If I could call a version of myself from the past, I'm not sure what I would say, because I would be afraid I would somehow change the journey that's brought me here. Just like Georgie feared in Landline that she would somehow screw up her relaionship with her husband, Neal, I think I'd be scared of changing the person I've become. And after all this, I'm rather fond of her.
After listening (yes listening) to Rainbow Rowell's stellar novel, Landline, I now feel at a loss. Or maybe I just feel lost right now. I'm not exactly sure. When I finished this amazing novel, all I could think about was the concept of time.
Since completing this novel, I've thought it strange how time gathers until one day there are big chunks of your life that you must try to remember. And in thinking about this, I wanted to find the exact quote that Georgie says about chunks of time, but alas, I couldn't find it anywhere.
In my search for this quote, I started thinking about what John Green said:
"Maybe our favorite quotations say more about us than about the stories and people we're quoting." And I think this must be absolutely true because at the exact moment I wanted to see the words from Georgie, written by Rainbow, I couldn't stop thinking about the chunks of time that now occupy my life.
I'm not sure you really think about this until there are massive sections of time that have passed, until you have a timeline long enough to trace back to the moments you miss and the others you try to forget.
I didn't start thinking about these massive sections of time in my life until this year, more specifically when I graduated with my MFA. Maybe we can't fathom time this way until we've experienced something of significance, which makes us reflect back.
One of my favorite things about Landline had to be the non-linear way in which we got to see Georgie and Neal find each other and then slip away from those people they once were.
I think life is always about slipping away from the people we used to be so that maybe we can be better. And I think we like to believe in the something better.
This past week, I discovered I would NOT be moving to New Hampshire in the near future, nor would I be published overseas, and such information was brought to me in rejection letters that illicited a normal dose of disappointment. And the thing that got me through was NOT the important people in my life telling me there was something better waiting or that rejection is part of the writers' life because it felt as if they were trying to nullify my disappointment instead of just letting me feel it. Instead, it was thinking back to the other moments in my life when I've been disappointed, to the relationships that have not been easy, to the deadlines, to broken pieces of myself I lost long ago; all of it disappointing.
Knowing that I'd moved on from such disappointments is like knowing the ending of a story, it makes reading through the difficult parts easier the second time around. And just as Georgie discovers in the novel, there is a time for wanting and a time for chances and time to be selfish with those things. I think I am in that time in my life and I would hate to ruin it by overdosing on disappointment. Instead I think of trying to stay in the moment. Like Neal says to Georgie: "You're here now. Be here now."
So I will try to be here now instead of floundering in past mistakes or future failures. I will smile at the timeline, the chunks of time, which remind me I am alive, that there is still so much more life to live.