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This weekend I met my best friend for coffee and we spent a couple hours talking as we do a couple times a month. This friend and I have known each other for years so we have a comparative history upon which our current conversation casts its reflection. Our meetings are comfortably the same, we meet for coffee at a local bookstore and flip through magazines while chatting about whatever pops into our minds. At some point in the conversation things will veer into deeper waters and we'll check in with one another about ongoing dreams or projects each has underway. Her adoption, my move.

Since we're both single, 40-something women, our perspective on these things tends to be a bit different than our married friends or our friends with children. The decisions can be made in a vacuum, without consulting another for their recommendations or objections, there aren't the needs of another to consider. Which should make the decision making process or the project undertaking easier, but somehow it doesn't because while we don't have to gather another's approval, we also don't have their support. And as we get older, we start to think in terms of facing the rest of our lives on a solitary path.

During our conversation my friend said, "I feel like I'm waiting for my life to begin." And I immediately nodded in agreement, yes I know exactly how you feel because I feel the same way. My life will begin once I move to my house in the mountains, once I find that career in books that I've longed for, once I get married to that wonderful man, once, just once, upon a begins the fairy tale.

And then I realized that while we are waiting for our lives to begin, days and weeks and years and decades are passing us by and we have not understood that our lives have begun. That moment that we are waiting for is already here, we are living it now in this moment and all our plans are part of that life that has already begun. We must stop waiting and start doing, somehow we must overcome our lethargy or lengthy preparations because the circumstances will never be just right, there will never be enough money saved or the perfect job secured or all our ducks in order, at some point we must simply dive in to the already swirling current of the the life that has already begun, that we are in fact in the midst of.

I've plucked a few lines from T.S. Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock to underscore the anesthetic seduction of waiting any longer, he says it so beautifully....

There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,

Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
For I have known them all already, known them all:—
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?

I now believe it doesn't matter, as long as we just begin.


Vodka Mom said…
i loved that post.

You are so right that life is NOW. THIS is the moment we've been waiting for.....
LarramieG said…
Your life began decades ago, now you're looking forward to writing the next chapter.
Keetha said…
I just finished a book called Tales from a Cracker Queen. Or Cracker Queen Memoir. Something about a Cracker Queen - anyway, the author, Loretta Hannon, mentions a quote about every day doing something that terrifies you.

I like that.
Madge said…
i needed this today. i was just laying awake at 3 in the morning, freaking out that i hadn't begun my life yet -- at 42
Jennifer H said…
This was exactly what I needed to read tonight. I've been doing a couple of things to move my life forward and go after what I want (baby steps), but I feel the way you described all the time...

Cheering you on from here...
Elisa said…
So true! I think too often we find ourselves waiting, and letting life pass us by. Thank you for the inspiration!
Glynis said…
Oh may I say...go get that life! I changed mine (with a DH) and moved to another country, I have no regrets it opened up a whole new chapter for me...well literally as I am now writing my first novel and blog about my life, away from night shifts in the UK hospitals LOL
Happy Scribbling

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