In a way, I’m where I am now because everything I’d hoped and planned for, didn’t work out. It’s been years of slow personal growth, humbling years of non conformity because I couldn’t find what everyone else seemed to so easily. It’s been one year since I’ve found the man I’ll spend my life with. I am 10 years behind most of the people I know; and even as I lay here in the dark, listening to the slow, rhythmic breathing of his peaceful sleep, feeling grateful for him and our life together, I’m not sure its time. Sure I could go screaming down to the chapel and he could rush to put a ring on it…but… to what end? We’d still just be sitting here in our two bedroom apartment, clinging to each of our respective sides of the bed because Mimi (the cat) has taken up the middle. When I was young my father told me to be careful of making the kind of decisions I couldn’t take back, the kind of decisions that shut doors to you firmly. So I got a puppy, a college education, traveled in my career, and sit before you now, having not made any decisions too permanent. And I don’t know what do with myself…
I turned thirty this year and doors have closed on their own. For better or worse I will never be Miss Teen USA, or a young lobbyist fresh out of Yale with penchant for change in Washington. I imagine that for some it’s easy to see those opportunities slip away, perhaps you’re doing what you’ve always want to. When I was little and people told me I could be and do anything, it was thrilling! Too many to choose from, each one a pearl of its own, each more exciting and meaningful than the next. I work with a woman who is one year away from retirement. At 64, a woman we’ll call Stevie, is thriving, vivacious, and has a passion for life I aspire to. We were having a conversation the other day about her desire to hike a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail near Ashland, OR. We meandered around the subjects of things we hoped to see and do, when she looked at me in all earnest, and told me that she is still unsure what her purpose in life is but that she recognizes she’s running out of time. My jaw hit the floor, if only metaphorically. I mean no disrespect, I love Stevie like my own mother, but these are the same feelings I have daily and all I could think was, “Dear God don’t let that be me!” Running out of time?! Um,,, yea.
Chase the invisible dangling carrots? Marry and have children? Did all of you make your decisions consciously? Do you feel like they were made for you? What if I regret it? In any given moment, the best I can do is try and check in with myself. When I asked myself the other day in a rare moment of considering having children what my motivations were, I came back with… I’m bored with what I have going on in my life right now. Ugh, that is less than inspiring…and not a good reason to bring life into the world. When I shared this conversation with a friend she said that wanting to have children was instinctual, natural. Maybe, but so is hunting and gathering, and don’t most of us just go to the store for our bison steaks now? My point is that, when the interest of someone’s life is in your hands, doesn’t it at the very least deserve your greatest consideration? What kind of world will they inherit? I’m torn. I read recently that inside of all of us, lies our own truth. At our quiet center, we each know our own answers to our questions and your responsibility then is to do what works for you. In my most quiet moments, at the very center of my being… ugh. I just hear noise.
Born today, at three a.m., a bright-eyed bouncing ball of possibility with a full head of hair made his entrance.
I think of him often, as I slowly and meticulously pull delicate strands of rainbow dyed cord through and in between layers
of down and cotton; making for him what he may very well pack deep in the corner of a suitcase, hidden under pajamas and mismatched socks.The kind of thing you don’t want your buddies to see when they stop by your dorm room to get a copy of your notes for the big test on Friday; but the kind of thing that grounds you, gives you roots to the place and the people you come from. I wonder if he’ll run his fingers over each patch, wonder if he’ll find comfort from a thunder-storm amongst the round stitched edges. I wonder if he’ll take it to the white house, wrap his children in it before taking the stand to deliver the next State of the Union. I wonder at him! Welcome home sweet baby boy. What will you do now, who will you be? It is only a small token, someday likely to be lost and forgotten but I think of you while I stitch your blanket; I pray for you, and dream for you, and for me. He isn’t mine by birth; I’m an aunt today. I’m in the “village”, and I’m here, and present, and excited to do my part… but I’m still pretty sure I’m not ready.