While devouring dinner not too long ago and Brendon remarked on a colleague who had a very definite five year plan. It was a good one, made all kinds of sense. It was something that Brendon, in another life, would have done. But I kind of laughed and said, "Heh, plans." Because for me and us, life has a way of just doing whatever it wants. Regardless of what you have planned. And I kind of love it. So it's had me thinking. Thinking of all the plans that didn't happen, and all the great things that did instead over the past decade.
If you're like me, a person inevitably cursed with a sense of responsibility and... grown-upness? planning just kind of happens naturally for us nerds. You try to do what you're supposed to. But that being said, plans in general also stress me out. So I have a weird balance of not totally flying by the seat of my pants, but also rolling with the punches. I married a super planner. He would plan our every second of every day if he could. I roll my eyes and say, "let's just see what happens." (Or I screech out something about him being a micromanager.) I think we balance each other out well, and believe it or not, HE has added most of the chaos to me life. Lovely, sweet, fantastic chaos.
My first recollection of real life planning, or scheming, would be planning to go off to college. I wanted to be an art teacher. I picked a college "far away" (Denton is far, right?), I wanted to get out of dodge. I was wrapping up my first and only real very messy breakup (HAHAHAHA) and wanted a clean slate. Plans were made, a friend was supposed to go with me and she bailed, but I was determined to go. Alone seemed even better. But then, Brendon happened. And right before I was supposed to leave to start this great adventure and life on my own, that boy conned me into noticing him, then dating him. I was like, OKAY FINE, BUT NO PROMISES. I still went to off college on my own, and it was one of the best things I've ever done. Long distance relationships though, they suck. So after a year of riding the struggle bus, up came Brendon. I was no longer alone and there we were, going to college together. At some point the idea of being an art teacher went out the window thanks to an actual teacher who got real with me after some drawing class and told me my "talent" would be wasted. Honestly, I didn't even like kids, I would have been a terrible teacher. So I switched my major to Studio Art, and planned on going to grad school after. I was going to be an Artist. With or without Brendon. But then, I just kept falling for Brendon. And you guys, I fought it. We broke up for two seconds 1000 times. But never really, 'cause I loved that boy. And the idea of living anywhere without him, it just seemed silly. He eventually conned me again (he's such a charmer you guys, I blame the hair and those Dr. Pepper eyes) into living with him and it was to my surprise, the best. I was like, damn. I think I could do this forever. And then he proposed, and you know. We got married. Right after graduation. And he got into the best pharmacy school (you're welcome, UT) in the state and there was no hope of grad school for me there. So, I just didn't go to grad school. And I was okay with that. It didn't happen and if I had the chance now I still wouldn't go. It wasn't for me. It was what you were supposed to do as an artist, it was the next step. And I was ever the good girl, trying to follow the rules. But you guys, I have basically not painted once since graduating and I'm not mad. I think I just happened to be decent at drawing and painting, and so I got a degree in it. But I don't regret it! It taught me how to manage time, think creatively, and it taught me what I was capable of. But I think I've found my niche in sewing, for now. It makes me real happy. I'm glad I got that degree, but I don't miss painting.
ANYWAY, so off to Austin we went. The game plan was for Brendon to finish pharmacy school and then make the big bucks in Austin working for CVS. But then, he did some clinical rotations towards the end and was like, hmmm... I think I want to do that. And he timidly put forth the idea of doing a residency after graduation and I was like, "are you kidding after four years NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE." But of course, I thought about it for more than two seconds and came around. What's one more year? He'll get to do what he loves. So we did all the motions and applying and Temple was in our future. And somewhere in that last year of school, we decided to try to have kids?? Boom, pregnant.
And I have given up on planning.
When I was 17, I didn't want a boyfriend. I got one. When I was 20, all I wanted to do was go to grad school and be a successful artist. I did NOT want to get married, I didn't even want to share my one bedroom apartment. Brendon and I moved in together, got hitched, and grad school went out the window by 23. I have for most of my short adult life, not wanted kids. But a few years ago I was like, hmmm... I think I wanna try mixing up some DNA. I want to try raising a human with this man. And at 27 we will have made a kid! And I sure as hell did not want to move to Temple, TX of all places, but look where we are. And I don't even hate it!
You guys, life is a mess! You can plan all you want, but life just says, nah let's do this instead! And that is so okay. Sometimes life has better ideas. Life has taken me on the strangest adventure and I would not change a second of it. Even the bad parts. Because they make you stronger and when you look back, they're not so bad. It's all been so so so good. Nothing like I imagined. It's okay that you might not have done what you were "supposed" to do. There is no "supposed" to. Almost a year ago someone very close to me made me feel terrible about what I was doing in life, because it wasn't what I was "supposed" to do. Well, eff that! As long as you are alive, happy, and healthy, what are you doing wrong? I have everything I need, and more. I am a lucky lucky lady and I am thrilled to be where I am. A lot of chaos and hard work and LOVE got me to be where I'm not "supposed" to be.
So what I'm trying to say is, I didn't want a Brendon. But ten years ago I got one. And he is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I hope he thinks likewise. ;) We have been on a rowdy adventure, but I have had the best life so far. It has been so much fun. Hard and trying, but gosh, we've had a lot of fun. Sometimes I think back on all we've been through and it feels like a dream. Some of it really sucked, but most of it has been fantastic. I have been so happy. Every year is better than the last and I just can't wait to see what weirdness awaits.
Happy ten years, Mr. Hogan. Happy ten years of crazy adventures. Happy ten years of plans going awry, of flying by the seat of our pants, even though you're a champion micromanager. Thank you for derailing plans and turning them into something so much better. Thank you for finding me and for sharing the best decade of my life. You are my favorite and I have more love for you than I ever thought possible to feel. I will follow you and us to the ends of the earth on our adventures, because it is always worth it.
Embarrassing photo, as you do. New Years Eve 2007, we were 19. I'd have posted an earlier one but you know, back when we got together disposable cameras were all the rage. Not too many digital versions of us in our early years. But still, even two years in we were BAAAABIES. (I still have and regularly wear that jacket. It's just so warm.)
Loved you then, love you now, love you forever, four eyes. Happy ten years of adventuring, give me some smooches.