountain of debt to show for it. She’s loved all of the wrong people, but she’s content with those choices because she chose to love them. She chose to give them everything she had, even though she knew deep down that they’d never be able to return that love. She has no regrets about who she’s loved, only how long she allowed them to hold a place in her heart.
On bad days, she worries that she’s not parenting well enough or that she can’t give him everything he deserves. She longs for things to be easier so that the happy can take up permanent residence in her heart and soul.
On good days, she realizes that she has all of the things she wanted for herself when she was 9 or 10. She is independent. She is happy. It is enough.