I look at the world and its obvious how lucky I am. I have food in my fridge, the heater is ticking away on the wall and at night I sleep between my husband, who works hard so I can continue my education and my daughter, whose laugh breaks my heart into a million pieces every single day. And yet, when I’m alone my mind constantly finds that empty spot where the memories of everything I promised myself I would do should be. The year I was going to live in France writing a novel, the dream of being a travel writer for National Geographic, learning to play the guitar, the month long backpacking trip through through India, the 5 floor walkup studio I was going to have in New York, the people I’ll never meet and the mistake I’ll never make.
I’ve always done everything right, at least on the grand scale. I started dating Guy as a senior in high school. I graduated high school with honors, I never sneaked out, I never got drunk. I graduated college with honors and I worked two jobs through college to save money. I cried when I got my first C. I never tried pot. I married my husband 2 weeks after I graduated . I’ve never had my heartbroken. I applied for graduate school, I was accepted to graduate school, I got pregnant 5 months after I got married. I started grad school, I had Harper. I started staying up late just so I could pee by myself. I am graduating grad school with honors in May. I’ve never not turned in an assignment. I have never lived alone. I can’t remember who I am anymore, except that I am the person who has never done anything she said she would.
I’m appalled by my own selfishness, to live a charmed life, and finding myself wishing that it was otherwise. On nights like this when the cold wraps around me like a wet blanket, I can’t shake the feeling that everything is spelled out for me. Tomorrow I will wake up and I’ll make breakfast. Every two hours I will change a diaper. I will watch two episode of Sesame Street or the entirety of Toy Story. While Harper naps, I will catch up on some emails and study French. When she wakes up we will go to the park and if they weather is nice we will walk to the farmer’s market to pick something up for dinner. We’ll watch reruns of How I Met Your Mother and I’ll wish that it was my life instead of a television show. Maybe we’ll open a bottle of wine and when midnight rolls around we’ll quietly crawl into bed and listen to the cars drive by the window, tangled up in each other and the familiar syncopation of our breathing. Rinse repeat. For a girl who always thought fate would deal me an extraordinary hand, ordinary is nearly too much to bear.