Hey Baby Girl (again… or so we’ve been told – I’ll believe it when you’re on the outside),
I’ve been thinking a lot this week about the dreams that I’ve had over the years that have evolved and changed. When you’re a kid, you have so many dreams, big, epic, sweeping dreams which is a beautiful thing.
When I was a kid I dreamed of being an archaeologist, a dancer, a singer, an explorer, and I also imagined that I’d marry my brother (see why it’s a good thing that dreams change?).
When I was a teenager, I now more appropriately – if unrealistically – dreamed of marrying Leonardo DiCaprio, of backpacking across Europe, of becoming a diplomat traveling to far flung countries, and of having a big fancy home.
When I was in my early twenties I had tasted travel, heartbreak, and a course of study that wasn’t for me. My dreams changed.
I still had a passion for travel, but the more countries that I visited, the more I actually found that I was passionate about living in Calgary. In my teens I could have imagined nothing worse, yet now I proudly call it home. And the more I travelled, the more the future countries on my to-visit list evolved.
When political science didn’t work out so well for me in university, I found myself dreaming of working in marketing and advertising. I had visions of working in trendy offices, running cool campaigns and drinking champagne at fancy parties.
Now I dreamed of marrying Patrick Dempsey – not McDreamy, you understand, but Patrick Dempsey. I was at least wise enough to know that I didn’t want to get into a love triangle with Meredith Grey.
Here’s the thing… there’s only so much of life that you can plan for.
I never planned to meet your father. Is he who I pictured myself ending up with? Probably not, but boy am I ever glad that he was. He’s my best friend, my partner in crime, and you have no idea how lucky you’re going to be to have him as your father. He makes your brother giggle and squeal, and there’s nothing that brings a bigger smile to my face and my heart than hearing their laughter from across the house.
I never planned to work in nonprofit, let alone in social investment prior to that. I fell into both of those roles after doing a variety of marketing internships. It turns out the ad agency life did not align with my values, but communications does and can be done with a variety of organizations.
I never planned to be a blogger or a podcaster. I never planned to train to become a coach. I never planned to live in a duplex, or parent two cats, or marry someone from across the world.
I ‘planned’ to have kids, but only in the way that people say, “yeah, I want to have two kids.” Because, the thing is, while I was lucky with fertility, I had no idea what your brother would be like (and we have yet to discover what he’ll be like as he grows up), and I have ZERO idea what you’ll be like. You could be a great sleeper, or you could have colic. You could be a cuddly baby or you could be an independent little lady. You could gravitate to me, or you could prefer your Daddy.
My point is, that while my dreams have changed over time, that’s no bad thing.
I feel like we put so much pressure on youth today to figure out what they want to be, what they want to do, what they want their life to contain. Here’s the thing… you won’t know until you go down some ‘wrong’ paths. And they won’t actually be the wrong path. They’ll be bumps in the road that will lead you to where you’re meant to go.
We all have ups and downs. Some more downs than others due to privilege (or lack thereof), circumstance or pure bad luck.
I’m not saying don’t have goals and don’t strive for anything. Do. Dream big. Reach for the stars. Be ambitious.
But if your dreams don’t work out exactly as planned, don’t worry too much, because I guarantee you’ll find new dreams along the way.
There’s only so much planning that we can or should do in our lives. I wish I’d realized this much earlier. It might have caused me a lot less stress.
Then again, it might have changed my trajectory, and then I wouldn’t have you… whoever you are going to be.
I look forward to meeting you.
Lots of love,
P.S. If you could lay off giving me heartburn this week I’d super appreciate it 🙂