Funny How Things Turn Out

February 25, 2007

I had conversations with two people this weekend about how life ends up usually not being anything like we imagine when we are younger and more idealistic.   While chatting with the mother of Sophia’s classmate today, she told me that she had at one point taken a job in Saudi Arabia because it paid very well and she wanted to use the money to pay off her house so she could retire by age 50.  Then she said, “So, here I am 50 now, still working, still paying a mortgage, and two kids!  I was the type that never wanted to get married or have children.”

I shared with her my similar experience — that I fully intended to be working at the State Department or in the Foreign Service, traveling all over the globe, with no time for a family.  Little did I know I would end up a housewife in semi-small town America, only 35 miles away from the town that I grew up in (to which I vowed I would never return).

I would still love to travel all over the world, but I can’t imagine giving up the home-centered life I have now.

And just last night I was talking about my brother and how different he and I have always been.  I think that’s the case with many siblings, but what’s odd is that in many ways, he and I have traded places with each other.  Growing up and well into our college/young adult years, my brother was the happy-go-lucky, good-natured one.  He was popular and very family oriented.  I, on the other hand, was a super serious, success-oriented overachiever.

Nowadays, he’s working 60-80 hour weeks and raking in well over $100K a year.   Me?  I’m a housewife who does a little eBay on the side and might contribute a couple hundred dollars to our bottom line each month.  He’s stressed out; I’m content.  He lives 4 hours away from here and hasn’t visited in over two and a half years.  I live 5 minutes from my mom and 25 minutes from my dad, and we get together weekly.  I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.   My brother and I have both changed a lot over the last 15-20 years, but we are still very much opposites… isn’t it funny how things turn out?


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