I’ve been quiet for a while. Lots of things have changed. I’m married now, I moved across the country twice and I finally got that dream job of my life where I was able to expense things and fly on the company dime.
My life was so loud I couldn’t hear myself. My inner monologue was drowned out by fear and the din of traffic, a chronic illness and the feeling that my life was passing me by and I couldn’t get ahead of it. It was very, very blurry there for a bit.
Oscar Sunday, 2012: I opened the kitchen window in our 6th floor apartment took a deep breath of the cool LA night air. Two miles away those coveted golden statues were being handed out at Hollywood and Highland. The former dream of my life. Tonight, all I wanted to do was stir the steaming pot of collard greens on the stove and conspire with my husband about the fastest was to get our sorry selves back to the bright, sunny South.
We’re coming up for air now, but sometimes it still feels blurry. Did my 20s evaporate that quickly? Am I composed of stronger stuff in this new decade? Was there a line, a moment, when I became grown? If so, I'm pretty sure I missed it because it seems like all of a sudden, here we are.
In between making dinners and walking the dog; scrubbing the toilet and taking conference calls; scheduling bills and arguing over how much we really need to put into savings; putting gas in the car and taking on another freelance client; losing sleep over a house we may never have and fussing over how the dust bunnies are forever multiplying in the home we currently occupy, there are moments of peace. He hugs me in the kitchen. The dog falls asleep on my feet. My favorite coffee cup is clean when I need a lift. He laughs, which always makes me laugh, or tells me I’m cute with morning hair. The dog smiles—she actually smiles—when we walk in the door. These are the real things of life. These are the things that I’ll remember one day when I’m senile, driving him crazy in the nursing home or sitting on the front porch with my fly swatter and our 50 year-old hound dog sleeping on my feet.
We are building a life. It is not the tidy one I anticipated, nor have we set up shop on Easy Street. But it’s an honest life; one that I'm proud of—one in which we are slowly making deep, indelible tracks.
Being a grown up means facing your problems head on. It also means looking at your past dead in the face, holding on tight to the pieces that went right, learning from the parts that went wrong, and then getting on down the road.
I have some peace to make with the past couple of years. I'm 30 now. With that big, round number comes a sense of duty, as though it is my right—nay, my responsibility, to be a braver practitioner of my own life. Let the dissection and the healing begin.