Wouldn’t it be entertaining to be able travel back in time and sneak up on that tremendously immature, youthful and perky (in soooo many ways) you from 20+ years ago??? Would you cause a panic mentioning all the ‘weightiness’ of your current life; the life that young, naive you could never have been able to fathom? Maybe you would try to spare yourself from a certain, or a number of heartaches or encourage yourself to take a chance on that one especially scary thing and expect great reward.
As I sit in my very impressive looking writing nook, aka, my kitchen, I’m imagining the teenage version of myself attempting to digest the look of my current life. I envision pee running down my young legs and pooling all over the floor…poor thing. Maybe I should feel sorry for her/me. But sadly I think it might have been good for me to experience an awakening of sorts. I needed a broader understanding of life. I wasn’t an old or deep soul as a kid. Maybe I am a bit now, but I’m also literally older, so it’s not as impressive.
As a young adult, I had no idea who I was. I was a late bloomer in many ways. I developed my identity through the observations and opinions of the grown-ups in my life. A true description of the young me would reveal a heap of contradictions. I was a hopeless romantic terrified of commitment, an excessively restrained free spirit. I overflowed with faith and conviction but no true courage to back it up. A little time travel intervention-sneak attack would likely cause a coronary!
I’m a mom to 4 kids. That confession sounds like I’m attending a support group, and honestly on many days I could probably use one! I didn’t grow up dreaming of having 4 little ones largely because of an intense fear I’ve always had of giving birth. All those movie scenes of women sweating, grunting, bleeding, crying and screaming in pain seemed so gruesome to me; almost the making of a horror movie. It’s all so laughable today in light of my reality. I believe that childbirth; though excruciatingly painful and comparable to being turned inside out, is one of the most loving, miraculous and literally life giving actions possible. Even though I didn’t envision such a large family, I love each of my babies more than life and a gaping hole would exist in my heart without any one of them.
Young Kristin would also be surprised to see her future hubs. I didn’t end up marrying the person I thought I would, but I’m immeasurably thankful for that! In my youth, I experienced a major heart break. For a chunk of time, I struggled to see past it. But it was only this ending that allowed the door to open for a far greater beginning and love. That young thing (me) could never have imagined that from rubble could come so much life and beauty.
Youthful me would no doubt object to the current look of things by dramatically screaming, “This is NOT how my life is supposed to look!” I’m reminded of the famous poet, Robert Burns who wrote about the best, most carefully made plans “of mice and men” and how they often still go the wrong way. But I’d venture to say that my best, most carefully made plans that went “wrong” turned out to be my true right. Only the grownup, weathered, confidently loved and stronger version of me (with a healed up heart) can properly understand this.
Writer and fellow traveler on the road of life.