Reading Between the Lines


Lou and I made an escape from parenthood for a couple nights to Holiday Valley in Ellicottville for my 36th birthday, and we lucked out with the timing of the snowfall. I wasn’t feeling very surefooted for the first several runs, and it had been nearly two years since I’d been on a snowboard on account of my pregnancy through the previous winter. But as the morning went on, I began to find my groove. As clumsy as I felt, I found the best part was spending the day outdoors after the recent snowfall. Being mid-week, it was a slow day on the slopes, and there was a quiet peace about being at the top of mountain with only the low hum of the chairlift in the distance.

As serene as it was, there was something pulling on me. Life has been complicated for me as of late with a lot of questions about what my future holds, who I want to be in this world and how I begin to make that happen. A birthday makes these questions all the more pertinent. It’s times like these that I wish I could have a Choose Your Own Adventure book of my life placed before me (those of us born in the 80’s may remember these books). I want to look ahead to see the outcome if I was to choose to go this way or that.

The decisions we make both big and small do indeed change the course of what is to come, but I need to remind myself that there is only one reality of the moment we are in, however we got there. There’s no going back to page 35 to see where another decision would have led us. I’m trying to be grateful for this transitional stage and not overanalyze it. I find that there’s something about spending long spans of time with a baby that gives the allusion of time moving at a different pace, and questions of existence have been percolating in my brain. It can feel uncomfortable to be living in the density of the unknown, but maybe it’s a necessary part of becoming the person we ultimately want to be.