Wednesday, June 6, 2012

grass is always greener

The twenty-year-old version of yours truly wanted to travel the world. By that point in time most all of my friends from my high school days, plus a few more had settled down to husbands and babies. At twenty I couldn't imagine being married so young! Having babies!! There were places to go and people to meet. I had a life to experience! The way I saw it, I had my whole life to be married and raising kids. 

I could see the lives of my friends playing out the same way it did for their parents. You live in the same place forever, around the same people, feeding mouths, washing dishes, folding laundry, paying bills. Day in, day out for weeks, months, years... I tried to picture myself getting married, raising a family. I knew it would happen one day, but I just couldn't get past seeing the three-bedroom, two-bath that would house my life of endless monotony. 

When I met and married Hubby, the life of a military wife was hugely attractive to me. It shattered the image of being "stuck" in one place. It meant I could be married and still see the world. It seemed adventurous and exciting. 

The last couple days my facebook feed has been flooded with pictures of my friend's children. Children with missing teeth, getting baptized, performing at piano recitals, hitting that pre-teen phase. Children who the last time I saw them were still toddling around in diapers. Time flies. For me, this morning, it swooped in on the wings of a vulture, and pecked at my heart. I am missing my friends, I am missing their lives.

My twenty-year-old self had it all wrong. Life it not about seeing the world nor trying new things. It's about loving people.

One of my best friends here, a woman I never would have met without the military, is moving this month. I knew it was going to happen. Everyone in the military is always on a timeline, we come and go. A younger Heather believed that I could keep in touch with all of my friends. This slightly older Heather knows better. It kind of breaks my heart. I am 100% positive that if I we were to find ourselves in the same place again even 10 or 20 years from now, our friendship would pick up again easily and naturally -but I am tired of putting real friendships aside.

This girl who once upon a time wanted to roll with the wind and the waves, is ready for roots. Deep roots.

Obviously, I need to make an attitude adjustment. I think I'll begin a gratitude journal tonight. Yes, I think that is exactly what I'm going to be needing.


wendy said...

"swooped in on the wings of a vulture and pecked at your heart"....LOVE THAT.
Everyone in the world at one time or another "thinks they have it figured out" of what they want in life.
In part, maybe they do.
But as we grow and experience things, it can't help but give us a different perspective from when we were younger.
You'll have ways of adjusting, and when all is said and done, and you are 60, you'll think, wow, that was a great experience.

Cara said...

It's hard. Every year I think to myself 'I'm old.' Every single year. Then I look back and think 'man, I wish I was 25 again!' ;).

There are so many friends I've lost through the passage of time...or you know if I haven't lost them we've lost touch and only see each other through Facebook - it's hard.

Amy said...

It's so interesting when we reach these epiphanies in our lives when we realize what's truly important. I remember just after high school when I realized that the only thing that truly mattered to me was a temple marriage. (something that was always a goal, but silly, ridiculous teenage distractions seemed so important before this realization. If that makes any sense.)
Then the other day I was fretting about how to decorate our baby's room. And it hit me: the room doesn't matter a single bit. What matters is bringing home a healthy little boy. And all my cares about crib bedding and wall decor flew out the window; replaced with a peaceful feeling of release.

People matter. Eternity matters. All the rest of this stuff is just extra.

Great post, Heather!

Amy said...

I should add that these were two different "epiphanies." The way I worded it made it sound like they were connected, or that they were the only two I've ever had.
Not so.

Okay, I'm done!

Melanie said...

I know what it's like to meet people and then have to say goodbye to them shortly thereafter. This med school/residency stuff has not been easy. But, I'm SO grateful for the chances we've had to move around and see more of the country and the world! I really feel it has made me a better person, and a better mother.

I'm with you on feeling the need to plant some roots finally. But, I have to somewhat disagree when you say "life is not about seeing the world nor trying new things. It's about loving people." I think that life is about BOTH of those together!! What's life if you don't get to experience as much of it as you can! And, I've met so many more people from moving around than I would have if I would have stayed in one spot my whole life. I now have good friends all over the country. I may not get to see them on a regular basis, and I may never see them again, but I get to stay connected through blogs or FB. It is hard, but I've also been enriched at the same time.

Growing up does bring different perspectives on life, on what does really matter. Family matters. Relationships matter. But, my motto through all these years has been to "enjoy the journey". I try to enjoy every stage I'm in, because before I know it it will be gone!