I remember the first time I had an epiphany.
To set the stage, I was about ten or eleven years old. I devoured multiple books a week, I took piano lessons from the terrifying wife of a local Baptist preacher, and I was built quite a bit like Hiccup from the first How to Train Your Dragon movie. I had bangs and almost exclusively wore headbands. I owned a gerbil, a refurbished iPod Nano, and more Silly Bands than anyone else in my youth group.
Oh, and I also had a panic-attack-inducing phobia of vomiting. Can't forget that part.
Anyway, my middle-school self was in the bathroom. I feel like I was brushing my hair getting ready for bed or something; I don't quite remember. But I know I was in the bathroom when a thought struck me.
"You don't have to wait until you grow up to be the sort of person you want to be," said that thought.
At that point in my life, I wanted to live in a log house in the woods of Wisconsin. I wanted to have six kids and write books and eat blueberry muffins every morning for breakfast. I wanted to be a self-sufficient gardener, too. And obviously, I couldn't do any of those things at the age of ten. But I did start by growing my hair out. I ditched the headbands and learned how to braid my own hair. "Look at me!" my new hairstyle screamed. "I'm a time traveler from the 1800s, here to enjoy the simple things in life and make the world a better place!"
I also expanded my crocheting skills. My grandmother had taught me how to make baby hats; a library book introduced me to granny squares, and I've never been the same since. I started making baby blankets for friends and relatives. I screwed up all of them, and looking back, all those blankets I worked so hard on are probably sitting in a decomposing heap of tangled, unraveled yarn in a dumpster somewhere.
I've come a long way in the ten years since then. Today, I just harvested an onion that I planted in February. I made the mistake of planting my onions a few days before a vicious cold snap, so most of the plants either died or produced shallot-sized bulbs. But one plant produced an actual, store-sized onion bulb, and I'm quite proud of it!
Today, I'm knitting as well as crocheting. I've screwed up on my most recent project, but my grandmother thinks I'll start a new trend with my rectangular waffle stitch, so I'm keeping it.
Today, my crocheted blankets don't fall apart--and I make them for grown-ups as well as babies. I've moved on to more complex designs as well. The Willow Square is a personal favorite.
Today, I have two books on Amazon.
I'm a far cry from where I want to be. I still don't live in Wisconsin. I no longer want six kids (I'll be good with three or four), and I have decided that blueberry muffins aren't healthy enough for breakfast. But I'm closer to the person I want to be than I was ten years ago.
Oh, and I don't have a phobia or panic attacks anymore. Can't forget that part.
It's hard to focus on the progress, especially since I've had some pretty significant setbacks along the way. But it's easy to close my eyes and whisper "Thank You, Jesus, for how far You've brought me."
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? How well did that pan out for you? Let me know in the comments below! God bless you, dear readers, and don't forget to follow us on Twitter!
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.