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.