Happy Birthday to Me, RIP to my Life Plan

22 Apr

When I was 18, I had a life plan.  I was going to go to college at Ashland University, meet a man (I knew my high school relationship wouldn’t last), and get married the summer/fall after graduation when I was 22.  By 26, I would have one baby.  By 28, another.  And a farmhouse, an awesome job, and maybe the desire to write still.

Here’s what really happened:

I didn’t find anyone at college that I could have married (some will argue this–it will be discussed another time), and I majored in Creative Writing, which left little to no opportunity in the job market without a Master’s Degree.  My advisor, Joe, looked at me in December and said, “How do you feel about grad school?”

Having no real reason to stick around and suffer the consequences of my choice of major, I said, “Sure.”

“UNCW,” he said.  “Apply.”

And I did.  Because if you know anything about me, I did everything Joe told me to do (let’s not be freaks here).  I respected him as a man, a professor, a writer, and a friend.  So I applied to one graduate school (the best in the country for creative nonfiction – WOOT!) in Wilmington, North Carolina, and I happened to get in.

I’m sure I angered the HELL out of the professors, because I never responded, never accepted, never did anything.  I told myself (not them) that I wouldn’t go there unless I got some financial aid, and a teaching assistantship.  Two days later, I did, and I couldn’t refuse the offer.

So I went, and I spent three years in NC from the ages of 22-25.  I still did not find a man down there…until the end of my second year, when I was 23.  I saw him walking around my neighborhood.  His name was…is Mike.  Mike moved to PA and sent my 24th birthday present in the mail.  He gave me my 25th when I came home from grad school.

A week ago, my mother (whose birthday is 5 days before mine) looked at me and said, “I turned 26, and 5 days later, I had you.”

Today, I turn 26.  I am currently 4 years behind on my life plan.  There is no ring, there are no babies.  But I do have a great job, two degrees, and an incredible man who came to see me a day early, so that for the first time in 2 years, we could be together on my birthday.  I’ll complain every day about not being a little closer to that original life plan, but truth-be-told, I’m thankful that I didn’t meet someone at Ashland, and that Joe said, “Go to UNCW,” and that Mike happened to be walking past me one day.

Let’s see what this year brings.  🙂


Posted by on April 22, 2011 in Daily Happenings, Domesticity


Tags: , , ,

8 responses to “Happy Birthday to Me, RIP to my Life Plan

  1. Ashly

    April 22, 2011 at 9:20 am

    I hear ya babe! 28, single, living in a 2 bedroom apartment, working full time, and a 7 year old was NOT in my life plan either. But I will make the most of it! I guess my life plan is NOT the plan that God had for me! There are lessons to learn and things to experience! Love ya!

    • erica42285

      April 22, 2011 at 9:46 am

      Oh Ashly thank you! You’re truly an inspiration! You’re such a strong woman and you have a lot to be proud of. Thank you so much! 🙂 Love ya!

  2. Joy

    April 22, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Erica, you are a beautiful person, inside and out. I am glad that you still have your dreams and that no matter what happens and where you end up, you’ll be thankful for where you have been and what you have learned along the way, because that is life, your life, your dreams~! Love you, JOY

    • erica42285

      April 22, 2011 at 9:46 am

      Joy, you just make my day every day! You’re so great to me and I’m so glad that I could sit and talk to you about all these things the last time I visited you. I have learned, and I’m lucky to have people like you in my life to keep me on track! I love you!

  3. Christopher

    April 22, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Happy Birthday! Great week for Birthdays, isn’t it?
    Anyway, where can I sign up for your “Life De-railed my Life Plan Club”?
    My plan was never quite as specific as yours, but I would say de-railed nonetheless.
    Never thought I’d have majored in art, never thought I’d have found a great lady to put up with me, never thought I’d be bionic by 22, never thought I’d like sports(thanks Wife!), never thought I’d have a college degree at 22 and still be making under $10 an hour.
    Never thought I’d be eagerly anticipating my 3rd wedding anniversary a full 6 months in advance, never thought I’d be whining about all the things I have to do inside and outside of MY(and my wife’s) house shortly before my 26th birthday either.

    I guess I should just close my eyes, let the wind hit my face, and see what’s around the next turn huh?


    • erica42285

      April 25, 2011 at 8:03 am

      Hey Chris!

      The club exists without membership cards, because none of us want to own up to it. 🙂 We’re all de-railed.

      Perhaps it’s time to start regular meetings. That could be arranged, no?

      Cheers, and happy early birthday, to you!

  4. Rebecca Germain

    April 22, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Does life ever go as planned? Hell no. Thank God. My plans were just…laughable…at 18. Here’s to fate or destiny or free will sparkled with a few well placed and predetermined stepping stones or however this whole thing called life works. I dig it.

    Every time I read your blog, I’m irritated I didn’t get more beers with you. Keep writing. Get it, girl.

    • erica42285

      April 25, 2011 at 8:05 am

      🙂 If life went how we planned, we’d all turn into zombies. I’m into it. I wish I could force a few things into existence. Good thing I don’t plan on winning the lottery. Then maybe it’ll happen!

      I do wish we would have hung out more. But that certainly gives me reasons to come to NC again! Cheers, Becky!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: