I don't know how I ended up here.
This was never the vision I had for my life.
When I was a child I thought I'd be a doctor or a lawyer. I pictured myself at a Big 10 school. I thought I'd make my family proud.
I went to three different colleges before I settled in to finish my Bachelor's degree.
I ended up at a smaller school, small enough for me to raise my hand and be called on. I started to stand out because I didn't have the option to blend in. I made the Dean's list semester after semester, I was a TA, I built my resume by volunteering. I graduated with honors.
If I would have had it my way, I would have been doing beer bongs with twenty thousand other Spartans.
When I was in my teens I imagined I'd be married by my early twenties. Well, my early twenties came and went and the man I wanted to marry wasn't ready to settle down.
I didn't think breaking up and moving out would be a part of our story, but it took leaving to know where I belonged.
I thought I'd use my college degree and help people. I assumed I'd work a traditional 9 to 5. I felt tired, burnt out and uninvested in what I was doing. I decided to bartend until I figured out what was best for me.
Five years later I was still in the service industry. Knowledgeable, passionate, and learning more about people and myself than I ever expected.
I thought I'd like to wait until I was 30 to start a family.
Our first daughter was an unplanned pregnancy at the age of 26. She saved me. She saved a struggling marriage that was desperately trying to find it's footing.
She was right on time.
Two years after I had my first child I was ready to start trying again for a second. Within two months of stopping birth control, I was pregnant with twins. Cue panic.
Those girls are just what we needed. A family of five is exactly what we are meant to be.
Growing up I assumed I'd never be able to rely on my mother for anything: drugs robbed my home life of stability, trust, and normalcy.
A few weeks ago I was able to leave my eldest daughter in her care.
Sometimes you plan. Sometimes you push. And sometimes you pray.
Don't let the vision you have for your life blind you from something better. Let the struggle serve you.