January 23, 2006

Dreams of Baldness

When I was in high school, I was determined to marry a bald Canadian. I am currently married to the very hairy, very American Spike. In college, I had a whole plan worked out to be a geologist, traveling all over the country in an RV with my 2 chocolate labradors. I currently have no professional job, no dogs (Spike is allergic) and no RV. When I was 13, I decided that living in a tree house in Africa would be the best situation a gal could dream of. I haven't climbed a tree now in about 5 years and Africa is about as far off my map as Mars.

What if we all really got what we wanted when we were teenagers? Would if affect our happiness? I'm sure me and my hairless Canadian would have some modicum of happiness in our Swisss Family Robinson hideaway in the Congo. I wonder how many people (women especially) are actually doing what they thought they would be when they were little. Don't get me wrong - I love my situation, my marriage, my city, my kid - but there was no way I could have predicted it. Which seems silly since it's so amazingly textbook. But we think wildly when we're kids. To actually sit down as a teenager and dream of being a wife and mother seems so boring. So uninspiring. So status quo.

But maybe that's just it. It's very easy to see how those teenage dreams could excite and inspire. But try exciting a 20 year old girl fresh out of college about getting married, getting fat, and having babies. Not such an easy sell. And obviously not for everyone, but luckily, fate tugged me that way. And here I happily sit atop a pile of discarded aspirations with baby goo on my shirt and a silly grin on my face. My 17 year old self would go ballistic if she could see me now!

When I dream of my future these days, there are shockingly few Canadians in it and hardly even a whiff of labrador. Actually, I don't escape much to the future now. My current, everyday situation is so darn commodious that I don't need to dream up exotic trips or adventures to get me through the day. Does that make me uninspired or complacent? I hope not, although I'm sure many would think so. But please don't judge me too harshly because I don't want a Ph.D. or even to be in a book club. My days of dreaming of backpacking Europe are over and honestly, a dog would be a pain in the neck to take care of. Somehow my life that is lousy with unfulfilled dreams is the most fulfilling existence I could possibly imagine. Although I don't see how having an RV could hurt!


kelsey said...

Sarah, a woman after my own heart. I once dreamed of Africa and treehouses myself. I still dream of Africa, although instead of dreaming of an Out of Africa, baronness, plantation-owning life, I now dream of a carefully orchestrated and safely guided safari with a bunch of other retirees. So maybe we can take a family trip there someday after we get our little ones all growed up! But it truly is my one life travel goal to see Kilimanjaro before I die.

Katherine said...

I don't know what was the matter with me when I was a kid. I never had those wild aspirations, I was all about the family and the career. I am no where near where I thought I would be, but at least I have been to Africa :)

Basic Black with Pearls said...

An RV? You live on the coast! Make that a boat, and I'll believe you. AN RV?!!! Arf!

Stephanie said...

What's so funny is I don't remember what I used to dream about as a teenager. All I know is that I figured out that nothing ever turned out the way I planned so I just gave up and said the heck with it. I'm trying to make up for it with some wild, grandiose plans involving hairy Italians. Bald Canadians aren't my thing. ;-)