Tuesday, April 12, 2011
A year ago this week we had a yard sale. The sun came out that day and I spent the morning reading the Patti Smith memoir Just Kids and drinking sun tea. I didn’t know it, but things were about to start turning around.
My 23rd year “sucked a fatty”, as I used to say in high school. I went AWOL from my graduate program, my boyfriend almost died, waiting tables full time had me chronically poor and exhausted. I was going for interview after interview without landing a job, and I was positively mired in regret. If I was so interested in helping people, why didn’t I study something concretely helpful, like nursing or teaching? If I was going to go to all the trouble to move away to graduate school, why didn’t I bother cutting a sure path to that piece of paper in hand? For the first time in my adulthood, I was forging a life undefined by school and I’d let everything go tits up.
As my 24th birthday neared, you could say I was pretty desperate for a Hail Mary. Finally last April, I got a lead on the position I’m (happily!) at now, and Nick was formally accepted into his graduate program. Maybe it’s superficial that such institutional, external changes should steer my happiness, but when those things worked out for us it was the big breath after driving past the widest graveyard or through the longest tunnel (anybody else play those car games?)
In a few weeks, I’ll be 25. Young, sure, but if I ever had a shot at “precocious” or "Wunderkind", I think I’ve officially aged out of consideration. I’d like to be awesome this year - not cool, not successful, not thin - but kind and creative and fearless.