I read a newsletter today from a singer/songwriter I played with once in my early 20s. I have been on her email list since 2003, and I watched her grow over the past decade into one of the better independent artists in the industry. To be a bit raw, I will admit that I have followed her career because I believe if I had stuck to my songwriting career goals, I would likely be in a very similar place. We were alike in many ways.
I always finish her newsletters conflicted: I'm excited for her and all the amazing adventures she gets to be a part of, and a bit gloomy with the "what ifs" had I chosen to follow a path like hers. I still write songs (even if most of them are still in my head or partially written down) and I love grabbing my guitar and hiding in the basement late a night after the girls are asleep for a little music time. Sometimes I wonder if my days of playing for crowds of people are over, and the rest of my life will be spent playing songs for my own enjoyment.
Right now, I can't say.
I can say that I am so thankful that my 20s ended up being taken over by three little girls. They are worth every minute. And maybe I didn't spend the last 10 years touring Europe or headlining sold out shows in NYC, but I did get to snuggle feverish toddlers and create lots of crayola masterpieces. And, somehow, I think I am happier now than I would have been had I chosen differently.
No one says I can't still have some amazing adventures down the road, right? Didn't I hear recently that 40 is the new 20? We shall see.