My oldest niece is going to the DPS today to take her permit test. I am going to the DPS to renew my license. We are both girls (ahem, I still consider myself a girl) which means...
and deciding what shirt you want to wear for the next 12 years. (In your driver's license photo anyway)
When I was 15 & 16, getting my permit and then my license, this was great fun! I spent the whole morning (of every day the week prior) thinking and planning.
Today, I am 38. As I got out of the bathtub and started blowdrying my hair, it dawned on me...
Next time I have to do this will be when I turn fifty.
Wow. My mom is 50 (not really, but in my mind she is)
Today, my oldest is 14. When I renew next time my youngest will be 14.
Today my youngest is 2. When I renew next time, my oldest will be 26.
Today I have 5 children. When I renew next time I might be a grandmother.
As I think back to the last time I renewed my license, I realize what an entirely different person I am today.
Last time, I was 26.
I was pregnant with my 2nd child.
I was working full time for an international consulting company.
I lived in Farmers Branch, TX in our first home.
I liked Victorian decor.
I had really long hair.
I weighed 60 pounds less (but I still thought I was fat).
I was the Missionettes Coordinator for our church.
I taught 5th & 6th grade girls.
I sang in the choir, and on the praise and worship team.
I liked to read fiction.
My very honest daughter told me that my hair looked like a rat's nest in the back. I told her I didn't care, they weren't taking a picture from the back! I felt like I looked pretty good - when I left the house.
It took us 45 minutes to get to the office (2 potty breaks for child(ren) who will remain nameless)
I'll spare you the gruesome details, but our visit took nearly 3 hours.
After all that time, my lipstick was gone and my hair was no longer cute!
Maybe it's just because this one is close and in black and white, but I feel like it looks like a mug shot!
In many ways, I am a better person. I have overcome and survived many things that have made me stronger. If I had asked myself, 12 years ago, "Where will I be in 12 years?" I'm sure the answer would have been vastly different than my present reality.
In 2 ways, it would be the same - I would have said still married to William, stay at home mom of (at least) 2 kids.
I probably would have sworn that the other people in my life would still be there; they are not. I would not have guessed that I would bury one best friend, and lose the other to "irreconcilable differences". I would not have guessed that many of our "couple friends" would now be single parents and remarried with blended families.
I would not have imagined that we would be in a spacious, beautiful 5 bedroom home - and still not have very many people over because I haven't figured out how to keep it clean. I wouldn't have imagined thrifting for fun, instead of necessity! I wouldn't have guessed that I would have had a successful business as an artist. I certainly didn't plan on joining the club of Grieving Mothers by burying my sweet Ian Wesley.
Looking back, I wouldn't change much. Looking forward, I can't plan much.
So, instead of being sad that yesterday is gone or being afraid of what tomorrow may bring,
I choose to live right here, in the present.