Last night I found myself driving, windows rolled down and music blaring, the kind of music that makes your heart hurt with its plaintiveness and longing, and I felt transported back years ago to when we’d drive away from campus, away from the lights and the noise, to the bridge. Our bridge, yours and mine and our friends’. We’d lie there until our hands and feet were numb and talk about everything and nothing, and look at the stars on clear nights, heads propped on the rails, breath floating in the frigid air above our faces. We didn’t know then the baggage we would bring forward with us, as our future selves. I didn’t know then that the frantic desire to escape that would rise in me at unexpected moments would, inexplicably, follow me into the perfect future where I ended up with you. I wouldn’t have believed that possible, because I think that without ever saying it I thought that you, perfect you, the perfect one for me, would solve all my down-deep issues, which is unfair and too weighty a job for anyone to undertake, not to mention a job you were never called to in the first place. I thought I’d be at peace in myself, even when things got hard because of course they’d get hard because that’s life isn’t it, but even when it was hard I’d feel sure of me, because of you and me. But last night I felt like I recognized myself for the first time in awhile, because driving with the windows down in the cold felt a bit like running away, and I always seem to want to do that. I’m learning things about myself, these years as a young mom, things that I don’t necessarily like. Things about my personality that are hard to imagine ever being redeemed, ever being beautiful, though I believe it must be possible. It’s hard for me to engage, hard to be fully present–no, that’s not quite right, it’s hard for me not to completely check out when I don’t feel fully at peace and at one with the way my life is. It always has been hard, but it’s never been quite as much of a problem til now, with three little people depending on me, and with me, at 28, feeling always, simultaneously too unrecognizably old for my age, and too desperately young and immature for my circumstances. So here I am, these short-long years later, somehow both the same old me, and a me I hardly recognize. But for a minute, driving down the darkened street with the windows down and the music playing, I could feel myself again, could imagine myself when I fell for you, so hard, could just imagine the outline of your profile in the seat next to me, hair tucked behind your ears, hands shoved in your pockets and shoulders hunched in that perpetual shrug of yours.