Saturday, March 03, 2007

Green With Envy

So I called up some friends from high school this morning (prompted by a dream I had last night in which I was still IN high school, complete with knee socks and pleated uniform skirt, but I was also pregnant and trying desperately to conceal it from everyone. Interesting.) And I realized that all of those people, like normal college students, are headed off on exciting adventures because it is SPRING BREAK! I didn't even realize. Renee and Linzi are off on a cruise to the Bahamas, and Laura and Kelly (actually still in high school!) are renting a house on the beach in Florida with some friends, and, worst of all, Braden is going backpacking around Europe!!! Without me!!
Oh, that was supposed to be me... I was the one obsessed with all things Europe, remember? I was the one who was going to live in London and be a journalist.
This just goes to show how hard it is to be content with what you have, because just last night I was feeling super excited about a couple of weekend trips we have coming up. Sure, Akron, Ohio is not exactly an exotic destination, but we are also going to Chicago this weekend! That's pretty cool. It'll be even cooler still if we can find someone to keep the kiddo overnight for us! To someone who's gone no farther than the grocery store in two months, the thought of road trips and hotels with swimming pools were really cheering me up.
And then I talk to the friends, and I can practically see them, jet setting around the globe in all their un-tied-down freedom, with their low-rise jeans around their still un-stretch-marked hips, and I had a feeling, honestly, that was more resentment than even just jealousy. I am not proud of this, let me say. Because I know that we all make our choices, and no one forced me into marriage and babies. I have the life I wanted, and continue to want.
But sometimes, even when you've gladly taken one path, it's hard to keep from looking back over your shoulder at the path you walked away from. I wouldn't in a million years trade my life with my husband and daughter for my friends' lives with their projects and tests and crazy hours, but there are days when I would like to trade... Days. Not lives, just days. Even a few hours, in which I would Freaky Friday myself into their bodies and experience the life of your average twenty-two year old. I would hand off the temper tantrums and the sticky kitchen floor and my waddling, pot-bellied self to one of them, and I would slip into their slim bodies and their apartments and the sea of choices still in front of them. Even though I know I would likely return happier than ever with my own choices, I would still like the chance to make that trade. Just for the day.


Swistle said...

I know what you mean. I've been feeling better about this sort of thing lately, though, as all my friends are in the 32-33-34 kind of age range, and some the of bakcpacking, slim ones are starting to panic about husbands and children. It was harder 10 years ago when they were all hanging out in coffee shops and going to Argentina, and they thought I was ridiculous for settling down so early. Now I feel mostly relief, as they realize they cut off some of their options, and I realize I took mine.

desperate housewife said...

I do agree with this part of it, the relief of knowing that, no matter what, I do have kids. If nothing else, I have not frittered away that precious window of time when those eggs are still healthy and just scrambling in line to be fertilized!

ttsc said...

I recently traveled to Mexico with a 1 yr old, it's harder but it can still be done. Yes, I went to bed around 10 and got up at 6, but I was sharing the experience with my daughter, and yes I have stretch marks, but hey, 99% of the time you can't see them anyway!

Mid-Life Momentum said...

I don't blame you for being jealous at times and I understand! Having chosen to be a stay at home Mom instead of putting my college degree to work, there are days when those successful "career" women come in the office and I envy who they are at THIS moment. But when the "green" fades, I know with all certainty that the ONLY people I want to be on-call for 24 hours a day are my family and friends and that the only success in my life that really matters is who I've been in THEIR lives. Then I sit back and am thankful for my 8-5 job that gives me the flexibility to leave whenever my family needs me!
Also, true confession time . . . EVERY time I've gone shopping with one of my daughters for prom dresses, I get very jealous because I never went to mine. You'd think by age 51 and after 6 or 7 of those shopping trips with three daughters, the desire to be Prom Queen would have passed!
Sorry for such a LONGGG comment!

Anonymous said...

Awww Chuck I am sorry that you feel that way! The college life isn't all its cracked up to be eiter- so much uncertainty its hard to take sometimes. This summer we will take a mini roadtrip to like a Reds game or something fun (without baby) and pretend we have nothing to worry about;)