Stop thinking in terms of limitations and start thinking in terms of possibilities.
The other day Bronte got mad at me for not listening to her, as she often does when I get lost in thought. I was completely absorbed in watching the table adjacent to ours, seating four elderly people shakily forking food into their mouths, speaking slowly and with decorum. Something about them was mesmerizing to me and I started to picture myself at that age which, in the past conjured feelings of fear, but in the middle of this sunny restaurant, made me feel calm and content. As I was gazing at them, one of the women looked up at me and her eyes fell on Tallulah. She smiled and I could see her contemplating this fresh, new life in the same way that I was reflecting on her senility.
This surreal experience started me thinking on the passage of time. As I have stated before, when I picture myself a year ago, my goals, my desires, and my general outlook on life, I simply can't believe where I am now. When I told people I was dropping out of college in my fourth year and moving to Mexico on a whim, so many advised me that I was ruining my life. A couple months later when I told them I was pregnant, if they hadn't already given up on my future, having a child out of wedlock pretty much sealed the deal. At the time even I could relate to them and wondered every day if I had made the right decision. As it turns out, my life is more promising than it has ever been, it seems all my confused self needed was some time; time in the mountains, time away from Keikai, and time spent with my family.
Time allows us to heal from wounds both physical and spiritual. Take our new dog, Bubbles/Mimi/Noodle (depending on who you ask), who we found when she was only a few weeks old starving to death, trembling from nerves, and being devoured by mites. Three months later, her coat is shining and she is happy, healthy and sweet as can be. Time brings about change and allows for growth. Five months ago I was a woman who was convinced she would never overcome the heartbreak of her boyfriend and father of her then unborn child, leaving. What I realize now is that he gave me the gifts of time and space to develop my sense of self; I feel strong and free.
In this age of plastic surgery, cryogenic freezing, and anti-aging products, it seems not only do we not value time but we are attempting to defy it. Wouldn't our energy be better spent enjoying our experience here than striving to be forever young? The passage of time is something to celebrate not be ashamed of, for the more time passes, the more we experience and consequently learn. Every wrinkle that appears is the result of an expression. It is as if each "dreaded" line is a footprint in the sand of our lives, having left the mark of innumerable smiles and furrowed brows. I see these folds in the skin as glorious exhibitions of the lives we have lived and our continuing journey.
Expressions such as What a difference a day makes and Just give it some time exemplify exactly what I am saying. My concept of the ticking clock has vastly changed in the last year, as in pregnancy everyday felt like a year and in motherhood days race by leaving precious minutes of silence and stillness. And as I reflect back on my life until now, the last year in particular, I can confidently say that everything we encounter in our finite bodies has a place in the infinite path of our souls, and with each passing second opportunities arise. So, today, exactly a month before my twenty second birthday, I look forward to the years to come not worried about sickness or saggy skin, but with exuberance and a thirst for life. Because, though the last year has been trying, it has opened my eyes to how much life can alter in 365 days, and, as I age, I am committed to making every impending year even more remarkable than the last.