At 17, going to college immediately after graduation wasn’t in my game plan. Suffice it to say crazy stepmother, wildly jealous of my relationship with dad made me anxious to make an exit – physically and financially. Safest route, shop for blue suit, put skills learned in steno class to good use and strike out on own. Seemed like a good idea.
At 19, dating a guy for a while, got along well enough, dad liked him (which was unheard of) and friends were getting married. Why not? Check – me, married at 20. Seemed like a good idea.
At 20 taking break in passionate interlude to root around for birth control seemed – inconvenient. Oopsie, those sperm really DO swim. But that brought me the first love of my life, a beautiful daughter. No complaints there. Seemed like a good idea.
Fast forward to 26, marriage caput, divorced with two kids (but extremely happy). Halfway through undergrad degree and on a solid life path, headed for law school after graduation. Seemed like a good idea.
At 28, freshly armed with degree, went to work with lawyers to test life path theory. Hated it. Law school — no longer seemed like a good idea. Change of plans, STAT. Seemed like a good idea.
At 30, embark on a career in advertising, work for a guy who’s a brilliant strategist, but with well-known rep as a jackass. I can handle jackasses. As long as I get to learn a lot. Seemed like a good idea.
At 34, tired of jackass. Really want to dive into sports marketing, seems like the Next Big Thing. Tried hard to get dream sports marketing job, didn’t get hired. Seemed like a good idea.
At 35, started own business as consultant, totally by accident. For some reason, new clients just kept calling. Holy crap, realized I actually might know a thing or two (thank you, Jackass). This working for self thing just might work out. With a rent payment and kids to feed and educate, there’s certainly no lack of motivation. Seemed like a good idea.
At 40, after 16 years of dating every eligible man within what seemed like 200 mile radius, met Man of Dreams. Knew I would marry him on eve of first date. Seemed like a good idea.
At 42, started new business designing jewelry. A wacky sidestep, a long story and a solid plan. But also time for something new. Discovered more left brain talent and built very successful brand, using marketing + pr know-how for self for a change. Seemed like a good idea.
At 44, Bored to tears. Learned that having a business partner can not only SUCK but be very expensive to rid self of. Vowed to never do again. Ditched jewelry business, back to true love: marketing. Seemed like a good idea.
At 45, have twins with MOD after years of trying. Thank you, Science. Who knew I’d have the chance to be a mom again when first crop of kidlets were already all grown up? All our friends think us insane. We think we’re pretty effing rockstar lucky. Seemed like a good idea.
At 47, dive back into work with a vengeance, making up for lost time and stimulating quasi-atrophied brain cells. I was never cut out for the life of a SAHM. Don’t judge me. Start serious love affair with Internet. Seemed like a good idea.
My story is only half written and there’s much more to come. At least I hope so. But of course, there are no guarantees – of which I am fully aware. My love affairs, with my husband, my amazing children, my career, my illicit Internet lover and many friends continue, unabated.
But I saw this picture of myself – my engagement announcement, in fact – taken in 1979. It made me reflect on things. Things I’d thought, done, experimented with, tried and hated, tossed back, learned from, laughed at, tried anew, vowed to avoid and reveled in. And then there’s that hair. That lovely, flowing, sprayed into place with gallons of hairspray Farrah Fawcett hair. Seemed like such a good idea.
Life is so amazing. And the one constant in mine – change. What about yours? Have you lived a life filled with change or have you traveled a predictable path? There’s no right or wrong, it just is. I know that being adaptable to change – and actually inviting and or inciting it – has made my life more exciting. It’s also made it more nerve-wracking, more filled with uncertainty yet strangely more fulfilled and awe-inspiring. Maybe that’s part of the reason I love what I do for a living so much, because the one constant in the world of marketing and communications is change. And I’m comfortable with change.
What about you? Do you like change? Or do you hate it? What crazy things in your life seemed like a good idea – mostly because you didn’t really think about them too much while they were happening? Or is it only me who does that? I’d love to know.