"There is one thing which gives radiance to everything. It is the idea of something around the corner."
-G. K. Chesterton
I scribbled it wide and diagonal across the entire college-ruled page, all caps, all exclamation.
It was 20 years ago, and "here" meant a little town not too far from where I live today. I didn't know then what hid around the corner, only that it would surely be better and much further west. In the twenty years following graduation, it seems only the end of the "I can't wait to..." line has changed.
I can't wait...
to get a "real" job.
to get married.
to have our own place.
for him to get into med school.
for him to get through med school.
for deployment to end.
to start a family.
to quit the "real" (but too stressful) job.
to have a second baby.
to get a bigger place, with a garage this time.
to get through residency.
to get through residency. (That's not a typo. He really did residency twice--on purpose. Because we're seven shades of crazy.)
I am very, very articulate when it comes to lecturing myself about being "all in and all there" in each stage life brings. I am very, very inept when it comes to actually doing it.
And what's scarier is when I read that old journal, the one from two decades past, once I get beyond the cringe-worthy stuff, I am writing about all the same themes. I am giving myself all the same lectures. I am battling the same loneliness, melancholy, disappointment with life, disappointment with people, lofty ideals versus jaded reality, and (drum roll please) the infatuation with what might be around the corner. I believe we grown ups call this restlessness if we're being kind, discontentment if we're being honest.
We've been in Ohio for 21 months, and we have 16 months left. (Oh lookie there, someone's counting!) And dammit if I'm already thinking about what's next, that blasted corner holding all the possibilities, all the mystique, the key to endless happiness. This magical turn where promise and hope pool, right on the brink of change, it gets me every time. I constantly fight the temptation to wish my life away, to strain so hard to see what's next that I'm blinded to what's in front of me.
But this isn't the way to live, is it? Of course not. And do I really want to waste this year wondering about the next? Not on my life. So I'll add just one more thing to my I can't wait list: I can't wait until I finally figure this living in the moment thing out.
Well look at that, last week I decided to give up blogging, and this week I'm participating in a write-five-posts-in-one-week challenge. As Walt would say, "Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes." (And I would add to that profundity that really, I'm just fickle and indecisive. But the "containing multitudes" crap sounded so much fancier.)