(Image Courtesy of IMDB.com)
Is anyone else out there a Friends fan? *raises both hands* It’s one of the only shows that my husband and I can always agree to watch, and believe me, we have watched it over and over again – a ton of times, over the years. The other day, I was trying to figure out something to watch that I could fold laundry to (and yes, the laundry is still in a large heap on my couch), when I decided to start with Season 1 of Friends.
Do you remember the episode (like the third or fourth of the first season’s discs), when Rachel is being asked by her credit card company’s if she is okay because she hasn’t been spending money like she used to? Her response, after some initial freaking out because of a disastrous reunion with some old friends, is that she’s okay because she has magic beans….like (as Phoebe says) Jack from Jack and the Bean Stalk.
Now, I bring this up, not just because the show is awesome (it is SO awesome), but also because the epiphany came at a crucial moment in my life. Lately, I have been giving some serious consideration to where I am in my life and whether or not I should be proud of what I have accomplished thus far, or rather be angry that I haven’t done everything that I thought I would have by now.
Do you remember those kids in high school that knew from infancy that they wanted to grow up to be a foot doctor or rainbow maker? Well, I was not one of those kids. (I had an inkling that I would love to be a writer, but that dream didn’t solidify until recently.) I was the kid that even after a few semesters of college, enlisted in the Air Force, because I still didn’t know what I wanted to do when I grew up.
After doing that for a few years (about five), I separated from the Air Force, and moved to be with my husband in Italy. (I know, it was really tough.) It took some time, but I finally was able to get a job in the Civil Service and have been doing that ever since.
Now, in this time we’ve also had the most gorgeous and smart little girl. She’s amazing and I can’t figure my life at all without her. (She keeps me on my toes and makes sure I earn my “mom-badge” daily.)
So, as I’m sitting there, not folding laundry, I’m thinking about my life and where I thought I would be when I reached the age I am, and I couldn’t help but feel a little…unsure. I know of friends that I have (those dreaded perfectionists from high school) that knew their dreams and are now like famous in their chosen careers (probably have butlers to clean the rainbows they make in their spare time from solving world hunger), and it was hard not to think that maybe I could have tried harder. Maybe things would be different today.
Well, then my daughter runs into the living room. She crawls into my lap and gives me a big hug and tells me, “I love you, mommy. You are so beautiful.” (She must have heard me say this to her a million times, but I’ll take it.)
I couldn’t help but smile into her big brown eyes and think, like Rachel, I’ve got some awesome magic beans!
I may not be the astronaut I thought I might be (I’m not really great at math), or the big-time lawyer I briefly imagined (seriously, they have to go to school for a LONG time!), but I have so much more than I thought I would. I have a wonderful husband and daughter, a great job, and family and friends. It doesn’t get much better. *smiles*
What about you? Are you fulfilling all those dreams you had as a child? Do you have some great magic beans?