Growing up, playing “pretend” was one of my favorite past times. I used to play school and work and doctor and restaurant. I’d pretend to be an actress, a singer, a mommy or a nurse.
I used to walk up and down the sidewalk in front of my house in white stiletto heels I had asked for as a present one year (withhold judgement, I was nine) “lining up my class before the bell rang” while my sister waited inside for school to begin. We would spend hours “getting ready,” with clothes from my mom’s closet, to play work. Wearing my turquoise rimmed fake glasses, I would change my last name to the name of whatever boy I liked at the time, and I could file forms and write cursive like any good worker must do. My friend, Hope, and I would make commercials and do photo-shoots from sun up to sun down. Give me a Saturday afternoon, and I could set up a whole house under the big tree in the front yard with all my toys and dolls and stuffed animals. It didn’t matter what I was playing, the world I lived in was just…perfect.
And then… I grew up.
That first real job: It didn’t go anything like all those pretend jobs went in my head. You mean I don’t get summers off anymore but instead I have 10 “vacation” days a year?
Marriage: Getting used to living with roommates was one thing, getting used to living with a husband…a completely different story. On top of that, transitioning into a healthy marriage would have been hard enough, but then figuring out how to navigate and eventually leave an unhealthy one? I didn’t play that when I was nine.
Having a baby: Perhaps the single most difficult transition of my life thus far. I’m pretty sure “how do I give her back” crossed my mind 9,287 times during her first two weeks of life, the poor thing. And she was an easy kid…except that she didn’t sleep. No matter how hard I try, there is just no amount of words that can adequately describe the level of sleep deprivation and exhaustion of a new mom. Totally didn’t see that one coming either. Quick note to the new moms: It does get easier, I promise. Don’t make a decision of whether or not to give them back until at least the first two weeks have passed.
Turns out, this life, real life isn’t at all what I thought. Spoiler alert: No stage or age or phase is perfect, and no amount of striving will make it so. Married life isn’t always roses and romance any more than single life is always care-free and fancy fun. Having children doesn’t mean every day you have happy, content babies like the pictures they put on ALL the boxes of baby apparatuses. In fact, those days seem to be the exception, not the norm. Being a working parent doesn’t mean you never miss your kiddo, and staying at home doesn’t mean you never get lonely. We can do all the photo cropping and make all the filter adjustments we want, but every single stage is filled with life stuff that can make it feel so…un-glamorous.
And while I started writing with the intent to prove that a glamorous life isn’t possible, I’ve changed my mind half way through. Here’s why:
Glamorous [glam-er-uh s]: Charmingly or fascinatingly attractive, especially in a mysterious or magical way. Full of excitement, adventure, and unusual activity.
Well, how ‘bout them apples. That definition both defines my life today and where I’m striving for my life to be tomorrow. Is it flawless? No. Pain-free? Not at all. Challenging? At times. Perfect? Perfectly mine, yes. However, even in the midst of all the life stuff, it turns out my life is pretty darn glamorous. It’s charming and magical and full of excitement, adventure and – thanks to the four year-old – it’s full of unusual activity.
And here’s the thing. I bet yours is, too.
While there is no doubt, the life I have is not the life of my 10 year-old imagination, THANK GOD! It’s better and richer and a heck of a lot more whimsical. I’ve also realized that the more intentional I become, the better it gets. I have been entrusted to raise a little girl who melts my heart in new ways everyday. I get to call the best people, friends. I’ve stepped right smack in the middle of amazing experiences to behold. Most days I feel like I’m on the ride of my life and it’s all I can do to hang on. Some days I’m hands in the air having a great time and other days I’m clinging on to the handle bar for dear life. I just wouldn’t have it any other way.
Glamor is found when we refuse to let the routine become the mundane. When we look up from our phones long enough to watch the sunset. When we kick off our shoes and walk barefoot through the grass or go down the slide at the park with our kids. When we choose to be grateful for our own season, while looking forward to the next. When we breathe deep and take a different path and play in the rain.
Like me, I’m sure that not all of the pieces of your life have been put together in the way you imagined. But life certainly can be filled with adventure and excitement and love.
Whaddya say, friends, let’s get our glamor on!