When I was fourteen, I had plans. I had big plans. I was going to be an engineer, live in Tilbury, England, with my best friend, in a small house by the water. If we had kids, there would be two of them, twins (of course!), a boy and a girl, named Aidan and Adele. I was going to work at EuroDisney the first summer out of high school, and aptly prepared for such employment by taking French classes for three years. Despite being a rabid pacifist, I was going to go to school at the Air Force Academy, and use my stellar math skills to make it happen. I was always going to love The Beatles and knew that Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was the best movie that could ever made. I was going to work on my art and make my own soap. I was going to bake Christmas cookies so pretty even baby Jesus would misbehave to get a bite. I was going to be organized and I was going to have everything labeled. I was going to grow up and never grow old. I was going to magically wake up one day and be as pretty on the outside that I felt I was on the inside.
Then something happened.
I didn’t become an engineer, and have never went to Tilbury. My best friend and I didn’t have children, or get married, and I eventually outgrew the need to alliterate my environment. I did make it to Paris, in my twenties, and forgot to apply to the Air Force Academy. I cried when George Harrison died and get requests for my Veruca Salt. I work on my art but let the hippies make the soap. My Christmas cookies look like poop but taste like heaven, and I cherish my labelmaker. I’m not sure I grew up, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t grow old. And one awesome day, I did wake up and realize I was beautiful, on the inside and out, because I was happy. I was really happy with who I was and something had happened.
Something awesome had happened. My life.