Sunday, August 24, 2008

Transitions

"To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else."
~ Emily Dickinson

That's one of my favorite quotes, you know. It's currently my email signature, because it reflects my own thoughts on life so completely.

Living is so startling - so fraught with changes, transitions, experiences, that an introspective and self-examining person has little time for be anything else. Just living is all-consuming.

This is my curse.
I categorize, I examine, and define life by transitions.

I imagine that others do it too... at least some, anyway.
If I stop to think about it, I realize that most people can (pretty much immediately) rattle off events that categorize their lives. Things such as:

When you truly felt autonomous - like you had a life outside your family. (1995-1996. Yeah. I was a late bloomer.)

When you had your heart crushed so fully you thought you would never recover. (1989, when I lost my brother Tony.)

Your first experience with non-familial love. (See #1)

The 'College Years' or experimental years. (1998-2001) Fun times... what I can remember of them anyway. :D

Your first experience living away from home. (1998-1999)

When you first feel like a 'real' grown-up. (2000)

Marriage. (2001)

When it hits you that you really *are* a parent. (2004)

I must admit though, after that things start to get a bit fuzzy and blended together. Kids have a tendency to stop you in your tracks, to make you so consumed with them that your own life takes a back seat. At least it does with Mothers. I wouldn't know about Fathers, given that I'm missing one key part preventing me from ever experiencing that side of things. (tee hee)

I mean, obviously there have been transitions since I became a Mother, but I can't really think of them right now. (Sleep deprivation tends to do that to a person.) It's as though parents define their lives in two large parts: Before Kids and After Kids.

So OK... I suppose I'm right on track after all, huh?
Because those are definitely the BIG categories everything gets put into.... And yes, sometimes I mourn the part of life I've left behind... but I have so much to look forward to. This time, like all others, is fleeting. I can't wait to see what lies ahead. :)

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