This week I received a postcard--a "Save the Date" of sorts--from my alma mater. My five-year class reunion is coming up. While I won't be going (as I'm short on travel funds and also, while not lacking for college acquaintances, strangely short on friends in my graduating class), I was a little flabbergasted to realize that it really has been five years since I wore a cap, gown, and foolish grin with a bunch of other women.
In college, 2010 was a zillion miles away. That was five (five!) whole years after graduation. The Future. Anything could happen between now and then. And anything did.
Just not the anything I was picturing, oh, eight-or-so years ago.
If you'd told me then that New Year's Eve 2009 would find me married (to a man!), enjoying a drink or two in the comfort of our recently-purchased home, praying that the (illegal) fireworks and (ought-to-be illegal) celebratory gunshots wouldn't wake our two-year-old, I would've...well, I'm not really sure what I would've done.
(I might've cried. The 18-year-old "I" was almost as weepy as the current one is.)
Despite reminding myself on a near-daily basis that I have no agency in the past, I continue to think back on the person I used to be--or rather, the person I used to think I was--before the baby hit the broad, and wish I could go back and warn her. Because (and I realize I sound like a complete fuddy-duddy saying this), if she had known then what I know now... Oh, if only.
It's going to be the future soon, I'd tell her, paraphrasing the goofy Jonathan Coulton song that strikes me as the tiniest bit heartbreaking, despite its silliness. You won't always be this way.
With two bathroom mirrors, I can see for miles!
That thing that seemed so far away when I was knee-deep in books and theories and fantasies is here. It's literally tomorrow. (It's today for my friends on the East coast.) And this time, I might actually be ready for it, unlike every other New Year's Eve.
Maybe it's because I've accepted Change as my personal lord and savior; I'm almost all-the-way-happy not to be where I thought I'd be. Maybe it's a happy coincidence. Maybe my first drink (of two!) has kicked in. But I'm seeing how quickly time passes, and while it continues to be surprising, I'm not bothered by it. I'm not missing out on anything. I'm right here.
Happy New Year, broads and bros.
See you in the future.