There are those few moments in life so huge that by passing through them, you become someone different. You become a new version of you. And no matter what you told yourself before the event, it wouldn’t matter. You’d probably still charge ahead and do it.
Graduation. Marriage. Childbirth. Book deal. Buying a house. Moving. So one day you’re a college student, a single person, a struggling writer, a renter—and then suddenly you’re a graduate, a wife, a mother, a published author, or a homeowner. You’re essentially the same before and after the event, but you’re also different. You know important information now, and you have experience. You discover that marriage is no fairy tale, but hopefully many days of fun and companionship mixed with some wrangling over who is going to clean all those dirty dishes. A book deal is no happily ever after either: it’s the start of lots more hard work, and questions about when the next one is coming out.
I’ve always been a planner. I do my research, and I try to prepare. I probably read every book on childrearing I could find, but none of them were much help when I had to deal with a colicky baby on no sleep, or a two-year-old who threw a temper tantrum every time he left the playground. He’ll grow out of it, the experts said. And they were right. But in the midst of a crisis, I’m not very good at listening.
Right now I’m in the middle of moving. It’s one of the most stressful things we do in life. I am currently looking around at all our worldly possessions wondering who collected all this junk. Do I really want it? What’s the point in moving it? And I’m dreaming about our new home—the colors we’ll paint it, the flowers we’ll plant, and where everything will go.
But in the end, moving is just a hurdle I have to get over to get to that next step, that new self that knows a lot more about efficient packing and homeownership. No book or sage words of advice will spare me the experience. I just have to do it myself.
Happy Birthday America! Hope everyone has a great July 4th.
7 Replies to “If I Knew Now What I’ll Know Then by Deb Meredith”
From this I know. I feel for you. We’ve moved four times since August 2005. And no, my husband isn’t in the military! You do learn how to de-clutter fast, that’s the bright side! Good luck. KIM
As I face another change in my life (although I’m not sure yet what form that change will take), I’ve been thinking about all of these things too. It’s amazing how many twists and turns life takes, and then you look back and wonder, how did I get here? Would you change anything if you could?
I’ve been sorting through my stuff as well, because whatever form the change takes will involve a move. I’m forcing myself to get rid of things, but I’m also trying to find a way to hold on to the memories. After all, things just represent memories, don’t they?
Good luck with everything! I’m sure that your adventure has just taken on a new form.
I could have written this. I think we were sisters in another life… Good luck with the move and this is a perfect time to purge junk!
Hey Cole –
You need to read REPLAY by Ken Grimwood, about a guy who gets to relive his life knowing everything he knew at 43. I won’t give the story away…
Thanks everyone for stopping by to comment on this lovely holiday!
Kim–if I had to move 5 times, I think I would become an unencumbered Buddhist or something. I admire your fortitude.
Kristina–I hope we are sisters! I’m looking forward to seeing you at ALA next Saturday.
Lisa–I hope your move, etc., goes smoothly and brings new opportunities your way.
Xtine–I’ll have to look for that book. Sounds interesting!
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