Have you ever had one of those moments where you feel caught in a parallel reality? You, know, one of those moments where you think to yourself, “Wait a minute! This isn’t my life! Where am I? How’d I get here? I look like me. I talk like me, but everything is wrong. This isn’t where I’m supposed to be!”
If you haven’t gotten there yet, don’t worry, you will! It’s one of the seldom talked about parts of aging. You look up to find that time has carried you somewhere you never intended to go. You’re not sure how to get back to where you were wanting to be or if you should just go with the flow or maybe chart a new path altogether.
That is pretty much where I live these days. I was a go getter, a world changer. I traveled to 17 different countries before I turned 25. I worked in orphanages, I helped run health clinics, I taught English, I pretty much did whatever needed doing wherever I went and I loved it. I was going to change the world and live a life of adventure in the process. Miss Peace Corp, save the poor and forgotten, that was me. Everything seemed pretty straight forward.
Then I met the guy. Yeah. THE guy. Every girl’s dream guy who came riding in like a knight in shining armor and swept me off my feet. He was handsome, smart, sweet, and he wanted to take the world by storm just like me. We were a match made in heaven! All fireworks and Andrea Bocelli music.
Then we had our first “oops.” Yeah. A bunch of you know exactly what I’m talking about. You see exactly where I’m heading. He was an amazing oops. Funny and tough and such a snuggler, but a life changer.
Still, you still have some mobility with one oops. It’s when oops two and three came along that things really snowballed. You can still be a couple headed somewhere with one baby, but you officially become a family when you pass one into two or three.
You’re no longer the young, cute couple with a cute little baby. Oh, no. Now you’re the pandemonium, the chaos of outnumbered parents trying to keep these little cyclones in line. It’s absorbing, overwhelming, and one day, when there is finally an eye in the storm, you look up and wonder, “How in the heck did I get here? This isn’t what I had planned!” and there begins your first surreal, parallel life moment.
That’s when the soul searching begins, and the questions. All that philosophying you did in college gets thrown out and you have to re-ask all the same questions from the vantage of your new perspective.
“Who am I? What do I want out of life? And what is the purpose of it all, anyway?” Loaded questions that aren’t as easy to answer when you have a whole family to think of and not just yourself. Admit it. Any of you parents out there know exactly what I’m talking about!