A Moment in My Life – Friday, September 18, 2020
“I knew I’d be the man I am today.” My first thought was, Is that possible? How many of you could say that? Matthew, my friend, said he knew vividly, way back before adulthood, he would be the man he is today. Those were powerful words to my ears when I compare myself to him. Me, the one who is an avid To-Do List enthusiast, but I couldn’t come up with an answer to those office surveys asking, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Five years? Oh, I don’t know. I don’t know where I see myself a week from today. How do I answer that question, especially if the company mentioned potential layoffs and relocations in two years? I often wondered, Is this a trick question? I mean, really, are you asking so that the employees’ answers could help streamline who stays and who goes? I never knew the answer to that question. I supposed it was coincidental. In any event, I had no answer.
I grew up in a home where my parents lived day-to-day, making ends meet. There was no planning ahead. We never talked about the future, let alone who we would be when we grew up. We didn’t do family outings or vacations where we exercised planning. We simply lived. No examples or motivations were encouraging us to plan that far ahead. Quite frankly, the question who I will be never crossed my mind. What I would do? did. That’s the direction I’ve always taken—what to do—get things done—do the best job I possibly could—be the best person I could be. That’s where my checklists and motivations came from.
Matthew suggested I take a walk down memory lane back to my formative years and chart out my life highlights. What a great idea! I took his advice, and my life literally unfolded before my eyes. I remember clearly now who I thought I was going to be. I did know who I was going to be today, but the person I became and that person I thought I would be don’t remotely resemble each other.
Had I become the person I thought I would be, we wouldn’t be friends today for starters. I wouldn’t have friends, not many, at least. I would have been a shy, quiet, reclusive old maid living at home taking care of my parents, and being their chauffeur, butler, maid, and girl Friday but not cook. I didn’t cook back then. Since I knew of no other life, I would have been scrambling to recreate my existence now, after my parents’ passing. I definitely would not have pursued writing since my mother took care of that for a pipedream early on.
How conveniently that I couldn’t remember any of this until Matthew’s suggestion to take a trip down memory lane. Who did I become? Let’s take a look. The love of my life swept me off my feet. He added his parents, two sisters, and a brother to my family. I landed an excellent job with a great company that opened doors to my future that blessed me with a comfortable lifestyle and a great circle of lifelong friends. Jesus enriched my life along the way with hope and a huge Christian family, and I am never alone. And, that pipedream is now a reality.
I’m happy for Matthew, who became the man he expected to become. As for me, I’m plenteously grateful that I did not become the person I thought I would be. What about you? What’s your story? I’d love to hear it.