The flu is going around right now and of course it feels like I caught it. I’m coughing, shivering and my ears feel somewhat infected. Oh well, I suppose it could be much worse, because I feel surprisingly fit. But because today is a “sick day”, I will try to catch up on some writing – something I really neglected lately.
Yesterday was somewhat of a down-day for me. I had talked to my mother and felt somehow weird after that. Not because she’d said anything mean really, we were chit-chatting for the most part. In fundamentalist circles, most news revolve around who’s courting, getting married, having a baby or opening a home business.
There are plenty of news really, the biggest being that my brother and his wife are expecting. This was only a mild surprise by now really, because they had gotten married last summer and that’s really a long time to wait for the good news in fundie-circles. His wife is only three months along, so there are no details as to gender etc! I’m excited for them – I know this was something specifically his wife had wished for and I think he’s very proud too (I didn’t talk to him personally yet).
There’s also a bunch of other news – You know the Wilfried’s oldest? He’s courting that Singer’s girl now. No, not the blonde, the red one. Anna, I think – and Max and Mary, old Smith’s daughter and the Brough’s boy, they’re having their second - and so on.
I guess spring isn’t just a season of love in the normal world.
I don’t think Mom told me all these things to hurt me – to be honest, there really isn’t much else to talk about. She didn’t think any of it. She didn’t mean to rub anything in my face. She also asked a lot of questions about my studies – how it’s going, how I’m doing (grades not sent out yet! No idea!) and all that. She remarked that it would be good to have a lawyer in the family, in case they ever ran into problems. I smiled at that and remarked that the laws I study aren’t American laws, and while many are similar, I wouldn’t dare to help out in such a case because there are still very many laws that differ from our laws here. Just think of public nudity!
Afterwards I started thinking. You know. I’m sitting here, sipping my coffee, staring out the window. We had new snow just yesterday. My birthday’s coming up soon.
I don’t feel like I achieved much. To be honest, sometimes I doubt I’m in the right place. Sometimes I regret leaving. I think of the life ahead of me and wonder if that’s really what I wanted all along.
If you’re raised to believe that responsibility is not for women, it’s hard to imagine a life in which you’re fully responsible for everything you do. Every bad choice and decision can’t be blamed on your Dad, your husband or even God.
I keep wondering if it wouldn’t have been better to have married back then. Where would I be now? Would I sit with Anna and Mary, gossiping about diapers and housekeeping? Would I read recipes on the internet and pin crafty stuff on pintrest? Would I hug the little blonde girl who cries for me when she scraped her knee? Would I spend the evenings quiet and cosy, knitting stuff while my husband reads the bible to me? Wouldn’t I be happy to be cared for and live my life quietly until the day I die?
I think I would. Sometimes I feel that parallel universes really exist. It feels like there is only a thin veil through which I can sometimes get glimpses of the other side. But here’s the thing: You can’t change sides. Decisions made, your call. There’s no turning back now, only the responsibility you have to carry all by yourself.
Well. But then again – behind my occasional yearning for the known, the safe, that which I have been taught to believe in and considering good and honest – I remember TS Eliot:
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
Wouldn’t I be whimpering all the time? I think I would. Nope, I think I’m going to prove Eliot wrong. The world doesn’t have to end with a whimper – but you yourself have to make it bang.
Back to my coffee. Even if this doesn’t work out the way I wished, even if everything ends up completely different from I could expect, there’s still the certainty that people rarely regret the things they do, most often, they regret those which they didn’t do (that’s a quote too, but I don’t know by whom).