Our time will come, right?
These words I wrote to a friend last week who, like me, has four children and who — also like me — has given the best part of her last two decades to raise said children.
We were chatting about restless feet, eager to get out and explore unknown lands, yet still mired in family responsibility.
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The words were said with light-hearted flippancy, leaving me brilliantly unprepared for the outburst of tears that followed.
Whoa, I thought. Where the hell did that come from?!
Outside, wisteria leaves danced without sound onto pavers below; I watched their display and tried to make sense of this feeling of being bitch-slapped by a torrent of emotion I didn’t know existed in me.
I cried. Wailed. Sobbed. Then allowed myself to lean into this moment of irrational sensibilities until finally, I was able to grasp the feeling behind it.
There it was. The overwhelming sense of: will my time really come, or has it already been and gone?
Because there I was, a woman in her early forties, left wondering where her last two decades had gone. What have I done, except wake up each day to the same family routine? Where have I gone? What have I seen?
My Instagram is filled with images of child-free friends; unhindered and living the best years of their lives while I spent my last Saturday night folding 36 pairs of socks.
Did I trade the best two decades of my life for some dodgy promise of domestic bliss that never quite came through with the goods? In that moment, I felt overcome by such a tangible sense of loss.
Our time will come? No, my friend, our time has already gone, and we missed it.