Sei sup mmmmmmmmm: ripple in still water.

I wanted to write tonight. I took care of all the things I needed to take care of today and I was all ready to give myself time to sit and write. But I couldn’t. I mean, obviously I could have in a literal fingers-to-keys kind of way, but not in a metaphorical making-meaning(ful)-meaning kind of way.

If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung,
Would you hear my voice come through the music?
Would you hold it near as it were your own?

I wanted to write about this video I took from JM’s car in Paris this summer.

I wanted to write about something satisfying. Like about taking a group of high school seniors to listen to a conversation with US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer on a Friday night and having them come out of the talk and say, “He is all about the Social Contract, isn’t he?”

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But, no.

I suppose if I were a writer, I would say I had writer’s block. But I am not really a writer, am I? Only in so far as one with an Instagram is a photographer, or one who goes to church is a Christian (I wanted to write about the Pope too, because I cannot get enough of the Pontiff.) Instead, I sat. I considered meditating, but I didn’t want to make the cat move, and I sort of suck at meditation anyhow.

It’s a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken,
Perhaps they’re better left unsung.
I don’t know, don’t really care
Let there be songs to fill the air.

I turned 45 this week. I sat with that for a while. 45. Forty five. Cuarenta y cinco. Sei sup mm. Fifty minus five.

Ripple in still water,
When there is no pebble tossed,
Nor wind to blow.

Maybe that is why I can’t think of anything good to write. Maybe by the time you get to be this age, you are supposed to have a whole bunch of real things to write about, and here I sit with my immaculate home and my two cats and some loud Eighties music in my unbearably hip neighborhood, and no typical accomplishments like husbands and divorces and kids and shit to write about.

Reach out your hand if your cup be empty,
If your cup is full may it be again,
Let it be known there is a fountain,
That was not made by the hands of men.

I was born in 1970. Do you know how long it takes to scroll to that year when you are filling out your birthdate on-line? You have to pick your finger up off the touch pad at least twice. That shit is crazy. Nixon was the president and my Grandma M tried cocaine. That would have been something to see.

In 1970 things were pretty fucked up.

I came of age in the 1980s. Do you know how accidentally iconic the Eighties have become? What I know recall about the Eighties could feather your hair. I still love the music, hipsters still love the fashion. We are all still paying for the politics.

In the 1980s things were pretty fucked up.

I got some education in the 1990s: formal and otherwise. Do you think everyone assumes the time they opened their minds is the more relevant than that of others? I don’t know, but a lot of shit happened in the nineties. And then at the end of 1999 the world didn’t end and I think a lot of people thought that was pretty fucked up

I had my mid-life crisis in the mid-90s. Which makes sense because I never really thought I would live very long (which is kind of dumb of me because the women in my family tend to live a very long time.) For whatever reason my mid-life dramz kicked off at 34. It took me about four years to sort that shit out.

Mid-life crises are pretty fucked up.

There is a road, no simple highway,
Between the dawn and the dark of night,
And if you go no one may follow,
That path is for your steps alone.

On the weekend leading up to my birthday I met someone who is in her mid-30s and appears to be on track to have a midlife crisis just like mine. (Apparently it’s not just movies and politicians from the decade that never go away.) I told her I had to sail away to China to deal with it. She did not get the musical reference, but I am fairly certain she is on board with the rest of it. I predict she breaks up with her boyfriend before the end of this year (not due to my counsel, mind you – I am not a meddler, just a sharer.)

Maybe the reason this birthday isn’t sitting so well with me is that I don’t have anything to be in crisis about because I already got all destructive and ridiculously reckless ten years ago and so it feels empty of purpose. I emerged from my midlife crisis down one Wal-Mart-shopping boyfriend and one suburban tract house, but as my kids would say: I am not about that life.

Life in with the suburbs was pretty fucked up.

You, who choose to lead, must follow
But if you fall you fall alone.
If you should stand then who’s to guide you?
If I knew the way I would take you home.

This week was my fifth repatriated birthday. The birthday itself was not particularly eventful, but at this point in one’s life, that seems like a win. A dear friend I have known since the 8th grade said to me, “I hope you feel how much you are loved.” Yes, L, I did. And here I am, in a great city, with great hair, a few new wrinkles, amazing friends, no involuntary responsibilities, and I am alive.

Ripple in still water,
When there is no pebble tossed,
Nor wind to blow.

So, happy birthday to me: good hair, good shoes, wrinkles, and a potty mouth, but crisis free. That’s livin’: L-I-V-I-N.

That seems like a lot to write about.

I’ll get back to writing in no time, I am sure.

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In search of मन्त्र.

The Sanskrit word mantra consists of the root man- “to think” (also in manas “mind”) and the suffix -tra, designating tools or instruments, hence a literal translation would be “instrument of thought”

It would seem that the search for mantra begins early in life. Or, at least it did for me. The ubiquitous words to live by, maxims offered in children’s books, sayings… words of wisdom were always right there at the ready, waiting for me to try them out. I let the roll around my mouth, coming tumbling out in various ways and contexts. I thought about them and considered their gravitas. I endeavored to create my own.

People are people no matter how wierd they are. (Spelling, words, and attached art – not pictured – are mine, circa 1976)

I don’t remember when I started collecting quotations, song lyrics, expressions, lines from movies… and the collection has comprised all sorts of representations; collages, repetitive script, artwork, photos, memorization. I definitely was looking for instruments of thought.

It makes sense at a young age to rely on the words of others. People who have more experience in life, or art, or the world, or something, can serve as guides, or teachers. The words can provide validation or support whether or not you even know the person. And it’s nice to feel like someone has been there before – someone really *gets it*. I think that was my first motivation in the search for mantra.

A silly beginner, basic apprentice aggression
In the absence of a master, trying to make up my own lesson – Astronautalis, Oceanwalk

Eventually, my search for mantra had a different purpose. Rather than validation it was more a search for kindred spirits: one’s tribe. Again, this is not for a lack of a tribe of my own, but more of an effort to somehow identify the reach and significance of the tribe. Here came the words of the masters; great poets, singers, novelists….

  • All who wander are not lost!
  • Carpe diem!
  • And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make!
  • Do not go gentle into that good night!
  • Rage rage against the dying of the light!
  • Oh! The places you will go!
  • The greatest thing you’ll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return!
  • Emancipate yourself from mental slavery!
  • Live! Laugh! Love!
  • Dance like no one is watching!
  • Shoot for the moon, you might land in the stars!

ओं मणिपद्मे हूं

This led into my efforts to really study mantra – in the traditional sense. I began to think much more seriously about the power of words and the power of manifestation – like how words can so often become reality, for better or for worse, and how words can provide a path to deeper more effective thinking, concentration, or better yet, a truly quiet mind. Considering that mantra is also defined as “a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation” this too makes sense in my continuing coexistence with, and search for, mantra.

Om mani padme hum has been a staple for me. This mantra has far too much depth to be covered here, but as the lotus mantra, and the lotus is that which can emerge with beauty and grace from the mud may indicate a bit of its direction. I love studying the yoga sutras and the mantras of the Bhagavad Gita because the relevance of these ancient texts underscores so much of the interconnectedness of life that my age has been beginning to show me.

And as I continued to embrace mantra I started to see how everyone else I saw around me was too – sometimes consciously, other times less so; looking for the perfect tattoo, identifying the perfect quotation for the college essay, or with which to begin each chapter of the new novel, or to get through the next overwhelmingly sad/challenging/devastating/heartbreaking circumstance that will surely come up.

Mantra is also believed to be a spell or weapon of supernatural power…

I think maybe the reminder of mantra can also be protective and maybe that is what drives a lot of people to search for mantra. It certainly drove me last year to a point where I felt compelled to put mantra on my body – out of my mind, my mouth, and on to my skin. This was new for me, and definitely reactive. At a time in my life when I was feeling overwhelmed by all that was happening around me, and needing a reminder that not only could, but that I would, stay the course.

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In hindsight, I am not sure I would have actually gone through with this commitment to mantra had I not been reeling emotionally on so many levels… which is not to say I regret the decision, I do not. But I have found myself feeling shy about it in a way I never anticipated, which makes me wonder.

I chose to get two mantras tattooed on my back in the last year. One, the lotus mantra was less surprising, and somehow, people seem not to ask about it because: I do yoga. I guess that excuses the cultural co-optation. I also chose to represent the mantra in a form that is not generally scripted because I wanted to include a traditional ॐ. I suppose this could be construed as an error – but it is just intentionally archaic. Somehow, that feels apropos for me.

The second piece of mantra I chose to put on my body was a refrain from a song that I listened to on repeat for nearly three months after the sudden loss of three friends near the end of last year. Because the words are in English, people are much more likely to ask about them. And it feels really silly to explain that I have put a song lyric on my grown up body. This is a shyness I am not familiar with. But that bit of mantra – like everything – is so much more than the tattoo. I am not sure if I will add to the tattoo, or change it, or grow into it, but I am so glad for the reminder that in spite of terribly sad times, I do maintain my belief in the good things coming… that nothing is irreparable, or lost forever.

Mantra brings comfort, and is powerful. We have seen this always, prayers, chants, superstitions, cheers, spells. I think even for people who would say they don’t believe in mantra, they would find, upon closer examination, that they actually do. From positive self talk and affirmations, to songs of empowerment and resistance, to calls to action, mantra is there.

And we could do far worse than to seek out interments of thought.

I am no master, I know nothing…
I am a servant and I know something…
I am a witness….

Slow. And mostly steady.

I am slow to let people in. Anyone who knows me at all will attest to this truism. I am, as of yet, unconvinced as to whether this is a good thing or a bad thing – or if that really matters, maybe it is just a thing. I do know it has caused drama in my life on occasion. For example, Ms. Cort always loves to tell the story of the school picture in 8th grade: she asked me for my photo, I responded by asking why she would want my picture when she didn’t even know me. This did not go down incredibly well, but more than 30 years later we are still friends so I suppose it served its own purpose. (And really, I was a total social misfit and had no idea that school photos – and the number of them – was a status symbol at good old PJHS.) Other times it has caused me more serious drama: the shortest man to ever be my boss did not renew my contract at Albany High School my first year back in the States (instigating a wild week of insane self-doubt about everything in my life: coming back to the US, my career, my personhood) because he said, “You’re not friendly enough.” Of course in the end, it was – as all experiences inevitably become – a universal godsend, but damn son, you basically just told me I need to smile more. (For what it’s worth – his career was in many ways as short as his stature.)

It is not that I am categorically unfriendly. Maybe guarded would be a better word (although that doesn’t sound healthy either). My mom has said, on more than one occasion, that I will talk about anything. Unless it really matters. Maybe. I do know that the few times I have abandoned my habit of being slow to let people in it has almost always been with men, and always a disaster. Fools do rush in, it seems to me.

I was thinking about this today before my yoga class began. Okay, I was still thinking about it as class began and I was trying to clear my mind of the chatter… but hey, baby steps. The reason it came to mind as I walked in to class today was that I saw a friend of mine in the room and we waved at each other as I walked to an available spot. This may seem like a ridiculously small thing. It may actually be a ridiculously small thing. But it stood out to me. I have a friend. From yoga. In fact, I may have more than one. It is weird. I have been going to this yoga studio almost daily for nearly five years. So, why would it be odd that I have friends there? I don’t really have an answer for that question except that for me, it is odd.

Over the past few months, maybe even the past year, I have been noticing a shift, I guess it is a shift in myself, but whatever, something is changing because I seem to have somehow developed a bit of a community at this yoga studio. It is small, and it seems somehow a little fragile – like maybe I shouldn’t eve talk about it out loud, but it is there.

This little group includes a few yoga students I have met simply because we sit – for hours – with each other in often humbling positions. It includes a few yoga teachers, people I am probably more inclined to let into my circle, but nonetheless, slow to do so. The circle also now includes some of the people who work (and practice) at the studio. And there are a few people who I knew otherwise and have come into my yoga experience. It is interesting to sit and think that slowly this has become sort of a group. To which I belong.

Belonging is a strange sensation when you feel used to being on your own, or an observer.

I remember my guruji in Hong Kong telling me he wanted me to be more open and friendly with the people I practiced with there and I explained to him – as I have often done here – that I come to yoga for the quiet and the solitude, that with a job and a life like mine I need that. And Veer simply said, “No.” He said that the quiet I needed did not come from solitude in a group. It would be found in my head through practice and that it was important to be in the group -as an active and willing participant – in order to ever really find the quiet I was looking for. And with that one word that was a clear direction from my teacher, this small, tight-knit group of Chinese women became one of my circles. My friends. They are still people who check in on me (and me them) from afar, and strangely, language and culture aside, we are friends.

So it is not a new phenomenon that I am reluctant to expand my circles. But this very familiar turn of events got me thinking today. Who do I let in? Who do I keep out? Why? Is it some sort of test? Is it a trust issue? Do I like being part of these communities or no? Then my teacher said this:

Who would you be if you weren’t so sure of who you are? Release your gripping and your stories just a little…

And I was like… WOAHHHHHH.

I thought about how much time we spend thinking about who we are, and what makes us “us.” And I thought about how easy it is to use that information to justify our habits and patterns and excuse the things in us that maybe we might need to adjust or change…

Who am I?

  • daughter
  • teacher
  • friend
  • laugher
  • niece
  • cat lady
  • student
  • music lover
  • athlete
  • singleton (tragic spinster?)
  • cousin
  • gluten consumer
  • traveler
  • “writer”
  • talker
  • yoga practitioner
  • sports fan
  • DeadHead
  • shoe lover
  • tattoo wearer
  • control freak
  • ENTJ –> INTJ
  • body dysmorphic
  • fan girl
  • observer
  • neat freak
  • animal lover
  • beer drinker

And what would I be without all that? Just me I guess. Sitting with these people who have their own long lists of who they are, and who have, lists aside, become my friends.

Slowly.

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What’s the time?

I went out in the neighborhood a little while back. I haven’t been hitting my locals so regularly anymore. I’d like to say this is a reflection of better judgement. But it is more likely just because I am sofa king tired I would just rather not. However, I rallied because one of my bebe cousins was in town, and, well, I mean this is the neighborhood to bar crawl in if you’re going to go for it.

And I do love a quality dive bar.

We started with a happy hour tipple at the Toronado. This bar is not in my neighborhood. I have had some legendary nights at the Toronado. And let me assure you that when anyone says that something in a bar was legendary, they mean, God, I did WHAT?!? In fact, even recalling some of it is cringeworthy. But the Force is strong in this one, and so, there I was.

In and out of my own volition. Win.

After getting back to the Mission we made dinner at home and then headed out – a little early for most of the non-neighborhood types who would certainly be filling the streets eventually – but as I may have mentioned, or soon will: age.

I took the bebe to the Latin American first, because one cocktail = done. In hindsight, this may have been poorly thought out. But, live and learn. Or at least I have heard some people do that… The Latin is a formerly great dive bar that has become a little overly self conscious about that status, but still serves a margarita that can knock you over and if it is not too crowed with an equally overly self conscious crowd, can be fun. Also, props to door dude for being the first to tell me that my drivers’ license was expired and he was doing me a solid to let me in. [I may have already mentioned I am in no way akin to someone who might actually need an ID check.]

After the Latin we headed to Doc’s Clock. I love Doc’s. I bring everyone there I can because I love it so. They also have shuffle board and a long bar. I adore a long bar.

We took seats at the bar.

Bebe saw a sign behind the bar that said, “Welcome to San Francisco. Now go homo.” Being from a special part of Southern California she was beside herself as a result of this sign. She took out her phone to take a photo. As she was working out her shot, unaware that she had the flash on, there was a perfect convergence of her photographic explosion and the arrival of the bartender who was clearly temporarily blinded by this situation. And she made no mystery of her displeasure with the situation. Bebe was embarrassed, but I was more embarrassed for the ridiculous overreaction of the bartender. As she acted like Nosferatu having seen the first light of day, I said, “It’s cool, you can help those other people first, we are not in a hurry.”

“Look, I’m already here, what do you want?”

Oh really?

We ordered drinks. I stuck with my standard clear liquors. Bebe began making unwise choices. [My neighborhood is going to be a lot nicer when all the people insisting that they actually enjoy bourbon just stop pretending.]

As we sat at the bar chatting, and apparently being hilarious – we were talking about our family – the bartender started hanging around quite a bit more. Soon enough she was chuckling along with us, and before long adding asides.

At this point the bar was getting pretty crowded and a big group of Woo Girls came in.

The bartender came over and we said at the same time: “God. The Woo Girls are here.” I think that is the point I won her over. The next thing I know she was telling me how smart I was, and that she could tell I was from the neighborhood. [This is also rather a big deal, as it is fairly common for people in this neighborhood to tell me things like I have “Marina hair”, or ask, “Are you from Marin?” Really? Sigh.]

When Bebe was ready for her second round and I was holding steady, Lisa, my new BFB, topped me off for good measure.

Now the touristas were flooding in. I have to say it is fun to be a local in this neighborhood when everyone else wants to be here if for no other reason than a nice angle for snobbery.

A group of young men came in and were suddenly positioned right next to us. One introduced the other, saying, he is visiting from Seattle. “Oh yeah? I lived in Seattle.” I tell him.

“No way!” he says. Why is this a response to a statement I am wondering. I mean, is it a challenge? Or is it too unlikely that to previously unknown humans could have lived in the same place? Or is it lack of a more clever answer? As I contemplated this he said, “But I am not from there.”

“Oh? Where are you from?”

“San Diego.”

“How funny, I went to school there.” I brace for the ‘NO WAY!’

“Where?!” He comes back with instead.

“UCSD.”

“NO WAY! [there we go] I am from Encinitas!” [As a side note, the number of people I meet from Encinitas outside of Encinitas is freakish.]

After some amount of bar conversation that can only achieve the level of enthusiasm it does when enhanced by liquor, we determine that we have had these (even I admit) strangely parallel life experiences. San Diego, Seattle, he is also a history teacher… Wait what? His buddy is beside himself. Do we know any of the same people, he wants to know. I mean, how can we not, he claims.

And here is where the real fun begins: The guess how old I am game.

I gently suggest that it is unlikely we know any of the same people because although we have had similar paths, I am old enough to be his mother.

“Maybe in Kentucky!” He says. Okay, fair play, that was clever. Although, I was getting nervous that he might throw his hands in the air and woo.

So he is 28. He guesses I am in my thirties. I no longer know if this is a ploy, or at all sincere. Bebe and I laugh.

“Uh, no.” Unsure how long I want to keep this guessing game going on I cut to the chase. I tell him I am 44.

Wait for it…

“NO WAY!!”

Yeah, anyhow. We talk some more and then they walk away. Soon there is another group and we chat, it is easy enough when plied with Lisa’s liberal pours and the general silliness of the Woo Crowd.

Pretty soon, Lisa tells us she is getting off her shift. Shame, things were really working out. But she walks over her replacement and assures us (or him?) that he will take very good care of us. The next thing I know she is standing next to us and telling me I have got to get out more. There is a lot of hugging and enthusiastic regard for all things us. I view this as a win all the way around.

The next thing I know San Diego-Seattle-History teacher dude is back. He does not have a lot of new material, but he is cute and funny. He tells me we should get out of here.

“Uh, yeah. I coud have been your teacher. I have rules about that. I mean, you are 28, and I am 44. Ew. No. We are not even existing in adjacent decades.”

He laughs. Now, again, I am confused if this is sincere, flattery, a con, or just confusion.

“No, come on it would be fun – look how much we already have in common… think what else there might be!”

Wait, what? He said that out loud.

Aiyah.

Thankfully, my friend Ken has now arrived and Bebe is in need of my assistance so I have other things to do.

“Actually, I have to go. But, thanks?”

“Aw, come on, come back in,” he says.

Seriously? No. Just no, you lovely-but-daft-man-child.

We walk out and meet AJ. AJ wants to roll with Bebe. Ken and I are suspicious. He says he wants to take her to his hotel. “Does she want to go to your hotel?” I ask. Bebe seems unconvinced, or undetermined. She says “Yes.”

“Okay, where is your hotel?”

“Right down here,” he says pointing down 24th Street. Ken and I exchange looks. As if there is any sort of “hotel” down that end of 24th. Next thing we know he is faking a phone call. TO THE MARRIOTT.

Ken and I are dying, and not even really hiding it. He really must be drunk or stupid, or I suppose, he thinks we are.

He goes through this whole song and dance on the phone about “How could they not have his reservation? He paid through the weekend!”

Dying, I am.

So the next thing you know we are walking back to my place because the “Marriott” lost AJ’s paid-in-full booking. Maybe it got lost when they had to relocate the property from downtown? At my door it becomes clear that he thinks there is a fucking chance in hell he is getting in the door.

As if.

Ken is still there and I see my Jordanian chaperones from my liquor store keeping an eye on things as well. This will not end well for AJ if he annoys me. In the end he sort of dumbly slinks away. I almost feel sorry for him but for the fake phone call for which he forgot to turn the phone on.

I get in the apartment, thank Ken, and look to Bebe, who says, “What’s the time?” As she falls into bed.

A good question I think to myself, and on seeing it is just gone midnight I feel like throwing my hands in the air and yelling ‘Woooooooooo!’

Maybe I will go out in the neighborhood again one of these weekends. Hard to say no when… wait for it…

 

I have a wedding dress.

Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now, marriage can be a good thing. It can be a source of joy and love and mutual support, but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? ~ Chimamanda Adichie

I rarely mention the fact that I have a wedding dress, because why would I? I am not about to get married, I have never been married, and (as several people have enjoyed pointing out to me at various times) I have no real idea if anyone has ever truly wanted to marry me. Nonetheless, I have a dress. It is a gorgeous dress. A one-of-a-kind couture design of bias cut ivory silk and silk tulle by a New York design duo, two brothers who go by their family name, Manolo. It is a dress that I could have never afforded, even if I had wanted to, but I have this dress.

I have this dress because once upon a time I was going to get married. I thought I had met my Prince Charming. I mean, he had some pretty serious red flags flying in his wake, but I was the right age to be getting married and for every flaw he had, I could find a compensatory (or better) quality to make up for any deficiency. Or an excuse. His family hated me? No problem, my family was willing to embrace him. He was an alcoholic? NBD, I had lots of practice with this. He was going to prison? Come on, that could be romantic in some contexts. [I mean, look at RDJ. Love him.]

I was aspiring to marriage. Among other things.

So I had to get a dress when he decided I was worth marrying – for my genetic material if nothing else. I got a dress. It was alright. Very late 90’s and princess-y. I think it had some sparkles and maybe some blue. I never took it out of the shop in LA because I would be having the alterations and stuff done there.

Then he went to prison, I cheated on him, and we broke up. I got to take all my stuff – except for anything he had given me – and all the blame. Meanwhile the dress sat in the shop.

A couple of years later I finally got the nerve to call the shop and find out what I should do about the dress. The proprietress, Cocoe Voci, remembered me and was so glad I had called. She had been trying to reach me for a year because she was closing her salon to launch her own line. She had been liquidating all of her inventory and had sold the dress. Unsure what to do, Cocoe made all the decisions for me: come down to LA she said, we will figure something out.

The next week, my mom and I went down and Cocoe showed us all the remaining dresses. She showed me the Manolo. It was stunning. Something out of a movie I have still never seen. We all stared when I put it on. The dress cost a ridiculous amount, particularly for someone who was not even getting married. For reasons I will never understand, Cocoe made the decision to practically give us the dress. We hugged and left with the dress.

So that is why I have a this dress.

I had not thought about the dress in a long time, in spite of the fact that it hangs in my closet in its own protective armor. But the other day, I took it out. I looked at it. It is as beautiful as it ever was. I tried it on. It still makes me feel like I belong in a black and white film, in a ballroom I have never seen. Looking at myself in that dress was weird though. (I mean weird beyond the fact of being a middle-aged, single woman, standing in her living room in a wedding dress on a Saturday afternoon.) It was weird because when I let my brain consider the meaning of the dress, I could not imagine ever wearing it for its intended purpose. There was no amount of stretching that could get my (generally very active) imagination there.

As I took the dress off and carefully returned it to its protective sheath, I looked around at my tiny apartment. At my two cats. At my books. At my wall of artwork from no fewer than seven countries. At the quiet sense of order in the clean space. And at that moment it dawned on me exactly how completely content I am in my life at this exact moment.

Sitting down, I thought about it more. How I wake up in the morning and am free. I can do anything I want to do. At the pace I want to. And I do.

I do not have to listen to people telling me how I should be doing something else. I don’t have anyone judging me for letting a cat sleep on the pillow. Or because I want to listen to reggae music. I don’t have anyone telling me I spend too much time reading. Or too much time writing. Or that the way I portray myself on-line is somehow “wrong”.  I can go to yoga three times a day if I want to. I can sit and read on my sofa all day. Or, if I want to stay up until 1 am working, I can do that too.

Of course, I will never have some things that most people I know have, like children, and the joy they will bring.  Although last week when I was getting on my seniors’ for being lazy about leaving crap on my  floor and said, I don’t have kids – I should not have to pick up after them!  one of my senior boys said, “Naw, you have us – you got thousands of kids,” which I thought was sort of cute. But in a way he is right, these kids are good for me.

And my life is so full. I have wonderful friends who really like me. I am in a City surrounded by cool stuff to do all the time. I have great colleagues at a good job that I am pretty good at. I love going to work and I love to come home to my cats, (without qualification.) Lately I find more and more that I really do need to have my own space and my own time in it. [Maybe I am turning into and introvert… I mean if Facebook quizzes are to be trusted then: ” Others may perceive you as overly emotional, and you may even have a reputation for being a bit sensitive or touchy, but you actually just have an incredibly high emotional intelligence. You can be a bit melancholy at times, and you need time and space to recharge your emotional energies.”]

I am not convinced that all of these observations preclude life changes that could lead to wedding dress wearing types of events, and I do believe in love at first sight, and all the silliness it has always led me to. But I am just not sure that these things always happen to everyone. And that is totally okay.

It could just be me: I’ve been told I’m too loud, I like the wrong sports, I shouldn’t drink beer, I shouldn’t drink tequila, I’m too pushy, I’m too standoffish, my arms are too big, my teeth are too crooked, I like the wrong music, I like the wrong kind of people, I am too sporty, I am too competitive, that I am not the marrying kind, I work too much, I don’t do enough, I plan too much, I am too spontaneous, I am too independent, I am too needy… and on and on and on.

But I don’t think that’s it.

I aspire to something better than all of that. I aspire to just be me.

reckless-jean-harlow-in-a-dress-everett

Oh, and some sort of party, someday, in an amazing place, where I can wear a breathtaking ivory silk dress.