Written circa 2008…
Today at the end of an outing to Barnes&Noble with my friend, A, she looked at me, held up three fingers, and said in what I’m sure she thought was an encouraging voice, Three years. Things will look a lot different in three years. We’ll be able to have a conversation.
She wasn’t with me a week earlier when I was drinking wine with a different friend. Now 47, she was looking back and reflecting on 37. Two small daughters after years of infertility treatments, home after a career, she recalled feeling alone and miserable. Her response to a similar 3 years comment was, That’s 1,000 more days of THIS. I canNOT do 1,000 more days of this.
Now, I firmly believe that this is my calling, and that God wants me here and is giving me grace for each day, but in that moment, I felt incredibly hopeless and alone.
3 years?!!? Are you kidding me?!
I swallowed the lump in my throat, forced myself to breathe, caught my two-year-old, coaxed my three-year-old, hoisted the infant seat bucket over my arm and onto my hip, and exited the store.
Do you know that in 3 years, I will have been doing this for 20 years? This is hard for me? That it has always been three years until something better that never comes?
I am trying to figure out the now. To understand myself within the context of my life. I want to love the gift that is now, not the elusive never-to-come.
It has now been many more than three years. I think we both would agree that things look different. We have both grown, and yes, we can now have a conversation, albeit long-distance. I love you, A. You are a gift.