‘Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.’
— Soren Kierkegaard
I suppose this is a kind of footnote to my post on nostalgia. I can’t remember when I read the quote above, but it would definitely constitute an epiphany moment. Not an epiphanette you understand — a full-blown epiphany.
It’s been a piece of wisdom I’ve held close to my heart and it’s helped me in all sorts of ways, so this is perhaps a bit arrogant, but it has also occurred to me that perhaps Kierkegaard isn’t quite right.
I think there are also moments in life when something happens and you know, just absolutely know, that it will change you forever. And I think it’s also possible in those moments to catch a glimpse of the person you will become.
I experienced post-natal depression and there were times in the first months of my son’s life when I was closer to giving up on existence than I had ever been or have been since; like really close.
One night, probably around 2am, when he’d woken crying for about the fifth time, I snapped and decided that I had to take him back to the hospital and explain that I’d made a terrible mistake and would they please just take him off my hands.
I was out of bed and stumbling around looking for clothes and all the time I was thinking about what to pack for him, and mentally writing the note that I’d hand over to make sure “they” looked after him properly. I remember composing the bit about his favourite toy (he was about 5 weeks old) and how he liked particular songs to be sung to him … and as I was trying to remember the name of the girl band that sang “Kisses for Me” on the Song for Eurotrash album …. I knew I wasn’t going to give my son away.
Call it arrogance, but I knew in that moment a) no-one would ever look after my baby as well as me, and b) that I was going to be a good mother. I saw a future that was clear and defined and although not easy – it still isn’t 15 years later – it was my future.
Until that 2am epiphany, I’d tended to take the easy way out of things; to abandon projects that got too hard. But in my son, I found a project I couldn’t walk away from.
Has it made me a better person? Probably not. I still waste time thinking of excuses for not doing things when I’d be better off just getting on with it. I do still walk away from things that I don’t think are worth the effort. But perhaps the difference is that now I know I CAN stick with something no matter how horrible and difficult and terrifying it is.
And since this is an earworm post; this is the version of “Kisses for Me” I used to sing to my howling infant. I loved the TV programme Eurotrash, and the album of Eurovision songs connected with it is an absolute mine of fabulosity.
Oh, and the band is called Kenickie.
This is a response to the Daily Post Prompt: Earworm
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