State of Mind – A Writing Exercise

*Exercise from Naming the World. State of Mind. Explore a character’s thoughts before having them plunge into an action*

There were so many things in life that I thought I would accomplish before now. I wanted to finish college and buy a house. I wanted to get married and have a baby. I thought I’d have that picture perfect life. The one with the white picket fence and the dog and the husband that went out for the newspaper every morning. I wanted the type of family that spent time together on weekends and had parties with the neighbors on holidays.

         But that’s not how it happened. I have a job, sure. I have a place to live that I might own one day. But college wasn’t in the cards, and neither was that white picket fence. Hell, even the husband part was way off the mark. And I have a cat, not a dog.

         I’ve moved with the flow of life and things happened in their own time, or they didn’t. And what can I say now about it? Am I disappointed? No. Not really. Do I feel less than others who accomplished what I thought I wanted? No to that one as well. All in all, I’m good with how everything has turned out. It’s not perfect, but nothing ever is. It is exactly what it needs to be for me at this moment.

         So, I calm down. I take a deep breath. I smooth the front of my skirt and I open the door to my apartment and let the excitement wash over me.

         “Surprise!” My friends are crammed into one room, streamers and balloons fill the space around them and a huge banner hangs from the ceiling to declare Happy 30th Birthday!

         I smile and take it all in. My girlfriend takes my hand and guides me into the room, and I know that I’m right where I’m supposed to be.