1. unyielding; unalterable: inexorable truth; inexorable justice.
2. not to be persuaded, moved, or affected by prayers or entreaties: an inexorable creditor.
In my somewhat-extensive reading experience, I’ve noticed that writers like the word inexorable. It is frequently used to add dramatic flair when writing about the passage of time, which could be a boring subject to read about.
Until recently the word slipped past my eyes and didn’t really register. Now I understand. Inexorable time means that my baby is learning new skills every minute. Each hour he’s on the floor he moves faster, farther. Every day he gets less and less easily pacified with a playpen or bouncy seat, preferring – needing – face-to-face interaction and new stimuli. A couple more months and he’ll be walking. (!)
But there’s a dark edge to the word inexorable. As exciting as all these changes are, they’re still changes (a word that deserves its own blog post!). We’re balanced precariously right now – I take Cai to work with me, and he naps in the playpen, plays on the floor or in his pen or bouncy chair, and sometimes in my lap. Every day I watch this balance tip inexorably toward the impossible.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the future lately – not the distant, where-do-i-want-to-be-in-10-years future, but the immediate, what-am-i-going-to-do-in-3-months future. I feel the pressure of my English degree weighing on me, pulling me seductively to open Word or grab a smooth pen and fresh paper and just write. Every month when I pay my student loan bill I feel guilty that I’m not using my degree. But right now, paying bills and spending those rare moments of free time with my son and husband win out over writing.
Back to thinking about the future – because nothing stays the same forever. Sooner than I want to imagine, the day will come when I can’t bring Cai to the office with me anymore. Is that the time to finally take the leap of faith that being a freelance writer/editor requires, and risk my family’s financial security? What other choice do I have? Do you ever feel like life is conspiring to narrow your choices? Dare I even mention the word destiny? I refuse to put my son in daycare (not that we could afford it anyway), and that greatly limits my choices. I wanted to be an editor so I could work from home.
So why is that inexorable choice so utterly terrifying?