Did I Fail?
When my family moved back to Idaho Falls after being away for four years, I felt mixed emotions. I was excited to be closer to family, but I also was having a difficult time adjusting to the realization that I would most likely spend the rest of my life in one place, one town, forever. I couldn’t help but think, “This town is where I will be buried,” and that morbid thought left me uneasy.
And through my uneasy thoughts, I felt a strange sense of failure. Failure for not abandoning the town I vowed to escape after high school. My high school self had grand visions of living independently, traveling the world, working in an always exciting, always glamorous career. I never envisioned getting baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 18 or getting married at 20 or having my first child at 22, and I especially never envisioned returning to live and work in the town I despised.
In essence, I realized I was not going to live a real-world version of Sex in the City (the watered-down TBS version, of course).
As time has passed since I first felt the inklings of failure, not only have these feelings of failure subsided, but I’ve realized my definition of success has changed. It’s true that I never envisioned my life going down my current path, but I also never envisioned the simple joys this new path could provide. From being greeted at the door by a three-year-old eager to tell me about the giant mud puddle he found in the driveway to laughter shared with my husband as we fold the laundry. There are still moments that I wish that my name was Carrie (actually Charlotte was always my favorite. I am a compulsive organizer after all.) and I could go to the bathroom in peace or eat in peace or read in peace or just have some peace, but the simple joys, those have become my new Beacons of Success. Those simple joys are what I cling to those when my days are long and the trials are hard, and I want so desperately to escape.
So did I fail? I guess it depends on who’s measuring. But by my calculations, nope, not even close.