Life has always been a ticking clock for me. As the child of a sick parent, there is never enough time. Illness and loss take a seat at the breakfast table, echo each laugh, constantly interrupt the conversation. The passing minutes are tallied, clung to, clutched close - because there is a looming shortage of those minutes, an alarm clock that will sound at any moment. Days are lived on the edge of time.

And so, I rush. To thoroughly soak myself in anyone and anything that brings joy. To arrive, accomplish, discover, make a mark of some sort – to know that, just for a time, I have been a stunning embodiment of life. I am always looking for the next finish line. I need to assure myself I reached the goal, that I have something to show for this life. Proof. I need proof that I lived… And the finish lines I haven’t crossed, that have kept me running for a lifetime, are a constant source of anguish. Because I am afraid. Really, truly afraid. That time will run out before I meet my destination. I can work and dance and write and love but I can’t relax, exhale and listen to the sands run through the hourglass.

This is because I was raised to think more about the death of something than its beginning, its springtime. Because I have always been somewhat of a late bloomer. Because I don’t know how to untangle the very state of happiness from the fear that it will slip away as soon as my fingers graze its soft underbelly.

…all this talk of getting ahead – I’d just like to feel like I’ve caught up. Or learn to let go enough to realize it when I’ve arrived.

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