So I called up some friends from high school this morning (prompted by a dream I had last night in which I was still IN high school, complete with knee socks and pleated uniform skirt, but I was also pregnant and trying desperately to conceal it from everyone. Interesting.) And I realized that all of those people, like normal college students, are headed off on exciting adventures because it is SPRING BREAK! I didn't even realize. Renee and Linzi are off on a cruise to the Bahamas, and Laura and Kelly (actually still in high school!) are renting a house on the beach in Florida with some friends, and, worst of all, Braden is going backpacking around Europe!!! Without me!!
Oh, that was supposed to be me... I was the one obsessed with all things Europe, remember? I was the one who was going to live in London and be a journalist.
This just goes to show how hard it is to be content with what you have, because just last night I was feeling super excited about a couple of weekend trips we have coming up. Sure, Akron, Ohio is not exactly an exotic destination, but we are also going to Chicago this weekend! That's pretty cool. It'll be even cooler still if we can find someone to keep the kiddo overnight for us! To someone who's gone no farther than the grocery store in two months, the thought of road trips and hotels with swimming pools were really cheering me up.
And then I talk to the friends, and I can practically see them, jet setting around the globe in all their un-tied-down freedom, with their low-rise jeans around their still un-stretch-marked hips, and I had a feeling, honestly, that was more resentment than even just jealousy. I am not proud of this, let me say. Because I know that we all make our choices, and no one forced me into marriage and babies. I have the life I wanted, and continue to want.
But sometimes, even when you've gladly taken one path, it's hard to keep from looking back over your shoulder at the path you walked away from. I wouldn't in a million years trade my life with my husband and daughter for my friends' lives with their projects and tests and crazy hours, but there are days when I would like to trade... Days. Not lives, just days. Even a few hours, in which I would Freaky Friday myself into their bodies and experience the life of your average twenty-two year old. I would hand off the temper tantrums and the sticky kitchen floor and my waddling, pot-bellied self to one of them, and I would slip into their slim bodies and their apartments and the sea of choices still in front of them. Even though I know I would likely return happier than ever with my own choices, I would still like the chance to make that trade. Just for the day.