If you’d asked the ten-year-old me what she was going to be when she grew up, she’d have answered:
Elizabeth Wakefield. Writer. Rabbi. First female Pope (or co-Pope, to be precise, with my also not-Catholic just-younger sister). President of the United States. Doctor. Lawyer. Super hero. How long do I have to answer this question?
I’m 36 years old now. I’ve done only one of the things I originally set out to do. (You guessed it. I became Elizabeth Wakefield. “Deborah Bryan” is my spy name.) I’ve also researched killer whales in British Columbia, taught English in South Korea and Japan, finished law school, done extra work on some of my favorite shows, run a couple of marathons and written some books. I’ve become a mom–the one thing most decidedly never on any of my to-do lists–and discovered I really enjoy negotiating contracts.
Life moves a little more slowly now than it used to, but it’s infinitely more beautiful and complex than I understood before. I’m not writing as much fiction as I once thought I wanted to, and it’s fine. After 30+ years of skillfully heating noodles in the
Ramen Roomkkitchen, I’m (usually) able to whip up edible dishes. Most of all, I’m loving every minute of motherhood, which is so, so very much more than soiled diapers, sleepless nights and endless exhaustion.
So far, my life hasn’t gone at all according to my plans. I hope I’ll be able to say the same at 72!