Current Song: Circle Game by Pink
The past few weeks have been a weird earthquake of the endless circle that life really is.
I remember studying psych, learning about Erickson’s Stages of human development. Fascinated by it. In awe at how much alike we all are as humans, yet still on very different journeys. We all battle the same basic battles, simple, yet the experience of them is so completely different for all of us. And here I am at the cusp of these stages – Intimacy vs. Isolation. Generatively vs. Stagnation, feeling like the earth is shaking.
Lately I have been trying to sort out the next stage for my daughter. She just turned 4 (Initiative vs Guilt). She will be starting kindergarten in a year and now here I am learning to navigate the school system, in a state I just recently moved into. Trying to figure out what I can do for her, what is best for her. How do I know if I am not screwing her over in the long run? How am I now making decisions for a tiny human being when sometimes I can hardly make a decision for myself. Meanwhile, my husband is questioning his career choices. We have been on the endless birthday party circuit. We worry about student debt. My closest friends live miles away, on the other side of the country. We used to talk every day, do so much together but now life has pulled us all in different directions. Currently several literary agents are reading my complete manuscript, and the anxiety of that is overwhelming. I am researching cults and trauma for my next manuscript. Exploring the psyche of the characters that are in my brain, ready to start writing. …
During all of this, my sister texts that our dad is in the hospital due to an injury. Watching him decline has not been easy for either of us. The fear that now we have to hold his hand, instead of him tucking us into bed and telling us funny stories, is scary. I am not sure I am ready.
How is that we have spiraled into this so fast? Where did the time go? What have we been doing? How is this adult life? Is this what our parents went through too?
I want to leave a mark on this planet, via my words, via my child, via all of it. But then I spiral back to the reality of what life is – my daughter sprouted overnight, my dad has started to deteriorate in a flash, and I wonder… am I blinking too fast? Is it all just going by faster than any of us want to admit to? Do I have time for all of it?
Was Erickson right? We all just plow through these stages of development and end up at the end thinking, what have I left behind? What have I done with the chance I had? Is that what our parents are thinking when they look at us, raising our own kids, creating our own paths. Do they think, this went too fast, what was I doing? How do I go back, and try again?
Is that the question you want to leave behind? Or perhaps the better question is, to ask now… how do I get from here to there, knowing I did all I could to be here while I had the chance.