When Life Is Not What We Imagined

Erika_Wonder Woman1_27Oct2012

Erika M. Schreck, Halloween 2012.

Is your life what you imagined it would be?

Are you enjoying your life?

Through acknowledging my own experiences and hearing countless client stories, I’m learning that the answers to these questions do not need to be the same, and these answers are best if not dependent on each other.

In the 1970s, I was convinced (and prayed that) I would be Wonder Woman. I would jump from our living room couch, throw off my robe and reveal my Wonder Woman Underoos to “save” my sister who was in the lava pit (designated area of the floor), going to be eaten by alligators or… well, you know.

Growing up in the Midwest, I learned the importance of family, kids, marriage and working-hard. One of my grandmothers requested that I select my silverware pattern at around age 13, so this elaborate set could be a wedding gift. She died before the gifting could happen and was a bit upset a few years before she died that my sister and I “still” weren’t married. My aunt told my first boyfriends with a strong wink that she made wedding cakes–when she met them for the first time. And in my later teens, I imagined that I’d be married by 24 and proceed to have four kids, of course with the partner I’d be with the rest of my life. This vision was a significant part of the future I dreamed in my late teens and early 20s.

Ummmm….

So, here I am, quite far off of that imagining from long ago.

And.

Life is really okay. Most of the time. I’ve needed to make peace with what isn’t and settle into and realize the gifts of what is. The comparing that can happen among friends and family, such as when we see what others present about their lives via social media channels like Facebook, can be heartbreaking if we get stuck on what other people have–wait, “everyone else” has–and we don’t. Right?

The gem I’ve learned with all of these possibilities, though, is no matter what we thought we might have, we can still be happy in our lives and enjoy where we are. We need to respect this concept for ourselves and for others–especially when we might not understand others’ life choices. It’s not that we can’t hope for more or have what we want. We need to be flexible, though, with how we get there because the how is revealed along the way, in ways we really can’t always imagine.

And.

Sometimes the unique path we take and life we create may not look like everyone else’s. I’m learning to be okay with that myself. With several clients, I’m reminding them, as well. Choosing joy and supporting our priorities with our life choices seems to be the bottom line… the how may just not be what we imagined.

And it still can be all good.

And.

There are adult Underoos. And I may be Wonder Woman again. <wink>

© Erika M. Schreck, 2015. All rights reserved for photos and words.