Yesterday I had an appointment with my therapist, no different than any other Monday. Often, I ramble on like a trip down the stream of consciousness. I don't always know how we get from topic to topic and she can usually connect the dots for me, which is a pretty amazing skill.
At one point, in yesterday's appointment, I told her that I never saw myself getting to the age I am now. Not in a I'll-be-dead-before-I'm-forty kind of way. Really, it's just that I never saw that far ahead; never had a plan or vision of my life. As my 39th birthday approaches, I find myself less and less able to fathom I'm that old. It is beyond my mind's capacity to comprehend how I could possibly have friends that I've known for over 20 years. Seriously, how did that happen? My oldest brother just turned 45 and it totally blows my mind.
She was a bit surprised by what I was saying. She asked me questions about it. Couldn't really believe I never had visions of my adulthood when I was younger. As we continued on we talked about how my vision was always short term because it was about deadlines and milestones. Like I list to check off and move on to the next step. This worked for me for a long time. After college, when I still tried to not be an atheist and went into the convent, there were steps I was working toward. It would start with entrance as a candidate (aka postulant) for 1 to 2 years; moving on to the novitiate for another 2 years; then temporary profession for 3-6 years; and, lastly, final profession of vows for life.
Well, I didn't make it through candidacy before realizing these were not the deadlines I should be working toward. This really threw me off kilter. However, my job in publishing provided me with deadlines to keep me on my short-term way of looking at my life. Then I met Shawn and that brought another set of goals on which to focus. Things like next visits, moving, marriage, children, etc.
Now that the ability to have a child has proven not to be, I'm left without a focus. See, a baby would bring me a new set of deadlines and milestones to reach. My life had been tied to these very specific steps and goals. They were my tether, keeping me going, keeping me focused in very specific ways without a real need to look far ahead.
So, now we understand more about why I'm so overwhelmed, so full of anxiety, and feeling like I'm living without a tether.
And then, the hour was up.