This month more than any recently, I have had the chance to catch up with some old friends. There was our Annual Girls Weekend down the shore in early September, lunch with 2 of my college roommates last week and then this past weekend, I went to VA to celebrate the 40th birthday of one of my dearest friends (also a college roommate!).
It seems like in each instance, the past came up. Past birthdays, past experiences, past memories. Each time I wondered - if those things seem so far away from us now I am just 40, how will I even remember them when I am 60? Or 80?
In some ways, the passage of time feels right. It feels good to get older and wiser (or maybe just wiser). I couldn't wait to drive or to vote or to drink. By 25, I hit all the major milestones but I kept aging anyway. And here I am.
I think back fondly to my high school days. While not the best time of my life, it was certainly not the worst! I loved high school theater and still get some of the songs from our productions stuck in my head. Before those days, I was active in my synagogue youth group and those memories always make me smile.
College was quite an experience for me. The classes, the connections, the learning from books and from people - I would not trade any of it.
The people I have met along the way have shaped me into who I am. Some of whom I am still friends with and some that are just faces in old photo albums.
Post college was an assortment of jobs and career choices which I took so seriously back then and wish I could have told myself to enjoy the ride more and worry less about the rent. But I was not that different from any other recent grad who had no idea what she wanted to be when she grew up.
Then there was the dating pool. One day, I will write a book. A book on love and loss and online dating. These stories should not die with me. I dated someone named Steve Irwin who looked NOTHING like the Crocodile Hunter. I dated a bookie who proudly told me all his cash was hidden under his mattress. I went out with someone who was deaf in one of his ears and I could never tell if he was laughing at my jokes or smiling because he couldn't hear a damn thing I said.
Then there was "Gary from Work". And that was it. Our story began the night we met and has been (to me) one of the greatest stories of all time.
Even with our loss.
Losing Allie was what defined me for so long. Not a day goes by that I do not think of the precious life that I carried. That I do not have a memory of her kicking me or keeping me up at night with heartburn. I think about holding her still body in my arms and wish I had the courage to hold her longer.
Becoming Miranda's mom at the time that I did, was simply the best. For much of that first year, I let that define me. It was a role I was born to play and I finally got the chance and damn, I was good at it!
Now the baby haze is fading. She is a toddler. She is able to do more and more by herself and watching her learn it all is one of the truest joys of my life.
Starting next week, my freelance hours will be 25/week. It's turned it a "real" part time job. Miranda will be in daycare 3 days a week. And time will keep marching on.
I am not sure what is next for us, but I am kind of excited to see.
Tick tock. It's time to make new memories.