Is it too late? Am I too late? The most maddening questions of all. Since about the age of fifteen, I've felt like the White Rabbit checking my watch and muttering "f**kitty, f**kitty, fuckitty, f**k, f**k", or staring in desperation as the sand flows through the hour glass. I think often of Marguerite Duras' observation that "Very early in my life it was too late."
My over-riding feeling these days is "It wasn't too late then, but it is now". That I wasted years and years bemoaning my lost years. My real lost years numbered around seven; from the time I went in to St. Ann's to the second time I was discharged from St. Patrick's. The latter was more than ten years ago and I've spent most of those ten years recovering from treatment
Now I realise that it wasn't too late. That nineteen is a fine age for your first kiss. I turned up for the first day of the HDip thinking I'd be the granny of the class but soon found out that twenty-nine is a common time to turn to teaching as a career. And I know that thirty-eight is an okay age to have a baby and that if I get pregnant in the next two months, I will indeed a mother by thirty-nine. Which wouldn't be bad for some-one who lived at home until she was thirty-seven.
The logical turn seems to be that today's now is next year's then and, following on the pattern, I am surrounded by opportunities that in year's time, or even a month's time, I'll be kicking myself I didn't exploit. This is the logic, but the reality is subtly different. I might be the same person I was five years ago, and the world might be the same place, but my place in said world has changed. I am no longer a young woman. I woke up and smelled the pheromones only to realise they were coming from the married men who are everywhere. Men who were single when I was busy being crazy. And when it comes to writing I don't have the time now. I can make the time, I can carve it out.
So in one way, it's later. But later doesn't have to mean too late. It might be too late. It's too late now to go back to college and do journalism rather than the HDip, it's too late to go back in time and act less crazy and get back on Campus Radio and launch my broadcasting career. It's too late to go back and photocopy and keep the whole, entire novel that I wrote and can't find. It's too late now to be nicer to the gorgeous man who really liked me but who now lives half-way around the world and is seeing another woman.
But does all this mean that It's Too Late? I don't know.
I've made major changes in my life lately. Following on from joining Gateway Women, an online community for NoMo's(women who are not mothers) I found the work of Brene Brown. www.ordinarycourage.com Brown's work has transformed my way of thinking. I've thought for many years that my experiences were not down to mental illness but couldn't articulate what they were down to, until I read "The Gifts of Imperfection" and realised the role that shame has played in my life. The book recommends Gretchen Rubin's "The Happiness Project" www.happiness-project.com and I feel I have found a kindred spirit there. I've printed out the Resolution Sheets and feel finally, what I've always wanted, a tool to help me get a grip on my life.
So the past few days, having seen the fantastic effect my reading and changing has had on my life, I ask "Is it too late?" Will what I've learned help me reach my goals, my mountain, or merely help me come to terms with never getting there?
Today's step is to realise: It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter whether or not it's too late because I won't know it's too late until it has already been too late. I won't know until now is then. And by then it really will be too late. Or it won't have been.
The sand is still trickling from the bosom to the hips of the hourglass. But the White Rabbit is sitting down and having a nice rest.