“Here” was not part of my plan.
It’s just a fact of life… life takes us in all kinds of directions and down so many different paths that we often wonder, “How did I end up here?”
I had a plan… After college I got married, moved to Los Angeles, began my career as a Hollywood actress. The plan was then to become an established actress and live the good life. Ever since I was a kid, I told my parents that I wanted a limo. Not to drive, but to be driven around in. I had high hopes, big dreams, and HUGE aspirations.
As often happens, life decided that my path needed a few twists and turns I hadn’t planned on, and about a hundred bumps, potholes, and caverns standing in my way. I wasn’t even two years into my marriage when a separation inevitably led to divorce. But, I didn’t let that stop me… I continued on, audition after audition, callback after callback, film set after film set, and of course endless hours at my full-time job. Then, one day I met a guy… handsome, confident, talented, smart, all the words you want to be able to attribute to your significant other. At the time, I had no idea that he was my future husband. I was just thinking… “date night.” One date led to two, and then a week, and then a month, and soon a year had passed and we were still happy and in love.
We got married, and shortly after the wedding he got offered a job. OUT OF STATE! I wanted to be the supportive wife. I understood that the opportunity for him to further his career and finish his college degree was important to the future of our family. We sat down and talked about our options. The only one that made sense was to pack up (tears began to roll down my face.) and move across country leaving my dreams behind. The plan was to be gone two years. In theory, it was long enough for him to finish his degree and for us to meet some financial goals we had as newlyweds. Two years turned into four, then six, and now it has been almost fourteen years.
I cried the first two hours of our car ride as I watched California slowly disappear into the distance behind us, and again the last half hour as our new life slowly started to unfold in front of us.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my life and I love where we have ended up and the family we have made. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t still times when the past bubbles up inside of me and I long for the beach, the California sun, palm trees, and of course that moment your phone rings and it’s your agent saying, “You got the part!” What a feeling… but, it doesn’t even compare to that moment when the room is dark only lit by a small night-light, and tiny arms are wrapped around me and I hear, “Mommy, I love you…” whispered in my ear. That moment too is soon to pass… my little ones are getting older and will soon to be teenagers with all the attitude and self-allotted independence that comes along with the teen years.
Would I change things? HELL NO! The greatest job I’ve ever had is being a mom, and no matter how much I loved California, it is no place to raise a child. We ended up here for a reason… actually two reasons and they are the most important people in my life!