About the only thing I felt confident of at all those ages was that I wanted to be a teacher.
But by the time I left for college, my life plan was firmly cemented in my mind.
I was going to meet the man of my dreams while in college and get married. We would walk to classes holding hands, meet each other for lunch, buy groceries together, live in a cute little apartment, and be so happy we were so much more mature than all the other poor single suckers around us.
We would graduate from college and both start work. I hadn't really selected my pretend husband's career but we would have enough money to live in a nice home, take a vacation once a year, and send our children to private school.
And of course, there would be enough money for me to stop working once we had those four perfect, beautiful children (2 boys and 2 girls because 2 of each would be perfect, right?). I would have all 4 kids before the age of 30 because I was going to be the young and fun mom while they were little and then still be young enough to travel the world once they moved out.
This is not exactly how things turned out.
I didn't meet my husband until the summer after my college graduation. So I spent my four years at TCU as one of those poor single suckers.
We did get married quickly - the December following my college graduation. But he was still a college student with two years left to go so I was bringing home the bacon - only there wasn't much of it.
I had become a teacher just like I always wanted (score one life point plan for me!) but it wasn't exactly the kind of setting I imagined. I was teaching third graders math and science (my two least favorite subjects) and most of the students were not at all interested in learning how to borrow in subtraction or knowing the difference between physical and chemical changes. And they weren't afraid to let me know they weren't interested.
I seriously began considering a career change to the fast food industry.
Instead, I finished up that year and started teaching kindergarten at a small Christian school.
Then Ryan and I started talking about having kids, just like the total idiots we were at that time. We found out very quickly that the good ol' bird and bees talk your parents give you - that stuff works!
I was pregnant at his college graduation. I finished out my school year and passed the bread-winning baton to Ryan.
We had our first daughter and much to my dismay, I realized that this was a whole lot harder than my Baby Alive doll. I was 24 years old and decided I needed to make some adjustments to my life plan. Maybe we would have one more child but definitely not four!
We had another daughter and it stayed that way for ten years. I decided my baby days were over, gave away everything, and embraced spontaneity - go out to dinner, go to a movie, throw the kids in the car and go get some ice cream. Woohoo - the freedom!
Then, along came The Bird - baby #3. Born when I was 36 years old! It was quite the surprise. And continues to be a surprise almost daily. But a good one!
So I guess you could say that the life plan I formulated at the age of 18 didn't pan out. But that's OK with me. I'm 100% confident that God's doing His thing and all I have to do is follow along.
Which is good because my life is so crazy now, I'm glad I'm not the one in charge!
Lead on, Lord.