This wasn’t what I planned.
Truth be told, this is absolutely the opposite of what I planned. In fact, the only way my current situation could be found in any of my previous plans is to peruse the list of plans I planned on adamantly not planning. Then, and only then, would you find “become a mother” in my plans.
Thankfully, I was never much of a planner.
After high school I planned on playing college basketball. A torn ACL, MCL, meniscus, fractured tibia, fractured fibula and a broken kneecap said otherwise. Seven painstaking, debilitating and pain-pill-loving knee surgeries later, and even my weekend plans of playing a pick-up game at the local Y had disappeared.
But if I hadn’t of annihilated my knee I would have stayed in Texas and if I would have stayed in Texas I wouldn’t have transferred to Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA.
And I wouldn’t have found home.
After college I planned on continuing to live with my boyfriend and attend postgraduate school to become an English teacher. A surprising situation and a painful decision and a long-time affair with the busty blonde next door neighbor said otherwise. A whiskey-fueled break down and a weekly appointment with a psychologist and a medical withdrawal from school transformed my plans into nothing more than a debilitating dream.
But if I hadn’t of found out about the neighbor or made the toughest decision of my life or left school so abruptly, I wouldn’t have moved to Seattle and I wouldn’t have started writing.
And I wouldn’t have found my calling.
After I moved to Seattle I had no plans at all. I was working two or three jobs to pay the criminally high rent and writing on a silly blog at odd hours in-between shifts. I was submitting essays with no plans of them being published and harassing editors with no plans of eliciting a response and wondering how an English Lit degree from a liberal college was ever going to help me pay the bills.
But if I had planned anything else I wouldn’t have been published and if I wouldn’t have been published I wouldn’t have of said “yes” to meeting with the intrigued midwestern gentleman who had happened to pick up a newspaper.
And I wouldn’t have found him.
After I found him I planned on keeping things casual and focusing on my career and absolutely under even the most picture-perfect of circumstances not, I repeat not, falling in love. A few months of evening dates turned into late nights and late nights turned into shared mornings and soon “I love you” was as effortless as “hello”. His plans of moving and my plans of not caring had turned into our favorite joke.
And if I hadn’t of fallen in love I wouldn’t have realized how unapologetically happy I could be. Happy in the little moments that others overlooked and happy in the big moments that have redefined my life and even happy in the overwhelming moments that prove happiness is worth fighting for.
And I wouldn’t have you.
You. With your full head of dark hair and your pudgy arms and your deep eyes. You with your constant wonderment and your milk-drunk gazes and your cries of absolute need. You, who completely terrifies me and absolutely overwhelms me and leaves me feeling powerful and inadequate simultaneously.
You, my son, who has redefined “love” and “sacrifice” and words with meanings I so foolishly believed I fully understood. You, my son, who reminds me every day that everything substantial or worthwhile or important in my life has only ever been a plan I planned on adamantly not planning.
You. You’re exactly what I didn’t plan.