It's happened to me before. I noticed it again tonight because I'm mentally preparing to go to Spain on Wednesday. I'll see Maria for the first time in years. I've been fretting over my nails. I want my hands to look normal when I'm there. I pictured myself meeting Maria at the train station in Gandia. My mind played for me the excitement we'll experience together when we greet one another. Then, suddenly, my trip was over and I was back in the here and now. It was as if that greeting had actually already happened. But it hasn't. I still haven't even packed my bags.
When I went to the Philippines last summer, it happened, too. While I was getting ready to leave, I had a flash of a time when I was already back. I play in my mind with girlish anticipation the exciting moments of the trip. Then I look forward to the time when I'm back from that trip and the images in my mind are of real memories instead of just images I anticipate.
It feels like my timeline is all screwed up. Like my life isn't so linear as it is circular. I've spent so much time going over again the emotions I've suffered hundreds of time before.
But I can forgive myself for all of that. I have previously gotten so frustrated at the revisiting of old pain. I think now that even though I seem to go in circles, I'm also moving forward. And I'm getting a clearer picture of what lies ahead. I think it will be fun. And I look forward to the day when that fun is a picture in my memory instead of an image I anticipate.