Sometimes I can't believe that I'm a grown-up. I guess that sounds a little crazy given that I'm 35, but... I really can't. I can clearly remember being in high school and then in college. I remember having plans and hopes and dreams. I remember having perfect, wrinkle-free skin and knees that didn't snap, crackle and pop when I walked. I remember feeling like I knew everything.
And now... I'm 35. I've gotten married, bought two houses, driven multiple cars, given birth to four babies and said see you later to one. I've done a lot. But at the same time, I still feel like I'm fresh out of college. Unsure of what's next. Scared sometimes.
I guess the one big difference is that now, at 35, I'm painfully aware that I most certainly do not know everything. And I never will, at least not during this lifetime.
And I'm also aware that I can't derive a sense of self-worth from my successes and failures, though of course I do it anyway. I went to a college that placed a high value on success, defined on a narrow spectrum: gaining influence and earning money. Of course it was nice to be kind to others, but it wasn't a true priority for the real go-getters. No, the goal was to build the portfolio, network and generate cash.
Maybe that's cynical. After all, I loved college. It's where I met Adam. It's where I met a handful of lifelong friends. But it is, to a degree, the truth. And it's hard to not look at myself, as a product of that environment, and not feel like a failure. After all, I'm a writer who's never published a book. I have friends who are, by comparison, extremely successful. Me? I'm a mom. And I wasn't even mom-enough to save my own flesh and blood.
I guess that sounds pretty harsh, doesn't it? When I sit in the dark, sometimes I have dark thoughts. I suspect we all do; most of us just don't share them.
Anyway. Valentine's Day is about 20 minutes away. Last year, Adam and I spent our Valentine's Day looking at cemetery plots. It was surreal. That's the best word for it by leaps and bounds: surreal. I'm thankful that we've survived the first year.
But I miss him so.