Saturday, July 17, 2010
Pictures of me
One of the unexpected things that makes me sad is looking at pictures of me and my husband. They’re all over the house, of course, us smiling and happy and beaming in love. There is so much expectation and optimism in my eyes, we look so hopeful and delighted with life. It pains me to see how naïve and happy I was, and know what is in store for that past version of myself.
I’m extremely lucky that I haven’t suffered much tragedy in my life. My childhood was pleasant enough, grandparents and pets died, but that is an expected sad, a normal part of life. Earlier in my twenties I went through some difficulties with my family, my brother caused a lot of tension, my mother had a breakdown and ended up in a pretty bad place, but we got through it all, and I still felt hopeful and happy. I still had my future to look forward to, I still hadn’t lost that hope that my husband and I would do it right, have a life free of strife and tragedy. I stupidly and innocently believed I could be only happy forever, that nothing bad would ever touch me if I did everything right. It shows in the pictures, in our eyes, our purely cheerful smiles.
Looking at those pictures of a younger us, I feel like I do when watching a movie, when the audience knows that the bad guy is right around the corner, and feels anxious and worried for the hero, shouting at them not to go that way, he’s going to get you! You know something bad is going to happen to the clueless hero by the ominous music playing, by your superior position of omniscience as the viewer. I feel that same sense of foreboding towards my younger self in photos. I want to shield her from all this, warn her, make sure she enjoys how happy she is, because grief is coming. I want to hold on to that look in my eyes, that pure, untainted happiness, because I will never look that way again.