When I was in middle school, I had a diary. It had a lock on it and everything. I can’t tell you exactly what’s in it, because it was a victim of this summer’s Decluttering-a-palooza. (In other words, it’s hidden away in my cedar chest, which is currently located in my father-in-law’s shed.)

But one thing I remember from that little diary is a page where I wrote about what I imagined my life would look like a couple decades down the road. It’s funny. I saw myself, living in an city, mother to one little girl and alone. Why I would have imagined being a single mom back then, I have NO IDEA. My parents were – and still are – married, and divorce was never part of my fairy tale fantasies.

Yet that’s what I wrote about. That and a modern, urban apartment. And a legal career. Yep, I had it all.

Of course, that’s just one story I wrote for myself as a child. And thankfully most of it didn’t come true (although every now and then I wonder what it would’ve been like to go to law school…).

But lots of things I imagined for my future self as a child lingered longer: a big house with a wraparound porch, well-behaved children who adored me, a career where I helped people by using my creative skills (and was paid handsomely), a husband who still writes love letters and plans date nights and brings home flowers just because.

Oh, young Mary, how much you had to learn! (And, really, how much does Not-So-Young Mary have to learn?! After all, I’m the one writing this series!)

Yes, we all hold onto childhood dreams and hopes, plans, expectations that took root years – or even decades – ago. So as part of this month’s 31 Days of Giving Up on Fairy Tales, I’m asking for YOUR stories and reflections. This week? I’d love to read about how your real life compares to what you imagined as a child.

Write a post about childhood dreams, fairy tales and real life. Then link up here!

To follow my entire series, 31 Days of Giving Up on Fairy Tales, subscribe to this blog. (And when you do? You’ll get every post sent to your inbox AND a free ebook called Finding a Happier Ever After.)

Photo by burritoes

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