While rummaging through my room the other night, I found an assortment of items that brought back some very good memories - and a few bad ones.
Not only did I find the obvious array of pens and pencils, extra notepads and a few wretched high school photographs, but as I dug a little deeper into the drawer, I found a note tucked into the back corner.
What was written on the note, you ask? Well, I didn't know either, so I opened it anxiously - secretly hoping to read about some lame love interest that had fizzed out like flat soda.
Curiously enough, it wasn't about love - or soda. It was a list I had compiled in ninth grade of all the goals I had wanted to accomplish by the time I was 30.
The list was fairly standard, mildly cheesy and pretty accomplished, at least for a 15-year-old.
The complete list is as follows:
1. Find the man of my dreams
2. Marry my "dream" man
3. Have a family with Mr. Right
4. Own my own business
5. Live by the beach
6. Build a log cabin
7. Successfully graduate from college
8. Find a job I love (with a little heart drawn beside it)
9. Drive an SUV
10. Make my own soap and sell it
11. Live in a nice house
As I glanced at the list, nearly 10 years after it was first written, I felt very proud, yet somewhat embarrassed. First, I'll explain the embarrassment.
How many ways can you describe your so-called "dream man?" I found quite a few. I look back at myself now and think, "My goodness, what was I thinking?"
Again, I was only 15 at the time, and I'm reminded that my daughter, Emma, also will be that age someday.
Yet, when I took a closer look at my list, I realized that many of my goals had already been accomplished. I essentially "found the man of my dreams" when I met Jeremy in college.
These past four years that we have been together have seen our share of ups and downs, but through it all he is the man I am going to marry - and I love him for that. We have a beautiful baby girl together, for whom I'm very thankful each and every day. And yes, I successfully graduated from college - in four years. That's a feat these days.
Jeremy always makes fun of me for writing lists. Lists are the quintessential staple in my life. They help me live, breathe and work better. If I didn't use them, I wouldn't have the job I love so much (with a little heart drawn beside it.)
The man of my dreams/dream man/Mr. Right can make fun of me all he wants, but lists are important. I realized how important they were to me when I read off my goals that very night in my room.
People always ask you when you are younger, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" What I never realized is, adults were asking me in their adult-lingo, "What do you aspire to do with your life?" Like I knew that.
Well at 15, maybe I got the hint and decided to write down a list, tuck it away in the back corner of my desk drawer and let it ferment for the better part of a decade.
Over the past few years, there have been times when I felt like giving up and never looking back. But I never gave up hope and persevered through it all.
Now, as an older and somewhat wiser 24-year-old, I realize which goals I've already accomplished and which new ones still await success. I guess I'll save those for another list.
"It is by what we ourselves have done, and not by what others have done for us, that we shall be remembered in after ages."
- Francis Wayland
Sentinel Reporter Tara Maguire can be contacted at tmaguire @ lewistownsentinel.com.