It’s the birthday blog. A year in the life of. In the George Bailey moments I visit from time to time…I go back to what it would be like if. Don’t we all? Even the people I would deem as content as could be- with all that is good and true in their lives- must have a reflective thought or two and ponder a scenario the current life choice has pushed back into the recesses of that part of the brain that burys things that should,well, just be left in there-way in the back of the recesses of the brain.
Over coffee with a friend who seemingly is content began to cry when I asked how she was. It was not a sob fest mind you, but that simple question brought about a stream of tears.
“Oh my God,” she said, “I thought I had dealt with this…”
Not knowing if I said something wrong-as I am known to do at the mostly wrong of times, I sat there silent and watched as she wiped away tear after tear with her coffee stained napkin.
“I am having a hard time turning forty,” she said. “I thought I would be further along than I am, I thought I would not be bogged down with the things I don’t really want to do that are getting in the way of things I want to.”
I was silent. She went on.
“For some reason, I thought I would be in a different place…..with a different set of rules. Not that I hate my life, I just thought it would be different at this point.”
I was hesitant, but there is only so much silence one can offer sitting across a two top in a crowded coffee shop.
Oh what the hell.
“When did you turn forty?” I asked with an offering of a clean napkin.
“Almost a year ago.” And then the tears again. No sobs. Sad tears. Reflective tears. Transitional tears.
I know them well. Tears of the what if. The reflective salty tears of not knowing where you really are-but knowing this ain’t it. The determined tears of frustration when nothing is going right and you want so much for the wrong to be done with. AND, you are not even sure what the right is. But this ain’t it. The tears of a woman who knows where she has been and is thank-ful for the road map and the miles that show. Tears of knowing that reflect the purpose of a chosen path-and sometimes the lack of courage to take another. Tears of the unknown. There is no Clarence who will swoop down and save us from drowning in the cold waters of what if. There is no Kodachrome playback of what would be if we were not around. There is no crystal ball eeking out a fuzzy picture of the future. There are the footprints of surviving the past-of making the most of what is given. These are the battle wounds of a warrioress- the tears of strength and determination. The focus of knowing-regardless if the outcome is not clear or the end result not what we thought it was going to be. These are the moments that play back on rewind and remind us we can, we have and we will continue to move. Even if the transitions are hard. Even if the future is fuzzy. We will cry and hurt- and love and want more. And we just might get it.