Yesterday was a day for thoughts. These weren’t the daydreams that carry me to the coast of Greece; these were doubts of the future. Indian-style on the couch, I tried mindlessly surfing the Internet only bringing more frustration. Why am I wasting my time if one of my worries is that I too often waste my life? Am I behind? Am I doing enough?
Next thing I knew, me, myself and my peter-pan collar were pirouetting from kitchen tile to kitchen tile with Spanish worship music on maximum volume. How I got there I have no clue, but I was there whole-heartedly. With the gardening neighbor causing me inhibitions, I moved my party to the bathroom where my own winter formal continued until one spin landed me face to face in the mirror.
A cocked head with a slight grin, I glanced at my tangled curls stuck to my sweat-kissed cheeks and thought, ‘So this is what my twenties are for. Learning to love myself. Running after the things that matter and shamelessly releasing the things that don’t.’
I say learning because with all the social media, blogs and fantasylands that bombard us, surely this has got to be a process.
As much as I want to be, Walker and I will never be the couple who make the bed each morning, but we will keep our commitments to people and events. We won’t always leave the house in styled outfits and clean hair, but we will write sincere thank you notes. We can’t frolic under foggy streetlights in a city that doesn’t sleep, but we will drive long distances, often, to be present in the lives of our loved ones. And we might never have it all together, even in pictures, but we do practice the art of saying ‘I’m sorry.’
These are our twenties—discovering who we are and what we aren’t, learning to accept and appreciate ourselves, and stop longing for an idealistic reality. Our lives will never look like so many of the blogs we read, but I’m beginning to think theirs don’t really either. This is our time to learn that someone else’s highlights do not have to be our lowlights.
These are our twenties—there is no reason to worry. Only the wrong perspective can waste a life. Life is only fruitless when it goes unappreciated, when the small moments have no meaning and when our reality-the reality that we are alive- is no longer magical. Life is not passing me by. It’s all around me. I must notice the three ladies walking to church in beautiful hats, breathe in the faint smell of the cow pasture across the street and passionately participate in late night study for tomorrow’s culinary class. This, this is life.
These are our twenties—and I will make a choice to learn. To relish in the exhaustion and to rest hard when the time comes. To laugh at the dumb joke, to celebrate the crying baby and to cry just as deeply some days, to remember how I feel having written for no money or fame but for self. To dance offbeat, to sing off key, to walk to the rhythm of love. I want wrinkles formed from memories, victories fashioned by fears and triumphs created by failures. I want life.
At one point in time I’m pretty sure I sincerely believed I would be Katie Couric one day—travelling and telling the news of the world. But as life goes for now, I will happily write for this tiny blog instead of for NBC News, because these are my charmed days, not Katie’s.
I can’t wait to read this in 30 years. I’m sure my 50-something self—still clad in polka dots I hope—will let out a laugh and say ‘oh child, I’m still learning.’ Then she’ll find herself dancing in the kitchen just like the good ol’ days of her twenties.