I had a very small and silent meltdown in the car yesterday. I was driving down Brookville Road in Chevy Chase on my way to my parents' house in the Maryland suburbs after having run some errands in Tenleytown and Friendship Heights; it was a route I'd traveled thousands of times over the past two decades. As I slowed at a stop sign, I was suddenly struck by how green and alive the neighborhood was. To my right, a woman was kneeling in the dirt in her garden, a trowel in her hand. On my left, a man pedaled by, followed by a small girl in a hot pink tank top with training wheels on her bike. I thought, "When did all of this happen? Weren't the branches just bare?" And then I reminded myself that it's nearly mid-May.
And then I realized I'd been stopped at the intersection for a full minute, barely breathing with tears in my eyes. I felt like the days were slipping away and I wasn't spending them the way I wanted to. Spring is already turning to summer, and I've missed another season with Jon. Everything seems to be going so fast and, out of the blue, I felt like the time I had to share my life with him was slipping away.
I know that's ridiculous in the grand scheme of things. Even if Jon's visa takes another six months to be granted, we have decades to spend together. We have dozens of springs and dozens of summers ahead of us. But in that minute, sitting at the stop sign, I couldn't exhale because I felt like I was wasting time without him.
Again, that's absurd. I have a very full life; there's no more room in my calendar or my heart for anything else and I can't complain for a second. There aren't many things I'm missing because Jon's not here. But, for some reason, I wanted to stop the world from spinning so that I wouldn't ever experience anything else alone. I couldn't stand the idea of life moving forward while I felt I was at a standstill.
In that minute, it felt like everything was happening without us.