(1) I would become a brain surgeon (I think “St. Elsewhere” was one of my favorite shows back then);
(2) I would live in a beautiful apartment in New York City; and
(3) I would lead the life of a cosmopolitan, childless single woman (in the manner of a “Sex in the City” character, before the book and HBO series existed).
I was adamant about all of this, advertising my intentions to all of my friends, at least for a few years. Then I went off to college. I realized I would have to take too many science courses to fulfill adolescent fantasy #1, that in choosing to major in Art History and French literature, I would likely never be able to find a job that would pay enough for me to afford fantasy #2, and that, after meeting my future husband as a junior in college (the story for a future blog posting, perhaps), my single and childless fantasy #3 was numbered in years, not in decades.
I am incredibly happy that the path my life took differs so greatly from the life I imagined for myself in high school. A brain surgeon, for crying out loud?!? What was I thinking? And, no offense to Manhattan, or committed bachelorettes, but NYC has got to be one of the loneliest places on earth for a single woman. My post-high school decisions led me to several incredibly romantic years in a closet-sized studio apartment in Paris, my husband, my law degree, my girls. All of that adds up to fantasy-turned-reality #4, although I never would have put money on such an outcome when I was 17.
It’s funny how life happens.