It has been seven years since I threw myself out into this world as an adult and I’m still searching for that feeling I’d get from opening a new box of crayons or turning the final page to read the ending of a really good book. I want to say nobody told me it would be this hard but growing up, we all knew adults who were incessantly pissed off. We swore we’d never end up that miserable. So, how many degrees does it take to get to the center of your dreams? What the hell am I doing with my life? I’d like to write. I’d like to reach people and make them feel the way I do when I sing in the car or turn that last page. I want to love someone who respects me and I want to have kids. I want my kids to grow up to be decent human beings. I’m not sure if they’ll be all-star athletes or fast readers or just three strange little humans who I give birth to. But I want them to know the difference between hearing and listening. I want them to know how to say “no, thank you” but also “no, seriously leave me alone” when it’s appropriate. I want them to know how to communicate their feelings and that I’m here for when they don’t know how to begin. And crying isn’t feminine. And being angry isn’t masculine. It’s all just feelings and feelings are what make us alive.
For example, I feel overwhelmed. I feel like I exert so much energy into projects and people and possibilities that sometimes I sink into my pillow at night and I feel a deep, hollow space where I forgot to leave energy for myself. I feel that I’ve chased dreams for years and the chase led me through dark forests and underwater and back home and over rolling hills and suddenly I’ve reached a clearing and realized that I’ve chased my dream to an empty parking lot. It’s just me and on the other side of the asphalt stands the idea of who I’d like to be. I can see her standing there but I don’t know how to get to her and I certainly don’t know how to be her. I want to take off running in another direction – run away from her and after a different dream that might lead be back when I’m ready. But today I chose to run towards her. Today I quit a really steady job to try and become the person I so badly want to be. Today I decided I can do better. Today I wrote this hot garbage and almost made it to the end without being self deprecating. And I posted it without proofreading it.
I grew up thinking a lot about what kind of woman I want to be. I always wanted to be creative. I always wanted to have a house that sounded like happy children and dogs that I share with a man who lets me grow. I thought to get there I needed all of the college degrees and calculated career moves and a systematic chain of events, but life didn’t pan out that way for me. Life threw me big, ugly curveballs and here I am, a couple of degrees later, starting all over, chasing the high of opening a new box of crayons.