In my high school days, I had a very different picture of who I would be when I’d grow up. With my dad being a native Texan, and my mom wishing she could say the same, Texas had always been a promised land of sorts, and I knew that I would come to college here. And when I say ‘college’, my only choice at the time was my dad’s alma mater: Texas A&M. I would go to their business school, fall madly in love with an Aggie, and live on a ranch. My life plan was affirmed when, visiting A&M for the weekend, we opted to stay in historic Calvert, rather than in College Station. The Bed and Breakfast where we stayed has since closed its doors to the public, but I’ll never forget the winsome charm it provided. Calvert gave me a picture of smalltown Texas, and last week I just had to see if it was really as idyllic as I remembered.
What is summer for, if not for roadtrips? A friend and I took the fifty-minute drive to Calvert, and weren’t disappointed. We sampled chocolate at Cocoamoda, browsed antique shops along the main road, and found a few walls that served as perfect backdrops for outfit posts. A few of the shops were closed, which was surprising for a Thursday afternoon, but the ones we did duck inside were exactly as expected. Calvert itself isn’t very large–three blocks and a stoplight–but it was as I remembered. Quaint storefronts, friendly locals, every street looking like something out of a Maverick episode. As we drove away from the little town, I realized how much I have changed.
I don’t crave life on a ranch anymore, and I know that my future is much more than who I’ll marry or where I’ll live. My children probably won’t have Texan accents, and we definitely won’t take family pictures in matching cowboy boots. I honestly can’t believe that future is one I once wanted, since now it couldn’t be further from what I want my future to look like. See, now I dream of skyscrapers, and cozy chairs in coffee shops instead of red leather in dinners. I want a career that I’m proud of, and kids may or may not be in the picture, I honestly don’t know. One future isn’t better than the other, that’s not my point. The point is that that vision changed.
In four years, from graduating high school to facing college graduation, my perception of my future has changed so much. And who’s to say that it won’t look drastically different in another four years? That change isn’t a bad thing, though. I’ve grown, and my dreams have grown with me. In a few years, maybe those dreams will look markedly less cosmopolitan than they do now. Instead of Texas and instead of the Big Apple, maybe my promised land will be Charleston, or Europe, or San Francisco. Either way, though, I’ll probably shake my head at this version of me, unable to see the change in front of me, and how wonderfully it’s going to unfold to be.