written in 2008
When I was in college I worked on the play "Steel Magnolias." It was a favorite movie of mine before I got the opportunity to work in the theatre production. There is a favorite line from the show that I've never forgotten:
Truvy: Time marches on and sooner or later you realize it is marchin' across your face.
Don't we all know this is true. Many of my good friends are well into their 30's. My husband will be 40 in less than eight months. I am closer to 40 now than I am to 30 or even remembering what 30 was like. But life is good. I need a little extra conditioner in my hair each day and I have to remember to fight a few wrinkles with as much moisturizer as I can slather. I head to bed for as much sleep as my children will allow. I don't feel like I am 35...or at least what I thought 35 might feel like.
Here's what is strange for me. Maybe good thoughts for the manuscript since that is about a journey home..hmmm.... I didn't get married until a month before I turned 30 years old. Many of my friends from high school got married in their early 20's and many to their high school sweet hearts. Today, almost 20 years since I left that small town, I've found several on Facebook (and a few here as well) or I have been found myself 1700 miles away from home. I find myself looking at faces that look familiar but a bit older and even a few faces that look almost as they did twenty years ago. But sadly I see many are single with children meaning divorced. Many have children ten years old and older; some have teenagers! Oh my gosh! My oldest is four years old! I've only been married for just over five years, so I certainly don't feel like I've managed a huge feat they weren't able to accomplish. There is a bit of nostalgia in chatting with old friends you haven't seen in years. The thing about journeys is that they require deep thought and understanding of who you are, who you were and who you've become. The journey I go through when looking into lives of old friends is one filled with compassion and questions. One tends to ask throughout life what would have happened had I taken this road instead of the one I took. I ask myself that all the time. I have a wonderful husband and a wonderful luck filled life here in Colorado and this is where I was born and where my heart is. Home is where my family is, so home for me is split between my love in Colorado and my family and history in Virginia. I often think about where I would be had I not left Virginia...or specifically Middlesex because I did live in Richmond and then Charlottesville for years before coming back to Colorado. Would I have married a high school sweet heart or a great love from college? Would I have waited years to be married with someone that didn't want to visit with down that road? Would I have longed for someone that would be wonderful to be with today but not back then? So many of these people I know or knew years ago are happy now and have been down roads I've yet to venture down. Did I miss a road somewhere or did I take the right one? At age thirty five, I am about to give birth to my third baby. Many friends are about to send their children to middle school or even high school. One just walked down the aisle. As we grew up together, we all talked about our dreams and our goals. I never thought I met mine. But yet I am happier and better off than I think I would if I did. I hope those wonderful people in my life so many years ago did well for themselves along the way, with great spouses or lovers replaced, wonderful loving children, successful careers and laughter every day. There are those that I think of often and that I miss greatly, but the difficulty is that I don't know that person today. I know that person from almost twenty years ago. Would the person today even like who I am today?
Time marches on and one day you realize you are a new person with pieces of these people you've loved in life. Time marches on and you realize you love ghosts and need to live today.
Is it really going to be 20 years soon.....?? WHOA!