Monday, June 13, 2011

One reason I think growing up is painful

I've been reading a lot more lately. Not as much as I'd like, but I'm spending a bigger portion of my recreational time reading than I have in a while yet. I've always been a reader since I was very small and getting back into it reminded me how satisfying it can be in a way that other recreation just isn't, at least for me.

Some friends and I recently formed a book club. Our first meeting is next week and we read "These Is My Words". I loved it. As in 5/5 stars, need-to-buy-my-own-copy loved it. I loved the characters, I loved the story, I wish it wasn't over. I am so looking forward to discussing it.

This quote in particular really resonated with me:
"It seems there is always a road with bends and forks to choose, and taking one path means you can never take another one. There's no starting over nor undoing the steps I've taken. It isn't like I'd want to not have my little ones and Jack and that ranch, it is part of life to have to support yourself. It's just that I want everything, my insides are not just hungry, but greedy. I want to find out all the things in the world and still have a family and a ranch. Maybe part of passing that test was a marker for where I've been, but it feels more like a pointer for something I'll never reach. (November 29, 1887 entry, pg 309)"  Nancy E. Turner (These Is My Words)
That's how I feel about so many choices in my life. I want to be everywhere at once, pursing all the possibilities, I don't like making choices that limit my possibilities -- which is one reason getting married and choosing to start a family were terrifying choices for me.

I love Joe and little Everly. I am grateful to be home with Evs and I am grateful for the decision I made to leave grad school --- I can't imagine dissertating with a high maintenance baby like Evs. But my heart aches a little when I think about the friendships I never got to pursue in Ohio, the things I never got to learn, the life as a teaching/researching professor that I won't get to live...or when I look at my friends who are still single...traveling, building careers, playing til all hours of the night---free of the concerns that come with marriage and children.

I wish I could experience all of it...somehow  simultaneously.

I hate that growing up means narrowing down the possibilities. When you are young it's all open to you. Part of growing up is deciding which of those possibilities you will choose. I have to admit I kind of hate that about growing up. I am still young and I still have lots of choices open to me, but there are fewer options than there were 10 years ago when I graduated high school.

Reading that passage in "These is My Words" made me feel like I'm not the only one who feels that way. And realizing other people feel that achy sadness once in a while makes me feel better about it. It's such an excellent book, you should find time to read it too.

3 little remarks:

emily said...

Loved this post. I actually just started the sequel to the book. It's called Sarah's Quilt. Not far enough into it yet to see if I love it like I loved These is My Words, but I LOVED that book.

painty (Melinda) said...

well said. I know exactly what you mean.

Kaela said...

I loved this book too!!! Did you know I loved it? I think I linked up to it in one of my posts. Anyway, just another thing we'll have to talk about when we finally meet up. I am trying to remember- it seemed like you had a good idea as to when we could meet up and how but am drawing a blank. Would still love to though:)

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