I can't help but sometimes think about how it used to be. How they used to be.
I can clearly remember moments in time where I typed up specific blog posts or thoughts... moments where I had conversations with friends, or family, or those I considered friends or family.
It feels like a lifetime ago.
And then I have moments where I come across a picture or a video of times that I should, absolutely should, clearly remember... and I don't. It doesn't feel like a lifetime ago... it feels foreign. It feels like I'm experiencing it for the first time. Like I'm watching it happen to someone else.
I look at my children now... and they feel like my children now. And I see them as they were, but there are moments where I get the opportunity to actually see them as they were... and I have sometimes forgotten them... as they were.
I have these moments where I'm all alone. It's rare and when I have them I'm not always all alone. Sometimes I'm driving home from work, just me in my vehicle, or sometimes I'm driving home from crossfit and my daughter is in the seat next to me. Sometimes I'm in the passenger's seat of the Very Handsome Dale's truck... and in these moments I see the trees so unique to this small unknown town in Alabama, or the way the road curves around the hills. I'll see the tiny downtown that requires you to refrain from blinking or you'll miss it.
Sometimes I'll see the run down homes in the city, or the stores that are alive and well, thriving, that long left my home town. And sometimes I'll even be in my own home. Completely quiet. I will have just walked in from a long shift. The kids at school. The dogs outside and I'll think... "How is it possible to feel so very much at home, while simultaneously feeling so very much like you're not."
My surroundings are so familiar, so routine, yet I am a stranger to all of them. My neighborhood, my co-workers, the city, this town, the people...
I did a lot of growing after my divorce. My growth demanded growth from my children.
I used to be surrounded by friends. I guess I should say... by people. Now... not so much.
We did a lot of trimming. We tightened our circle drastically. We learned to tune out the opinions and thoughts of those that didn't matter and we learned to lean on each other. Even when it seemed as though we were all strangers... or as if we were too close to share.
I don't bake my babies cookies every night anymore.
Truth is, I don't even get to tuck them in every night anymore.
I'm sometimes as foreign to me as my surroundings are.
Not long ago, I was sitting in the passenger's seat of my truck when the tone went out. I tucked my feet back into my boots and I looked over as my partner grabbed the radio and non-chalantly said: copy, and I thought to myself: "Jesus Christ. I'm who you call when you're dying."
When my babies are snug in their beds, I'm driving, lights and sirens in a town I barely recognize, saving people... or, at least, I'm trying to.
I sometimes look at these people. Complete strangers, and I wonder... how is it, that they ended up here. In their situations. In this town. In my view. And how is it that I am the one that was literally called to try and save them.
It's not always romantic. More than not the people aren't dying... except they are. We all are.
Which brings me back to where I started. Where I wrote about the blog posts that were so vivid in my mind from what seems like a lifetime ago. The blog posts regarding time. How it's so very fleeting.
My God is it fleeting.
To say my life is often surreal is an understatement. To say that I don't enjoy my co-workers or this town or it's people would be a lie. It's just that in three short years everything has changed so much... and my babies are becoming adults (however tiny) and every once in a while it dawns on me... So am I.
Sometimes it doesn't even dawn on me that I ever even knew the people I once knew and sometimes it hits me like a brick that not a one of them could describe to you my living room. But I have to be honest and tell you that these moments, the ones where I am all alone, almost always end in a smile as I think to myself...
I'm not the person I once was. How incredible is that.
As Stephen Richards said:
"When you fight yourself to discover the real you, there is only one winner.”