‘Tis the season and my email inbox has filled with eVites. One of them was to a sort of Open House party thrown by a whole group of young, socially conscious entrepreneurs from various walks of life. These people all have office space in a very cool building graced with lots of exposed brick, natural wood floors, high ceilings and progressive politics. I was probably the oldest person in the building – all of the business folks were in their 20s and 30s.
Walking through the hallways hung with contemporary and very hip artwork I became overwhelmed with the sense that I’d lived the wrong life – like I had throughly missed the boat and that my life was just a dried husk, as thrilling as white noise. How I came to marry a knee-jerk, conservative, anti-intellectual and hunker down to the utterly quotidian life we led together escapes me – but only for a moment. Then I remember that I was uninspired as a young woman having spent most of my inner resources just convincing myself I deserved a spot in the circle of life.
I had my youngest with me and it was so great to end up inadvertently exposing her to the zeitgeist of that environment. I was giddy with the idea that she and her siblings might live a more edgy, more interesting, more purposed life than the one I stumbled into. We talked about it on the way home and I told her that whatever she did she needed to find her passion and figure out how to survive while engaging in something she loved.
As I lay in bed that night I dove in to that feeling of absence – that sense of having missed something. I tried to think about what might have been, of what I might have done differently if, on the night before I was supposed to move in with my fiance I had followed through on our fight and changed my mind. I almost broke up with the guy because I could see, for split second, that it would never work. But then I buckled, picked up the engagement ring I had tossed across the room and calmed down. I did move in with him and I did marry him and I did quit graduate school and get a job and I did have 3 kids with him. Three perfect, spectacular, amazing kids. Imagining that I had taken any other turn in life is like dreaming I am falling over a cliff. People never hit the bottom in those dreams because if you hit the bottom you die. You wake up, instead. I woke up from the ‘what if’ scenario and I smiled. I didn’t miss anything – I done good.