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Grieving The Life I’ll Never Have

My life is good, but sometimes I wish I had gone after the life I'll never have.

My life is good, but sometimes I wish I had gone after the life I'll never have.My life is good. Better than most I imagine. I have two smart kids. I have a husband who works hard. We have a roof over our heads and too many fruit snacks in our pantry. It’s a good life, but sometimes…

Sometimes I miss the life I’ve never had. Oh I know that sounds silly. How can I miss something if I never had it in the first place? That is an excellent question.

In the stillness of night when my kids are theoretically asleep and it’s just me lying in bed, waiting for sleep to take over my own body, I find myself longing for the life I wanted so many years ago.

There are many things I wish I had done before getting married and had kids. In my younger days, I wanted to be a country music songwriter. I wrote poetry, and later song lyrics,and learned to play a little guitar. I’d dream about moving to Nashville after high school and making it big.

Of course that never happened. Fear of the unknown, an inability to drive (how would I even get to Nashville?) and lack of funds and proper planning made the dream remain a dream.

Most recently I’ve found camaraderie with the books of Amy Poehler and Mindy Kaling among others. I hear their stories about moving to L.A. and New York and Chicago and I think, “Damn. I wish I had done that.” I can see myself as a comedy sketch writer or writing for an NBC hit comedy or something.

But that’s a life I’ll never live.

I’m a work-from-home mom to two toddlers and that is my life. I can’t save up and move to New York if I wanted to. My responsibilities are here. They wake me up at two in the morning because their leg hurts and they need me to kiss it before heading back to bed. They hang on my legs and demand to play a game when I’m trying to make dinner. They laugh and run and talk and they are so, so wonderful.

I love my life. It’s a good life. But sometimes I want more. I want the life I never had the chance to have. And I’m not blaming my children. If there’s anyone to blame it’s me for not going after those things. But I don’t believe in blame.

I do believe in grief, though. And I think sometimes it’s healthy and necessary to make peace with the fact that my life has taken a course I never planned on and be sad about that.Being sad about the life I never had doesn’t nullify what I do have. Indeed I believe that once I process through this grief I’ll become more appreciative of the life that I have. I need closure. With closure comes acceptance and with acceptance comes freedom and joy.

And one day I will feel that joy. For now, though, I’ll daydream a bit about how I’d decorate the small NY apartment I’ll never have.

3 thoughts on “Grieving The Life I’ll Never Have

  1. dragonflylady77

    You know, I hear you loud and clear.
    Yesterday morning I stopped at my ex-husband’s house to drop off my daughter’s lunchbox she’d left behind at our house. I drove all the way down his driveway after I’d dropped the kids at school and opened the back gate to leave the lunchbox on the back porch. I glanced longingly at my fig tree that is looking very healthy in his backyard that is looking very nice. Made me think, why couldn’t we have those nice things while we were together? Apparently the biggest obstacle to us having those things was ME.
    But I am a lot happier now than I was with him.
    Funny how grief hits you at random times about random things, isn’t it?

  2. Fritzrose

    As someone who did have the NYC apartment, and lived my dreams… Acting, singing, writing, etc… I just want to assure you that it is also catastrophic. Fabulous and catastrophic. I experienced lows that I could not believe, and many of my friends were very damaged by the experiences that they had living that life. Was it wonderful at times? Absolutely. But please don’t forget that when you mourn the loss of the excitement, there is tremendous, breathtaking pain that you also escaped.

  3. Ange

    Girlfriend… You just wrote what I’ve been thinking for months!!! I too have dreamt of my Mindy Kaling / Tina Fey double life… It is definitely a grieving process to let all of that go… You’re not alone girl!!! Our time will come – hopefully!!!

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