Hoping I can have an infinite amount of both…
Girl with a Green Heart
“I wait for him. Each moment that I wait feels like a year, an eternity. Each moment is as slow and transparent as glass. Through each moment I can see infinite moments lined up, waiting.”
~ The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
I am nearing the end of my journey. I am just over 37 weeks pregnant. This means that the baby in my belly, who has lived there for what feels like forever but has really only been a short piece of the grand scheme of my life, could arrive at any time. It is perfectly safe at this point if that happens, and while I am excited for him to finally be out here with my husband and me, I am also terrified of this moment. When I lie in bed at night, sleep drifting slowly in, I feel my chest clench and my heart race, imagining him lying in his little bassinet beside our bed. Everything is about to change.
So, I am waiting, for this boy that I have never met but who is going to be the most important person in my life. I am constantly assessing every symptom I feel, on red alert for any traces of contractions, any weird sensations that could mark his impending arrival. But, at the same time, I have no idea when he will choose to actually join us. Will it be tomorrow? A week from now? Will he wait until even after his due date? No one can tell me, not even my incredibly qualified doctor. And so, I wait.
I waited a very long time to meet my husband – 22 years to be exact. I had no serious relationship before him, and I very acutely felt before meeting him that I was waiting to find that special someone, that no one before him was quite right. Even that experience, though, feels comparatively insignificant as I sit here waiting to meet my son. This is a child that my husband and I created together, that is completely made up of parts of us, and it is surreal and scary and fascinating to think that, when he does come into the world, it will be entirely because of us. We are responsible for him in so many ways and will be for the rest of our lives.
I am not a patient person. I think most people who know me would in fact describe me as very impatient. In this case, however, I have no choice but to practice patience and let my son do what he needs to, in his own time. I, personally, pride myself in never being late for anything, so I am hoping he takes after me in this sense and will join us at least by his due date. But again, what influence do I have over this? None whatsoever. So, like one of my favourite characters and a great example of beautiful motherhood, Clare Abshire, I will do the only thing that I can…sit here…waiting.
“Without you I’m workin’ with the rain fallin’ down
Half a party in a one dog town
I need you to chase the blues away
I’m waitin’, waitin’ on a sunny day
Gonna chase the clouds away
Waitin’ on a sunny day”
~ “Waiting on a Sunny Day” by Bruce Springsteen
Janille N G
Girl with a Green (and Very Impatient!) Heart
This is just too much of a coincidence… Or could it be Fate?
I’m not one to piggyback on someone else’s good news, but in this particular case, I simply couldn’t resist!
As some of you may already know, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced yesterday that they have welcomed their new baby BOY into the world. I’m a huge fan of all things royal (that’s pretty transparent on this blog, I’m sure!), and I was so excited to hear this news yesterday. I would’ve been interested anyway, but my excitement was intensified by the fact that I found out, just over a week ago, the gender of my own baby (who is due in September).
*drum roll please*
…a baby BOY!!!
That’s right, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle won’t be the only ones with a little prince running around their household, because as of this Fall, I too will have a Prince Charming on my hands.
I think this is such a wonderful coincidence, and definitely made me ten times more excited to be having a little boy, because the fashion inspo I am going to get from Harry and Meghan’s child will be unreal. Haha! 😉
But on a more serious note, my husband and I are both thrilled and overjoyed that we are having a boy. A lot of people have asked me if I’m disappointed (which I think is pretty weird because I don’t know how you can be disappointed with the gender of your baby as long as it is healthy), but I honest to goodness am not! When I was in high school, I went through a phase where I pictured myself with a male child – this probably has a lot to do with the fact that I had just read The Time Traveler’s Wifefor the first time and loved the dynamic between Henry DeTamble and his mother. (Sidenote: Is the scene in the movie adaptation when Henry sees his mother on the subway, while time traveling, and tells her, “Your son loves you very much.” not utterly adorable?!?!) Whatever the reason, there was a long period of time when I just felt certain I would have a little boy of my own one day, and since I have always only wanted one child (my husband is also on board with this, as an only child himself), I never really entertained the idea of or envisioned having both a boy and a girl. Obviously, over the years I reminded myself that there is a 50% chance of having a baby of either gender, and I knew I would be equally happy with a girl, but I do think it is kind of special and magical that my first daydreams about my own child always starred a dark-haired and adorable boy.
And no, before you ask, I didn’t pick out a name for my little boy back in high school because I always found it so hard to feel connected to any male names (although I did entertain the name Henry for awhile, naturally). Now, 10 years later, my husband and I do already have a name picked out for our baby boy which I highly doubt will change, so we’ve already started referring to him by name and have spent some time each night picturing what he will look like and how he will act and how terrifying but incredible it will be to raise him. I will probably share our name choice with you all sometime soon, so stay tuned for that!
In the meantime, I wanted to share the picture my husband and I put together to announce the gender of our baby to our friends and families on social media. Ironically, we went with a royal theme (no surprise there!) which seems all the more fitting now that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have shared their equally amazing news. ♔♔♔
If you have any guesses of what you think the name we chose is, let me know in the comments – I’d be so interested to hear!
Girl with a Green Heart
On Friday December 22nd, 2017, I married a man so perfect he’s almost fictional. Luckily for me, Corynn Fowler was there to document the entire day, to make sure I didn’t forget any one of the fairytale, storybook moments. I … Continue reading
“Night Triumphant – and the Stars Eternal.” ~ A Court of Wings and Ruin Sometimes you get so obsessed with a book that it starts to slowly take over aspects of your entire life. Welcome to my world. These obsessions … Continue reading
Apologies are in order…big time!
I am so so sorry that I have been MIA on the blog for almost a month. Trust me, I get it – this is no way to show my appreciation for all you lovely readers!
However, allow me to promise you that a giant, mammoth of a book review is on its way VERY soon. If you follow along with me on Goodreads, or if you read my last blog post, you’ll know that I’ve been buried deep in the world of Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses series for quite a while now. That’s the reason for my lack of posts – I’ve been so enthralled with my reading, so eager to delve into my book and not put it down for the entire night, that I haven’t actually had anything else to review (although I know this is no excuse, considering I could’ve offered you some lifestyle posts in the meantime – massive apologies again!). I even chose to skip right past writing a review for the second novel in the series, A Court of Mist and Fury, because I just wanted to blaze right into the third book instead. And, I did exactly that – I am about two hundred pages away from completing A Court of Wings and Ruin, and my heart is already breaking at the thought. I have so enjoyed living in this world, with Feyre and all of her friends, and I simply do not want it to end. Hence why I have been reading extremely slooowly, savoring every last sentence and image and adventure.
Anyway, that’s a discussion for another time – and I swear, a book review of the entire ACOTAR series is on its way.
Having said that, when I realized a few days ago that I haven’t posted anything here in almost a month, I was horrified! I knew I had to get something out to you, and I also knew that I needed to exercise my writing muscles again, lest they get out of practice. So, on to a bit of a different topic… Here is another wedding-related post for you all…
“You see, really and truly, apart from the things anyone can pick up (the dressing and the proper way of speaking, and so on), the difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she’s treated.”
I count myself well and truly lucky to have some of the most wonderful friends a girl could ask for. My three best friends, my maidens, my bridesmaids, are among the most inspiring, beautiful and kind women I have ever known, and not only are they a constant source of pride for me, they also treat me with this unwavering respect and love. At times it is overwhelming to fully comprehend how loyal and dedicated they are to me and to our friendships, and they have each been the most incredible helpers throughout my wedding planning experience so far. To borrow from the idea presented in the quote above, my bridesmaids treat me like an absolute queen and make me feel so remarkably special, and I will forever be grateful for that. I cannot wait to return the favour at each of their own weddings! (Note: You can read a detailed post introducing and describing each one of my bridesmaids here.)
Not a single thing in the world could persuade me to change the three women I selected as my bridesmaids because they are the most perfect women that ever walked the planet. Having said that, there is one thing that could persuade me to increase their number – to add a few more ladies to my maiden fold – and that would be if my three favourite females from literature could jump out of the pages of their individual works and become real-life women. I recently found myself thinking about this, wondering which three heroines I would select to join myself and my bridesmaids in all of the wedding planning and events. And, there was absolutely no question – three literary heroines popped into my mind without hesitation, and I truly believe each of these women would fit in so well with my three best friends because they are all quite alike. I like to think I keep very good company, and I believe that even these women of the fictional world would adore my real-life bridesmaids instantly, and vice versa.
~ So, here we have it, my selections for My Literary Maidens (in no particular order, of course). ~
“Reader, I forgave him at the moment and on the spot. There was such deep remorse in his eye, such true pity in his tone, such manly energy in his manner; and besides, there was such unchanged love in his whole look and mien—I forgave him all…”
Was there any doubt that Jane Eyre was going to be on this list? Well, there shouldn’t have been. Jane Eyre is the one literary character that I will always owe so much of my personality, my morals and my convictions to. If I wasn’t such a chicken, I’d already have this Charlotte Brontë inspired tattoo on my skin that I’ve been dreaming up for years now, because that authoress is someone I will forever be indebted to. Jane Eyre, and the novel named after her, taught me so much about love, about soul mates, and about sacrifice. She presented a strong and dignified example to me at the most critical time in my life, when I was just leaving high school, and her story emphasized to me that it is possible to find an all-encompassing love that consumes but does not overcome you. Jane Eyre taught me that love is not an easy road, that there are countless obstacles on the way to finding it and also within a relationship, but that True Love means forgiveness, it means being strong enough to stand up for your love, to fight for it. To have Jane Eyre stand beside me on my wedding day would mean having a true role model in my midst, it would mean acknowledging that fortitude is an aspect of True Love that I will always apply in my own life.
“I go to sleep alone, and wake up alone. I take walks. I work until I’m tired. I watch the wind play with the trash that’s been under the snow all winter. Everything seems simple until you think about it. Why is love intensified by absence?”
The Time Traveler’s Wife is a novel that I also read when I was finishing up high school, and it is without doubt on par with Jane Eyre in my green heart. Clare Abshire is a source of undeniable inspiration in that novel, if only because she is constantly waiting for her love (time traveler, Henry DeTamble) to come home to her. Clare puts up with a lot of turmoil and tragedy in her relationship with Henry, and she faces every obstacle with unfailing resolve and impenetrable will. She is the very definition of a strong woman, and she has always been a model for me of how to overcome jealousy, uncertainty and insecurity. Clare is so confident in Henry’s love for her that she doesn’t let the little things, like ex-girlfriends in his life, or even the big things, like his regular absence, to get to her. She has a lot to face and get through in loving Henry, but she tackles each situation with a calm that is utterly remarkable. Clare Abshire taught me that love means being patient, it means waiting for The One and then hanging onto him through thick and thin, being his rock, his anchor. To have Clare Abshire stand beside me on my wedding day would mean acknowledging that True Love really can conquer all, and that the right love will survive all obstacles of time and distance.
“Aha! Now I know how to deal with you. What a fool I was not to think of it before! You can’t take away the knowledge you gave me….Oh, when I think of myself crawling under your feet and being trampled on and called names, when all the time I had only to lift up my finger to be as good as you, I could just kick myself.”
I admit, it was a bit trickier for me to come up with my third literary bridesmaid…but only for about two seconds. Then, it dawned on me, what better bridesmaid to have than the original flower girl, Eliza Doolittle of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion. Eliza isn’t your classic romantic heroine whatsoever, and that’s what makes her a character that taught me so very much about love and relationships. I read Pygmalion for the first time after starting university, but I’ve been a fan of My Fair Lady since I was something like 6 years old, so Eliza Doolittle has always been a mentor to me. And what a remarkable and unique woman she is – Eliza Doolittle is a woman who does not stand down, who is not flattened or trampled on by any of the men around her. Although she is fond of her professor Henry Higgins, she refuses to have her personality muddled or diluted by him, and she is an absolute force to be reckoned with. Her main objective throughout the entire play is to better herself, to lift herself up in society, and while her pseudo-partner Higgins assists her on her journey and gives her the tools to be a better version of herself, she is the one who gets down and dirty, who battles every day with society’s expectations and uses her indomitable will and strength to get ahead and make a name for herself. Eliza Doolittle is one of the strongest female characters that exists in literature, and that comes from her defiance of societal norms and her desire to question and interrogate the social structures around her. To have Eliza Doolittle stand beside me on my wedding day would mean acknowledging that True Love does NOT mean losing your identity or becoming a mere domestic goddess. It would mean acknowledging that being a woman in love, being a wife, does NOT mean giving up on your dreams or stifling your passions. It would mean proclaiming that the right husband, the right partner, will give you wings to fly and build your own name, for yourself.
With friends like these, how could a girl go wrong? My three real-life best friends and my three fictional ones are the pillars of my personality, the puzzle pieces that go together perfectly to make me into the woman I am today, the one that my fiancé fell in love with. Without each of them, I would be nowhere close to who I am at this moment, and I am so honoured that each of them will play a part in my Big Day…because believe me, I plan to make Jane and Clare and Eliza a real presence on my wedding day, even if they can’t be there in person…so stay tuned for posts about that in the future!
See you all again very soon, I promise!
Girl with a Green Heart
January 18, 2017
I’m lying in my bed at 9:38pm and all I can think of is The Hating Game.
I’m not actually reading it because I’m just over halfway through…and I never ever EVER want it to end!
You know that heart eye emoji? Yeah, that emoji is exactly what I feel about this book! I am OBSESSED with this book…I have a damn crush on this book! Not just on Joshua Templeman (okay, I have a crush on him too), but on every single sentence of this 300-plus page masterpiece. True, I’m only halfway through, but trust me, it’s going to be a frontrunner for favourite chick lit. story of all time!
*sigh* I love you, The Hating Game! G’night!
January 19, 2017
It’s lunchtime at work (finally) and I’m spending my hour in Starbucks with my green tea and The Hating Game. Sitting here, with my book and my hot tea, I feel more like myself than I have all week! I am truly comfortable.
And this little chick lit. book, this story that was supposed to be so fun and light, is about to make me cry. It all comes down to this: The Hating Game is all about chemistry, that zing between two people who are unbearably attracted to each other, but who also want to curl up into each other, hold each other tight. The very definition of lovers…a word that does, of course, involve love.
This book is making me tingle and I don’t want it to end. It is keeping me warm during a cold and barren week. It is reminding me of the chemistry I have with my special person and also of the spark I want to keep in my life forever. I seriously never want this book to end!
January 19, 2017 ~ 1 hour later
Leaving Starbucks to go back to work. Very sad to leave my book. Like very VERY sad! As in, sad the way I was when I had to leave Jane Eyre in my locker and head to grade 12 Advanced Functions. As in, sad the way I was when my crush got into his car at the end of a long school day, blazing home without even a wave goodbye. As in, sad the way I am every time my fiancé gets on a bus or a subway and rides away from me. Damn…I have a crush on a book. I might even be in love with a book. Damn.
The Hating Game. This book destroyed me. It has ruined me for all other books and I know it will be a long time before I feel this way about a story again. This book made me feel the way I did when I first read The Time Traveler’s Wife, and I see now that it will go down as an all-time favourite. *Henry DeTamble and Clare Abshire, meet Lucy Hutton and Josh Templeman. Shake hands, make friends, get comfortable. I know you’re going to love each other!*
This book is good. Not good like, give it 3 stars on Goodreads and be done with it. Good as in…okay…like you meet a guy at a party on a Saturday night and he whispers something in your ear that is so flirtatious but also strangely sweet and gentlemanly. And he asks for your number and you hand it over rapidly. And then, on Monday, you’re sitting in class, staring into space, twirling your hair around your finger, and all you can see is his eyes. You think, “Wow, that guy is good!” (Do people even think or say this anymore? I don’t know. Apparently I’ve been engaged for a long time and am out of the loop.)
The Hating Game is about love, but more than that, it’s about real love. It’s about the love you don’t even know you have until it smacks you across the face with its blinding ferocity. I’ve had this love. I have to be honest, I didn’t love, or even really like, my fiancé when I first met him. Three months into dating him, I knew I wanted to marry him and I told him so…but three weeks into it, all I could think was, Sure, this guy is my first boyfriend but that doesn’t mean he has to be my last. I’m embarrassed even remembering this now because he is the most incredible man, physically, mentally and emotionally, but when I met him I was so nonchalant, mainly because I had a crush on some other guy who was sooo not my type and my fiancé was just this other, random guy who was taking my mind off my crush-induced misery. And then, very quickly, he became my whole world and overnight I developed both a crush on him and fell madly in love with him. That’s what The Hating Game is all about: the love that creeps up on you, literally when you least expect it. My favourite type of love.
It would be easy to say I loved The Hating Game because of the sexy main character, Joshua Templeman, but that wouldn’t be the whole truth. I love The Hating Game for everything it is, every last dot on every last page. Just thinking about this book is going to make me cry silly tears. The kind of tears you cry when the guy says to the girl that he’s loved her from the moment he first saw her, just like Josh says to Lucy. And you think, That’s the stuff of fiction, that doesn’t happen in real-life, until it happens to you. It did to me, and maybe I’m so grossly sentimental about this book because it reminded me of what I have and of what I think every person on this Earth deserves.
The Hating Game is not only about real love, it’s also about being someone’s person. It’s about loving someone so much that you understand them better than anyone else, that you get inside them. It’s a love that is so big and all-encompassing that at first you don’t quite know what it is. When Lucy and Josh finally get together physically (I’m still a big baby who needs to use euphemisms for this sort of thing) towards the end of the book, there is the perfect moment of realizing just how important love is, of understanding how the right kind of physical connection can speak emotional volumes.
“You matter. You’re important to me. This matters.
You’re who I want. You’re always beautiful. This really matters.”
There is a profound moment in that passage, one that overwhelms and overcomes the erotic and transforms it into something beautiful and profound.
But there is so much that is written and articulated beautifully in this novel, this little slice of rom-com that took me by surprise and blew me out of the water. There are so many gorgeous phrases and ways of expressing the simplest emotions, and Thorne is truly gifted when it comes to manipulating and making art out of language.
“Books were, and always would be, something a little magic and something to respect.”
“It’s like sunshine. I’d forgotten that other people are warm.”
“He taught me things in the space of two minutes that the span of my lifetime did not.”
“All I want to do is kiss you until I fall asleep…I want to make a fool of myself for you.”
“‘Lucy,’ is all he can seem to say. ‘Lucy. How am I going to walk away from tonight? Seriously. How?’”
There were so many moments about this novel that could’ve been cliché, such as when Josh becomes jealous of Danny’s attentions toward Lucy, or when Lucy becomes hopelessly obsessed with Josh. But none of them were, none of them tipped into dangerous, unbelievable or unrealistic territory. It all comes down to how expertly Thorne told the story and how likeable and complex she made her characters.
Is it possible to be in love with a book? I’ve known since I was a child that the answer is Yes. But it’s a polygamous sort of relationship for me, and I am happy to make The Hating Game one of my multiple book husbands.
I can’t get enough of it! Lucy talks so much about how addicted she is to Josh, and that is how I feel about Josh AND her AND this entire story. I think I’m going to carry it around with me for the next few days so I can reread several of my favourite sections. I know I have to give it to my mom to read at some point soon, because I know she’s going to absolutely love it, but it actually makes me sad to think of handing it over to her right now and not having it in my room with me every night.
You’ve caught me…I’m a book freak, and this particular one, well, I’ve fallen in love with it!
“If only I could hold onto this moment. I already feel the sadness that will hollow me out when it ends.”
❥❥❥❥❥ (out of 5 – and all in robin’s egg blue!)
Girl with a Green Heart
Hello again dear Readers!
Today marks my second to last review of ITV’s new series Victoria.
I watched this episode a few days ago, but I didn’t have a chance to post my thoughts at any point throughout the week. I also thought it might be a good idea to save my review to post this weekend, and make it sort of a Victoria Extravaganza Event!
I am going to miss this queen more than I can express. I can’t explain quite how soothing it is to watch her story every Sunday before gearing up for the week ahead. Like Jane Eyre, Clare Abshire and so many characters before her, Queen Victoria (specifically as portrayed by Jenna Coleman) has given me another model of strength, force and courage to carry around in my green heart. From the costumes, to the sets, everything about this series has been absolutely exquisite, and I am so relieved that it has been renewed for a second season. I know that, after tomorrow night’s episode, I won’t be seeing Queen Victoria and Prince Albert for quite awhile, but I am very grateful that these new dear friends will be returning to me soon.
Here are my thoughts on the second last episode of Victoria…
Episode #7: The Engine of Change
Sidenote: The title credits are still the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen!!! ❥
– Sick Queen V = Uh oh! Is her fear coming true? She wants kids in theory, but certainly not now!
– Albert likes Sir Robert Peele, but Queen V still does not. He’s no Lord M.
– A is progressive, business-like…he wants change and advancement (ex – the railway).
– Queen V is bored by manufacturing and the Industrial Revolution.
– This Francatelli guy is actually growing on me! His romance with Miss Skerrett is cute!
– Queen V telling Prince A she is pregnant is the most sad thing I’ve ever seen…she looks miserable! But A is sooo excited and it is adorable! She is clearly terrified though!
– “Drina’s” mother wants her to sit around and not work = although it is right to protect the baby, V is still a queen with duties…and a STRONG one at that! Her mother implies that her only “function” is to have an heir.
– V is in love and fears A will think her hideous when pregnant = so cute!
❥ “A love like ours can burn down the city.” ❥
– Queen V names Prince A potential regent; politicians vehemently rebel! Duke of Wellington is kind of mean…why did Charlotte Brontë like him so much?
– A and V flirting in bed is amazing! It gives me life! They are truly in love!
– Queen V’s mother says laughing is bad for the baby. What on Earth?!?!
– A still wants some power! But Queen V must compromise and let him use power through her.
~ “But I’m not a German woman. I am Queen of England.” ~
– Queen V kind of treats her mother terribly, BUT, my mom and I both agree that her mother is quite annoying and a pest.
❥ “Just be your darling self. They will adore you.” ❥
– V and A exchanging looks at dinner is another prime example of how in tune they are! They are a formidable couple!
– Sir Robert Peele is actually kind of sweet. He could be a real ally if he and Queen V worked together.
– “Now, lunch.” I wish I could command people like that! haha
– “You count as alone.” Lehzen is like a mother to Queen V; she wants her around always.
– The politics is complicated, but what I do know is that the Tories and Queen V must get on the same footing.
– Queen V is spooning Prince A! Aww! heehee
– Queen V needs to “guide the conversation” and maintain authority so that her and A can tread carefully and people will not resent Prince A.
– Sooo…naturally Prince A goes off to see the train on his own, even though V specifically asked him not to. Damn it!
– The fact that they all find the train so incredible just goes to show how much we now take for granted…and how far our society has come. So much happened, so much progress was made in the Victorian era.
~ “This is the future.” ~
– Queen V is depressed because she doesn’t know where Prince A is = not so easy when you can’t text someone, eh? 😉
❥ I’m pretty sure the scenes at Sir Piers’ house were filmed at Haddon Hall – aka Thornfield Hall. I can’t be 100% sure because I’ve never personally be there, and have only seen it in the Jane Eyre film adaptations, but the scenery is GORGEOUS and I recognize it! It is one of my favourite sets on Earth! A perfect choice!
~ “…condone or condemn…” ~
– Prince A and Sir Robert Peele are now friends, which is a huge advancement.
~ “I decide what is the future!” ~
– Queen V and Prince A are in a peculiar place: Queen V must maintain her authority, but Prince A wants to help her. He wants to guide the English people too. “This is my country!”
– Queen V goes to see the train. Her and A can discover things together! This is the future of not just England, but the whole world!
– Okay, this Francatelli guy is smooth!
~ “The Prince has no power to be solicited.
“Oh, you’re wrong!” ~
– V: “I am frightened of the pain.” A: “Childbirth is surely an ordeal, but you are equal to it. You have such fortitude.” Queen V is terrified and she admits it to Prince A. He is unfailingly supportive and he wants to share her burden!
– Peele backs Prince A as regent. Nice! He is so firm and I love it – he is actually amazing in this scene!
❥ Queen V at her desk, surrounded by candles is such a gorgeous Victorian image!
– V subtly, and without calling attention to it, lets A help her with her work. The moment when he takes her pen is symbolic of the fact that they are now working as one.
Sidenote: Jenna Coleman truly acts like a queen, right down to her subtlest gesture of leaning her hand on her neck and her small smile.
Speak to you about the finale soon,
Girl with a Green Heart
*We interrupt our regularly scheduled #JNGReads/JNGListens programming to bring you a special blog post… The Girl with a Green Heart Does Halloween 2015! As you all know well enough by now, I’m a big fan of romance, grace, and pretty … Continue reading
“‘I wish we could just stop time now.’” – The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
I am not a person who finds it easy to live in the moment. At all.
Those who know me well know that I find it extremely difficult to shut down my brain for even the shortest amounts of time…and so I am constantly dwelling on and planning for The Future. Probably the scariest thing for a twenty something girl to consider and think about, The Future is this messy place that no one can ever be 100% prepared for, that no one can ever actually have a handle on, and that no one can ever really inhabit, because once it is here, it is present and so already gone. Basically, I’m the type of human who not only fantasizes about some indefinable period 2 to 5 years from now; I also stress and obsess over it, sometimes to the point of mental exhaustion. I like to have control over things, I like to make lists and schedules and cross accomplishments and tasks off of them…and therefore, I’ve never been at all comfortable with the notion that The Future is mutable, changeable and unpredictable. People tell me that no matter how strenuously we prepare for it, we can never have total mastery over it.
But I’ve been trying my hardest, recently, to live in the present moment and soak it all in. It’s no easy feat, but I am definitely starting to see that The Future is never going to be exactly what you expect it to be. Tons of things have happened to me in the last year and a half that I never would’ve predicted and that I certainly didn’t plan for. I choose to attribute all these marvelous things to Fate (a force I’ve been obsessed with since reading Romeo and Juliet in grade 9 English class), and I am really beginning to believe that everything happens for a reason and if something is meant to happen, it will! So, what reason is there not to live in the moment then, if the moment is so wonderful and better than I could’ve imagined? Why not truly experience every precious hour and day, why not be open to the scary but fascinating things that can occur out of nowhere? I haven’t had an obstacle thrown my way that I haven’t been able to incorporate into my Future yet!
The truth is I find it so hard to live in this very moment, to figuratively stop time and focus on the NOW, because I am afraid. I’m terrified beyond words and reason that something, anything, is going to pop out of the shadows and jeopardize everything I have and put everyone I love in danger. This is paranoid, I get that, but it’s also a mentality that is so difficult to change. For Henry and Clare of The Time Traveler’s Wife (yes, still obsessed!), it’s easy to live in the moment, because they know what The Future holds. Clare can be content and calm with her boyfriend Henry because she knows with absolute certainty that he is going to be her husband Henry. She’s seen their Future, through his eyes, and she knows that nothing can change it because it’s already in the process of happening. But, I’m not a time traveler, I’m not dating a time traveler, none of my family members and friends are time travelers – so what’s in store for our Futures in anyone’s guess. For all I know, this could all go up in flames!
I recognize that this is something every human has to deal with, and I know I’m missing out because of all my stressing. Sometimes I just wish I could see into the future though…or if not something that extreme, that I could just definitively stop in this moment and replay it, relive it as many times as I need to in order to be fully prepared and ready for that unpredictable move forward.
Girl with a Green Heart