Maybe that’s why I clung to my name. I needed some daily reminder that here I was, that no matter what I was doing or not doing, it was me, me doing it.
Friendship, she said, can be life altering. It’s what gets many women out of bed in the morning, brings them laughter, affirms their choices – allowing them to move on after the death of a spouse, their own illness, personal loss, or family strife. There is no one circumstance but there is one fact: Friendship means survival.
So we talked about how quickly we assume that another’s adjustment to newness and change is easier than our own. An adage came to mind that I’d just read recently: “Don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides.”
Like so much we inherit, phobias come along for the ride and it is hard to shake lose of them. From my own experience and from observing family, I know how limited my life could become if I have to stop flying (my mother hasn’t been on a plane in nearly 20 years). I am determined not to let it happen.
It’s time we let them go, I said. And I really meant it. I felt as if I were saying this for the first time. It wasn’t easy – as obvious as it seems. But it felt honest, and okay.
I haven’t truly grown up. I’m a baby. I haven’t lost either of my parents, and this makes me feel like I don’t know anything about being on my own. The path ahead is foreign and foreboding, requiring a compass I don’t have and don’t want.
This may be the most highly anticipated vacation of my life. With my husband, mother and other extended family members around to help care for and entertain my daughter, it will be the biggest break I’ve had since she was born. So I’ve got big plans and they have nothing to do with email.
I’m still not sure where I fall. I do know the lion’s share of the work required will fall on me. I’m reminded of how manageable our life felt before we made the decision to have a third child. Things sometimes need shaking up.
I didn’t feel ready for parenting I told her, but I went for it anyway. It’s natural to fear what we don’t know, even when we’re ready to leave what we do. In her case, she’s ready to move on and leave high school behind. But the change coming is a big one.
I left the country immediately after graduating – to live and work for several months in London to earn money to travel that fall. As I contemplated returning home seven months later, I worried about the shock of being plunked back into my life here. What would it look like?