It’s kind of funny how Kathryn has really taken over this blog, especially since Eden was born. But finally the time has come for me to write a post, and the challenge will be for me to write just a post, and not a novel. I want to write about some recent thoughts I’ve had on the stages (or phases) of life, and our attitudes about them.
You see, I had what I consider to be a really good childhood and youth. I suppose I went through all the hormone-induced madness that everybody has to go through, and had moments when I thought life was just miserable and tough, but overall I loved life, the high school years in particular. There are moments when I’ve looked back on that period of time and thought, “I’ll never [make friends, have such reckless fun, be so care-free, etc.] as I was in those days”, but I also know that we tend to forget the intensity of negative emotions in hindsight (or at least I do).
University also had many highlights: I made some great friends (“Maybe I’ll never make friends like that again…”), grew up A LOT, met and married Kathryn, broadened my horizons, and so on. In fact, University (and the single life in particular, perhaps) can be so much fun that a lot of us never really want to leave it. I mean, we wouldn’t mind making some money instead of accumulating more debt, but there’s something about each phase of life that beckons us to stay a little longer and “enjoy” it, to get “the most” out of it. Most of my closest friends actually took 5 or more years to complete their degrees at Acadia, myself included.
After graduating and getting married, Kathryn and I moved to Lab City, where I had been offered a job. We’d actually already been married for a year by then, and we stayed up there for another year and a half. So when we left Lab City to go “to Korea”, we had been married for 2.5 years and still didn’t have any kids, or any plan to start pumpin’ ’em out (cause that’s how it works, they just pump out like shotgun shells; trust me, I’ve been there). As you probably all know by now, Korea never panned out because of a surprise visitor in Kathryn’s uterus… or womb, for those of you who are uncomfortable with the idea of discussing my wife’s uterus. There, I said it again, now you’re even more uncomfortable. Uterus!! Quick, skip to the next paragraph!!
Well, Eden is 3 and a half months old now, and as I said to Kathryn recently, “You know… even though we hadn’t planned on being here at this point in our lives – here referring to the circumstances of our lives, not our physical location – I am so glad that we have this girl right now, and not several years from now.” I guess being pushed into this next stage of life has made me realize how silly it was of me (us) to want to remain in one stage when there are so many more aspects of life to experience. With each new stage there are so many challenges and joys, heartaches and moments of relief, learning opportunities and depths of emotion that are unique to that particular set of circumstances. “We want to spend a few years together, just the two of us. You know, getting to know each other and experiencing ‘life’ before we have the responsibility of children.” … it sounded so reasonable back then, but now I look back on 2009 Tim and just grin and subtly shake my head at his naivety and short-sightedness.
And so, I exhort you my friends and family members, not necessarily to start procreating, but to shake yourself out of your comfortable nest and seize the opportunities you’re given to advance to the next stage of life that’s before you. There will definitely be some very uncomfortable and uncertain moments, and you’ll probably cry sometimes and have to grieve the things you’ve left behind, but once you’ve made the leap and you look back on your old way of life, I think you too might shake your head and say, “Man… if it wasn’t for taking that step I would still have been there today.”
And you know what else is funny? The older I get, the younger I feel like I am in the entire scope of life. I wonder if I’m alone in this, but I doubt it. For example, when I was a teenager I thought I was pretty well grown up, being more or less an adult and having a general wisdom and understanding of all things, to some extent. Now that I’ll soon be 25, I feel like I’m a child just scraping the surface of the depths that life has to offer. I feel like I now understand just a little bit, even though I’m sure it’s significantly more than I understood in my younger days when I felt like I knew so much. So far, I must say – other than the knee pain – I like being older.
Thanks for reading my essay friends, looking forward to some responses 😉