The church I attend is a Bible based church. The teachings are fairly conservative, but if you're wondering, we DO believe in dinosaurs. We also believe in having sex.
The last three weeks, we've been discussing sex out loud in church and how it should be totally enjoyed, but... and this is where some people run screaming... in the "marriage" bed. That's code for "no sex outside of marriage." Delayed gratification, the Pastor called it. I'd heard of it... somewhere...
Then he showed us this:
The little girl around the middle that munched on the marshmallow and then stood it up, almost like she hoped nobody would notice? Yeah, that was me.
Having birthed my first kid at 18, you can probably guess that I didn't quite follow the delayed gratification guideline. I thought of it more as a suggestion.... for old people. You know, like my mom. Not me. Looking back, I wish I would've done things differently, not because I don't love being my kids' mom, but because I had years of emotional crap to swim through. I don't want to sit here and tell others what to do or think or say... I just know my personal journey could've been a lot easier had I been less impetuous. My childhood was cut short because I thought I knew everything. My twenties were mired with heart breaks because I couldn't wait for the "right" one. My thirties were spent talking and journaling through it all just in time for me to finally enjoy my impending forties.
But it wasn't just about sex.
Sometimes, I would say yes to jobs or opportunities that I knew I should have passed on. Something better eventually came around the corner, but I was already committed to something less than perfect for me. And by committed, I mean stuck. Being stuck in a situation while seeing your perfect life playing out without you in it is nothing short of torturous.. Now that I'm older and somewhat wiser, I try to look back on my instant gratification decisions that have turned out wrong to help guide future decisions. They are touchstones in my life. Not to dwell on. Just to remember.
I try not to think about how my life might have turned out had I taken the test more seriously. I can't dwell on that because this is my life now. Every mistake I've made has helped create the woman I am proud to see in the mirror every morning... mascara smudges and all. But I would love it if my kids could benefit from their crazy mama's mistakes.
Now... if I could just impart all of my mistakes-slash-wisdom on my kids without coming off as a complete hypocrite...