If you had asked me on this day 9 years ago, where I thought I’d be, more importantly, WHO I thought I’d be, I would have shrugged. It was 23 and living in Toronto and listless and drinking too much coffee. Full of anxiety, preventing me from doing almost anything fun. Trying to write. But convinced my life wasn’t going to be much more than my cute yellow apartment at the top of a house in a wonderful neighborhood, no kids, just me and books and a busy husband, in a city as big as the sky, to me then.
Flash forward to now, with two kids mostly asleep below me, tucked in their beds, tired tears still marked on their cheeks, my marriage disappeared, fluttered away on some breeze I never noticed. My body marked by children, by growth, by illness, by life, by becoming. Inside, where it was scarred, has bloomed, fractal like, a new person. Hands which will one day hold lives as they appear to us, angry and covered in that which makes us all. Eyes that will now behold, in time, with hope, grandchildren, my eyes on some, my fingers laced with another. My house creaks and echoes around me, dreams made brick.
I reach out, and hope. Hope to hold these two women together, the one who sat late nights on a deck, struggling to catch the stars between the smog and the cigarette, and the one who walks her daughters into the late summer humidity late at night, the stars bright in this tiny city sky, the air quiet but for the creatures of the woods behind us, and the hum in the air. Her those years past, she had no hope, jut an empty, black future ahead, a fence of sorts at 30, blocking out old age and happiness. She thought that happy came via someone else.
She has since determined that this isn’t necessarily the case.
She had less stretch marks. But she didn’t laugh so loud. She had a smaller dress size. But she hated her body, utterly. She was afraid of everything. She couldn’t find herself.
Now she can.