Has your life turned out exactly the way you planned?
As a child I dreamt of a life filled with luxury and grandeur. I would graduate with a perfect 4.0, attend medical school, and become a renowned pediatrician. In my free time, I would work as a high-fashion model. Saving lives while traveling the world sounded pretty great to nine year old me.
Soon after, I found my voice through my words. My goals shifted. I would become a best-selling author and host of the Today Show by the time I was 40. I dared to share my dreams with someone close to me and I was shot down by a snide comment about my New York accent. I became my own speech therapist, working to change my vocal infection and tone. After ridding myself of the accent and the boyfriend, I was much happier.
An internship at NBC would put me one step closer to my goal. I can't even describe the joy I felt each morning as I entered that building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. I was even working for the Today Show, well, Weekend Today. Reporters were my royalty. NBC was my fantasy.
One of my closest childhood friends worked for Conan O'Brian, so we would meet for lunch. She brought me to Studio 8H. We crept onto the silent stage where Saturday Night Live was filmed. I stood there, I danced, heck, I may have even broke out into song. If there were security cameras in there, someone must have been laughing at what a fool I was making out of myself, and I didn't care. For one small moment, straight-laced Jennifer was replaced by a carefree spirit. In many ways, that was the best summer of my life.
For three months I lived out my dream, but deep down, I knew that this was not the path my life was going to lead me on. I had different priorities looming on the horizon. Unexpected, but not unwanted, I would need to set my course for a new beginning.
Lives change and new realities set in. Just because something turns out differently than planned, it is not less desirable. This wouldn't be the first time I would need to adjust to a new reality. Some changes, like motherhood, are welcomed with open arms. Other realities, brought forth by grief and suffering, are fought tooth and nail. You can yell and scream about what you lost, but you cannot change the outcome. Instead, there must be acceptance. The only thing you can do is to have something good result from it.