I used to think the mountains and hills we drove by on our way to vacation at my grandparents house were painted. Typical, I know.
I used to think I wanted to have eight children. I had them ordered (boy, boy, girl, girl, girl, boy, boy, girl) and named. But I don’t remember what the names were. Sad.
I used to think I would have brown-haired children.
I used to think I wasn’t good at anything, that I would never be good at anything. This, despite the fact that at the time I was very good at delivering newspapers, wearing plaid shorts and t-shirts that were too big, and imagining constellations in the pimples on my forehead.
I used to think running was hard. And that it would always be hard. Now I know better.
I used to think giving birth would be the worst, most painful experience of my entire life. It scared me to pieces. I couldn’t think about it, didn’t want to think about it. And yet, there comes a point when the alternative — being pregnant for another day — makes childbirth seem like a welcome reprieve, the oasis in the desert. As it turns out, it wasn’t the worst, most painful experience of my life. It was the best, most painful experience of my life.
I used to think I wanted to have a career in academia. That would have been a mistake. Now I’m just hoping to have a career at all. Hahaha.
I used to think that living without an air conditioner in the New York summer was the tough thing to do. And then we got one on Tuesday and realized that all it meant was that we were silly to not get one earlier.
I used to think I’d have a house with a yard, multiple levels, a private doorbell, a dishwasher (who wasn’t also the cook, the storyteller, the human playground, and the disciplinarian), laundry facilities, trees, more than one toilet, places for silence, places for noise, and a big dining room table. I guess there is still time.
I used to think I could plan my life, to see where it is going, and even where it has been. Now I look forward to the twists and turns that lie ahead, to revel in the unexpected revelations that come from retrospection.
And some days I just think, “I used to be able to think.” Period.