The Journey

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

It’s a question we hear many times during our youth. Some of us know, from an early age, exactly what we want to do with our lives. For others, the process of figuring it out takes a bit longer.

It’s not just about deciding on a career. Growing up involves discovering our identities amid the milestone events. We start out being “someone’s child” and eventually move on to become “someone’s spouse” and, further, “someone’s parent”. Additionally, we’re “someone’s boss” or “someone’s employee” and, socially, “someone’s friend”.

Life changes. Events and experiences continue to shape who “we” are. Life is also busy and chaotic, leaving us little time to simply be “us”.

When my marriage ended, 3 years ago, and my life started over {after many years of being abroad}, my kiddos were less dependent on me ~ one being a grown man, the other quickly approaching being “of age” (now only 2 years away). Like many other parents whose children are similar ages, I’m close to a time when my life becomes mine again.

The process of finding who I authentically am has been interesting and enlightening to say the least. What I’ve learned goes beyond my identity; I’ve realized that there is real beauty on the roads that are less traveled because they twist, turn and take us through places that are more challenging than the straight, main road to our destination. The challenges make us stronger and help us grow but we must be open to accepting them and the lessons they teach us about ourselves and life.

We aren’t meant to know every facet of who we are. Ever. There will always be events that change us and our perspectives. There will always be moments when we surprise ourselves about what we think, feel, believe. There will always be conversations that make us realize something we’d not thought of before.

The beauty of life is in the story that has a billion plot twists, a lot of laughter, an open mind, a compassionate heart, the love of family/friends, kindness toward others, and the acceptance of differences.

I have learned that the answer to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is really quite simple. When I reach the end of my life, I only want to be the best version of ME.

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