On Wishing Away Time and Living in the Now
My freshman year of college I fell hopelessly in love. The kind of love where you surrender your virginity recklessly and without looking back and can only spend your days day dreaming about how long until you can be back together. Hopeless, helpless, sweet puppy love. Planning vacations and weekends together was amazing; we would spend weeks apart in our respective towns only to get together every couple of weeks for fun, lazy, sex-filled weekends that would be the best times of our young years. I distinctly remember staying up late and tracing the lines of my lover’s face wondering how any person could be so perfectly created in this world. But in the spaces between our times together I was wishing my college experience away. While I will never be sad that I stayed the course and finished my four year degree, I do wish I had spent less time yearning for the experience to be over so that we could be together.
College life today, by myself, sounds like a dream that I walked through half asleep while I tried to wish myself awake for better times.
Fast forward many years and a few moves around the country. At present I have similar but very different yearnings. My dad is slowly dying. There is no changing this sad fact of life. Meanwhile, my mom is struggling and I cannot imagine how hard it is for her to watch her spouse deteriorate. I imagine it’s similar to how hard it is for me to watch my dad struggle while also witnessing his lifelong love grieve. I also recently discovered that my parents have no real plan for their future, financially or otherwise, which unfortunately changes mine. What will my life look life when I have to live with and/or support a family member I never chose to? My family who raised me to be fiercely independent – for better or worse – may now depend on me for their future. That was not part of my plan.
This year I also experienced a miscarriage that rocked me to the core in a way that I had not expected. I understand deeply that we are better not to have a baby that may have been hopelessly flawed. I am thankful for the loss but stunned by how much of a loss an early miscarriage REALLY feels. It’s not the loss of a baby, though of course it’s that, too. It’s really the loss of a dream of what could and might have been. I now yearn for another baby that has not yet come.
I close my eyes at night and wish that time would pass. I wish for peace for my family and babies in my arms. But what if those things never come?
Today I decided that I will do my best to stop wishing away time. I already made this mistake once in college. I will live in the now. I have a husband (some college love really does last) that grants my every last wish. He works hard every single day, plays with our son every night and snuggles with me while we watch our latest TV show on the couch. I have the freedom to pursue my dreams. Freedom is as precious of a gift as any I have ever been given. I wake up every day with the ability to choose what my day looks like. I am honored to work, to be loved and give love, to drink La Crema and order a dozen oysters on Friday, to stay in my pajamas and kiss my feverish little one’s head and cancel everything when I need to. I have a babe who screams across the gym “I love you, mama.”
And even if all the rest is painful, I will live in the now.