A couple of days ago the hubs and I were talking about a conversation that I had with my twin sister during which she said “You are nothing like what I thought you’d be when we were growing up.” Â We both laughed and I admitted that I’m also surprised at how I turned out. Â And, apparently, so are a lot of other people. Â People who knew me in high school always have the same reaction when they find me on Facebook ~ “You mean you’re not in the middle of a jungle somewhere?” Â or “Wait! Â You’re a mom? Â What the heck happened to you?”
In high school I was that odd combination of brightly attired bookworm with a wallflower complex who wore the perfume of quiet desperation and teen angst like it was Chanel No. 5. Â In fact, I was so uncool that I was known by two names “Shontel’s Sister” and “The Other Twin”. Â But the one thing that everyone knew about The Other Twin was that I would somehow end up in the middle of nowhere saving people who didn’t know they needed saving.
All throughout high school, I had these plans of travelling the world and reporting on stories that mattered. Â I wanted to go to Madagascar and live among the natives. Â I dreamed of talking to the leaders of La RevoluciÃ³n (it didn’t matter what revolution, just as long as I was there). Â I imagined myself bonding with other journalists as we hunkered down with troops stationed in various war zones. Â This globe trotting life of which I dreamed was courtesy of Danielle Steel and her book, Message from Nam, about a young female reporter who sacrificed all to tell the story of the Vietnam War. Â This story was closely followed by M. M. Kaye’s Trade Wind which so vividly described Zanzibar that I felt a pull to visit all places exotic.
Books have always been a part of my life, they gave me the name for my oldest daughter ~ Anjuli from The Far Pavilions by M. M. Kaye. Â The stories that I read shaped me and molded me, they helped to become the creative, eccentric, ballsy, loud~mouthed woman that I am today. Â No, I don’t travel the world as a journalist but I do help students discover new places (both offline and online) as a librarian. Â I’m not helping to change history but I do get to discuss the way it has impacted the present as an history instructor. Â I’m not living with pygmies in the middle of a jungle but I’m always in danger of a coup as a wife and mom. Â So, no, my life didn’t turn out how I thought it would but it has turned out the way it should.
What about you? Â Is your life what you expected it to be when you were a teenager?