The Problem is… you think you have time.
Clockwise from top right: Jean-Michel Basquiat (image cr.); Dr. Martin Luther King with wife, Coretta, and daughter, Bernice (image cr.); Amy Winehouse (image cr.); and Marilyn Monroe (image cr.).
It’s Holy Week; Lent is almost over. Unlike last year, I did not write daily Lenten posts. I’m in a weird place when it come to producing work- blogs, sketches, paintings. First, I’m extremely busy with Zoe. Homeschooling, getting her to activities, and the daily demands of parenting leave me with less free time than when she was 2.
Second, January and February were stuffed with medical appointments: a port removal/ new port placement/ six rounds of plasmapheresis, blood work, an EKG, and a 12 hour stint at the ER after an anaphylactic ordeal triggered by medication (I needed TWO shots of epinephrine to stop the swelling!). Quite frankly, I felt like Lent *for me* began the second week of January, because I have been in a medical desert, wishing I could have angels carry me to, if not comfort, then calm.
Third, my mind has been on some of my friends. One’s mom is undergoing chemotherapy to fight cancer. Another just buried his dad. And another is going through a divorce. Sometimes, it’s hard to write about life when I feel as if I’m being subsumed by it.
In the midst of illness, death, and endings, I had a birthday.
I’m 36. I like it. I like that despite the rollator, people still think I’m a few years out of college. I like that I was born at a time to remember when it was still common to have computer-free classrooms. I like that I had a boombox with double tape decks to copy cassettes, then a bunch of burned CDs with different mixes, and now stream almost all of my music. Well, I also own a record player and a few vinyls. Such is life in 2018.
So I’m 36. The same age Marilyn Monroe was when she died. A year *older* than Dr. Martin Luther King was when he won the Nobel Peace Prize. Nearly a full decade older than the members of the infamous “27 Club”.
I was talking to my friend Kandi via FaceTime recently about some pretty big career moves she’s been planning. Or rather, listening to her talk about them… and to be frank, her soliloquy started to bug the mess out of me (Sorry, Girl, if you’re reading this, but ah well…). She has prayed, networked and researched her way into an amazing start to what is, in my not-so-humble opinion, her true vocation, and now she’s scared. Instead of just saying “I’m scared of failing,” she repeatedly said things like, “I can’t believe this is going to happen… probably. I mean, It is… but what do I know about this… what do I *really* know? But if I don’t… when will I have this opportunity again? I…”
Literally, my face:
She might’ve noticed my pupils rolled so far back in my head that they began to dilate had she not gotten up from the camera to pace back and forth. Annoyed, I said, “The problem is you think you have time.”
I had posted a meme with a similar quote on Instagram a year or so again (by the by, it’s not an actual Buddha quote), and the line stuck with me. Kandi stopped pacing and asked me what had i just said.
I repeated the phrase, but slower and with the annoyance clipped from my tone, “The problem is, you think you have time.” So now I ask you, Dear (Intermittent) Reader, what are you putting off for when you’re retired/ more established/ married/ have kids/ when the kids are grown/ when you lose weight, get older, quit smoking, get a better job/ what-have-you?
Share your thoughts