As a child I was strongly afraid of death and when I looked to my future I imagined that I could feel ok until I was 30, but that after that, the sense of impending death would be unbearable.
I was wrong, though. Thirty was ok and didn't make any particular impact on me. When one is 30 there is still a sense of a long decade of relative youthfulness stretching ahead in which one can reach important goals and structure a good life.
But I was right that that sense would descend eventually. For me it was when I was 34, this last year. I have felt a terrible sense of time closing from behind and ahead, and opportunities lost, and of the hurry to make final big decisions about the general way I want the next few decades to look. Divorce left me floundering, without (though in the end it was an illusion and I guess always is to a degree) a vision of a known future. It's been a struggle find it for myself again.
I feel sad that I lost so many of my vital young years to illness; time that many people are spending establishing careers or families or traveling or in whatever other way living out dreams they had. And so I'm left having not done many of those things, in a life without much of a career, without children, with a failed marriage behind me. It is terribly disappointing some days.
I struggle every single day to hurry to make the decisions I have left - the big ones. Should I marry again, have a child, and live a domestic life? Should I step off that path, and leave the partnership phase of my life behind me, move back to be with my parents and live independently, within a quiet mutual companionship instead? Should I still try to push for a career, for love, for motherhood, or should I stop seeking for myself and make my focus serving other people now?
I don't know, but I feel the weight of it all the time. I will be dead in several more decades. Dead and my chance to experience what is important to me in life will be over for all of eternity. Over. There is no perfect time in the future when life begins; it is now. Now. Time is rushing by.