Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Life is flying by too quickly.

Way too quickly.

I feel like I should have had certain goals for my youth which I have not yet achieved, and really, I'm not sure I want to have achieved them yet. I am perfectly fine with living my life.

But I'm at this age where, on average once a week or once a fortnight, I learn of another friend who has met the love of her life, or proposed to his girlfriend, or is pregnant with their first child, or something equally moving-on-ish.

I don't want to begrudge them their joy, but I am not moving on and I miss them.

Do I wish I'd met the love of my life and set a date for wedding bells? Do I yearn to hold my own baby in my arms? Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't, but I almost inevitably feel some degree of peace and confidence that those things are not for today. But every time I get news of a friend hitting these life changes, all of a sudden I feel that longing, even while I know that it's not for the right reasons.

This week, there was one day where I felt perfectly content with taking transition slowly, and figuring out, one day at a time, what I was to do, so much so that I didn't want to talk to anyone at all. Then the next day, I received one of these bits of news and my entire emotional state was reversed. I imagine I should land somewhere in between: never complacent but always content.

It's funny, really, because I think I have a reputation as a person who moves fast, who jumps into change and transition quickly. To some extent I agree: once I've made up my mind about something I don't see the point in faffing around in preparation. So yes, it's true, that I put an offer on the 6th house I viewed, only a day after I'd started viewing properties. It's true that more times than my loved ones care to count, I've called up a brother or an uncle or a parents and said I'd be moving back from Timbuktu and arriving in two days' time, could I please crash at their place for a coule of days/weeks.

But these are the little things. And my loved ones also know that I've been studying listings and even had an estate agent on the hunt for my perfect flat, for several years already. They know that I was applying for jobs for two years before accepting the job which had me floating around the world as if I was driving from Manhattan to Brooklyn to Staten Island every day. It takes me a while to be ready for the change, but once I'm ready I'm ready.

One thing I know is that life is about the journey. I've learned several languages, obtained several academic qualifications, and done pretty well at work. These were the doors that opened for me, and so I walked through them. I don't regret them. What I do regret is that life would...not...stop long enough for me to enjoy those experiences and still have time for living the rest of life. I struggle with the fact that now that I'm back on solid ground for a while, the people I used to jaunt and scavenge and dream with, now have spouses and children and homes of their own. They are still my friends and I dearly love them, but their lives have moved on and mine has not. Yes, I suppose it's true that I walked away for a while, but while I was gone, that relational-hole in their lives has been filled up by others and there's not the same kind of space there once was for me. (Perhaps as a parallel, I could say that I haven't filled my hole, I just threw a lid over it.)

The other day, a friend was commenting about how women need to be careful because our childbearing years don't last forever. Sadly, this is true, but it honestly doesn't bother me so much for the sake of myself, as it does for the sake of the fact that if I do someday have kids, they'll be so much younger than my best friends' kids and than their cousins. I know I can't ask everyone else to stop living while I savour today's adventure, but sometimes I really, really wish I could.


9 comments:

Lisa notes... said...

"One thing I know is that life is about the journey."

You're exactly right, Kati. And your journey is a most unusual and beautiful one. I imagine some of those newlyweds and newly-parenting often feel like it is THEIR life that is on hold, not yours. You are going on, moving, traveling, and now they are standing still. It's all perspective.

We all strive for this:
"never complacent but always content,"
regardless of where our journeys take us.

I love reading about the journey you are on. And still I love the journey I am on; so different, but more alike than meets the eye...

Anna @ path of treasure said...

You said their lives have moved on, but yours hasn't... Yet it semems your life has moved-- only in a different direction from theirs up until now. You've had experiences and been to places many of us can only imagine. And one day, years from now, even your perspective will be different. If you do have a family one day, and even if you don't, you have much to offer the world around you; your experiences and exposure to different cultures in the world make you a living, fantastic contributor to those in your day-to-day life and in the blog world. :) Walk in confidence, friend; each journey is a unique one.

Kati patrianoceu said...

Lisa,

I know people think that about me and I honestly find it frustrating because society seems to justify their reaction while condemning mine. While it's true I've had some amazing experiences and been to places few people will ever go, this has been a lot more of enjoying-the-moment than it has been living life, growing up, developing, etc. I don't know if that makes sense, but I guess I do want people to realise that their lives affect others, even people like me adventuring around the world. That sometimes its hard to rejoice fullheartedly in their joys because they are leaving me behind. And of course I have friends who are single women in their 30s who dont have these adventures to fall back on... Them even more than me have a hard lesson to learn in rejoicing when their friends move on. Some of my friends are really great and understanding about this but others arent.

Sorry... That was a bit of a rant! We all have our challenges for sure and our joys as well :)

Kati patrianoceu said...

Anna, Thanks for your comment... I think the thing is that I'm used to people looking at my life and telling me how interesting, exotic and special it is. But not finding anything they can actually relate to. You're right that each journey is a unique one, but sometimes that's not what I want. I think the thing that really is getting me is that as a woman in my 30s, often I find that a desire to find my life partner has more to do with a desperation to catch up with everyone else, than it does with love or any person God has led me to. Which then poisons me from being open to people God DOES put in my life because I want to resist the unhealthy motivation of not-being-left-behind. It becomes a vicious cycle. I don't know if any of that makes sense... sorry but thanks for sharing this with me :)

happygirl said...

Kati, There is no perfect life and we all envy what we do not have. You are so smart and worldly and I envy that. I was thinking about writing about My Small Life today, but I chose something else. Life is, indeed, a journey. It's good to take a beat and decide where you want it to take you. LOVE reading you.

Cathy said...

It's true, it's human nature to race to the goal with blinders that block the vistas of the journey and sacred Nature to slow down and smell the roses...

HopeUnbroken said...

i don't have anything to add to the discussion other than "thank you". . . both for your honesty in your post AND in your reaction to the comments. you have helped me to more fully understand someone very special in my life, her perspective, possibly her feelings. and hoping i can relate to her in a more personal way having read your thoughts and reactions.
steph

emily wierenga said...

oh kati. i love how candid you are. how honest your heart, and i love what God has done in your life... don't ever discount it. you took the hard route... and he will bless you for it friend. love you.

journeytoepiphany said...

When we are content with all things, He can give us our true heart's desires....and sometimes those desires surprise even us!

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