I have been absent from my blog as of late, trying to handle that all too familiar creative block – the one where I have about fourteen drafts in my queue, where I come home from work with the full intention of my night being devoted only to that of writing, and somehow – I just can’t. Tonight I realized that this thing I have here? It doesn’t have to be perfect. I don’t always have to be articulate and witty, have a structured idea of what I’m going to say and then chose each word wisely. I don’t have to check-in with a thesaurus, or scour the earth for inspiration because if you stop and just let it happen – it’s always just there. It came to me like a shear stroke of unadulterated brilliance. How to get over whatever blockage I was facing? Just sit down and fucking write already, JESUS.
I called my sister on my way home from work. It already felt like it’d been a long week and it was only Tuesday and I just needed to hear her voice and assume some sense of normalcy. I knew that she would hear me and be able to give me feedback on what was bothering me, but I also knew we’d move through the sludge and then probably laugh about some stuff and carry on – which is how we found ourselves marinating on the irony on what, are our actual adult lives. “My friend just bought a condo with her boyfriend,” I said, “It kind of made me think about where I thought I’d be at this point in time in my life versus where I actually am. Do you ever think about that?” “Sure,” she said, “I think about it all the time.”
Our lives seldom look the way we pictured them as daft and dewy-eyed children, when you’re a kid you still believe in magic and anything you can dream, as far as you’re concerned – you can do. I asked Anitra if she remembered what she wanted to be when she grew up and she told me she wanted to be a garbage man. When I asked her why she simply said, “I wanted to hang off the back of a truck.” This seemed entirely fair. I asked her if she thought she’d be married and own a house to which she replied: “Totally, or at least have the money to do so. The house part anyway.” When asked where she thought she’d live she replied that she imagined herself on the East Coast somewhere. I retorted it was probably a good thing neither of us ended up staying on the East Coast because we’d just be playing croquet and drinking a lot of wine, and it was way cooler that we both ended up out West where we could be exempt from our yuppie obligations and just indulge in the latter.
In lieu of asking if she had any idea what her potential life partner would look like, I reverted to our teenage days and asked who her favorite ‘Teen Beat’ crush was. Throughout our adolescence we both plastered our walls with the likes of Andrew Keegan and Devon Sawa. “River Phoenix and fucking JTT,” she said without hesitation. “I think JTT ended up being gay,” I replied, “And so did your sister.” Which opened a whole new can of worms, “Did you ever think that I was gay when we were growing up?” She stalled and then answered: “Not at all, I have horrible gaydar.” Which I found surprising on account of the closet sized poster I had of Ginger Spice half-naked, coupled with my Angelina Jolie shrine I had at the young age of thirteen. “I admired their work,” was what I rationalized it as at the time. “Did you think you’d have kids?” I questioned. “A fortune teller told me I would have three kids and I was really pumped about it. She also told me I would die at the age of fifty-seven or something. I was maybe 9-years-old when I got this palm reading.” I then had to ask where she received psychic advice at the tender age of 9. “A Halloween fair or something. I dressed as a rock band member, like big spikey hair and spandex, maybe she thought my Rock Star lifestyle would take its toll on me eventually and I’d settle down.”
I asked if she was happy at the way things turned out, if she regretted the fact she was not a garbage man or rock star – that she didn’t own a house or end up marrying Jonathon Taylor Thomas. “I am awesome,” she replied, “Little funks come up, and I’ll always have things to move past.” She then turned the spotlight onto me. She reminded me: “You were such a fussy girly girl growing up, the curlers in your hair, the dresses; it’s so fun to think about now.” And I was. I wouldn’t come down on Christmas morning unless I was looking all sorts of pristine and now you can barely get me in a skirt unless you physically force me.
After quizzing my sister, I started thinking about my own childhood – and the picture of what the adult version of myself that I had idealized at that time, looked like back then. I wanted to be a gymnast. Maybe the Summer Olympics were occurring at the same time as my self-actualization, but I thought I was meant for uneven bars, the balance beam, and vault – maybe even Olympic Gold. Due to my lack of coordination and the fact that puberty granted me long, gangly limbs – this dream quickly died as soon as it was conjured up. I imagined that I would go to college and do something, then become a professional of whatever trade I ensued. Then I’d most likely meet someone, get married, and be good to go.
Instead it looked a little more like get your graduate degree, move across the country to some place you’ve never been, move back home sporadically – but not permanently, then move BACK to Utah because you’ve seen the mountains and you miss them and can’t imagine living without them. It doesn’t really make sense, and I realize that whatever has unfolded in the meantime is just fine. Maybe I didn’t see myself having two roommates, being tragically single, owning a Chihuahua, and managing a Brewpub but at this point in time – this is where I am and I am content.
I’m happy and even if I think about where I “should” be and where I am, all I have is gratitude. Every misstep has been a blessing, every deviance a joy. I realize that I sing a lot of the same tune here – I ruminate on “being an adult” (which involves such things as eating macaroni and cheese, reading ‘Goosebumps’ novels, and learning how to play ‘Destiny’s Child’ on my ukulele), the hardships of perpetual singledom (bad dates, straight girls, and everything in between), dealing with living life as someone who may feel too much (if that’s even a thing), and the fact that every post follows the same suit of telling some antidote, throwing in a life lesson, and then ending on a high note. I don’t care. What I do care about is sharing my experience with you, whatever it may be – and putting myself out there. It can be monotonous I know, but based on the messages I receive from people who take the time to tell me what it means to them that I do so, I will always keep on keeping on.
Even when I don’t have all the right things to say; even when the best thing I can do is post when I don’t want to. I have to believe that my words do some good – and someone who read this will find solace in it. Even if it’s just one person. Be thankful for whoever you may be at this point in time. Use every experience whether it’s kooky or kind, to learn from. Soak in the satisfaction that being is. Do things because you can. Never judge yourself by anyone’s standards, especially your own. Love unconditionally – yourself, others, and all things. Know that whatever you thought you thought you would be doesn’t mean shit, because you thought about that before you had abstract reasoning skills. Whoever you are, you’re perfect and you don’t need to change a thing. Let life happen.