When our life plan changes...can we love it just the same?

I have always thought of myself as someone who knew what she wanted in life.

I was married young by today's standards, at age 21. So clearly - I knew what I wanted there. I am still happily married, and even more in love, to the same sweet, red-haired boy I met at age 17 on my first day of college. We are both older and considerably wiser now. One of us has less hair (not me), and one of us has lighter hair these days (not from the sun :o). We laugh more often. We argue less. We have more patience. I think that most great marriages should have a mix of all of these things.

As I prepare to move my home base quite far way from where I was born, I have been thinking a lot about the trajectory my life has taken, and how long it has taken me to be comfortable with where I am and who I am.

What did I want at age 21? First of all, I was definitely going to be a stay-at-home mom. This insurance gig was just to tide me over until I started having kids. By age 30, I was going to have three children, a house in the Northern Virginia suburbs, a Ford Explorer, and a dog. And being fit? Worse still - yoga? Please. That was for crazy, touchy-feely people - the crunchy-granola, buddhist, earthy folks who were born skinny. I had the body I had. I was cerebral, not fit.

Circa 2003, waiting for a picket fence.

Well, well, well, there - I really nailed my future. I didn't even get the dog!

I am 30. I greet most days with genuine optimism. I'm happy. I have two cats, and no kids. I'm moving to California in three weeks and my dream living situation is a city condo with two bedrooms and an in-unit washer dryer is my one non-negotiable. I traded my dear explorer in for a luxury sporty sedan - because I really do love to drive it. I am proud of my strength as a yogi and an athlete. I love my job - and it's no longer just a means to an end - it's a real career. I feel like a whole person.

I am the same Abbie - only different. I didn't change who I was, I just decided to follow a different path.

And I'm happier with this story than I have ever been with my life. But sometimes, I wonder.

What if?

Did I just lose track of the plan?

How do we stop ourselves from trying to reconcile what we thought we wanted, with what we love now? Can we grow into ourselves?

I struggle when people ask me when I'm going to have kids, and when we're going to "finally move" into a house. The truthful answer is, maybe never to both. I don't know. As I continue to grow into me in the moment, I do know that I'll find the right answers for me and for my family.

I absolutely love watching my friends become parents, homeowners, pet lovers, marathoners, and entrepreneurs or executives in their jobs. I just love watching people grow. So I've stopped trying to grow into what other people are, and I've started focusing on blooming where I'm planted.

We all have different purposes for our lives.
Do we love what we have? Are we happy? And are we helping people to be happy?

That's what matters. And no matter how hard you try - you can't write that story light years ahead. You have to live and grow into it.