I’ve had a lot of opportunity for self-reflection & just general thought over the past couple days. The reasons why are so silly, I don’t even want to bother to get into them. But it has certainly opened my eyes about a lot of different things.
For the majority of our childhood & adolescence, we spend our time in lock-step with our peers. Every major milestone chronologically mapped out- 8th grade dances, drivers licenses, high school graduations. Maybe these things are separated by few months and granted, nobody experiences in exactly the same way- but they are fairly similar. After high school, people slowly begin to forge their own paths, but again- an established framework is already in place. College, or taking a year, or starting some sort of a career or profession.
We spend this time waiting impatiently for the next milestone, excited about changes and racing forward to meet them. And then we reach this point- determined by completely unique timetables- where life begins to barrel towards us, instead of the other way around.Everything is constantly changing and moving and forcing us to grow and learn and readjust within our own skin. It’s both exciting. And petrifying.
The most difficult aspect of this inevitable transition is that there is no longer a large pool of people on the same page as you are. The pages are flipping and turning and breaking straight out of the binding. And those people who walked side-by-side with you, waiting on the next big thing- they most likely won’t be there with you anymore. One of the most beautiful gifts the universe can give is those friends that grow with you- that push you to do better, be more & the ones who sit back with you and enjoy your own crazy ride. I have several of these friends and they are invaluable. People that I know will be a phone call, a car ride, a desperate glance away, no matter what life throws in my path. But the fact remains that when it comes to some people, some things, some experiences- you just have to let go. This doesn’t mean you care any less, valued them any less, loved them any less. But the burden of trying to hold on to what you shared with them and because of them is far greater that the freedom of accepting that life moves on.
It’s hard for me not to mourn the people, the places & the things who have slowly fallen out of my life because they weren’t willing to strap themselves near to me & hang on for the ride. Or because they simply couldn’t. Or because I couldn’t. But as I sit cross-legged typing, with the dull ache in my back that never fails to make me feel old- I can feel the warmth radiating from Andrew near to me and hear the gentle raspy breathing of my baby girl, who I know without even looking is sprawled across her crib- and feel so very lucky. What have I truly lost? I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but right here & now.
Except for maybe on a Caribbean island, where the sun is hot against my skin, with a hunky cabana boy serving me margaritas & my body miraculously restored to pre-baby condition. Hey...there’s no shame in dreaming...right? :)
Life was undoubtedly simpler then...
But can you really beat