T. and I used to live in the city. We now live an hour or so away in a smallish town, and we go into the city only a few times a year. When we last lived in the city, I was just out of grad school. I was looking for a job, and T. was underemployed, having left his business in another state to come and move in with me shortly after I graduated. We thought that my best chances for employment were in this city, so that's where we stayed for a time. We were broke, and I was frustrated by my job search and overall feeling out of sorts about my life. My days were long and melancholy. I felt like I was destined to feel dissatisifed my whole life.
While T. and I were in the city with Miss M. this weekend, we went into a J. Crew store, and I had the oddest sense of being in two places at once. I stood in one point in the store, and was immediately transported back to the last time T. and I were in the store, more than a decade ago, during those grey days when we last lived in the city. It seems impossible that more than ten years have passed since that time, since I was so unhappy with my life. Standing there in that store, I could taste what those years were like, feel my frustration and sadness. I stood there next to a rack of overpriced tshirts, and I saw the store with two pairs of eyes: my old self, longing for a happy life, and now as a new mother, deeply satisfied at last. It suddenly hit me just how much my life has changed, just how far I've come in so many ways over this last decade, and also what a deep need motherhood has filled for me. It's almost as if I never realized the full extent of it, of quite how much was missing until Miss M. arrived.
Of course, I know how much my life has changed over the last ten years. But it became so tangible to me in that J. Crew store. It's been a long time since I really felt tha malaise of those years. But feeling it again during those fleeting moments made me excited for the future. Seeing how far I've come in ten years, it makes me excited to think of where we will find ourselves in another ten.