The Muzzled Voice

Starting Over

Posted on: April 2, 2009

My best friend, Pennie, turned 46 on Tuesday. I joked with her that she only had a few more years before she turned the big 5-0. Although we got a good laugh out of it, she reminded me that I was 40, and I’d probably be 100 years old by the time Tavin graduated. It was an exaggeration, of course, but I couldn’t help but think about how my life, at 40, is literally starting all over again.

 

How many people do we know in a lifetime who get a real second chance at life; an opportunity to truly start all over again? Not many. And I never thought that I would be one of those people.

 

I always saw my life as one way, and not the other. I thought that my past would always dictate my future; that it would hold me back from the things in life I had always hoped for. I was blessed, and lucky, to have found love at my age, especially after all I had gone through in my life. Pennie, on the other hand, has given up hope. It’s not easy. And I know it’s a cliché to say, “If it can happen to me, it can happen to you,” but I can’t help but believe that, knowing what I know.

 

At 40, I’m feeling young at heart again, because life is starting over. I’m in love for the first time in my life. I may have loved others before, but it wasn’t “this.” It was always such destructive love that it never made any sense to me. But now I have this relationship that feels good, and is better than most people could hope for in a lifetime. And although I’ve been jaded, and the thought of marriage carries many bad memories for me, I am, again, getting married. But this time it feels like the first time, because it’s for all the right reasons.

 

And at 40, I’m having my second child. I never thought… I usually steered clear of men who were looking to have a family, because I just didn’t want anymore children. I had Josh, and that was good enough for me. I had done my child rearing. I had gone through it all, and I was so young when I did it that it was “my time” to live my life. I just wanted to go through life pretty much on my own, my way.

 

Jared changed all that. We were both against having children for many, many reasons. But there was a moment last summer when we were given a special gift. We were allowed to see that although having a child would ultimately change our lives, it could change it for the better, and it didn’t have to change who we are. And our child didn’t have to be a child of the world, but a child of our love and guidance. A product of the love that we shared, that needed to be shared with someone special. And that day, right there, we decided, with hundreds of people watching, that we would change our lives to know that special someone. 

 

I’ve had so many experiences in life when I found myself looking back at my life and wondering, “How did I get here?” Sometimes it was good, other times it was bad. And then there are moments when I look back and realize that my life ended at one point, and began again at another. There are periods in my life when I just glided through, not really paying attention, but just trying to survive, trying to find my way, any way I could.

 

Finding Jared was like tripping over something and landing in someone’s lap. I’m not entirely sure it was supposed to happen, but I’m glad that it did.

 

This morning I woke up at 5:30 and couldn’t fight the urge to think back on how this all started. How weird and awkward it was at first, just making the initial date. I remember getting angry with Jared when he first called to set up the date. It wasn’t what I had hoped for, and I got really frustrated and disappointed. I wasn’t too excited about our first date, and nearly cancelled. But I knew Jared was a nice guy, and despite my lack of “romantic feelings” for him, I just wanted to go and spend time with a nice guy, and I had no expectations whatsoever!

 

And that’s how it happens. When you least expect it. When you give someone a chance even when it doesn’t “seem” like something you’d ever choose for yourself. You have all these “ideas” about the right person or the right job or the perfect life, and then someone, out of nowhere, pops up and changes everything! And mostly for the better. Because Someone Else knows us better, and if we trust that Someone Else, and take chances that seem out of the ordinary to us, we just never know what might happen. But if we get all caught up in our own ideas about how things are supposed to look, or be, we’ll never discover what’s truly in store for us.

 

It was that first date. Although awkward at times, we both knew at one point during the date that we HAD to know this person more. There may have even been a moment when we both knew that we had finally found our other half. And I had ample opportunity to run like hell after that. But I didn’t…I couldn’t. Thank God.

 

Sometimes I wake up, roll over and see Jared lying next to me, and all I can do is smile. I can’t help…but smile. And then I close my eyes again, and I thank God for bringing Jared into my life.

 

And then I feel a flutter. A kick. And I realize that I have a life inside of me. A piece of our love growing, becoming more real everyday. And I love Jared more. And I love Tavin more. And I wonder…am I dreaming? Because I never thought, in a million years, that this would be my life. That I—of all people—would know this, and know what it means to start all over again.

 

So what? I’m 40! My life is half over…but it’s just beginning. Who could ask for anything more?

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