A Note

There was one morning recently, when Kevin woke up first, and I joined him downstairs shortly after. We drank coffee at the dinner table, talking sleepily about our day.

Kevin left for work, I opened my laptop to begin mine. The sun lit up the field of cat tails outside our kitchen window; it was gorgeous. Juniper snored softly by the fire. These are the kind of mornings I have always longed for — this very scene has been my idea of pure happiness for as long as I can remember. It was a pinch-me-moment, it was instagram-able, but instead, I felt a sadness that sat low and lodged in my belly, like a dull menstrual cramp.

That night, we had our holiday party, and I put on a brave face as people trickled in. I actually remember thinking, would anyone notice if I laid down on the floor?

This past year has been exciting and different — a lot happened at once, and I’m fortunate to say that it was all, for the most part, wonderful. I met Kevin, I landed a new job, my brother got engaged, my best friend found out she was pregnant, Kevin and I moved in together. There were other things that happened, too, that I didn’t discuss much on the blog — I became financially independent from my parents (albeit a phone bill or two), they moved out of our family home, my grandmother suffered a bad fall.

I was talking to a few close friends, and we realized: being twenty five brings a new kind of hard to the table. The flurried panic of post-graduation has faded, and an entirely different kind of hard takes center place. It’s a feeling, like any other, of being repeatedly lost, then found. Like taking a long walk through the woods, and realizing you’ve rerouted to a different, unknown path. The moments you find your way back to a familiar clearing or landmark bring tremendous relief and comfort, the rest of it is stressful and harried, a race against the setting sun.

Somewhere along the line, I’ve mistakingly come to associate Big Adult Events like moving in together, marriage, babies, dream careers, etc, to be the moments that shape your path and eliminate those off-road trails, those chances of getting lost. That you simply don’t become disoriented or turned around when you’re in those necks of the woods. And on the days when I feel remarkably put together; when I get work done, take care of the people I love, get dinner on the table, wear my flattering Madewell jeans, I kind of believe it.

And then the next day I wake up and all I want is my mom, and to be five. And I’m lost.

This quote spoke to me:

“I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers…Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” — Rainer Maria Rilke 

Sending love to all of you, whether you feel lost or found. Xoxo.

Image via Lost in America

10 thoughts on “A Note

  1. Hi, Joy! I am sending some love back to you. I am a few years older, married, with a toddler and a house. I still wake up some mornings and wish my mom would come take over for a while. 🙂 But the older I get, the more I try to find joy in small things, and the more I try to take pressure off myself. Goals and plans and big life changes are great, but I’ve also learned that timelines shift, that I’m proud of where I am and who I am, and that I have people in my life who love and support me no matter what’s on my resume or whether I’ve completed my personal “checklist” for a given week, month or year. Love the quote you shared at the end. Happy New Year!

  2. This is exactly what I needed today. A big, piping-hot bowl of minestrone soup for my dang soul. When you asked us about the posts we like and want to see more of — THIS right here is my absolute fave. Love love love.

  3. I agree with Remy. This post was cozy, yet real. The quote at the end was perfect. I just forwarded it to a friend who is going through a rough/foggy patch. Thank you! 🙂

  4. I am at such a different point in my life – nearer the end than the beginning. When I was twenty-five, I was married and had a new baby. I was on a path that eventually led me through some very deep and dark woods. Although I found my way out of that particular forest with its ogres, I’m afraid of the one ahead. Just today, as I was cleaning off my desk, a desk both my mother and grandmother used, I found myself saying, “oh, mum, I miss you so much.” One never outgrows the need for one’s mother.

  5. One of my favorite quotes of all time. I encourage you to read Letters to a Young Poet if you have not. Also, read some Mary Oliver. You’re right, adulthood is full of contraction. At 31, I’ve come to believe that a big part of experiencing and appreciating fleeting joy is to embrace the complication nature of holding many competing emotions or circumstances at once without requiring a simple solution. xoxo

  6. This post resonated with me – I think I needed to hear someone else is going through the same thing, and it brought be back down to Earth. Thank you for allowing yourself to be vulnerable in such a public way – I think it’s helping all of us! And, love the quote!

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