Everyone, at some point, says the words, “I thought my life would turn out differently.” Whether the tone is regretful or contemplative or content depends on their current life satisfaction. For instance, I just realized yesterday that I have never made a decision without considering someone’s opinion other than my own. Because of this, I can’t begin to figure out what I want to do. I can’t even function as a real person. I certainly never thought my life would look like that: a series of decision made on the basis of the expectations of others. Others said I would go far no matter what I did. I took comfort in that. Now I realize that if I never do anything, then I can’t go far in it. If I never finish anything, choose anything, try to be anything...well, I can’t live up to those words. Ask me a hundred times six months ago, and I would tell you the same thing - I will be in the second quarter of the number one special education program in the country. Ask me a hundred times a year ago - I’ll be living it up with my best friends, not dating anyone special. Ask me a hundred times three years ago - architectural intern working on my Master’s. Nowhere did I say, “Nashville, there’s the place I’m going to be,” or, “Working three jobs with no direction and not in school.” Everyone always told me I would succeed, so how could I think that I would fail. Now I am an angry, lonely, dropout nanny/cashier/petsitter who is moving home to feel comfortable surrounded by family and friends. Nothing excites me. I don’t see a bright shining future when I think about writing professionally, teaching at a university, substitute teaching, or franchising a cupcake store. My hopes have been squashed by my own good intentions. I’m left here. There is no crossroads, no open window. There is just my life, different than I planned.