Living the Adjectives You Desire

énouement: n. the bittersweetness of having arrived in the future, where you can finally get the answers to how things turn out in the real world, but not being able to tell your past self.

Recently it has come to my attention that I am in the future. Here I am. I am an adult now. I have started my life. I’m not sure when this started or what triggered me to realize that this is it.

I’ve been with my husband since we were 19. We were kids. He was among the first friends I made when I moved away from home to go to college. We spent endless nights, countless car rides, indefinite days dreaming together, jabbering about the future, scheming how we would achieve our unrestricted hopes and aspirations. Careers, traveling, social events, marriage, family life, bank accounts, moral compasses, faith, routines, adventures, and what to eat for dinner circulated within our conversations for years. When did those years turn into nearly a decade? It seems like just last year we were dangling our feet over the retaining wall of Tempe Town Lake and talking about how great it will be when we graduate so we can finally do what we want (said on a sunny Tuesday around noon because we didn’t have class or work to be at). I wish I could go back and tell myself to cherish those sovereign moments. I wish I could tell myself that it would all work out; that life is pretty darn great and not at all what you expected but it is tragically beautiful in a thunderstorm kind of way.

Mistakes have been made, rules have been broken. At times I felt like we had really messed up and we would have been better off choosing the other fork in the road. There were days when the growing pains were so infuriating I wanted to throw up my white flag, send for an SOS, plop down, cross my arms and wait for someone to figure it out for me. But I didn’t. We kept each other going. We cheered each other on. We prayed for and coached our partner. We got in each others faces with a reminder that we didn’t come this far to quit.

There were innumerable times when I felt like it was all wrong, like my life was nothing like I had planned, like I’d invested so much time and energy and hadn’t gained much to show for it. I was mistaken, completely amiss. I am living the life I have always wanted. I am safe, I am loved, I am successful (in some messed up, totally unconventional way), and most of all, I am happy. It has taken me a long time to allow myself to just be – to just be content and happy and secure. I have arrived in the future and I am shouting at my 20-year-old-self, “You are boundlessly happy!” I can look back now and find beauty in places I never even noticed. This awareness is providing me with an appreciation for daily moments that award me feelings of joy, hilarity, contentment, optimism and peace of mind. I am awake; my life is here and I don’t want to miss it.

zenosyne: n. the sense that time keeps going faster.

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4 comments

  1. mkrueger · March 5

    What a beautiful post! I love that word: énouement. There are so many things I wish I could tell my younger self as well. I used to worry so much about the future, was dating the wrong guy, and unsure of my career path. I wish I could ease her worries and let her know it all worked out!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kim K · March 5

    The perspective we gain is invaluable. Funny how I STILL don’t feel like an adult. Your writing voice is so strong my friend. Love!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. pamlingelbach · March 5

    It must be that kind of day! I just finished a post in which I wrote to my younger self, and much of it was advice about those times you eloquently described as “beautiful in a thunderstorm kind of way.”

    Like

  4. Ms. Jackson · March 5

    I wonder if my 20-year-old self would have done some things differently. It’s been the stumbles and “wrong turns” that brought me to where I am now, so I wouldn’t want to tell 20-year-old me too much.

    Liked by 1 person

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